Friday, March 15, 2013

Honolulu Rail: A Textbook Case Of Poor Planning, Denial And Diversion

I sent this article to all elected officials in Honolulu's and Hawaii's government.
Mahalo to Honolulu Civil Beat for hosting my article.

This is an important article of national and local significance.
Honolulu's only daily, the Star Advertiser, would not publish it.
They have not published anything I have submitted since 2009.
Please show them that information cannot be suppressed.
Forward and share it widely.

I added this postscript: Now as a responsible pro-rail politician, go ahead and deny all these as not applicable to Honolulu. But then:
  • The project is about three years late.
  • It has incurred tens of millions of dollars in penalties.
  • There was a costly (over $150 Million mistake at the airport alignment) for which no one was punished or paid for it.
  • The project violated state law and was stopped.
  • Ansaldo is the most unreliable of all major rail manufacturers. But this was Honolulu's choice.
  • Ansaldo's parent, Finmecannica is in financial trouble and for years it's been trying to jettison Ansaldo. It will.
  • HART is a clueless board. Imagine the same people as the board of Boeing or Hawaiian Air. Worse than useless.
  • City erected a bunch of columns in the middle of (agricultural) land for which it has no ownership, deed or guarantee.
  • The project budget is sored up with TheBus capital funds and city Sewer Fund guarantees. This will play out just fine...
  • Do you recall the purchase of hundreds of tons of steel rails which are now properly rusting at Barbers Point Harbor?
  • (I just recalled all these in 10 minutes. There is more. All these occurred with YOUR approval and consent.)
  • As of mid-March 2013 the project is less than 3% constructed!
  • Federal court appeal has been filled.
  •  Several eminent domain suits or class action suit are likely.