Ozawa, Waters Lucky They Didn’t Run in Bad Old Days
Dear Editor, March 30, 2019
Maybe you would be interested in what happened to me when Iran for office in 1982 against Arnold Morgado (union steward) for the House of Representative seat in Pearl City. Arnold moved into the area having established a name in football and having the support of the Democratic Party (wife came from Yano family). I was just a community person serving the Pearl City community for almost 10 years.
What happened was that on election day I received a call from my neighbor, informing me, that my name was not on her ballot. I was leading by over 200 votes when we called it a night. At 2am my campaign manager calls me and told me that I lost.
On Monday, I went to the City Clerk's office to inform him of the error. I was told it was my responsibility to find the people who were affected. when i canvassed the area, my voter list was missing names along Hoolaulea Street and some other area so my team and I went door to door getting affidavits from our friends saying they wanted to vote for me but my name was not on their ballot (we knew most of these people because we registered some of them and they were our neighbors).
We collected 82 or 83 votes to overturn the results and went to court. I forgot who I hired as my counselor but he claimed that the court was against me. The verdict was they would correct the district error in the general election. Well, there is only one democrat on the ballot so that decision was useless. The court determined that they could not hold another election.
I wrote to the Advertiser's Letter to the Ed but they wouldn't print it.
There might have been better options but being a Federal employee (Hatch Act), I was new to the political "game."
I am sharing this with you because of the Ozawa and Waters race. They are fortunate the state is holding another election for them.
Elayne Ileina Funakoshi
Pearl City, Oahu
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How to cause a train wreck?
Dear Editor, March 25, 2019
One way to stop a train project is to run for mayor. Governor Ben Cayetano ran for mayor on his campaign promise to stop the rail. He ran and he lost. He is a loser and his cohorts [professors at UH] who supported him are losers by association.
After the election Cayetano wanted revenge. His revenge plan was to sabotage the rail project that had been approved by the voters. How could he do that? The famous spaghetti attack.
Cayetano's spaghetti attack works like this. Through a bunch of wet noodles against the wall and see what sticks. Cayetano took 27 mostly false charges against the Rail project. All charges should have been thrown out but three stuck. Those three points caused only a 20 month delay and $45 million in court fees and hundreds of millions [even billions?] of dollars in escalations costs.
Another 9 month delay for the train construction was caused by another sore loser, the 2nd place train manufacturer. Sadly, HART should had thrown out the challenge quickly maybe only 2 weeks after the baseless challenge, but the challenge dragged on for 9 months, costing about $8 million in delays and millions in escalation costs.
The other 18 month delay was caused by Paulette Kaleikini, a Hawaiian native. The construction started on Phase 1 & 2 of the 20 mile project. Phase 3 & 4 was to be surveyed during construction. Ms. Kaleikini knows NOTHING about construction. Her dislike of the project was obvious. She was able to stop the project on a technicality. The project was halted because the full 20 miles of the rail route was not surveyed before the construction began. If the project would have been called a 10 mile project with a 10 mile future extension, this delay would have NEVER happened. This was a HART miscalculation.
During the 18 month delay none of Ms. Kaleikini's ancestors were uncovered in the AIS (Archaeological Investigative Survey). One burial grave was uncovered but it was covered and marked. Her rail delay was unmerited and it was an expensive waste of time. The AIS survey delay cost the Hawaii tax payers millions of dollars.
Other monumental costs impacting the HART Rail Project:
2 Car Concept change to 4 Car Concept ($15M)
15% minority Participation ($25M?)
1% Art Costs ($5M).
Relocating businesses and Property acquisition along route ($200M?)
Phase 1 & 2 Change orders ($300M)
HECO relocations ($300M-400M?). Some of this is the fault of Parson Brinckerhoff the initial engineering firm who designed the route too close to 138KV High Voltage utility lines.
The biggest impact to the Rail project is the delay was totally unexpected. During the delay the Hawaii construction industry started booming. It became impossible for construction companies to get local construction workers. Most new construction workers needed to be shipped in from the mainland. This problem is estimated to cost the project hundreds of millions of dollars.
It is impossible to determine the exact impact of material during the legal delays. Estimates of material escalation to range from $100M to $150M. Delays to Phase 3 & 4 are also difficult to determine. I would guess the impact to be about $150M to $200M.
Doing the math will gets us close to $9 billion. Every penny can be accounted for but will the residents of Hawaii believe it? I doubt it. Overruns are sometimes never understood or well explained. Lets put blame where it belongs, Cayetano, his cohorts, and Ms. Paulette Kaleikini, and the booming Hawaiian economy.
Former HART Budget Estimator
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Salvage Contract for Failed Plastic Boom in Hilo Bay?
Dear Editor, March 21, 2019
We know that the remains of a failed ocean trash gathering device were towed to the Big Island and that its creator is working on a solution. A period of silence suggests that a solution is not imminent.
In that light, I have two questions:
Who or what authorized the wreckage to be towed here?
If the creator fails to find a solution, who or what will bear the cost of salvage?
HART Spends Money to Prove Spending Money is a Good Idea
Dear Editor, March 18, 2019
I was surprised to see a booth for HART, staffed by at least 3-4 employees at the Building Facilities and Property Management Expo, March 6 and 7, 2019.
Why are they spending thousands of dollars that they do not have to continue to prove that it is a good idea?
Maybe to justify the twelve billion dollar price tag that is evolving and was predicted before the first shovelful of dirt was turned, or maybe to show us the lavishly designed rail stations which will house the homeless and drug dealers and require 24/7 police security.
I stopped at the booth to ask a few questions, but the HART staff there were too busy talking among themselves to talk to me. I wanted to ask about anticipated maintenance and security costs and how they would be financed. I wanted to ask how they could anticipate 10% of the adult population of Oahu would ride the rail daily, since less than 7% travel between Ewa and Ala Moana.
I do recall that when the project was put to a vote with an estimated price tag of $5.2 billion, (originally discussed at 3.7) with a guarantee that GET and RPT would not be raised to support it. If you are a Hawaii tax payer, your share is now close to $30,000. Wait till you see your share of the operation and maintenance costs... if it is ever completed!