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President's Message (Arlene Ellis)
Annual Meeting
Answering Questions about the League Can Help Increase Membership
Proposed Budget FY 1992-1993
League of Women Voters Presents (Dee Lum)
Nominating Committee Report - 1991
Another Unpublished Letter to the Editor
Legislators and Public Wising Up on Rail (George Mason)
1992 Development Plan Amendment Package (Astrid Monson)

Another Unpublished Letter to the Editor

Honolulu Advertiser
February 13, 1992

15 years ago Andrew Hamer wrote "The Selling of Rail Rapid Transit", which described the high pressure tactics used by rail promoters in Atlanta, Miami, Washington D.C. etc.

Nothing has changed. On 2/6 the Hawaii Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America held a meeting entitled "On Track" - The Selling of Honolulu's Mass Transit. It was described as a "candid, behind-thescenes assessment of how the project was sold to many diverse publics."

It was certainly candid. Among the revelations made were:

  1. Honolulu Taxpayers for Traffic Solutions (formerly MASS TRANSIT NOW) as started with $50,000 from Mayor Fasi's campaign chest, $50,000 from governor Waihee's campaign chest, funding from the 5 bidders of the project, and other private funding from interested parties.

  2. Under the guidance of nationally known transit public relations firm Adler Wilson of San Francisco, HTTS' job is to "influence public opinion to support the City's rail transit project.

  3. HITS was a "grass tops" effort in which organized big business and government decided to "mobilize passive support" to make it look like a "grass roots" effort.

  4. Opposition to rail comes from "proliferation of small, local groups causing us to become a patchwork quilt of single-issue minded communities".

  5. These groups represent people who are "always against large public works projects, their only job is to create doubt, they are antiestablishment, don't trust government, and are afraid of the future".

It is only rarely that the public is treated to such candid revelations describing how we are manipulated by vested interests. We are grateful to the organizers of the Feb. 6 meeting for Letting us in on these secrets.

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