Saturday, March 1, 2008

Musings: Super Saturday

Venus, Jupiter and the moon were all that were left of the night when Koko and I took our walk this morning. The sky brightened with first pinks, then golds, before the sun came up in earnest, washing Waialeale in purplish light.

It was looking like a good day to dry clothes on the line, so I headed over to the Laundromat before it got busy. As my clothes washed, I took a swim in water that was warmer than the chill air.

My all accounts it was shaping up to be a Super Saturday, and that theme continued when I opened my MacBook and learned that the Superferry did indeed get banged up pretty bad (or good, depending on your perspective) both going into drydock and by the blocks that are supposed to support it while it’s being repaired. Aw shucks. tee hee.

The damage report was first made this past Thursday on the Save Kahului Harbor blog, but I was hesitant to repeat it without confirmation, which came last night on KGMB News.

Apparently TV camera crews actually went over to the drydock — perhaps tipped by the blog account — and reported that they could see work being done on the big boat. The station confirmed that the ship’s hull had been damaged on both sides by the blocks it’s supposed to rest on. The Save Kahului Harbor blog has more details on how that reportedly happened.

Additionally, the TV station reported that the ferry was damaged when it was being towed in. It seems the tugboat lost power, and the ship drifted into the pier. Despite reports that are circulating, the extent of the damage has not been confirmed.

Despite all this — and the rudder problems that prompted it to go into drydock early, Hawaii Superferry is still saying the ferry will be back in service on March 25. I wonder.

I also wonder why the Advertiser stay sleeping on this story. We know they read the blogs, so how come they never checked it out like KGMB TV did?

The TV station led with the comment: “The streak of bad luck for the Superferry continues,” while the Save Kahului Harbor blog was more blunt — and probably more accurate — with its headline: “Superferry No Match for Hawaiian Kahuna.” Those of us who believe in such things had a feeling that justice would be served, one way or another.

Meanwhile, the quest for justice continues in the courts. The Star-Bulletin reports today that Maui Tomorrow, the Sierra Club and the Kahului Harbor Coalition are appealing the decision by Maui Circuit Court Judge Cardoza’s that allowed the Hawaii Superferry to operate without first completing an EIS.

The paper reports:

Maui Tomorrow Executive Director Irene Bowie said that the appeal filed yesterday with the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals challenges the constitutionality of Act 2, which exempted "large-capacity ferry vessels."

"We have been heartened and encouraged to go forward with this appeal by so many people throughout the state contacting us and offering both moral and financial support," Bowie said.

I wonder if the HSF folks thought all their troubles were over when they walked out of Cardoza’s courtroom, triumphant. If so, they were super wrong.


Andy Parx said...

I’m really apprehensive about the legal strategy of relying on the claim that Act 2 was special legislation to benefit one entity. Case law on this is not promising. 99% of it is strictly construed so if the legislation is specifically broad in its non-specificity the intent of the lawmakers doesn’t matter.

I have always said that if the case was to go back to the State Supreme Court or even the newly empowered Intermediate Court that the “irreparable harm” that the SC found and forced Cordoza to use to stop it in August should be the basis for appeal because no legislation can possibly reverse that statement of fact and the SC would have to explain how it could have changed. I also think the federal case could be better pursued now because of events and that it is such a blatant violation of NEPA and the MMA as well as the CZMA.

But I’m not paying the legal bills and he who pays the piper calls the tune.

Anonymous said...

Is this not an amazing turn of events? Or not. Perhaps it was all pre-ordained. But OMG, somebody — taxpayers? — is going to be pouring more money into this black hole.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Andy that the "special legislation" route doesn't seem particularly promising. For one thing, whether the legislation benefits a single company is irrelevant to the meaning of special legislation. Special legislation is a law that applies only to, and identifies by name, a specific political subdivision of the state (such as a county or a municipality). It doesn't mean legislation that applies somehow to a single business.

I assume the special legislation argument will go to the point that the harbors at issue are named in the Act, and therefore, I assume it will be argued, the Act applies to and names a political subdivision in violation of the prohibition.

Larry said...

I'd like to see the complaint, it must be around somewhere. Has someone else seen it? Is it entirely based on legislation to benefit a single entity?

Actually, I guess I could ask for a copy.

On the damage to the Superferry, it is kind of strange that all this happened to one poor boat. I mean, tugs have pushed ships into drydocks before, without bashing them up terribly. The business of putting in blocks and tying things up should also be routinely accomplished. Yet it's one thing after another.

I'm afraid when the repairs are all done they'll drop it or something will fall on it.

Could this all be an accident? Or divine intervention? Or something else? Oops, sorry about that dent.