February 04, 2010

Frank Fasi, R.I.P.

Frank Fasi, ex-Marine and former Mayor of Honolulu for 22 years, died last night.

Love him or hate him, he never bored you. One of my favorite stories, which I'd forgotten till I read about it again:

When City Council members objected to the loss of their parking spaces behind City Hall fronting Hotel Street, Fasi struck early one morning with a bulldozer and pulled up the asphalt, creating the mall that's now called the Frank F. Fasi Civic Center.
This is what the major building at the site looks like. It's surrounded by a lovely park area with lots of trees.

Frank loved to fight. He fought with the City Council, he fought with governors, he fought within his administrations. He was never happier than when he could get in front of a microphone and rail at his enemies. Whether you agreed with him or not, he was always entertaining. Here he is driving the backhoe which tore up that parking lot. That's vintage Fasi.

He'll be missed.

Posted by Linkmeister at February 4, 2010 12:42 PM | TrackBack

Love him or hate him, he was always famous in our family for running for office, long after his political life was assumed to be over. The joke in our family for the last 15 years or so was that, if Frank wasn't in the race for a particular office, it wasn't very important.

I was called for jury duty a few years ago and got downtown early to have breakfast. I stopped at the restaurant where Frank always had his breakfast (whose name escapes me at the moment). He was there, one table away from me. We chatted for a couple of minutes (there being no one else there) and among the things we talked about was my disappointment that we had lost the fight to have light rail in 1992. He proceeded to give me chapter and verse about the reasons Rene Mansho (City Council) had changed her vote leading to the demise of the bill that would have gotten things started. He was one sharp politician who knew where lots of bodies were buried. While I didn't agree much with his pro-development policies, his attempt to get light rail here in Honolulu left his rating high in my book.

Rest in Peace, Frank Fasi.

Posted by: Illanoy Gal at February 4, 2010 06:27 PM

It was Heidi's! The restaurant where Frank would hold court (so to speak) was Heidi's. The breakfasts there were always good. Good and fast.

Posted by: Illanoy Gal at February 5, 2010 02:14 AM

When I was going to HPU (HPC then) in the late 1970s I remember seeing him having breakfast at a restaurant on the ground floor of the Alexander Young building nearly every day. He was a character; most other mayors of this town pale in comparison (although Mufi tries, what with the extemporaneous singing!).

Posted by: Linkmeister at February 5, 2010 07:39 AM

Yes, that was Heidi's. Frank was there and would talk to anyone and everyone.

Yes, Mufi does have a good voice and he is for rapid transit,so there are points on his side. But, until I watched the news last, I had forgotten about TheBus, free bus passes for seniors, City Lights, farmer's markets, and so many other things that Frank started to help the little guys (and gals). They just doen't make 'em like Frank anymore!

Posted by: Illanoy Gal at February 5, 2010 10:59 AM