Judge’s Decision Looms Over Honolulu Rail

Honolulu Civil Beat
Nick Grube 08/21/2012

A federal judge from California is now the central figure in a legal fight that could decide the fate of the controversial $5.26 billion rail project and perhaps even determine who will be Honolulu’s next mayor.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge A. Wallace Tashima heard what might be the final arguments in a federal lawsuit that aims to stop the contentious transit project.

But aside from the laborious posturing of the legal teams on both sides, the most interesting aspect of Tuesday’s proceeding has to do with what didn’t happen.

Tashima, who presided over the case after most of Honolulu’s federal judges recused themselves, did not make a decision. He also didn’t give an indication of when he would finally rule.

Both the decision and when it comes down are key to the future of Honolulu rail.

If Tashima sides with the anti-rail plaintiffs, it could significantly delay and even kill the project.

Tashima’s timing matters too. If he rules before the Nov. 6 election he could sway the race for Honolulu mayor, which pits former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano against the city’s former managing director Kirk Caldwell.

Cayetano, who is a plaintiff in the federal lawsuit, is anti-rail and is pushing his candidacy as a referendum on the project. Caldwell, on the other hand, is a supporter of rail but wants to reconsider its design and reduce its visual impacts.

Read more at Honolulu Civil Beat…



Jim Caldwell
Redondo Beach


About jw60sea

Jim Caldwell has over 26 years of experience in the public safety sector in occupations ranging from professional ski patrol, and ocean lifeguard to firefighter. Jim has worked for the Redondo Beach Fire Department for the last 22 years holding successively higher positions of responsibility. For the last six years, Jim has held the rank of Engineer with responsibility for driving and operating the Department’s Engines and Tillered Aerial Ladder Truck. Throughout his career, he has shown a dedication not only to public safety but also community service.
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