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At a hearing this morning, August 24, 2004, Circuit Court Judge Hilary Gangnes declined to issue a temporary restraining order requested by Waikiki resident Robert Kessler to halt the Ala Wai Boulevard beautification project.

Mr. Kessler argued that the Ala Wai project was not entitled to an exemption from the requirement under State law for an environmental assessment.  Mr. Kessler also argued that the City had failed to comply with historic review requirements.

After arguments by Mr. Kessler and Greg Swartz, Deputy Corporation Counsel, Judge Gangnes ruled that Mr. Kessler had not shown that he was likely to prevail on the merits of his claims, saying that Mr. Kessler's historic review claim was without merit and that the exemptions from the environmental assessment requirement appeared to apply and support the City's position.  Judge Gangnes also ruled that the balance of irreparable harm rested on the City, since a work stoppage could cost as much as $2.0 million and parking would be lost during any such stoppage.  Judge Gangnes also ruled that the public interest did not support issuance of a temporary restraining order.

The Ala Wai Boulevard Improvements project involves the installation of 20 landscaped bulb-outs along the mauka side of the Ala Wai Boulevard as well as the addition of a bike path and new benches, trash receptables, new sod and other improvements along the Ala Wai Canal.  The project is well under way and will be completed much sooner than expected.


Tuesday, August 24, 2004

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