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Thread: Rail Transit

  1. #976

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by joshuatree View Post
    This project isn't done for the sake of the construction industry, it's a needed infrastructure to supporters like me.
    So we agree to judge rail on the merits of the completed project and not the temporary jobs it creates? That's all I want.

  2. #977

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by GeckoGeek View Post
    So we agree to judge rail on the merits of the completed project and not the temporary jobs it creates? That's all I want.
    Yes, we're in agreement. I've always supported the rail project based on its merits alone (which of course has multitudes of debate), but I also see a secondary benefit that's being more and more pronounced with a declining economy.

  3. #978

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by GeckoGeek View Post
    I still think everyone is chasing the wrong power source. Solar thermal may have some promise, but there's some huge problems with Solar PV. I think the answer is biofuels. And biofuels work nicely in diesel engines.
    Not just solar. The big one is geothermal. The state's department of business and economic development is working toward the installation of submarine power cables to link islands together. Power generated by Lanai's PV system will be transmitted to Maui, for example. Longer spans in deeper water is possible. A similar system is being planned to link India with Sri Lanka. There's already one installed between Australia and Tasmania. And there's one planned to span 650 miles from Oregon to California.

    Geothermal can provide base power for the entire state. Local powerplants can help with peak loads.

    Biodiesel is certainly a good option, too. And thermo depolymerization is still being developed as a means of turning garbage into fuel and other minerals -- that would be a huge help in reducing the problem of solid waste disposal while also providing an additional fuel source.

  4. #979

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by joshuatree View Post
    I also see a secondary benefit that's being more and more pronounced with a declining economy.
    Although I have to wonder just how much the government can really do. While the Feds can print money, the city and state must pull money out of the economy (in this case in the form of a 0.5% tax) in order to create jobs. I have a problem believing that one can tax and spend their way to prosperity.

  5. #980

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by GeckoGeek View Post
    Although I have to wonder just how much the government can really do. While the Feds can print money, the city and state must pull money out of the economy (in this case in the form of a 0.5% tax) in order to create jobs. I have a problem believing that one can tax and spend their way to prosperity.
    Consider it an investment. Fewer unemployed means more money moving toward paying rent or mortages, groceries, gas, and so on. It helps keep businesses alive and other people employed.

  6. #981

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by Composite 2992 View Post
    Consider it an investment. Fewer unemployed means more money moving toward paying rent or mortages, groceries, gas, and so on. It helps keep businesses alive and other people employed.
    But the money is coming from people who are spending. If it wasn't for that 0.5% tax, they'd have more money to spend which in turn would fuel the economy directly and naturally. Just because it's being done in many little chunks doesn't mean it's not hurting anything by doing that.

  7. #982

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by GeckoGeek View Post
    But the money is coming from people who are spending. If it wasn't for that 0.5% tax, they'd have more money to spend which in turn would fuel the economy directly and naturally. Just because it's being done in many little chunks doesn't mean it's not hurting anything by doing that.
    It's going toward a project that increases the size of the workforce. It's hundreds of thousands of people giving up a tiny amount of their income to help get several hundred or a few thousand others a living wage. All while building something that will benefit tens of thousands of commuters. It might also help get our state less reliant on outside energy sources.

  8. #983

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by GeckoGeek View Post
    But the money is coming from people who are spending. If it wasn't for that 0.5% tax, they'd have more money to spend which in turn would fuel the economy directly and naturally. Just because it's being done in many little chunks doesn't mean it's not hurting anything by doing that.
    Upfront, yes. But isn't that the premise of investing? Say you set aside X dollars a month to invest in a savings account. That's money that could have been spent. But you're looking at the return in the long run.

  9. #984
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    Default Re: Rail Transit

    A tax is not an investment. When people invest they do it voluntarily. When people are taxed it is forced upon us. All taxes are forced upon us by government.

    I'm still here. Are you?

  10. #985

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by mel View Post
    A tax is not an investment. When people invest they do it voluntarily. When people are taxed it is forced upon us. All taxes are forced upon us by government.
    So building every public piece of infrastructure is not an investment in that society?

  11. #986
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    Default Re: Rail Transit

    You cannot escape the fact that taxes are forced upon us by government and that if we don't pay them, the penalties are quite dire and severe.

    Public infrastructure is part of government's obligation to use those taxes wisely.

    Rail is not a wise use of taxes. It is wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars.

    Enough said.

    I'll let you folks continue with your lust-fest for paying more money and yakking about this incredibly expensive rail.
    I'm still here. Are you?

  12. #987

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by mel View Post
    Rail is not a wise use of taxes. It is wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars.
    That is your opinion of the matter which at the end of the day, each one of us is entitled to. But the fact remains, a vote was taken for this project and it passed. I'm tired of hearing about all these conspiracy theories of how improper influence was done yadda, yadda, yadda.

    For once, I actually applaud Djou. Despite his objection to the rail project, when an outright vote was taken and the rail project passed, he's accepted and is now channeling his energy towards constructive purposes, such as how to correct and better the rail project.

    That very link you provided showing wasteful spending, I've already discovered some very shady manipulation of data and fabrication of numbers to pitch its argument. Makes it no better than the supposed evil gov't it bashes upon.

  13. #988
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    Default Re: Rail Transit

    I agree with Mel that rail is a waste. The city proposes to take several billion out of Hawaii taxpayers' pockets to build a system that they project will reduce traffic by 7%.

    That's very little bang for a huge amount of bucks.

    Rail has not alleviated traffic anywhere in the US. Why do we think it will work here?

  14. #989
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    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by joshuatree View Post
    But the fact remains, a vote was taken for this project and it passed.
    Actually no, there was never a vote taken for this project. What was voted on by the citizens are:

    1) A statewide vote allowing the state to raise the state general excise tax (GET) from 4% to 4.5% on a county by county basis and that raised .5% goes to fund that county's mass transit system. While the City & County of Honolulu has done that option, I don't know the status of Kauai, Maui and Hawaii counties in regreads to the GET raise, if they did it or what is their mass tranist plan. I do know that the Hawaii county bus system people can ride on it for free, if that was because of the GET raise or not I have no idea.

    2) A Honolulu county wide vote on allowing the use of rail as means of mass transit for this county.

  15. #990

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by helen View Post
    Actually no, there was never a vote taken for this project. What was voted on by the citizens are:

    1) A statewide vote allowing the state to raise the state general excise tax (GET) from 4% to 4.5% on a county by county basis and that raised .5% goes to fund that county's mass transit system. While the City & County of Honolulu has done that option, I don't know the status of Kauai, Maui and Hawaii counties in regreads to the GET raise, if they did it or what is their mass tranist plan. I do know that the Hawaii county bus system people can ride on it for free, if that was because of the GET raise or not I have no idea.

    2) A Honolulu county wide vote on allowing the use of rail as means of mass transit for this county.
    1) As I understand, no other county has chosen the option to raise the GET tax an additional 0.5% for their mass transit plan.

    2) Given the well known city rail project and the continued advancement of the project to the next phase, it's implicit the vote allowing the use of rail as means of mass transit is acknowledgment and approval of the rail project. Otherwise, both sides did not need to bring out all stops in campaigning right up to the 11th hour before the vote.

  16. #991

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Rail is expensive, but compared to what?

    If spending taxes on government projects are a waste of taxpayer dollars, then why are my tax dollars being spent on schools on the neighbor islands? Why is it going toward paying for an airport on Upolu Point? Why should I help fund welfare cases living on the beach? I don't benefit from these projects so why should I care?

    It's a social cost. As Americans we all agreed to stand by one another. If that weren't true, why are people enlisting in the military to risk getting torn to shreds? It's because they're willing to stand up for the rest of us. And in return, we support them with our tax dollars to get them the equipment and munitions they need to do their job.

    So if you're going to declare rail a waste, then please stand and declare the entire military a waste, too. After all, the Marines aren't there in the kitchen helping to do the dishes, are they? So why would they deserve to get our money?

    Oahu is getting very crowded. There was a time not long ago when places like Kaena Point, Makapuu Point and Hanauma Bay were deserted. Pearl City was the boonies. Today Pearlridge is almost considered "town".

    The growing population requires an energy-efficient and space-efficient transportation solution. It won't be cheap. But the options aren't cheap, either. Cars can do it, but at what cost?

    There's the obvious cost to the environment. Then there's the cost of accidents, the resulting injuries and loss of productivity. Reduce the injury and death rate from ordinary commuting, and you're already saving a significant amount of money each year.

    Not everyone is able to afford to drive. And it'll only get worse. Last year the IRA increased the writeoff from 50.5 cents to 58.5 cents per mile. Almost a 16% increase. A 30-mile round-trip commute costs the average driver more than $17 a day. That's not a theory, that's real life. Right now. For someone making minimum wage, that could be 30% of that day's pay spent just to get to work! How does that make any sense at all? People talk about car pooling but that's often not practical and generally not practiced.

    In 10 years expect the price of gas to be astronomical by today's standards. As this island gets even more crowded in the near future, efficient mass transit will not be optional. And you can't build it then. These need to be built starting right now. Today. Because tomorrow is too late.

  17. #992

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by Composite 2992 View Post
    It's going toward a project that increases the size of the workforce. It's hundreds of thousands of people giving up a tiny amount of their income to help get several hundred or a few thousand others a living wage.
    The question is, where would that money have gone if it wasn't taxed? How can you say that wouldn't have translated into several hundred jobs anyway? Just because it's hard to quantify the impact of the small amounts doesn't mean there wasn't an impact. It seems to me that the jobs benefit is being conjured out of nothing.

  18. #993

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by GeckoGeek View Post
    The question is, where would that money have gone if it wasn't taxed? How can you say that wouldn't have translated into several hundred jobs anyway? Just because it's hard to quantify the impact of the small amounts doesn't mean there wasn't an impact. It seems to me that the jobs benefit is being conjured out of nothing.
    It's a good question but here's some food for thought. How much benefit did Bush's $300 tax rebate stimulus do? Did it spark an economic rebound?

    The rail tax is 0.5%. I'll double it to 1% for my sample. So someone living on Oahu will need to spend $30,000 in goods and/or services in a year to equate to that $300 which seemed to have done so little under Bush's rebate plan. How many spend $30k net pay a year? If we went back to 0.5%, it means one needs to spend $60k a year. How many of us do that? Yes, I know there are some but I really doubt the majority of us spend $60k net pay a year.

    By pooling our individual 0.5% little impacts into one massive project, we are also eligible to attract up to $1.4 billion from the feds per the DEIS and now that we have chosen the airport route. Granted, this is not a done deal yet but the rail project won't fly without this fed contribution. So where else can individual, separate 0.5% impacts be able to attract up to $1.4 billion?

    What is your thought on massive public works like the Hoover Dam during the Great Depression? I'm sure taxpayers in New York never got to benefit from it directly. But it did generate thousands of jobs and provided an infrastructure that benefits the American Southwest to this very day.

  19. #994

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by joshuatree View Post
    What is your thought on massive public works like the Hoover Dam during the Great Depression? I'm sure taxpayers in New York never got to benefit from it directly. But it did generate thousands of jobs and provided an infrastructure that benefits the American Southwest to this very day.
    Based on the power and water it creates and how it feeds the country, I'd say it's a great success.

    As for the jobs it created in building it? Well, that benefit has long disappeared. I'm sure it was good to those who worked on it. That was a very nasty time.

    I couldn't find in a quick Google how the dam was financed. It's possible the government just extended a loan and it re-payed itself from the power and the water. If our rail system could do the same, it would have very little opposition.

  20. #995
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    Lightbulb Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by helen View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by joshuatree View Post
    But the fact remains, a vote was taken for this project and it passed.
    Actually no, there was never a vote taken for this project. What was voted on by the citizens are: ...A Honolulu county wide vote on allowing the use of rail as means of mass transit for this county.
    Sorry to call you on this one, helen, but I did vote in the last election and I distinctly remember that Honolulu citizens DID vote on this specific project. From the Star-Bulletin:

    In a unanimous vote yesterday, the City Council approved a ballot question that would ask voters, “Shall the powers, duties, and functions of the city, through its director of transportation services, include establishment of a steel wheel on steel rail transit system?”

    So it was this train voters were casting their ballots for or against. Because regardless of the route, there is only one steel-on-steel rail project on the table.

    We can’t be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans.

    — U.S. President Bill Clinton
    USA TODAY, page 2A
    11 March 1993

  21. #996
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    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Seven months later, you want call her out? The wheels seem to grind slowly, but exceedingly fine.

    The measure said "a steel wheel on steel rail transit system", not THIS steel wheel on steel rail system. It could apply to support for the expansion of the Ewa Train with equal validity. We didn't vote on any other system specifics, so there's no reason to pretend a specific transit system has been chosen or approved by voters.
    May I always be found beneath your contempt.

  22. #997
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    Thumbs down Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by salmoned View Post
    The measure said "a steel wheel on steel rail transit system", not THIS steel wheel on steel rail system. It could apply to support for the expansion of the Ewa Train with equal validity. We didn't vote on any other system specifics, so there's no reason to pretend a specific transit system has been chosen or approved by voters.
    Yep, that's the choice we were given: steel on steel railway or NOTHING!

    "Shall the powers, duties, and functions of the city, through its director of transportation services, include establishment of a steel wheel on steel rail transit system?"

    That's a choice? A choice would include Mag-Lev, Rubber on Concrete and/or other types of rail, if developed, or would not specify Mufi's private dictatorial pork. So how did we respond?

    146,764 Votes for rail transit - almost 53%
    132,268 Votes against rail transit - about 47%

    From the Advertiser's report:
    "Hannemann last night attempted to reach out to the nearly half of the voters who opposed the project.
    "All I ask (is) for those who still may disagree with it is let's find ways in which you can support this effort," he said. "The feeling has been that the people decide and the people have spoken."
    Vocal rail critic Cliff Slater of Stop Rail Now said the 47 percent who voted against rail indicates there is still strong opposition to the plan.
    "When you've got that many against you, that's hardly an indication of community consensus for rail," Slater said."

    How about a choice on the ballot that says:
    "Shall the powers, duties, and functions of the city, through its dictator of choice, include establishment of a means to protect the populace against death by unspecified means by establishing a system of universal incarceration?"

    Rail via 'my way or the highway' vs. no traffic solution.

    Life via imposed incarceration or death.

    Perhaps it's an extreme comparison. No, it is an extreme comparison.
    Sometimes extremes are necessary to wake people.

    Let's face it, Honolulu: We've been RAILROADED!

    AKA: Government of the special interests, by the special interests and for the special interests.

    I'd bet that if we were given latitude in the type of rail, support would have been over 90%.
    Be Yourself. Everyone Else Is Taken!
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    Oh Chu. If only you could have seen what I've seen, with your eyes.

  23. #998

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Gotta love how the Mufster's propaganda machine operates. The mayor is Midweek's latest coverboy. Reason? To trumpet his 2009 Distinguished Citizen award from the local Boy Scouts council. A pure P.R. puff piece, if you ask me.

    http://www.midweek.com/content/story...ufi_hannemann/

    Hmmm, no mention of wife Gail being the CEO of the Hawaii Girl Scouts Council, is there? You don't think that had anything to do with this award? No, perish the thought!!!!

    The Mufster will need all the positive publicity he can get, in the midst of a reported $500 million shortfall in tax collection for the rail project.

    http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/ar...ll++500M+short

    http://www.kitv.com/mostpopular/20484006/detail.html

    And if the mayor can't get the feds or the state to cover the gap, he's going to be forced to raise taxes on Oahu,... again. If that happens, he can forget about the governorship in 2010. No amount of P.R. flattery from his "friends" in the media and/or political muckraking against his rivals will ever get Honolulu voters to forgive him in time for the next election.

  24. #999

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Did anyone see Mufi's informercial? Was it spooktacular?

  25. #1000

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    I guess we can put this issue as ainokea.

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