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Malama Pono Kauai: Update on the Hawaii Not-So-Super Ferry * please vote! Superferry Poll

Malama Pono Kauai Update on the Hawaii Not-So-Super Ferry please vote! Superferry Poll
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In Today's Malama Pono Kauai

1) please vote! Superferry Poll
2) Clearest Superferry Article Yet
3) Great Superferry Web Site
4) Gary Hooser and Mina Morita - our heroes!
5) Kaua`i Protestors Keep Superferry Away
6) YouTube Videos of Superferry Protest on Kaua`i


1) please vote! Superferry Poll


Courtesy of Elizabeth Randol


2) Clearest Superferry Article Yet

Judy Dalton on Kaua`I writes:
If you read just one Superferry article this would be the one:

Vol. 12, Issue 246 - Mon., September 3, 2007

Another Perspective
Jeff Mikulina, Judith Michaels
& Jeffrey Parker
Failure to complete study set Superferry on doomed course

The Hawaii Superferry presents a classic case of how not to do business in Hawaii. Superferry's lack of planning and violation of the Hawaii Environmental Protection Act has created a public debacle, inconvenienced its customers and put Hawaii's environment at risk.

Three years ago the Sierra Club, Maui Tomorrow and Kahului Harbor Coalition asked the Hawaii Superferry and the Lingle administration to complete an environmental review of the Superferry. Unknown environmental and public safety risks, concerned neighbor island communities and a clear reading of the law demanded it.

The review would have occurred while other planning proceeded. The administration and Superferry corporation, however, decided to gamble and chose to skip this mandatory environmental disclosure process. A unanimous Supreme Court decision -- announced just hours after oral argument -- called their bluff.

Then, despite the decision from Hawaii's highest court, Superferry executives decided to roll the dice again and start service early. Again, they lost when a judge ordered them to cease service to Maui.

A responsible company doesn't allow a problem to get to the point where it receives a restraining order. The company lost in court, lost neighbor island support and lost credibility.

Now poor planning and lack of community involvement angered some Kauai residents to the point of taking justice into their own hands, risking arrest (or their lives) to block the arrival of the Superferry. The Sierra Club, Maui Tomorrow and Kahului Harbor Coalition do not condone lawbreaking -- either by the Superferry or by the protesters. The protests, however, surely reflect the deep sense of injustice many neighbor islanders feel toward the Superferry -- contempt that has been irresponsibly inflamed by its proceeding in open disregard of the law.

This is why the public review process is so important in the first place: to involve the affected communities, to understand the environmental tradeoffs, to separate fact from fiction and to protect the environment against unintended consequences. Unintended consequences like the spread of mongoose to Kauai. Or the disastrous varroa bee mite to Maui. Or coqui frogs everywhere. These pests can easily become stowaways underneath car or truck bodies or inside the bushels of produce being transported.

And with the Superferry shuttling hundreds of private vehicles and farm trucks daily, spreading these pests is all but guaranteed -- unless proper protections are put in place and funded. For neighbor island farmers, the cost of new invasive species brought by the Superferry could be their livelihood.

The high-speed vessel operation itself may pose a threat to the marine mammals. Traveling at 25 knots through known whale calving areas may make riders sick in more ways than one. Environmental reviews are used to fix problems before they occur. They don't just look at wildlife but at social consequences such as unbearable traffic, curtailment of traditional Hawaiian activities and costly freight increases to small businesses. What are the best ways to minimize harm to Hawaii's unique environment and communities? That's what we'll learn with an environmental review. Ultimately, the review process produces a better outcome for all involved, island-style.

When public taxpayer dollars are used as they are with the Superferry, the public has a right to ask questions -- and get answers. Otherwise we might all be taken for a ride.

The environmental review process is a routine procedure. Private companies and state and federal agencies complete reviews all the time. The state Department of Transportation has completed numerous such reviews in the past year. New roads, harbor improvements, airport upgrades -- they all go through the process. Significantly, the DOT even required and conducted a full environmental impact statement when a ferry system just on the Island of Oahu was proposed. And what about existing modes of transit between islands, such as air travel or barge traffic?

As the Supreme Court stated in its unanimous decision, "The Superferry presents particular risks that are not borne by the existing methods of transportation."

Yes, the review process can be messy because you have to deal with real science -- not soundbites and promises -- and real public input. Superferry would actually have to respond to questions in writing and publish the answers. Yes, it takes a few months to complete. But the resulting document provides clear answers on what adverse impacts are expected -- and how best to prepare for them.

So why did Superferry and the administration choose to skip this process three years ago? Why did they choose not to complete an environmental review after the community groups asked, after neighbor island lawmakers asked, after the Maui, Kauai and Big Island county councils asked, even after the state's own Environmental Council ruled that it was required? Why not? Were they worried about disclosing something the public wouldn't like to hear?

Hawaii is like no other place on Earth, with hundreds of species found nowhere else on the planet and deep community values. To protect this uniqueness, the Sierra Club, Maui Tomorrow and Kahului Harbor Coalition requested Superferry and the DOT to comply with our keystone environmental law years ago. They chose to ignore the law. Our position hasn't changed: If the Superferry is going to operate in Hawaii's waters, we all deserve that it be done right.

Three decades ago when the Hawaii Environmental Protection Act was enacted, state elected leaders made clear that the environmental review be a "condition precedent" to implementation of a proposed action. In other words, the study must be complete before the project starts. We must look before we leap. It's not only common sense, it's the law.

Jeff Mikulina is director of the Sierra Club, Hawaii Chapter; Judith Michaels is acting president of Maui Tomorrow; and Jeffrey Parker is director of the Kahului Harbor Coalition.

Honolulu Star-Bulletin --  http://starbulletin.com


3) Great Superferry Web Site

Great Superferry Site by People for the Preservation of Kaua'i


Courtesy of Richard Diamond / The Kaua`I MuseLetter


4) Gary Hooser and Mina Morita - our heroes!

From: Judy Dalton < dalton@aloha.net>
Date: August 30, 2007

Aloha all,

Monday evening when Representative Mina Morita saw that brave surfers and swimmers were at risk of being struck by one of the Coast Guard boats after it had become dark, she called Senator Hooser reporting the gravity of the situation shortly before 9pm. Senator Hooser made two calls - one to Superferry Board Chair John Lehman and the other to the head of the Coast Guard urging the Superferry to leave Kauai and go back to Honolulu. Within 15 mnutes of the calls the Superferry turned around and left. Sunday's success was a collaborative effort among everyone who came out that evening and Kauai legislators, Rep Mina Morita and Sen Gary Hooser.

Senator Hooser has secured an agreement with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to represent those who were arrested at Nawiliwili Bay during the protests (free of charge). However, those who were arrested must contact the ACLU directly -- ACLU reps aren't permitted to solicit cases. Those seeking ACLU's assistance can contact Senator Hooser.

Below is a letter that Rep Morita sent to the Department of Transportation to halt Superferry service to Kauai followed by her statement that appeared in today's TGI [The Garden Island, Kaua`I daily newspaper].


The House of Representatives

Rep. Hermina Morita requests DOT to stop Superferry service to Kauai

"Federal, state and county police or military resources and power should not be used to enforce bad political decisions."

HONOLULU. State representative Hermina Morita (District 14 -- Kauai) today sent a letter to Barry Fukunaga, Director of the State Department of Transportation (DOT), to order the Hawaii Superferry to halt service to Kauai pursuant to last week's Supreme Court decision.

"The use of the State's harbor facilities, including Nawiliwili Harbor, is not appropriate at this time," wrote Rep. Morita. "Moreover, until all legal matters are resolved or there is further guidance from the Hawaii Supreme Court, the DOT needs to respect the rule of the law."

Morita is critical of the DOT and claims it disregarded the law when it approved the Superferry's operations without requiring an environmental review. She highlighted the fact that the environmental review was requested by the Hawaii, Maui and Kauai County Councils, and that the department's avoidance of the process "was done for political expediency not respect for the law and brings us to this juncture."

Morita goes on to state that a full environmental review and full disclosure of the Superferry's operations should have been done at the conception of the business. She emphasized that, "Federal, state and county police or military resources and power should not be used to enforce bad political decisions."

Copies of the letter were sent to Governor Linda Lingle, Mayor Bryan Baptiste, the Kauai County Council and the U.S. Coast Guard.


My position on Superferry

by Rep. Hermina Morita

I have no regrets about the statements I have made publicly in supporting the Kaua'i community in protesting the arrival of the Hawaii Superferry on Monday at Nawiliwili Harbor. I was not present at the protest on Sunday and I do not condone the actions of a few individuals who directed their frustrations and anger at arriving or departing passengers that evening. One of the reasons I attended the protest on Monday was to observe the crowd and to assist in whatever way I could to ensure that those isolated events on Sunday did not occur again.

It is sad that the actions of these few individuals have become the "face" of the majority of the protesters who were peaceful. And, it is unfortunate that the media chooses to exaggerate the confrontation by the repeated showings of this small part of the total protest instead of focusing on HSF and the State Department of Transportation's blatant disregard for the law especially in light of the Hawai'i Supreme Court decision requiring an environmental review.

In my role as a state legislator and chair of the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection, my position on the HSF has always been consistent with the fact that the law is clear that an environmental review is required. This position is reflected in House Standing Committee Report 266, and House Bill No. 702, House Draft 1, filed on Feb. 6, 2007.

The purpose of an environmental review is the preparation of a disclosure document containing information of the environmental, economic, social and cultural impacts, both positive and negative, of a new business like the Hawaii Superferry which will use both public lands and public funds for its exclusive use. This kind of disclosure document offers a structured review, with strict rules and timetables for both opponents and proponents, which should lead to better decision-making tools to lessen negative impacts. Also, it is very important to note that an environmental review was requested by the Hawai'i, Maui and Kaua'i county councils through passage of resolutions in each county. This is the type of scrutiny that the state Department of Transportation and HSF sought to avoid by disregarding the law.

The state Department of Transportation has not articulated a clear and concise reason of why the HSF's operations should be exempt from the law and this has been confirmed by a Hawai'i Supreme Court decision. It is unfortunate that the DOT's avoidance of full disclosure and public scrutiny of the HSF operations pursuant to Chapter 343, Hawai'i Revised Statutes was done solely for political expediency. And, it is so ironic that county and federal police actions of the Kaua'i Police Department and U.S. Coast Guard have been directed against its citizenry who have been trying to uphold the law in dealing with this state issue.

The problem of the Hawaii Superferry operations cannot and should not be fixed by politics or money thrown at public relations and $5 promotions. It can only be solved by following the law which requires a full environmental review process and full disclosure of its operations which should have been done at the conception of this business.


5) Kaua`i Protestors Keep Superferry Away


KHNL Channel 8 News
Aug 28, 2007

While Maui protestors went to court to stop the Hawaii Superferry, Kauai protestors again take to the water to keep the ship from coming in.

Kauai protestors paddle out with their surfboards and canoes, along with their desire to stop this inter-island service.

The Superferry was scheduled to pull into Kauai at 5:30 Monday evening, but the people in the water kept the ship from docking. And for hours, passengers were stuck on the Alakai just offshore. Leaving many on board frustrated and angry because they could not reach their destination. But protestors celebrated their victory.

Last night, protesters were unable to keep the ship from docking and when the demonstration moved from the water to the pier, the vocal crowd turned violent.

Police were forced to use pepper spray to clear the crowd and allow cars to get off the Superferry.

"We're stopping the Superferry. We're stopping the people from getting off. we're creating gridlock." says Diana LaBetz, one of the protestors.

Three protestors were arrested during the Superferry's first trip to Kauai. Monday night there were also a few arrests made. And in order to handle the crowd in the water, the Coast Guard flew additional personnel and sent boats over to Kauai.


Note, there is "Extended Raw Video: Superferry Protest on Kauai" at this site. Needs Windows Media Player, and is not Mac friendly


6) YouTube Videos of Superferry Protest on Kaua`i

Superferry Resistance Video

How the Superferry Will Kill Humpback Whales

Larry Morningstar
Malama Pono Kauai
mailto: mana7@spymac.com


Malama Pono Kauai


Promoting Righteous Care of Kaua`i

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Help 06.Sep.2007 09:16

Den Mark, Vancouver

It would help the cause if NO mainlander ever rides this so-called "superferry". It sucks!

"Malama aina!"