Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Pierre, hire this guy. On second thought, please don’t

by Larry Geller

Ian Lind not only posted a gem of investigative reporting this morning (see: ilind.net, Mayor pushes to use special land conservation funds to augment rail’s transit oriented development, 4/27/2010), but he then followed with a valuable tutorial on how investigative reporting is done (The rush of reporting).

Please read both articles. I’ll snip Ian’s lead to encourage you to go over there:

Millions of dollars set aside in a fund intended to be used only for important land conservation projects could instead be diverted to provide open space or parks along Honolulu’s proposed rail transit route if Mayor Mufi Hanneman’s administration has its way.

But the chair of the commission established by the City Council to administer the special fund says it would be illegal under current law for Hannemann to do an end run around the commission in order to take control of the conservation funding.

I’m sad that the people of Honolulu are allowing a mayor to so devote and divert the county’s resources to this project that it appears he will stop at nothing, even sacrificing our quality of life, to make his train more appealing.

Where is that Superman that I remember as a kid, who stood in front of the speeding train with outstretched arms and sweating and straining, was pushed backwards for hundreds of yards before he finally stopped the thing (and saved Lois Lane, by a hairbreadth).

As I read Ian’s articles just now I was thinking what a catch he would make for Peer News. On the other hand, if that meant that he would be sequestered behind a paywall, lost to those of us who don’t believe in gated communities for special people, I’d rather Pierre leave him alone. Or Pierre, you could just push that Donate button that Ian and other bloggers have someplace on their website.

The best news on the web is still free, strange but true.

But I would like to add something to fill out the Mufi picture suggested above. I can’t claim to have investigated this, I do get many tips, leaks and suggestions. Here’s one that refers to a meeting to which the Mayor was invited:

Last night [Thursday, 4/22/2010], Mufi Hannemann attended Honolulu Community College's 90th anniversary Luau. The event was held to honor distinguished alumni. After a few minutes of pleasantries, he immediately jumped on promoting his train focusing on the benefits of a rail station at HCC. No mention of course of the potential for huge traffic jams around the campus during and after construction. What is appropriate to sell the train during an event meant to honor alumni accomplishment? You be the judge.  Someone needs to whisper into his ear that he is turning into a caricature of himself.

Invite hizonner to your luau and you get a train pitch it seems.

Since the report is from a trusted source (thank you, source), I’m happy to bring it to reader attention. Add this anecdote to Ian’s excellent investigative report for a little more insight into the juggernaut that this transit project has become.

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