Former City Council Member Tom Berg
Tom Berg - Photo: Emily Metcalf

Berg Wants to Repeal City Rail Authority

Honolulu City Councilmember Tom Berg said today he wants Oahu’s voters “to work together and either advance the rail project or scrap it.”

“This is no way for a City to conduct business- by plowing ahead with roughly half of its citizenry objecting to the project. What we need to do is to advance a traffic solution that a vast majority of us can agree on, and that forum has never been adequately put before the voters,” Berg said.

Voters approved the creation of the agency to keep politics out of rail, but now public support for the project is falling. He is proposing another vote on whether the city’s newly established Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit should have the power to manage the city’s $5.3 billion elevated steel on steel rail project.

“The backlash to creating HART is that no one within HART itself can be held accountable to the people and thus far, what we have witnessed is a runaway train that has no brakes on it. The people have no recourse available to them to scrutinize what HART does and cannot hold HART accountable for its actions when at the ballot box. By repealing HART, the rail endeavor would have to cater to directives proposed by the elective body and in return, the people could support or object to those decisions when it comes election time,” stated Councilman Berg.

Berg wanted another vote on the rail project, which was approved by a narrow margin in the 2008 election, but the council voted down that idea.

“… The repealing of HART may be the last chance we have to get heard properly and show the mayor and council, we need to regroup,” said Berg. “By repealing HART, it would not kill the rail project. Instead, it would allow a mayor who is opposed to rail, to actually withhold funding for the rail project, and in essence, providing the mayor with the tools to kill it.”

Former Governor Forms Truth Squad for Mayoral Campaign

Former Gov. Ben Cayetano, a candidate for Honolulu mayor, is introduced by his long time friend, Judge Ray Graulty, at his campaign headquarters opening. Graulty is one of three co-chairs of Cayetano's campaign.

Former Gov. Ben Cayetano, who is a candidate for Honolulu mayor in the upcoming August primary, has recruited cabinet members from four previous city administrations to volunteer on his “Truth Squad.”

The total of eight former cabinet members include Geminiano ‘Toy’ Q. Arre Jr. and Sam Callejo (Fasi Administration), Ronald S. Lim, Patrick H. McCain, Malcolm J. Tom (Harris), Rodney K. Haraga and Eric S. Takamura (Hannemann) and Stanley Shiraki who was a member of the Eileen Anderson, Cayetano and Lingle administration.

Cayetano, who will run against Mayor Peter Carlisle and former Managing Director Kirk Caldwell, also asked Panos Prevedouros to advise him. Prevedouros is a professor of civil engineering at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, a nationally renown expert on transportation and energy and a former candidate for mayor.

“I’m not the only one who came out of retirement to help restore fiscal sanity to City Hall,” Cayetano said. “Six of our nine Truth Squad members are retirees. All are volunteers.”

Cayetano said the “Truth Squad” will investigate statements made by city officials and the city’s 10 public relations firms, which have received more than $5 million to promote the rail project. Cayetano is the only candidate running for mayor opposing the rail project and advocating for other transportation options.

“The objective of our Truth Squad is to separate truth from falsehood, clear up misinformation and show the public how the city’s reckless spending of taxpayer’s money has affected its ability to deliver other more important services to the public,” Cayetano said. “These dedicated public servants have nothing to gain from their involvement in my campaign. They are dedicated to pursue, as former Prosecutor and now Mayor, Peter Carlisle has said in his state of the city address, ‘“You deserve the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.'”

President’s Birth Certificate a Fraud, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio Announced

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who organized a team to investigate whether President Barack Obama’s Hawaii birth certificate is a fraud, announced earlier March 1, the document is in fact a fake.

There has been speculation for years by so called “birthers” that Obama was not born in Hawaii and instead was born out of the country, which disqualifies him for President. The whole debate was sparked by Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign team, but long after Obama was elected, a dedicated group across the country has kept the issue alive.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, shortly after he was elected, pledged to prove Obama was in fact born in Hawaii. He is an old friend of Obama’s father and said he remembers when baby Barry was born. His announcement, during the Christmas holiday when Obama was vacationing just 20 minutes away from the state Capitol in Kailua, set off another nationwide firestorm.

Polls began to show the majority of Americans did not believe the president was born in the United States. Donald Trump, who considered his own run at president, sent an investigative team to Hawaii to uncover the truth about Obama’s childhood past.

Finally, with so much attention on the issue, Obama unveiled his original birth certificate at a press conference in April 2011. That largely stopped the public discussion over the birth certificate, but not everyone believed the document was real. Arpaio being one of those people.

Fox News reports: “Arpaio said the probe revealed that there was probable cause to believe Obama’s long-form birth certificate released by the White House in April is a computer-generated forgery. He also said the selective service card completed by Obama in 1980 in Hawaii also was most likely a forgery.”

Obama’s campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt didn’t take the announcement seriously. Fox News reports “LaBolt tweeted what he referred to as a ‘live link’ to the sheriff’s news conference, but instead provided a link to a snippet of the old conspiracy-theory based TV series, ‘The X-Files.’

Meanwhile Orly Taitz, who runs what she describes as the “World’s Leading Obama Eligibility Challenge Web Site”, continues to explore legal avenues in Hawaii and elsewhere to prove Obama’s birth certificate is a fake.

 

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