Monday, August 27, 2012


A MAN, A PLAN, A DEBACLE- RAPOZO: After decades of problems keeping the rain off the Kilauea Gym floor, the Director of the Kaua`i Parks and Recreation (P&R) Department, Lenny Rapozo, has finally come up with what many in the administration are calling a "brilliant" multi-pronged approach to fixing the structure which includes covering the current leaky roof with pili grass and moving the whole building 90 degrees to aviod the wet, easterly winds.

"A pili grass roof was good enough for the ancient Hawaiians so it should be good enough for us" said Rapozo, "especially if it's not raining."

The roof has never in human memory actually kept water out- which is thought by many in the Buildings Division of the Department of Public Works to be the main function of a roof- despite 137 attempts to replace it based on 373 different consultants' plans.

Rapozo also had a plan for the leaky door that faces into the rainy trade winds.

"We have hundreds of balloons and dozens of tanks of helium left over from the mayor's last campaign so we can just fill them up and float the building. And the beauty of it is that we can use all those political appointees and mayoral-approved civil servants who owe their jobs to him to turn the whole building, moving the door to a more desirable orientation... whichever way, after trial and error, that turns out to be."

According to Rapozo his own recent research has apparently shown that the current structure sits on the footprint and is a renovated version of the ancient "Kilauea Himanekium" where "pre-western-contact kanaka would go for drink beer." But, Rapozo said he discovered that during a 19th century renovation the building was inadvertently spun around sideways by witches, who were brought over for just such jobs by missionaries who were seeking to allow the structure to receive bigger shipments of bibles they could exchange for surrounding farms and home-sites.

"We're excited by the discovery" said Rapozo whose engineering expertise goes back to his days at Kapa`a High School where he lettered in "Pick-up Sticks" and "Tiddlywinks." He also studied basket-weaving, a skill he said may prove useful in the pili roofing project.

"I think I've got something here that nobody else could- or would- have come up with," Rapozo boasted with a straight face.

There are also plans to replace the wooden basketball floor with concrete and then put down lauhala mats in order to absorb any rainwater in case the pili grass leaks. "But the mats are only for when it rains because no one plays basketball in the rain anyway," said Rapozo. "Besides, the plan is all up here," Rapozo said pointing to his head "so we can save money on design consultants if the pili grass has to be replaced. Since everyone is used to paying over and over for consultants every year or so, we have an unending source of funding for the project, 'cause grass stay cheap, eh?"

Rapozo did not at first indicate where the cheap pili grass would come from since it is an all but extinct species but when asked of his plans for future recreational projects Rapozo said he's thinking of a Youth Program where students grow can pili grass on county land, then sell the product to the county for other roofing projects.

His boss, Mayor Bernard Carvalho applauded Rapozo's ingenuity. "That's why I hired him- since he has no expertise in any one particular area, he tends to think, not just outside the box but outside the entire realm of human endeavor and experience."

Rapozo also talked about- but didn't explain- either using the remaining balloons and helium to actually move Moran Pond at Lydgate or filling the balloons with the mud that now befouls the once popular swimming pools after a previous Rapozian plan to dredge the pools want awry... for some unfathomable reason.

"Then maybe the mud balloons will just float away," he said wistfully

Council Chair Jay Furfaro was cautiously enthusiastic over the plan saying "it wouldn't be the absolute stupidest thing we've ever approved- but it'd be close."

Councilperson JoAnn Yukimura was apparently skeptical but said she would have to see the plans in writing before she could really comment and recommend a thorough study of the project.

But Councilmember Mel Rapozo was both for it and against it, making sure that he didn't state a position until he figured out what the political implications were.

Blogger Andy Parx but did manage to wake up long enough to backhandedly mumble an ambiguous complement saying "it sound just like something Lenny would come up with since no one in the county is smarter or more suited to his job than he is."

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