POSTED: 22 SEPTEMBER 2007 - 8:30am HST

The Superferry suspends service to Kauai

image above: Hawaiian women give prayer at start of County Building meeting. Photo by Carl Wright



POSTED: 21 SEPTEMBER 2007 - 4:00pm HST

JoAnn Yukimura assembles a determined crowd

[Editor's Note: This great news is all the more reason to join together at the Nawiliwili Freedom Fesival today drom 2:00pm to sunse]

by Amanda Gregg on 22 September 2007 in The Garden Island News

Hawaii Superferry has again delayed its highly anticipated service to Kaua‘i, which was scheduled to resume Wednesday, for safety reasons.

The company issued a statement last night, which followed on the heels of legal developments on-island yesterday and Thursday’s contentious meeting with Gov. Linda Lingle on the subject.There was no indication as to when the ferry would start service from O‘ahu to Kaua‘i, nor any sign that the “Alakai” will keep its distance for good.

In a statement, the company cited “consideration for the safety of the community, our passengers and our dedicated employees” as the reason for the delay.
“The long-term perspective of the company is that a temporary delay serves the community best,” reads the statement.

In court yesterday morning, Circuit Judge Randal Valenciano dismissed three of the five arguments against the company, including discussion of the need for an environmental assessment.

As a result, attorneys for environmental group 1000 Friends of Kauai were limited to arguing two points: that the Superferry violates the state Constitution and that it is a public nuisance.

The lawsuit, filed by environmental group 1000 Friends of Kauai, will continue in court next week, when Valenciano rules on an injunction to stop service to the Garden Isle.

Attorneys Dan Hempey and Greg Meyers, who are representing 1000 Friends, will have less than a week to regroup, as the injunction hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

Despite the setback, Hempey appeared optimistic following the hearing.
“We survived,” he said. “It means we’re moving forward.”

In a prepared statement, Superferry officials said they were pleased with Valenciano’s decision, noting, “We have always complied with the rules and regulations as they were presented to us by the state of Hawai‘i.”

Superferry support was visible in the courtroom, with roughly 30 Superferry employees, many from off-island, donning blue T-shirts comprising the majority of those in attendance yesterday.

The group had come to the hearing to demonstrate support after having been flown over from O‘ahu, Lori Abe, a Superferry liaison, confirmed yesterday.
Meanwhile, a Maui court is also weighing the issue of Superferry service; however, the state Supreme Court-mandated environmental assessment is key to that island’s lawsuit.

Hempey noted that it is still unclear as to whether a decision from Maui on an injunction would extend statewide.

The next hearing on the case is scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday in courtroom 4.



POSTED: 21 SEPTEMBER 2007 - 8:00am HST

Mahalo Nui Loa, Governor, for coming to Kaua`i

Aloha Governor Lingle;

Thank you for coming out to Kaua`i. While I am certain it was not a wholly enjoyable experience for you, it was perhaps an eye-opener as to where the 1500-1600 Kaua`ians who met you at the Peace and Freedom Memorial Convention Hall, and the 6,000 plus signatories (three times the number needed to get County Charter Amendments on our ballot) you belatedly received last night are coming from. Thank you for finally accepting these entreaties for an EIS.

As you now see, there are many different opinions on this isle about the Ferry and your handling of the issue, some neutral, some for and some against. However, in one regard, Kaua`i is nearly in full agreement - Kaua`ians care passionately about Kaua`i. I am glad you finally came to Kaua`i to listen, and perhaps begin to better understand our passion and love for our island.

When you began speaking last night you took pains to carefully explain how opposed to Non-Violent Direct Action Civil Disobedience that is effective in its goals. This is an unfortunate position, and one that you actually personally undermine with your actions. Direct Action was not our first choice. We tried to contact you in much more conventional and low-key ways to make you understand our deeply convicted opposition to Non-EIS Operation of The Ferry Alakai, but you refused to meet us or accept the 6,000 petitions. When you refused to listen to us on 'normal' channels, you forced us to get 'creative' to get your attention. If you want Kaua`i to stay out of the water, listen to us the first time - and we will get along swimmingly.

Many times you have clearly stated your position re: the ferry - no lawful impediment to sail to Kaua`i. Governor - this may be plausibly asserted, but there is a big difference between legal & pono. For the moment, it is unclear if your position will endure in court, but I can tell you quite plainly it is not pono - not polite - not filled aloha, and absolutely not sound judgment. Here's why:
Example - You are quite familiar with the tiles and plaques many in Hawai`i have outside our homes "Aloha, please remove your slippers. It is our way" Your position might be these wall hangings have no legal merit. If you went over to a friends house, and insisted on going inside with big boots on your feet, there would be 'no lawful impediment obstructing your legal right to whith muddy combat boots wherever you please. Your neighbor would become displeased with your insistence on the law as a defense for a clearly disrespectful and anti-social behavior.

Kaua`i is our home. Can you imagine how it feels to have 700' of high-speed catamaran hulls shoved into our port with military force, in spite of the fact that we have very nicely now for several years politely asked you NOT to allow this until an independent EIS has been concluded? I apologize that some of my fellow Kaua`ians were unable to contain their frustration. Though I do not excuse it, I certainly understand it, and perhaps you are beginning to understand a little bit too.

Your support for the ferry is creating significant social friction. It is stirring people up. There are a couple of AM talk show hosts over on Oahu that are exploiting this inter-island friction in a most despicable manner. I strongly urge you to come out and speak forcefully against Mr. Buck and Mr. Yamada's poorly conceived efforts to inflame an already tense situation. What they are doing is most unhelpful, and your continued silence here does not help rectify things. If you lay it down to them, they will swing around. Encourage them to apologize. If you say it like you mean it, they will do it. There is no 'Us and Them', there is only 'Just Us', and we all seek justice as resolution. While we may have different ideas on how the details should look - hopefully it is true we all wish a pono outcome of this issue. When that day comes, and goes, it will still be 'just us' so we might as well be nice to each other today. Making a strong stand here is called leadership. Please see to it.

Actually, I confess I envy you a little bit. While this position of your making is a bit 'sticky,' you are still in the driver's seat, and still have the ability to bring about a dramatically heroic conclusion to this chapter. LUCKY! You can play the role of the peace maker, the conciliator, a leader that brings people together and heals wounds. I believe you may be a basically good person, but everyone makes mistakes. Tiny Kaua`i must seems so small with "Million-Peopled Oahu."

Perhaps your view of the state as a whole WAS so big as preclude hearing well over the 72 miles of open ocean between us. Now that you have been here and gotten an earful, please show us this has now changed.

With one wave of your magic wand, you can be the Real Hawai`ian Super Fairy - insist the Ferry stands down until the courts resolve the matter. This should not take long. The Supreme Court should soon give further clarity in this matter.

Afterwards, acting consistently with whatever they resolve will put you in a much firmer position. Are you legally bound to do this? No, it is just the deeply pragmatic and wise step to take. This is not about abstruse and tortured legalistics, this is about sound judgment. You can not be compelled to take this smart step by force of law - you should be akamai enough to see the desirability of this approach based on aloha, mutual respect, and the good manners that should prevail between neighbor islands.

'Surrender' to these demands, and you will likely achieve victory. In this case the triumph would be one of "Good Governance" not a bad goal for a governor, eh Governor?

50 Years ago there was no seatbelt law. Cars did not even HAVE seatbelts for the first 50 years. Never the less, it was ALWAYS a good idea, and of course today you will get a ticket for not wearing one. Did seatbelts become a better idea over time? No, we just slowly got wiser. 50 Years ago there was no such thing as an EIS - and look at the mess we made with poorly considered actions. We are still cleaning up. Today, we are beginning to better understand the value of doing our best to minimize the impact of our actions. 50 years from now (if we have not really blown it) folks will look back at today and wonder what the debate was about.

Doing the right thing is not always required by law. Mosly the law sets minimum standards that must be met. To my knowledge there is 'no legal barrier' to exceeding the minimum threshold imposed by law. The Ferry is required to meet a minimum standard before going into service. Let us cease debating about just exactly WHAT this minimum should be. There is nothing wrong with going above and beyond! In fact, it is a very good idea. Seize it. Take us higher. This may be too simple to be called political genius, but it is the easiest thing in the world to do if one day you want to become Senator Lingle.


jonathan jay
Moku Puna, Kaua`i




POSTED: 21 SEPTEMBER 2007 - 4:00pm HST

JoAnn Yukimura assembles a determined crowd

image above: Rich Hoeppner and JoAnn Yukimura greet the crowd. Photo by Carl Wright

by Juan Wilson on 21 September 2007

It began at the steps of the Old County Building. From mid afternoon people began assembling. The call had gone out from Kauai Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura to meet there for a meeting before marching to the Peace and Freedom Convention Hall for a discussion with Mayor Linda Lingle.

About one thousand people came together carrying 'EIS FIRST!" signs. Many wore red or white EIS tee-shirts. There were Hawaiian prayers and laughter. My wife and I brought three tee plants to offer leaves to people to carry to the Convention Hall.

There were few short speeches. Perhaps the most moving was tribute given to youngsters who had been arrested defending the island. After a closing moment together the crowd moved off to the Peace & Freedom Convention Hall to meet with the Linda Lingle and her Unified Command.

image above: Large crowb at County Building meeting ask for EIS first. Photo by Carl Wright

There were some people already in the auditorium. Some wore white Superferry tee-shirts an appeared to be HSF employees. At the end of the evening someone saw them carted away on a chartered bus. The people of Kauai coming from the County Building more than overflowed the the 1000 seat auditorium.

The Unified Command brought its representatives on stage and finally the Governor appeared. Introductions were done. In general the crown was polite but there were some boos and catcalls even during the introductions. Bryan Baptiste received the worst reception. He also looked like the most uncomfortable person on the stage.

image above: boy who blocked ferry blows conche opening meeting. Photo by Juan Wilson

Lingle began well but as soon as she indicated that we were not there to make decisions. That the decisions had been made and that the ferry was coming on the 26th, the audience rose up and shouted her down. "No Way!", "EIS first!", "Boo!", "Its not gonna happen!".

Lingle looked a bit shocked. Things quieted. Lingle decided not to follow her original agenda. hat would have been a reading of the list of forces amassed in the Unified Command. A listing of the rules governing the Emergency Security Zone she had invented and finally a listing of the penalties associated with any violations. Her original plan was to then take questions only on the security issues involved.

The Governor changed to a friendlier direction and soon turned the evening over to people to speak to the Unified Command on anything related to the Superferry.

Besides negative responses to occasional statements by the Governor that the ferry was operating legally after clearing every hurdle in front of it, it was Barry Fukanaga, the director of the Hawaiian Department of Transportation, who got the most boos for being the individual who waived the Environmental Assessment requirements for the HSF project.

image above: Crowd listens to Kauai residents speak to Unified Command. Photo by Juan Wilson

Once the people began speaking the evening took another shape. Although the first speaker up was a handicapped woman who was in favor of the Superferry starting operations immediately, everyone else I heard speak wanted an EIS first, Women, children, kanaka maoli, and old men all testified, pleaded, questioned and demanded what was in their heart.

Richard Hoeppner, of the People for the Preservation of Kauai finally got to speak after a few hours. He brought with him the petitions with 6000 signatures that he had brought to Oahu to present to the Governor a year ago. Then he was sent away without speaking to the Governor or even an aide. He was not allowed to leave the petitions in Lingle's office. Last night she received them from him graciously.



POSTED: 21 SEPTEMBER 2007 - 3:30am HST

Superferry was afraid it could not enter Nawiliwili

by Juan Wilson on 21 September 2007

An interesting note: The Superferry is not taking any booking from Oahu to Kauai on either September 26th or 27th. It's online reservation system only has bookings from Kauai to Oahu. The firs booking I found from Oahu to Kauai was for Friday, the 29th of September.

I believe this is because the HSF Corporation does not want a boat load of people arriving at the mouth of Nawiliwili Harbor with no way to land those passengers. They want to see that the Coast Guard and police can beat a path for them. Obviously, if they can make it into the harbor with an empty boat they will be able to leave with one that is booked. Much less humiliating for the corporation.

This means too that they are scared. Scared that we might actually be able to embarrass them once again.



POSTED: 21 SEPTEMBER 2007 - 3:15am HST

Suit to stop Superferry from going to Kauai kept alive

by Tom Finnegan on 21 September 2007 in The Star Bulletin

A Kauai judge has kept alive a lawsuit that would keep the Hawaii Superferry from returning to Kauai.

Circuit Judge Randal Valenciano dismissed a number of claims filed against the Hawaii Superferry and the state Department of Transportation by the 1000 Friends of Kauai, a nonprofit environmental group.

However, two claims, one calling the Superferry a public nuisance and another claiming the Superferry violates the state constitution were allowed to continue.
A motion by 1000 Friends for a preliminary injunction on the remaining two claims will be heard by Valenciano Thursday at 9am.

The group 1000 Friends will not be allowed to argue that the environmental assessment process at Nawiliwili Harbor was invalid.

Valenciano said in his oral ruling today, that the 1000 Friends group is barred from challenging the state decision not to conduct an environmental review because the group did not file a claim within 120 days of the decision.

Lawyers on both sides said the decision will take some time to digest.

“The reaction is we survived, and we are going surfing,” in Nawiliwili, said 1000 friends attorney David Hempey.

In August, the state Supreme Court overturned a Maui Circuit Judge’s decision and ordered the state to conduct an environmental assessment for the Superferry’s use of Kahului Harbor. Maui Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza has since issued a preliminary injunction barring the Superferry from entering Kahului Harbor until the assessment is done.

A hearing on a permanent injunction continued today in Maui Circuit Court. The state and Superferry officials are asking that the Superferry be allowed to sail while the assessment is being done.



POSTED: 21 SEPTEMBER 2007 - 3:00am HST

Sheriffs bar recording of Superferry hearing on Kauai

by the Associaed Press on 21 September 2007

State sheriffs this morning seized a reporter's audio recorder and barred a photographer from the Kaua'i court hearing over the future of the Hawaii Superferry.

Sheriffs in the Public Safety Department took an Associated Press reporter's audio recorder before allowing him to enter the courtroom.

A photographer from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin wasn't allowed inside the courtroom.

A guard outside the courtroom said a permit is required to record the hearing, which should be open to the public.

Environmentalists are asking Kaua'i Circuit Judge Randal Valenciano to issue a permanent restraining order against the ferry, which is currently scheduled to resume service to Kaua'i on Wednesday.

click at right to comment Island Breath Blog

see also:
Island Breath: News of September 20th 9/20/07
Island Breath: News of September 19th 9/19/07
Island Breath: News of September 18th 9/18/07
Island Breath: News of September 16th & 17th 9/17/07
Island Breath: News of September 14th & 15th 9/15/07
Island Breath: News of September 13th 9/13/07
Island Breath: News of September 12th 9/12/07
Island Breath: News of September 11th
Island Breath: News of September 10th 9/10/07
Island Breath: Superferry Concerns 9/10/07
Island Breath: KOH Petition to USCG 9/5/07
Island Breath: HSF Slice & Swath Technology 9/5/07
Island Breath: News of Oahu animosity 9/5/07
Island Breath: Maritime Administration & EIS 9/3/07
Island Breath: Support from Oahu's DMZ 8/30/2007
Island Breath: DMZ - Stop the Strykers 7/2/07
Island Breath: Maui Case & Timeline 8/29/07
Island Breath: A Hawaiian's View 8/29/07
Island Breath: We Win Round Three 8/28/07
Island Breath: Plea to Reps and TRO 8/27/07
Island Breath: Rounds One & Two 8/23/07
Island Breath: Boycott the Superferry 8/17/07
Island Breath: Superferry Preparations 8/10/07
Island Breath: Hui-R Superferry Meeting 7/26/2007
Island Breath: Not So Super Ferry 7/24/07
Island Breath: Superferry Invasion 7/22/07
Island Breath: Superferry Noise 7/18/07
Island Breath: Superferry Delayed 5/25/07
Island Breath: Still No Superferry EIS 3/31/07
Island Breath: Superferry EIS Effort 3/25/2007
Island Breath: Superferry EIS Bill hearings 2/26/07
Island Breath: Superferry Promotion 2/24/07
Island Breath: Superferry Launched 1/28/07
Island Breath: Superferry in Trouble
Island Breath: Superferry Reference
Island Breath: Superferry Resistance
Island Breath: Superferry & Military
Island Breath: Superferry History
Island Breath: Stop the Superferry
Island Breath: Superferry Meetings
Island Breath: Superferry Redux
Island Breath: Superferry Problems


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