Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Superferry exposed (though not by our mainstream media)
If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is a video worth?
Thanks to Joan Conrow's post today for the link to this YouTube video. If you go to the actual YouTube page there are "related videos" on the right side.
Please don't skip Joan's article. She asks questions that need to be answered, including about the dark shroud the Legislature has wrapped itself in while it discusses this important issue. I wish one of our daily paper reporters would ask the hardball questions so the public can be better informed.
This whole affair has been a setback for open government, a giant step back into the bad old dark ages. There is no excuse for it (e.g., protecting proprietary information). Our elected representatives are simply telling us to get lost while they do their business in secret. And at the same time, some of them are opening their pockets to money from the Superferry and its friends.
Especially troubling to me is that the Speaker of the House, whose son works for the Superferry, is also the largest recipient of their largess in the Legislature, and he is the one who controls what happens in the House, down to the smallest detail.
Speaker Calvin Say is also trying to thwart any Neighbor Island hearings, according to this article in today's Hawaii Tribune-Herald:
Most legislative leaders want to hold Neighbor Island public hearings on a bill that would allow the Superferry to sail while an environmental assessment is completed. But House Speaker Calvin Say doesn't think there's enough time.
"At this point, because of the time constraints, I'm not looking as far as going to the Neighbor Islands," Say said Tuesday. "It's a special session that I hope can be done in five working days."
Holding hearings only in Honolulu cuts out the majority who have reason to be concerned about the Superferry. It also guarantees more protest should the ferry sail as a result of legislative shenanigans like this.
Hawaii Tribune-Herald reporter Nancy Cook Lauer ends her article with a handy list of phone numbers to call if you would like to urge legislators to hold hearings on Neighbor Islands. It seems that legislators are swamped with emails, so a phone call might be a better way to get through to them. Don't worry, usually it will be staff who pick up the phone, or the voicemail. Your chances of getting Calvin Say himself on the phone are (unfortunately) negligible.
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