Tuesday, February 26, 2008


At least the whales are safe

by Larry Geller

Record number of whales counted around Maui

Advertiser Staff

A record number of whales were sighted yesterday during the Pacific Whale Foundation's 2008 Great Whale Count on Maui, which recorded a total of 1,726 whale sightings in a three-hour period. [Honolulu Advertiser, 2/24/08]

Happy Whale Awesome... maybe the whales were out in the water protesting the Superferry. I'm not sure if that's an original thought or if I read it on another blog, but it seems like it could happen. At least they're safe, which is what is important.

The ferry, of course, is stuck in drydock for an extended stay. It's probably like having a flu bug that just won't go away, which I can tell you something about.

Poor Superferry Blogger Lee Tepley has assembled quite a bit of information, including some pics of the Superferry in drydock that fans won't want to miss. Just click on his illustration above. Lee is very concerned about the whales, as are others everywhere in the state. The main entrance to his website is here.

Lee has posted a wealth of discussion on rudder problems and (in the above-linked article), three pics of the Superferry high and dry in the drydock. Check it out.

Speaking of the Superferry, I'd like to elevate some comments from my earlier Superferry post by copying them here and providing real links. A question, raised by the Advertiser article/column by William Cole, concerned whether the Superferry was intended to carry Stryker vehicles, and the article said there was no contract (which doesn't really say much, of course). I wondered (speculatively) whether the military had changed their mind. On to the comments:

Did they change their mind?

Here is the direct quote from The Pacific Business News, March 28th, 2005.

With Lehman's expertise, the Superferry plans to operate a Westpac Express, essentially to carry military equipment and ferry vehicles from Oahu to the Big Island on a daily basis.

At present, the military has to make shipment plans six months in advance to put them on a barge, said Tim Dick, president and chairman of Hawaii Superferry.

"The ferry will save the military dollars and take 25 percent of the time," Dick said.

This logistical plan will make it easier for soldiers to train when the Stryker Brigade comes to Hawaii. The brigade will be stationed on Oahu and conduct training exercises on the Big Island, Lehman said. "The Superferry is strong enough to take Stryker vehicles," he said.

Hawaii Superferry provided the Army with a cost analysis and expects to negotiate a long-term contract, Dick said.
# posted by Anonymous Anonymous : 7:42 AM HST

Regarding the Strykers and Superferry, Cole doesn't need to speculate. In addition to the quotes in the PBN, it is also in the Hawaii state law. Mr. Cole should do his research better. I reposted the following on Dec. 9th:

HI Superferry: Current Unanswered Questions?‏

Here you go Scott, I had a little difficulty finding them at first:

Posted by MauiBrad at 11:15 AM Dec. 9, 2007
# posted by Blogger MauiBrad : 8:51 AM HST

So read and form your own conclusion.

Superferry discussion has thrived on the web because we're talking about something that not only interests us, but has a direct impact on our lives. Through our discussion we can inform public opinion. The stats show that increasingly people are reading these articles. Google shows more info on ferry topics in the blogs and on YouTube than in the traditional news sources, and Google is where things begin.

I'd love to see the Advertiser or any paper undertake the same level of analysis that Lee has demonstrated in his blog. A salaried reporter, backed by the clout and reputation of a daily paper, could do a real service by digging deeply into this whole affair.

Meantime, expect more information on this and other Hawaii issues right here, on your computer screen. Stay tuned. All the news really does fit someplace, if you care to follow the links or the tags.

[Thanks to Scott for pointing out the bad links in my original post. Fixed now.]


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Well. I'm sure after the sick calf-whale was snacked on off of Puamana, the Superferry's next ukelele-strumming commercial will show how it is nature that the whales have to worry about and not humans.

Hopefully the laid off Superferry workers didn't show up to hug the whale with a camera crew before DLNR took it away. I'd hate to see a 60 second commercial of Whalerider meet Superferry employee.

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