Friday, November 02, 2007


Can Kauai accept Lingle back? I hate to say no...

by Larry Geller

My fingers started itching mid-morning. I hadn't written anything about the Superferry yet today. It would be good to be allowed a short break. But bloggers must be driven by some compulsion to write, or why would they do it.

Last night we had a great program (IMHO) on Hawaii Public Radio's Town Square. Host Beth-Ann Kozlovich and guests Sen. Gary Hooser, Kauai journalist Joan Conrow, and Big Island journalist Hunter Bishop fielded questions from Neighbor Islands and Oahu. Some of the calls were quite moving. I'll let you know when the audio is available in case you couldn't tune in.

The Advertiser this morning floated the possibility of Lingle transmogrified into a peacemaker:

Lingle said she also would meet with officials from the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs today to hear their thoughts on Superferry.

"They said they had some issues that they wanted discussed," she said.

Lingle said she believes she can help bring people together on Superferry but could use some help. She said she plans to be on Maui and Kaua'i — where protesters against Superferry have been organizing — in the coming month.

"I think I have a very important role to play, anytime there's a leadership issue for the community," she said.

But she added: "I think the faith-based community is also very important here."

On Town Square, Sen. Hooser talked about reconciliation, perhaps through the Matsunaga Institute for Peace. Who knows what might work. But how can the leader of the " Unified Command" expect that her threats of arrest, fines and removal of children would be so soon forgotten? She does the people of Kauai (and anyone who objects to how she has handled this affair) a disservice.

It smells to me that she is inflated by a kind of victory, and will ride back to Kauai not on a ferry but on a horse, bearing standards with the Hawaii state seal and maybe a Coast Guard insignia or something. She can't get off that horse very easily, and I doubt people would accept her role as a peacemaker while she remains the enforcer.

I don't understand her reference to the faith-based community. Is someone supposed to pray for the ferry? More likely prayers would be for the protection of the environment, people's ways of life, and for the whales.

Even Dog's downfall will not smooth the ferry's path, nor chase it from the headlines.

The corresponding Star-Bulletin article looks at one of the crucial next steps:

[Lingle] said the state also is aiming to file a motion Monday asking Maui Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza to lift the order that bars the ferry from sailing until an environmental assessment is completed. That ruling came on the heels of a ruling by the state Supreme Court, which said an assessment should have been done before the state went ahead with $40 million in harbor improvements to accommodate the service.

Suppose Cardoza refuses to lift the order? What then? Probably a challenge. Would it take time? Suppose he does lift the order. Wouldn't that be challenged as well?



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