POSTED: 27 AUGUST 2007 - 8:45am HST

Hawaii Superferry Stopped in Harbor

[Editor's Note: Yesterday was a big embarrassment to the Hawaii Superferry. They jumped the gun to get into service before the courts shut them down. But, until there is a court injunction, or the Governor and DOT Director decide to apply the law, there will be daily trips to Kauai. Today is not exception, and people are planning to greet the ferry again when it arrives. Maybe it's you turn to join them.]

images in article: All provided by Jonathan Jay wxcept night shot of Guard by Juan Wilson

Two strategies that delayed the ferry

by Juan Wilson on 27 August 2007

People began assembling in Nawiliwili Park at 3:00pm. The media was there and many newspaper and TV interviews were conducted. People held signs and chanted together. It was an impressive turn-out.

However, two strategies were particularly effective in having an impact on the Superferry service.

STRATEGY ONE: Block Harbor Entry

The Superferry came inside the outer jetty and into the channel leading to Nawiliwili Harbor at 5:45pm and was met by hundred of protesters on the pier and dozens of surfers who paddled out to "greet" the ferry before it got into its dock. A confrontation ensued between heroic surfers holding their "ground" and the Superferry, aided by armed US Coast Guard zodiacs.

The surfers avoided the zodiacs and held their position. That kept the ferry from entering the harbor. One particular surfer risked his life and a ten year federal term by approaching close to the bow of the ferry, Tienamin Square style.

After about forty-five minutes of this standoff the ferry reluctantly was forced to back out into the entry channel, makai of the outer jetty. Three Coast Guard zodiacs tried to "herd" the surfers out of the inner channel.

Eventually, the zodiacs got better organized. Near dusk they went out the entrance of the harbor and formed a wedge. On a signal the ferry returned to the channel and the zodiacs were able to make a path wide enough for the ferry's entrance. The surfers were truly heroic in there actions to protect our island. Mahalo for your effective confrontation.

STRATEGY TWO: Block the Pier Exit Gates
Dayne Aipoalani, Ali'i Nui of the Polynesian Kingdom of Atooi came prepared. He brought his Marshals, Police Administrator, trucks with coolers filled with beverages, heavy duty chains and locks.

Dayne negotiated with Lt. Roy Asher, who was in charge of KPD actions. When that was not productive, Dayne blocked the Pier One exit gates with his truck. Atooi marshals went to other gates and chain-locked them shut to that ferry vehicles could not leave the harbor perimeter.

The police responded by moving the action to the exit for Pier Two. Some cars exited there before the mass of demonstrators reached the gate. Two demonstrators sat in front of an SUV that had cleared the Pier Two gate. This brought the line of cars from the ferry to a halt. Police went to the front of the car shaking their mace cans. At the side of the SUV other demonstrators began letting the air out of the front tires.

The police decided to have the cars retreat. The SUV limped back inside the gate and the KPD locked it up. A crowd of a few hundred pressed against the gate as the line of cars from the ferry idled in their own traffic jam.

The police, after bringing in the KPD SWAT team and macing a few people were able to get the gate open and the cars out. The ferry arrived and left Kauai with considerable delays. We can only hope the courts come down on the Superferry Corporation hard for their arrogance in contempt of the Hawaii Supreme Court ruling on the necessity of an Environmental Assessment. There needs to be an injunction to halt ferry service immediately.

Governor Linda Lingle and DOT director Barry Fukunaga should be held in contempt as well if they do not act on the high court's ruling.

Governor Linda Lingle
Executive Chambers
State Capitol
Honolulu, HI 96813
phone: (808) 586-0034
fax: (808) 586-0006

DOT Director Barry Fukunaga
Aliiaimoku Building - Room 509
869 Punchbowl Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
phone: (808) 587-2150
fax: (808) 587-2167

Peaceful demonstrators rally at harbor
by Malama Kai on 26 August 2007

On Sunday afternoon over 600 citizens of Kaua'i successfully blockaded Nawiliwili Harbor for over three hours. Citizens acted in peaceful protest of the illegal actions of Hawaii Superferry Inc., which began ferry service to Kaua'i in contempt of Thursday's unanimous ruling by the Hawaii Supreme Court. The five justices of the court ordered an Environmental Assessment for the ferry operation, in compliance with Hawaii state law.

The protest was nonviolent, except for several actions by the Hawaii Superferry and the police:

• After being blocked from docking in the harbor for over one hour by two dozen surfers in the water, the four-story tall ferry boat charged through the surfers, endangering the lives of those in the water.

• Kaua'i Police Department Officer S. Vinzant admitted to spraying "mace" in the eyes of one protester, who was subsequently administered to by emergency medical help.

• Kaua'i Police Department Officer S. Sokei reportedly pushed one protester, telling him "I don't like your sign," and physically threatened to spray him with "mace".

Otherwise, local police officers should be commended for their restraint in this peaceful direct action by the people of Kaua'i in support of the environmental laws of the state of Hawai'i, as upheld by the Hawai'i Supreme Court.

Hawai'i Governor Linda Lingle and interim director of the state Department of Transportation Barry Fukunaga should be formally censured by the Hawaii state Legislature for allowing and supporting the flagrant violations of law by Hawaii Superferry Inc.

Open Letter to Kaua`i's Elected Officials
by Jonathan Jay on 26 August 2007

I think it appropriate to add that the Coast Guard boat sped around the harbor with heavy caliber turret machine gun de-tarped and staffed by USCG personel with their hands on the gun.

I would love to know what the protocol for deployment of heavy caliber weaponry is, and how in gods' name they could rationalize the steps of engagement they took against a large group of obviously unarmed peaceful citizens of Kaua'i out in support of a recent unanimous Hawai'i State Supreme Court verdict.

How can this question be pressed?

I thought the coast guard were supposed to guard the coast from contraband shipping activities (like da Ferry), not swivel and swagger to terrorize the upright citizens of Kaua`i voicing their support for the rule of law.

In large part, our KPD acted with politeness, professionalism and restraint down at Nawiliwili harbor today during the peaceful protests attended by over 600 Kaua`ians . Since the job of our local police force is to protect and serve the community, they are to be commended for this.

I write you at this time to express concern about the images I took today you can see below.

My concern is about the militarization of our civilian KPD. I feel this is inappropriate, and alarming to many law abiding citizens who have peacefully gathered to voice their support of the official request you, the duley elected public officials of Kaua`i have made on our behalf to the HSF Corporation to first obtain an EIS before commencing ferry service to Kaua`i.

My experience from living in Seattle during the 1999 World Trade Organisation Protests has shown me that peaceful situations can rapidly spiral out of control when the police unwisely escalate things by bringing to bear chemical weapons on peaceful people.

During this time, I heard many people calling to bring in the mayor to assist in de-escalating a potential ugly scene with chemical weapons upon a large group of peaceful civilians.

The feeling that you may be assaulted at any moment with chemical weapons is not a good one, nor is it conducive to calming sometimes tense situations. The army green uniform, camo vest, hood, and display, arming, unholstering and holding of chemical weaponry is not a pono way to keep the peace. It is not LIKE waving a loaded weapon around in the air, it IS waving a loaded weapon around.

Please direct our new KPD Chief to abandon this iron-fist-in-the-army-outfit approach. Even though there are fine men and women on our island police force, there is no place in Kaua`i for this oppressive and unwise militarism. Let us choose a path with much more aloha. It is a better way forward for all of Kaua`i.

Mahalo for your serious consideration of this important matter.

I request the honor of your thoughts in reply, and some concrete initial steps that can be taken to avoid a militarization of our KPD.

More good than bad happened yesterday
by Jonathan Jay on 26 August 2007

And thanks everyone for all the hard work, and all the connecting made amongst Kaua`ians. We won today, and that feels good.

The weaving of the social fabric is our true victory, and that will endure and serve us all well regardless of what ever does or doesn't happen re: the HMF Ferry, and a whole host of other challenges we are and will confront together in the future. As you know, there is a long list. The good news is together we can do it.

Much more good than bad happened yesterday, and for that we should all be thankful. There is much to talk about. I want to talk media - specifically us getting better at the nuts and bolts of rapid story distro.

In light of the seriousness of the events surrounding the successful actions yesterday, and a quick scan through the media via daweb, I am realizing (yet again) that a meeting of minds would be quite helpful in greatly expanding, and sharpening a more cohesive and coherent media tactics and strategy.

The degree to which the HSF/EIS story has already been moving through the info-sphere is impressive in both scope and depth. Washington Post, Honolulu Star, LA. Scotland, Seattle, AP wire, etc. to name but a few.

Just from working with folks, I know there are powerful minds and much 'media working' knowledge, insight, skills and experience on this island. This is deeply heartening. Let's multiply this.

If we could convene within the next ~72 hours, and compare and share some of this knowlege - the nuts and bolts of tactical working of the media - we will realize greater social impact 'dividends' from all the hard work already being done on the ground.

I'm thinking of a a kind of progressive media info distrobution machine to maximize our perspective through the existing mass media apparatus.



POSTED: 25 AUGUST 2007 - 3:45pm HST

Kauai Hawaii Superferry Protest Planned

image above: poster for demostartion by Juan Wilson. Click on it to enlarge. USe it freely.

SUNDAY, August 26, 3:00pm



In brazen disregard for the rule of law, state officials and Hawaii Superferry Inc. have determined to begin operation two days ahead of schedule with special $5 fares. To confront this arrogant and audacious decision HUI R is organizing a gathering at the Kalapaki Park to protest the beginning of the HSFerry service without conducting an EA/EIS.

Concerned residents and visitors are asked to join in support of the County of Kaua’i’s resolution requesting an EIS before commencement of services to Kaua’i. HUI R is calling for direct action against the HSFerry to prevent it from offloading it’s cargo on Sunday August 26 at Nawiliwili Harbor. Plans for the protests and calls for civil disobedience were developed at last Saturday’s HUI R community forum in Lihue. Over a 100 concerned citizens picketed the HSFerry’s Open House to protest the arrival of the HSFerry and to educate others about the call to boycott the HSFerry until a thorough EA/EIS is conducted.

HUI R acknowledges and appreciates the Hawaii Supreme Court ruling decision to require the state to proceed with the EA/EIS process before moving forward with the HSFerry operations. HUI R also advocates for a statewide boycott of the HSFerry operations until the EA/EIS issue is resolved. Local elected leaders, Sen. Gary Hosser and Rep.Mina Morita and others have issued statements of support in regards to encouraging others to join in boycotting the HSFerry until the EA/EIS issues are properly addressed. HUI R also stands in solidarity with the Polynesian Kingdom of Atoo'i whose leaders have served notice to HSFerry officials to sbort operation until adequate EA/EIS studies have been conducted. A press conference will be held dockside tomorrow at 4:00pm to provide more information from the HSFerry resistance community.

For more information please visit our website:

About HUI R:
We are people of Kaua'i, uniting to protect our beloved ocean island home.
We are the response of a people whose voice has fallen on the deaf ears of government and corporations. In addition to other legal actions, our call is to take direct action through peaceful, nonviolent civil disobedience.

- See news media accounts of our recent events and protest.

- Review the list of affinity groups which you can join with or support for various actions.

- Find out about Nonviolence Training.

Jimmy Trujillo
phone: (808) 346-7725



POSTED: 24 AUGUST 2007 - 10:30am HST

Superferry jumps gun after losing in court

image above: 'Flow Freely" poster by Juan Wilson. Click on it for larger version of jpg.

[Editor's note: The bastards are jumping the gun. They are rushing the gate, hoping to get in before the door closes. They are offerigng $5 fares to create scabs out of Hawaii residents. Be at Nawiliwili on Subday with signs and chants.]

Superferry plans a Sunday launch
24 August 2007 by staff of The Honolulu-Star Bulletin

A $5 one-way fare is being offered for the inaugural service. The operators of the Hawaii Superferry say they will start service Sunday, two days earlier than planned, despite a state Supreme Court ruling yesterday that they must do an environmental assessment.

John Garibaldi, president and CEO of the Superferry, announced this afternoon that they are offering inaugural service from Sunday thru Sept. 5 for $5 a passenger one-way, and $5 a vehicle, from Oahu to Maui and Oahu to Kauai.
Yesterday, the five-member Supreme Court unanimously ruled the Superferry should have been required to do an environmental assessment before starting service.

Superferry opponents say they will file for an injunction Monday. They contend the assessment must be completed before the Superferry can operate.

Earlier today. the state Department of Transportation Director Barry Fukunaga said an environmental assessment will be conducted as ordered by the state Supreme Court, but the Superferry will be allowed to use Kahului Harbor on Maui.

“We have no intention to denying them access at this point, because the court did not specifically specify that they could not commence operations,” he said. “Until that is identified, we certainly wouldn’t be doing any action against them.”

Fukunaga said the assessment will determine if a more comprehensive environmental impact statement is needed. “It’s purely speculation at this point to determine if an EIS is warranted,” he said.

The Superferry had been scheduled to begin daily interisland service from Oahu to Maui and Kauai on Tuesday.

State law prohibits the ferry from entering into service at island harbors during a formal environmental study of its potential to create traffic jams, collide with humpback whales or spread invasive species, said Isaac Hall, an attorney for the groups that sued the Superferry — the Sierra Club, Maui Tomorrow and the Kahului Harbor Coalition.

Environmentalists have threatened to go back to court to file for a preliminary injuction that would stop the Superferry from starting service until after the environmental assessment is done.

Fukunaga said the state believes it is interpreting and following the law correctly.
Garibaldi would not speculate on any potential court action and said he was confident that the ferry will be able to provide service.

Meanwhile, passengers who already booked voyages at a previous higher fare will be refunded and offered the inaugural rate. Regular fares after that will be more than $60 with taxes and fees.

image above: Superferry protesters outside the Nawiliwili gate on Kauai during Open House 8/19



POSTED: 23 AUGUST 2007 - 9:30am HST

Court: Superferry must do EA

image above: August 19th Open House Day protestors. Photo by Jonathan Jay

[Editor's Note: This is an important victory along the way. An injunction to halt the starrt of service is the next goal. We need to show up at Nawiliwili Harbor on Tuesday the 28th of August to greet the Superferry if it begins service to Kauai.]

Environmentalists may seek injuction to stop the start of the ferry service
23 August 2007 by staff ofThe Honolulu Star Bulletin

The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled unanimously today that an environmental assessment is required over improvements made to Kahului Harbor to accomodate the Hawaii Superferry.

In a two page order, the justices said the state Department of Transportation and a Maui Circuit judge made an error in ruling that $40 million in improvements to Kahului Harbor were exempt from environmental reviews.

The Supreme Court sent the case back to Maui Circuit Court and ordered that a summary judgment be issued in favor of the Sierra Club, Maui Tomorrow Inc. and the Kahului Harbor Coalition in its request for an environmental assessment.
The justices said they will issue a written opinion at a later date.

The Superferry is scheduled to start service Tuesday with one vessel traveling between Oahu, Kauai and Maui, with service to the Big Island starting when its second ship arrives in 2009. The 340-foot-long Alakai can carry up to 866 passengers and more than 100 vehicles.

“The order does not automatically stop or prevent the Superferry from using those facilities, but in our view they’re going to be breaking the environmental law if they do,” said Isaac Hall, an attorney for the groups that sued the SuperferryHall.
He said he plans to ask state transportation officials to voluntarily halt the ferry. If they decline, he said he would seek an injunction from a Maui judge preventing the Superferry from going into service.

The company issued a press release this evening expressing its dissapointment with the decision and noting that the Superferry has met all requirements from the state Department of Transportation.

"It is our continued hope and intention to serve the people of the state of Hawaii by providing the convenient interisland transportation alternative they desire on (Tuesday) August 28," the company's statement concluded.

The state Department of Transportation allowed the Superferry to move forward without the environmental review in 2004 because officials said it wouldn’t be fair to subject only the Superferry to an environmental review without holding other harbor users to the same standard.

The Office of Environmental Quality Control and county governments were consulted before the decision was made, but no public hearings were held.
The lawsuit was originally dismissed by Maui Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza in July 2005, who ruled that the plaintiffs didn’t have standing to challenge the project.

In oral arguments today before the Supreme Court, attorney Isaac Hall told the justices that state government officials shouldn’t have exempted the Superferry from a law that calls for environmental reviews on projects that use government land and money — in this case, $40 million worth of harbor improvements on Oahu, the Big Island, Maui and Kauai.

“The public was deprived of ... any public notice. It did not get any ability to comment,” said Hall, who represents the Sierra Club, Maui Tomorrow and the Kahului Harbor Coalition in oral arguments.

Attorneys for the Superferry and the state claimed that an environmental review should not have been required for the project.

“No environmental assessment was done for the cruise ships” that currently use island harbors, said William Wynhoff, deputy attorney general for the state. “The issue of whether or not another new ship ... comes to Kahului harbor, there isn’t an environmental assessment for that.”

Superferry officials conducted their own voluntary environmental review and said they have taken precautions to protect the environment.

The ferry will hire lookouts to watch for whales, alter its routes and slow down during peak whale season. Its employees will inspect vehicles for invasive species and prohibit mud-caked cars from making the voyage.

image above: Superferry traffic control cone at Nawiliwili Harbor. Photo by Jonathan Jay

Hawaii Superferry ordered to do EIS
by Ken Kobayashi on 23 August 2007 in The Hinolulu Advertiser

The Hawai'i Supreme Court this afternoon ruled that the state should have
conducted an environmental study on its improvements to island harbors for
the Hawaii Superferry operation scheduled to start next week.

The decision is a major legal setback for the Superferry, but Superferry
lawyers were not immediately available for comment as to whether the
operations will start as scheduled on Tuesday.

In a unanimous decision, the five justices held that the state Department of
Transportation erred when it exempted from an environmental review the
improvements at Kahului Harbor for the ferry. The state spent $40 million
for improvements that would allow the Superferry to load and unload vehicles
at Kahului and other island harbors.

The justices heard arguments in the morning on an appeal by three
environmental groups of Maui Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza's 2005 ruling
throwing out their lawsuit.

The Sierra Club, Maui Tomorrow Inc. and the Kahului Harbor Coalition
contended the state should have required the study for the improvements.
The court said the Maui decision was "erroneous as a matter of law." The
high court instructed the Maui court to issue a ruling requiring the
environmental study.|

In the two-page order, the high court said it will later issue an opinion on
its decision.

The Superferry Press Release on Court Decision

by Scott Kirk of McNeil Wilson Communications on 23 August 2007

Statement from Hawaii Superferry, Inc. Regarding the Reversal of Decision
Clearly, we are disappointed in the Hawai‘i Supreme Court’s reversal of the July 2005 judgment of the circuit court of the second circuit.

For more than three years, Hawaii Superferry has met all the requirements of the state Department of Transportation, including provisions pertaining to environmental review. The company complied with, and in many instances, exceeded Hawai‘i and Federal environmental regulations.

The same careful attention to regulatory compliance and overall responsiveness has been applied to the protection of whales, safety and security issues, community and harbor users, prevention of the spread of invasive species, and traffic management.

Overwhelming community support for Hawaii Superferry has been reflected by the sold-out community previews of our ship, Alakai, held recently on Maui, O‘ahu and Kaua‘i. More than 16,000 people from around the state have toured the Alakai and shared our excitement for Hawaii Superferry.

It is our continued hope and intention to serve the people of the state of Hawai‘i by providing the convenient inter-island travel and transportation alternative they desire on August 28.

Click here for a 170k PDF of Court Decision on Sierra club vs the HI DOT

click at right to comment Island Breath Blog

see also:
Island Breath: Boycott the Superferry 817/07
Island Breath: Superferry Preparations 8/10/07
Island Breath: Hui-R Superferry Meeting 7/26/2007
Island Breath: Not So Super Ferry 7/24/07
Island Breath: Superferry Invasion 7/22/07
Island Breath: Superferry Noise 7/18/07
Island Breath: Suoerferry Delayed 5/25/07
Island Breath: Still No Superferry EIS 3/31/07
Island Breath: Superferry EIS Effort 3/25/2007
Island Breath: Superferry EIS Bill hearings 2/26/07
Island Breath: Superferry Promotion 2/24/07
Island Breath: Superferry Launched 1/28/07
Island Breath: Superferry in Trouble
Island Breath: Superferry Reference
Island Breath: Superferry Resistance
Island Breath: Superferry & Military
Island Breath: Superferry History
Island Breath: Stop the Superferry
Island Breath: Superferry Meetings
Island Breath: Superferry Redux
Island Breath: Superferry Problems