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Old July 26th, 2015, 03:10 AM   #401
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Quote:
Flamingo restaurant in Pearl City serves its last meals


By Web Staff
Published: July 12, 2015, 6:46 pm
Updated: July 12, 2015, 7:48 pm

The landmark Flamingo restaurant in Pearl City has wrapped up their last day of operations Sunday night.

The local food joint has been open for 35 years, and 25 employees will be out of a job.

On Sunday, customers enjoyed a reunion of sorts, as familiar faces have been coming by since the closure was announced.

“I’ve seen a lot of the regulars come in, you know, that haven’t been here for a long time,” said night manager Delia Idica. “They were saying they’re going to miss us pretty much, and we’re going to miss them as well.”

The owner is blaming the rail project saying business dropped 50-percent since last summer.

Copyright 2015 KHON2. All rights reserved.
Read article here:http://khon2.com/2015/07/12/flamingo...ts-last-meals/
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Old July 26th, 2015, 03:12 AM   #402
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Quote:
Waimalu businesses suffer from rail construction, Zippy’s to close temporarily


By Kristine Uyeno and Web Staff
Published: July 13, 2015, 11:12 am
Updated: July 13, 2015, 8:46 pm

The closure of a longtime Pearl City restaurant has some worried more businesses could soon follow.

On Sunday, Flamingo Restaurant served its last meal after 35 years in that location. It’s not the only company that has seen a downturn in business since work on Kamehameha Highway began.

Just after the lunch rush at Shiro’s Saimin Haven at Waimalu Shopping Center, only a few tables are taken.

Owners say they’ve seen worse. “Some days from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., there’s no one in here. It’s empty,” said Linda Matsuo of Shiro’s.

In the last six to 12 months, Matsuo said “business has not been very well. We’re not doing good.”

Copyright 2015 KHON2. All rights reserved.
Read article here:http://khon2.com/2015/07/13/waimalu-...e-temporarily/
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Old July 26th, 2015, 03:18 AM   #403
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Quote:
HART explains how it’s helping businesses hurt by construction



By Kristine Uyeno and Web Staff
Published: July 14, 2015, 6:09 pm
Updated: July 14, 2015, 6:11 pm

We’ve heard about local businesses closing, permanently and temporarily, because rail work is driving their customers away.

Flamingo, Shiro’s Saimin Haven and Zippy’s Restaurant are just some of the longtime local businesses that have felt the impact of rail construction.

But can anything be done to help? Today, we took that question straight to the top, putting Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s CEO and executive director on the hot seat.

“Do you know of a specific tip or advice that’s been given to a business owner that’s helped?” KHON2 asked.

“There’s a lot of different things we’re trying to do to help businesses. There’s not going to be one silver bullet,” said Dan Grabauskas.

We asked Grabauskas if he could describe one out of the 400 in HART’s business outreach program that’s benefited from its help.

Copyright 2015 KHON2. All rights reserved.
Read article here:http://khon2.com/2015/07/14/hart-exp...-construction/
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Old July 26th, 2015, 03:29 AM   #404
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Quote:
Rail project lane closures end as rail tax extension clears governor’s desk

UPDATED 6:57 PM HST Jul 14, 2015
By Andrew Pereira

HONOLULU —There’s a bit of relief when it comes to construction of the city’s $6.2 billion rail project. The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation announced Tuesday, the elevated guideway for the driverless train has crossed all of the westbound lanes of the H-1 Freeway near the H-2 merge.

"As of today, there will be no further westbound closures of the H1," Dan Grabauskas, HART’s executive director and CEO, announced during a news conference.

Further west, the transit authority said balanced cantilever work over Ft. Weaver road has also finished, so there is no longer a need for lane closures at night.

HART had been closing the Ft. Weaver/Kunia Road overpass near Waipahu and Ewa every night from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.

However, for drivers who use Kamehameha Highway through Aiea and Pearl City, rail construction continues, creating a drag on businesses. HART says lane closures through the area should ease up once utility relocation work is finished by the end of the year.[...]

[...]News that the rail project had reached two more milestones by crossing the H1 and Ft. Weaver Road came on the same day Gov. David Ige allowed a five-year extension of Oahu’s rail tax to become law without his signature. The extension allows the half-percent surcharge to the state’s general excise tax (GET) to remain in place until the end of 2027. The additional tax is enough to cover the project’s $910 million in cost overruns and budget shortfalls, but not enough to fund extensions to the UH Manoa campus or Waikiki.[...]

Copyright 2015 KITV4. All rights reserved.
Read article here:http://www.kitv.com/news/rail-projec...dates/34172452

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Quote:
Governor signs bills to extend rail tax, establish medical marijuana dispensaries
4 bills become law without governor's signature

By Web Staff
Published: July 15, 2015, 12:37 pm
Updated: July 16, 2015, 12:38 pm

Gov. David Ige signed two bills into law Wednesday, including one that extends a tax to pay for Oahu’s $6 billion rail transit project.

HB134 authorizes the counties to extend by another five years the half-percentage point surcharge on state tax. The surcharge will be effective until Dec. 31, 2027.

“The primary reason I signed this bill is because we made a commitment years ago, and we must keep this commitment to see rail to its completion,” Ige said. “I, too, have concerns about cost overruns. The excise tax is an investment by the taxpayers of Hawaii and my job is to ensure that their hard-earned money is being spent efficiently, effectively and productively.”

The governor said he has tasked the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation to submit an annual progress report on revenue, costs and progress of the rail project. It will be used as a tool to guide policy makers in the future to ensure the project stays on schedule and on budget, and to inform the public of the status of their investment.

Copyright 2015 KHON2. All rights reserved.
Read article here:http://khon2.com/2015/07/15/governor...-dispensaries/

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Quote:
Ige signs bill extending rail tax by 5 years

Posted: Jul 15, 2015 12:50 PM HST
Updated: Jul 15, 2015 12:50 PM HST

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Gov. David Ige signed into law HB 134 Relating to Taxation, authorizing the counties to extend by another five years, the half-percentage point surcharge on state tax to continue funding the city’s $6 billion rail transit project. The surcharge will be effective until Dec. 31, 2027.

“The primary reason I signed this bill is because we made a commitment years ago, and we must keep this commitment to see rail to its completion,” said Gov. Ige

Copyright 2015 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.
Read article here:http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/2...tax-by-5-years

+++++++++
Quote:
Honolulu Rail Project Gets a Boost as Ige Signs GET Extension Bill
The governor sets aside his skepticism about extending a surcharge of the General Excise Tax to help pay for a $6 billion project that’s over its budget.

JULY 15, 2015
By NICK GRUBE

Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed a bill Wednesday to extend Honolulu’s rail tax for another five years to help pay for cost overruns.

But Ige also called on the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation — the city agency overseeing construction of the $6 billion project — to provide him with annual reports to help track costs and progress.

“The primary reason I signed this bill is because we made a commitment years ago, and we must keep this commitment to see rail to its completion,” Ige said in a press release. His office has held bill-signing ceremonies for several other measures in recent days.

“I, too, have concerns about cost overruns,” he stated in the release. “The excise tax is an investment by the taxpayers of Hawaii and my job is to ensure that their hard-earned money is being spent efficiently, effectively and productively.”

Copyright 2015 Civil Beat. All rights reserved.
Read article here:http://www.civilbeat.com/2015/07/hon...xtension-bill/
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Old July 26th, 2015, 03:38 AM   #405
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Quote:
Nan Inc. wins contract to build three Oahu rail stations

Jul 17, 2015, 7:07am HST

Honolulu-based Nan Inc. will build three stations in West Oahu for the island's elevated-rail mass-transit system, the agency overseeing the project announced Thursday.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation awarded the contract to Nan, whose $56,088,470 bid was the lowest of four that were submitted. It will build the Hoopili, East Kapolei and UH West Oahu stations.

Other bidders were Watts Constructors, $66.5 million; Hensel Phelps, $67.2 million; and Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co., $73.4 million, HART said.
Hawaiian Dredging already has a $78,999,000 contract to build three other stations — West Loch, Waipahu Transit Center and Leeward Community College.

Copyright 2015 Pacific Business News. All rights reserved.
Read article here:http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/b...oahu-rail.html
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Old July 26th, 2015, 03:41 AM   #406
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Quote:
Rail votes invalid?

Posted: Jul 24, 2015 7:27 PM HST
Updated: Jul 25, 2015 12:24 AM HST
By Rick Daysog

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
More than three miles of the Honolulu rail transit system has already been built. But now, a Honolulu Ethics Commission member is raising questions about the validity of dozens of City Council votes that went into approving the project.

Michael Lilly, a former state Attorney General and vice chair of the Ethics Commission, cited a 1983 appellate court decision that said that any votes taken by a council member who has a conflict of interest -- and does not disclose that conflict -- is automatically disqualified.

Lilly said no lawsuit or court action is needed to set aside the vote.

"If you vote as a board member or as a commissioner or council member without disclosing a conflict, that vote is null and void. It didn't happen," he said.

That could derail any of number of rail-related votes by a half dozen current and former Council members, including Romy Cachola, Donovan Dela Cruz, Nestor Garcia, Todd Apo, Ikaika Anderson and Ann Kobayashi.

Each is accused of receiving hundreds of dollars in free meals and drinks from pro-rail lobbyists.

Copyright 2015 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.
Read article here:http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/2...-votes-invalid
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Old July 26th, 2015, 03:43 AM   #407
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Quote:
Our Voice: Cracks in the Rail
Hawai‘i may need a new tax to fix the budget shortfall

Posted: Saturday, July 25, 2015 5:00 am
By Editorial Staff

With cracks in columns, looming budget deficits, and discrepancies in reported earnings, the challenges the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) faces are unlikely to be fixed easily. Gov. David Ige made the right step forward by signing into law the continuation of the half percent general excise tax (GET). As the governor stated, the continuation is necessary to ensure construction remains on schedule.

Maintaining funding for the project is one of the primary reasons to extend GET, and to match projected shortfalls it is likely that lawmakers will discuss new or higher taxes. One solution to the projected budget shortfall is to increase local property taxes by 5.6 percent. This option is inequitable, because a portion of the riders do not pay property taxes, which places the burden only on homeowners and, indirectly, on renters. If a budget shortfall requires additional tax revenue, GET should be increased – meaning that all residents and visitors of Hawai‘i will pay a fair share to build and maintain the rail.

Copyright 2015 Ka Leo O Hawaii. All rights reserved.
Read article here:http://www.kaleo.org/opinion/our-voi...7c6bd8c13.html
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Old July 26th, 2015, 08:41 AM   #408
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Sooo much news about one little rail line.
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Old August 1st, 2015, 03:23 PM   #409
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Some Updates taken 7-31-15

East Kapolei Station (beginning of rail for phase 1) laying second rail guide way for station (looking north)
image by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr

Rail heading into Waipahu town
Compare shot from 7-11-15
2015-07-11 rail guide past Fort Weaver Rd heading East into Waipahu town unto the rail post ready to receive the guideway tops by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr
To two shots from 7-31-15
image by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr
image by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr

Progress on Maintenance yard, far east end of Waipahu
image by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr

Clearing plants below old Waipahu overpass for future rail columns (looking west)
image by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr
image by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr
image by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr

Progress on large cantilever bridge over H-1 freeway just east of Maintenance yard
image by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr
Looking back the other way (west)
image by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr

Work on Pearl Highlands Station, the beginning of Pearl City (looking west)
coming off the cantilever bridge. Tall station can accommodate park & ride cars below
image by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr
Generic work at Pearl City
image by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr
Next two photos looking west
image by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr
image by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr

Now the far east end of rail (phase 4) demolition of 7 buildings almost complete. The neighborhood looks better already. (1st photo looking south)
image by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr

Compare photos from 7-13-15
2015-07-13 Front fenced and prepped for demolition on Waimanu Street near the end of line at Ala Moana by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr
to 7-31-15 (both looking east)
image by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr

Now looking west at same cleared block
image by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr
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Last edited by creativenative; August 1st, 2015 at 03:33 PM. Reason: left out a photo
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Old August 9th, 2015, 09:09 AM   #410
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Old August 9th, 2015, 09:12 AM   #411
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Quote:
Council chair wants mitigation money for businesses hurt by rail

Posted: Jul 29, 2015 4:40 PM HST
Updated: Jul 29, 2015 6:42 PM HST
By Jim Mendoza

PEARL CITY, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
Kanoa Dilcher said he makes the best decals in the world. But nowadays fewer customers are stopping by his shop to see them, driven away by rail construction on Farrington Highway.

"This was the hub, the middle of the island. People flocked to Pearl City. Now people avoid it at all costs," he said.

Dilcher's complaint is multiplied several times over.

"We're only 20 percent into the project, and already a number of businesses are suffering" Honolulu City Council Chair Ernie Martin said.

Martin and council member Carol Fukunaga want to establish a mitigation fund -- $25 million to $30 million that could be doled out in low or no interest loans or grants to businesses to compensate for lost revenue related to rail. Martin said the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation should help find the money.

Copyright 2015 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.
Read article here:http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/2...s-hurt-by-rail
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Old August 9th, 2015, 09:14 AM   #412
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Quote:
Rail project receives $52 million in tax surcharge revenue

By Web Staff
Published: July 31, 2015, 2:43 pm

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation reported Friday that it received $52.3 million in General Excise and Use Tax (GET) surcharge revenue for the final quarter of fiscal year 2015 for construction of the Honolulu rail project.

The quarterly installment of GET surcharge revenue covers the months of April, May and June, and was about $8 million dollars less than was forecasted for the quarter based on the project’s current financial plan.

Copyright 2015 KHON2. All rights reserved.
Read article here:http://khon2.com/2015/07/31/rail-pro...harge-revenue/
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Old August 9th, 2015, 09:17 AM   #413
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Old August 9th, 2015, 09:21 AM   #414
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Not sure about this one...
Quote:
Double taking rail
Examining its effects on Hawai‘i’s tourism

Posted: Monday, August 3, 2015 5:00 am
Carly Yashiki, Staff Writer

Vacationers traveling from dense urban settings soon may not enjoy an escape from their everyday lives because of O‘ahu’s upcoming rail. They come here hoping for a tropical paradise, but if they encounter familiar rail transit stations instead, it may not be to our economy’s benefit.

One of the reasons we should value tourism is because it’s one of Hawai‘i’s sources of economic stability. Visitors’ interests are made better by O‘ahu’s unique beauty and traditional lifestyle, which we should consider an economic asset. A cheaper alternative to alleviating Honolulu’s infamous traffic without building elevated structures is to use roundabouts.

Copyright 2015 Ka Leo O Hawaii. All rights reserved.
Read article here:http://www.kaleo.org/opinion/double-...30ca7b1ee.html
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Old August 10th, 2015, 06:46 AM   #415
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lol. Honolulu is a big city and comes off as one when visiting, its not some idyllic village. The big highways already in place already sufficiently place the city as an urban area, a rail line isn't going to change anything.
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Old August 12th, 2015, 07:35 AM   #416
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Rail update photos

From Aug. 6, 2015
The Great Rail Wall of Waipahu still growing
2015-8-6 Waipahu rail wall by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr
Rail going over Leoku street Waipahu
2015-8-6 Rail over Leo'ole St., Waipahu by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr
Rail guide way over Fort Weaver Road overpass
2015-8-6 Rail over Ft Weaver Rd by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr

From Aug. 11, 2015
First rail columns in Pearl City (across from Pearl Highlands Center)
image by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr

Wide look of rail cantilever bridges over the H-1 freeway and over its on & off ramps and as it enters into the Pearl Highlands stations (far right columns)
image by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr

This beautiful tree, in the rail path (and others) will be saved Red circles show the bases of the rail columns then rail guide ways will leap over tree
Saved tree on rail path w column bases circled by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr

Rail over 1st urban cross street, Leoku street in Waipahu
image by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr
Than rail guide ways coming over Waipahu's West Loch station
image by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr
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Old August 13th, 2015, 03:43 PM   #417
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It appears construction is accelerating or maybe that's just me....
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Old August 14th, 2015, 02:26 PM   #418
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It is on multiple fronts so in that sense yes. Also I think the crews and management are getting their routines down so they are working more efficiently so the pace has stepped up.

Last edited by creativenative; August 14th, 2015 at 02:38 PM.
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Old August 19th, 2015, 12:57 AM   #419
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Shots from Aug 15th

More rail columns added in Pearl City across from Pearl Highlands Shopping Center by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr

A significant addition to the construction of Honolulu's rail project, a third way of adding the preformed rail guideway sections to the line. These massive steel beams could be permanent or temporary. Not sure but we will see what happens next.
New point of rail guide way placing at Pearl Highlands station by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr
Another shot of Pearl Highlands station construction by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr

Couple artsy graphic sections completed. I think the near finish product is much nicer and better proportioned than what the rail opposition thought.
Graphic shot of rail line in Kapolei by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr
The height here is the exception because it just flew over a busy overpass but it is still good looking, especially compared to an eight lane freeway overpass.
Graphic shot of rail line over Fort Weaver overpass by cre8ive na8ive, on Flickr
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Old August 19th, 2015, 03:35 AM   #420
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Looking good , how long intill we see the first test trains?
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