Thursday, May 8, 2008

Musings: Persona Non Grata

There’s a certain comfort to be found in the sound of rain falling in the night, when I’m safely snug in bed, a certain reassurance I feel when I hear the world around me getting the nourishment it treasures most.

Ask any plant if it would rather have rain or chlorinated water from a hose — and some hoses contain lead, I hear, although I can’t imagine why — and I know without it saying a word what the answer would be.

After our walk, in which Koko strained at her leash, whining and yipping in a classic case of chicken envy as my neighbor Andy’s dog, Momi, chased a few stragglers alongside the road, I spent a little time in my taro patch, weeding, and marveling that one small leaf could hold a good quarter-cup of water, sparkling in the sunlight that filtered through the camphor tree.

I escorted four large African snails out of the patch; they didn’t appear to be eating the taro, just hunkering down in the moistness, but I generally take the approach that snails of any kind are persona non grata in the garden.

The question of whether the Superferry has a similar status on Kauai continues to be addressed by the media, with The Garden Island today taking up the topic on its front page.

The article quoted yesterday’s Honolulu Advertiser coverage, which included comments from new Hawaii Superferry CEO Thomas Fargo saying the company was waiting for an affirmative sign from the community before resuming service.

Curiously, Fargo declined to comment to The Garden Island, although he’s already talked to the Star-Bulletin, Pacific Business News and Advertiser. It kind of makes me wonder if his previous interviews were merely a dog and pony show staged for the Honolulu folks.

Nor did HSF spokeswoman Lori Abe respond by press time to a request for more info about the company’s purported outreach efforts here. Again, you’d have to think she’d welcome the opportunity for some exposure in the local press — unless exposure is exactly what she doesn’t want, if you get my drift.

Fortunately, Mayor Bryan Baptiste continues to exercise his stunningly strong leadership in the issue, with the paper reporting his astute observation that “the complexities surrounding the issue have not abated.”

“I’m not sure if we can come to a consensus; there’s so much passion on both sides,” he said yesterday. “My concern as mayor is the divisiveness this issue has caused in our community.”

Baptiste said the county would, however, support a forum or poll conducted jointly by state and Superferry officials.

Oh, you mean the same guys who ganged up previously to bully the ferry’s way into the Neighbor Islands? Yes, that would certainly be the team to conduct a poll that would leave everyone assured of its accuracy and fairness.

Meanwhile, Dick Mayer on Maui raised a good question in an email yesterday as to whether it’s a conflict of interest for Fargo to serve on the board of Hawaiian Airlines while Hawaii Superferry offers corporate-subsidized cut-rate tickets intended to lure business away from the airlines.

Of course, the whole corporate world in Hawaii is so intertwined — some might even say incestuous — that it’s tough to figure out just which nest these guys are feathering when they’re serving on multiple boards.

But I think chances are good that those nests don’t belong to you and me.

And that reminds me: I found a tiny gray feather in the loi and brought it inside with me. Now I’m thinking, after this brief foray into the human/cyber world, that I should have stayed with it outside.


Mauibrad said...

Tomorrow they start two-a-days. The conditions will be wind of 25 kn and waves of 11 ft in Kaiwi and 12 ft. in Pailolo. That is Beaufort 6 BOM 4, rough.

From the article today in the Honolulu Advertiser, the later Honolulu departure time is 3pm, too early for a big weekend crowd to get off work. The article also mentions the second evening run helping commercial businesses to return the same day. By the route/schedule that is only true for Oahu businesses. Maui businesses would be able to arrive over there at 2pm and have to return at 3pm or the next day. Was talking with Dick Mayer, this is for Oahu businesses to make inroads into the Maui market. This is not for the convenience of Maui businesses.

Lastly, the article mentions new part-time workers on Maui. A few weeks ago HSF ran a classified here in the Maui paper for $13/hour jobs. I suppose that may be those. Well, at least that is more than the $12/hour that Austal pays B-class welders.

Aloha, Brad

Anonymous said...

The Superferry called my house yesterday. It went like this:
Superferry: Eh, what, you guys still pissed off?
Me: Uh, no, why?
SF: We like come Kauai.
Me: Hah? Why, nobody going ride your boat and get all sick. Waste time.
SF: No, no, no, try watch our commercials. Smooth the ride.
Me: Ummm, nah, but let me ask around. Eh, anybody like ride the Superferry?
SF: What they said?
Me: Yeah, get three, four guys might ride 'em. Still five bucks, yeah?
SF: (click)
Me: Hello? Hello?

Mauibrad said...

Ha ha ha ha ha, anonymous, that's funny!

Aloha, Brad