Build your base

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David Shapiro: Aloha Stadium scheme is more about development than football

Hawaii public works projects too often sputter because elected officials become more interested in promoting development around them than the projects themselves.

Honolulu rail was intended to relieve gridlocked traffic but fell apart when it became more about building houses on West Oahu farmlands and ritzy high-rises in town as lawmakers were seduced by the prospect of more tax revenues to spend, bountiful campaign donations and happy construction unions.

The decades-long Kakaako redevelopment was supposed to yield sorely needed workforce housing but produced mostly luxury condos for wealthy offshore speculators as officials catered to developers’ wishes instead of public needs.

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