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Hawaiian burial site may have been found in path of rail project

By Kevin Dayton

LAST UPDATED: 01:25 p.m. HST, Sep 13, 2012

The first Hawaiian burial to be discovered in the path of the Honolulu rail project may have been unearthed in Kakaako by a crew conducting an archaeological survey for the train project.

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Executive Director Daniel Grabauskas joined Hallett H. Hammatt of Cultural Surveys Hawaii this morning at the site at Cooke and Halekauwila streets to discuss the find.

Also visiting the site to inspect the survey trench were State Historic Preservation Division Administrator Pua Aiu, Oahu Island Burial Council Chair Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu and OIBC Vice Chairman Jonathan Likeke Scheuer.

Aiu and other officials declined to discuss the find, and Aiu said she would discuss the discovery with media later in the day. A survey crew at the site stopped work and covered the trench early this afternoon after the inspections.

The city has been surveying the 20-mile rail route in sections, and still has not completed the portions of the route in urban Honolulu where experts agree that burials are most likely to be found.

Last month, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled SHPD violated its own rules by allowing construction on the $5.26 billion rail project to proceed before an archaeological survey was completed for the entire rail route.

In a unanimous ruling, the court found that rules governing the SHPD do not allow the SHPD to agree to the rail project until the city finishes the survey to determine if there are Native Hawaiian burials or other archaeological resources in the path of the rail line.

The city then stopped construction on the rail project, and has accelerated work on the archaeological survey.

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false wrote:
the first of many, no doubt.
on September 13,2012 | 01:29PM
Shh wrote:
The more the merrier!
on September 13,2012 | 01:37PM
OldDiver wrote:
The pillar will be relocated. No big deal here. It would appear to me that the best way to deal with this is to remove the bones in a respectful manner even if the pillar is relocated. Currently people are walking over and cars are driving over the bones which sits next to a storm drain.
on September 13,2012 | 02:34PM
Anonymous wrote:
OldDiver. You just don't quit do you.
on September 13,2012 | 03:04PM
Naloboy wrote:
Spoken like a paid Transit internet hound.
on September 13,2012 | 03:30PM
MKN wrote:
So based on your "intimate" knowledge of the situation, I would say that you work for HART or one of the companies that does work for them. LOL!!!
on September 13,2012 | 03:49PM
kaupena wrote:
$$$$$$ Let the CHANGE ORDERS continue to roll in $$$$$$$
on September 13,2012 | 04:50PM
pakeheat wrote:
OldDiver, of course it can relocated, just offset the column so it doesn't line up with the other one, LOL.
on September 13,2012 | 05:04PM
Ken_Conklin wrote:
This one burial will require years to resolve, with reports from archeologists, meetings of the burial council, lawsuits, and lots and lots of protests by activists praying to the ancient gods. Likewise for each burial yet to be discovered.
on September 13,2012 | 02:26PM
OldDiver wrote:
The same thing will occur if Cayetano wants to build his BRT. The roads will need to be dug up to reinforce them causing a massive dig. There is no easy solution here.
on September 13,2012 | 02:38PM
hybrid1 wrote:
No digging required for BRT because existing paved roads are adequate for express buses.. No issue with Iwis. Simple as that. ...For $300 million max. versus $7Billion for Rail.
on September 13,2012 | 03:16PM
OldDiver wrote:
Not true Hybrid1.
on September 13,2012 | 07:20PM
Naloboy wrote:
Give it a rest Old Diver. BRT won't spend hundreds of millions before learning if the project can even be built. That's the point of the lawsuit that your guys lost....unanamously....at the Supreme Court. If the City had done this work up front...as the court says it should have been done....we already would know how inaccessable Kakaako will be for Transit infrastructure....and that would have killed the project. Instead the City thought they could push past the law. WRONG. This is the end of the project.
on September 13,2012 | 03:34PM
pakeheat wrote:
Where do you get you're made up information from OldDiver, from shiny brochures? LOL.
on September 13,2012 | 05:06PM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
Coloring books.
on September 14,2012 | 12:11AM
aomohoa wrote:
You have no idea what you are talking about OD! Where did they find you. Not to bright.
on September 13,2012 | 06:03PM
kennysmith wrote:
do any on know where any more sites there are on the route for the rail project?, will they post it for all to see then?.
on September 13,2012 | 03:27PM
loquaciousone wrote:
on September 13,2012 | 01:29PM
808warriorfan wrote:
on September 13,2012 | 01:57PM
Yup, the Rail is dead and buried opposite the sacred Hawaiian burials.
on September 13,2012 | 02:53PM
BillD wrote:
There sure are a lot of dead people on the island. They found the bones under some concrete, it is OK to build anything over graves except for rail?
on September 13,2012 | 01:42PM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Bones under concrete? Oh, the would be Jimmy Hoffa.
on September 13,2012 | 01:47PM
Mythman wrote:
are you attempting to slyly suggest some kind of parallel between the mafia thug jimmy hoffa and labor unions in our fair state?
on September 13,2012 | 02:14PM
aomohoa wrote:
How is it that a high rise can be built in Kakaako ??
on September 13,2012 | 02:26PM
Rite80 wrote:
Good point BiLLD. The pillar will be relocated so this won't affect construction.
on September 13,2012 | 03:04PM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
Wrong Rite. It will affect construction and the pillar is going to be relocated to a dump.
on September 13,2012 | 04:51PM
Naloboy wrote:
Its much easier to mitigate the impacts of one city block than several miles of impacts. That's how.
on September 13,2012 | 03:35PM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
Good point aomohoa...let's STOP that building too! Developers from the mainland have no concern to keep Hawaii HAWAII. They won't stop until our islands look like one big strip mall in Pasadena.
on September 13,2012 | 04:50PM
Ken_Conklin wrote:
Yes, it's OK to leave a burial in place, as long as the burial is not "disturbed." A few years ago a guy built a house near the shoreline in Haena, Kaua'i (end of the road, near start of the NaPali trail). There were numerous burials discovered where the house was to be built. The owner installed concrete boxes surrounding and covering each burial but not touching it; and then the house was built above those boxes. The whole situation required several years to resolve, including lawsuits, redesigns, delays when the burial council couldn't get a quorum for its meetings, etc.
on September 13,2012 | 02:18PM
beachbum11 wrote:
When you are gone they will build a hi rise on top of your grave. Within months of your buriel It won't matter. What is good for one is good for all. Plus your family won't mind.
on September 13,2012 | 02:42PM
aomohoa wrote:
I am so again THIS corrupt rail project but I do wonder how it is OK to build a high rise in Kakaako??
on September 13,2012 | 02:20PM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
It is NOT okay to build a 65 story monolith in Hawaii...anywhere.
on September 13,2012 | 04:52PM
loquaciousone wrote:
If the so called experts all agreed that Kakaako was the most likely place they would find burial sites, why didn't the SHPD require it to be the first place for the archaeological surveys?
on September 13,2012 | 01:47PM
Ken_Conklin wrote:
This one burial will require years to resolve, with reports from archeologists, meetings of the burial council, lawsuits, and lots and lots of protests by activists praying to the ancient gods. Likewise for each burial yet to be discovered.
on September 13,2012 | 02:23PM
Yup, agreed.
on September 13,2012 | 03:34PM
aomohoa wrote:
The rest of this project must also be stopped before more taxpayer money is wasted! Top removing trees. Stop displacing businesses. Stop the rail. Start fixing the infrastructure and bring back the much needed bus routes. Free bus for seniors is stupid. Bring back the routes people need. Stop the nightmare! Wake up people this rail is not good for anyone except the people making a ridiculous amount of money on it.
on September 13,2012 | 02:25PM
niimi wrote:
Bruddah! I hope they find hundreds to thousands of remains.
on September 13,2012 | 02:28PM
false wrote:
false3. "Dem bones, Dem bones, Dem - dry bones" will be the oldie tune that stopped the rail.
on September 13,2012 | 02:35PM
loquaciousone wrote:
Everybody buy one bucket of chicken and we all go watch them dig for bones tomorrow.
on September 13,2012 | 02:45PM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
Already wen stake out my place in da shade. Got the popcorn, folding chair and binoculars in da truck.
on September 13,2012 | 04:53PM
More Hawaiian burials with sacred Hawaiian bones will be found. Rail should not be build (or build at all); there are to many issues regarding the Rail project, besides no respect for the Hawaiian culture; Mr. Grabauskas & HART has no care about Hawaiian remains, perhaps just bag the bones and throw it somewhere else, as the contractors finds them along the way of the rail path. The Big KAHUNAS will punish those who has no respect for the Hawaiians already resting in peace.
on September 13,2012 | 03:11PM
shshimizu wrote:
I don't work for HART. I don't live on the west side of Oahu. I support rail because it's the most realistic alternative. Buses are needed, but we need a comprehensive transit system to move our people. I live in Hawaii Kai and would love to have rail come to this side. It'll give comuters another choice. Imua rail.
on September 13,2012 | 04:22PM
Shshimizu - Rail will only move limited amount of ridership, not as you said comprehensive. Look at the path it will traverse: it will not go to Ewa Beach, Kunia, Mililani, to name a few. Most likely the people that are riding the bus now, will be the same ridership will be. You don't leave in the west side like Ewa Beach, where lots of traffic pours to the H1&H2. There will be no rail route in Ewa Beach. It is not the most realistic form of transportation proposed as it will not benefit many.
on September 13,2012 | 04:49PM
shshimizu wrote:
We are talking about lifestyle change. Ridership will not be to capacity over night. Like other cities on the mainland, ridership increased as people decided to get out of their cars, or eliminate one of them for the alternative. There are no quick fix or magic pill. BART in the bay area is a good example. The ridership increased as people got more educated, and the routes expanded. Santa Clara county decided early on that they did not want BART to come to the south bay. They now regret the short sightedness of that decision. Traffic has gotten worse, and the bus system cannot I hope in my lifetime that rail will go north, south, east and west with they bus system making rounds in communities like Ewa Beach, Mililani, Kunia, etc.. That would be a comprehensive transit plan.
on September 13,2012 | 05:09PM
Apple and Oranges are not the same.
on September 13,2012 | 05:20PM
aomohoa wrote:
Bart is starting to fall apart and there is no money to fix it, like many other rails around the country. NO money to fix them. Ours will fall a part too. This is not the MAINLAND and we don't want it too be. The population is also a lot less here. It will not help!!!
on September 13,2012 | 06:12PM
DPK wrote:
shshi: the rail system in Atlanta was built out and now is begging for more tax money to fund it because ridership has fallen dramatically. Cars and stations are neglected because there is no money. Sounds like the future of a one line train from nowhere to the mall.
on September 13,2012 | 07:45PM
SteveToo wrote:
There is NO rail any where in the US be it lite or heavy that makes enough money to run it let alone maintain it.
on September 13,2012 | 09:14PM
emagination808 wrote:
I hope the rail enever makes it anywhere and especially to Hawaii Kai. Can you imagine how ugly the drive down Kalanianaole Highway will be when there is a concrete ribbon over your head the whole way.
on September 13,2012 | 05:02PM
Given the opportunity to the rail builders to continue, driving to Hawaii Kai in the future will be under the rail's concrete ribbons. Just imagine your car will be peppered with minute metal filings from the rail wheels and tracks normal wear and tear, and minute amount of grease showering your car. Grease is the required lubricant to prevent friction on metal's moving parts.
on September 13,2012 | 05:12PM
aomohoa wrote:
Do you remember when it was beautiful? My sister in law lives right on Kalanianaole and I can hardly sleep with the road noise. I can't imagine it with the rail running throw.
on September 13,2012 | 06:14PM
aomohoa wrote:
There is no way to get the rail to Hawaii Kai. It would only make traffic worse. shshimizu you must not have been following the corruption involved with THIS rail. This is about a few people making a lot of money. Not about helping the people with traffic.We live on a beautiful Island. Al least it use to be. Where you live use to be beautiful. Look at it now. Do you really need more ugliness and more noise than you already have???
on September 13,2012 | 06:09PM
DPK wrote:
aomohoa: agree. We can't afford to keep the proposed single rail line maintained. We'll never be able to afford extensions to the silly one line train.
on September 13,2012 | 07:49PM
mililanihi wrote:
OLdDiver-"No big deal here. It would appear to me that the best way to deal with this is to remove the bones in a respectful manner even if the pillar is relocated" No, the best way to deal with it is simply to not build this corrupt project that costs cannot be justified, will not improve traffic, and the people do not want. They should not even think about relocation of bones and disturbing burials sites. Why not confirm if any burials are in place where all rail construction is to be built. Including train stations, roads, park and ride facilities in which there is a chance of this becoming an issue before ever proceeding with this project. The unraveling of this corrupt project is a reminder that the truth cannot be hidden from public view and will come out before this is ever built.
on September 13,2012 | 04:23PM
niimi wrote:
Didn't Grabaskis say make no bones about it?
on September 13,2012 | 04:50PM
niimi wrote:
I noticed that this site will flag your comment as submitted for approval if you use the initialism three letters at the beginning of the words laughing out loud. What a scam on free speech when I can just spell the words out and the algorithm is too dumb to catch the same letters.
on September 13,2012 | 04:52PM
Oye_Como_Va wrote:
So what would they have done about it if they had prevailed in court by circumventing their own law that they wrote? Anything for money just like how the Feds are giving away more free money for banks and investment. Yes, they may create jobs however at what expense? Same-same with this rail project, at what expense? Dan are you there?
on September 13,2012 | 04:53PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Just wait until they find t the bones belong to Jimmy Hoffa.
on September 13,2012 | 07:36PM
kukaikid wrote:
not sure if i trust rail, but i do trust that cultural surveys will do a thorough job; Hal's team is amazing!
on September 13,2012 | 08:29PM
Fredfredburger wrote:
Just wait until they find my bones. Make no bones about it, I would not be happy. Look at at all of the fees going up to support this stupid thing. Why don't they take it out of the those high paid government officials who don't do anything. The most important decision they make is where and what they gonna eat for lunch.
on September 13,2012 | 09:23PM
Eagle156 wrote:
HART found out today that the delay will be up to nine months. Just shut it down now and stop wasting taxpayer money on this overpriced out dated badly managed project
on September 13,2012 | 09:34PM
clum56 wrote:
There will be more Iwi'i sites to be found that is for sure. I hope that all of the Iwi'i are removed and respected with dignity and reinterned in the most respectfully.
on September 14,2012 | 03:17AM
Notawannabe wrote:
Let's face it, there are too many people living on Oahu. If we could get 50% of them to self-deport we wouldn't have a traffic problem.
on September 14,2012 | 07:55AM
Rickyboy wrote:
Mr Grabauskas no bones about it.
on September 14,2012 | 03:01PM
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