Honolulu HI - The Hawaii Reporter has a commentary piece by Don Newman which points out a very important matter that has Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann upset. It is the fact that Honolulu is letting its city infrastructure fall apart while the mayor pushes for his "Mufi Express" rail project.
The US EPA has recently ordered the city to upgrade its sewage treatment plant after a large sewage spill last year. The mayor is upset by this because the city can't afford to upgrade the sewage treatment plant and build his rail line. He calls the EPA decree "unreasonable, untimely, unfair and unnecessary."
Honolulu also has other crumbling infrastructure related to the sewage system and that is the pipes underground. This brings me to ask if the sewage system is in such dire straits that it can't handle the requirements of its residents, what else on the island is falling apart and being put off so that Mufi can build his rail line?
This goes back to the point I have made so many times. too many cities are jumping on the rail bandwagon when they just can't afford it. It appears that in Honolulu, the mayor plans on paying for the rail line by risking the residents health. Let's all agree here, a large sewage spill from a waste treatment plant is hardly a healthy and sanitary event. Crumbling sewage pipes don't exactly conjure up images of sanitary conditions either.
Yet that seems to be what Mufi wants as he's at the point of having to choose between his legacy line or repairing the sewage system. He can't get the face time or anything to hang his brass plaque on by repairing the sewage plant and is now whining to put the sewage project off so he can continue on with his rail line. I'm waiting now to read headlines like "Mayor mandates no more than 2 flushes a day", "Mayor decrees rail will solve sewage problem" and "Mayor says turds won't hurt you".
In all seriousness, what is happening in Honolulu is happening in every city. Crumbling infrastructure and politicians that are finding new ways to spend money on everything except on what it needs to be spent on. In Honolulu and many other cities, that new way to spend money is on a rail line. The phrase "fix what you have before adding more" just doesn't seem to be understood by the politicians in their rush to spend taxpayer money.