The Sunshine Blog: It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Skyline! - Honolulu Civil Beat

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The Sunshine Editorial Board

The members of Civil Beat’s editorial board focused on ‘Let The Sunshine In’ are Patti Epler, Chad Blair and Richard Wiens.

Short takes, outtakes, our takes and other stuff you should know about public information, government accountability and ethical leadership in Hawaii.

All aboard? For years Honolulu journalists have used adjectives such as “troubled” and “beleaguered” to describe the Honolulu rail project, which is way over-budget, long behind schedule and stopping 4 miles short from its original destination.

But on Friday the media savvy Blangiardi administration moved to rebrand the rail line, officially announcing that the soon-to-be-open, almost-11-miles-long transit system is called Skyline.

Actually, Civil Beat reported the new name weeks ago, May 10 to be exact, after reporter Marcel Honore overheard city officials using it at a meeting he attended. Given the headline on that day’s story: “All Aboard ‘Skyline’: City Plans To Start Rail Service On 4th of July Weekend,” The Sunshine Blog is wondering why two months later the city is announcing the news at a press conference as if it were a big reveal. Darn you, Marcel, for actually paying attention and asking questions.

Skyline also breaks the pattern of the TheBus and TheHandi-Van. There was even a short-lived ferry service between Kalaeloa and Aloha Tower called TheBoat during the Hannemann administration.

But there will be no TheTrain or TheRail, it seems. Still, Skyline is an improvement over Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project.

The Blog will have more to report on Skyline next week. All media (not just the Honolulu Star-Advertiser) has been invited to a “rail preview ride” on Thursday.

Actual photo caption from the city: “A Skyline train approaching the Hālawa Aloha Stadium Skyline station.” (City and County of Honolulu photo/2023)

Scary movie: A Netflix film crew was attacked by sharks while trying to film a documentary in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, the New York Post reported Saturday.

This is a newspaper that generally has headlines to admire, and while this one was tame compared to others on the same page, it certainly did its job and caught The Sunshine Blog’s eye:

It seems some tiger sharks described by the film crew as “hungry” attacked them not once but twice as they were trying to capture footage of Laysan albatross for a documentary.

Hmmm. Your Sunshine Bloggers are not professional filmmakers but we are pretty sure we would not venture into the water again after the first attack. We saw “Jaws” too.

Follow the money: Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke held a pair of fundraisers in Washington, D.C., during the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii’s “Hawaii on the Hill” event. On June 11, she reported hosting a fundraiser at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse downtown where the suggested donation was $500.

The following day Luke held a joint fundraiser with state Rep. Scott Nishimoto, who was also in Washington for the event, at the offices of Kadesh & Associates, a D.C.-based lobbying firm named after Mark Kadesh, former chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Suggested donation: $500 to $1,000.

  • A Special Commentary Project

Meanwhile, this just in, more info on state Sen. Stanley Chang’s June 13 fundraiser at a New York City penthouse, first reported by your astute Sunshine Bloggers last week. Property records show the place is owned by Evan Lushing. A quick internet search for Lushing turns up a former Harvard grad (like Chang), who wrote a satirical book about Facebook in which he describes himself in his author bio as someone who “holds a degree in Mathematics, wrote for the Harvard Lampoon, and is a bona fide YouTube celeb.”

Off and running: Chang and Luke aren’t on the ballot again until 2026. Same goes for Gov. Josh Green, but he’s already looking for kala, too.

Last week his campaign emailed a pitch for donations, stating that Green — in spite of being in office only six months — “has already delivered major results for Hawaii, working effectively with the legislature to pass critical bills investing in affordable housing, fighting homelessness, reducing the cost of living for working families, expanding access to healthcare, and more.”

Excerpt from an emailed fundraising plea from Friends of Josh Green on June 15. (Screenshot/2023)

Line-item criticism: Former Gov. Ben Cayetano took a shot at Green Thursday on his Facebook page over the current governor’s action to cut $1 billion from the state budget.

Cayetano’s wife, Vicky, you’ll recall, lost to Green in the 2022 Democratic primary. Guess it’s too soon to let the healing begin.

Cayetano’s post drew a stream of some positive comments, but not all. “It’s turning out to be a pissing contest with these guys,” wrote Georgi Maile of Kaneohe.

Cayetano’s response: “do yourself a favor block me.”

The two appear to have since patched things up. Maile wrote back, “Ben Cayetano im sorry if I offended, Governor. I am just disappointed in current leadership. I agree with your comments.”

Cayetano: thumbs up!


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About the Author

The Sunshine Editorial Board

The members of Civil Beat’s editorial board focused on ‘Let The Sunshine In’ are Patti Epler, Chad Blair and Richard Wiens.

Latest Comments (0)

Skyline is already take by NYC, where it is a beautiful walking path from Mid-town, to Chelsea. A converted rail line alongside the East river with spectacular views for locals and tourists alike to walk along landscaped pathways, separated from the traffic below. This is a wonderful vision for Honolulu, as we may soon find out that the cost to run and maintain "da rail" will cost more than its worth. It could be our first true bike path, albeit a $12B one.

wailani1961 · 3 months ago

When I hear skyline i think of the world famous Skyline Chili…I wonder if they actually paid and advertising agency for this.

TimmyG · 3 months ago

This DC trip and fundraisers just shows that we need CB shining a light. It stinks

96822Lisa · 3 months ago

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