Just days before the Superferry was set to begin service, the Hawai'i Supreme Court issued a ruling directing the state to conduct an environmental assessment to determine the impact the service would have on Kahului Harbor on Maui. This came after the Superferry received state approvals and the state spent more than $40 million in taxpayers' dollars on harbor improvements to pave the way for the ferry service.
Superferry officials started its service earlier than scheduled, resulting in a court order requiring them to halt service to Maui until Sept. 11; Superferry's move also set off protests on Kaua'i. Protesters there blocked the harbor and harassed passengers trying to exit the ferry.
The chain of events also resulted in a deluge of letters to the editor, on both sides of the argument.
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