Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Musings: Just Say No

The day started with the noise and lights of the garbage truck, and the lingering odors from overturned cans lining the road. Koko was happy, and my own mood improved when I spotted the mist lying at the base of Kalepa ridge as the sky turned baby blue.

There is one secondary impact that I fear a Superferry EIS will not be able to address, and that’s the malady known as Superferry obsession. A friend confessed at the hearing on Sunday that he’s turning into a blog addict because of the issue. Apparently his wife came home at noon recently to find him eating a sandwich and pecking out a comment — the breakfast dishes unwashed and his own professional work undone.

I’m not sure what the cure is, except the Superferry's demise, but if it drags out much longer, we may need to start 12-step based support groups.

While we’re on the subject, forgot to mention that during Sunday’s meeting in the King Kaumualii school cafeteria, the Senators sat beneath hand-lettered signs with such headings as: "What is bullying?" and "You will have more friends if...." While the posters were obviously there for the school kids, a number of us did think Gov. Lingle would benefit from studying them, too.

According to an article in the Star-Bulletin, President Bush is coming out against the Akaka bill, saying he “strongly opposes any bill that would formally divide sovereign United States power along suspect lines of race and ethnicity.”

His policies show, however, that he is entirely comfortable with dividing the nation along socioeconomic lines.

So far as I’m concerned, it would be a good thing if the Akaka bill dies, as it requires the kanaka maoli to relinquish all claims to sovereignty in return for whatever pittance the federal government wants to toss their way.

Independence — restoration of the Hawaiian nation separate and apart from the United States — seems to me the only way to right the wrongs of the 1893 illegal overthrow. If you’re confused about the issue, my article on the Reinstated Hawaiian Nation might prove helpful.

When Molokai activist Walter Ritte was on Kauai last week, he talked about the Akaka bill, ongoing attempts to undermine Kamehameha Schools and programs that benefit Native Hawaiians, and bioprospecting and other efforts to patent Hawaii's resources.

He described it as “mana mahale.” The first mahele divided the land, and the Hawaiians lost out. Now, he said, the government, universities, corporations and folks who want to keep Hawaiians in colonial status are taking actions to try and grab the mana, the spiritual essence of the land and indigenous people, which is all that’s left.

“Aole — no,” he said. “That’s the word we’ve all got to use.”

That goes for the Superferry, too, as Nani Rogers noted at the hearing when she asked the Senators: "What part of aole don't you understand?"


Anonymous said...

"What part of aole don't you understand?"

The part that implies that the "aole" sentiment from a fraction of the population of Kauai and Maui should somehow be precieved as the dominant feelings of the state as a whole.

The part that assumes total independent county (island) authority and doesn't recognize it represents a rather small fraction of the state as a whole.

Larry said...

Oahu should understand not wanting to have your own neighborhood trampled--this place is full of gated communities and is busy cutting off beach access in Kailua.

Apparently it's ok to go stomping over other islands' desires, sensibilities, environment and so forth as long as Oahu people are doing the stomping.

What many on Oahu perceive as their right to a happy holiday might be viewed by others as practically rape. Strong words? If someone thinks so, they probably live on Oahu.

Anonymous said...

The only island of the main 8 in Hawaii that could legally uphold the sentiment of the vocal statewide minority anti-HSF, anti-development, etc contingent is Niihau. That's because it's 100% private property.

There's an island in Michigan..Macannac (sp) Island...where the only allowed form of transportation is foot and bike. There are horse drawn carriages for hire. Pedistrian ferry service is provided to/from the mainland. There are very few perminant residents. The local economy is 100% seasonal tourism.

This works because it is a state park/recreational facility.

Does Kauai want to become a 100% state park? That would halt private development, but probably not the HSF for "day trippers" and short-term visitors.

Anonymous said...


Is anyone else troubled that the AG is getting this political?

And what does Laura Thielen think about all of this? What about her position as head of DLNR on the operating conditions?

Surely she has been involved in the development of the Executive Order's Operating Conditions?

More Lingle Administration worthless window dressing?

She needs to be on the record now, not later during the confirmation process where she can plead ignorance.


This is no time for "best efforts" and other hollow clauses.
Where is she on enforcement?

How will she protect our culture, fish, lobsters and ophi? If we base it by her efforts with historic preservation, then she is a sham just like this HSF bill.

I am confused as to how the senate can confirm a DLNR Chairperson who allows the conservation disctict use permits for the HSF faiclities. Check out page 12 of the draft bill here:

It specifically exempts the HSF from any County permits required. Oops! so much for home rule, Lingle.
She is not protecting our resources already.

If they are going to muscle this through, the Senate should Lingle Should Chose: HSF or Thielen, But Not Both.

If we gonna get saddled with this HSF dog, then the Senate better save us from Thielen. We might still be able to beat the HSF in the HSC, but better if we axe Thielen now.

Is Lingle really this much smarter than Senate Leadership?

Anonymous said...

Ah, but they did visit the out islands first.

Kinda like saying they kissed you first.

Anonymous said...

Some said "no" some said "yes". The crowd turn out here in Kona was not as impressive as Mau'i or Kaua'i. I got there late after work so I didn't get to hear the person deliver the Cease and Desist Order from the Hawaiian Kingdom. If anyone is interested in the actual documents that were delivered on behalf of the Hawaiian Kingdom, I have copies.
The Senators stayed over time to 7:45 pm but they never got to everyone including me who signed up to testify.The testimony was interesting. My favorite was from a man who said that the ferry travels twice as fast as the largest vessel currently traveling between our islands and due to its double hull, its speed and the fact that it cannot slow down, the super ferry will kill whales. Not good.

Anonymous said...

Living on the BI, I think most people feel that we can absorb whatever impact the HSF will bring since we're, well, big. Plus, it won't impact us till sometime in 2009, so the kinks should be worked out by then.

My only complaint is that I'd like to go to Maui on it, but I don't want to go to Oahu first. Why can't they have a direct BI-Maui route??

Relative to the special session, this was in the Starbulletin:

"House Speaker Calvin Say said he and Lingle reached a tentative agreement on Saturday and worked with Senate President Colleen Hanabusa to get consensus.

'I know we won't please everyone, and when everyone is not pleased, I know it is a damn good bill,' Say said."

Comprimise may have been reached...the DABDA cycle (denial, anger, bargening, depression, acceptance) may be moving into its "depression" phase. Everybody has conceded something, including the environment.

Life goes on.

Anonymous said...

I think the super ferry is being encouraged and supported by a group of very selfish people. The legislators like Say have probably received super ferry campaign donations and the residents who feel that they need this service without doing a thorough EIS and without having the State fund the services that are needed (more enforcement, etc.)before the HSF wreaks havoc are a bunch of totally self centered folks only thinking about themselves. Shame on them.

Joan Conrow said...

Dear jkeliipio, thanks for providing the Big island meeting update.

Dear Anoymous, just what compromise do you see being reached here? As it looks now, Lingle and Superferry are getting everything, and opponents, nothing.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe that the bill proposed will be the bill passed. There will be more barganing. I think the environment will win some, but the "hard wall" is the point at which the HSF cannot operate at minimally required profit margins anymore.

I'm sure they know just what that is and are prepared to accept certain concessions. Letting the state off the hook for losses to-date is a bargening chip in their favor.

The real elephant in the room is the near-term loss if HSF isn't allowed to operate profitably...the fantastic losses in lawsuits and/or settlements HSF is sure to win. Say what you will about them, but they didn't break the law...the state did. The fact that they made it clear that it was in their best interest does not make them legally culpable.

I don't believe lawmakers will allow this financial nightmare to happen...they will adopt a position that "it won't be as bad as some people say".

And, don't forget, the majority of voters in the state as a whole are apparenetly in favor of HSF. If it ever got on a ballot, the voters would approve any law changes and all legal opposition and constitutionality questions would disappear.

Pucker up...it's time to get dragged kicking and screaming into the future.

Anonymous said...

According to an article in the NY Times, this is what the future holds:

Scientists sometimes refer to the effect a hotter world will have on this country’s fresh water as the other water problem, because global warming more commonly evokes the specter of rising oceans submerging our great coastal cities. By comparison, the steady decrease in mountain snowpack — the loss of the deep accumulation of high-altitude winter snow that melts each spring to provide the American West with most of its water — seems to be a more modest worry. But not all researchers agree with this ranking of dangers. Last May, for instance, Steven Chu, a Nobel laureate and the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, one of the United States government’s pre-eminent research facilities, remarked that diminished supplies of fresh water might prove a far more serious problem than slowly rising seas. When I met with Chu last summer in Berkeley, the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada, which provides most of the water for Northern California, was at its lowest level in 20 years. Chu noted that even the most optimistic climate models for the second half of this century suggest that 30 to 70 percent of the snowpack will disappear. “There’s a two-thirds chance there will be a disaster,” Chu said, “and that’s in the best scenario.”

Yeeha! Ride that boat, baby!

Anonymous said...

If the masses were better informed with truthful information, they would probably go for a smaller less impacting ferry like the one we had back in the 70s, called the hydrofoil. The super sized stuff (ferrys, walmart centers, super highways, etc) wreak of excess. If everyone on this earth lived a super sized lifestyle like Americans the planet would die.

Anonymous said...

Better informed masses, eh?

That's worked out so well in other areas...population obesity...retirement planning (most do a miserable job of it)...predatory mortgage implosion...energy consumption...etc.

Child rearing (isn't that supposed to be the school's responsibility?) working so well that our younger generation has no moral compass anymore, as evidenced by so many things in the news.

Individuals may be smart, but,as the stock market says, "the masses are asses", a more succinct version of the more elequent phrase, "it is not up to man to direct his own steps".

Generations of Americans past the WW2 generation have adopted the philosophy of "I want what I want when I want it". That is yet to pass off the scene.

What do you think China will become as they get even more industrialized and adopt a more western consumerist style?

With oil hitting $90/barrel for the first time and sustaining a price in the upper $80's, I smell another war coming up.

Lots and lots of supersized SUV's and Hummers on the BI roads, too.

I just sit on my "hill" and watch the emerging train wreck called civilization. It can't be stopped, so it may as well be "a musing".