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May 1998

June-July 1998

Did Yesterday's Dream Come True? (Dee Jay Mailer)
President's Message (Grace Furukawa)
Decisions on Tax Changes Near (Astrid Monson)
L.A. Rail Project Stalled (Arlene Ellis)
Voter Service
VAWA Planning Committee Meets (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Title IX Today
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L.A. Rail Project Stalled

The December, 1995 Voter carried an article titled "But For The Grace of God", which detailed the troubles the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority was experiencing in its construction of a $5.8 billion rail transit system. Budget overruns, dangerously faulty construction law suits, damage to adjacent property, mismanagement, low ridership, and fiscal problems were among the difficulties which a leading economic review said "may at best bring the runaway Metropolitan Transit Authority to a halt."

Well, it has happened. The 4/12/98 Advertiser published an article titled "Los Angeles Rail Project Stalls – $5.5 billion, 20 Years Spent on Subway Fiasco." Although this leaves the sprawling city with half a commuter system that doesn't go where most commuters need to go, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority continues to hope for a miracle cure. The sentiments of Steve Kim, manager of Lee's Transmission northwest of downtown who has a large hole dug by the transportation authority for its North Hollywood line outside his shop, covered in steel plates is the understatement of the day: "They open it up and they close it. They open it up and they close it. Sixteen times they open it up and close it. I am not happy."

Once more, Honolulu has been shown to be fortunate to decide in the early nineties to squelch the then planned rail system, or we could be in the same position as Los Angeles, and find many of our citizens unhappy.

Efforts to build rail here has not ceased, however. For the last two years, the Legislature has considered proposals for a rail system from Waikiki to various tourist destinations thinly disguised as a "people mover system". With the former OTS representative, now head of the Department of Transportation Systems under his wing, Mayor Harris wants $8.2 million to study a rail trolley system, presumably at grade, patterned after Portland. The following Corky's Hawaii cartoon tells it all.

Arlene Ellis
Transportation Chair

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