Monday, July 28, 2008

Notes from the Ferry OTF Meeting of June 13, 2008

Was scanning the most recently posted OTF report on the DOT website and noticed a few points. See:

First, from page 10 of the pdf file regarding the Belt Collins RRA:
"...the written survey of passengers on the vessel during the trips...passenger statistics were 48% from Oahu, 20% from Maui, average party size was 2.96 persons, average stay was 5.2 nights..." So more than twice as many passengers are from Oahu than Maui. Party size of 3 as is expected. Oahu and Maui is 68%, so at least 32% are likely to be visitors. All interesting numbers.

Second, on page 11 of the pdf file regarding Community Input:
"Concerns regarding Austal's construction of HSF's Alakai vessel."

And the next is what I heard about, apparently it stunned everybody in attendance and all of the committee members: "A member of the community gave a short background on fire ants and their negative effect on the Hawaiian islands. A suggestion was made for the OTF to recommend the formation of a study group to tackle the issue..."

Third, on page 12 of the pdf file:
"A question was asked if ramps on the Superferry [are] being considered?...Member Garibaldi responded that no ramp decisions have been made as of this date."

Fourth, on page 56 of the pdf file:
Laura Thielen, for DLNR/DOCARE in a letter makes the following recommendation to amend and strengthen the Governor's Executive Order No. 07-10 from:
"Prohibit Transport of Opihi, Lobster, or other Crustaceans" to Condition 2 should read: "The company shall agree that the transport of opihi, lobster, or crustaceans, that may be found and/or taken from within the waters of the State of Hawaii is prohibited and the company shall agree to notify passengers of this prohibition and shall prevent the transport of these species."

There were also a lot of pictures taken by DLNR of above such attempted "violations" from pages 34 - 51 of the pdf file. See:

Tomorrow on Kauai will be a DLNR community meeting, "In an effort to step up the protection and compliance with the state's natural and cultural resources laws, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will hold statewide public informational meetings...on Kaua'i: Tuesday, July 29, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Lihu'e State Office Building, 2nd Floor, Conference Room C 3060 Eiwa Street, Lihue, HI 96766"

Aloha, Brad

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor sent to The Garden Island News:

Kauai Sentiment already known on HSF‏

Regarding the letter 'Superferry vote?' from July 24, 2008, the writer from Oahu might not know, but there have been a number of reliable polls taken on that issue on Kauai in the past few months and they all show 55 to 60% 'No' Kauai does not want the Superferry and only 40 to 45% 'Yes' Kauai does want the Superferry. In most elections that would be considered a landslide of sentiment.

No need to waste anymore time or money putting that to a vote, especially when the people of Kauai have other more important issues and candidates to consider in the upcoming election.

Aloha, Brad

Friday, July 25, 2008

True Colors...

Well, they had to come up with something to deal with the seasonal, cyclical, and systematic downturn that will happen in the Fall. The slow seasonality that we always have in the Fall is visitor related. Military personnel on Oahu are not affected by that, and initially will be only slightly affected by the other two, so the following company preference is a logical one, assuming the PUC approves it:

"Superferry Discount to Military Personnel"
Written by KGMB9 News -
July 24, 2008 05:48 PM

"Hawaii Superferry announces a $59 one-way passenger fare for travel beginning August 5 and through October 31, 2008. One-way vehicle fares during this travel period remain at $65. One-way fares for seniors (62+), children (2-12), and retired and active military personnel, and their dependents, are $49 during this period. These fares will be available for purchase on August 5. These new one-way fares do not include applicable taxes and fees, and are subject to approval by the Public Utilities Commission. A fuel surcharge is not applicable to these fares during this period. Peak pricing is applicable on certain days during this period. Rates are subject to change. The current summer promotional rate of $49 each way is available for bookings made before August 5 for travel through September 30, 2008..."

Aloha, Brad

Thursday, July 24, 2008

First Contract: Israel Picks Lockheed LCS
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
"Israel Picks Lockheed LCS"
"Israel has picked the rival of a Mobile-based shipbuilder for an order of up to four warships, proposing a contract that, if finalized, could reach $1.9 billion. The move could enhance future business for Lockheed Martin Corp., industry analysts said, but should not guide the U.S. Navy's decision on which of two competing teams eventually will build up to 55 of the new breed of shore-hugging vessels known as Littoral Combat Ships. Mobile shipbuilder Austal USA is part of a team led by General Dynamics Corp. that is competing with Lockheed to build the ships for the U.S. Navy. Both teams have launched their ships – Lockheed's Freedom (LCS-1) in Marinette, Wis., and General Dynamics' Independence (LCS-2) in Mobile."

This says a lot,
Aloha, Brad

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Videos of Matt Simmons on the state of Oil

Some might question the connection here. It should be clear, the state of oil and fuel in the economy down to the microeconomic level is changing quickly regardless of where you think it is going. All transportation companies have to be concerned about it. The only state in this union that is 80 to 90% dependent upon outside sources of fuel should be concerned about it.

Today I read the following quote elsewhere and in light of what is happening with all lesser currencies, I found it to be spot on, "Ultimately, what we call money in the modern economy is nothing more than the ability to command energy to do what we want it to do."

Along these lines, Matt Simmons is the best analyst and speaker I have found on the oil industry. These are the best videos I could find on Mr. Simmons:

This one is not about Matt Simmons, but interesting nevertheless. It was created by an Ocean Engineer based in Honolulu:

Aloha, Brad

Monday, July 21, 2008

Crunching the numbers for June, Part 2

This is almost funny. What is the difference between "passenger bookings" and actual "ridership?" I guess with this company we have to ask questions about semantics like this. Here is why. From my recent prior post:
"The current issue of Pacific Business News has the first and only report of total ridership for June. 'Superferry officials said the Alakai had more than 30,000 passenger bookings in June, up 20 percent over May.'"

And a reply I got today from a person who would know at DOT-Harbors:

"Brad, the HSF reporting format to Harbors is by revenue generated. So for passengers departing Honolulu in June, they show 12,992, and for passengers departing Kahului in June, they show 13,183. Autos departing Honolulu in June are 3,095 and autos departing Kahului in June are 3,182. Commercial vehicles departing Honolulu are 278 in June and 288 departing Kahului in June. I'm not sure if "bookings in June" is the same thing as units reported to Harbors. I tend to think "bookings" encompasses more than actual ridership. HSF provides a brief to the Oversight Task Force which is on our DOT website. This brief typically includes their passenger and vehicle counts for the reported period."

So, that's almost 4,000 passengers less than the "bookings" reported to PBN, meaning the prior overly generous numbers should be re-calculated. I'm not going to waste time on that, it can still be said that they only covered their fuel costs for June, at best, and that's as good as it has gotten for these PR geniuses.

Aloha, Brad

Oil Price effect on Ferries elsewhere in the World

"Peak Oil: The End Of Ferry Services Between Japan And Taiwan?"
by, Tokyo, Japan on 07.20.08
Business & Politics (news)

"Before air travel, how on earth did people get around the globe? For a brief moment in history, there were steam ships and then diesel ferries. Now, due to high fuel costs, such ferries may no longer be a solution to your travel needs.

Arimura Industries, which has operated passenger ferries between Japan and Taiwan, ceased operations this year. The company operated under bankruptcy protection for some time and tried to work a rehabilitation plan, but was turned down, according to Japan Update.

If you visit Yokohama, the port city just south of Tokyo, I recommend the Hikawa Maru (11,622 gt) in Yamashita Park. The Hikawa Maru was the main passenger ship between Japan and Seattle and San Francisco in the United States before WW2, called the "Queen of the Pacific". Many celebrities who visited Japan in those days came here on the Hikawa Maru, including Helen Keller and Charlie Chaplin. It was a slow, wonderful journey accross the Pacific Ocean, probably a lot more interesting than today's 12 hour jumbo jet flights.

When oil was at its cheapest, Japanese ferry lines started expanding overseas. In 1970, the Ferry Kampu began to ply between Shimonoseki (Japan) and Pusan (South Korea). This ship was the first international ferry between Japan and other countries after WW2.

Tsuyoshi Ishiyama, a writer who knows a lot about Japanese ferries, notes:

'But oil prices rose very high because of the Oil Crises of 1973, and what was worse, tourists decreased. The high coast and depression hit ferry companies which operated the so-called luxury car ferries. In 1976, the Kagoshima-based Kagoshima Shosen made planes for a luxury ferry between Kagoshima (Kyushu) and Kobe (Honshu), but failed to be realized. Luxury ships disappeared from Japanese waters one by one, and such ferries as freighters replaced them. For example, the Shin Nihonkai Ferry's New Suzuran (16,250gt, 1979) and New Yukari (16,239gt, 1979); the Hankyu Ferry's New Yamato (11,919gt, 1983), New Miyako (11,914gt, 1984), etc. were such ferries as freighters.'

It makes me a little sad to note that sea ferries are no longer seen as a sustainable solution to overseas travel. But as oil prices remain high, which is more attractive as a long-term business idea: sea ferries or jumbo jets?

Below: a photo from the Hikawa Maru 1st class cabin. This unique ship helped Jewish refugees escape Nazi Germany via Japan. Later, the ship avoided disaster because it was used as a hospital ship. Something jumbo jets would have a difficult time to do, in times of sustained difficulties." Written by Martin Frid at
Aloha, Brad

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Price is Right

From today's Kauai newspaper and contrary to the remarks of at least one Mayoral candidate:

"The price is right"

"In response to the letter 'The cost of protest,' that ran July 13:

Roundtrip for two to O‘ahu on Hawaiian Airlines: $280.

Standard car rental per day from Budget: $33.99.

No Superferry on Kaua‘i: PRICELESS."

Destiny Jacintho
Koloa, Kauai, HI

Crunching the numbers for June

The current issue of Pacific Business News has the first and only report of total ridership for June. "Superferry officials said the Alakai had more than 30,000 passenger bookings in June, up 20 percent over May." So....

30,000/96 trips = 313 people per trip/3 = est. 105 cars per trip
= 313 x $49 = $15,337 passenger revenue per trip (not incl. F&B, mdse. sold)
+ 105 x $65 = $6,825 vehicle revenue per trip
= $22162 non-commercial/non-cargo revenue per trip

1900 gallons burned per hr. x 3 hrs. x $4.00 per gallon of MDO = $22,800 minimum fuel expense per trip (assuming company not hedging and not sourcing fuel from the Navy)

So, when cargo customers and merchandise sold onboard is included, the company just barely averaged covering its fuel expenses for the month. Still leaves most of the rest of expenses unaddressed. This is so despite the average of 313 people/836 newly reduced passenger capacity for an average ridership throughout the month of 37%.

Aloha, Brad

Friday, July 18, 2008

Technology to Sense Whales in the Water

Recently, after looking at the flashy Fred Olsen Express web page, I decided to re-read the following recent academic report:

A couple of things I noticed. There is a significant, reported or documented fatal vessel-on-whale strike in the Canary Islands every few months. They have noticeable increased since 2002 with 3 fatal strikes, 2003 with 8 fatal strikes, 2004 with 6 fatal strikes, 2005 with 6 fatal strikes, 2006 with 5 fatal strikes, and 2007 with 9 fatal strikes. There are a number of high speed vessels operating there. I compare that to Hawaii over the past year where I have not heard of a single documented and reported fatal whale strike yet. Does this mean that there have not been any or just that they were not known to have happened or that they just weren't reported? I don't know, but it is an interesting point to ponder.

The other point mentioned at the end of that academic report is Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM). When I look that up, there are some interesting articles, and this reminds me of some sort of related funding that Congress may have approved in the past few months. About the articles, here are the most interesting ones I found:
"Award Winning Technology To Protect Whales From Ship Strikes"

"Once prey to an industry that hunted them almost to extinction, whales today face a new threat – violent encounters with ships and pleasure craft. French biologist Michel André has pioneered a groundbreaking system to prevent collisions between whales and sea-craft." Julian Cribb reports.

"The unlucky passenger who died when a high-speed ferry rammed into a sperm whale in the Canary Islands was the world’s first known victim of a new form of pollution – ocean noise.

Worldwide, the number of ships and pleasure craft that come into collision with large sea creatures is climbing inexorably – and the insurance bill with it – as numbers of both vessels and whales multiply and the sea-lanes become more crowded. The cause of the accident, says marine biologist and Rolex Awards for Enterprise Laureate Michel André, most probably lay in damage to the whale’s sensitive hearing apparatus caused by the rising roar of man-made noise throughout the oceans. The whale was stone deaf – and simply didn’t hear the ferry coming in time to avoid it.

Burgeoning Sea Traffic Deafening Marine Wildlife

What no-one expected when commercial whaling ended was that whale numbers would one day rebuild sufficiently to become a hazard to sea craft. But in places where marine traffic is heavy, vessels fast and whale numbers expanding, crashes are increasingly common. Where the ship is large the whale comes off second best, but in the case of cruisers, yachts and smaller vessels, damage can be mutually serious - even deadly.

We often speak of the ‘silent deep’, but the exact opposite is true. Sink a few metres into the ocean, and light begins to fade. At 40 metres you enter endless night, where eyes are of little use and hearing is all. Here, noise moves five times faster - and much farther - than on land. High frequency sounds decay rapidly but low frequency noise can travel right around the planet using a special ‘sound channel’ in the oceans, centred about a kilometre down. The oceans are the true realm of sound.

Most sea creatures – from whales and dolphins to fish, squid and shrimps – respond to sound, and many produce it. They use it to hunt and to avoid the hunters, to find mates and food, to guide schools of fish, to navigate, to send messages and transmit warnings, to establish territories and warn off competitors, to stun prey and deceive predators, to ‘illuminate’ their surroundings acoustically, to avoid obstacles and sense changes in water and conditions.

They click bones and grind teeth. They use drum-tight bladders and special sonic organs to chirp, grunt, sing and boom. They belch gases and liquids. They vibrate special organs or their entire bodies. They gather to form great choirs. Sounds emitted by sea creatures span the range from 0.1 hertz to 300 kilohertz.

Far from the ‘silent deep’, the oceans are a raucous uproar.

Into this age-long tumult, in the blink of an evolutionary eye, has entered a new thunder: the throb of mighty engines and the thrash of propellers as 60,000 huge vessels plough the world’s sea lanes; the hammer of diesels and scream of outboards as 4 million fishing boats and more than 10 million ferries and pleasure craft surge to and fro; the thump and ping of military and fishing sonars; the deafening crash of seismic ships seeking oil and gas; the blare of acoustic harassment devices; the grinding of drills and dredges; the low-frequency growl of scientific experiments designed to monitor global warming.

Scientists report that background noise in the ocean has increased 15 decibels in the last half-century and 1000-fold since the industrial age began. This is enough, scientists say, to mask and scramble the normal sounds of ocean life going about its business. Dr Michel André, for one, is convinced the human uproar is killing whales – and now, apparently, people too. ‘One of the major short-term and worldwide threats for the sea and marine mammals is constituted by the noise produced by artificial sources,’ he says.

In the Canary Islands between six and ten whale collisions a year were being reported, mainly by fast ferry services. When a passenger died after a high-speed ferry rammed a basking sperm whale, André, a marine acoustics expert at the University of Catalonia, was asked to investigate. He decided to start by studying the dead whales. The first two he examined showed severe damage to their inner ears. They were, in short, deaf to certain sounds.

‘The inner ear lesions we found in sperm whales came from two resident whales which died after collisions. These lesions affected animals of different ages,’ he says, indicating the damage is due to an external factor, not to aging.

The injuries also occurred at a place in the ear’s sensitive structure corresponding in frequency with the sounds emitted by shipping. To test whether the wider whale population was affected, his team ran controlled exposure experiments on 215 sperm whales in the Canaries in which they played sounds in the same low-frequency range as the affected regions of the ears. The whales failed to react..." See rest of article at: [About the writer: Julian Cribb is a well known Australian science writer. He was science Editor at The Australian, has won more than 30 awards for journalism and is Adjunct Professor of Science Communication at the University of Technology Sydney.]

Other good articles on PAM include:

Efficacy of passive acoustic monitoring for marine mammals set to ...
Of all of the mitigation effort and expense that's been placed on the seismic industry, it's Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) that simultaneously holds the...

Ketos Ecology Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM)
Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) is increasingly used as a marine mammal ... mid-frequency Seiche and Ecologic towed arrays to monitor sperm whales...

Passive Acoustic Monitoring Systems .... PAM probably makes the biggest contribution in detection of sperm whales principally because they can be detected ... - Online Magazine Article: Special Focus - Dec-2007
NMFS also requires seismic operators to visually monitor the water surface for 30 min. or, in times of low visibility, use Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) ...

Aloha, Brad

Jeff King outdid himself on this one...

Have to say this is the most interesting video I have seen yet on the subject. Am familiar with some of the people in the video. Annoying to have to listen to John G., though. Check 'em out:

Aloha, Brad

Mel should have gotten one of those...

Caption from Mel's flickr site: "On display at the Small Business Hawaii Conference on January 9. I wanted to take this home."

They should have given Mel one of those. I think he would have appreciated it more than Linda and Calvin.

Anyway, from Ian Lind's blog today:

"Superferry watchers might be interested in my Honolulu Weekly column this week, which takes a peek at some of the gifts that exchanged hands at the State Capitol this past year:

'On January 14, Gov. Linda Lingle and House Speaker Calvin Say each received replicas of the first Hawai’i Superferry vessel from John F. Lehman, the company’s chairman and its largest investor. The model ships, valued at $500 by Lingle and $200 by Say, were presented less than three months after Lingle called the Legislature back into an extraordinary special session that swept aside a Supreme Court decision in order to allow Hawai’i Superferry to begin interisland service.

Senate President Colleen Hanabusa was given a framed photo of the Superferry, valued at $50, back in November, just a week after the bill had been signed into law.

The State Ethics Code (Chapter 84 Hawai’i Revised Statutes) prohibits legislators or other state employees from soliciting, accepting or receiving any gift “under circumstances in which it can reasonably be inferred that the gift is intended to influence the legislator or employee in the performance” of their official duties “or is intended as a reward for any official action” on their part.

The law also requires public disclosure of any gifts from a single source, which, singly or in aggregate, are worth more than $200.

The recipients all properly reported the Superferry’s gifts to the ethics commission. But were they “intended as a reward” for successful passage of the bill that launched the ferry into service, and therefore prohibited?'

Unfortunately, that ended up being a largely rhetorical question. Gifts are an area that still give the State Ethics Commission a headache, and many issues remain unresolved." -- Ian Lind

Aloha, Brad

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Neat source on Retail Marine Diesel Fuel Prices

Was reading a thread over on The Oil Drum and came across the following comment:

"The item about the Japanese Fishing Industry cites its price for fuel at $3.95/gallon, which implies almost pure crude. Marine diesel here in Oregon is about $4.40, depending on location. Alaska has about 20% of its commercial fleet rumored to be on the beach at any one time due to high diesel costs. Current Alaska prices vary by location--4.04 at Ketchikan to 5.80 at Dillingham shown here from this parent. Further West Coast data is available at the parent."

From there, check these out, each scrolls down from 1999 to 2008, more than quadrupled in price during that time, all retail MDO is now above $4.00 a gallon (in overly conservative calculations I was last using $3.75 a gallon):


Got the following reply from the administrator of that site:

Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Subject: Marine Fuel Prices


The MDO historical retail data, do you know where I can go online to find that kind of data for Hawaii?

RE: Marine Fuel Prices‏

"As far as I know no one collects it online for Hawaii."


Aloha, Brad

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Interesting Letter today out of Kauai

Andrea's repost elsewhere called my attention to Jimmy T's letter today:

"'The perfect storm' of dissent"

"Don Paul’s letter (“The cost of protest,” Letters, July 13) asserts that protesters chose “whales before people.” As one who chose to protest in the water I must remind him of another reason for being in the water: to protest the failure of government.

When Gov. Linda Lingle chose not to acknowledge over 6,000 signatures of Kaua‘i residents requesting a thorough EIS, the ultimate disrespect in my opinion, and the decision by Rep. Joe Suoki to not hear SB1276 on the floor of the House of Representatives, the failure of government helped to create the conditions for a “perfect storm” of dissent and disgust for officials and elected leaders to allow a company to put “profits before people.” This failure by our government and the attempt by HSF to bribe locals with $5 rides ahead of the Hawai‘i Supreme Court decision to overturn Judge Cardoza’s ruling helped to draw several thousand nonviolent protesters to assemble at Nawiliwili. By preventing the Alakai from operating before an EIS was conducted, these citizens, surfers and non-surfers, helped bring to light some of the failures of our government to provide clarity and guidance to businesses wanting to operate legally and ethically in Hawai‘i.

Despite Mr. Paul’s assertions, local family members can still choose to visit relatives or attend cultural events on neighbor islands. Advanced medical care is still available for seniors and local produce can still make its way to the Big Island.

I’m sure if more people knew that traffic clogging, gas guzzling RVs were allowed on the HSF, I bet more folks would’ve been in the water. I, for one, am glad that’s not the case."

James Trujillo

Also, on is the following excerpt from the only forthcoming book on this issue:

"So when the huge catamaran, sized specifically to be able to transport military vehicles, raced toward us in the sunset in flagrant disregard of all our efforts -- we were outraged. About 1,500 of us spontaneously gathered at the dock to again make clear what our state officials had refused to hear: that we would not allow the luxury monstrosity to touch our shores until an EIS had been conducted. We chanted, sang, and beat drums. We brandished banners and waved ti leaves, the sacred plant that wards off evil while calling in good. In that moment, all the sugar-era manipulations to pit race against race, class against class, vanished. Shoulder-to-shoulder stood Native Hawaiians, Japanese-, Filipino-, Portuguese- and Chinese-American descendents of plantation workers, descendents of American missionaries, and transplants from North America who have been calling Kauai home for as long as 40 years and as recently as six months. Lawyers, musicians, students, doctors, college professors, politicians, writers, woodworkers, social workers, nurses, mechanics, architects every walk of Kauai's community were represented. But the coup de grâce came from the surfers who leapt from the jetty's rocky edge to paddle out to the mouth of Nawiliwili Harbor. Most of them were kids. There they sat, straddling their boards, seeming as small as mice, in comparison to the skyscraper-high ship, but blocking it from moving forward -- a sort of Tiananmen Square right there in the waters of Nawiliwili Harbor!"

Nicely written,
Aloha, Brad

Monday, July 14, 2008

Full Capacity for one run?

I am told from reliable sources that HSF may have been at full capacity from Oahu to Maui for the evening run last Friday. I believe that would be the first and only time that has happened. Neither the company, none of the media nor any riders on their blogs have reported this yet. Summer was expected to be good, can't wait to see what Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec., Jan., and Feb. are like.

Aloha, Brad

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Some Good Videos

While I was at a renewable energy retreat this weekend, a few good news videos came out. Here they are: - Good on Laura Thielen's comments. - Like the KGMB diagram/map about the public land location and that a DLNR officer surfing witnessed it. Not impressed with the lawyer's arguments. Also appreciate the "Restricted Items" list by KHON and Joe Moore at the end of the report.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Breaking News on LCS-2 and LCS-1

Got some good info. about the $5 million DoD grant improvements sought on HSF, but that will have to wait for now. Here is something more significant.

I'm not paying for the full reports. Some news outlet may do a full public report on this, until then, here are a couple of recent abstracts from

July 10, 2008 -- The Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship program has not one, but two black eyes on earned value management because both LCS shipbuilders violated Defense Department rules for managing the cost, schedule and performance of acquisition efforts, a new audit finds...full issue

Latest documents from DefensePlus Naval Audit on LCS-2 Independence
June 12, 2008 -- Report by the Naval Audit Service examines earned value management for the second Littoral Combat Ship (LCS-2) and recaps previous findings for the LCS-1. This is a redacted version of the "for official use only" report. (PDF: 484,915 bytes)

I would say the parties involved should worry that if Obama is elected programs with this type of record will likely be cancelled. No doubt for some people it is their top concern.

Aloha, Brad

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Links to the National Presidential Campaign

About a month ago I made a prediction about this subject relative to the Presidential candidates. I actually had not searched it, it was just a logical prediction. A little more than a week ago a bookwriter on this asked me what exactly the connection is of the personalities involved here and the Presidential campaigns. So I searched it, and found some interesting things that say a lot more about the handling of facts, truths, and half truths over the past few years on this issue.

Here was my blog on it:

Here are a series of interesting links. Check 'em out:

"NY Times Hypes McCain Credentials;
Looks like McCain's national security adviser is inventing history"

"McCain Campaign Conference Call Hosted By James Woolsey, Kori Schake, John Lehman and Randy Scheunem"

"Candidates Clash on Terrorism;
In Sharp Exchange, Each Side Calls Other's Position a Risk"

"Wash Post catches McCain campaign lying about 9/11"

"The Long Run;
Taste of Senate Set Capt. McCain on a New Path"

"As Senate liaison, McCain 'heard the music' of politics"

"McCain Campaign Cites Bush's National Security Weaknesses"

"Ex-Navy secretary stumps for McCain..."

Aloha, Brad

Cultural Impact Assessment at Nawiliwili for HSF?

Sorry, I sat on this one for a while because quite frankly it seems almost a moot point.

There was a public meeting about a month ago here on Kauai regarding a Cultural Impact Assessment at Nawiliwili Harbor contracted by Belt Collins supposedly for the expected effects of HSF.

What I found interesting from the diagrams is that the area being studied actually includes the grounds of Young Brothers, Matson, and HSF (assuming they are ever welcome to return). So my question, if this is just for HSF, why is the area being studied a much larger area including all of the shippers?

Also, the whole premise of a cultural impact assessment now seems a bit off. The really significant cultural impacts at Nawiliwili Harbor would have been decades ago when the harbor was first built. How can one accurately quantify what the relatively lesser cultural impacts would be in the future?

As for what impacts still remain, I would say they would be mostly on the canoe clubs who's practices would be interrupted and on shoreline fishermen. What aspect of this CIA that can still be done should be in consultation with the canoe clubs and shoreline fishermen.

Above I have including a couple of diagram pictures and a cover letter regarding this CIA.

Aloha, Brad

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Sorry I can't resist, this one is funny

There are more important posts to be put up, like I still have to put up something on the Cultural Impact Assessment and also recent statements that have been made by the principal investors in the national Presidential campaign contested by others in the Navy and U.S. Dept. of Justice, but I just can't resist, this blog entry was funny because I have seen many times what the blogger, Dave, is talking about, but haven't read anyone else comment on it until now:


"Superferry was cool, but frustrating" July 7th, 2008 by Dave

"I was among the record number of riders for the Superferry over the 4th of July weekend...

Well…Has anyone else encountered a bit of frustration with how the vehicles are put on board?
Each way, we had one set in our group head to the ferry dock a few hours early to get in line with the hopes of getting on the boat early so we could grab one of the big tables, sit together and play cards.

Each time, the car we sent early was one of the last to load. We never got to play cards and on the way back, there weren’t even two seats together for our late arrivals.

Even more frustrating is that some of the long tables we could have used were taken up by singles who stretched out (smartly) with blankets for the three-hour tour.

Good for them, crap for us.

What’s the point of getting there early if you’re not going to be boarded until the last group?

Getting off the ferry first isn’t important, getting a good seat for a three-hour tour is the desire.
It’s a minor glitch that should be easily corrected. You come early, you get rewarded by getting on first.

I’d take it again, but next time I’d drop a passenger off in the walk-in line to reserve some seats, and I’d only take it if I were going for three days or more and needed my car..."

3 Responses to “Superferry was cool, but frustrating”

Kailua J: July 7th, 2008 at 1:46 pm
"...The only recommended improvement would be to align the vehicles better which are parked in 3 lanes. I’m not a big person but the parking director dudes need to allow enough space between bumpers to walk through if you have to walk from your car in the 2nd or 3rd lane to the stairway entrance to the passenger deck next to the 1st lane. Also the aisle space between lanes is so narrow that expect a little body buffing action from people walking by your car with bags, coolers, huge belt buckles, etc..."

Dave: July 7th, 2008 at 4:14 pm
"Kailua, I’m glad to meet SOMEONE who got a booth! I see you arrived a bit later, too. I’m glad you brought up the parking. I forgot about how the tight the cars were. Our friends in the other vehicle saw one car roll into another when everyone was returning and it nearly caused a fight..."

Mauibrad: July 7th, 2008 at 9:56 pm
Dave, good points about order or lack thereof boarding. I noticed this when counting on Maui, that people/cars getting their earlier would many times be sitting there waiting to get on while others coming later would just drive straight on. I watched it many times and it never did seem to be consistent or make sense to me. As far as I know, nobody else has commented on this online until your blog today, Dave.

Aloha, Brad

Sunday, July 6, 2008

More tidbits...Possible new DLNR natural resource enforcement

I am putting these posts up in no particular order. The subject of this post is actually turning out to be the most noticeable problem with this project. Regarding DLNR's enforcement capabilities over indiscriminate harvesting and transport of natural resources, Christie Wilson wrote a good article a few weeks ago about this with interesting public comments:

This issue has also been mentioned in the OTF Reports relative to the ferry at:
OTF REPORT - 05.23.08.pdf See DOCARE Update p. 4, also see "Attachment H" pp. 76-77
OTF REPORT - 04.28.08.pdf See Prosecutor's Office Update p. 4

See also comment at:

On July 3rd the DLNR put this release out and it showed up in part in papers yesterday:


For Immediate Release: July 3, 2008


HONOLULU — In an effort to step up the protection and compliance with the state's natural and cultural resources laws, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will hold statewide public informational meetings, starting July 14, on draft rules to establish an administrative system to process DLNR's civil (non-criminal) enforcement cases in a just, expeditious and cost-effective manner. DLNR proposes to amend Hawai'i Administrative Rules, Title 13, Chapter 13-1, to add a new Subchapter 7, Civil Resource Violations System, that will authorize DLNR to:

-Issue citations for an alleged civil resource violation;
-Assess an administrative penalty for such a violation according to a penalty schedule adopted by the Board of Land and Natural Resources;
-Summon that person to answer the citation by choosing from three options
– 1) pay the fine 2) request mitigation; or 3) contest the citation;

"People in Hawai'i care deeply about our natural and cultural resources, and want us to do a better job in protecting them and enforcing against violations that harm our lands and environment" Laura H. Thielen, DLNR chairperson, said. "The civil penalty system to be set up under these draft rules is an important part of our new DLNR strategic plan, and will involve stakeholders and communities. We want to engage the public to help us finalize this draft and prepare for the rule-making process. We believe that public participation will be helpful to us and give us different perspectives," Thielen said. "We invite people to attend these information meetings and gain a better understanding of our enforcement action plan, and to provide ideas to improve that plan. We will also seek further input later when we come back for a second round of public hearings," she added.

At the same time, DLNR also proposes to amend and compile other subchapters of Chapter 13-1, HAR, which are related to the enforcement process as well; in particular Subchapter 5, Contested Case Proceedings; and Subchapter 6, Post-Hearing Procedures for a Hearing Conducted by a Hearing Officer.

On June 13, 2008, the Board of Land and Natural Resources gave approval for the Department to hold statewide public hearings for the proposed amendment of Chapter 13-1, HAR, including the adoption of Subchapter 7.

The meetings are intended is to allow the public to be informed of this new enforcement process as proposed in the new rules, to ask questions on the rules, and to engage in live discussion with DLNR staff.

The proposed rules and the accompanying staff submittal to the Land Board are now posted on DLNR's website. For review and download, please go to, and click on "Announcements."

The public information meetings schedule is as follows:
Maui: Monday, July 14, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Bring your own lunch.) Kahului Community Center, 275 Uhu St, Kahului, HI 96732
Lanai: Friday, July 18, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Bring your own lunch.) Lanai School Cafeteria, Fraser Avenue, Lanai City, HI 96753
Kona: Tuesday, July 22, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Bring your own lunch.) Honokohau Marina, Big Game Fishing Clubhouse 74-380B Kealakehe Pkwy; Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
Hilo: Tuesday, July 22, 5 – 7 p.m. State Office Building, 75 Aupuni Street; Hilo, HI 96720
Honolulu: Thursday, July 24, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Bring your own lunch.) DLNR Boardroom, Kalanimoku Building 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 131, Honolulu, HI 96813
Kaua'i: Tuesday, July 29, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Bring your own lunch.) Lihu'e State Office Building, 2nd Floor, Conference Room C 3060 Eiwa Street, Lihue, HI 96766
Moloka'i: Friday, August 1, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Bring your own lunch.) Mitchell Pauole Center 90 Ainoa Street, Kaunakakai, Moloka'i, HI 96748

Written comments may be submitted at any of the meetings or sent to Department of Land and Natural Resources, Administrative Proceedings Office, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 130, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813, or to

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Christie Wilson had another good article on these matters today which has gotten a lot of public comment already:

Aloha, Brad

Tidbits from the net...USNI Proceedings and JHSV specs

Sorry, I have not had time to post here about HSF and related developments. But, over the next few days I will post some select things. First, there have been some interesting related developments, and I review it all, but haven't had time to post publicly about it. Something I might recommend for all are the Google Alerts at They are free and you can subscribe to them for any keyword showing up on the net to be automatically e-mailed to you. That is one way to follow this or any issue.

First, today there is a blog entry coming out of Australia by a professor, Tom Worthington, at the Australian National University who has posted good stuff in the past on Australian fast ferry technology. I noticed him because in the past he has cited the US Naval Institute magazine Proceedings, which I know is read by the parties involved. It was Lecturer Worthington who put the first blog post on the net years ago, that I found, about the Australian firm AMD that sold HSV techology to the Chinese which was re-engineered by the Chinese for an attack military vessel. So anyway, here is Lecturer Worthington's most recent post:
Sunday, July 06, 2008
"Wider role suggested for High Speed Vessels in US Military"

"In 'Widen the Lens for JHSV' (Proceedings of the U.S. NAVAL INSTITUTE, June 2008 Vol. 134/6/1,264), Commander Robert K. Morrison III and Lieutenant Commander Phillip E. Pournelle (U.S. Navy) suggests widening the role for high-speed vessels.

Morrison and Phillip were the commanding and executives officers of HSV-2 Swift, an experimental Australian built US navy high speed ship. The US DoD has a Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) program designed to implement the results of the programs run my US Army and Navy. However, Morrison and Phillip argue that the joint program has lower performance requirements than those demonstrated by Swift in actual operations and will unnecessarly limit the uses which such ships can be put.

The authors argue that the JSHVs should be thought of like transport aircraft more than ships. They can quickly deliver a cargo, or a military force and rapidly leave the scene, under cover of dark if necessary. The ships can operate from undeveloped ports without the need of shore facilites using their built in vehicle ramps and cargo arms. They can carry tanks, carry helecopters and deploy small rading craft.

Australian industry has an interest in this debate, as it has two shipbuilders: Incat and Austal who dominate world as suppliers of such ships."

What I think is interesting is that the two recent commanding officers of the Incat vessel the Swift indicate that the Incat ship that they operated has more capability than what is being required in the specs for the JHSV proposals. To me it almost seems like the contract requirements were lowered to allow another company's inferior ship design and capabilities to have a chance at winning the construction contract.

Will put some more things up soon.
Aloha, Brad