SUPERFERRY PRO & CON
With no EIS, protests might get dangerous
Hawaii state Legislature, please do not let Gov. Linda Lingle coerce you into changing our laws to allow the Superferry to operate without first doing an environmental assessment.
You will perpetuate the controversy and further divide our community. Protesters on Maui and Kauai will commit civil disobedience to stop the Superferry.
This lethal combination of the Superferry, Coast Guard and angry protesters in the water is a recipe for disaster that could result in the injury or drowning of innocent men, women and children.
Ferry inspectors need to dress the part
Some of the demands made by the anti-Superferry crowd include one where they be allowed as the plaintiffs to inspect the ferry during operations. This would be an interesting proposal though I think it's appropriate they have some form of identification. Wearing green for plants or blue for the ocean might work, but I think brown for the aina would be best.
Nice brown shirts with shiny black boots to show their authority. Then they could go around giving each other stiff-armed salutes with their hands in the shaka sign.
Even some Republicans oppose ferry
I am one of many Mauians who are strongly against the Superferry. My reason is straightforward. I live on Maui because it is rural. I want to keep it that way. If I wanted to live in a place where 1.2 million people have access to the same things I do, I would not live here.
I am not one of those CAVE people (Citizens Against Virtually Everything), neither am I antidevelopment. I am a Republican, businessman, fiscal conservative, entrepreneur, capitalist with heart, and I will not vote for Linda Lingle again. I will campaign for whomever is her opponent. The unfortunate part for me is that I like her. I like that she is not part of the "old guard" and has made some changes for the better. However, this is a deal breaker.
Most of the people I know here are strongly opposed to the Superferry. But we make up a small part of the voting public. Everybody with any sense knows that this is about the residents of Oahu and not for the benefit of the outer islands. Does it increase Mauians' quality of life in certain areas? Maybe ... but at what expense to our overall quality of life?
Lawrence P. Carnicelli
Good thing we already have airplane travel
The ongoing Superferry huhu makes me thankful that the airlines are already flying and providing transportation between the Hawaiian islands. Imagine if the commercial airline industry tried to break into the market today. The decibel level of the clamor would be recordbreaking!
All that burning jet fuel up in the ozone would surely accelerate global warming. All that sunlight reflecting off the surfaces of those huge shiny airplanes can't be good. And what about all those poor defenseless birds being sucked into the killer jet engines? Avian mass murder!
Now, mind you, the military would already be flying, along with UPS and Fedex. Commercial airliners would be bringing passengers to the islands from the mainland and overseas destinations. Just the interisland travel should be limited to barges and canoes.
If an EIS is required, then do it. At this late stage though, allowing the ferry to operate during the study only seems fair.
Superferry ruling has many consequences
The Superferry will help Hawaii families, small farms and businesses. Tourists with only a few days in Hawaii and no cars are not likely to use the ferry. I strongly support keeping the ferry afloat and fixing the environmental impact statement law because of recent changes made by the Supreme Court.
Since its inception, Chapter 343 HRS requires an environmental assessment, and perhaps an EIS depending on the EA determination, for all state and county capital improvement projects, private projects on state or county land, or projects that require some state or county action. No problem there; we have all learned to live with EAs and EISs.
Using the existing law and exemption, the Department of Transportation Harbors Division determined that the $40 million harbor improvements did not require an EA and proceeded with the changes appropriated by the Legislature. The DOT did not concern itself with the ferry, a private project, which is licensed and under the jurisdiction of the Public Utilities Commission motor carrier law.
The Supreme Court changed the ground rules by opining that government must examine the "secondary impacts" of projects, and that the DOT should have considered even secondary cultural and financial impacts of the ferry in addition to environmental concerns such as spreading invasive species and colliding with whales.
The impact of this decision goes far beyond the ferry issue. It means all future state and county projects, private projects on state or county land and projects requiring certain state or county action must have an EA at the minimum. This will cost everyone much more time and money -- low-income housing projects, schools, grants-in-aid, dams and reservoirs, shoreline development and so on. We need a special session to fix the ferry situation and to fix Chapter 343.
Rep. Barbara Marumoto
R, Waialae Iki-Kahala
Now we're rewarded for breaking the law?
Regarding the special legislative session to consider changing state law to allow the Superferry to sail:
What the legislators would be saying is that we can go to a restaurant and eat dinner and pay when we get around to making the money. Hurray!
Does this mean we can rob a bank and get around prison time just by coming up with a plan for repayment? Wow!
So this pending legislative act now means anyone can do the same thing, right? Or is it only for the Superferry?
David M.K. Inciong II
Think of families, the handicapped
I hope legislators consider the plight of many handicapped people, elderly with breathing problems and families with small children who would love to visit Kauai or Maui but who cannot now because physical or financial handicaps and hardships make flying impossible. For many of the rest of us, just the ritual of getting through airport security these days is a huge deterrent to air travel for pleasure.
Although "environmentalists" are the ones bringing suit against the Superferry, there are many of us who consider ourselves avid environmentalists who are in favor of the ferry. We believe it is in the best interests of residents that the ferry be given a chance to operate under specific guidelines for at least six months so that its risks and benefits can be fairly judged.
I think it is possible and necessary to reach a compromise where the environment is protected and the handicapped, elderly and those averse to flying have an equal opportunity to travel within their home state. The ferry is long overdue.
Young Bros. can afford to rent Superferry
The Public Utilities Commission said Young Bros. can raise prices 7.51 percent, for an added $4.4 million a year. So let Young Bros. use the money to rent the Superferry, call it a superbarge, and then it'll just be business as usual. Problem solved!
Singling out ferry raises host of problems
The legislation being proposed by the administration and Legislature will cause more problems than it will solve. How can anyone support unfair, unequal and unnecessary requirements for only one interisland carrier?
If indeed a full EIS is required, it must be required of all airlines, barge lines, cruise lines and ferries, not just one. We cannot allow any discrimination when such serious matters are concerned.
All environmentalists, "Save Our Lifestylists" and surfers as well as a large majority of residents who desire an alternative means of interisland transportation and visitors seeking new attractions must all be satisfied. Anything less than fair, equal and complete treatment for all will send a clear message that there is indeed a hidden agenda.
It's OK for some businesses to be scared off
I don't think the Superferry is all that super. I did initially, but now I'm convinced that it's a bad idea, like the ill-fated hydrofoil of the seventies.
Sure, it's got a sexy paint job and driving our own cars around sounds like fun, but it can (and will) run over whales and seals and contribute to the problem of spreading invasive species.
If demanding an EIS scares the ferry and other businesses away, then let them stay away, if they cannot stand up to the scrutiny of Hawaii and environmental laws.
And shame on the governor for spending the state's money ahead of -- and contrary to -- a required environmental impact statement.
Can someone slow speeding trucks?
How many speeding truckers flipping over at the corner of Sand Island and Nimitz Highway will it take for someone to find a way to slow down these speeding idiots ("Kalihi clogged: Flipped rig tangles traffic," Star-Bulletin, Oct. 18
I see police giving tickets for going 70 mph on a freeway made to go 85, but they won't give tickets to road-hogging truckers or bus drivers going 55 in a 25 or 35 mph zone.
It is only a matter of time before they kill someone. I have lost track of the number of overturned trucks at this intersection. I have been passed there while riding my motorcycle and feared for my life.
Please help slow down these potential felons.
Lee B. Lewis
Let's open more parks to well-behaved pets
Mahalo to the City & County of Honolulu for granting the Hawaiian Humane Society a one-day exception to allow pets at Ala Moana Beach Park on Oct. 7 for its annual PetWalk event!
This was my first year attending PetWalk, so I was excited to pack up my family, pets included, for a day of fun in the sun. I was amazed at the number and variety of pets at the park, but even more so, I was surprised that all the animals got along. I was also pleased to be among responsible pet owners who cleaned up after their furry companions.
I understand Ala Moana Beach Park and Magic Island are off-limits to dogs. But I'm also told that this is the fifth year PetWalk has been held at Ala Moana Beach Park. After witnessing a population of responsible pet owners, I will be advocating for more pet-friendly beaches and parks.
It only makes sense to drug test families, too
A lot of letter writers are adamantly in favor of random drug testing of teachers. These same writers of course are in favor of locker searches and drug-sniffing dogs in high schools. Their reasons are rock solid: "for the safety of our children." They don't want teachers who are high or drunk in contact with their children. No one wants a teacher all spaced out, glassy eyed or reeking of alcohol. These teachers should be tested so they can be arrested and expelled. Even if they find only one among the 13,500 teachers, it would be worth it.
I know it's a stretch, but I'm thinking that some of these children must go home to an abusive parent or family member. Wouldn't it be great, then, if they could have some kind of random testing in every home, to see if parents or relatives are not doing drugs and alcohol or illegal drugs in the presence of their children or their environment? Children spend more hours at home than at school, so this should be a no-brainer.
If you have nothing to hide, it should be all right. Just think that this is all "for the safety of the children" and you'll agree, this is the right thing to do.
Thielen deserves Senate confirmation
There is another issue besides the Superferry in the special session which will affect the environment. Laura Thielen, the interim director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, will be up for Senate confirmation. This has gotten little attention although she will be head of the state's most important environmental agency.
I have been a member of and given money to many pro-environmental organizations over the years. I have known Laura for 18 years. She is smart, well educated and cares about the environment. She is a good choice and should be confirmed.
Joe P. Moss