Patterico's Pontifications

10/1/2007

This is way OFF OFF Topic for Patterico’s, but some Extreme Makeover Home Edition fans might find this “interesting”

Filed under: General — WLS @ 4:47 pm

Last night’s season premier was a two hour extravaganza covering the construction of a 3500 square foot new home and 4500 square foot “community learning center” for the Akana family in Honolulu, Hawaii. 

When the construction of this project took place last April, there was a huge outpouring of community spirit and enthusiasm.  The  organization that Momi Akana runs, Keiki O Ka ‘Aina, a nonprofit established in 1996, is well known in the community for serving the educational needs of the Native Hawaiian community. 

 What wasn’t well known to the hundreds of volunteers who participated in the event until after all was said and done, was that Momi Akana, as President of the nonprofit, collects an annual salary of more than $100,000 from the funds it receives from the state and other organizations in the form of grant money.

 Nor were the volunteers aware that the Akana family collected more than $20,000 in rental income annually for a portion of their property that was used by the nonprofit for its service activites.

Nor were the volunteers aware that Stan Akana is a Vice-President at First Hawaiian Bank, the second largest banking entity in the state, making an annual salary of better than $125,000. 

All this information first came out in an article in the Honolulu Advertiser on July 2, 2007.  The Attorney General of Hawaii has opened a tax investigation into certain issues, and there has been some recent reporting on the fact that Hawaii is one of only a handful of states that have NO state regulation of nonprofit organizations and they do not have to register under state law.    

 Now, the neighborhood where the Akana family’s new house was built wouldn’t be considered prime Hawaii real estate.  And, after the controversy erupted ABC defended its decision in selecting the family on the basis that financial “need” isn’t always a consideration in determining which families are selected — often it is a matter of community involvement and public service on the part of the family selected, and the Akana’s fit that profile.

But, the house that was built — with 3500 square feet — is easily worth well over $1 million in today’s market in Hawaii.

Is this the ultimate expression of “doing well” by “doing good”? 

I’m not sure all the volunteers who gave so much of their time and effort to the project would agree that helping out a family with an annual income above $250,000 was what they bargained for.

Or, just call me Mr. Grinch. 

11 Responses to “This is way OFF OFF Topic for Patterico’s, but some Extreme Makeover Home Edition fans might find this “interesting””

  1. I spent three years in Hawaii in the early sixties. One of the local entertainers used to muse about the “founding” families of Hawaii, who were descendents of missionaries and ended up owning the majority of the land.

    He said, “They came to Islands to do good, and they did well.” The same may be said for Mr. Akana.

    Corky Boyd (a8cc75)

  2. Thank you for posting this. First, it’s interesting. Second, it makes me feel a little better about my Britney Spears’ post.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  3. It’s a little disheartening to read something like this, with all the really needy in this country.

    PatAZ (56a0a8)

  4. mrs. reff and I were discussing this very thing just the other evening….me, in my cynical mode, commented that anyone who owns land in Hawaii can afford a house….mrs. reff was more understanding, reminding me that when we were there last year, and visited the areas that were more developed by the native citizens, that there was a much lower socio-economic grouping…tonight, when reading this story to her, she got very quiet…which in her mind meant she was VERY ANGRY….the cynic in her won the day….in spite of all the good that may be done by this charity, this was competely wrong on ABC’s part….I can think of many other charities that could have used something like this….as I’m hoping that many people will be telling ABC in the near future….

    reff (4e3fcd)

  5. If you want cynical, don’t discount the possibility that the Extreme Makeover Home Edition people just wanted to spend some time in Hawaii.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  6. […] but somewhat pitiful story from Patterico about a group of volunteers and other donors who unknowingly built a $1 million estate for a couple […]

    Independent Sources » Blog Archive » Extreme Makeover Needs a Do-Over in Hawaiian Boo Boo (63b632)

  7. The cost of living in Hawaii is pretty high. Real estate is also expensive. A large number of people live with their parents because they cannot aford to go out on their own.

    So they build a 3500 sf house for someone earning 250,oo per year?

    davod (5bdbd3)

  8. My kids love watching this show but I disliked it and that Ty guy always annoyed me. But then I saw the show on the house they did for Kristina Rippatti, paralyzed LAPD officer, & family… it was truly amazing… I’ll never say another bad word about that show. What they did for Rippatti makes up for every mansion they build for a millionaire…

    Susan (73184c)

  9. Susan — I don’t disagree with you about the Ripatti project, knowing what she has went through.

    And I think that the show does, overall, select worthy candidates.

    But they could have done much better in their selection in Hawaii than to build what is a huge house by Hawaiian standards for a couple with three kids who have a stable income of over $250,000. Very poor work by the show’s producers.

    WLS (bafbcb)

  10. Unilaterally, one word screams into mind:

    Oops!

    Deborah (5ac5e3)


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