Friday, May 20, 2022 |
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• Protest government, not company
• Days were ‘super’
• Keep island pure
• Grow up, Kaua‘i
• Few points to consider
• Another way to look at ferry
• Megaproject arrogance
• On intimidation
• Superferry eclipsed too
• The pitting of sides
• We’ll go home
Protest government, not company
Why are we, the people of Kaua‘i, protesting against the Superferry?
It was our government officials who gave the Superferry the OK to operate. Is every one of us protesters naive? The Superferry had the OK to operate before an EIS was required by our government and did not make that choice on its own. The people traveling on the Superferry are our ‘ohana and friends from outer islands, we have family and friends working for the ferry … these people traveling some day will be returning the aloha to us when we go to their island. C’mon, Kaua‘i, if you want to protest the Superferry operating around our islands you need to go and protest at the courts and not the ferry itself. There are innocent people who just want to try the experience of a mini-cruise around the islands without spending too much compared to a regular cruise ship. Keep in mind that the cruise ships are in and out of our ports weekly also and they can also do speeds as high as the Superferry, if you’re all so worried about our whales. The problem with the majority of us locals, we tend to always sit back and say nothing. We need to speak out, Kaua‘i, and not let a small group of protesters put shame to our island by going about it the wrong way. Well, I’m tired of sitting back and reading about all this corruption and felt like speaking out for the first time in my 51 years living on this island.
For those that feel offended I’m sorry but it’s the same way I felt when I read about your ways of thinking.
Hope we can all be smarter and proceed with our missions in a more professional matter.
Days were ‘super’
The events of the last couple of days exhibited an awesome and inspiring testament of focused intent by upwards of 1,000 Kaua‘i residents. Yet, for everyone who showed up, there were scores of people who could not make it. Thus, if you add people who sympathized with the demonstrators, the numbers could easily exceed 10,000. Remember, over 6,000 people signed a petition requesting an Environmental Impact Statement (which Governor Lingle refused to acknowledge). Those who did show up were, by and large, neither “rabble rousers” or disenchanted “hippies,” but rather a cross-section of the Kauaian society, including young people, surfers, middle-aged couples with no ax to grind, Sierra Club members, and many Native Hawaiians.
As children are being slowly poisoned by the application of Sevin (a known insecticide that is a recognized nerve toxin and bee killer), sprayed near schools by GMO giant, Syngenta, a flagrant disregard of the County Council decision to limit big box stores by corporate giant Wal-Mart, over 1,000 newly planned residences by any number of off-island developers, and increasing traffic with no relief in sight, our sweet island is beleaguered and beset with extraordinary challenges to its rural character.
The Superferry represents a knockout blow and people recognize it. It does not take a rocket scientist to realize that the Superferry will debase our island into another O‘ahu suburb. Kauaians do not want to become citified; Kaua‘i’s destiny is to retain its ancient roots as an island paradise. The community gatherings of Sunday and Monday were a stunning reminder to everyone that people are not willing to lay down and allow themselves to be trampled by an unfeeling and uncaring government; additionally, it was a show of support for the preservation of our island life, a demonstrable prayer, if you will, to the universe for a more sustainable approach to the management of our island.
The demonstrations represent a different kind of launch for Kaua‘i, a launch in line with a higher integrity to sail into the future here and now, guided by the hand of intelligence and foresight. Aloha and blessings to all of you who strive for awakening, and who want, simply, for people to act responsibly, intelligently, and with the wisdom that arises from a deep reverence to the ‘aina, the host culture and to the seven generations which will follow our footsteps into the millennium. Thank you to the surfers, the Kingdom of Atooi, the People for the Preservation of Kaua‘i, and the many others who have voiced their support for a more enlightened future.
Richard Diamond Moll
Keep island pure
As a student in Arizona, I was shocked to hear news about Hawai‘i on the Mainland. I didn’t realize this ferry thing had a big impact on us all, Hawai‘i citizens or not. I’m sure if I were on the island I’d be right there protesting with my fellow extended ‘ohana. I respect what they’re trying to do, which is to keep the island pure. I hope they continue to do what they’re doing to protect the island we love.
Grow up, Kaua‘i
How can these Kaua‘i residents fight the use of the Superferry, when for years cruise ships with germs, rats and invasive speices have been going in and out with foreigners, and what about all the tourists who are coming in on airplanes with all their germs, snakes and invasive species … why now … what is the real problem; we are local people with roots on both Maui and Kaua‘i; also maybe we want to come back and visit with ‘ohana … it just makes the people of Kaua‘i look like a bunch of immature goons.
Pearl City, Hawai‘i
Few points to consider
To illustrate, and hopefully enlighten those people both here on Kaua‘i and on O‘ahu who:
• Rushed to $5 Superferry fares and unexpectedly early service and don’t understand what all the fuss is about.
• Who continue to support the ferry and its thumbing-the-nose-at-the-law attitude.
Whether that support is through selling their music for a theme song, or becoming employed by them in any manner, heralding the so-called virtues of the ferry in so-called “real people” testimonials in paid advertisements, or supporting the ferry politically.
• Although they call themselves “local” radio stations that supposedly have Kaua‘i’s best interests at heart, are willing to take the big bucks to propogate the myths that the Hawaii Superferry spews.
• To anybody else who doesn’t understand why so many Kauaians are so offended and opposed to the Superferry, I am asking these simple questions: How would you feel if I came into your home uninvited without so much as a courteous knock on your door? Without taking my shoes or slippers off? With my feet caked with mud and who knows what else? With my entire immediate family, my dogs, chickens and every friend, acquaintance that I know? What if we all pulled up in your driveway and blocked you in with our vehicles? How would you feel? What if I showed up in your house with a pocket full of drugs for your children? Or a bunch of nasty weeds for your yard? What if I ran over your dog on my way up the driveway? How would you feel ? Think about it; and if you still don’t get it, think some more. If you still don’t get it maybe you are just lacking common sense and courtesy — I feel sad for you and will remember you, but still wish you all the best.
Another way to look at ferry
I find all of the hustle and bustle about the Superferry very interesting in as much as the “threat” of invasive species coming off the ferry. I have been told of coqui frogs already on the island, I have seen a mongoose on the North Shore, we have had snakes fall out of Christmas trees and The Garden Island reported on a brown recluse spider bite given to a visitor, I believe, on another island. What makes people think the ferry can do worse or are they blaming the ferry for the abovementioned incidents? If the protesters were willing to check out the ferry’s Web page they would find out there will be no military ordnances carried, ergo, no uranium, there are high tech sonar and radar to look for whales, the paths taken by the ferry will be changed during whale season and much more.
What would your reaction be if someone decided you were a detriment to the island? I feel we should address the untamed growth of new resorts, the lack of change to our roads where we have to drive to work, school and relaxation.
I respect your right to protest but why not protest something which has a greater impact on our island? As for the drugs, they can come in by sailboat, cargo vessel, plane … does this sound like the ferry would make it all worse?
Yes, the traffic would increase but so would the income for various vendors on the island, increasing our incomes. Is there no other way to look at things? Also, are we being fair to the ferry expecting them to do things we have not asked others to do, like these studies? Please think of how you would feel if someone were to demand you do studies and other things your neighbors were not asked to do for your same reason. At least the ferry is taking it all in stride.
There is a question I have heard from many residents on the island and no one has an answer. Who profits the most from the ferry not being able to run and what losses are they looking at if the ferry runs. Just a question without an answer.
Hawai‘i’s State Environmental Law (HRS 343) provides environmental review triggers for the use of state land, state money, county land and county money.
Act 55 (2004) expands coverage to major projects that are “privately financed … on private lands.” On the final reading of Act 55, no legislator opposed the bill and the governor signed the bill during session.
Superferry CEO John L. Gari-baldi, married to Judge Collette Garibaldi, asserts that using $40 million in state funds does not trigger an EIS.
The Council on Environmental Quality, which oversees the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) states on its Web site that an EIS “includes all reasonable alternatives, which must be rigorously explored and objectively evaluated,” but Honolulu officials assert that some options are off the table for the proposed Honolulu transit system.
BlueEarth proposes the largest biorefinery in the United States but asserts it should be exempt from the refinery trigger.
I would like to address the issue of the Superferry:
Many of us here would love to speak out for the Superferry but the protesters are so hate-filled and intimidating that many of us are afraid to speak out … afraid of reprisals … afraid of that small but violent group of people who feel they can dictate to the rest of us.
My husband and I are among the thousands who took a tour of the “Alakai” last Sunday and I have to tell you that even then, the protesters were f,rightening. They now seem to be focusing their anger on the people (their own neighbors, friends and families) who were on that tour. Many of us would speak out publicly in favor of the Superferry but fear of violence keeps us silent.
Shame on them for intimidating their kupuna who happen to have a different opinion than they do.
Superferry eclipsed too
There’s nowhere I would have rather been than sitting on the stone wall of Nawiliwili dock watching the full moon rise Monday night. None of the hundreds of people present shall likely forget the “tea party” invoked by the monster Superferry attempting access to Kaua‘i’s serene harbor. All the island’s guardian angels must’ve been in force, or maybe just readying for the lunar eclipse in a few hours … but that Kaua‘i magic was glowing, and everyone was hooked in.
From the moment the mega-ferry appeared on the horizon and able bodies of all ages grabbed surfboards and paddled out for the showdown, to the glorious “thank yous” and “goodbye’s” four hours later, everyone was in sync. The unity and steadfastness of those in the water to those on the pier was iron-clad. And to feel the exhilarating bond created by group passion and rock-solid commitment … so strong that neither the Kaua‘i police nor the United States Coast Guard nor the gigantic Superferry — all three at once — could override us was, well, only on Kaua‘i.
To take the island, you must take us.
And when the fleet of paddle boats stroked in, that sealed the deal. Nothing could detract from the grace and symbolism of those gliding vessels and perfect paddlers.
For a full three-and-a-half hours Kaua‘i citizens paddled, swam, hollered, waited, laughed, cheered like crazy, fought off the Coast Guard, watched the moonrise, made new friends, and actually had a marvelous time both in and out of the water, as the stalemated behemoth pouted — locked out — on the periphery. Then finally, in utter defeat, and to the excruciating joy of onlookers, (probably including the police and Coast Guard), the Superferry turned and left.
I don’t know if any of us has ever yelled that much or that loud or that long in our lives. Nor can I personally recall a protest ending in a victory with such immediate gratification. Never has the outcome felt so personal, nor been staged in an arena the likes of Nawiliwili at sunset.
Kaua‘i, we love you. And to everyone who was there and not there, thank you for being Kauaians. Long may all of us cherish and protect our home.
The pitting of sides
Having been party to and witness of now the second Superferry protest event, I still have many unanswered questions.
After the first small protest on the day of the Superferry-tour, consisting of about two dozen concerned Kauaians, these question prompted a call to the county’s Public Information Office. My questions to this office were: Why and how was it decided that the police presence was needed and why were the police on the inside of the green fence at the dock when all of the protesters were outside this fence? The answer, in summation, was that the police were present for “protection” because they had reason to believe there would be “something going on” and that where the police were positioned was a matter to take up with KPD. Aren’t the citizens the ones who need to be protected and kept safe, rather than acting as a guard to the corporation known as the “Superferry”? The fence was more than a metaphor and seemed to show clearly which side the police were on. This division of “them” — the Superferry and the police — vs. “us” — concerned citizens exercising our voice — was ever more present yesterday as protesting citizens were yelled at, pushed, and Maced by local police for making a statement about their concerns. Frankly, it truly saddens me to know that our police force is being used in a way that puts them in a position to turn against their fellow Kauaians for someone’s business endeavor as “all part of the job.”
Aside from this wedge being driven between our community by the Superferry, I do not feel that this is a good use of nearly all of our police force at any given time. Although I doubt an “SIS” (Social Impact Study) will ever be conducted, it is clear to me that the negative impact of the Superferry on our community can already be seen — and will likely continue however blatantly or covertly for as long as the Superferry is in operation and beyond, and these sorts of things are a lot harder to trace and quantify than how many whales the vessel kills.
We’ll go home
We are O‘ahu residents who sailed on the inaugural Superferry voyage to Kaua‘i on Sunday. We were so pleased with the voyage, but so ashamed of its reception on Kaua‘i. We have no vested interest in the ferry. We merely see it as another, more traditional way of travel in Hawai‘i. Have we all forgotten that Hawai‘i is an island state and that before the airplane arrived, all travel was by boat? Are the people of Kaua‘i so in-the-pockets of the airlines and the unions that they have lost their senses? Is there no indignation for the cruise ships and the barges and, for that matter, the airplanes that pollute the environment, and bring thousands to your shores every day? Where was your aloha for the people on the ferry, most of whom were O‘ahu residents that you told to go home? We will be pleased to stay away from Kaua‘i from now on — to vote with our wallets — and to encourage others to do the same.
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