November 2006 Home   Newsletters

January 2007

February 2007

President's Message (Piilani Kaopuiki)
Rail Proponents Turn Down Prime Time on Television (Pearl Johnson)
PBS's Island Insights Hosts League (Pearl Johnson)
Rail Plan Information on the Internet (Pearl Johnson)
Ah Quon McElrath Addresses League (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Rail vs Bus Decision Coming (Charles Carole & Pearl Johnson)

PBS's Island Insights Hosts League

On January 8 Dan Boylan hosted proponents of bus mass transit. I appeared as chair of League’s Planning & Transportation committee along with Cliff Slater and UH professor Panos Prevedouros on PBS Hawaii’s Island Insights.

The story of how we got on this program bears sharing with League members.

At the regular November meeting of the P & T committee, the agenda was to plan a community meeting to discuss the controversial and hugely expensive rail transit plan. However, Charles Carole had invited some allies in our opposition to rail: Cliff Slater, who led the fight against rail in the 1990’s; Dale Evans, chairman of Hawaii Highway Users Alliance (HHUA); and David Rolf, HHUA member.

The three of them persuaded me that we had to get on television before the City Council voted to approve rail in late December. They said the ideal format was the recent League-sponsored Akaka bill forum with a live audience at PBS Hawaii and simultaneously broadcast on a commercial station. The best commercial station would be KHON because it had the biggest news audience.

I doubted that television was possible, but they argued that the sterling reputation of the League of Women Voters would make it possible. So I said I would try. When I called PBS Hawaii and KHON, neither of them said no.

However, PBS Hawaii was not willing to devote an hour to the subject in the format we suggested. They offered instead an appearance on Island Insights with Dan Boylan. But the first available slot on that program was Christmas day. Rather than compete with Christmas and New Year, we chose to appear on January 8.

The story of the aborted KHON appearance is on page 1.

Pearl Johnson

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