Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Musings: Never Say Die

I laid in bed and watched the day approach through the skylight before getting up to join it. I knew it would be cold, windy and gray outside, so figured no sense add dark to the equation.

We hadn’t gotten far in our walk when Koko turned around and spotted my neighbor Andy and his dog Momi approaching, and after that, there was no more going forward for us until Andy caught up.

These gusty tradewind days remind of the Barf-o-Meter Index, which Brad Parsons developed — can it really be two years ago? — to chart the likelihood that Superferry passengers would be puking.

And that reminded me to tell Andy of an email that found its way into my inbox detailing plans to establish another interisland ferry service.

Apparently Heart of Hawaii has retained Clifton M Hasegawa & Associates, LLC, who is both a mediator and a renewable energy consultant, to assemble a team to make it happen — the “H4 Team.”

According to the email, which was written by Hasegawa, the first order of business is completing an EIS, which will take an estimated 14 to 24 months:

Additionally, we intend to meet with environmental, community and cultural groups to fully understand any objections they have raised previously and to address any concerns they may have prospectively.

“Oh, and they’ll be taken care of just like that,” said Andy, snapping his fingers.

As for the boat, the “H4 Team” plans to check out the availability of the Alakai and Huakai, reportedly now doing relief duty in Haiti, or build or acquire vessels of similar design. The email notes:

The choice of route is critical.

So they plan to hit ‘em all: Oahu to Lihue, Kahului, Hilo and Kona.

They’re right up front about possible military uses of the ferry, and plan to use screening personnel and “agricultural and artifact declarations” to resolve those pesky problems of invasive species and “resource depletion.”

This is a related concern particularly felt by Maui and Kauai residents who are concerned about people from Oahu taking large quantities of rocks, 'opihi (a sea limpet that is considered a delicacy), and other natural resources for Oahu use.

That made me think about a conversation I had recently with a woman on Oahu, who asked what Kauai’s objection to the Superferry was really all about. Was it all environmental? she wondered.

I explained that was a big part of it, but there was also resistance to the ferry being forced upon us and having no say in the matter, no opportunity to participate in the process. She could relate to that.

Then I said, “And there was this feeling that it was really primarily for the benefit of the people living on Oahu, that they would come over here in large numbers and overwhelm Kauai, its beaches, parks, roads, surf spots. It was hard to see what was really in it for us.” She could not relate to that. In fact, it kind of pissed her off.

But hey, that’s the way it is, and calling a ferry “H4” in reference to a fourth freeway for Oahu underscores its purpose, which is to help move people off that overcrowded, overused rock and onto the other islands.

“Maybe the people on Lanai would like it, since they’re complaining about their expensive airline tickets,” Andy ventured.

“Yes, they could add routes to Molokai and Lanai and unite all the islands, just like Kamehameha,” I said, which prompted Andy and me to agree I might be able to find work on the “H4” marketing team.

So do you suppose there really is money in an interisland ferry service, or is this latest venture hoping to take advantage of state subsidies? And perhaps federal ones, too, seeing as how Hasegawa’s website includes a photo and references to how his father fought with Sen. Inouye in the 442nd.

Of course, you can’t talk about the Superferry without also talking about Linda Lingle, and Andy noted he’d seen her on TV last night, standing to the right of GOP hotshot and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, “scowling and looking very Republican.”

We’ve all long speculated that national is the only place that Linda can go, and so the positioning, literally, has already begun, since Barbour — reportedly “a top pick of GOP insiders” — has said he’ll consider a 2012 Presidential run following the November elections.

Heck, you never know. Maybe Lingle and the Superferry will both rise from the dead at the same time.

31 comments:

jackbauer said...

The court ruling stated "irreparable harm". There is nothing left to be mitigated after an EIS is done unless it means the need for this boat is so overwhelmingly necessary that irreparable harm will have to be factored in.

Is that how the EIS would resolve this?

Anonymous said...

i like the part where new, significant businesses need to get an "OK" from the local GED crowd to do anything. good luck on that "economic diversification" thing..


dwps

Anonymous said...

court never said there was irreparable harm.

Anonymous said...

plans to establish another interisland ferry service

Good!

1. They can do it right this time.

2. Show the hippies and radicals and other hobby demonstrators that they don't run this island.

Casey said...

Some of the environmental reasons have justification. However, in terms of being overwhelmed by off-islanders, the numbers just aren't there.

A typical year brings in about 1 million visitors, each staying for about 1 week. That means that typically about 19,000 visitors (1,000,000 people per year/52 weeks per year) are on the island at any given time. Compare that to the capacity of the ferry of 900 people. Most ferry people would be weekend visitors, so they'll maybe add 1800 visitors to the island at any given time. That's only 1/10th of the number that fly in.

Refs:
http://www.kauai.gov/Government/Departments/EconomicDevelopment/EconomicStatisticsandForecasting/tabid/256/Default.aspx)
http://www.cruiselines.us/cruiseline_hawaii_supperferry.html

Anonymous said...

With the SF's discounted fares and low passenger count, why would anyone want to invest in an interisland ferry system? Is the government going to subsidize the ferry system?

Anonymous said...

You know, I recently started thinking the next natural disaster that Kauai has, they'll use it as an excuse to shove Superferry up Kauai's a$$.

Brad Parsons said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dawson said...

Show the hippies and radicals and other hobby demonstrators that they don't run this island.

...And show the back-door lobbyists, sleazy politicos and tourism industry greedmongers that they do.

Anonymous said...

The SF had a lot going for it. Rich, well connected investors, willing politicians and a slick media campaign. All it needed was customers willing to pay full fare. And for you with the anal fixation, get over it.

Maria said...

You're kidding me? Where's my surfboard?
PUSH'EM BACK,
PUSH'EM BACK

WAY BACK!

Anonymous said...

Come on...say "die" already.

Let the SF come.

Anonymous said...

Maria said...
You're kidding me? Where's my surfboard?
PUSH'EM BACK,
PUSH'EM BACK


Bring it, sister. The first time you had the element of surprise. Next time you're going to jail on federal charges, as you should. Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

As I sat in the Alakai's air conditioned lounge, the smell of barf wafting throughout and the boat not so gently rocking, with another two hours to Maui, my only thought was, "I should have flown".

Anonymous said...

As I sat in the Alakai's air conditioned lounge, the smell of barf wafting throughout and the boat not so gently rocking, with another two hours to Maui, my only thought was, "I should have flown".

At least you had a choice. Try taking a truckload of farm produce or a van load of surfers and their gear to Oahu on a plane.

Anonymous said...

I love rough boat rides! I'd pay extra for that.

Anonymous said...

hope it gets here soon.

Anonymous said...

Nothing like government money to prop up a business that is a proven money loser.

Common Sense said...

"At least you had a choice. Try taking a truckload of farm produce or a van load of surfers and their gear to Oahu on a plane."

Why in hell would you want take good food off this island? Ah, you prefer that Safeway herbicide stuff. Nuff said!


Who in their right mind would want to go surfing in those crowds? Besides that, where are you going to park?


BS aside, being that the SF sucks in massive amounts of water per second through it's propulsion intakes, we need to insure there are screens put over them. SF would aniahlate whole schools of fish, you wouldn't know except a momentary streak of red in the wake.


Let's not overlook it's fuel economy, or lack there of. 40 knts across the channel is far to fast. 20 knts tops, especially at night.


If you you have to have to have a superferry, do it right, make a superbarge, and tow behind a tug. Be real, save lives, no matter how minute!

Anonymous said...

"Why in hell would you want take good food off this island? Ah, you prefer that Safeway herbicide stuff. Nuff said!"

-- oh i see, your from-a-distance business judgment should govern their farming operations...where they sell, how much, etc...to hell with what can be sold here, to whom, in what volume, and at what price


"SF would aniahlate whole schools of fish"

-- you are kidding right. SF prob an al qaeda threat too....hurry get ur duct tape

like that one girl at the SF protest meeting that started talking about saving the rain forest and shit. wtf..


but yes, being weird and wildly waving arms about a pretty straightforward ferry operation is bound to encourage, oh, say renewable energy operations to stick their neck out and set up camp here...or a light manufacturing operation to set up a partial assembly plant

but whatever, you dont care about such stuff. my bad


dwps

Anonymous said...

"pretty straightforward ferry operation"?

Yeah, if you don't count the backroom wheeling and dealing between Bob Awana, the SF guys (a well connected bunch locally and nationally) and the DOT guys
that resulted in the perversion of the EIS law, or the legislature caving in to exempt the SF from the EIS law. Other than that, it was pretty straightforward.

Anonymous said...

"resulted in the perversion of the EIS law"

-- if you are, even in part, saying that people from (1) govs office (2) dot, and/or (3) SF counsel totally blew the EIS part as would be viewed by the/a court...hard not to conclude the proof is not in their having lost in a couple state courts. an expensive blunder it seems

to suggest otherwise would require a pretty detailed review of how the courts here have applied EIS law to similar fact patterns (which i sure have not done, but i do note the state courts here -- up to the st sup court -- are viewed as a bit of a joke by those who have practiced elsewhere)

but if you are just keenly disliking cronyism, that is great of course. there may yet again be a chance to move matson out of its monopoly (via changes to the logan act or some other means) on the state side, and slim-to-none chance to get a county manager on the local side. see you there


dwps

Anonymous said...

I dislike mischaracterizations. The Superferry was anything but a straightforward operation. Attempt to extrapolate all you want if it makes you feel better. I'd rather roll a fattie.

Anonymous said...

So, here we go again? not a chance. Too much was uncovered when the SF said goodbye finally. Lingle getting a shot at the nationals? Not likely. We plan on overcooking her rice real good, and burning the bottom to where a loaf of bread can not soak up the smell.

There is currently a barrage of lawsuits against her and her minions. Her administration will go down more than likely as the most corrupt ever in the history of the state.

If it is possible that she can survive civil and federal lawsuits, that will span the rest of her term, and probably years after that, on the civil side, it will be highly doubtful that she will be entering the national arena any time soon.

As for threatening the people again with military, harrassment, tear gas and other neat stuff? not a chance. The protestors have learned very well. They are organized, attorneys at the wait to counter any situations that may arise. And the attorneys have a very good track record. Further, the political climate has changed, due to the fact that most of the concerns about the Superferry operation have been realized as true.

Not only that, but we are about to say goodbye to Lingles administration, and her second in command waiting just like Prince Charles to rule after the Queen. But he never will. The Democrats will again elect a Governor to Honolulu Hale, and they will not allow the outer islands to be so ignored ever again.

So good luck with that Superferry shove down our throats hopey changey thingie. Not a chance in hell of ever happening again.

You betcha.

Anonymous said...

"The Superferry was anything but a straightforward operation."

-- i guess i would then just ask you consider the "straightforward operation" view as offered in good faith. that was/is my view of it


as to the barrage of SF lawsuits against the gov office the person above notes, eh, i dunno, i kinda doubt it. have suits been filed? thanks


dwps

Dawson said...

Lingle getting a shot at the nationals? Not likely.

Reading the rhetoric of the Right suggests the opposite. To the mainland Republican Party she'll be perceived as a godsend: a smarter, more sophisticated, better pedigreed and infinitely more professional Palin.

The more lawsuits from liberal Hawaii, the better her image with the mainland Right. Every attack will only strengthen her bona fides as a Warrior for the Cause, and enhance her status as a battle-tested leader.

Anonymous said...

hmmm. i did not know this lingle lady was even being remotely courted that way. her and palin seem like two different animals. lingle does not have even have the religious thing. she needs to go to a church where they chant with snakes and shit, which i bet is here locally


dwps

Anonymous said...

dwps: "but i do note the state courts here -- up to the st sup court -- are viewed as a bit of a joke by those who have practiced elsewhere)"


You note? I'd check those notes closer for accuracy because....

I note that "those who have practiced elsewhere" are universally despised as ignorant, meddlesome outsiders trying to impose their dysfunctional cultural values on others. No time to provide any proof beyond what I "note" so just take my word for it.

Ben Dover

Anonymous said...

"Bring it, sister. The first time you had the element of surprise. Next time you're going to jail on federal charges, as you should. Good luck with that."

hehehe..... We always have the element of surprise because "we" NEVER use the same tactic twice (duh because it would not be a surprise now would it).

Anonymous said...

"universally despised as ignorant, meddlesome outsiders trying to impose their dysfunctional cultural values on others."

-- no, just people that hold a license to practiced in more than one state, and have tried cases in a few different federal courts


dwps

Brad Parsons said...

Check it out: Just when they're looking like a loser on LCS...

http://hisuperferry.blogspot.com/2010/03/austal-to-showcase-vessels-at-china.html