Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Musings: Blown Away

Koko, usually calm in a storm, was agitated by last night’s blasting winds, and I kept wondering if she knew something I didn’t. I tried to calm her, but was slightly agitated myself after a giant centipede jabbed two spears into my foot, drawing blood. I guess I stepped on it while walking in the grass when I took Koko out before bed.

But by using the energy medicine I learned from Louise Mita, I was able to clear the pain and trauma and finally the dog and I both fell asleep.

I awoke to absoluteness stillness and silence — if you don’t count the crowing roosters. Koko and I ventured out, our shadows cast by a thin wedge of moon getting chummy with Venus. The sky was dense with stars and the air was fresh, scented lightly by camphor and eucalyptus.

Lightening flashed intermittently off to the southeast and two stars fell in the west, so that must be where the fish are biting. It was glorious in every respect of the word, and as I walked, the sky slowly brightened and the wind began to rise.

Ran into Andy, almost literally, as I couldn’t see him, but could hear him talking to the four dogs that were walking him today. We agreed the wind last night had that characteristic freight train sound we hadn’t heard since the hurricane.

Andy said he hoped the storm would hit Honolulu Harbor just about the time the Superferry was setting out, but I informed him the voyage had already been cancelled because it would take at least three days to repair and realign the barge used to load and unload vehicles at Kahului Harbor. Apparently conditions there Monday were the worst in recent memory. Katy Rose just sent me an email saying service has been delayed until Dec. 13, according to an email HSF sent to ticketed passengers. Thanks for the update.

Farmer Jerry, enroute to work, stopped long enough to call out cheerily: “What a wonderful windstorm!” I answered: “It was almost like the hurricane,” to which he replied: “Without the fear.”

Yes, the fear factor makes all the difference, and it’s played a big role in the “Unified Command’s” decision to ramp up Superferry security at both Kahului and Nawiliwili harbors. It’s interesting to see how the security zones were Gov. Lingle’s idea, but now the Coast Guard — accustomed to playing the hero — is cast in the role of bad guy enforcer, and it’s apparently not too happy with its part

But while all the focus is on protecting the big boat, under the guise of promoting public safely, there’s another security issue at stake, as Karen Anderson of Big Island Watch discovered when she attempted to find out how many guns she could bring aboard what she’s dubbed “Superscary.”

In an email to me, Anderson recounted an exchange she had with a woman in the Superferry "Passenger Experience Department" who reportedly “was unable to come up with an answer about the number of firearms you're allowed to bring onboard. She did say that ammo and guns must be separated. But when I asked her if the security people would actually check for a loaded gun, she said no. She also said that the firearm does not have to be in the trunk. It can be on your seat, as long as you declare it and that the ammo is in a separate container or bag, (bringing all new meaning to the concept of the honor system). Handguns, rifles and shotguns are allowed in an amount that is ‘reasonable’ for personal use. She said if you have a family of 10 going on a hunting trip with guns in the car, you must declare them when you pull up to board, but that it would be considered a ‘red flag’ if you have more than five guns on board and probably additional security would be alerted. So then I asked her how I could prevent in advance, a troublesome scene from occurring since I want to do everything by the book. She said it's just a matter of rolling down my window and talking to the screener person and telling him that I have 10 guns in the car. She also said you can't go back to your car once you're on the passenger deck, unless you've forgotten something ‘like medication.’

“Wow, I hope Terrorist Man doesn't forget to take his Prosac before boarding Superferry,” Carpenter concludes.

OK. Thanks for sharing, Karen. Let’s hope Superferry firms up its gun toting policy before service begins in earnest. I’ve also been impressed by Brad Parsons' frequent photo postings and wave calculations for Kahului Harbor, as well as his observation in an email yesterday: “Question, how much total money has the state spent on this barge problem the past three times that it has broken loose, and where exactly is that money coming from? This was all foreseeable and could have been planned for with a proper EIS.”

I'm blown away by all the good citizen minds that are busily identifying chinks in the Superferry armor. And yes, it’s all stuff that could have been addressed through an EIS, rather than the expensive and traumatic trial and error process that Superferry and the state chose instead.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What? They got security control for the protesters but no security control over having guns on the HSF? That's it, HSF is doomed.
BTW, high dose Vitamin C immediately after a centipede sting should clear up the swelling in 10 minutes. Start with 4 grams and increase from there. Vitamin C is amazing stuff.