What’s Up with ‘You Run 808’

As I made my morning walk today, I was surprised to see this very large sign on the side of this building at Pensacola, Young and King Street in Honolulu. It looks like this gigantic sign just sprung up as I noticed the scaffolding lines were still attached to the building (July 10).

I don’t exactly get the message here. Yes, it is important to vote. I think most people will get that. But “You Run 808“? Run for what? I am sure this is not a sign to encourage people to run for office. The filing deadline of June 2 to be on the Primary election ballot has come and gone. So it is too late for anyone to become a candidate.

So what does this sign mean? “You Run 808“? I’d like to know. I am not running for anything. Maybe it is a warning. We have to run from the 808 state. COVID-19 continues to spike, tourism is next to dead, and many businesses are suffering. Several have closed. Unemployment is sky high and many people cannot make ends meet. Is this what they are saying here? Run away from the 808 state?

Questions, questions, questions.

Finally is this sign even legal? Hawaii has restrictive signage laws that cover large billboards. I can only bet that this sign is in violation of that law since it is not a work of art like a mural or something that grace several large buildings in Honolulu. I wonder what the Outdoor Circle has to say about this.

The sign was put up by the Pow!Wow! Hawaii organization, who do the large murals mostly in the Kaka’ako area.


Melvin Ah Ching is a photographer, consultant, blogger, desktop publisher, and computer enthusiast living and working in Hawaii. The Hawaii Files have been online since 2006.