Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Nawiliwili Ti Party: Keep Kauai, Kauai...Great Report

From: http://www.kauaiworld.com/articles/2007/11/05/news/news01.txt

Statewide ferry protest draws 250 here
By Rachel Gehrlein - THE GARDEN ISLAND
Posted: Sunday, Nov 04, 2007 - 08:37:19 pm HST

For the 250 demonstrators at Nawiliwili Park yesterday, it wasn’t just about the Superferry coming back to Kaua‘i, it was how the “Superferry bill” came to be.“The most upsetting thing to me is the process,” said demonstrator Andrea Brower of Aliomanu. “It was so undemocratic, so illegal and is undermining the most important environmental law.”

And so begins the next phase in the Superferry saga. On Wednesday the state House of Representatives voted 39-11 on a bill to allow the Superferry to resume service.

The state Senate voted 20-5 on its bill Oct. 26 and Gov. Linda Lingle is soon expected to sign the bill into law.

If the bill is signed, one more hurdle will be cleared to allow the ferry to operate while an Environmental Impact Statement is carried out. At yesterday’s event — dubbed the “Nawiliwili Ti Party” — demonstrators acknowledged the high-speed ferry will be present in Kaua‘i waters.

“It’s not about whether I want the Superferry or not,” said demonstrator Jill Friedman of Kapa‘a. “It’s about the way the judgment was done. The judge’s decision was based on environmental laws that we have. Every time the Legislature doesn’t like the judge’s decision, it will be challenged as unconstitutional.”

Although Friedman is concerned about the traffic, the possible introduction of invasive species and whale strikes, she feels that if passengers only were allowed on the ferry, it could be good for the local economy.“There could be taxi, bike and car rental stands,” Friedman said. “People could come as our guests and we could provide transportation options. It would create more money and more jobs.”

John Jacobs of Kalaheo was wondering where the county of Kaua‘i fit in the entire equation.“What does the county of Kaua‘i really want?” Jacobs said. “Can’t we vent this out?”Jacobs was also worried about the surf break in Nawiliwili Harbor. He has seen some large turtles on the rocks of the jetty and has wondered how the Superferry would affect them.“Everyone talks about the whales,” Jacobs said. “What about the turtles?”

Some believe Kaua‘i isn’t ready for more people, plain and simple.

Tim Swanson of Kapa‘a feels people, including the local government, haven’t been taking care of what we have and aren’t ready for more people to come to the party.“Our highways, our beaches and our roads, they’re not taking care of it, not putting money into it,” Swanson said. “The people of Kaua‘i haven’t been taking care of Kaua‘i like they should be. We don’t need people here until we can take care of Kaua‘i.”

Timoteo Rysdale of Wailua likes the way things are on Kaua‘i. He doesn’t want what he watches on the nightly news from O‘ahu to come here, mainly crime, he says.“The reason people live here is specifically to not be connected,” Rysdale said.Rysdale feels the situation at hand is a giant civics lesson for the people of Kaua‘i.“What they’re doing is political favoritism of the worst kind,” Rysdale said. “They are trying to go around the law.”

Before supporters could take to the sea to participate in a water protest, demonstrator Auntie Louise gathered the crowd closer so she could give pule.“We’re here to stand against the injustice of the legal process that has happened,” Auntie Louise said. “We’re here to protect the ‘aina.”

Demonstrators then navigated their surfboards, canoes and kayaks down the jetty rocks to the water to gather in the middle of Nawiliwili Harbor in solidarity with demonstrations happening at the same time on Maui, O‘ahu and the Big Island.

According to its Web site, Hawaii Superferry service is expected to resume within the next two weeks.

No comments: