Monday, November 5, 2007

Musings: Under Pressure

Brilliant Venus sidled up to a luminous slice of moon and Waialeale shrugged off a light shawl of clouds as Koko and I walked fast to stay warm in the chill of early morning. Drops from last night’s rain still clung to pasture gates, tree limbs, spider webs.

As I returned home, the sun struggled to emerge from a dense bank of clouds, briefly tinting it apricot, pink and gold, before fading to gray.

Ran into Andy and his pack of dogs, and we both expressed a bit of guilt about not attending yesterday’s Nawiliwili Ti Party demonstration against the Superferry.

But it sounds like they had a pretty good turnout, from the account in today’s Garden Island.

My hat is off to the folks who did gather in the water to show opposition to the federal security zone, which will prevent such access when the ferry starts running.

I wouldn’t ever want to swim at Nawiliwili Harbor, especially after a couple of days of heavy rain. Unfortunately, it’s yet another one of Kauai’s bays that all too often has unacceptably high levels of fecal bacteria, plus it’s also polluted with fuel from the boats and all kinds of crap that the steams — those that aren’t diverted to Waita Reservoir, anyway — pick up while winding their way through Grove Farm’s urbanization.

I was struck by one reported quote that had Timoteo Rysdale of Wailua saying: “The reason people live here is specifically to not be connected.”

While I’m sure his sentiment is not universal on Kauai, it does explain a lot of the opposition and point out the fallacy of Rep. Joe Souki’s claim that Supeferry will be “the glue” that binds the islands together.

Who ever said we want to be glued together, and why would that necessarily be a good thing?

I did get a giggle from a comment — “Hurry up, I want to unite the islands” — posted by “King Kamehameha” on an Advertiser story yesterday.

However, a report in today’s Star-Bulletin is no laughing matter:

“Asked why the Legislature returned to write a law especially designed to allow the ferry to sail, [Rep. Calvin] Say said it was public pressure and fears about the state's anti-business reputation.

‘There was a campaign by the media -- the surveys, the radio talk shows and also the negative statements that we are really so anti-business,’ Say said in an interview.

Also, Say said he and Senate President Colleen Hanabusa feared that the state would be liable if the Superferry sued because the state had given the ferry the needed approvals.”

So bogus surveys, coupled with hyperbolic, racist, inflammatory Oahu talk shows, Superferry’s own PR blitz and a bad decision by the Lingle Administration are all it took to turn our lawmakers into a bunch of cowering fools willing to throw the rule of law out the window?

Auwe! Things are much worse than I thought.


Anonymous said...

My only surprise is that you thought it might be any other way. Pro-biz and lawsuit avoidance will always be paramount.

BTW, Lingle signed the bill Friday, but reported it today. Her 40 "conditions" are done. Those reported in the news today seem reasonable to me. Middle-of-the-road reasonable. Good.

Anonymous said...

The conditions do seem substantive - enough so that they cannot be written off as mere window dressing. I'm eager to see whether the plaintiffs will object to lifting the stay and, if so, on what grounds.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to be pro-diversification and anti-biz at the same time.

Anonymous said...

"Cost of doing business still No. 1 concern, survey shows

The cost of doing business in Hawai'i continues to top the concerns of business owners here, but a recent survey revealed that there also is a growing concern over the shortage and quality of workers and also the impact the Islands' aging infrastructure has on business."

Sooo.....where's the money going to come from? What is the chicken and what is the egg?

Keep inviting rich mainlanders to build 2nd homes in order to reap vast non-resident property taxes for infrastructure improvement?

How would you see a desire for diversification reconcile with the facts brought out in this article?

hint: a solution may not exist that would apease the "keep Hawaii Hawaii" folks.