INVESTIGATE THE $5.3 BILLION HONOLULU RAPID RAIL PROJECT FIRST!
DO NOT DESTROY THE BEAUTY OF HAWAII & CEMENT AGRICULTURAL LANDS.
DO NOT BURDEN OVER-BURDENED CITIZENS WITH MORE TAXES!
PLEASE INVESTIGATE BEFORE PROCEEDING FURTHER WITH THIS PROJECT!
ALOHA! Hawaii is a beautiful and unique island. The Honolulu Rapid Transit Rail Project, estimated at $5.3 Billion, is an epitome of a government taken over by special interests, greed, and corruption.
President Obama, Honorable Representatives and Senators, the least you can do is to investigate this project and not allow a few elite special interests to squander the taxpayer’s hard-earned money.
Please do not fund any further until a thorough investigation has been completed.
Here are a few Red Flags:
1. Secretary of Transportation Ray Lahood was misled or is part of the Honolulu Rail Transit Project problem. He stated in May 2012 that “the Obama Administration’s support for the Honolulu rail transit remains strong.” He went on to reveal his lack of knowledge: “I want you to know that we are committed to this project. This is an important project. This will deliver people ALL OVER THE ISLAND. It’s an important project and at this point, we will continue to work through whatever issues need to be worked through. We’re committed to this. We’re committed to the money; we’re committed to the project.”
No, Mr. LaHood, the rail is NOT ALL OVER THE ISLAND. Mr. Ray LaHood needs to understand that the Honolulu rail starts in the middle of an empty fertile agricultural tract in Ewa. This 20-mile rail starts from nowhere to nowhere. It is not connected to the University of Hawaii or the Honolulu International Airport.
2. The fraud begins at inception. First, the city of Honolulu hired Parsons Brinckerhoff executive Wayne Yoshioka to be the City Transportation Director. Then it contracted with Parsons Brinckerhoff to plan the rail line. It then contracted with InfraConsult LLC to watch over PB. (Three senior PB officials had formed InfraConsult prior to its contract with the City).
To run HART, the semi-autonomous transit authority, politicians appointed nine directors, not one of whom had any familiarity with transit whatsoever. Lack of it seemed to be a requirement for appointment.
Some months ago HART awarded Ansaldo STS/Breda a core systems contract which includes the design, construction and delivery of the train vehicles, the train control systems and the operation and maintenance of the rail system after installation. HART chose Ansaldo despite their not being the low bidder."
3. Billions of dollars were awarded in contracts to top campaign contributors by Mayor Mufi Hannemann and his political cronies. http//www.OpenSecrets.org 7/12/12 and The Honolulu Advertiser 3/7/10.
Some Honolulu City Council members also asked for audit and found irregularities - http://www.khon2.com/news/local/story/HART-public-relations-spending-questioned-by-City/JlGaN9yqCkuci0CEX86qZQ.cspx
4. http://www.civilbeat.com/articles/2011/09/08/12788-civil-beat-catches-rail-leaders-trying-to-go-deep-undercover-in-washington/ There is no transparent and open process. Citizens are forced to sue its government. The City’s strategy is to waste as much money as possible and hope for Judge Tashima to defer to the foxes which guard the hen house:
Carrie Okinaga , HART Chair (former City Corporation Counsel appointed by Mayor Mufi Hannemann):" The public expression of the lawsuit has always been that we didn’t study it adequately or sufficiently. That’s not the legal standard. When your government has spent $300 million studying something, you’re praying that there’s some deference that a court will give to this multi-jurisdictional, multi-year, $300 million effort."
5. The city of Honolulu refuses to follow the law unless forced by the Hawaii Supreme Court. http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/7560/Full-Text-Supreme-Court-Decision-Will-Halt-Rail-Construction.aspx
6. Before the eminent Supreme Court’s decision, Honolulu awarded $75M in rail design contracts before work stopped.
The City and County of Honolulu awarded $75 million in design and professional services contracts for the its rail transit project in the two months before the Hawaii Supreme Court's ruling that led the city to temporarily halt construction on the project this week.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the contracts awarded in June and July include a $43.94 million agreement to design the "City Center" section of the rail guideway that went to Los Angeles-based AECOM Technical Services Inc., which was also awarded a $10 million contract for architectural and engineering services for the state Department of Transportation.
The newspaper reports the other contracts included $12 million to Honolulu-based SSFM International Inc. to provide architectural and engineering services for the state Department of Transportation, $7.8 million to San Francisco-based URS Corp. to design rail stations in East Kapolei, at the new University of Hawaii West Oahu campus and the station at D.R. Horton's planned Hoopili subdivision in Ewa.
The Star-Advertiser reports a spokesman for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation said design work will continue, although the agency's board of directors is scheduled to review that decision when it meets on Thursday.
Honolulu Rapid Transit Rail Petitioners