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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, February 22, 2010

Lingle, transportation secretary discuss rail plans


Advertiser Staff

Gov. Linda Lingle, in Washington for the National Governors Association's annual winter meeting, told Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood that her administration plans to conduct a separate financial analysis of Honolulu's plans for a rail system.

"I let the secretary know that we would be doing a separate, independent financial analysis of the plan for the rail, and I suggested to him that we take our financial analysis and the one that they will have done that the government requires at the federal level and share that information so we're all working from the same set of numbers," Lingle said in a satellite feed to Hawai'i news broadcasters yesterday.

"We talked about the TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant they just awarded for our state harbors a $25 million grant as well as the proposed rail system for Honolulu," Lingle said. "... We also talked about some proposed flights from Haneda airport in Japan into Honolulu that Hawaiian Air has applied for as well as Delta some of the new slots that are coming open. It was a good, well-rounded discussion on harbors, on the rail as well as on airports."

Lingle also met with Zhou Wenzhou, China's ambassador to the United States, to reinforce Hawai'i's efforts to attract Chinese visitors and promote the export of Hawai'i products and services to China. Lingle will travel to China in June to promote Hawai'i exports at the Shanghai Expo, work on tourism issues and commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the sister-state relationship with Guangzhou.

The November 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders meeting in Hawai'i was one of the topics that Lingle discussed on Friday with senior staff for Janet Napolitano, secretary of homeland security, and the Secret Service, Lingle's staff said. Hawai'i officials have requested that the Department of Homeland Security designate the APEC leaders meeting a national special security event.

Tonight, Lingle attended a governors-only dinner at the White House, hosted by President Obama and Michelle Obama. LaHood told Lingle that he looked forward to visiting with her at the White House, her staff said.

This morning, she and other governors are to meet with Obama and his Cabinet at the White House.

Lingle returns to Hawai'i tomorrow.