Larry Geller (www.disappearednews.com) makes a good point. Although our news media interviewed lots of Superferry passengers when the service started up, there has been little probing into the problems faced by passengers now stranded by the ferry’s inability to operate in rough weather.
Real, individual lives are negatively impacted by cancellations and no doubt some businesses too.
The best summary I’ve seen appeared in this insightful observation by Maui resident Karen Anderson:
I really want to hear the passenger stories on this one. Sail over for the weekend and get stranded for five days! What to do? Spend big bucks on accommodations and just wait it out? Or book a last-minute flight for big bucks and leave your car behind, then rent a car when you get home so you can get around? Then wait for your car to arrive on the next non-canceled voyage, but be sure to bring someone with you because you’ll have to drop off your rental car on the way. Jeeze… thank god Superferry really goes out of its way to help, what with the 5% rental car discount!!
Many of us have experienced airplane flight cancellations. But at least your car isn’t in limbo also. After reading Karen’s email, I had a greater appreciation for the major hassle faced by anyone taking their vehicle on the ferry and not being able to get it back. And what if it’s a business truck loaded with tools?
The newspapers wrote about all the happy passengers, but who is checking into the inconvenience caused by the numerous cancellations? —>
And the news yesterday that the Coast Guard grounded the ferry until repairs are made on the rudder system is certainly another setback. It isn’t clear that it will actually add to the weather delays, but it certainly further deflates the “Super” part of the image the company has tried to project.
Dave Shapiro and I both offered opinions on Gov. Lingle’s Turtle Bay preservation proposal. Dave column in yesterday’s Advertiser was kindler and gentler than my piece in the current Honolulu Weekly. To be clear, though, I would favor Lingle’s idea. I think everyone who lives between Kaaawa and Haleiwa realizes how much the projected resort development out there would impact our own communities, and not for the better. But the problem I have is that the governor and her political team have specialized in trying to box in legislative Democrats by creating unrealistic and contradictory public expectations. Now, when she floats an idea I could support, it becomes impossible to tell whether its just another cynical political trap or a real proposal we can rally behind.
Here’s an excerpt from my longer Weekly column:
Early in her speech, Lingle called attention to falling tax revenue estimates that have dropped by $353 million, while proposing a supplemental budget that boosts planned spending another another $307 million. Given that $660 million swing, she properly warned that government simple doesn’t have the resources to do everything or respond to every community problem. So far, so good.
But just minutes later she let loose with her breathtaking Turtle Bay idea that some say could cost another $500 million, without commenting on the obvious clash of perspectives.
Which is the “real” Lingle, the one who suggested lowered public expectations about the ability of a cash-strapped government to solve problems, or the lady bountiful calling for tax cuts and environmental first strikes?
Will the real Lingle stand up? Is she the one using the state of the state to urge personal responsibility, saying the idea also means “government agencies admitting mistakes and working to fix the system”?
Or is it the other Lingle, the one who staunchly backed her Department of Transportation after it managed to turn the Superferry launch in a complete debacle, all the while saying the department had done everything exactly right?
Is the real Lingle the one who advises admitting mistakes or the one who stonewalled the public and the press after Bob Awana, her top appointee and chief of staff, resigned under a cloud as the result of a sexual blackmail episode which, at least by some accounts, involved extracurricular activity during official state travel?
It was just a coincidence that my Weekly column appeared the same day that the Star-Bulletin reported on the failure of a move to disclose documents from the extortion case involving former Lingle chief of staff Bob Awana.
This was the view from the beach in Kaaawa yesterday morning, between blasts of wind and rain that sent us scurrying to the back roads for a while before venturing back out to the water.