Maui News: “The Superferry may not have made it even with an EIS, but without one, it was doomed.”

Governor’s sour grapes

POSTED: September 10, 2009

First off, we were ardent supporters of the Superferry. There was no doubt in our minds that Hawaii needed an alternative, affordable means of travel between the islands.

We know farmers who grew to rely on it to get goods to Oahu. We know families who packed up cars, got on the ferry and delivered students right to their new dorm at UH. We know that restaurants, hotels and transient vacation rentals benefited from travelers from Oahu who came over to Maui for things such as racing events or for a weekend getaway with the family.

All that said, the way the Superferry was launched had a fatal flaw. No environmental impact statement was done before it sailed and that violated a law that required one if state funds were expended on the project. And expended they were to accommodate the ferry, both at Kahului Harbor and in Honolulu.

That fatal mistake makes Gov. Linda Lingle’s comments to the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce last week more than a little disingenuous. The governor criticized Maui business for its tepid support of the Superferry and launched into Maui’s legislative delegation for its “pathetic” reaction to the sailing.

We think business was very supportive of the ferry. We remember article after article published in this very newspaper where the president of the Maui Chamber of Commerce vociferously supported the Superferry. Last we checked, the chamber was a voice of business.

Yes, we too were disappointed in the legislative delegation’s attitude about the Superferry. But the governor was asking them to change a law her administration had already broken.

Frankly, we are tired of politicians who will not admit they made a mistake. Fess up, governor, your administration blew it. The Superferry may not have made it even with an EIS, but without one, it was doomed. And your administration is the one that let it sail without one.

So, governor, the next time you are looking for someone to blame for the failure of the ferry, try looking in the mirror. Without that personal admission, everything else is just sour grapes.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.


One Comment


Appropo title. They failed because operationally they were doomed to fail, not because of the Supreme Court decision.

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