Honolulu Citizens Start Another Grassroots Movement

We’ve all been distracted by what’s going on in the political arena at the national level and the ability of candidates to ignite a country behind them and their campaigns. Honolulu has its own political drama going on over here. This is not as glamorous by any stretch of the imagination yet, suddenly, it’s another one that is winning the support of the people.

Supporters Gather at Honolulu Hale

These are the real people! They’re taking this seriously and the media, at least for now, is taking it seriously too. I saw KGMB, KHNL, and K-5. The others may have been there too but I’m not sure. I love the sign, “If You Build it, They Won’t Come.” We’ve been saying that from the start but only in conversations among friends and co-workers.

Dennis Callan, co-Chair of Stop Rail NowDr Michael Uechi, co-Chair of Stop Rail Now

You have to wonder why we weren’t consulted. How can someone, even if he is the Mayor, have this kind of unilateral control over our land, our skyline and our money?!? Because we let him. Dennis Callan (above left), a photographer for the Hawaii Geographic Society, and Dr. Michael Uechi (above right), a physician, are looking to change all of that. The purpose of this “grassroots” movement is to get 40,000 signatures in the next 90 days so that we can get this question on the November ballot — as it should have been from the start! What will it say?

“Honolulu mass transit shall not include trains or rail transit.”

We should have been asked, we should have been the ones to make this decision and we’re going to try to take this decision making back! The Stop Rail Now! campaign was just ignited yesterday at Honolulu Hale. Of course I just had to be there because my feathers have been ruffled for a long time and I needed to flock with the birds of the same feather! In addition, there are so many ideas out there and there have been studies going on to work through the traffic problem without ruining our home.

Hanging the Banner

Quite obviously, this whole transit thing has become a very volatile topic of discussion. I knew I had a lot of angst about it but I thought everyone had just thrown up their hands and walked away from the whole thing. Uh, no they haven’t! Someone did say that a couple of the Mayor’s secretaries were out there taking notes. As I walked by I snidely remarked, “Oh, let me give them a pen!” Attitude? You bet — it’s all about “By the People, For the People!” Darn! I forgot my t-shirt! Still in doubt? Check out this video!

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13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 HawaiiVacationGifts // Apr 24, 2008 at 4:09 am

    I am so happy that you did a post on this. I was going to email you the stoprailnow.com site because I also saw it on the news! Even though we live on the Big Island, every time a store on Oahu orders something, I have to charge them .5% more in general excise tax to pay for the rail.
    I am not against rail if it was cheaper. I don’t think it is worth bankrupting the state and enslaving future generations to pay for it.

  • 2 Mike Hu // Apr 24, 2008 at 5:07 am

    I’m glad to see you’re on the side of sanity and integrity.

    I think the real winner in this whole issue is the Information Superhighway — which is really Hawaii’s greatest need — from the centralized and monopolistic control of information and opinion of the media and education systems.

    Once people can have reliable information rather than just what the “powers that have been” controlling people’s minds and actions, Hawaii could be a leader in the next wave of innovation and integration — rather than the banana republic its leaders still think it is, and always hope it will remain so, for their exclusive benefit.

  • 3 Evelyn // Apr 24, 2008 at 7:22 am

    Thank you, HVG, for keeping me in mind! I couldn’t wait to get there at 12:30! The whole thing is just so… wrong. When you’ve got people in the know that actually live here that say there’s a better way… I say we should darn well listen to them!

  • 4 Evelyn // Apr 24, 2008 at 8:18 am

    I was just thinking about you, Mr. Hu! Your comment on this issue is very well stated. I have to admit that I have felt a definite insult to my intelligence with all of the idiocy they continue to try to shove down our throats.

  • 5 Mike Hu // Apr 24, 2008 at 9:17 am

    There’re a lot of things that could be done right now, but there is no interest in doing them, solving the problem — because the money is in the problem, and not its solution and resolution. That’s what I learned hanging around the liberals and leftists that I formerly was a leader among, until I realized that they wanted these problems to get worse rather than better.

    They are reinforced and rewarded by the money — and if they are successful at getting it, they think that is what they have to “produce,” because unlike most places in the universe, people work to solve problems and not to create them. That is the whole purpose of all activity, meaning and purpose — but when people are taught only to do what gives them the most money, that’s what they will do.

    That’s why people steal the wiring from lighting — with no regard for its consequences. That’s also why people lie, cheat and steal — because they are rewarded for these things, and most people in Hawaii are “taught” to justify these actions because they are convinced “everybody else does it,” and the cost of living is so high one has to do anything, so why be a fool and be left behind?

    But there are only a few people who will not work to free the criminals to prey on all the innocent citizens of Hawaii because that’s where the high-paying jobs are.

    Fortunately, there are a few — like this Professor Prevadouros who will say, “I don’t care how much they’ll pay me; I’m not selling out the people in Hawaii so cheaply — and can look others squarely in the eyes and tell the truth.

    Meanwhile, all the Mayor’s people can hardly look at anybody in the eyes, and I’m sure can’t bear even to look at themselves in the mirrors anymore. You ever wonder about that evasive look down at the Capitol and City Hall? Faces don’t get pulled in a thousand painful directions naturally you know.

  • 6 mel // Apr 26, 2008 at 8:41 am

    The insanity of this costly rail project has to end now!


  • 7 M.R. Field // Apr 26, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    Here in Des Moines everybody is rushing to study light rail and to add multiple layers of fancy transit in a small area between the downtown and the state Capitol despite greater needs elsewhere. Why? Because the federal government wants to spend money on light rail. I am a strong supporter of public transportation systems and favor increased spending for them. However, the type of public transit that is best for a community needs to be decided by the people who use and would use the system. I also have been a strong proponent of people recognizing that we need to pool our concerns across communities because an amazing number of decisions being made in Honolulu and in Des Moines come from Washington, D.C. funding. (I have started covering the local transit authority commission’s meetings for AroundDesMoines.com. It never ceases to worry me that of all the commissioners, staff, members of the public, and media who attend the meetings, I’m consistently the only person leaving on public transit. That is an observation that tells everybody exactly who does not have a voice in local transit decisions.

  • 8 Evelyn // Apr 26, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    Hello M.R.! That’s my concern, they’re not listening to the people who can provide real feedback about whether they will even use this monstrosity. Your point is understood and I agree… it is a worry!

  • 9 Caitlin // Apr 29, 2008 at 11:59 am

    This is an interesting post. I would be curious to know more about the arguments. What is the reason why so many Honululu citizens are opposed to rail or trains?

  • 10 Evelyn // Apr 29, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    Hi Caitlin! Thank you for weighing and thank you for asking! At the beginning of this thing, we were worried about our skyline. Now, it has moved on to a much greater concern — aside from the fact that we are being taxed through the gills to pay for it, it is NOT going to solve the problem, they will NOT listen to the engineering people who are in the know and all of us locals KNOW the mayor is trying to make a name for himself like Mayor Fasi did with TheBus. It’s just making us dislike him more.

    Go ahead and check out that video to see how they have distorted things! It’s quite a piece of work!

  • 11 Evelyn // Apr 29, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    Hiya Mel! I almost lost your comment. Thank you for the added support on this and the great links on your post! Woo hoo!

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