You might recall our prediction early in January that the three regular Star-Advertiser columnists “will write not a single paragraph of positive content about the Honolulu rail project in 2012.”
The prediction is holding true through this week’s columns – Dave Shapiro on Wednesdays (he wrote about teacher contract issues), Cynthia Oi on Thursdays (no column this week) and Richard Borreca on Fridays (sandalwood protection).
This was one of the most significant weeks in the history of the Honolulu rail project. On Monday, the Federal Transit Administration granted a Letter of No Prejudice to the city, which now can begin major construction.
Despite the positive news (“positive” in the sense that it advanced the project), the three columnists couldn’t bring themselves to take note. Their “good news” switch is perpetually clamped in the off position regarding rail, whereas the circuit that transmits news of unfavorable developments is always energized.
One might conclude from their commentaries that the scribes oppose the project, and that would be accurate. Here’s the corollary of our original prediction: The next piece of negative news on rail will be trumpeted in at least two of their columns in the days that follow. You can bet on it.
Rail is diversion from real needs (Star-Advertiser, 2/9)
Most citizens presumably don’t oppose government funding of cancer research and treatment even though the disease may not affect them or their families. As the second response to the letter shows, freeway congestion has become a cancer on the quality of life for scores of thousands of commuters. Putting yourself in someone’s shoes could go a long way in resolving some of the opposition that lingers about rail transit here.
And a final point: The streets leading to and through our home’s neighborhood have been repaved within the past month with smooth-as-silk blacktop, and there’s not a single pothole to be found along their length. The city is fixing roads, and sewers, too. It’s time to “fix” highway gridlock on this island by building the Honolulu rail alternative. The cartoon at the top has it exactly right.
This post has been added to our "aggregation" site under the LTE Forum heading.