Letters for Tuesday, March 13, 2007

• Another take on the Superferry

• Has questions on the crash

• Shocked by second crash

• Don’t believe the media hype

• Hoodwinking the public?

• When will our constitutional rights be protected?

Another take on the Superferry

A couple of years ago, inter-island airfares were through the roof. I could visit the mainland for less than it would cost for a weekend in Honolulu. From out of the blue, this “Superferry” was proposed. It would be cheaper than then-current passenger fare, and it would allow us to take our own cars to O‘ahu and back. A lot of us thought that would be great! After much discussion the proposal was approved, and we thought a new, lower-cost inter-island transport option was on its way.

Now, years later, some splinter groups have goaded our elected representatives into proposing legislation that would effectively deny us that option. It was good that Sen. Hooser held weekend meetings to judge community interest. It was a shame he didn’t hear from the folks who couldn’t take time from their second jobs or family commitments to testify otherwise.

I read that 6,000 people on Kaua‘i signed a petition to halt the Superferry and/or force its parent company to prepare an EIS costing considerable time and money. The same newspaper articles do not mention that (pick a number) 12,000 to 40,000 people DID NOT sign that petition.

From what I’ve seen, much of the opposition to the Superferry is concerned with:

1. Invasive species transference between islands.

2. Homeless people moving into our safe haven.

3. Collisions, etc., with whales.

Here are my possibly simplistic responses to those concerns:

1. Muddy construction equipment has been regularly moved inter-island on existing barges with no ill effect. The Superferry proposes inspections beyond what occurs today.

2. The homeless didn’t start their exodus to the neighbor islands when airfares took a nosedive. Vehicles on the ferry will need to have legal title, insurance, etc.

3. Adding two new vessels to the mix in Hawaiian waters is statistically insignificant. We should be more concerned about the whale-watching tours, etc., that have already hit them.

Just for the record, I do remember “SeaFlite” in the 1970s. Back then, we all hoped that an inter-island hydrofoil would be a bargain. It failed. The problem then was that there was no infrastructure to support it. If allowed to proceed, the Superferry should have the means to succeed. I for one, would like to give it a chance.

Steve Hansen


Has questions on the crash

I was just there visiting for two weeks and my host kept telling me to “Go on a heli ride,” and I said, “I don’t feel it is safe” and now, two crashes in a few days time.

I would like to know the name of the heli company. And, is it true that out of the three couples on the first crash that one of each couple perished in the crash; one being a newlywed?

Lynn Weller

Long Beach, Calif.

Shocked by second crash

I could not believe the news of a second helicopter going down. I have chartered Inter Island twice and had marvelous trips both times. My heart goes out to all involved and the people of Kauai.

Trish Harrington

Arden Arcade, Calif.

Don’t believe the media hype

Ernest Smith’s letter urging U.S. to support the president and his war remind me of the type of frenzy that existed during the “red scare” of the 50s, when the fear of communism kept people supporting a military buildup.

Now, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, it’s the perceived threat of Islamic terrorists that fuels the fear, allowing the military industrial complex to expand and make their trillions. These huge monied interests, with their ownership of the media, keep the population misinformed and consumed with fear, enabling them to continue with their objectives.

Although terrorists do exist in the world (and U.S. actions have fostered this phenomemon), the perception that we are in immediate danger from terrorists is a fraud, largely created by U.S. intelligence agencies. Just spend an hour on the Internet looking into the events of 9/11, the foundational event that enabled these wars. A good starting point is 911Truth.org. You will see that there are major gaps in the official story of 9/11, and it’s obvious that what we were told was not what happened on that day.

Peter Day


Hoodwinking the public?

Adam Asquith may not understand the antagonism some feel toward Kealia mauka because he and his buddies already have the taro lands there all locked up (“Don’t knock plans for ag land,” Letters, March 10). Meanwhile, anyone else who wants to be a part of that project either needs to pungle up way more cash than any serious farmer has, or work as a tenant/slave for others.

What Kaua‘i needs is not more lavish homes and gentleman’s estates growing tea and other export products that capitalize on the Hawaiian mystique, but ag parks where people can live as independent farmers and produce food to feed themselves and others.

That approach more accurately reflects the true history of this island than Kealia mauka, which is yet another land speculation scheme dressed up as agriculture to get it past the state Land Use Commission.

Kealia mauka is all about making big bucks off land sales, not perpetuating viable farming that contributes to Kaua‘i’s sustainability. So, yes, I will knock the developers for trying to hoodwink the public.

Joan Conrow


When will our constitutional rights be protected?

A report last week by the Justice Department’s own inspector general stated that the FBI illegally or improperly obtained private records of U.S. citizens during “alledged” terrorism and espionage investigations.

Just about a year or so ago it came to light that the Bush administration was illegally wiretapping U.S. citizens both here and abroad without first receiving the required permission.

When will our elected officials in Washington stop this gross violation of basic human rights and Constitutional abuses? I guess we all need to “look-out” because BIG BROTHER continues to watch, eavesedrop, obtain records of our financial transactions, what books we take out from the library, what web sites we visit, and do whatever else they like … ALL illegally… under the so called guise of “fighting terrorism.”

What will the next step be .. .gps tracking in our vehicles, or implants in our skin? or worse, martial law? Our founder fathers of this great nation and the great civil rights’ activists before us lost their lives to protect these basic liberties. How can we all stand by and watch ONE man take them away?

Joseph Savino



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