Thursday, December 13, 2007

Superferry rally #1

Today was the first of the planned protests against the superferry.

For the first time in my life (in Italy we don't really have such a civil way of protesting), at age 44, I was on a sidewalk with a sign in my hands.
It was cool, I met a lot of nice people and it felt good to be out there trying to do something to change things. At least, that's what I thought at the beginning...

Here's a couple of photos.

Ex Kuau Mart owner Liona had her hands full... She's one of the most fun people I know and even though I love her daughters too (who took over the shop) I greatly miss her behind the counter.

More photos on this page (I can be spotted in the second photo from the top).
A second, bigger rally will be held this Saturday at 9am.

And now, a couple of thoughts.

The MAIN reason that made me go there was the new rule that you can't surf/paddle a canoe when the super ferry is in the harbor.
Not that I'm happy with the other problems that I believe will arise... more traffic, more drugs, more criminality. But those are problems related to every kind of development.
Every time I drive to Kihei, for example, there's new homes. And none of them look like it's going to be part of an affordable homes program...
As a result, there will be more cars on the island and more wealthy inhabitants that can afford to pay high rents/mortgages. And more poor people will become even poorer and eventually homeless. The only option for them will be criminality and part of that is making/selling drugs.
So it's the whole development that should be stopped, not only the super ferry.

But the development is driven by money, which is the only thing that rules this country (and many others). Who can stop the development?

Nobody. Nobody can. This is not Butan.

And what about the impact on the environment and the whales?
Well, we don't even know for sure how bad the ferry will be for them. Honestly it pisses me off more the fact that plastic bags are still not banned and every single day thousands and thousands of new plastic bags are introduced in the environment. And not by an easy to blame big corporation... they are introduced by us. Or better, by the 99% of us who don't care enough to use a reusable bag when going shopping.

So, it's ok to protest (even though probably useless, seen the amount of money already invested in the project and the strong support of the state government), but let's start doing something ourself.

PS. I got some good shots today at Hoo. Stay tuned for a more "conventional" windsurfing post...


Mauipete said...

Thank you for joining the protest. If enough people get off their ass and stand up what what they believe, then we really can make a difference.

As for the plastic bag, there is a growing movement and pending legislation before the Maui County Council to ban plastic bags at the retail level. The politicians will listen to the loudest voices or the largest group.

Anonymous said...

looks like mostly haole's protesting.

I like the blog, keep it up. More windsurfing pics

Anonymous said...

I'm not particularly against the super ferry but I think the way the law was changed to allow the super ferry to run without having finished their environmental assessment stinks.

Also not allowing surfers, fishermen, canoes and bodyboarders to use the harbour for an hour before the ferry arrives is an unnecessary rule.

cammar said...

Mauipete, I don't know about that... it felt good to be there, but at the same time it was pretty clear (at least in my opinion) that that is a lost battle.
Sure, if the whole island population would stand up and protest we would win. Actually it would be enough if the whole island population would not use the superferry! But... have you looked around? I don't think that will happen...

Anon, nope there some locals.

Anon, I'm not particularly against the superferry either (for example, also airplanes pollute and bring tourists that rent cars and generate traffic), but the abuse of power of changing those laws that you mention is unbelievable.

I believe that the rule of no surfing and no paddling will be abolished later on, when things will have settled down. But still, what an abuse of the law... with the complicity of the government!
Forbidding surfing in Hawaii... what a smart move from the governor!

In the end, I hope I'm wrong, but my prediction is the protest won't stop it.
What I hope is that most people won't use it, because... it's a hell of a rough ride! Have you guys seen the faces of the people getting off the boat on the news?
Why in the world would you take a 3.5h boat trip in which you would likely get sea sick (as long as the trades are blowing), when you can hop on a plane, be there in 30 minutes and rent a car for pretty much the same price?
To me, it only makes sense if you have a van where you sleep in, or if you want to go for a surf/windsurf trip and bring a bunch of boards with you or if you are a commercial user that will transport stuff.
In other words, I don't see it as a particularly successfull service... we'll see.

Nelisblog said...

Questions for Cammar,
What is the relation between the new ferry and a rise of drug use and crime? Are there any hard figures that support your oppinion?
Of course I would not like to see so many people come to the island if I would live there. Especialy if the make trouble or make my life less joyfull. But you as a "former forigner" you sound quit defensive about having new blood on the island.
The harbour surfing part needs no explination. Basta, surfing must be allowd and can not be forbidden!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"But you as a "former forigner" you sound quit defensive about having new blood on the island.
Exactly my point in that the pictures show mostly haoles. Don't get me wrong, I would be standing ou there too but this definitly has a bit of arrogance to the message being conveyed.

cammar said...

allegedly it's easier to sneak drugs on a boat that you board with your car than on a plane, and even though there's already a big ice "epidemic" on Maui, there's even more on Oahu! So there's a high chance that the ferry will be used as a drug carrier.

Criminality: allegedly small crimes will be committed by people who coming from other islands.
Very basic example. You go to island X with your buddies to surf a different break and you see a couple of surfboards unattended on the beach. You sneak them in your surf bags and in your van and you take your ferry back to island Y where it's going to be easy and riskless to sell them.
Same applies to other crimes. It's less risky to sneak into a house in an island where your face is not known to the local police.

"as a "former forigner" you sound quit defensive about having new blood on the island."

You kidding me? I would love to have new blood on the island... actually new flesh would be even better... female kind, possibly!

Here's a fact that I am 100% aware of.
The islands were much better years ago when they were less populated and they are going to be worse and worse, because more people will move here.
I contributed to this ongoing deterioration of quality of life (I drive a car, I'm one more surfer in the lineup, etc...) by moving here six (actually almost seven now) years ago.
I am part of the problem.
And I have no rights to claim any kind of territorial privilage towards people who just moved here (and if you read this blog often you should know that).
Here's how I see it.
Hawaii, just like the rest of this planet, belongs to all the creatures of the planet.
The fact that somebody got here first counts nothing for me. As long as I respect their colture, I mean.
I don't like borders, nations, flags, anthems and stuff like that.
Everybody should be free to choose where to live according to their own preferences.
Hawaii is a wonderful place for many and that's why is getting so crowded. Guess what... getting crowded makes it less appealing. For example, I already would NOT live in Honolulu now (I probably would have 30 years ago...).
I'm afraid Maui is going to get just like that very soon.
There's nothing we can do, it's the way it is. Can't hide a place in 2007... and it won't be fair!
Eventually, if I won't like it anymore because it will be too crowded, I'll go in search of something better.
Here goes the seagull again...

Anonymous said...

I hear your strain.
I lived on Maui years ago.
Drugs, traffic and crime were a gymungo problem, I left!
Sorry to hear that it's worse!

Glad to hear that you don't prescribe to the idea, "close the doors after I get there!" New-comers have just as much right as you do/did.

surfergirl said...

How can the crime, drugs and traffic get any worse!
It is terrible!!

Sometimes it feels like hell in paradise!

Anonymous said...

wayyyy too many mainland haoles on maui....gonna get worse.