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Published on Jan 9, 2008
After September 11, 2001, militarism and real estate boomed in Hawaii. Military expansion brought real estate speculation, and for the first time in Hawaii, a market for wealthy people looking to buy a second home. The combined increase in militarism and private land ownership have set housing prices beyond the reach of average workers who simply cannot afford rents that have doubled in just a few short years. I was particularly struck, as someone who has been to Hawaii, with how Ms. Kelly managed to give space to a much broader and more interconnected understanding of what produces homelessness, especially in a place coveted for its physical beauty and its military placement. I was shocked and saddened to learn that the people who truly call Hawaii home have been kicked to the sidelines and to hear that tourists (I believe Hawaii is dependent on tourism for much of its income) shrug or blame the victim when they hear of the enormity of the problem (3000 people in a population of about 750,000 is significant--and that's only on one side of the island). I was very glad to have turned on the radio when I did. Thanks to FSRN for using the airwaves to make us more conscious of what reality is like in "paradise," and thanks to Anne Kelly for a brilliantly woven piece of journalism. I hope it will jerk the many people who love Hawaii out of any complacency concerning the fallout from tourism and the huge presence of the military there. FREE SPEECH RADIO NEWS