Honolulu rail transit cartoon
Dark cloud of growing public doubts cast shadow on Honolulu rail.
Honolulu rail transit cartoon
Dark cloud of growing public doubts cast shadow on Honolulu rail.

Honolulu Rail Won’t Improve Traffic, Council Member Admits

Honolulu City Council member Stanley Chang made a stunning admission Thursday night at the Kahala Neighborhood Board.

He said the city’s $5.3 billon steel-on-steel rail project, which the city administration plans to construct on a 20-mile route from Kapolei to Honolulu, won’t improve traffic congestion on the Ewa plain.

In fact, traffic will be worse when the rail line is completed in 2030 than it is today without rail.

That is a declaration that Honolulu Transportation expert Cliff Slater has made dozens of times over the last several years when he lists reasons that this rail project should not be built.

Slater, who attended the meeting last night, said no public official advocating for the rail, whether it was then Congressman Neil Abercrombie, Mayor Mufi Hannemann or Mayor Peter Carlisle, have ever explained or admitted to the public that this is true.

Slater said the public voted to build the rail line in the 2008 election because they thought it would improve traffic, but Hawaii’s political leadership deceived them.

Chang, who is a supporter of rail, said the rail will allow its riders to bypass traffic, but won’t make the traffic any lighter for drivers commuting between Oahu’s west end and downtown Honolulu.

Former City Council Chair, Judge Walter Heen and Sen. Sam Slom also attended the meeting.

Slater, Slom and Heen are among several community leaders who have united to file a lawsuit challenging the city’s Environmental Impact Statement.

They are seeking donations from the public to help fund the effort.

Occupy Honolulu Movement is “Leaderless” but Getting Organized in Time for APEC Conference

The Occupy movement has come up with a name for itself – Occupy Honolulu – and now since that controversy is behind them, the group continues to organize in preparation for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation conference, which is set for November 7 through 13.

A press release sent out today “From the occupied ‘āina of Hawai’i in solidarity with the peoples of occupied lands worldwide”, said the group is planning a “fair style” event and potluck on Saturday, October 22 from 12-4 p.m. at Magic Island.

The group, like those protesting in New York at the Occupy Wall Street event, is now describing itself as “a leaderless resistance movement.

Like the rhetoric on the national web site, they also say: “We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%.  We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants.  We will not be silent.  Join us.”

Meanwhile, the Democracy for America group, which is tied to President Barack Obama on number of levels, continues to promote the Occupy Wall Street Movement, even selling bumper stickers and yard signs. The group is headed by Jim Dean, brother of Governor Howard Dean, and often sends out emails to promote Obama’s political agenda.

City Finish Sidewalk Repair Project in Time for APEC

Hawaii’s government officials are APEC crazy. They are rushing to prepare Honolulu for 20,000 visitors – including President Barack Obama and other world leaders and diplomats – who will attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in November.

They are planting trees, repairing the airport, and relocating the homeless.

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle announced yesterday that Waikiki’s main boulevard, Kalakaua Avenue, is open to the public after eight months of “extensive improvements.”

Tiles that were deemed unsightly and unsafe were repaired; drainage was improved; and the sidewalks were also fixed to bring the city into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

More work will be done if funds become available, the city said.

“The City is glad to reopen our sidewalks to our residents and visitors,” said Carlisle. “This improvement project, which was planned before the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit, is also a result of public private partnerships.”

Kaikor Construction Company, Inc. completed the repair work at a cost of $5.55 million.

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