Thursday, February 28, 2008


Leak circulating: Is the ferry in lots more trouble than has been reported?

by Larry Geller

Maybe it's not to late to get that ferry advertised on eBay.
I've asked for tips or leaks in the past and was pleased to find that insiders in the Legislature were happy to spill the beans on the procedural abuses that go on there every day. The anonymous tips were easy to verify against the public record.

Some leaks can't be so easily checked, at least as a mere blogger. A newspaper employee could do it easily.

"Hello, Mr. Garibaldi? This is Clark Kent, from the Daily Pl... yes sir, that Kent.

"I'd like to ask you a few questions if I may about some observations that have come to my attention about the condition of your boat, sir."

And they'd be off, no problem getting the info. If it weren't forthcoming, Clark Kent has other resources anyway.

Now, for a blogger it's different. If I were to call, I don't think I'd even get through.

"Hello, may I speak to Mr. Garibaldi please? Yes, G A R I B A L D I. That's right.

Who am I? I'm from Disappeared News. D I S A ... that's right, Disappeared News. No, it's not a newspaper. No, not TV either. It's a blog. B L O G. What's a blog? It's kind of a long story if you're not already familiar... anyway, is Mr. Garibaldi there? Oh, I see. May I leave my phone number? Oh, I see. Yes, it's that blog. Hello? Hello?"

So in the interests of efficiency, I'll leave the phone call to the papers. I hope they will check this out. If this is accurate, the public needs to know.

Why? Many reasons. For one thing, a task force with a limited lifetime is meeting and reporting. There's no data for it if the ferry doesn't run for an extended time.

So I think it's important to put this out there and have it tested.
  If you've looked at the Island Breath article you've seen from the photo that a drydock is a very open kind of place. It's hard to keep what goes on there a secret. We have an anonymous leak that goes like this:

From sources/eyewitnesses close to the HSF dry  dock:

When HSF was being positioned to enter the floating dry dock facility it went aground on a sandbar.  A tug was used to move it off the sandbar. During the move the tug pushed a 20’ x 20’ dent into the side of the HSF.  HSF encountered a few more bumps in trying to position itself.  When they finally got the vessel in the floating dry dock, they went about putting blocking into place.  The goal is they set the vessel perfectly on these blocks.  The key to the blocks is the must be set directly under each frame of the vessel.  Failure to do so results in pressure on unsupported plate and massive damage.  This procedure is critical for any dry dock and the utmost care is taken.  HSF entered the floating dry dock, blocks were in place and lines were fastened from above to keep the vessel in place.  The dry dock was raised (water level lowered).  However, attendants failed to slacken the lines.  Pressure mounted, the lines snapped, causing one side of the facility to break off and fall onto HSF, causing major damage.  It gets worse.  When the lines snapped the vessel shifted and the blocking missed the frames, causing damage the entire length of both hulls.  The hull is now structurally damaged, dented and serpentine.

The USCG has ordered massive work to be done.

As of this writing, negotiations are under way with USCG to formulate a plan of repair.  The damage is so extensive, no one is sure when or if it will ever get out of dry dock.

One long-time worker at an adjacent boat yard stated: “I don’t think that vessel will ever be put back into service”.


wow. seems worth a reporter's phone call or two, indeed.

>>>Some leaks can't be so easily checked, at least as a mere blogger.<<<

"mere blogger?"

It seems you don't take yourself very seriously. So why should anyone else?

If you claim to be dispersing the "disappeared news" then you should take yourself seriously as a legitimate news agency.

That you don't has drastically limited any and all credibility (if you had any at all in the first place).

You seem to want to rant on the "mainstream media," yet can't seem to do any of the legwork yourself.

Sadly typical of the armchair quarterbacks.

Your comment looks like the emails I received from a certain disgruntled newspaper reporter. I'll assume it's you. If not, my apologies.

Of course I take myself seriously. You can too. Be a reporter and see what it's like to cover a story from the different viewpoints available.

I am a mere blogger. This is a blog. No one pays me. I don't have the same responsibilities as a reporter, nor the resources, nor the time.

I and other bloggers do lots of legwork. Collectively we have brought to light situations good and bad. For myself, I'm proud that bloggers have helped bring about positive change, for example, at the Legislature.

And for in-depth discussion, Hawaii's blogs provide a useful alternative. It's no surprise that newspapers now have blogs too.

Now, anonymous, if you really are the reporter I think you are, you've been given some information you can check into, if you wish to do some legwork.

Actually reporters haven’t had any luck getting Garibaldi or O’Halleran (sp?) on the phone for in-depth questions either, not for lack of trying. That’s why you see Mike Formby and the Coast Guard quoted so often. Try calling them- they will take your calls.

What I’m surprised at is that those in Honolulu weren’t there taking videos during the dry-docking process or aren’t doing the leg work now by going down to the docks and asking all the old fisherman and “regulars” what they saw that day- or if they took any pictures. Not to make excuses for them but reporters are so under funded and over worked these days they don’t have the time to do the normal leg work and make the rounds like they used to.

That’s why it’s up to bloggers and other citizen journalists to do it- we can’t count on the press anymore so we have to become them. It’s not enough to write up plausible scenarios and publish them- that just tends to make for conspiracy theories to argue about in the dearth of facts.

It’s like the chatter about there being Plutonium on that spy satellite that went on before they shot it down. I asked if any of them had taken a telescopic video of the blowing up of it and if anyone took a spectrometer to it- something any knowledgeable amateur astronomer/ scientist could have done... all I got back was the answer- hey that would have been a good idea... how come the press didn’t do it?

Andy, thanks for your comment.

I heard that it's possible that Homeland Security might check out anyone going out near the drydock with a long lens. That's not an excuse for me, since I usually don't have the use of a car and own only a cheap camera, I would need to do as you suggest and ask others.

Basically, this new information expands upon the stories published on Feb. 21 which did briefly mention damage to the hull while in drydock. As new information,it can (and I think should be) checked out.

It should be available to everyone who reads a paper or watches TV, if it pans out. Let's see what happens. I can appreciate that reporters these days are underfunded, but given the information, everyone can learn more if they take it up and use it.

I need to write some testimony, and if I can, I'll try the Coast Guard. Good thought.

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