Strands of pink floated in a magical lavender sky and the clouds draped themselves so as to give flat-topped Waialeale the appearance of jagged peaks when Koko and I went walking this morning.
The world brightened quickly with a blaze of orange in the east that reached out to set Makaleha rosily glowing. Palm fronds clattered and eucalyptus trees sighed as the wind gusted, carrying the smells of citrus blossoms, spider lilies, coffee, burnt toast.
That was the grand lead up to the decidedly less showy main event, when a pale sun pulled itself weakly up over the horizon and disappeared into a blanket of spackled gray.
Despite shutting down service, the Hawaii Superferry has not yet disappeared from discussion or scrutiny, with even formerly silent players going on the defense.
As Disappeared News noted, Young Brothers defended the cost and speed of its freight service, which had been maligned in media reports about the demise of the ferry, and said its company and others that use state harbors have been subjected to environmental reviews.
And Tim Dick, one of the founders of Hawaii Superferry, used his blog to defend the boat’s environmental record, dismiss the military conspiracy theory and sling a bit of mud on those who opposed the ferry.
It was interesting to read his take on things, but the comments — aside from Brad Parson’s —seemed a bit too polished, perfect and predictable to be fully legit. Words like hence aren’t typically seen in comment sections dominated by ferry supporters. And then there are the fawning sentiments:
Thanks, Tim, for bringing it all into focus once again. Great vision and care for the environment drove this project from day one.
Gee, if only that sort of vision and care had been driving the nation’s financial markets, we wouldn’t be in such a mess. Or on second thought, maybe that’s precisely what did run it aground. At any rate, one statistic in particular has been running through my mind since I heard it on Democracy Now! yesterday in an interview with journalist Daniel Brook: 47 percent of Americans report living paycheck to paycheck.
And as Brook pointed out, when you don’t have universal health care and good public transportation, all it takes is a car break down or a medical emergency to push those folks right over the edge — or into the clutches of super-high-interest lenders.
On a totally unrelated note, I liked this report on a new study that shows yes, crabs do feel and remember pain, and so try to avoid it. It’s always so satisfying to see another one of our misperceptions about animals as unfeeling, clueless critters laid to rest.
The military, meanwhile, is trying to lay to rest any speculation that it was to blame for the January and February deaths of humpback whale calves and fish around Kauai and Niihau. As The Garden Island reports today:
“I’d like to further clarify that all activities that took place on the range during this time were normal and within the scope of our EIS, to include both classified and unclassified operations,” said PMRF spokesman Tom Clements in an e-mail, responding to a report in The Garden Island that military activity could have caused large fish kills and the deaths of two baby whales.
A DARPA official also said the military did not cause the deaths.
“There were classified military operations in the area during that time frame. I cannot provide details of these operations, but I can tell you definitively that no rodenticide or chemicals were involved, nor were there any underwater sonar, acoustics or explosions,” said Jan R. Walker of DARPA external relations in a written statement provided by Clements. “In short, the tests did not involve any activities that could harm fish or marine mammals.”
Well, there you have it. Case closed. Except I'm not quite sure where the reporter got the part about DARPA also says the military did not cause the deaths. Unless there's something missing from this report, Tom Clements never actually does exonerate the military. Instead, he defends the activities as being "normal and within the scope of our EIS." And that doesn't mean non-lethal.