Friday, October 19, 2007
Action Alert - demand public hearings on Coast Guard security zone - email now
The following action alert has been circulating via email. To the Coast Guard, this may be a simple security operation, but it could be dangerous if force is used. Public testimony could change their mind. We don't need to add possible injuries or deaths to this sad saga.
The document referenced is here. Inside, it gives these instructions:
We do not now plan to hold a public meeting. But you may submit a request for one to Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Quincy Adams at U.S. Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, Sand Island Parkway, Honolulu, Hawaii 96819- 4398, explaining why one would be beneficial. If we determine that one would aid this rulemaking, we will hold one at a time and place announced by a later notice in the Federal Register.
Time is short for this one; if you would like to have public hearings, get right on it.
Send your email. It's easy, don't wait. I imagine that it would be good to include name/address info so they don't discard it. I doubt that anonymous emails would be counted.
Update: Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before October 24, 2007.
A bit of a hassle, but now it turns out that emails are not enough. The Coast Guard wants everyone to file their request in their computerized system. Ok, they want us to jump, we jump. It's actually the official system and the better way to go.
Here's the instructions, compliments of Jeff Sacher (thanks, Jeff).
Some of you might have spoken to Lt. Adams at the Coast Guard already. She left a message telling me how to submit my comments. I decided to call her back and ask if she got my e-mail; she said, "Yes." I asked if that would do or if I needed to submit it at the web site. She said it needs to be submitted at the web site because that is how they gather all the information. She said she is calling everyone who sent e-mails to her to tell them.
So, here's what you do, whether you've already written to her or plan on doing so. It's easier than it looks.
Go to: www.regulations.gov
You'll see #s 1-4. Make sure the choice for #1 that is checked is Documents with an Open Comment Period
Go to #4 and select DOCUMENT ID and enter uscg-2007-29354
On the next screen, on the right side, you'll see a COMMENTS column. Click on the yellow icon. Fill out the information and then add your comments. I just did a cut & paste of what I sent directly to Lt. Adams.
Please get these comments in by the deadline. We really need folks to ask for a hearing.
"DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
33 CFR Part 165
[Docket No. USCG–2007–29354]
Security Zone; Nawiliwili Harbor,
AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.
SUMMARY: The Coast Guard proposes to create a security zone in the waters of Nawiliwili Harbor, Kaui, and on the land of the jetty south of Nawiliwili Park, including the jetty access road commonly known as Jetty Road. This zone is intended to enable the Coast Guard and its law enforcement partners to better protect people, vessels, and facilities in and around Nawiliwili Harbor in the face of non-compliant obstructers who have impeded, and threaten to continue impeding, the safe passage of the Hawaii Superferry in Nawiliwili Harbor.
The HSF's parent company is involved in litigation in Maui that has resulted in a temporary restraining order prohibiting HSF commercial service between Oahu and Maui. That litigation is still unresolved. Also, several groups have initiated a lawsuit in Kauai to enjoin the Superferry from operating between Oahu and Kauai; that lawsuit is still ongoing as well. The HSF was scheduled to resume commercial service between Oahu and Kauai on September 26, 2006, but voluntarily decided not to resume service on that date due to considerations of safety and the public interest. As before, however, the HSF could resume operations to Kauai at any time, since there are no federal or state legal impediments to such operations."
The person waiting for your email requesting a public hearing is a very nice young woman named Quincey Adams (yes there is an "e" in her first name, contrary to the notice in the Federal Register). If you would like to email her expressing your wish for a public hearing on the proposed security zone, her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why would we want a hearing? A few reasons.
(1) to discuss whether the intention to create a security zone to permit Superferry to enter Nawiliwili Harbor represents participation in a conspiracy to violate the law. The Supreme Court ruling in The Sierra Club v. The Department of Transportation is a final judgment imposing the requirements of Section 343-5 of the Hawai'i Revised Statutes. Those requirements are that an environmental assessment must be prepared and that the completion and acceptance of that assessment is required before any further operations of Superferry take place. The security zone is meant to make it possible for Superferry to continue operating in spite of the Supreme Court ruling, i.e. in violation of the law.
While the Supreme Court ruling came in a case out of Maui, the ruling itself is applicable statewide, i.e. the Superferry is barred from going to Kaua'i as well.
The refusal to acknowledge the statewide application of the ruling is either denial or deliberate misinterpretation of the law. Either way, helping Superferry violate the law is itself a violation of law.
(2) to discuss whether the Coast Guard is really prepared to use force against people who clearly believe that they are enforcing the law, while the Governor and the Unified Command are engaged in a criminal conspiracy to violate the law.
(3) to discuss the personal liability that may fall on members of the Coast Guard who participate in a such a conspiracy, such as charges of false arrest, battery, assault, kidnapping, and other civil torts and criminal charges
(4) to discuss whether the security zone represents a violation of the First Amendment rights of the people seeking to prevent the Superferry from breaking the law
(5) to discuss the likelihood that 500 people will enter the waters of Nawiliwili Harbor to block the Superferry, if Superferry returns to Kaua'i
(6) given the likelihood of a major confrontation between the people and the outlaws in government, a little dialogue in a public hearing is surely appropriate.
(7) [fill in the blank]
So pull up your chair and send a message to Quincey about why there should be a public hearing.
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