I am writing to urge those of you who have not yet seen it to watch the documentary Railroading Paradise, which will be broadcast this Saturday, June 21st, at 6:00pm on KGMB and next Saturday, June 28th, at 6:00pm on KHNL.
The documentary follows the deliberations of the Executive Committee of the O‘ahu Group of the Sierra Club of Hawai‘i as they wrestled last year with the issue of whether or not to support the highly controversial HART rail project.
The film was written, produced, directed, and financed by Anthony Aalto, who is an independent filmmaker. As a volunteer, Anthony serves as the elected Chair of the O‘ahu Group, but the film is not sponsored or financed in any way by the Sierra Club. Nevertheless, I think it provides valuable insight into just how seriously the Club examined the issues and the reasons we reached our decision, which I know is still being debated by some of our members.
Construction is now rapidly advancing across the Hono‘uli‘uli plain. It is already starting to affect traffic and will soon reach heavily populated areas at which point we expect it to ignite another round of debate. In that context, I think it is important for our members to understand some of the reasons the leadership of the O‘ahu Group concluded that the environmental benefits of the project outweigh the drawbacks. You can check out the trailer and rationale for the film at the website RailroadingParadise.com
Scott Glenn, Chair, Sierra Club of Hawai‘i