Waialeale was dressed in lavender-grey, and wearing a white cloud belt, when Koko and I went walking this morning. Every notch and nook in her sloping summit could be seen, and in the pastures lying before her, mist had pooled in an enchanted floating lake.
Dawn approached and Waialeale cast off her belt and blushed pink. Every crack and crevice in her ancient face could be seen, and I wondered how long it had been since all her many waterfalls flowed. That’s a sight we need to see soon.
The sun rose in a eruption of golden grandeur, then promptly ducked behind a cloud, which is just about the time I ran into my neighbor Andy and his dog, Momi.
He was looking forward to a morning paddle in his canoe at Kalapaki, which got us talking about paddle boarders and surf break etiquette. Andy said he gave up board surfing back in 1963.
“It was too getting crowded,” he said, “and too aggressive. And the worst of the bunch, the biggest ass**** of them all, was Fred Hemmings.”
It seems Fred, a football player, was bigger than the other guys and had a propensity to bully. Andy recalled one incident where Fred actually tipped him off his board backward as he was about to catch a wave, then grabbed the ride himself.
“It’s been more than 40 years, so I suppose he could have changed, but somehow, I don’t think so,” Andy said. “Even if he was a liberal Democrat, he’d be hard-pressed to get my vote.”
That’s the thing about living in a small place like Hawaii. Stuff sticks.
And sometimes folks stick it to you, as is the case with Hawaii Superferry and the taxpayers of Hawaii. An article in yesterday’s WAToday.com shows us just how advantageous the bankruptcy filing — and its timing — will prove for some:
Shipbuilder Austal Ltd does not expect to find itself out of pocket after one of its customers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States.
Ferry charter operator Hawaii Superferry has filed for bankruptcy in the US Court of Delaware, owing Austal $US21.3 million ($A26.3 million).
The loan was provided by Austal as part of a deal to sell Hawaii Superferry two high-speed vessels.
Austal said in a statement on Tuesday that Hawaii Superferry would attempt to reorganise its affairs to allow it to continue as a going concern.
"If the business continues to operate, the chances of Austal getting its money back eventually are high," Austal executive chairman John Rothwell told AAP.
Mr Rothwell said it was likely that ownership of the vessels would return to Austal, which would then charter them to the US Department of Defence.
Austal holds a second registered mortgage over the vessels, ranking it as a creditor behind the US Maritime Administration.
Mr Rothwell said the US military had an urgent need for the class of vessels concerned.
Let me get this straight. You loan a company money to build two ships so you can establish yourself as an American shipbuilder. Then you find some super suckers who will pick up the tab while you test the vessel's performance in their waters and harbors, which helps you win a U.S. Navy contract potentially worth $1.6 billion. And then you get the boats back and charter them to the military while you build the rest of the boats it ordered. Those Aussies are so clever!
As Larry Geller noted in a thoughtful analysis of HSF’s operations, the company was losing money even in the best of times.
So why would it continue to ferry poorly-paying puking passengers when it could be sucking instead at the navy’s teat? The Supreme Court decision merely gave it a convenient out — and a way to ditch all those pesky debts, including the $40 mill it owes the state for “minor” harbor accommodations.
But one thing still puzzles me. Even if the Lingle crowd did believe it was doing the right thing in rolling out the red carpet for the Superferry, why didn't it structure the deal to better protect the state's interests? By all accounts it was a risky business venture, even without the lawsuits. Is the Lingle Administration really that much of a super sucker? Or does it just not care?
Yet none of this stink seems to be sticking to Linda and her gang, thanks in large part to the Honolulu dailies, which have treated this story with kid gloves from the beginning. Instead, the ignoramuses keep sticking it to “environmental wackos.” Heck, even mouth-foamer Rush Limbaugh weighed in on his morning broadcast yesterday, ending his spew session with this gem:
Manufacturing, energy, transportation -- almost every sector of our economy that you can think of -- has been impacted by unelected, unaccountable environmentalist wackos. Yet for all of the environmental impact studies that have been generated, there has never been one that quantifies what environmental extremism has cost the America economy. But the largest cost... is that they have bankrupted our freedom.
Yeah, Rush, let’s ditch all our environmental laws and then we can be truly free, like China.
When Rush starts championing a cause, you just know it reeks.