Special Correspondent

Bob Porterfield

Key Rail Contractor Tangled Up in Fraud Allegations in Hawaii Courts Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Key Rail Contractor Tangled Up in Fraud Allegations in Hawaii Courts

Nan Inc. recently won a $56 million contract to build three West Oahu rail stations. The company, which has taken advantage of federal minority business programs, is at the center of state and federal lawsuits alleging questionable business practices.
Rail Operating Costs: A Looming Financial Crisis That Will Cost Taxpayers Billions Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Rail Operating Costs: A Looming Financial Crisis That Will Cost Taxpayers Billions

HART's best guess is that running the trains will cost at least $1.7 billion for just the first 12 years. City financial documents suggest officials likely will raise property taxes to pay for operations and maintenance.
Inside the Rail Checkbook: More than $1 Billion Spent but Few Details to Go Along With It Nick Grube/Civil Beat

Inside the Rail Checkbook: More than $1 Billion Spent but Few Details to Go Along With It

A lack of information about how the city has spent more than $1.4 billion in public money is prompting concerns by the governor and City Council members.
Secret Subcontractors: What Honolulu Rail Officials Aren’t Telling You Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Secret Subcontractors: What Honolulu Rail Officials Aren’t Telling You

HART officials insist they don't have the authority to know how much subcontractors are being paid, but contract documents suggest otherwise.
Math Problem: Does Honolulu Rail GET Shortfall Really Add Up? Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Math Problem: Does Honolulu Rail GET Shortfall Really Add Up?

A review of HART's records on the surcharge suggests lawmakers trying to decide if taxpayers should cough up billions of dollars more in taxes will be hard-pressed to follow the rail project's fuzzy arithmetic.
At Least $1.25B Has Been Spent on Rail So Far, But Where Has All the Money Gone? Cory Lum/Civil Beat

At Least $1.25B Has Been Spent on Rail So Far, But Where Has All the Money Gone?

The rail project has been in the works for more than 10 years but city and HART officials still can't — or won't — say what the money has been spent on. Secrecy over tens of millions of dollars in payments to subcontractors is only one troubling aspect.
The Health Fund’s Quest for Solvency PF Bentley/Civil Beat

The Health Fund’s Quest for Solvency

Public officials search for solutions to one of the nation's largest unfunded liabilities, the $18.7 billion hole in the Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund.
Actuarially Speaking

Actuarially Speaking

Hawaii pension fund relies on highly educated guesses of what the future holds.
City Financial Tower: Betting on a Building PF Bentley/Civil Beat

City Financial Tower: Betting on a Building

Hawaii Employees' Retirement System spends millions of dollars on a local investment.
Investments: Gambling With Public Money PF Bentley/Civil Beat

Investments: Gambling With Public Money

The Hawaii Employees' Retirement System pours billions of dollars into stocks, timber and real estate trying to secure the best return. But at what risk?
Debt Details: New Rules To Force Greater Accountability Civil Beat

Debt Details: New Rules To Force Greater Accountability

Beginning with FY 2015, each government participating in the ERS will be required to disclose its share of annual pension costs and accumulated debt.
Will Hawaii Ever Climb Out of Its $27 Billion Hole? PF Bentley/Civil Beat

Will Hawaii Ever Climb Out of Its $27 Billion Hole?

Taxpayers could see important services cut or higher taxes if they have to pay even more for pensions and health care benefits for retired public workers.
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