Wednesday, August 18, 2010

More Misplaced Comments from Mufi Hannemann on the Superferry


Our responses in red. Excerpted from...

Hannemann talks about action plan
Economy, education, environment are key
POSTED: August 18, 2010

...Hannemann was unapologetic, saying his ads have facts meant to educate the public about the great disparity in the candidates' qualifications. He laughed off a section of the flier that listed "Won First Place, Lahaina Whaling Days Beard Contest" under Abercrombie's "Recognition."

The two men do have some similarities, though, in their campaigns. For instance, both veteran lawmakers said they'd put education first and start with placing the Department of Education superintendent in their cabinets (Hannemann would make the University of Hawaii president a cabinet member, too.); and both support bringing back the Hawaii Superferry.

Three Maui-based environmental groups successfully sued to kill off the Superferry after Gov. Linda Lingle's administration bypassed the environmental impact statement process. [The lawsuit wasn't what killed the Superferry, it was their own financial losses even when they were operating. HSF was never actually compelled to cease operations nor leave the state.]

Hannemann said he'd start the process from scratch to resolve Lingle's "mistakes" by hosting public meetings on the Superferry plan across the state, and he'd start a new environmental impact statement to make sure the slate is clean. [DOT has been planning to reuse the information from the Act 2 EIS and add some to that. Hannemann doesn't say whether he would rescope it. The existing vessels are logistically inappropriate for the route requirements.]

"If we're going to do this again, we have to do it right," Hannemann said.

He said he'd favor a public-private partnership that likely involves using the currently bankrupt company's two giant high-speed catamarans to transport military personnel on leave between islands. [HSF was already transporting military personnel on leave, and it wasn't making a difference with their bottom line. What Hannemann could more transparently say is "transport military personnel and their equipment on assignment between islands for training purposes."]

"It would free up a lot of lines at the airport," he said. [Not really, it never did. HSF did a small fraction of the business that the airlines did.]

But Superferry's true benefit was economic. Before service ceased about two years ago, a lot of Maui farmers, fishermen, contractors and other small-business owners used the ferry to get their goods to the lucrative Oahu markets... [Some Maui farmers were using it, and they are now using Aloha Air Cargo with no problem. The fishermen, contractors and small-business who were using it were mostly from Oahu. No surprise that the Oahu Development Board, Enterprise Honolulu, lobbied so hard for HSF and was putting out narrow and what turned out to be inaccurate economic forecasts on it as far back as 2003.]

An additional response from another commentor:

Economic? Really? Bleeding $40-$50 million out of the state’s budget for infrastructure, now to be paid off by other harbor users (though both the Alakai and floating barge are gone). Where is the economic cost/benefit study to show that a subsidized interisland ferry will help enough small businesses ship interisland to make it worth the costs, including the increasing price of fuel for the gas-guzzling fast ferry? State to pay for public meetings and preparing a new EIS?

With his above statements Mufi Hannemann reveals insight into his thought processes. The same processes he would use to try to solve any other problems. Such as with this one. It should be clear to all that regardless of his formal education, Mufi Hannemann is not the sharpest tool in the shed.

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