Monday, January 2, 2012

LTE Forum: Writer Plays the ‘What If?’ Card

Doomsday on December 21st looms 354 days away, according to the Mayan calendar. It’s therefore pointless to worry about anything beyond this year’s winter solstice, but some people won’t have it any other way.

Today’s contribution to the LTE Forum is a letter to the editor from a windward side resident who sees nothing but doom if this or that happens inside the Honolulu rail project.

Bankruptcy in city’s future? (Star-Advertiser, 1/2/12)
“Recently Jefferson County, Ala., declared bankruptcy, the largest municipal bankruptcy ever filed…. I can see Honolulu heading in this same direction with construction of a rail project that has very shaky funding and already many irregularities in the awarding of contracts. What happens if Congress does not provide us with the full $1.8 billion in federal funds?... What happens if (Ansaldo) defaults on its contract?...”
There’s many a slip between cup and lip, but playing “what if?” about imagined calamities can result in perpetual paralysis if that’s your game. Some rail opponents are locked into that paradigm and want everyone else to worry, too.

Fact: On December 29th, the Federal Transit Administration gave Honolulu rail permission to enter into Final Design. Fact: No contract irregularities have been found by any overseeing entity. Fact: Rail opponents will keep what-iffing about these and other imagined problems.

As a friend emailed this morning, “I woke up this morning hoping the New Year would start off differently, but so far, it’s just been the same old one-two, one-two.” (Think about it.)

The more things change, the more they remain the same, so we can expect more of the same extreme skepticism about Honolulu rail from the anti-rail minority in our community throughout TweTwe. (Think about that one, too.) 

This post has been added to our "aggregation" site under the LTE Forum heading.

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