'Extreme' support benefits more than TV home show
City officials cleared the bureaucracy to help a home-building television show.
THOUGH FEW would begrudge the fast-tracking of permits and other aid city officials lent
to get a new house and community center built for filming a popular television program, it's understandable if ordinary people wish they, too, could receive such quick service.
Under normal circumstances, getting the necessary authorizations for residential and commercial projects can be a long and frustrating process, but the real world and reality shows operate on different planes.
Nonetheless, city officials appropriately speeded the bureaucracy for "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." The program benefits not only Momi Akana, her family and Keiki O Ka Aina, the Kalihi Valley learning center she started as a single mother on food stamps, but the entire community.
The project drew in hundreds of volunteers and business contributions, infusing so many people with the wonderful satisfaction that comes from service and generosity. In a time when conflict and friction separate people, the makeover created connections.
Moreover, the benefits that arose from the project can be transferred. The rush of good will could buoy volunteers and enlist more people to take on other deserving ventures that carry on away from the bright Hollywood lights, such as Habitat for Humanity, a group that builds homes for less fortunate families.
Cutting red tape for the show should spur city officials to take a look at what they managed to do and see if they can apply the same tactics to accelerate permitting even when there's no director calling for "camera, action." Officials should consider putting nonprofits like Habitat at the head of the line as they did for the makeover project and waive fees for them, too.
That way, the inspiration Momi Akana's work and devotion to others aroused would spread even farther.
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