Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023 |
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• Fruits of labor
• Kaua‘i’s invasion
• Fair is fair
• Match on gas equals flame
Fruits of labor
Being the Labor Day weekend, it reminds me about Hawai‘i’s plantation history and how our ancestors bravely formed unions to unite workers across racial lines in trying to achieve economic security and human dignity. The sugar bosses used the tactics of divide and conquer. As long as they could keep the various races apart, we would never be able to unite and take them on effectively. They also tried to paint the union organizers as newly arrived outsiders who were only able to organize a few malcontents. Sounds familiar?
Well today, the Superferry owners and their government pals, like Gov. Linda Lingle, are doing the same thing. They paint the anti-Superferry movement as anti-O‘ahu, anti-tourist and dominated by a small group of newly arrived environmentalist haoles.
The movement is very broad based, encompassing all of Kaua‘i’s nationalities, with young local surfers and Native Hawaiians at its core. There are long-time Kaua‘i locals working side by side with haole newcomers. There are also teachers, state employees, construction workers, waitresses, doctors and small farmers involved. What everyone is united on is having the Superferry do an EIS and limiting the rampant development of our islands that is only benefiting the very rich.
Many of the protesters at last week’s demonstration were youth — the future of Kaua‘i. They were both male and female, non-white and haole. They are not afraid to question what’s happening to Kaua‘i and to put their bodies on the line for all of us. If Stanford Achi, the late leader of the Niumalu-Nawiliwili Tenants Association, were alive today, he definitely would be in the forefront of this just struggle to save Kaua‘i from unwanted over-development. Let’s not be fooled by divisive tactics and phony arguments.
Happy Labor Day, Kaua‘i.
It is interesting to me that a possible Environmental Impact Study is being called for by those opposed to the Superferry visiting Kaua‘i.
It would seem to me, as a yearly visitor to the Hawaiian Islands for over 30 years, that what really should be called for is an “impact on the soul of Kaua‘i” study. On Kaua‘i, if you walk the beaches late at night you can still sometimes hear, if you listen very carefully, amid the sound of breaking surf, the whispered voices of the ancient Polynesian mariners who, with only the Eastern Star to guide them, came here 3,000 years ago to make this island paradise their home. You can no longer hear those spirit voices on Maui and in many other places. Progress (?) … has drowned them out. There was something very poignant about the blockade of the Superferry in Nawiliwili Harbor by paddlers in outrigger canoes, reminiscent of those used by the ancient Hawaiians long, long ago. Some may benefit from the Superferry, apart from the obvious intended benefit to chief executive officer John Garibaldi et al, but at what cost. Kaua‘i owes its ethereal beauty, its unique history, and its distinct character in large measure to its separateness. Unlike the other islands, Kaua‘i has never been invaded. That is to say by sea. Tourists come and go like the ebb and flow of the tide. They are a permanent link to nowhere. The Superferry is a different matter entirely. As a physical sea link to the other islands the Superferry changes the unique nature of Kaua‘i. It is the greatest threat to the soul of Kaua‘i in 3,000 years. With all due respect to the politicians involved, they too come and go. In a decision that changes 3,000 years of history and effects the very soul of Kaua‘i, it would seem to me, not withstanding any environmental impact study, that it is people of Kaua‘i who should be making decisions in regard to the Superferry visiting, or perhaps more aptly put, “invading” Kaua‘i.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Fair is fair
After spending Sunday and Monday evening at the harbor last week, I was trying to make sense of the ruckus surrounding the relatively wimpy Superferry’s entrance into Nawiliwili Harbor while the behemoth Norwegian Cruise Line cruise ship lay quietly behind us spewing its tons of effluent down the valley. Traffic through its one little gate and one-lane entrance road jams the harbor area each day the ship is in (obviously they didn’t study that traffic flow before their start-up).
The Pride of Hawaii carries 2,500 passengers and 1,000 crew.
When full, the Superferry can hold 866 passengers. Any fifth-grader can therefore deduce that one cruise ship has four times the negative impact on Kaua‘i’s traffic/crowds/lifestyle, etc. So why are people not demanding that environmental impact studies be done for these traveling hotels? I’m sure the shoreside hotels had to fulfill EIS requirements.
When NCL (and other cruise lines) began overnight use of Nawiliwili Harbor, they substantially impacted Kaua‘i’s environment. Operating several restaurants in addition to laundry, air conditioning, photo labs, swimming pools, etc., requires a power plant similar to the one used to power Lihu‘e. However, instead of burning relatively clean naphtha fuel, away from residential areas, cruise ships are burning bunker crude directly upwind of Niumalu community. This has led to over a year of multiple complaints regarding air quality. The Superferry burns a comparably very small amount of diesel (much cleaner than bunker fuel).
Recently, a Hawai‘i judge has ruled that an Environmental Impact Study should have been required for the Superferry. Regarding the harbor improvements, a technicality the Superferry apparently got nailed by. No improvements have been made for the cruise lines? I see upgrades/work constantly being made at Pier Two adjacent to where the cruise ships dock. And what is that very pricey upgrade pier (called a “Dolphin”) in the northwest corner between Pier Two and Three for, if not to benefit the new larger and multiple cruise ships utilizing the harbor.
Requiring the mega cruise ships to provide an EIS in such a fragile and beautiful environment should be a no-brainer. This would ensure preservation of the beauty and the aloha of our residents, an essential part of the cruise line’s product and the future of our island.
Fair is fair.
Match on gas equals flame
You guys are really starting to piss me off now. Why don’t you print the complete story of that car-banging scene at the protest on Sunday night that gets so much public coverage? I am well aware that bad news sells papers but my goodness are you not milking a dry cow by now? Even though no violent behavior is condoned, the somewhat constrained protesters blocking traffic were nudged by that car trying to force its way through the crowd. I’m sure the driver wanted to go home or whatever, and again violence sucks, but the other side is that the situation was made extremely worse and in fact provoked by an impatient driver. Tell it like it is and stop these same uninformed letters. If you throw a match on gas there is going to be a flame.
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