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Sunday, December 19, 2021
December 19, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:04 PM :: 1002 Views

NYT Looks at Honolulu Rail: Why U.S. Infrastructure Is So Expensive

Gender Queer: DoE Makes Gay Blowjob Book Available in School Libraries

The New County TAT Earmarks Aren’t the Real Problem

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted December 18, 2021

Kauai Judicial Vacancy – District Judge, District Court of the Fifth Circuit

Rail: Next Step is to Con You into Allowing them to Build Backwards, thus ensuring full completion to Ala Moana at any cost 

Shapiro: … Mayor Rick Blangiardi gave as close as any city leader has come to a candid assessment of Honolulu rail finances in an appearance last week on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Spotlight Hawaii.”

He said firmly that “we’re not going to stop at Middle Street,” as critics have suggested, but also made the most definitive declaration yet that the original planned terminus at Ala Moana Center is out of reach.

“Clearly … we don’t have enough money to go to Ala Moana,” he said. “My target personally is to get to the Civic Center, which is right outside of Kakaako. That’s what we’re trying to determine based on the amount of moneys that we have available to us. Can we do that?”…

(Translation: Rail developers want to start building backward from Ala Moana Mall so that the rail line will have to be fully completed for the last section to be usable.  The purpose is to hold your ‘good money’ hostage to the ‘bad money’ they have already conned you into spending.  Blangiardi is opening the discussion by pretending to be the more reasonable decision.  The purpose--already 90% achieved--is to make building backwards a fait accompli.  At some point the discussion will be further manipulated to make the Ala Moana starting point a fait accompli.  Anti-rail forces should resist any plan to build non-contiguously.)

He said he hopes to persuade the Federal Transit Administration, which is withholding $700 million in financing because of city defaults on the original agreement, that reaching downtown would constitute “a fully functioning rail system.”

During an earlier rail financial crisis, the FTA suggested it would be satisfied if the troubled commuter line made it downtown to Aloha Tower.

Blangiardi said that even with a controversial new accounting method that reduced the cost of the project to $11.4 billion from $12.5 billion, and an infusion of funds from the new city hotel tax, rail is still $1.97 billion short of what’s needed to build to Ala Moana.

He said there’s no source of additional city revenue to cover the deficit other than raising property taxes, which he indicated he’s unwilling to do.

“All this lends itself to saying, OK, you know, what are the numbers and what makes sense?” he said. “What’s our strategy? What can we actually deliver without raising property taxes to people, and what’s acceptable to the FTA?”

He said a “big conversation” with FTA will occur in January ….

(Translation: Big charade.)

read … Can Mayor Rick Blangiardi sell his rail plan to the public and the feds?

Contested case hearing on state’s order to suspend operations at Red Hill planned for Monday

HNN:  … A public hearing is scheduled for Monday over the Navy’s case to contest the state Department of Health’s emergency order to suspend operations at the Red Hill fuel storage facility in the wake of the water contamination crisis.

The virtual meeting can be viewed live on YouTube and will be posted online after it’s done.  Monday’s meeting begins at 8 a.m.

Earlier this month, the DOH issued an emergency order, demanding the Navy suspend operations at the Red Hill fuel storage facility and safely remove fuel from the 20 underground storage tanks.

The Navy said it would contest the order, citing security risks….

read … Contested case hearing on state’s order to suspend operations at Red Hill planned

Guam, America’s Forgotten Territory, Is New Front Line Against China

WSJ: … Alongside a road that cuts through dense jungle, the first new U.S. Marine base in almost 70 years is emerging. Construction cranes are helping build training areas for urban warfare and live-weapons firing behind a perimeter topped with razor wire.

Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz, to be formally opened in a ceremony early next year, is the latest sign that Guam, a remote U.S. outpost in the Pacific Ocean, is becoming more crucial for military planners as they sharpen their focus on Asia, and tensions with China rise.

U.S. military officials say that the island, already home to Air Force and Navy bases, would be a major staging point for bombers, submarines and troops in any conflict involving the U.S. in the Pacific, including any clash over Taiwan if the U.S. were to become involved….

SA Column: Missile defense for Guam, Hawaii and beyond

read … Guam, America’s Forgotten Territory, Is New Front Line Against China

Hawaii records 2 new coronavirus-related deaths, 972 additional infections

SA: … Today’s new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 877 new cases on Oahu, 29 on Hawaii island, 38 on Maui, 14 on Kauai, and 14 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state.

State health officials have been including probable infections in its total case counts. Probable infections include people who never received a confirmatory test but are believed to have had the virus because of their known exposure and symptoms or because of a positive antigen test.

Health officials also said today that, of the state’s total infection count, 4,237 cases were considered to be active. Officials say they consider infections reported in the past 14 days to be a “proxy number for active cases.” The state’s total number of active cases increased today by 820.

By island, Oahu has 3,604 active cases, the Big Island has 227, Kauai has 150, Maui has 242, Molokai has 14, and Lanai has none….

Health officials also said today that, of the state’s total infection count, 4,237 cases were considered to be active. Officials say they consider infections reported in the past 14 days to be a “proxy number for active cases.” The state’s total number of active cases increased today by 820.

By island, Oahu has 3,604 active cases, the Big Island has 227, Kauai has 150, Maui has 242, Molokai has 14, and Lanai has none….

11 new hospitalizations reported today….

read … Hawaii records 2 new coronavirus-related deaths, 972 additional infections

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