TOM FINNEGAN / STAR-BULLETIN
Surfers climbed the buoy in Nawiliwili Harbor, Kauai, Aug. 27 while protesting the arrival of the Superferry.
Blessing or curse?
Speak out if you want the Superferry
I am currently deployed and every so often I take a look at the news from the place I have called home for more than seven years and plan to call home after I retire. I have married, bought a home and am raising my children on Oahu and I'm shocked and disturbed to see acts of "civil" disobedience in our beautiful state.
"Civil disobedience" is an oxymoron. When is being disobedient ever civil? The acts committed by a select few on Kauai should be called acts of terror as they hijacked a service from paying customers. The Superferry is a service that is needed and wanted by the vast majority of people who reside in Hawaii. I was looking forward to visiting Maui and Kauai upon my return from Iraq with my family in our own car. (Saves money we can put into the economy of the island we are visiting.) I hope we will be able to take that trip.
If you support the Superferry, do not stand idly by and let the loudmouth minority have their way. Newspapers all over the world have picked up the story and frankly it is downright ugly. The majority have a right to be heard, too. Call or contact your state representative and senators. Write the judge, but of course do things legally, unlike those who committed acts of "civil" disobedience on Kauai and Maui.
Kapolei and Iraq
Compromise might benefit all sides
As one who can understand both sides of the Superferry issue, how about a compromise that may allow the Superferry to continue while an environmental assessment is in the works?
The protests focus on three issues: ocean safety for whales, traffic impact of motor vehicles and the possible transport of Strykers.
Until the EA is completed, how about having the ferry carry only foot passengers and bicycles, exclude motor vehicles and cruise at a speed safe for whales? Since there is no court injunction against sailing to Kauai, maybe an agreement can be hammered out to allow service to continue to Kauai only, with a daytime schedule far more convenient for travel there and back.
Instead of offering $5 promotions, how about canceling fuel surcharges? After all, without all those cars and cruising at a whale-safe speed ought to cut back fuel consumption considerably. Make the prices competitive to airlines. Bicycle riders will gladly ride the Superferry as they don't need to crate their bikes as required by the airlines.
Maybe we can be back in business. Seriously!
Keep Waimanalo blues away from Kauai
It's hard to understand why you people on Oahu hate us here on Kauai so much. We here enjoy the company of our statewide, even worldwide, neighbors. The ferry issue has nothing to do with visitors; it's a shame that ferry executives have perpetuated this lie. And Waimanalo people, of all places, telling us not to come over to Oahu and to shut up and just take this medicine for what's ailing us, but actually making us sick! You sold your beaches to build your hotels and now we should continue with the same?
Many thousands of us Kauai residents love our home the way it is. And I think most of you came back again because you too like Kauai how it is. Many of us do not want another way for you to come, that's all! Shoots! Come stay at my house! Fridge get and futon stay! But please let us decide how we want to live. There is nothing the ferry offers us -- no come, no change -- but if this toxic waste comes, our lives will be changed forever. And Kauai's landscape with it, will you even want to come over then?
Protesters are links in historical chain
In a Sept. 2 Star-Bulletin article
, part-time Maui residents and Superferry investors said they "never expected this level of intensity" of public protest. Hawaii's Thousand Friends cannot understand why anyone was surprised.
Hawaii's environmental impact statement law (HRS Chapter 343) contains several conditions that trigger the environmental review process and the Superferry met at least two: "Use of State or County lands or funds" and "Use within the Shoreline Setback Area." Blaming concerned citizens or the Hawaii Supreme Court for upholding state law is wrong.
We live on islands where natural resources are limited and where flora and fauna, many found nowhere else, are endangered. What beauty and quality of life remain in these islands didn't just happen. The history of citizens struggling to protect Hawaii's fragile environment is long, legendary, and has been sometimes deadly. It has been fought for by our residents again and again in the courts, on the land and in our ocean waters.
The ignorance of this history of protest and to what is happening to Hawaii's environment during this latest investment boom highlights how Hawaii is being viewed by some as a playground, and as a money machine by others who have little understanding of this special place and why their business investments might not be welcomed by all with open arms.
Hawaii's Thousand Friends
Malihini protesters ruin aloha for all
I was born on the island of Kauai, but was raised on Oahu. There was a time when just about everyone knew every family on Kauai. A genuine aloha spirit prevailed throughout this era. Since then an influx of residents from the mainland and elsewhere has balloon the population, and I wouldn't be surprised if the newcomers outnumber the born-and-raised locals there.
With all that said, the Superferry was carrying a lot of local people from Oahu to my beautiful island of Kauai. It was troubling to see all the protesters at the dock, especially one carrying a sign that read "Superferry is stupid, Superferry passengers is stupid."
A local person wouldn't call another local person visiting from another island "stupid." Is there any aloha spirit left on Kauai?
Melvin Partido Sr.
State officials really messed this up
It's unbelievable how government officials screwed up again with the Superferry, and to watch them defend their positions and blame each other. They take the money and run with big projects and then go to court and pay out huge sums of money in lawsuits. They do it over and over again. Wait until the railroad comes to town, and the people building and designing it are going to have to deal with the City Council, Department of Transportation Services, state officials, all the endless studies to solve easy problems, and then all the environmental whackouts. What about when they find the remains of people and their relatives and must shut down the project? How come Gov. Linda Lingle still says the state's position is right even after two courts shut it down?
State's actions hurt both residents and business
I see parallels between the current Hawaii Superferry debacle and the problems surrounding the Hokulia residential project on the Big Island. Like the Superferry, Hokulia relied on government assurances that everything was legal. Investors in both projects poured money into them based on those assurances.
But the judiciary stalled Hokulia and the Superferry at the cusp of when the investors were starting to make a return on their investment. Looking just at the surface you'd blame the judiciary and the people who brought these lawsuits. But if you look deeper, the real culprit in these debacles is a government that puts business interests over the citizens' interests.
I hope the latter will change. If not, businesses will decide to invest money elsewhere, where government assurances can be banked on.