Saturday, May 28, 2022 |
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• Each island an entity
• Arrogance caused course
• Best government money can buy
• Snuff the butts
Each island an entity
Open letter to our governor and legislators:
You have made the effort to visit our island home and to listen to some of our voices, yet you seem to have not really heard us. You continue to cite that the “majority wants the Superferry.” I do not know what majority you are referring to as you have not taken a vote of our residents of this island of Kaua‘i.
Even though we are all part of the state of Hawai‘i, each island is its own entity with its own character and people who make it their home. Prior to doing anything that would affect this island you need to take a vote of the residents of this island, not those of other islands. Sure those persons might think it fun to get on a boat and come visit: they are not thinking of the sociological impact of thousands of visitors upon this island. This is not about having, or not having, aloha, this is about changing the societal structure of this island without our consent.
Please do not allow the ferry to come to this island. The protests will not stop. The imposition of your will upon our people smacks of tyranny, certainly not democracy.
Arrogance caused course
We never fault anyone for not having an answer. What we can’t abide are those who are offered solutions, but because they don’t like the solution offered, ignore it and then act surprised when they fall off course.
The Superferry has been offered solutions.
Traffic problems? Create infrastructure.
Vehicle impact? Counties can create “temporary permits/registrations” allowing visiting vehicles a limited number of days to use their county’s roads, for a fee. Stay past the visa, pay a hefty fine. It’s easy to spot vehicles from foreign counties — we have different license plate numbers. Moving your car? Register it.
Invasive species? Vehicle and person inspections. Assess severe fines for those caught transporting prohibited species. Same for those caught taking resources from Kaua‘i or Maui. If the legislature must get itself involved, pass legislation criminalizing the unauthorized transport of protected resources on marine passenger vessels.
Marine life? Schedule trips around the breeding patterns of endangered species. Limit trips when the whales are here. Take routes around known breeding areas. Impose vessel speed limits.
None of these are hard solutions. And they were all offered to Hawai‘i Superferry from the community of people being labeled “left wing nuts.” We’re not nuts. We’re responsible. We understand that unregulated development and use of resources can lead to irreparable harm. We have made every effort to educate groups like the Hawai‘i Superferry so that they may make positive contributions to our community instead of tearing it apart.
They did not listen. We cannot be faulted for that. And our whole community should not be forced to foot the bill for those who act in bad faith. No special session is necessary, just give this to the Attorney General so we don’t foot the bill.
The community at least needs to understand this history so it can appreciate this simple point: It was arrogance, not activism, that led the Superferry off course.
T. Kehaulani Watson
Best government money can buy
The Honolulu Advertiser reported that “Hawaii Superferry officials spent more than $175,000 over three years on lobbying and campaign contributions, including dozens of donations to Gov. Linda Lingle, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie and other key state legislators.” And that … “an Advertiser computer-assisted study of state and federal campaign records showed that the Superferry, its executives and several of its board members contributed more than $39,000 since 2004 to local lawmakers and members of Hawai‘i’s Congressional delegation.”
And that “company officials also made contributions to the House Transportation Committee Chairman, Joseph Souki.”
This should come as no surprise, after all the Transportation Department not only oversees the EIS, it evaluates its findings. Nor should it come as a surprise that these same politicians would disregard the recent decision of the Hawaii Supreme Court and instead call for a “special session” to decide how to do what they had intended to do all along. Note: The US Supreme Court has ruled that it is illegal for a legislature to retroactively create laws to circumvent judicial decisions based upon extant laws. In this case it was the law that granted final authority to the Hawaii Supreme Court to determine whether or not the Alakai could operate during the EIS, which in turn was intended to determine whether or not it should operate at all.
What came as a surprise was that the “thin green line” between the political eunuchs, and the rule of law, has apparently wilted. According to The Garden Island newspaper: The Sierra Club, People For the Preservation of Kauai, and other environmental groups have “lobbied for compromise,” and “engaged in productive discourse” with the Lingle administration planning the special session, thereby giving legitimacy to a process intended to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.
Reasonable people may disagree with the surfers who placed themselves between the Superferry and Nawiliwili Harbor last August, but at least they had the courage of their convictions. If in doing so they violated the law, it was precedent well established by the current administration.
Snuff the butts
Thanks for printing an article about the huge fire in San Diego, Calif., which is estimated to cost over $1 billion.
I frequently see people here in Kaua‘i throw cigarette butts out their car windows.
With all the brush we have around the island, this is an accident waiting to happen.
At least 1,500 homes have been destroyed in the San Diego area and 500,000 people evacuated.
Can the people of Kaua‘i afford such a devastating consequence?
Time to remind those idiots to stop throwing those lighted butts out their car windows, before they find themselves with no homes to live in.
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