Saturday, September 13, 2008

Catching up...Good Kauai letters to the Editor

I've got some catching up to do here. I'll be posting some good recent letters to the editor from here on Kauai. BTW, I hear the ridership is low now on the vessel. Notice we have not heard a report on August and certainly not comparing August to July. The first letter writer below is represented in the appealed case challenging Act 2 on this matter.

"Tired of Superferry argument"

"I’ve been hearing with interest how some individuals have been swayed by the increased cost of fuel and the downturn in the economy toward favoring return of the Superferry. They remind me of the old movies of torture victims who finally cave in to the pain of “the rack.” The victims forget that their torturers are heartless terrorists, that they kill women and children and that giving in will condemn their culture to eons of subjugation. They simply cannot bear the pain.

We too are torture victims of a sort, taken to our limit by the political/corporate/military interests that aim to subjugate us for eons all in the name of money and power. They do not use “the rack,” they do not kill women and children, but they use insidious means to accomplish their selfish aims. However, we do not have to give in. We can see through the veil that controls us and throw off the yoke of leadership that runs our system. We can vote.

Would the Superferry help Kaua‘i? Not in the least. It will offer a more expensive, less fuel efficient, more environmentally unfriendly, slower mode of transportation and cause more traffic problems, more invasive species and more military control of the islands (not to mention more seasickness) than any other choice available. In addition, the Superferry is brought to us by a corporation that has lied to us from the beginning, a political structure that has tried deceitfully to sidestep our environmental laws and a military that has made behind the scenes agreements and has repeatedly lied about them. It is easy to understand why someone would look at the superficial arguments and favor the advent of the Superferry. After all, they are currently operating at cut rate prices and taking a loss. However, soon they will have to raise prices to meet their costs and then it will just be a military transport that also ferries wealthy visitors from island to island. Please remind me why we would want to condone this public disgrace. The developers may soon be asking us whether or not we want them to return. Please look more deeply into the issue and vote a resounding 'No thanks.'"

David Dinner

"‘Ferrying’ versus flying"

"The Garden Island continues to publish letters from people, such as Deborah Kaiu (“I’d come to Kaua‘i,” Letters, Aug. 22), who want to be able to come to Kaua‘i on the Superferry.

Their most often cited primary reason is their belief that the trip on the Superferry with their own car would be cheaper than flying and renting a car.

It is unfortunate that these people don’t first check prices before they write their letters. A visit to the Web sites for the Superferry, Hawaiian Airlines, and Thrifty Car Rental reveals that a round trip for two adults from O‘ahu to Maui with a standard automobile currently costs $404 for a Friday to Monday trip in mid-September. The same trip on Hawaiian Airlines with a rental car from Thrifty prices out at $370 (cheaper car rentals are available but were not priced out). I would expect that an O‘ahu/Kaua‘i flying round trip would also save at least $34 compared to the Superferry.

Some writers also mention a convenience factor. It is my belief that flying on Hawaiian Airlines with flights available almost every half hour throughout the day can be much more convenient than the Superferry that offers only one departure time in one direction and only two departure times in the other direction."

Peter Nilsen

Along the lines of what Peter mentions above, a recent comparison that appeared in the LA Times:

"Hawaii Superferry: Deal or no deal?"

"The Hawaii Superferry, which shuttles between Oahu (Honolulu) and Maui (Kahului)....But is this any way for a tourist to travel?...Here’s the match-up with air service:

Time: No contest. The Oahu-Maui flight takes 35 minutes, and the ferry takes three hours.

Cost: Pretty close. For a Sept. 18 to 23 round trip, including taxes and fees, the Superferry cost $128.99 per person. The lowest airfares (also including taxes and fees), when I checked on, started at $146.50 on Mesa Air Group’s go! airline and $140 on Hawaiian Airlines. For Nov. 6 to 11 round trips, the ferry penciled out to $151.89, versus the lowest airfare, $141.50, for go!.

Convenience: No contest. The ferry makes one daily round trip, and sometimes two, depending on the date. Flights leave often, all day long.

Vibe: No contest. It’s way more scenic and fun to ride the waves (unless of course it’s stormy or you’re prone to seasickness) than to huddle in a coach seat.

Caveats: Superferry fares bounce up and down, depending on whether you go midweek or on the weekend and whether a hefty fuel surcharge is applied...

And then there’s the weather, which sometimes causes ferry trips to be canceled."

Aloha, Brad

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