Thursday, March 19, 2009

Kaua'i March 18th Press Conference on Superferry Shutdown

This press conference was originally called in preparation for HSF's CEO expected speaking engagement the next day on March 19th on Kaua'i. Instead, Kaua'i citizens speak on the 3/16/09 Hawaii Supreme Court ruling declaring Act 2 unconstitutional and the effort that led up to that:



At the end of the video Koohan Paik appears who co-wrote a book on this subject matter, The Superferry Chronicles: Hawaii's Uprising Against Militarism, Commercialism, and the Desecration of the Earth (Paperback). The book is a good read for those wanting to understand how events got to where they are today on this issue.

Aloha, Brad

1 comment:

MauiBrad said...

I decided not to speak at this event, but the following were my prepared comments to the original reason for the calling of this press conference. The following instead appears in the current Maui Time Weekly:

Another Kauai blogger and Superferry activist, Brad Parsons (no relation that we know of) responded: "It is being repeated in the community that the Kauai Chamber of Commerce views the return of the HSF as being necessarily beneficial to the businesses in the Nawiliwili-Kalapaki area. These businesses have seen a substantial drop-off with less cruise ships at the harbor and with lower occupancy at the Marriott Hotel. HSF's small potential on this point and it's false assumptions need to be clarified.

"There are three points relative to this: 1) By example, at Kahului Harbor where HSF has been coming and going for more than a year, businesses have not seen substantial rise in business attributed to HSF. In particular a restaurant right next to HSF's facilities at Kahului has not seen a significant rise in business over the past year. Businesses across the street from Kahului Harbor view HSF's effect as minimal and the larger economy as the driving factor; 2) Recent reliable reports from passengers on HSF put ridership at 50 to 70 vehicles and 150 to 210 people on average. Some weekends and holidays spike up to 100 vehicles and 300 people. This compares to a cruise ship with 1000 to 2000 people. HSF has only one-tenth of the people off a cruise ship and HSF accounts for only 2 to 3 percent of all inter-island transfers in Hawaii; 3) Experience at the Kahului Harbor shows that, two-thirds of those 210 average passengers get in their car and drive out of the harbor area without frequenting any of the businesses near the harbor. The other one-third get on a Roberts Hawaii tour bus and also promptly leave the harbor. There is almost no pedestrian traffic on and off of the HSF to frequent harbor businesses, a huge operational difference compared to cruise ships.

"In summary, the past year of service to Maui has shown that HSF has not significantly improved business in the harbor area nor on the island of Maui and therefore that unrealized benefit should not be the quick reason to pre-empt an unfinished EIS and mitigations not yet in place to deal with the known and expected problems from that traffic and new form of transport as to Kaua'i."