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Honolulu, HI 96813


“Rail’s Next Stop,” July 2011

Since Mayor Peter Carlisle came into office, Honolulu’s push for elevated rail has gone into overdrive, and so have its critics. Tiffany Hill reported on the status of the $5.3-billion project.

When was the last, large city highway project completed on time and on budget? The city couldn’t even finish the Puuloa road project in the 18 months it was projected to take. Instead, it took three years to build a single-lane road less than a mile long with a few parking stalls and one intersection.

Everyone who is going to be employed by the rail project (supporters of rail) is licking their chops at the prospect of possibly being employed long enough to retire after working on this single project because I believe it will take 30 years to build. Nothing in the history of Hawaii road projects leads me to believe otherwise.

photo: urban advantage inc.


This project will suck all the excess (if there is any excess) funding out of the city’s coffers for long past the anticipated completion date. Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit (HART) already needs an infusion of $100 million from the general fund. To satisfy the shortage, the city must issue debt in the form of general obligation bonds. While the bonds are to cover HART shortfalls, the loan payments will be the responsibility of general-fund taxpayers, not HART, and will have to be repaid by the general fund over the next 20 years. If we ran our lives this way, it would go something like this:

  • I buy every fancy sport and luxury car that comes on the market.
  • I convince everyone to pay me 25 percent more than the taxes they pay, even though about 50 percent of them disagreed with the purchases.
  • And, by the way, I need them to give me $100 million for startup costs.

HART proponents promised the project would be self-supporting, but right away, the general fund is hit for a $100-million loan. We don’t have enough money for the city’s needs, yet our leaders are choosing to chain us to massive future obligations.


photo: urban advantage inc.


“It does not look too bad. In fact, I like it.”


“We find Honolulu embarking on a massive project fraught with significant uncertainty and unestimable risk.”



Photo: Olivier Koning


“Tow This,”  June 2011

Senior writer Michael Keany took a look at the rough-and-tumble world of towing.

This article reports ways for consumers to file complaints and protect themselves against the tow companies, but there don’t seem to be any avenues for tow companies to file complaints or get protection from angry drivers who park their cars illegally in a handicap spot or a no-parking zone. We are only doing our job; if we didn’t, people would park wherever they wanted. There are times we are cursed at, spit at and even violently attacked just because we’re doing our job.