Meeting will focus on potential ferry return

Superferry officials won’t be present

by Rachel Gehrlein – THE GARDEN ISLAND

The return of the Superferry. Unrestrained development. Toxic emissions from cruise ships. Pesticide spraying near Westside schools.

These are a few of the topics affecting Kaua‘i to be discussed at tonight’s Eco-roundtable at the War Memorial Convention Hall at 6 p.m.

The meeting will have a special focus on the Superferry, states an Eco-roundtable press release.

Presentations on the Superferry will cover the economic viability of the business, structural damage that has happened to the ferry and the Environmental Impact Statement being conducted.

“The new CEO (of the Superferry) has said they will not return until Kaua‘i is ready,” Andrea Brower of Malama Kaua‘i said. “Therefore, it is important that the community has the latest information on the Superferry in order to make an informed decision about whether we need or want its services.”

Brower acknowledges the Superferry has been called a divisive issue on Kaua‘i.

“This is a chance for us to come together, get reliable and unbiased information and engage in action as a community,” she said. “If we do not define what we want, then it will be decided for us by the Superferry corporation and the state. If we are proactive now, we can avoid having to be reactive in the future.”

Rep. Mina Morita, D-District 14, will be at the meeting to give a presentation, Brower said.

Other elected officials are also expected to be present.

“It is our hope that all elected officials are concerned about these issues and will be present to participate and hear the community’s concerns,” Brower said. “Yet, this is a space for grassroots community organizing that works both within and outside the system, so broad and diverse community participation is what’s most important.”

Break-out groups will also meet to work on new and existing campaigns including GMO testing, food sustainability and the expansion of the Pacific Missile Range Facility.

For more information, contact Brower at 828-0685 or e-mail andrea@malamakauai.org

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