Oahu to Kauai FerryKauai to Oahu Ferry
A ferry was running between Maui and Oahu, but it was shut down.
The Hawaii ferry sits quietly in the midst of protests and court decisions.
HONOLULU, Sept. 4 - A huge double hull ferry that was to reshape transport between the islands of Hawaii for tourism and inhabitants made its inaugural trip on August 26. However, today the $85 million ship, the Alakai, is lying idly in port, blocked by judicial order to sail to Maui and by demonstrators to go to Kauai.
"Superferry is required by statute to demonstrate its safety," said Daniel Hempey, the Group's senior counsel. This 450-foot luxury ferry, probably the biggest aluminium vessel ever constructed in the United States, would be the first to transport automobiles (up to 286), lorries and 866 people between Oahu Isle, Honolulu's home, and two neighboring isles, Maui and Kauai.
Large doors allow travellers to see the island from the ocean, many for the first sight. The main issue in the ferry controversy is whether the site should have undergone an environment review before the Hawaii Superferry Inc. operating company. Should an evaluation show that the ferry could harm the island's wildlife, an EIA would be necessary, which would mean carrying out research, conducting open consultations and taking action.
However, the dispute that still dominates the news here also revolves around the change of living in Hawaii and the effects of mighty business interests. And a Hawaiian citizen for 26 years, said that when he started the Hawaii Superferry's CEO, John L. Garibaldi, 54, said that five years ago, state officials said to him that there was no need for an environment audit, a stance that was confirmed by two verdicts.
If an evaluation had been necessary, he said it would have been an intolerable venture for Hawaii Superferry's major investors, J.F. Lehman and Co., the $85 million, and for the Fed, which provided a $140 million credit underwrite. In order to construct permanent docks for the ferry in the four islands, the state provided 40 million dollars, which the enterprise has to pay back.
The Sierra Club and two groups lodged a complaint with the State District Courts on Maui in 2005, calling for an audit. However, the state and Hawaii Superferry successfully claimed that such an evaluation was not necessary. The same claimants were dismissed by a Swiss Supreme Administrative Tribunal.
Hawaii is different. They are an important area for the colonisation of harbour porpoises, which, under the endangered species law, are more likely to be slaughtered by high-speed ferryboats than slowers. Conservationists are also worried that the many cars the ship can support, mungos that have greatly decimated the Oahu birds and can be brought to Kauai, which has none.
Superferry will also transport S.U.V.'s and trailer vessels, giving Oahu fishers who have been disappointed by the island's exhausted water resources easy entry to the wealthier areas of Maui and Kauai - to the dissatisfaction of locals. These vessels could also unintentionally take parts of the Eucheuma kelp, which devastates the largest cove of Oahu, to the neighbouring isles.
These changes seemed unavoidable until August 23rd, five nights before the ferry was due to go into service, when the Hawaiian Supreme Tribunal annulled the decision of the Maui Supreme Tribunal and found that the Superferry required an audit. However, the Supreme Constitutional Tribunal has not said whether it can work during the evaluation procedure.
Mr Garibaldi then moved up the Superferry launch by two full working nights and lowered the prices for the car and the passenger to $5, about a 10th of the stated high. An almost full ferry went to Maui, then to Kauai and back to Honolulu on August 26. However, the next morning, when she tried to get back to Kauai and despite the coast guard's attempts to clear her way, several dozens of floats, kayak drivers and windsurfers stopped the ship from doingcking and forced it to come back here after a two-hour break.
An injunction was then passed by a court, prohibiting Superferry from returning to Maui until the problem of environmental evaluation had been solved. Mr Garibaldi said Hawaii Superferry halted duty to Kauai until the Coast Guard could ensure secure Dock.