Peter, Paul & Mary sang a popular folk song back in the 1960s that had the following prophetic words: When will they ever learn?
By a unanimous vote, the Hawaii Supreme Court found that the rules governing the state Historic Preservation Division "do not permit the SHPD to concur in the rail project" until the city finishes the survey to determine whether there are Native Hawaiian burials or other archaeological resources in the path of the rail line. In other words, they do not permit the SHPD to consider the rail project in four separate phases for the purpose of historic preservation review.
Attorney David Frankel stated that plaintiff "has been trying for years to persuade SHPD to require that developers complete all of the required archaeological inventory surveys before the agency allows any development to proceed." Instead, the agency chose to expedite construction by allowing work to begin before the surveys are finished.
The Superferry debacle was also the result of elected officials and bureaucrats trying to circumvent the requirements of the law by their questionable interpretation of the statutes and their subsequent actions in trying to justify their position. The Supreme Court voted unanimously on two separate cases that what the government did to achieve its stated goal was wrong. Sadly, instead of choosing the straight and narrow path, our elected leaders chose to go down the crooked and dark road that led to the sinking of the Superferry and the derailing of the mass transit program.
William T. Kinaka