Monday, March 31, 2008
From: Lee Tepley
Sent: Sun 3/30/08 4:55 PM
To: Lee ((whale DVD)) Tepley
"About reliably detecting collisions between the Superferry and whales + other Superferry stories - feel free to circulate.
I attended the 6:00PM session of the EIS scoping meeting at Kona on March 27, 2008. The audience of about 30 people were quiet, reserved, maybe even a little bored – apparently nothing like the earlier Scoping meetings on Kauai. Belt Collins personnel were pleasant and charming. They seemed happy to have one million dollars of state money to spend on the illegal EIS. But, apparently, they still could not afford to provide an e-mail address for Kona residents to submit comments. You should have until April Fool’s day to submit Postmarked written comments.
About 7 people gave 3 minute presentations. Three of these (given by Duane Erway, Marjorie Erway and myself) were rather technical. I hope that Belt Collins is required by Act 2 to consider and comment on these presentations in it’s draft EIS. Otherwise, why even bother to have a "scoping meeting?"
The 3 minute presentations by Duane, Marjorie and myself are given on 2 new pages of my Superferry web site. To get there go to:
A brief summary of my presentation is given below.
1. I first made it clear that I agreed with Jeff Sacher who stated that he believed that both ACT 2 and the EIS were both illegal and unconstitutional.
2. I then discussed 4 techniques that could be used (probably simultaneously) to reliably identify collisions between the Superferry and submerged large objects - like whales, manta rays, etc. Specifically, the techniques involve mounting video cameras, accelerometers, hydrophones and/or low-intensity high-frequency sonars on or near the Superrferry’s two bows. The latter 3 items would be mounted near or below the waterline. All 4 of these techniques could be used simultaneously. Data would be recorded on hard drives or telemetered directly to a shore station for rapid analysis.
Duane Erway and myself had discussed requiring the Superferry to install such instrumentation for many months. We decided that this EIS scoping meeting was a good time to introduce the idea. Independently, Dr. Alex Leonard came up with similar ideas and presented them in a letter to Senator Barbara Chun Oakland. Dr. Leonard’s letter also emphasized the increasing danger of collisions with increasing vessel speed. You can read it as Attachment 2 on one of the new web pages on the Kona EIS Scoping meeting.
I should make it clear that reliably identifying collisions is totally different from avoiding them. HSF argues that observers looking through binoculars and using exotic night vision equipment will enable the Superferry to detect marine mammals and avoid collisions. Wrong!! There is no way that observers can detect animals when they are beneath the surface.
I expect that HSF will violently object to installing instrumentation on the Superferry to detect collisions since it would be embarrassed when collisions were documented. HSF might even be fined for killing endangered species. Also, HSF will claim that installing detection equipment would be a waste of it’s money or taxpayer’s money. But with one million taxpayer dollars already devoted to this illegal EIS, why worry about spending a few more dollars to reliably detect collisions with whales?
3. In Marjorie Erway's 3 minute presentation, she discussed how HSF has managed to avoid Duane Erway’s request that the Superferry be required to measure the noise output of the vessel. (Go to Attachment #3 on the Supplementary EIS Scoping web page.) However, there is fairly new evidence that this noise may be loud enough to cause direct hearing damage to marine mammals that come close to the ferry but are lucky enough to avoid being hit. The illegal EIS should require an independent contractor to make direct measurements of the noise put out by the Superferry when traveling at different speeds.
4. In Duane Erway's 3 minute presentation, he discussed possible shortcomings of HSF’s night vision equipment - especially on dark nights. (Go to attachment #4 on the Supplementary EIS Scoping web page.) The illegal EIS should require independent contractors to evaluate this equipment and specify how fast the Superferry be permitted to travel under conditions of normal and reduced visibility.
I hope that the above 3 minute presentations contain information to help attorneys in coming legal actions against Act 2.
Now, please go to my new Superferry web pages about the Kona EIS scoping meeting."
Saturday, March 29, 2008
From: Richard Hoeppner, March 19, 2008, afternoon testimony for Act. 2,
"This hearing is an effort in futility, it is a sham, as is Act II that requires it. Act II is a bastardization of the rule of law and a prostitution of the legislative process. There are currently two cases filed with the Hawaii Appeals Court to determine it’s constitutionality, which [should] make this process irrelevant.
The Act itself makes this process irrelevant under Part III, which relates to this EIS by stating: “Nothing in this Part shall be deemed or construed to impose a condition precedent to any activity authorized under Parts I, II, or IV of this act.”
This process is One Million Dollars wasted, and will have NO effect on any impacts to our environment.
The Governor has thus far blocked an Audit required under Part I, Page 4, Line 5, relating to how the State determined the exemption for an EIS on the Superferry. That Audit could also make this process irrelevant, and [this] should be delayed until that Audit is completed.
If you insist on carrying out a False EIS, then the Act itself demands that you earn your Million Dollars.
The Act itself lists effects that are likely to be caused by Superferry. In Part II it lists what effects the Governor must consider on Page 16, lines 5 through 15. These same effects are listed in Part IV, page 45, lines 1 through 13, showing the impacts that the task force is to consider.
Why should you not be required to cover the same issues that the Governor and the Task Force are required to consider, and they are:
1. Ocean life and marine animals and plants, including a whale avoidance policy and procedures
2. water resources and quality
3. harbor infrastructure
4. vehicular traffic
5. public safety and security
6. controlling the spread of invasive species
7. cultural resources, including hunting, fishing, and native Hawaiian resources
8. economic consequences and impact
9. other natural resources and community concerns
Item (5) line 10 of Page 16 lists “Public safety and security” which hasn’t been talked about very much. With Superferry history of seasickness and floors afloat with vomit because they ran out of barf bags, there has to be a health issue that should be examined.
If Superferry hits a[...] whale and causes more damage to the auxiliary rudders, could the hulls be cracked to an even greater extent, causing the craft to sink? The Coast Guard distinguishes between “life boats” and “life rafts” for ocean going vessels. Does Superferry have sufficient safety craft on board to accomadate the number of passengers it is capable of carrying? These are issues you must examine. [...] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liferaft#Liferaft_versus_Lifeboat
Read Act II, the unconstitutional Superferry bill, and you will see what DOT’s own law requires that you do."
I, Brad, am still researching the above point regarding liferafts and have a call into people who should know to find out more on this.
Also, Rich Hoeppner had another very interesting statement presented on July 7, 2007, at the 3rd HSF Meeting w/the Kauai community required by the Senate. There were about 150 people in attendance at that time:
"There are so many unanswered questions regarding the Hawaii Superferry. How can so many presumably intelligent people not see the difference between the Superferry operation and that of Young Brother’s and Matson lines? Both of the latter have been in operation for over a hundred years, 1900 and 1862, have proven themselves effective without causing problems and without which the outer islands could not function. Everybody knows the impacts of these companies on the Hawaiian Islands and it is accepted by all.
The Superferry operation on the other hand is new, unproven, and totally unique. No other craft sailing Hawaiian waters travels at even half the speed, no other craft accommodates up to 250 drive on/drive off private vehicles, no other craft [would dock] at all four major ports on a daily basis, and no other craft utilizes the narrow catamaran hulls which can be deadly to whales, as evidenced by similar craft in the Canary Islands. Nobody knows what the environmental and cultural impact of the Superferry will be on our islands, except possibly Superferry promoters, causing them to resist the EIS.
More important than any of the above information, is the integrity and truthfulness of the people involved in the promotion of this project. They still advertise their operation as affordable and convenient, with weekend fares at $52 per person and $65 per car. In very fine print is the mention of a fuel surcharge based on marine diesel oil (MDO) priced at $300 per metric ton, with a 2% rise in fare price for each 10% rise is in MDO. They also know that the present MDO price is $585. It was as high as $790 just a few months ago and is on the rise since the elections. Is this deceptive, or outright dishonesty? [MDO is well over $900 per metric ton right now, 3/29/08, three times the pricing cost that HSF originally calculated, see: http://www.bunkerworld.com/markets/prices/]
1. They advertise how great it will be for the small farmer from Kauai to take his produce to Honolulu on the Superferry. That small farmer will have to pay $1,360 to get his truck and produce to Oahu and back, will get into Honolulu at 9:30PM from Kauai, will have to pay for a Hotel, and have only until about 1:30PM the next day to get rid of his produce. He will have to sell a hell of a [lot] of Papaya to cover that cost. Those traveling from Oahu to Maui will have to be at the port to be inspected by about 4AM; that is anything but convenient. Again, where is the honesty?
They advertise that their boat is eco-friendly. I went to a Chamber of Commerce meeting last week where Superferry was the star. They had a new folder with allegedly all new information. It was much of the same information, same claims they have been making about studies and cooperation with agencies, but again, generalities with no details; the appendix was not included.
They did have an Austal specification sheet for the Auto Express 107, their craft, but one very important specification was eliminated form their Austal sheet. The fact that their superferry burns 1,981 gallons of diesel fuel per hour, or nearly 12,000 gallons round trip Oahu to Kauai and back. Is that eco-friendly and does their elimination of that detail from the spec sheet give an indication of how honest they are, or is it just one more indication of their deceitful tactics.
2. Mr. Fukanaga claims he and his staff determined that Superferry was entitled to an exemption from an EIS. Is that true or did the order come from his boss, Governor Lingle? How did Lehman, Garibaldi and others know they would get fast track treatment to invest millions without going through normal channels. The state environmental board has said that this exemption was wrong.
Mr. Fukanaga, did you do an investigation before you exempted them from an EIS, and invested $40M for barges and ramps at our docks that can only be utilized by a Superferry type craft? Did you check the backgrounds of the people involved in Superferry to determine past history as CEOs, CFOs and VPs in prior ventures?
Were you aware of the background of Mr. Lehman, Chairman of the Board of Superferry? Is this the same John F. Lehman, former Secretary of the Navy under Reagan [...]? Is this the same John F. Lehman that was a co-author of Project for a New American Century, promoting policies that produced the catastrophe of Iraq, and who was a member of the 911 Commission that many people think was a white wash of what happened at the twin towers?
Is Mr. Garibaldi the same John Garibaldi that was CFO of Hawaiian Airlines shortly before they declared bankruptcy, and then accepted an enormous severance package?
3. Is Mr. O’Halloran the same Terry O’Halloran who is chairman of the Whale Sanctuary Advisory Committee that approved a whale avoidance policy of two people with binoculars watching for whales? How convenient to be on the Sanctuary Advisory Committee and be Director of Business Development for Superferry. Does this obvious conflict of interest indicate lack of integrity?
Is Mr. White, Vice President of Superferry, the same Terry White who is also on the Whale Sanctuary Advisory Committee, and was involved in the American Classic Cruise Lines that filed the largest bankruptcy in the history of a U.S. Maritime Administration backed loan, the same U.S. agency backing a $140M loan for the Superferry?
Did you check the background and financial interests of another superferry VP, Tig Krekel? Is this the same Tig Krekel who has been President, Vice President, or CEO, of Corporations such as Boeing Satellite Systems, Hughes Space and Communications, and Aerospace Equipment Systems group of Allied Signal? Is this the same Tig Krekel who is involved with a company named Sea Launch, which launches satellites form the equator directly south of Hawaii?
Mr. Fukanaga, did you ask for an accounting of financial viability of the nearly $300M project before committing $40M of harbor funds? Is your promotion from head of Hawaii Harbors to head of Department of Transportation justified if you didn’t? Many people don’t think so.
4. Why did the people who initiated the Superferry operation choose a vessel 107 meters, 350 feet in length with a capacity of 282 cars and 866 passengers when the former CEO of Austal, Mr. Alan Lerchbackeer recommended a 73 meter craft with less capacity, less expensive, cheaper to operate, and less polluting? He also had concerns about the financial viability, stating that with the current vessel, they will need 400 to 500 passengers per trip to break even. Superferry now estimates [then estimated] they will have average loads of 400 passengers and half the vehicles it is capable or carrying. Why did they design the ferry with roll on/roll off decks so high off the water requiring $40M in dock modifications? Why the fuel capacity of 56,800 gallons just to do inter-island travel?
Is this an intentional design for bankruptcy? Will Lehman and Krekel then purchase the vessels for pennies on the dollar for their intended use? [...] Many people are questioning the financial viability of the Superferry operation. Will it end up in bankruptcy with the taxpayers holding the bag for nearly $200M? Do you think these people are the least bit interested in the culture or environment of Kauai?
5. With the Senate Bill #1276 headed for the House, it may die there, or even if it passes the House in it’s watered down version, our wonderful Governor will have final say with a veto, BUT I am sure the over $25,000 in contributions to her last political campaign by individuals connected with Superferry will not influence her decisions about the bill passing, which has been backed by Maui, Hawaii Island, and Kauai County Councils, and the State Senate. If Senate Bill #1276 would pass the house without being killed by one single individual, House Rep. Joseph Souki, Governor Lingle’s veto would be going against every single political body in the State of Hawaii, except Oahu Council.
There is one step left, and it is probably the only thing Superferry will understand, that is legal action on all the errors they have committed over the last four years. They say that has already been attempted and they won, but they leave out the fact that one case is still pending at the State Supreme Court, and to this date, no court has heard arguments about the Endangered Species Act or the Marine Mammals Act, and there are legal entities waiting to see what happens with SB1276. As Yogi Berra said, 'It ain’t over till it’s over.'"
Richard Hoeppner, July 7, 2007. [For those of you who do not know, Rich is a retired police chief, not exactly the profile of a radical.]
OK, I'll try to find more on the liferafts.
Friday, March 28, 2008
"Superferry Returns To Honolulu Harbor
Vessel Spent Weeks In Dry Dock For Repairs"
POSTED: 8:37 pm HST March 27, 2008
"HONOLULU -- After more than a month under repair the Hawaii Superferry returned to its berth on Thursday. The troubled vessel now faces a Coast Guard inspection. "From the ship handling standpoint, this was kind of an abnormal day and an abnormal job," harbor pilot Capt. Edward Enos said....On Monday it will go to sea for its annual Coast Guard inspection. Going along on Monday's trial will be an 'international expert' in the Superferry's type of vessel....The Superferry's next challenge is to prove its reliability. Customers need to be sure that if they take their car to a neighbor island and they will be able to get it back after some were stranded over time."
Also, the Kailua Kona Act. 2 "EIS" scoping meeting took place yesterday. Here is a good AP report on it. [I will post a compilation of all the media reports on the Act. 2 scoping meetings]:
Posted on: Friday, March 28, 2008
"Some in Kawaihae say town has little to offer ferry riders"
By Karin Stanton -- Associated Press
"KAILUA KONA, Hawai'i — Kawaihae town is not ready to handle Hawaii Superferry passengers in large numbers, residents told state officials and consultants.
Six people testified at yesterday afternoon's informational session; more people were expected to attend a second session last night.
The sessions, which started March 11 on Moloka'i and end Monday on Lana'i, are part of a statewide effort to gather public input ahead of a special environmental impact statement officials said they expect to finalize by May 2009.
The study, mandated last year, will address secondary impacts associated with Hawaii Superferry, which has struggled to keep afloat in a sea of legal and technical trouble and waves of community resistance since its launch last summer.
"We haven't received input that was unexpected," said Mike Formby, state Department of Transportation Harbors Division deputy director.
"Most people have highlighted impacts they want us to address. That includes traffic and invasive species, as well as military use and environmental impacts from that."
The Hawaii Superferry is scheduled to begin service to the west side of the Big Island in 2009, although a new multi-use pier is not expected to be completed by then.
Kawaihae Harbor is the only one of the four scheduled ferry ports in the state that does not accommodate cruise ships.
Although barges, cargo ships and the military regularly use Kawaihae Harbor, the town is served by a two-lane road and has little in the way of visitor attractions or services other than a couple of small restaurants and art galleries.
Kailua, Kona, is an hour's drive south, and Hilo is about 90 minutes away by car.
By comparison, the ferry docks right in developed and populated areas in Honolulu and Kahului, Maui. A strip mall is next to Nawiliwili Harbor on Kaua'i.
Three people said they would like the environmental impact study to address traffic control issues, pedestrian safety and protection of culturally significant sites.
Jim Donovan, a Kawaihae real-estate agent, said the area is not, and likely cannot be developed into, a visitor destination, especially for ferry passengers who arrive without vehicles.
"It's a small town and doesn't really have the attractions tourists are looking for," he said. "What are people going to do?"
James Karkheck, a Captain Cook coffee and fruit farmer, said he can see the benefits of Superferry for some commercial and military uses, but has not yet seen how it might benefit him.
"Tell me how it's going to help me get my produce to market, because I'm a farmer, and it's impractical.
'It's geared to the kind of traffic that will be least beneficial to the island,' he said."
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
There are so many posts I could put up right now, but this is the one that caught my eye today. It is an article from the current Navy Times. Navy Times calls the Alakai a "trimaran." It is not, it is a catamaran, if it were a trimaran, it might be more sound. Anyway here is the article:
CNO: Reducing crew sizes a top priority
By Philip Ewing - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Mar 25, 2008
"...In the case of one ship the Navy is confident it wants — the aluminum-hulled trimaran that General Dynamics and shipbuilder Austal are offering as LCS 2 — Roughead said he remains a believer in the ship’s novel design and materials, even after yard problems and problems with an earlier civilian variant on the design.
The Navy acknowledged in February that some transverse support beams under the LCS 2’s flight deck had bowed in the shipyard, and that the Navy and Austal would review the cost and possible delays involved with repairs. And another aluminum trimaran built by Austal, the Hawaii Superferry, stopped service until April 22 and is laid up in a shipyard with hull cracks near its auxiliary rudders, the Honolulu Advertiser reported.
Roughead said he didn’t think it was clear yet what had caused the Superferry to stop service, nor that it portended any problems for the Navy’s purchase.
'I’ve heard it’s everything from discomfort caused by the weather to the fact that they’ve had some mechanical glitches, I don’t have the details on it. I do believe in what I’ve seen in LCS 2, a ship that I think a very exciting design for the Navy, and I’m anxious to get it to sea and put it through its paces.'"
Also, there is a blogger named Springboard who has had a few interesting entries recently related to all of this. They are worth reading:
A researcher/writer asked me about the following grant recently. The dollar figure of the grant is interesting because it correlates closely to what the expected annual losses would have been if commercial operations had continued uninterrupted for a year at what the average ridership levels had been.
"Austal USA, Mobile, Ala., is being awarded a $33,710,000 firm-fixed-price contract for infrastructure improvements to the Austal Shipyard in Mobile, Ala. Contracted improvements at Austal USA are one of a series of contracts with Gulf Coast shipbuilders awarded under Section 2203 of Public Law 109-234, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Defense, The Global War on Terror and Hurricane Recovery 2006. This contract is for construction of a Modular Manufacturing Facility at Austal USA’s Mobile, Ala., shipyard. Austal was one of six Gulf Coast shipbuilders selected to receive infrastructure improvement contracts. The purpose is to expedite recovery of shipbuilding capability in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina by repairing and/or replacing shipbuilding facilities, to make lasting improvement in shipyard facilities that would result in measurable cost reductions in current and future Navy shipbuilding contracts, and to improve the ability of shipbuilding facilities on the Gulf Coast to withstand damage from potential hurricanes or other natural disasters. Work will be performed in Mobile, Ala, and is expected to be completed by Apr. 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The contract was competitively procured and advertised via the Internet, with 18 proposals received from seven offerors. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C, is the contracting activity (N00024-08-C-2303)."
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Some good pics in here:
No GMO...Taro pics:
Kauai Farmers Markets:
Kauai Northshore Eclectic:
Kauai Hindu Monastery:
Kauai Act. 2 EIS Scoping Meeting:
Kauai M-19 Protest:
Monday, March 17, 2008
People on Maui spoke mostly from prepared statements, because they did not have a copy of this handout beforehand. I am sending it to you all to share with anyone interested there so that you can look at this beforehand and comment on some of the inconsistencies, but also to see the limited scope that they have previously contemplated.
Here are the best pics I took at the Maui Act. 2 EIS Scoping Meeting:
Something else another speaker noticed, when Uncle Les spoke to the Belt Collins and DOT rep., there was thunder outside. We almost never have thunder on Maui.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
From: Dick Mayer
HAWAII SUPERFERRY - MAUI EIS SCOPING MEETINGS
TO DETERMINE WHAT SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN THE SUPERFERRY EIS
Maui's EIS meetings are set for THIS Monday, March 17
Maui's Baldwin High School Auditorium
Afternoon 2pm to 5pm OR Evening 6pm to 9pm
Kauai's EIS meetings are set for THIS Wed., March 19
Kaua`i Community College Performing Arts Center
Afternoon 2pm to 5pm OR Evening 6pm to 9pm
PLEASE COME TO ONE OF THE MEETINGS TO SHARE YOUR CONCERNS:
BE SPECIFIC IN WHAT YOU WANT THE EIS TO INCLUDE.
- THREATS TO MAUI/LOCAL RESOURCES
- KAHULUI HARBOR IMPACTS (Congestion, freight delivery, surf, canoes)
- INVASIVE SPECIES
- OTHER ENDANGERED SPECIES
- FUEL CONSUMPTION
- COST / BENEFITS
- USE OF STATE FUNDS
- RESPONSIBILITY FOR ONGOING REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE
- HARBOR SECURITY
- DAMAGE FROM SF's WATER JETS
- IMPACTS ON NEIGHBORING BUSINESSES
- NIGHT TRANSITS WITH THE 2ND SUPERFERRY
- CAMPING IN PROHIBITED AREAS
PICK A FEW AND BE SPECIFIC IN WHAT YOU WANT THE EIS TO INCLUDE.
Maui Time Weekly March 13, 2008
15 reasons to worry about the Hawai`i Superferry
by Anthony Pignataro
The state's doing the whole Hawai'i SuperferryEnvironmental Impact Statement (EIS) thing bass-ackwards, which means hearings on how the big boat will affect us are starting up now, after the boat's been more or less operating for four months. Here are 15 things to think about during the upcoming Maui hearing:
1 Hawai'i Superferry Inc. officials told the state Public Utilities Commission that, at most,the Alakai would lose 10 days a year to bad weather. Since the boat started service on Dec.13, she's missed 14.
2 The Superferry Alakai is, at the moment, still being repaired after being seriously damaged when company officials had it drydocked to repair anauxiliary rudder problem.
3 According to the Feb. 2, 2008 Maui News, Mayor Charmaine Tavares banned all county employees from using the Superferry for official business.
4 Two words: seasick pills.
5 A Dec. 29, 2004 Department of Transportation (DOT) memo written by unknowns and unearthed by the Advertiser during a public records request says requiring a Superferry environmental review before the boat begins service is the "Rightthing to do," brings "Less risk in that we avoid probable challenges," "Would address public concerns," "minimize opposition," "gain support"and is necessary because "Comments received todate are valid concerns and should not be left unanswered."
6 Despite investing $1 million in Hawai'i Superferry, Inc., the Maui Land & Pineapple Company is not using the boat to ship any fruit because, according to the Feb. 3, 2008 Honolulu Advertiser, it's not "cost-effective."
7 The boat, despite being capable of carrying 866 passengers and 282 cars, hasn't carried anywhere near those numbers.
8 It costs an extra $20 on top of the regular passenger fare to get into the Hahalua Lounge that overlooks the boat's bow.
9 John Lehman, HSF's Chairman of the Board, is a former U.S. Navy Secretary who once ordered Naval Investigative Service agents to investigate an archbishop simply because he was an outspoken opponent of Lehman's plan to name a nuclear-powered attack submarine the USS Corpus Christi. [What about the 911 Commission's incomplete report?]
10 State Senator J. Kalani English sent out a Dec. 18, 2007 press release saying that he"received a report that a Young Brothers vessel carrying goods to Maui was forced to remain outside Kahului Harbor while the Superferry was docked" and that while he understood "that was because of security measures we should not have to decide between serving inter-island travelers and serving our own residents' daily needs."
11 That same Dec. 29, 2004 DOT memo cited above aid not doing a Superferry environmental review before service began "may trigger a challenge where we may be subject to the courts' schedule and processes."
12 The unanimous Aug. 23, 2007 Hawai'i SupremeCourt ruling saying that contrary to the insistences of HSF and Governor Linda Lingle,there did in fact need to be a Superferry environmental review.
13 Despite repeated assurances from HSF officials that they intend to return to Kauai, the Superferry has not attempted to return to Nawiliwili Harbor since Aug. 26, 2007, when nearly three-dozen protesters on surfboards blocked its arrival.
14 On Nov. 9, 2007, a few days before Judge Joseph Cardoza lifted the injunction he'd placed on the Superferry preventing it from entering Kahului Harbor, HSF officials told the statePublic Utilities Commission that "an emergency exists" and that they need special expedited review of new promotional fares because "any delays will result in substantial damage to HSF." The PUC agreed and approved the new fares without public comment or even announcement, which is completely legal in the State of Hawai'i.
15 Between 2004 and 2007, Hawai'i Superferry officials spent $175,000 on lobbyists and political campaign contributions-$12,000 of which went to Governor Lingle, HSF's staunchest supporter during the time.
State officials will hold two "informational meetings" on the Hawai'i Superferry EIS on Monday, Mar. 17 (2-5 p.m., 6-9 p.m.) at the Henry Perrine Baldwin High School Auditorium, 1650 Ka'ahumanu Ave., Wailuku. MTW
Saturday, March 15, 2008
My comments to that:
Oahu is over it. There were about that many people riding it the last few days it operated. And when/if it restarts again I doubt Oahu people will have the disposable income to waste on this roller coaster thrill ride to the outer islands. Where are the "thousands" of people on Oahu who "want" it? Where are all the paid employees showing up to lobby on the company's behalf? Could it be that they are a little disappointed too with the unreliable employment?
Move it to Puget Sound...where it can be useful.
And a nice opinion piece also today in the Star-Bulletin regarding the late state audit of this:
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
The Navy draft EIS for use of sonar as part of the Hawaii Range Complex is seriously flawed - feel free to circulate:
I forced myself to scan thru the 116 page Draft EIS and was amazed to find that it almost completely ignores the most serious problems that mid-frequency (MFA) sonar will cause to deep diving whales in Hawaiian waters. Therefore, I think that additional analysis should be done and the Draft EIS should be completely rewritten.
The web page might be easier to read than the PDF document. To get there first go to my Superferry web site at http://web.mac.com/leetepley/Site/Introduction.html.
Then click on the link near the top of the page called "Link to Sonar HRC DEIS page."
Before you start clicking, you might be interested in the following background information.
About 7 years ago I spent a lot of time researching both Low frequency (LFA) and mid frequency (MFA) sonar. My efforts were actually taken seriously and I was invited to present a paper at a NMFS workshop in Silver Springs Md. in 2002. My paper turned out to be of no great importance - but I was fortunate to be present to hear new ideas relating to the causes of stranding and death of deep diving whales - and especially beaked whales.
At the NMFS meeting the concept of whales getting decompression sickness (the bends) was seriously debated. As a result, Dr. John Potter, who attended the meeting and is a brilliant physicist, wrote a paper on the subject of whales getting the bends.
Dr. Potter's results are now widely accepted and other scientists have written similar papers - but in the HRC draft EIS, the Navy has almost ignored this highly relevant work. Instead, their scientists and mathematicians went off on a tangent similar to what they had done in other earlier EIS's. The result is a 116 page document which, I think, ignores the threat to deep diving whales from mid frequency (MFA) sonar.
Now, you might want to click on the PDF file or go to my new sonar web site.
Posted on: Tuesday, March 11, 2008
"Lessons of history lost on Superferry"
By Lee Cataluna Advertiser Columnist
"In just a matter of months, the Hawaii Superferry has gone from heavy hype and polished promises to weather-beaten underdog status.
The Alakai is sitting in drydock undergoing repairs like a formerly promising race horse back at the farm healing shin splints. The vessel has been there since the middle of February and is estimated to stay there through most of April.
Didn't Superferry officials say they would have to take their business elsewhere if they stayed out of service for very long? Hmmm.
It was just last October when the Superferry execs were warning state lawmakers that if they didn't get back in the water soon, all would be lost. Close to 250 workers were laid off while court orders kept the Alakai from making interisland runs.
State lawmakers went into special session for the Superferry to enact legislation to allow it to operate while it proved its operations weren't going to harm the environment. Special session, because it couldn't wait until January when the regular session opened. Nope, time was of the essence.
And now, look. Waiting, idling, extended relaunch dates. It wasn't surfers in Nawiliwili Harbor or sign wavers on Maui who stopped the Superferry this time. It was the ocean and the vessel's design.
A mean person might declare "bachi," but that would be kicking them when they're down. Still, even a Superferry fan would have to acknowledge that fate sure caught up to the hype.
Turns out the Alakai isn't as unaffected by Hawai'i's notoriously rough winter seas as was promised.
Turns out it can actually stay in business through an extended waiting period while stuff gets worked out.
Turns out even on a calm ocean, the ride can be a queasy challenge even with Dramamine and the wrist bands.
Turns out when you take your car over to Maui but have to fly back to O'ahu, your car doesn't come home with you.
Perhaps Superferry, in its excitement to do something brand new and big, forgot to pay attention to the lessons of history.
1. Starting a new business in Hawai'i is tough.
2. You should probably make sure all the legal stuff is taken care of before you embark on, well, anything.
3. Hawai'i doesn't have winter, but it sure has winter surf.
4. Never assume you're exempt to any of the above conditions."
Lee Cataluna's column runs Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. END ARTICLE
It's time to move it to Puget Sound, guys. There was another good AP article about the Washington ferries yesterday. It mentioned a quarter of all ferry ridership in the U.S. is in Washington state. There's your market, guys...not the rough year-around channel waters of HI. Do what you gotta do to fix it in drydock and move this one and the next one to Washington.
Hawaii can find another ferry company with half the gas guzzelling engine power and speed of these ferries to make use of the $40 million dollars in facilities we are stuck with. Let's just be honest, Linda Lingle does not have experience in picking marriage partners of any kin. Let's just make this an amicable divorce.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Whales and 100 yards?:
First, in the February Taskforce Committee Hearing (they just had the March meeting and we got no report on it, except from Joan Conrow) it was voluntarily reported that HSF came within 100 yards of a whale 3 times. Nobody at the meeting questioned the significance of that. When I reported that, an expert who was not at the meeting sent me the following:
"Which has been my point all along....whale strikes that have occurred in HI have been a result of ‘surprise encounters.’ HSF claimed they could detect all whales and avoid them, approaching no closer than 500 yards. What is even more interesting is in court they testified to a 100 yard blind spot in front of the vessel. How did they ‘see’ these whales then? They must have been holding their collective breaths."
A few weeks later I went to an evening seminar at the Pacific Whale Foundation where I saw a really neat one page handout regarding federal regulations and safe recommended distances to whales in the water. Here is a quote/links from that:
"Be Whale Aware"
"To prevent vessel/whale collisions in Hawaii and reduce disturbances to whales by vessels, Pacific Whale Foundation is proud to introduce our "Be Whale Aware" educational campaign for vessel operators and other water users.
[Highly recommend] Click here to view our "Be Whale Aware" Fact Sheet including a helpful diagram for vessel operators.
In addition to conducting workshops for vessel operators, we offer free educational stickers for boat operators, kayakers, windsurfers and other recreational water users. Free copies of the stickers can be obtained by calling 1-800-WHALE-1-1 or 249-8811.
To view the "Stop Your Prop. 100 Yards. It's the Law" sticker, click here.
To view the "Slow Down, Whales Around. 15 Knots or Less, Dec - May" sticker, click here.
To view the "Stay Back With Your Kayak: 100 yards. It's the Law" sticker, click here.
To view the "See a Whale, Drop Your Sail: 100 yards. It's the Law" sticker, click here.
To view the "See a Blow, Go Extra Slow: Now wake speed within 400 yards" sticker, click here.
[Editor's note: I have these on my car now.]
To prevent whale collisions, boaters should stay alert at the helm and always post an observer while underway. From December to May, reduce your speed to 15 knots or less in whale waters. When within 400 yards or less of a whale or dolphin group, reduce speed to 6 knots or less. Avoid abrupt course changes. Remember, Federal regulations prohibit approaching humpback whales closer than 100 yards. If your vessel unexpectedly encounters a humpback whale within 100 yards, STOP IMMEDIATELY and allow the whales to pass. Keep clear of the whales' path. Avoid positioning your vessel within 400 yards of the path of traveling whales."
Whales and sonar:
I am sure many of you are aware that the Navy would like to be able to use powerful active sonar in a number of areas of the world to practice finding the "300 of 380 foreign submarines [China, Iran, et.al.] in the world that run quiet diesel electric engines." It has been reported that that powerful active sonar ruptures marine mammal hearing organs causing brain damage that can kill marine mammals. There is a case on this on the mainland with the Navy currently at the losing end of a court challenge. There was also a recent ruling on this type of sonar use here in Hawaiian waters by the esteemed conservative U.S. District Judge David Ezra, reported at: http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2008/Mar/01/ln/hawaii803010343.html.
I noticed recently a related letter to the editor in the Maui News on March 1st:
"U.S. Navy to answer questions about sonar at March meeting"
"...here’s the opportunity to ask the Navy that very question and any others you have on the use of mid-frequency active sonar in a whale sanctuary and surrounding Hawaiian waters. March 14 at Maui Waena Intermediate School on Onehee Avenue in Kahului from 5 to 9 p.m., there will be an information and comment session conducted by the Navy. The public can submit oral and written questions and comments on this issue at this forum. For varied perspectives on the issue see www.HawaiiONC.org and www.govsupport.us/hrc."
And lastly for now, I got the following e-mail on this yesterday:
"Notice: The Navy wants to expand its 'training range' and sonar testing into the Northwest Hawaiian Islands, the new 'National Monument,' the whale sanctuary and marine preserve! Make your voice heard!
Navy Public Comment Hearing: Friday, March 14 at 5pm at Maui Waena Intermediate School, 795 Onehee Ave, Kahului (Onehee Ave radiates out from behind Kaahumanu Mall off of Papa Ave or Wakea Ave. You can mail or email comments if you can't attend.)
Sign Waving Rally with Dr Marsha Green and HONC Friday, March 14 at 3:30pm at Queen Kaahumanu Mall entrance.
Here are the details from HONC (Hawaii Ocean Noise Coalition):
We have a sign waving rally with Dr Marsha Green on Friday 3/14 starting at 3:30 PM at the Queen Ka'ahumanu mall entrance, followed by the Navy hearing & comment period following at 5:00 PM at the Maui Waena Intermediate School at 795 Onehee Av in Kahului. You can submit oral or written comments (or both) here. If you can't make it, but still care, go to http://www.govsupport.us/hrc to see how you can submit comments through this site, or snail or email them, but must be done by April 7. The Navy has released a Supplement to the Hawaii Range Complex Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement on which the public can comment. Details of the plan can be seen on this website http://www.govsupport.us/hrc, or can call toll free 866-767-3347 for more information (from the Navy's point of view)." Mahalo, Mike for the HONC team.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
"Superferry is hardly green mode of travel"
POSTED: March 9, 2008
"Quote said on Feb. 25: 'We are completely dependent on foreign governments for our energy security for economic survival. Fact is, we are the most energy-insecure state in America . . . envision a new way to maintain value . . . other than just burning oil.'
Who said that and where?
Gov. Linda Lingle at the National Governors Association annual meeting [recently].
Superferry Alakai uses 6,942 gallons of marine diesel per trip, 13,900 round trip, 97,300 gallons a week, 417,000 gallons monthly. Three hundred sixty-five round trips from Oahu to Maui use over 5 million gallons, which at $3.50 per gallon equals $17,500,000 annually.
When Alakai says fill’er up, she means it; 56,800 gallons is just shy of $200,000. And they wanted to add a second trip?
Lingle made the decision allowing Hawaii Superferry to operate, no input from J. Q. Public. This is an awesome attempt to make Hawaii energy independent. Can she sail on sugar cane, pineapple juice or pina coladas?
Anyone besides myself see the hypocrisy in her NGA statement?
Spin it any way you like, $40 million for barges and $650,000 weekly operating costs are huge. Two weeks lost to high seas, and nine more for drydock is $7,200,000 minimum, minus fuel, plus landing barge and drydock repair costs.
Did Hawaii Superferry President and Chief Executive John Garibaldi perjure himself when he insisted in Maui court in October that if Hawaii Superferry didn’t start sailing soon it would go bankrupt? Where is all this cash coming from, a personal loan from Lingle?
Thankfully, we’re not paying $5,000 daily tugboat fees, another $315,000.
Anybody miss the Alakai?"
Noticed in this weekend's Wall Street Journal that diesel fuel on the mainland is $3.12 to $3.25 per gallon compared to a year ago of $1.85 a gallon. Kenny's $3.50 a gallon above is useful, but also looking at what the price of marine diesel fuel was a year ago indicates that HSF's financial prospects have no doubt changed in the past year. I will say it again, a vessel with 4 engines like this one operates optimally around the world on one-way transits of 30 to 70 miles, beyond that the fuel expense makes it unrealistic. Here in Hawaii the applicable transits are 105 miles. In the Puget Sound the transits are 20 miles or less.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Hawaii Superferry Drydock Extended - Again
By Lori Abe, 3/8/2008 1:54:41 PM
HONOLULU - Hawaii Superferry announced today that it is extending the amount of time the Alakai will be in drydock because work to repair damage to the ship that occurred during the drydocking process is going to take longer than was previously projected.
Based on the latest repair schedule, reservations for sailings after April 22 are now being accepted. Updates on the sailing schedule will be issued as they become available....
Lori Abe is a spokesperson for the Hawaii Superferry.
And from their web page:
The amount of time the Alakai will be drydocked has been extended. Sailings through April 22 have been cancelled to complete the necessary repairs and maintenance. Check the latest status.
From Saturday, March 8, 2008
"Report on ferry history delayed"
By Derrick DePledge Advertiser Government Writer
"The state auditor has told state House and Senate leaders that significant delays in obtaining information from the Lingle administration has caused her to miss a deadline for a report on the administration's actions related to Hawaii Superferry."...Read rest of article: http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080308/NEWS01/803080338/1001/NEWS01
Also from Senator Hanabusa in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin today:
"Hanabusa, however, said Lingle should be aware of the conditions because she had signed the [Act 2 ferry] bill into law. 'The governor, by signing the law [Act 2 ferry bill], acknowledges that we are supposed to get this report,' Hanabusa said."
Sunday, March 2, 2008
"If you're not into...following politics, here’s a Superferry video instead. This is the long version of the big boat’s wild ride off Molokai — before it got all buss up and went into dry dock, where it got buss up again — as filmed by George Peabody."
The whole 8 minutes is worth watching.
And click on the Podcast 'seasickness' from Radio New Zealand National:
Audio from Saturday, 23 February
People get motion-sickness in ferries, cars, roller-coasters....even riding camels! (duration: 16′57″)
The pricey fruit of an orchid now growing commercially in New Zealand. (duration: 20′52″)
Patricia Rain's New Zealand vanilla
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Apparently the state owns and operates the ferries in Puget Sound, I believe all slow ferries. On the Seattle-Bremerton route these ferries run 12 hours a day, turning around every 45 minutes, going almost continously, ideally the two always at opposite points of the route. They carry 200+ cars per load and 200 to 400 people average per load. I am told they run regularly at those load levels. At peak times during the week people will regularly wait 2 and 3 ferry loads or 2 to 3 hours before being able to get on a ferry. They say the fee is $13/car and $7/person each way. The route is a little less than 20 miles each way on the Seattle-Bremerton route.
A few months ago one of the ferries was taken off the route after it hit a breakwater and ruined its hull. The state apparently does not maintain a number of the other ferries well, and they have been rusting and deteriorating for a number of years. This created a real uproar in the Puget Sound area because the people there really rely upon the ferries. The Governor there, Christine Gregoire (D), stepped in in a high profile manner to try and solve the problem. See: http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2008/feb/25/four-ferry-bills-still-have-a-shot-in/
I am told but have not been able to verify that one slow ferry is being bought for about $30 million for the Seattle-Bremerton route and there are efforts to replace the other ferry on the Seattle-Bremerton route and order ferries for some of the other routes in the Puget Sound area. The Seattle-Bainbridge route (about 8 miles) and the Edmonds-Kingston route (about 6 miles) are also very important and lead to wealthier neighborhoods.
Chuck mentioned that Washington's DOT did test fast ferries and decided that in the narrow channels the wave wake put out by them was too much at speeds over 12 to 13 knots, and so that is the speed limit in the narrow passages, but that higher speeds are allowed in the open area crossings of the Puget Sound as are on the Bainbridge route, Edmonds route, and at least half of the Bremerton route.
Apparently the people in this area "need them (reliable ferries) as badly as we don't need them." The waters of Puget Sound between Seattle and Bremerton are relatively calm compared to...say...the Pailolo Channel. Take a look at those above numbers. That's a potential money maker. Washington state could not afford to buy the Alakai, but maybe the state would allow a concession on this, or maybe they could lease it. When the second Superferry is finished in 2009, it could become the second ferry on the Seattle-Bremerton route and the ferry just bought could be moved to a different route in the Puget Sound. Time is of the essence, guys. This idea was made for you, Mr. Lehman.
A little bit about Bremerton that I found: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A1024147
Bremerton, Kitsap County, Washington, USA
Bremerton...does, however, share some qualities with its big neighbour, Seattle; rain. The two are also connected by a thin umbilical cord called the 'ferry'....
Bremerton is first and foremost a Navy town. Some people may try to deny it, but the Navy is far and away the largest employer in the region let alone Bremerton. There are two Naval Bases and one weapons research facility in the county. The city is the county seat for Kitsap County, which occupies the entire Kitsap Peninsula. Bremerton has been around for over a century. It has had its high points during its existence, but in its current incarnation it is merely a shell of a city. Without the Navy, there would be far fewer residences. The town does have its good qualities, such as a low cost of living and fairly affordable housing, though this has done little to draw in new residents.
The town sits on both sides of the opening to Dyes Inlet. The inlet divides Bremerton into roughly two halves of East Bremerton, and West Bremerton. The drop-off point of the ferry is right in the middle of Downtown, which is the easternmost portion of West Bremerton.
Here are some more articles/links on the Seattle-Bremerton Ferry:
Something else I saw of interest about an Alaska ferry: http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2007-09-27-Ferry_N.htm
This is the first visual report by the mass media on the additional damage in drydock from the blocking, which previously had only been reported in the blogosphere. Still even KGMB9 did not indicate how bad that damage is and how long it will really take to fix. Go watch the video, it has some detail of the damage along the hull from the blocking:
Superferry Sustains More Damage While in Drydock
Written by KGMB9 News - February 29, 2008 07:28 PM
"The streak of bad luck for the Superferry continues while in drydock the ship sustained more damage.
The blocks it rests on damaged the hull on both sides.
On Friday, KGMB9 could see crews working on some of the problem areas also when it was being towed into the harbor. The tugboat lost power and the Superferry drifted into the pier.
All this along with the damaged rudder that was the original problem.
The Coast Guard will inspect the entire ship and give it the go ahead when the repairs are made.
The Superferry plans to be back in service March 25."
Last Updated ( February 29, 2008 07:28 PM )
Here was the original report that I held off on posting here:
I kind of doubt they will make the March 25th date, but I do believe this vessel can operate again. "The witch is not dead," this is more like "an Alien," or "Freddie," it'll keep coming back. Maybe "Freddie" will move to Washington state instead.
P.S. I wonder what the bondholder ABN-Amro Bank, the 'real' owner, thinks about all of this?