The Superferry Debate
Protesters ignore culture's real problems
Every time people want to stop something -- be it the H-3, new prisons, airport facilities and now the Superferry
-- the argument is that they want to save and protect our aina. I find this amazing because some of these folks are the same people who didn't mind displacing our piggeries, dairies and farmers to build homes and condominiums for them and their families.
For those of my fellow Hawaiians constantly fighting to save our aina and culture, where have you all been in regard to our recent loss of state funding for the King Kamehameha Day parade? To the best of my knowledge, no Hawaiian organization came to the Legislature to protest this decision. In the old days, Uncle Charles Kauhane would've been pounding on politicians' doors with his members of the Order of Kamehameha, demanding that the funding be restored.
Not only is this the oldest cultural parade, it brings in a lot of tax dollars. The state powers-that-be opined that private enterprise should foot the bill for the parade, as it was their belief that the private sector benefited the most from it. If it were up to me, I'd say we change the march route, rather than parading through Waikiki. If the state wants us to complete the march for the tourism industry's benefit, let it provide some money for the parade.
That, my fellow Hawaiians, is something for which you should be fighting, rather than just making noise to the news media for a few activists and environmentalists whose jobs depend on all of us.
Whitney T. Anderson
Ferry divides islands it meant to unite
It's sad to hear how people feel about the Superferry. I got a chance to get the feel of being on the Superferry; it was wonderful.
The sad part is that the state knew that the Superferry would have problems with the community and the environment, but gave the green light to operate anyway. It really hurts to see that our neighbor islands don't want it.
What if there was a hurricane and the other islands needed supplies and the airlines couldn't land on the islands and, of course, Young Bros. takes days to get there. Wouldn't we need something like the Superferry to take supplies to them, especially when it can get there in couple of hours instead of days? It's just a shame how people act toward others.
Why did the court take 2 years to decide the Superferry case?
Star-Bulletin readers may be wondering why it took the Hawaii Supreme Court two years to rule on The Sierra Club, et al. vs. the Department of Transportation of the State of Hawaii, et al., aka the Superferry case.
Actually, public records show there was ongoing activity throughout the appeal and, when court deadlines were extended, it was at the request of a party to the suit.
A notice of appeal was first filed on July 25, 2005, and the case was assigned to the Supreme Court on Feb. 15, 2006. During those 205 days, Sierra Club filed its opening brief; Hawaii Superferry filed its answering brief (after securing a 30-day extension); and Sierra Club filed its reply brief (after securing a 10-day extension).
Once assigned to the Supreme Court, the case was added to the queue of more than 200 appeals that had been previously assigned and were awaiting decision. The notice of setting the case for oral argument was issued on June 19, 2007, with an original hearing date of Aug. 15, 2007. Hawaii Superferry attorneys asked the court to reschedule argument to Aug. 28 or after, but oral argument was held on Aug. 23. On the same day, the court issued a unanimous summary decision, which was followed by a 104-page opinion on Aug. 31, 2007.
From the time the case was assigned until the decision was issued on Aug. 23, the Supreme Court decided more than 300 other appeals, focusing first on cases involving children in the custody of the state and persons incarcerated at Hawaii's correctional facilities, as well as approximately 90 original proceedings, more than 150 applications to review decisions of the Intermediate Appellate Court, and approximately 1,300 motions.
In short, during the period that the Superferry appeal was pending, the Supreme Court decided many important cases, including OHA v. State, Kalima v. State, and Kahoohanohano v. State.
Marsha E. Kitagawa
Public Affairs Office
Hawaii State Judiciary