Friday, December 7, 2007

Adam Harju finally writes editorial on SF, but some key info is off

Finally after much fence sitting, our island newspaper, "The Garden Island" published its feelings on the Superferry issue after receiving many demanding emails of its non-pressing of interviewee John Garibaldi on a radio show yesterday morning.

In the editor, Adam Harju's response, published this morning (below) most of it is helpful, yet he also assumes that Act 2's EIS offers mitigating remedies and that they will be followed and addressed in good faith by the law.  From speaking with the Maui environmental plaintiff's,  we're going to need to clear the air for him and our ignorant Kaua'i community, just how Swiss Cheezy the new law's watered-down EIS through act 2 is, and the Governor's given authority to limit restrictions on  " large capacity ferry vessel" if it poses a danger to it's operating success over long term environmental consequences.

I've asked one of the Maui plaintiffs very familiar with the Act 2 EIS holes to write to that effect to inform Adam Harju of his misinformation.  Maybe too, Gary Hooser or Mina can reveal the holes in a column.  More to come.  At least now we can set the record straight and pick up more supporters of our cause.



KAUAI Opinion

in our voices - Taking sides on Superferry


It's a pretty precarious fence The Garden Island has been accused of sitting on. And it's a pretty precarious fence the editor of The Garden Island admitted to sitting on during a radio program yesterday.

"Take a side," some in the community demand of TGI in the Superferry saga. From the many calls and e-mails and letters to the editor over the last few months, the newspaper has been accused of taking every side from sycophant to Superferry advertising dollars to emotion-driven, non-fact-based to anti-Superferry rag.

It's less like a fence and more like an asterisk we are sitting on.

After inviting Hawaii Superferry CEO John Garibaldi to appear on TGI's radio program yesterday, the newspaper is now said by some to be the company's puppet willing to run its infomercials. That radio program was arranged after many in the community expressed a deep interest in hearing what the Superferry's plans are here on Kaua'i — that a lack of outreach by the company was further evidence of its bullish ways. Giving the community the opportunity to hear it straight from the source seemed like a good idea. If we are a puppet because Garibaldi did not say what some listening to the program wanted to hear, so be it.

No one must have been listening to the two programs during which those wanting Superferry to adhere to the environmental assessment process were allowed to air their grievances.

The "side" that TGI takes on the issue would be the one that requires environmental impacts be addressed, mitigations required, while not vilifying a company for wanting to do business here. It's the same side that hopes the governmental process that regulates lawful adherence to environmental concerns will hold that company to its definition of environmental mitigation. It's the same side that feels if the government tasked with regulating those concerns does not regulate them, then that government should be voted out. It is the same side that supports the people of Kaua'i, or any people of the state, to voice their concerns if that governmental process is not to their liking.

It is the same side that hopes law enforcement practices the same restraint it did in late August when faced with impassioned individuals lawfully carrying out their right to express those concerns. It is the same side that hears all the arguments that it is not worth 10 years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines, but knows people will be there regardless, and hopes a sense of humanity prevails in all that occurs when the ferry comes into the harbor.

It is the same side that knows an Environmental Impact Statement is being carried out after the state Legislature passed a law saying the Superferry could operate while that happens. It is the same side that would like to have seen an EIS carried out first, but now that it is not required, would trust the system enough to believe there may be a greater reason to get this thing going, and if not — and that comes out after there is some evidence to support it — then the greater good will defeat it through market forces.

It is the same side that believes that any lawful business should get a chance to succeed or fail. It is the same side that hopes this law is not a weakening of the environmental laws in this state, the side that hopes weakening of them is not the direction the state is going. It is the same side that would expect the Superferry people to have learned from what they have gone through and not be reckless regarding what is important to the people of the state.

It is the same side that expects mitigation when the EIS process is complete. It is the same side that recognizes that mitigation is not necessarily linked to a timeline, and can occur in areas removed from where the actual cause of the mitigation need occurs. It is the same side that is sure the EIS process will go through the same community vetting process, and the company will be held to resulting requirements.

It is the same side that acknowledges at some level, in this whole process, there is some admittance to a mistake on the part of state government, and the state is in the process of rectifying that mistake to some degree.

It is the same side that hopes the state is forward-thinking, and uses this saga as a learning experience for how much Kaua'i and Maui care for their islands, and how badly the rest want to visit.