Friday, February 12, 2010

Mayor’s Youth Summit on Rail Hits a High Note

In a word, SUCCESS! Today’s Youth Rail Summit at Leeward Community College attracted a couple hundred elementary, high school and university students, and if you can judge a gathering by smiles and enthusiasm, this one hit the jackpot.

They came primarily from the leeward Oahu -- neighborhoods that will be served by Honolulu’s rail system, but Waialua on the North Shore was represented, too. So was Kailua and places in between.

A lunchtime jam by Kolohe Kai was a big attraction, and so was the prospect of winning an Apple iPod Touch or HP Netbook, but the breakout sessions showed how committed these youth are to the concept of safe, affordable, reliable and frequent rail transit in Honolulu.

We’ll let the photographs tell the story of today’s Summit. To paraphrase the participants: Go Rail Go! Here's a YouTube video showing teens riding the Virtual Train.

Honowai Elementary of Waipahu showed up strong.
Tascha Kapu (left) and Chrstina Freitas get their entry "bracelets."
Kathryn Pagaragan of Farrington High School is congratulated by City Managing Director Kirk Caldwell for her 2nd place finish in the Student Art Contest.
Hello, Farrington!
The magic of "green screen video" gave students the thrill of a virtual train ride.
A little greenery here, a little techno trickery there, and suddenly these students are riding a train.
There's nothing "virtual" about this gang's enthusiasm! From left: Heidi Neidhardt, Tracy Humann, Janee Lee and Mickey Monis.
This quartet couldn't stop trying out the green screen moves.
Kolohe Kai was the noontime attraction.
Oh, to be young -- and famous, too!
Today's "Kolohe Kai Fan Club."
Kolohe Kai
Afternoon breakout sessions broke out tons of ideas to energize youth for rail.
All together now: Go Farrington Governors!
The day's last act -- lining up for backpacks.
And the lucky winner: Riana-Lynn Laa of Nanakuli High.
Riana-Lynn and her Nanakuli High classmates.

Keep reading below for Bob Nakata's full-on endorsement of Honolulu rail!

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