Shell nixed to honor Don Ho
Beach Walk Triangle Park is selected for the memorial instead
The city apparently will not rename the Waikiki Shell for the late Don Ho.
A City Council resolution that would have done that was amended yesterday to instead rename Beach Walk Triangle Park in Waikiki, at Kalakaua Avenue and Beach Walk, for the Hawaii entertainment icon.
"It's perfect," said Michael Pili Pang, executive director of the Mayor's Office on Culture and the Arts. "It's right at the entrance to the new Beach Walk."
None of the people who testified before the Council's Public Health, Safety and Welfare Committee yesterday spoke in favor of renaming the Waikiki Shell.
"What it does is, it ignores all other entertainers who have contributed singularly and collectively towards promoting Hawaii," said Varoa Tiki Bither.
And Bither said Ho never performed at the Waikiki Shell.
The Kapiolani Park Preservation Society, the community watchdog of the trust that established the park, does not want the Waikiki Shell renamed for Ho, said Carol Hopkins.
"We do believe the shell name is iconic in its own right," she said.
Even if it were renamed the Don Ho Waikiki Shell, people would still refer to the facility as "the Shell," Hopkins said.
Pang said Ho's family and friends favor the triangle park over the Waikiki Shell. And Honolulu 100, the nonprofit group originally organized to plan Honolulu's centennial celebration last year, has committed to create some kind of memorial for Ho at the park.
"They haven't decided exactly what it is going to be. One of the suggestions was to create a bronze statue of him sitting at his organ where people can come by and take pictures," he said.
Council member Ann Kobayashi said, "That would be stunning, I think, instead of just a plaque."
Roy Benham said the city Commission on Culture and the Arts likes the idea of a statue of Ho in the park.
"Hopefully of him at the organ, where people can come by and put lei and be in walking distance, as opposed to the Shell, way out there in the boonies," Benham said.
Councilman Todd Apo introduced the resolution to rename the Waikiki Shell for Ho, though Mayor Mufi Hannemann had asked the Council to rename the triangle park.
The proposal heads to a vote by the Council.