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Feds sign $1.55B commitment for Honolulu rail project

By John Yaukey

Special to the Star-Advertiser

LAST UPDATED: 10:03 a.m. HST, Dec 19, 2012

WASHINGTON >> Hawaii received a long-awaited $1.55 billion check from the U.S. Department of Transportation today to continue work on a commuter rail project meant to relieve some of the vexing congestion along the H-1 freeway.

“I’m proud today to seal the deal,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood during a signing ceremony at the U.S. Capitol.

The project, decades in the planning, was nurtured to fruition by the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, who died Monday at age 88.

“This moment is an honor and a tribute to a person who has been great for the people of Hawaii and America,” said Sen. Daniel Akaka, speaking of his lifelong friend and colleague.

At the center of the signing ceremony were placed a gavel, a lei draped over a leather chair, and a vase of white roses in honor of Inouye, who will lie in state Thursday in the U.S. Capitol.

The federal funding was a long time coming.

“This is a huge milestone for this project,” said Hawaii’s Democratic Sen.-elect Mazie Hirono.

The project is expected to cost upwards of $5 billion, and will be completed in stages over the next several years.

It generated controversy for years because the proposed routes will cross ancestral Hawaiian burial grounds.

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false wrote:
So.....Let's hear it guy and gals from both sides. Is this the Go?
on December 19,2012 | 07:02AM
OldDiver wrote:
Yes, It's another stake in the..........................................anti rail coalition.
on December 19,2012 | 07:14AM
inlanikai wrote:
Twice as long, twice as much. What we will be paying for this Toonerville Trolley over the next 20 years while it is constructed and operated (I'll let you speculate on how many years for each) will be so great that the $1.55 bln will seem like a grain of sand on the beaches of Waikiki.
on December 19,2012 | 07:36AM
what wrote:
$1.55B is not enough, Oahu still has to pay over $4B out of its own pocket. As an example of how bad this funding is, H-3 was 90% funded by federal money, even after cost overruns. This ridiculous train project is less than 30% federally funded, before the coming cost overruns. Only fools think it a wise investment to spend $4B just to get $1.5B, especially on a train, which does very little to improve the quality of life in Honolulu compared to a new Highway.
on December 19,2012 | 10:10AM
kainalu wrote:
Another spit ball in the eye of MalamaKeAina, Kuniarr, and the rest of the whinning babys.
on December 19,2012 | 10:53AM
OldDiver wrote:
Not to worry, the fringe conservative anti rail movement will spill more milk to cry over.
on December 19,2012 | 01:26PM
ISCREAM wrote:
When the bill comes due you will be singing a different tune....
on December 19,2012 | 06:14PM
OldDiver wrote:
What are you talking about? It's been approved.
on December 19,2012 | 08:27PM
Kuniarr wrote:
The anti-rail movement will prove that funding for the construction of rail will be millions short of the lies that the city and HART has been feeding us.

The silence of the city and HART on what the GET surcharge collection was for the 3rd quarter of 2012 is deafening.

So, OldDiver and kainalu have you seen any hint from the City or HART bragging how the GET surcharge collection is ahead of projection since the 3rd week of July when HART announced that the GET surcharge collection for the 2nd quarter of 2012 was $46.99 million - way down than the the $49.80 million in the 2nd quarter of 2011, way down than the collection of $48.25 million in the 1st quarter of 2012? You guys are in denial of the reality that GET surcharge funding of this rail project is in deep trouble as of 2012 and counting. HART brags that it has collected 25% of target after almost 6 years of a 16-year period of collection. And you guys are in denial of the fact that in six years the total GET surcharge collection should be above 37% by now not 25%.
on December 19,2012 | 11:48PM
aomohoa wrote:
Keep showing your ugly side. You're just making yourself look bad. LOL!
on December 19,2012 | 02:23PM
Kuniarr wrote:
What spit ball, kainalu? A commitment is just a commitment. With the government facing a fiscal cliff, that $1.55B is not a sure thing anymore.
on December 19,2012 | 11:37PM
Kuniarr wrote:
No check for $1.55 billion was received. Only a commitment for $1.55 billion was signed by the FTA.
on December 19,2012 | 08:44AM
oxtail01 wrote:
Backed by the full faith of the gov. - can't get any surer than that!
on December 19,2012 | 10:02AM
pridon wrote:
Money has yet to be appropriated. Congress hasn't passed a budget in years. Not sure new initiatives can be funded from continuing resolutions. We'll see. Project is still on hold awaiting burials issue resoltion. The hole gets deeper. The Eva plains Stonhenge monuments are rusting. Will it be Super Mazie to the rescue?
on December 19,2012 | 03:43PM
Kuniarr wrote:
Nope. Counting a chicken before it is hatched is foolish, particularly when the Federal Government is facing a Fiscal Cliff of a financial crisis.
on December 19,2012 | 11:35PM
niimi wrote:
Just have to print the money, that's all. :-)
on December 19,2012 | 04:29PM
niimi wrote:
LOL, nice line, OldDiver. There's usualy some fellow who starts out with, "Another stake in the HART of..." or something like that. I'm still anti-rail, but I can always appreciate good humor.
on December 19,2012 | 04:30PM
aomohoa wrote:
I got to say I'm anti rail but the person that always made that statement made me cringe. I was sick of it. Funny!
on December 19,2012 | 08:27PM
Changalang wrote:
Yes; the slap on the wrist ruling against HART from Judge Wally should be coming in a politically expedient manner now. Rail has been settled by reality. Dan beat Ben in that battle, and won his 30 year old plan to put Rail on Oahu. The GET hasn't hurt that bad. The State gov't can always extend it to cover maintenance costs that had so many worried it would be put on property taxes. There will be more than enough kala to cover Rail with a permanent GET supporting it. With Mayor Caldwell running the show; expect to see a well oiled process of execution of the project without the fanfare that came with the Carlisle Administration. Time for Honolulu to unite and accept the way forward, even if it never moves as East as originally planned. ;)
on December 19,2012 | 07:17AM
jcjr wrote:
Although I am against rail because I don't think we have the money for hidden cost, we do have to unite and be smart about it. I think we should build it slowly going east bound and evaluate it's progress by seeing if people are riding it and if we have enough money to go onto the next phase. Eventually as the economy gets better we can move forward with adding another phase. Lets not end up having to pay higher taxes when everyone is struggling just to make ends meet. Lets be smart about this project. We are already paying because of the political games which caused this project to begin before everything was addressed. I know it will be an eye sore but I understand that the majority has spoken. I hope we can all be akamai while this project moves forward.
on December 19,2012 | 08:04AM
aomohoa wrote:
I am not sure I have read your comments before jcjr, but this comment was a good one.
on December 19,2012 | 08:28AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Once rail is up, it's up. You can't build it, monitor ridership, and tear it down if it's not working. Oahu taxpayers are stuck with this baby. Remember it's $5.2 billion and GROWING. The $1.55 billion is nothing compared to what we'll be paying.
on December 19,2012 | 12:13PM
OldDiver wrote:
Reality has not stopped the anti rail folks from speaking with forked tongues.
on December 19,2012 | 01:27PM
aomohoa wrote:
Always something intelligent to say and no facts to back it up! LOL!
on December 19,2012 | 02:28PM
aomohoa wrote:
OldDiver wouldn't want the truth to get in the way of his win:) Because it surely isn't the taxpayers win.
on December 19,2012 | 02:50PM
OldDiver wrote:
Well aomohoa nothing you or anti rail buddies said has come true. NOTHING!
on December 19,2012 | 04:29PM
aomohoa wrote:
I hope my fears don't come true. Higher taxes. The ugly noisy part can't come true until it's built. So far the pillars are an eyesore. Your answer old diver.
on December 19,2012 | 05:51PM
KeithHaugen wrote:
True. It is a sad day for O`ahu, our children and their children. A SAD DAY.
on December 19,2012 | 07:25PM
pridon wrote:
Rising to where. Ewa to Waipahu?
on December 19,2012 | 03:44PM
Wazdat wrote:
what about the roads
on December 19,2012 | 08:07AM
Changalang wrote:
We now have City gov't coming into Honolulu Hale that can chew gum and walk at the same time. Peter was too myopic. At least One Ala Moana is a go. ;)
on December 19,2012 | 08:18AM
false wrote:
yeah what about the roads.
on December 19,2012 | 09:24AM
palika wrote:
Yes, what about the roads? We pay some of the highest combined state and local taxes on each and every gallon of gas we buy. This gas tax is supposed to be used to build and maintain state and county roads, just like the vehicle weight tax. But these funds get used for other public programs. Case in point, former Governor Linda Lingle took $350,000 from the state highway fund (gas tax money) and used it to pay for an "independent study" on rail finances. She used it as an excuse not to sign the rail EIS. So what good is the IMG report today? That money would have been better spent on fixing highway pot holes, yeah?
on December 19,2012 | 09:51AM
pridon wrote:
Pot holes belong to the city.
on December 19,2012 | 03:46PM
MKN wrote:
Well Hawaii will receive federal funds (yes now you can count your chickens more or less), but we won't get the $1.55 Billion all at one time. We will receive only a partial amount of the funding over a number of years (Best guesstimate is $100-250 Million per year over a period of 10 years give or take a few). It depends on the amount of funding that the DOT receives from congress. I really do hope that rail does solve the traffic problems like OldDiver, Wiliki, Nanakuli, etc. talk about. If not, I will hold them and everyone who supported rail personally responsible for wasting everyone's money and the punishment should be that they are all tarred and feathered and thrown in jail for fiscal irresponsibility. LOL!
on December 19,2012 | 07:36AM
oxtail01 wrote:
Add me to your list. I have no doubt that this project, like H-3, will be a huge success!
on December 19,2012 | 10:04AM
MKN wrote:
@oxtail01: LOL! No problem.
on December 19,2012 | 11:26AM
pakeheat wrote:
Still comparing this to H3? LOL I hope you are still around when this train is in operation? You and the others on the list that MKN has listed is not important because if it fails, how can you be held accountable, you can't? Do we come knocking on you're door and punch you out for supporting this project, no we will continue to move on if it fails to do what it suppose to do, it will be just a permanent eye sore forever.
on December 19,2012 | 11:31AM
MKN wrote:
@pakeheat: He actually agreed to be tarred and feathered and then thrown in jail, so if rail does not solve Oahu's traffic problems, we can actually proceed to implement that. Through the freedom of information act, we can legally find out who that guy is and implement the consequences. :P People should really be careful what they ask for. I personally don't see rail solving all of Oahu's traffic problems because they are going to build 20000 more homes in the area over the next 5-10 years. LOL!
on December 19,2012 | 12:10PM
pakeheat wrote:
I'm hoping you are right because I also agree with you it won't help on our traffic woes especially on the H1.
on December 19,2012 | 03:45PM
kiragirl wrote:
Guaranteed? I thought Congress has to fund it though.
on December 19,2012 | 07:11AM
Ronin006 wrote:
Kitagirl, you are correct. The Feds (FTA) may have committed to fund $1.5 billion, but it first must be appropriated by Congress, which is under no obligation to do so just because FTA and the City have signed a funding agreement. I think we will find a lot of fine print in the agreement that says funding is subject to many things such as congress appropriating the money.
on December 19,2012 | 09:15AM
mcc wrote:
The SA said, " Hawaii received a long-awaited $1.55 billion check from the U.S. Department of Transportation today to continue work on a commuter rail project meant to relieve some of the vexing congestion along the H-1 freeway." I don't think they are repoting what really happened. We do not have a $1.55 billion dollar check.
on December 19,2012 | 01:54PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
So if I get this right....the Feds will contribute $1.55 billion for a Crazy Train but with the death of Senator Inouye, overall Federal funds and grants to Hawaii will drop by the tens of billions, severely impacting all facets of the economy. This does not sound like a good thing.
on December 19,2012 | 07:19AM
false wrote:
Take a look at the increase of your property tax. Has this anything to do with the rail? Go rail go?
on December 19,2012 | 07:32AM
MKN wrote:
@Maneki_Neko: Well the funding for the train will happen over a period of time, but the late senator's pet projects (East-West Center, MIlitary Presence in Hawaii, any additional rail expansion to Waikiki and UH Manoa, etc.) may be severely impacted if not made impossible to get federal funding for once Obama leaves office in 2016. Only time will tell how much of an impact that his loss will have on this state. When Sen. Ted Stevens from Alaska was ousted from congress, Alaska lost a lot of federal funding. I hope we are luckier than Alaska in that sense. The military budget will be the least affected since the focus has shifted from Europe to the Asia/Pacific/Middle Eastern region though that can change if a Republican gets elected to the Presidency once Obama leaves.
on December 19,2012 | 07:44AM
Hapa_Haole_Boy wrote:
Sign me up. I'll need the handout to pay for the increased taxes, for a thing I won't ride.
on December 19,2012 | 07:24AM
pakeheat wrote:
Me too!
on December 19,2012 | 11:32AM
aomohoa wrote:
I hope we can afford our home, when the taxes keep going up. I am glad I live in a new neighborhood because we will be lucky if the infrastructure gets fixed. There will be no money for such repairs.
on December 19,2012 | 08:01AM
ponowai wrote:
$1.55b ok now where's the rest of it coming from?
on December 19,2012 | 08:06AM
Kuniarr wrote:
Only a $1.55 commitment was signed by the FTA. No check for $1.55B was sent.
on December 19,2012 | 09:03AM
palika wrote:
Thank God we have rail and the federal funding coming to Hawaii now. That is a certainty. What is less certain is how much federal funding the state will get for other programs such as military projects, airports, highways and other infrastructure supported in part by federal grants. With Senator Inouye and Senator Akaka gone, it will take decades to build up the same kind of Congressional seniority and clout in Washington. Rail will be the one bright spot in the government sector's contribution to our local economy, and we will be thankful for this in the coming decade.
on December 19,2012 | 08:13AM
false wrote:
Uhh.... see above. The guys is on to something here.
on December 19,2012 | 09:27AM
billso wrote:
Ed Case was saying something like this in 2006.
on December 19,2012 | 09:39AM
aomohoa wrote:
It's good to see that there is not too much nastiness from either side on this. It has been emotionally draining. Now we can only hope it won't be as ugly and noisy as I think it will be. I hope we have lost paradise forever. Time will tell.
on December 19,2012 | 08:32AM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
Yes! Give me another steak!
on December 19,2012 | 08:40AM
localguy wrote:
The "Kaching" sound you hear is HART and Grabby Boy getting ready to start tapping this taxpayer provided fund. Lets ensure HART and Grabby Boy are held fully accountable for every dollar spent. Let there be serious consequences, as in firing, of any HART member or any other rail minion who willfully wastes taxpayer's money. Taxpayers are already taking a bath for HART/Grabby Boy/Elected Bureaucrats who caused the tens of millions in waste for willfully failing to follow state laws. Lucky for the taxpayers the Judge did not listen to their shibai excuses and slapped them down to the ground. We do not need more of this willful incompetence in the Nei. We already lead the world in bureaucratic failures.
on December 19,2012 | 08:42AM
Kuniarr wrote:
The StarAdvertiser is pulling our leg with this news of "Feds sign $1.55B commitment for Oahu rail" and then reports that "Hawaii received a long-awaited $1.55 billion check from the U.S. Department of Transportation today".

Signs a commitment is entirely alien to sending to Hawaii a check for $1.55 billion.
on December 19,2012 | 08:42AM
Ronin006 wrote:
Journalistic reporting at its worst.
on December 19,2012 | 09:17AM
false wrote:
So let me get this right..... the check's not in the mail? The envelop has no stamp no address? So what's with the big announcement? Do the boys and girls in congress still need to give the ok for the moolah? What the #^&@@)*&!!!! OH WELL!
on December 19,2012 | 09:33AM
FACE wrote:
Some of us have been waiting since the early 70's for this!
on December 19,2012 | 08:50AM
Rapanui00 wrote:
Its a joke Judge Teshima will stop this thing once and for all. Stay tuned...Not to mention the other numerous court challenges
on December 19,2012 | 09:03AM
false wrote:
you think so? I dunno, I have the sneaky feeling that this may be come a political decision. What judge would want to be the reason to stop a rail project of this magnitude? On the other hand what judge would want to be connected to a multi billion dollar mistake? Stay tune.
on December 19,2012 | 09:36AM
palika wrote:
For all the rail haters who want to keep rail tied up longer in the courts, just remember H-3, and the taxpayer funded court challenges by attorney Boyce Brown, et. al. H-3 was good for the construction industry, but BETTER for the legal profession. Some attorneys made a career off taxpayers with their lawsuits. In the end, H-3 was built and people especially windward residents all use it and find it convenient.
on December 19,2012 | 09:42AM
ichiban wrote:
Just curious--Why is it that often I hear on the news about bottlenecks along the Pali or the Wilson Tunnel highways but rarely if ever on the H-3? Is this because not enough ridership(drivers) use H-3? I remember when H-3 was constructed people called it the "Million Dollars A Mile" freeway. At that time a million dollars was a lot of money. Got a hunch the rail will be a billion dollars a mile project. If the rail project gets the green light, and if the city gets the $1.5 billion check, and if the remaining $5 billion somehow gets funded, and if the tax payers of this state don't have to pay a higher levy on everything they consume because of rail, then I'll be somewhat of a happy camper. I wonder IF any of this will happen.
on December 19,2012 | 10:35AM
Kuniarr wrote:
A bottleneck occurs at a location where several lanes of vehicles under heavy traffic converge onto fewer lanes.

Unlike the H-1, there are no entry points to the H-3 from another highway or roadway. Moreover, accidents that closes a lane or two on the 3-lane H-3 rarely happens plus the H-3 does not have heavy traffic like the H-1 so that the closing of a lane does not result in a traffic jam.

There are two things to remember concerning funding of the Rail Project: (1) GET surcharge collection is intended to pay for whatever cost is not paid for by the FTA. And the GET surcharge collection most likely won't be sufficient to cover FTA unfunded cost of rail because the GET surcharge collection is far behind (25% collected when over 37% should have been collected) (2) taxpayers will have to dig deeper into their pockets to pay for the additional monies needed to subsidize HART, Rail Security and Rail O&M.
on December 19,2012 | 02:06PM
pakeheat wrote:
You don't have bottlenecks on the h3 is because only those coming from West Side will use it going home to the Windward Side, you have bottlenecks on Likelike and Pali is because most workers driving and buses from town and vice verse use these highways.
on December 19,2012 | 03:50PM
Anonymous wrote:
The only reason H3 got built was Inouye. He no longer here to bull a rabbit out of the hat
on December 19,2012 | 10:37AM
false wrote:
EH! Where my boys or girls Uke, Wiliki etc. Thought they be here by now. Somebody go wake them up.
on December 19,2012 | 09:38AM
loquaciousone wrote:
I'm so glad it finally happened. From tomorrow there should be no traffic jams.
on December 19,2012 | 10:02AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Bus Girl smiles.
on December 19,2012 | 10:35AM
iansuen wrote:
OK. I'll play devils advocate and say 1.55 billion is not enough and sooo the rail project should be stopped. That is all.
on December 19,2012 | 10:34AM
false wrote:
Then we can use whatever is existing and bring back the soap box derby.
on December 19,2012 | 10:41AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
"Hawaii received a long-awaited $1.55 billion check from the U.S. Department of Transportation today...." Star-Advertiser Dec 19, 2012

C'mon guys... Burying news unflattering to rail while gushing about it one thing, but this is just plain WRONG. There is no check. "Hawaii" didn't ask for one, Honolulu did.

This is a continuation of the despicable "it's a done deal everyone" reporting you have been doing since the early days of Mufi.

To review:
1) THERE IS NO $1.55 BILLION CHECK!!! It still has to be approved by congress, and assuming it is, it will be awarded piecemeal of the life of the project, not in the form of a "Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes Giant Check."
2) That is also almost the exact amount HART is sending to Italy, so unless the Italians are planning on sending us back a check for $1.55 billion dollars, don't expect too big an economic boom.
3) HAWAII is the name of our largest island and the name of our State. Honolulu is the COUNTY that is asking for and getting this money for their mall train. They are also the county with the additional "temporary GET" to pay for it.

on December 19,2012 | 11:05AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
That will be enough out of you, citizen.
on December 19,2012 | 01:09PM
islandsun wrote:
The SA cant seem to get it right. This rail will NEVER relieve traffic period. Ask the feds for more while your at it.
on December 19,2012 | 11:10AM
loquaciousone wrote:
That's where you're wrong. From tomorrow, it will be smooth sailings through the H-1 and H-2 corridor. There will be no more traffic jams from now on - - guarantee. How can something that costs 7 billion dollars not deliver immediately?
on December 19,2012 | 11:52AM
Mythman wrote:
I love it, a federal bureaucrat "gives" 1.5 billion dollars of money not his own to "honor" the memory of a great man. Domination knows no boundaries when the schleps are docile and meek in their submission, the scheeple.
on December 19,2012 | 11:15AM
Bumby wrote:
As I stated before all you pro railers better put your mouth and okole on the train and help decrease the cars off the road.
on December 19,2012 | 11:26AM
Eagle156 wrote:
It is old news .Haven't we already known for years that the FTA is "committed " to giving Honolulu 1.5 billion dollars. Congress might well decide otherwise.
on December 19,2012 | 12:55PM
mcc wrote:
The making of Long Island, only uglier, their train is underground.
on December 19,2012 | 12:59PM
mcc wrote:
Hawaii received a check? $1.555b/illion Let's go spend it. Let's see the money.
on December 19,2012 | 01:07PM
inverse wrote:
This article is completely MISLEADING and nothing but B S propaganda. A letter of intent might have been signed by Obama appointee LaHood of the FTA, HOWEVER the $1.55 billion to help pay for the Oahu rail project has to be APPROVED by Congress and NOT by LaHood, and Congress has NOT done so far. Given EVERYONE's taxes will be going up in 2013, it will be slim to none that Congress, especially the Republican controlled House, will approve the $1.55 billion for a 20 mile train to nowhere. Also Inouye has passed away and is no longer chair of the appropriations committee and right now Hawaii is leaderless in the Senate.
on December 19,2012 | 01:09PM
inverse wrote:
The content and timing of this article was an attempt to divert attention away from the passing of Inouye and the incredibly NEGATIVE impact it will have in receiving federal funding for the Oahu rail and other current/future projects in Hawaii. In this current fiscal and political climate. The likelihood Hawaii will receive $1.5 billion in funding for an obvious train to nowhere is as likely as Congress approving the Akaka bill. Every year while Obama is stilll in office which is four more years, the FTA might able to provide tens of millions in funding for the Oahu rail project without congressional approval, but NOT in the amount of $1.55 billion.
on December 19,2012 | 01:28PM
Changalang wrote:
The signing off by LaHood is not just for show. They were waiting for Ben to lose before the appropriation. That is way certain factions spent $5 million to stop Ben; 5 million spent for 1.55 billion allocated is a fruitful day at the office. Judge Wally will not be silent for long. The Money Train is locked. We all will be grateful for the jobs over the decade. Perhaps Senator Inouye knew that he needed to give Hawaii the vehicle to keep the money moving past his planned retirement. Without the Federal defense money keeping workers in play; we are going to need some big project for our shift to a lower quality of life. One fifth of our local economy just passed away. It is never coming back.
on December 19,2012 | 03:51PM
Kuniarr wrote:
This new item where the news heading ("Feds sign $1.55B commitment for Oahu rail) contradicts the report (Hawaii received a long-awaited $1.55 billion check from the U.S. Department of Transportation today) is dense.
on December 19,2012 | 01:33PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
“This is a huge milestone for this project,” said Hawaii’s Democratic Sen.-elect Mazie Hirono, who moved immediately to take credit for the accomplishment saying, "it's because of my collaborative style".
on December 19,2012 | 01:48PM
Kuniarr wrote:
The computer censor did not like my saying "inexcusable" and sent my comments above for approval. But it added my comment when I replaced inexcusable with dense .
on December 19,2012 | 02:10PM
enoughisenough wrote:
No check yet, maybe never. Congress has to act, and the city needs to dodge one more bullet in federal court. Not sure if the reporter doesn't understand this or is part of the Star-Advertiser's on-going advocacy for rail.
on December 19,2012 | 02:36PM
toomuchpilikia wrote:
And just exactly WHERE are the Feds getting this money from? The country is broke! We are already spending more than we are receiving in terms of revenue! The Fed DOT must be printing money too!
on December 19,2012 | 02:57PM
control wrote:
the usual neo-con crybabies whinning because they didn't get their way, yet again. Same old faux facts, faux threats, faux smoke and mirrors.
on December 19,2012 | 03:04PM
aomohoa wrote:
Same old rude people I see.
on December 19,2012 | 05:57PM
NYUH wrote:
I was a supporter of the train (don't worry my voice didn't mean anything) but with Google's driverless car and hybrids I think Hawai'i should ban non electric/hydrid cars, going the way of Singapore and taxing any new purchases of gas cars pretty heavily. The "automatrix" as some call it will create smarter infrastructure for moving cars faster and safer.
on December 19,2012 | 04:05PM
kainalu wrote:
If only. Eventually, this will be the case. Of course, much like converting to solar, the cost will be huge to implement such a system, but you're right. It is the future.
on December 19,2012 | 04:25PM
Pukele wrote:
Maybe if folks think it is going to be built, they will start asking tough questions about financing and ridership. When will we know how much it will cost (after the engineers finish the design and we get bids, in about 2 years)? What if it is over budget, where will the money come from? It is time to tell 30,000 bus riders that they are going to be forced to ride rail. It is time to find car commuters that are willing to give up their comfortable seats, their snacks, their blue tooth connection and their freedom to make multiple daily trips in order to switch to mass transit.
on December 19,2012 | 05:32PM
Kuniarr wrote:
The integrity of the StarAdvertiser is at stake with the publication of this news item about the FTA $1.55B grant.

The StarAdvertiser news item "Hawaii received a long-awaited $1.55 billion check from the U.S. Department of Transportation today...
The news item is blatantly false because the rail project is not a State of Hawaii project but that of the C&C of Honolulu such that telling us that Hawaii received a long-awaited $1.55 billion check is an event that cannot happen.

The news item is blatantly false because the FTA does not hand out a grant in a lump sum but in installments.

The news item is blatantly false to say that Hawaii received a long-awaited $1.55 billion check...today because the news item is a narration of a signing ceremony.
on December 19,2012 | 07:19PM
Kuniarr wrote:
The StarAdvertiser news item "Hawaii received a long-awaited $1.55 billion check from the U.S. Department of Transportation today...
The news item is blatantly false because the rail project is not a State of Hawaii project but that of the C&C of Honolulu such that telling us that Hawaii received a long-awaited $1.55 billion check is an event that cannot happen.

The news item is blatantly false because the FTA does not hand out a grant in a lump sum but in installments.

The news item is blatantly false to say that Hawaii received a long-awaited $1.55 billion check...today because the news item is a narration of a signing ceremony.
on December 19,2012 | 07:19PM
HD36 wrote:
How did the Feds get 1.55 billion dollars when they are over $16 trillion dollars in debt? Could be that the Federal Reserve is loaning the Federal Government $40 billion dollars a month by purchasing Treasury Bonds. What happens when the Federal Reserve has to sell all these bonds and nobody wants to buy them? Economic Collapse.
on December 19,2012 | 10:10PM
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