Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Honolulu FEIS Acceptance -- the Rest of the Story

The news media can be super discriminating in selecting quotes for their newspapers and newscasts, so you undoubtedly missed virtually all of yesterday’s announcement that the Federal Transit Administration has accepted the Honolulu rail project’s Final Environmental Impact Statement. Here are the parts of Mayor Mufi Hannemann's announcement that you probably didn't see or hear:

I’m joined today by many of you who have been working very hard the past five years to bring to pass a dream that we have been pursuing as a city for over 40 years. And today’s announcement is simply this:

I’m happy to report that the Federal Transit Administration has said our Final Environmental Impact Statement is ready to go to Governor Lingle for her acceptance! What this FEIS does in effect is, they’re saying that the studies that we have been doing, the research that we have been engaged in, the public meetings, the public input, all of that has reached this point that they’re saying, the community, the economic, the social impact and benefits of rail are good to go in the Final Environmental Impact Statement. (Mayor Hannemann is shown with City Council Chair Todd Apo.)

We delivered this copy today to the Office of Environmental Quality Control, OEQC, and we hope that the Governor will take into account all the work that’s been done in bringing the FEIS to the state of Hawaii and ask her, implore her, to do what’s right for the people of Oahu.

…given her financial concerns that she has with this project, all we’re saying is, Governor, do what you have to do, but please keep in mind this has been vetted and scrutinized and it’s gone through several financial reviews by the Federal Transit Administration. Our own Hawaii Business Roundtable…local business leaders have looked at the financial plan for the rail transit project, so we basically have the monies, good to go, but most importantly, our people need jobs!

People on the West Side of Oahu need traffic relief, and I can’t wait for transit-oriented development to kick in, when we’ll be able to have beautiful revitalized communities around train stations that will bring in housing, commercial, retail, bike paths, open spaces, parks, all the things that we want to see in our communities from West Oahu to McCully, Moiliili eventually, all these things are important.

But the critical first step is that we send this document over to the Governor for her timely acceptance. So do what you must, Madame Governor, but at the end of the day, please do what is right for the people of the state of Hawaii, not just the City and County of Honolulu….

And last but not least, I need to thank the public. I need to thank all of you who are gathered here today, from the youth to my left, to the adults to my right, to the keikis in front of me, to the seniors, this is a great day. You have made it possible. They tell me in Washington it normally takes a city 14 years to get to where we are today, 14 years. We did it in 5! We kept the dream alive!

…let (the Governor) know, the economy needs revitalization, we need rail on Oahu, we need livable communities, and we need to do what is right, and this is the right thing to do to change the landscape of Oahu for the better, to make sure that people today and tomorrow will be able to say when they look back, Mahalo those of you from 2005 to 2010 for staying the course, ‘cause you made Hawaii, you made Oahu a better place to live, work and raise our families! Thank you, everybody for being here today. Imua! Go Rail Go!

1 comment:

Hannah in Manoa said...

I videoed and uploaded the entire conference to the GoRailGo facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/hannah.miyamoto#!/group.php?gid=19612819718&ref=ts