City's rail rendering

BY BOBBIE SLATER FOR HONOLULUTRAFFIC.COM– As many of you may know, yesterday the Federal Transit Administration issued a Letter of No Prejudice, which allows the city to start limited construction on the rail. They are allowed to spend up to $180 million in open farmland near East Kapolei.

The city requested $20 million to build a pre-cast yard but were denied that by the FTA.In November, 2011 Judge Walter Tashima came to Honolulu to hear the city’s motion to dismiss. At that hearing Judge Tashima asked both parties to avoid filing a preliminary injunction. The city agreed, and said that they would not do anything that would cause irreparable harm. And, that if they lost the lawsuit, they could undo any work done in the interim and had the funds to do it.Unfortunately, the taxpayers of Honolulu, you and me, will be footing the bill for this work as well. It could be at least another $200 million wasted.

In the mean time, the city has thrown tens of thousands of dollars in useless legal work at the plaintiffs in an effort to delay the process and use up our funds.

The city tried to have retired federal Judge Walter Heen, former Governor Ben Cayetano and University of Hawaii Law Professor Randy Roth dropped from the case. The judge told the city that even if they were dropped, the case would go on because some of the plaintiffs were qualified. In the end, the judge denied both of the city’s motions.

They have thrown other frivolous measures at us as well, all of which waste taxpayer funds to file, and our funds to respond.

The city council has recently awarded the Carlisle administration an additional $400,000 for a total of $ 1 million to be used to defend against us

While the city claims to have done everything by the book, they have forgotten to tell the public a few things. For example:

The Administrative record, which contains all of the documents, emails, letters and phone calls, was to be made public by July, 2011. It has still not been released. Seven months late, they recently released the table of contents, which was supposed to index 500,000 pages, but was actually less than half that. We are still waiting for the rest.

The “lapses” of the authorities go on and on. In this morning’s Star Advertiser, Senator Inouye was quoted as saying that this will bring relief to west end commuters, and lessen our dependence on foreign oil. Both statements were grossly misleading. For proof, see http://www.honolulutraffic.com/HNL_rail_energy_use.pdf

http://www.honolulutraffic.com/railcongestion.htm

Based on the Judge’s ruling on the schedule, this lawsuit will be settled by August.

What can you do? Plenty.

First, send in your tax deductible contribution for the lawsuit to either of these:

SBH Education Foundation Rail Fund, 6600 Kalanianaole Hwy, Suite 212 Honolulu, Hi, 96825

Hawaii’s Thousand Friends Rail Fund, 25 Maluniu Ave, 102, #282, Kailua, Hawai‘i 96734

Second, write letters or opinion pieces for the Star Advertiser (letters@staradvertiser.com), Honolulu Weekly (letters@honoluluweekly.com), and Hawaii Reporter (Malia@HawaiiReporter.com).

Then, call, fax, write, or email your councilmember. Their addresses are at: http://www1.honolulu.gov/council/ccl.htm

  • Demand that the City and/or HART stop everything until this lawsuit is settled.
  • Demand that the City and/or HART release the Administrative Record.

Third, make sure that your friends are informed and realize the implications of this environmental blight and huge financial debacle.

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