Honolulu Lite


Wednesday, September 19, 2001

Felix smoking decree
smells like conflict

There was a pretty funny movie made called "Four Weddings and a Funeral." If someone ever makes a movie about City Councilman John Henry Felix's life, it might be titled "Three Thousand Weddings, A Million Funerals, A Bunch of Council Meetings, Several Court Hearings and A Couple of Annoying Appearances Before the Zoning Board of Appeals."

It will be lights, camera, action as Felix's minions go before the Zoning Board of Appeals this week in an effort to convince board members to allow Felix to continue to run a wedding business at his beachfront home.

It's against the law for Felix to turn his deluxe property into a high-class matrimonial hitching post, but the councilman has a rather devil-may-care attitude regarding laws, their birth, implementation and enforcement. His curious philosophy has never been more apparent then at this moment when he simultaneously ignores a law regulating one type of business (a commercial wedding enterprise) while attempting to pass a completely new law regulating another type of business (restaurants and the smoking of cigarettes therein). Felix is being fined daily while he continues to ignore the wedding ban.

You could call Felix a hypocrite for ignoring a law he doesn't like while foisting a new law on everyone else, but that's too easy. Besides, it's been tried before and it doesn't work. Felix is one of the most shameless of our council representatives and that's saying something.

You'd think that any time Felix proposed any new rule, regulation or ordinance, everyone in Honolulu Hale would simply fall out of their chairs laughing. I mean, this guy's got to have an enormous set of wedding bells to be telling everyone else how they are supposed to live while he gets rich ignoring laws he doesn't like.

Felix is pushing a bill that would ban smoking in restaurants. It doesn't matter that restaurants are perfectly capable of regulating smoking on their own. It doesn't matter that many tourists, especially those from Asia, like to smoke and that by banning smoking in restaurants, you are hurting small business owners at a time when they need all the help they can get. What matters is that in his bizarre bi-polar world of regulation, the non-smoking Felix decree is right and the non-wedding in residentially-zoned neighborhoods decree is wrong.

The last time I used the term "bi-polar" I got a hearty verbal thrashing from a psychologist who wanted me to understand the differences between the various mental abnormalities. I would invite that critic to take a go at Mr. Felix, because anyone who can compartmentalize like he can has some interesting things happening up there in the old noodle pod.

Ironically, when Felix concentrated on his successful funeral business everything was fine. It was only when he started messing with the living that he got into trouble.

Alo-Ha! Friday compiles odd bits of news from Hawaii
and the world to get your weekend off to an entertaining start.
Charles Memminger also writes Honolulu Lite Mondays,
Wednesdays and Sundays. Send ideas to him at the
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-210,
Honolulu 96813, phone 235-6490 or e-mail

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