We feel it is necessary to address your comments describing Kaua'i
people involved in this week's nonviolent protests as a "minority
dissident group". While the people of Kaua'i may make up only about 5%
of the population of the State of Hawai'i, we are however 100% of the
population of our beloved island home.
Our Kaua'i majority has been well represented by a number of our elected
officials, who also attended the demonstrations earlier this week:
* Our Kaua'i state Senator, Gary Hooser, has been exemplary in
communicating our request for a lawful Environmental Impact Statement
(EIS) for your ferry operation.
* Mina Morita, state Representative from Kaua'i, has also been
extremely supportive in the effort to obtain an EIS.
* On the local County level, our Kaua'i Council was first in the
state, followed by Maui and the Big Island, in passing a resolution
calling for an EIS. Kaua'i Council member JoAnn Yukimura, along with
newly elected Council member Tim Bynum, continue to be vocal and active
in their reasonable requests for an EIS.
* And finally, at the resident level, over 6,000 Kauaâ™ians
signed a petition to Governor Lingle calling for an EIS.
Mr. Garibaldi, if you had been witness to Monday's protest on the
ground, you would have observed nearly one thousand peace-loving Kaua'i
people from all walks of life and many different races. Families
together, parents carrying their babies. Young and old, wealthy and
humble, we all took time from our busy lives to chant aloud: "FOLLOW THE
LAW, SHOW US YOUR EIS!"
We would like to direct your attention to several local newspaper
articles which illustrate the broad and diverse base of community
support for our movement:
* On Tuesday, August 28, the Honolulu Advertiser published an article
by Jan TenBruggencate entitled "Groups unite against Superferry".
* Also on Tuesday, Honolulu Advertiser columnist Lee Cataluna wrote
"Stop 'local' card with Superferry" -- describing what we also see as
'living local': "asking hard questions, going to court, holding protest
signs and treading water in Nawiliwili Harbor."
* On Wednesday, August 29, The Garden Island newspaper of Kaua'i
published an article by Nathan Eagle entitled "Action unites many" which
described our common cause.
Mr. Garibaldi, it now stands clear that you made a grievous error in
accelerating the launch date of your ferry service. It was truly this
action which galvanized the resistance in the Kaua'i community. The
result was a tremendous popular uproar, the demonstration of which has
now been documented in the news media.
We commend you for taking responsibility for your displaced and stranded
customers, and returning them to their port of origin. We suggest that
you take one further step and issue a formal statement of apology to
both your customers and the Hawaii Supreme Court for disregarding the
court's ruling of Thursday, August 23rd and deliberately confusing a
matter of the rule of law.
The truth about the Kaua'i protests is that the courageous actions of a
few were made with the deep support of many. We demonstrated the resolve
and tenacity of our diverse island community by resisting your
anti-democratic rush to commence operations. The people of Kaua'i are
not fools. We have clearly observed the collusion of state government
officials with your commercial interests, resulting in the violation of
Hawai'i state law. We demand a democratic process, in which public input
from Kaua'i residents is included in the evaluation of your ferry
operation's environmental, cultural, and social impacts.
In closing, we would like to bring your attention to an incident which
occurred here this week. On Tuesday, August 28th at about 5:15 pm,
eyewitnesses reported two uniformed Hawaii Superferry employees dumping
bloody fish carcasses and chunks of fish over the Nawiliwili harbor
jetty seawall into the bay. When confronted and advised that there were
surfers in the bay, and that the fish remains might attract dangerous
sharks to the area, your employees reportedly shrugged and said, "So"?
Is this the kind of responsible corporate behavior which we should
expect from Hawaii Superferry?
Me Ke Aloha,
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