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Did I Help Sink the Superferry… Nah

On November 13th I was the first in the state to blog:

…Austal USA has won a $1.6 billion contract to build up to 10 high-speed transport ships for the U.S. military, U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, announced Wednesday…

No one in the media had picked up on this… I even ended the post by saying:

…I’m amazed the Unofficial Hisuperferry Blog hasn’t picked up on this.

This weeks Honolulu Weekly is running an article, Conspiracy Ferry, where it points to that contract specifically as one of the two that are troublesome:

…First, the construction of the two ferries by Austal USA helped the young company get a contract to build a military version of the fast cargo and troop-transport ship—with an option for nine others—for a total of $1.6 billion, according to defense analysts and Austal USA itself. It also played a role in getting a contract for a Littoral Combat Ship prototype, a separate project to build up to 50 fast, aluminum warships at more than twice the price for each. The question is: was that the real purpose of building the Superferry?…

The article was tucked in the back of an Online Alabama Newspaper and I have to wonder if it would have ever been brought forth… Had I not blogged about it in the first place… and then the other sites picked up on it?

Superferry Going Under Now is a GOOD Thing for Big Island

Believe it or not… I am a bit disappointed that the Superferry has been ordered to shutdown.

Lingle and her Oldschool Girls pretty much got spanked and even Lingle is still trying to prevent the closure.

It is a good thing that it shut down now, before it started operations on the Big Island.   I can only imagine all the people and farmers that would be struggling now to figure out how to ship their produce to the other islands with such a short notice.

I pretty much expect that with this shutdown… we might actually see the Superferry on this island a bit sooner!

From Dissappeared News http://tinyurl.com/dn6j6n

From Dissappeared News http://tinyurl.com/dn6j6n

If the military takes it over… I bet they would start running the ferry as Military Transport w/out having to go through as many hoops and barrels as a private company would.

Photo from http://www.boycottsuperferry.org/

Photo from http://www.boycottsuperferry.org/

I kind of wish that I would have taken at least one trip on the buggah.  It’s not too often that citizens get a chance to ride on Military Prototypes for very little cost.

Anyone want to place wagers on how quickly we see the Superferry looking something like this?

Photo from http://www.boycottsuperferry.org/

Photo from http://www.boycottsuperferry.org/

Building the Superferry… National Geographic Special: Video

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPagBiCLX4M&hl=en&fs=1]

Superferry Chronicles… Talk With the Authors – The Video(s)

Hisuperferry.blogspot.com mentions that an incident took place today on the superferry.  It’s not for sure what happened just yet as far as I can tell.  Could a whale have been hit?

I just noticed this series of videos about the recent book signing of the Superferry Chronicles over on Maui.

Part 1:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYZHHaVJJDQ&hl=en&fs=1]

Part 2:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYFLNPr-Dc8&hl=en&fs=1]

Part 3:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRNw9tLrNEU&hl=en&fs=1]

Part 4:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFpidUUKhAM&hl=en&fs=1]

Part 5:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAQHytRUHns&hl=en&fs=1]

Windsurfers vs. The Superferry… What Buffer Zone?

I could have sworn that the coast guard promised to prosecute anyone that got this close to the Superferry.

Good thing these windsurfers didn’t have terrorist thoughts. :roll:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDHT677fYwc&hl=en&fs=1]

More Then Half on Superferry Vomit… Cars Damaged on Latest Superferry Trip

Just noticed this article on a Superferry trip this weekend:

…That passenger said, she and more than half the passengers were vomiting at the end of the three hour trip…Vehicles on the bottom deck shifted and 13 of them had minor damage.

Reminds me of this “Got Barf Bag” blog I posted a month ago with a video on it.

Sick on the Superferry: Engineering Student Describes His Superferry Ride

I got a kick out of reading the following blog posting by some engineering student entitled:  The Superferry Three of us Would Not Call It Super

… The Alakai just has a draft of 12ft.  That is very little. Other ferries which I traveled with on the Baltic see have a draft between 20 and 23ft. Maybe some of the harbors on the Hawaiian islands are not deep enough for larger ships…

Unfortunately, during the first 45 minutes of the ride and within the last half an hour, we had to travel in the open sea. That caused heavy body rolling and pitch movements of the vessel.

Matthias M. was the first one to feel a little sick, but it did not take much time until Matthias G. and Ania also took some comfort bags. Just in case.  This is an understatement, you know how that story goes… Only Andreas and I would still have answered “We’re fine.” to any habitual American welcoming phrase, although I must admit that it was a bit like traveling in a glider while looking for lift winds. Perhaps irrational driving trains to stand these conditions?…

Out on the Deck... Getting Fresh Air and Drinking Complimentary Ginger Ale

Out on the Deck... Getting Fresh Air and Drinking Complimentary Ginger Ale

“Got Barf Bag”… Hawaii Superferry Forced to Return To Port… Video

I just noticed these youtube clips of a trip on the Superferry from two days ago,  where the superferry actually got turned around because of rough conditions.

If you look around the 1:20 mark of this video… you see some scary stuff!

“My superferry ride from 12/11/08 – I uploaded this from my phone so the video sucks but the audio should give you the idea of what was going on. This is the first SF voyage that was forced back by weather. 25′ waves will do that…”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSfoWWquSq8&hl=en&fs=1]

Part 2:

“…Continued from part 1: After five minutes of beating the crap out of the boat and passengers, the captain gives up and heads back to port…”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlQlJuRgI6g&hl=en&fs=1]

Around 1:20 mark… captain gets on loudspeaker to explain to customers that there trip has been canceled and the Ferry is turning around.


Konablog Held Hostage and Irritated… Someone Wants to Go to the New Disney Hotel

I got a good chuckle tonight reading the Konablogs Rant on why his family can’t go to the New Walt Disney Hotel at the Ko’olina Hotel on Oahu because the Superferry might not come to the Big Island.

I dig Aaron a lot, but tonights post really had me laughing my ass off!

You do realize there is a lot people support the Hawaii Super ferry. I find very frustrating that the minority is holding the overall population hostage by this never ending litigation.

For example, my mom has been looking forward to taking our family to the future Walt Disney Hotel at Ko’olina via the HSF….

Aaron… are you really held hostage?

And is your goal in life to get to the Walt Disney Hotel on Oahu? ;)

The Superferry Chronicles: A Book Review by James Heddle

I just noticed this book review of “The Superferry Chronicles” by James Heddle:
—-

“The sleek, aluminum mega-catamaran streaksacross the sea swells at forty miles an hour. Powered by jet engines, it rides high, skimming the surface on twin hulls that slice sharply through the water…and also, incidentally, accidentally through any dolphins, whale pups, sea turtles or, for that matter, human protesters that happen to get in the way.

Five stories high and a football field-and-a-half long, the superferry can carry 866 civilian or military personnel, 282 civilian cars and trucks…or an unknown quantity of Stryker Depleted Uranium-firing military tanks across the high seas and into shallow water on any island chain or continent. China, and other potential US rivals, please take note.

It’s the prototype for a new generation of US Navy attack craft. The superferry is designed as part of the Pentagon’s Littoral Combat Ship and Joint High Speed Vessel programs as their contribution to ‘Full Spectrum Dominance’ power projection policy in the Pacific… not to mention all around the watery globe in pursuit of ‘American [Business] Interests.’

The superferry, which was apparently started as an quasi-idealistic business venture by small-time Silicon Valley software entrepreneur Timothy Dick, is now the pet project of John F.(for First Nuclear Strike) Lehman – a Nixon-Kissinger-Reagan-Bush-Pearl confidant, Project for a New American Century (PNAC) fellow traveler – and CEO, Admiral Thomas Fargo (former head of the U.S. Pacific Command). Both are major players in the American ‘defense community’ and its attendant, mucho-lucrative industries.

Poor Timothy was squeezed out long ago as the profitability potential – not to mention the military advantages – to be gained from the project came clear.

Light Bulb! Dollar Signs! This baby can become the catamaran that laid the golden egg – if the Navy contracts to mass produce it for world-around oceanic power projection.

Yet, in Hawaii the superferry is being spun as a benign, almost selflessly humanitarian, local inter-island transportation effort on behalf of (you guessed it) The People.

As such, it should be exempt from state and federal environmental impact laws. Right?

It should exclude from any democratic choice the local populations most affected by the sudden influx of tourists-and-their-trash, tourist car exhaust fumes, and practice invasions by Depleted Uranium-firing tanks. Right?

The US Government should underwrite the project with a $140,000 loan. Right?

Anyway, that’s what Hawaii’s counterpart to Alaska’s Sarah Palin, the ambitious Republican Governor Linda Lingle and longtime military maven Sen. Daniel Inouye , not to mention Norman Mineta, head of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) are using their considerable leverage to advocate.

Trouble is, The People aren’t buying it. And there’s the rub.

Turns out it’s The People’s ardent, courageous, and (so far) effective opposition to the project that has slowed it down and prevented the planned deployment of the superferry from its Honolulu hub throughout the islands. The authors report that, “…there is no sure victory yet…. [ but ] At least for now, the Hawaii Superferry does not go to Kaua’i, and the …protests have achieved legendary status on the islands.” As the book goes to press in the Fall of 2008, “…the boat is still running to Maui, as the legal battles continue. The so-called Environmental Impact Statement mandated last year by a special session of the state legislature is in process, though it is merely a disclosure document (unlike a real EIS under federal or state law), one that will not require the company to actually mitigate any environmental concerns.” But the resistance continues to be fertile. Ironically, the plan to link the islands by superferries has, instead, united the islands in grassroots opposition.

That’s the outrageous, galvanizing, empowering, unfinished story told in the just-published SUPER FERRY CHRONICLES by Koohan Paik and Jerry Mander.

Co-author Paik is a journalist, media educator and award-winning filmmaker based on the island of Kaua’i, the first target of the invasion.

Mander is a former progressive ad man, author (Four Arguments for the Abolition of Television, In the Absence of the Sacred, among other books), and director of the International Forum on Globalization (IFG), a San Francisco-based ‘think tank’ dedicated since 1914 to exposing the negative impacts of economic globalization.

SUPER FERRY CHRONICLES tells the global story behind the local headlines and scant national media coverage of this micro/macrocosmic struggle. It documents a new front in Hawaii’s long-term, on-going, unstoppable indigenous sovereignty movement. This movement has continued since US sugar-growers, backed by US fire power, deposed the indigenous government and land-grabbed via military annexation, a chain of pristine islands that would later become a state and a launch pad for US power projection smack dab in the middle of the Pacific.

As co-author Paik puts it, “ From an American geopolitical perspective, Hawai’i’s purpose has always been to function as mission control [her italics] for its military endeavors.” As this book makes clear, in this struggle, as in so many others around the planet, the local is the global and the global is the local.

The SUPER FERRY CHRONICLES weaves together a moving mosaic of informed commentary and in depth reporting by the co-author/editors with the voices of local activists and investigative reporters – including celebrated indigenous rights activist Haunani-Kay Trask – to lay the complex backstory bare. Forget about the latest 007 pseudo-thriller Quantum of Solace. This actuality investigative expose’ rocks!

As co-author Jerry Mander points out, the interlaced high geo-political v. local drama, the cast of heavies and heros, and the narrative ironies involved in this story make it ‘Hollywood Material’ for a block-buster feature film along the lines of Wall Street, Michael Clayton or Syriana. This is a real-life action-intrigue drama, he points out, even without (as yet) any murder or sex (that we know of so far).

Like indigenous and local rights movements in Africa, South American and Asia; like California’s so-far-successful citizen Stop-the-Spray movement to ban the rural and urban aerial and ground spraying of toxic pesticides; like the national grassroots Election Protection movement that helped prevent yet another stolen election in the U.S. this November, Hawai’i’s grassroots campaign against the ‘Invasion of the SuperFerries’ is one of a growing number of deep democracy eruptions that signal a new era of progressive planetarian politics.

Never before, in so many places – local, national and international – on every continent, have so many grassroots people, able activists, cultural creatives, progressive business leaders and elected officials been at work on so many issues. This timely book is one of a proliferating number of reminders that, rest assured, the immune system of the planetary body politic has kicked in and is rising to the cosmic occasion

Kudos and appreciations to co-creators Paik and Mander for completing the massive task of bringing this complex local/global drama in eminently readable form to the wide audience it deserves.

Given President-Elect Obama’s deep personal connection to the Islands, one can’t help but hope that this book will find its way into his hands and mind and heart and that he will use his good office to ‘do the right thing’ on this issue.”

Superferry Builder Austal Receives $1.6 Billion Navy Contract to Build Ten More Ships Like the Superferry

When will people listen to me?

I’ve been saying for 2-3 years now, that the superferry(s) were just a prototype for future military ships.  Now Austal has confirmed my suspicions:

Austal USA has won a $1.6 billion contract to build up to 10 high-speed transport ships for the U.S. military, U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, announced Wednesday.

Neither Austal nor the U.S. Navy would confirm Wednesday’s announcement, but a staff member in another congressional office, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the contract is going to Austal…

…Maritime industry analyst Tim Colton, of Florida consulting firm Maritime Business Strategies LLC, said that if Austal is indeed the winner, it is likely that the company’s experience and ability to tackle the work made its bid superior. Australian parent Austal Ltd. is an expert at building high-speed fast ferries, and the U.S. shipyard is now putting finishing touches on the second of two such vessels for Hawaii Superferry Inc…

More Here

I’m not real good at math… but if my numbers are correct, this would make each one of those ships worth about $160 Million dollars each.

If Hawaii sold the two Superferries we currently will have to the military for say $150 Million each, then that $300 Million could be put to the losses that we have already incurred as well as pay off any debt that we might have towards the superferries at this point.

Especially if the thing isn’t going to work out in the long run.

I’m amazed the Unofficial Hisuperferry Blog hasn’t picked up on this. ;)

Superferry Giving Away Free Rides to Military Members

No, this is not a Veterans Day special.  The Superferry is offering the Military a free lift on it’s ship.  If it’s not the Strykers, it my as well be the Military Members themself!

My as well comp the Military now… Because the Superferry probably knows they are going to be getting a hell of a lot of business from them soon enough.

The Hawaii Superferry is offering military members a fare special.

The offer is one free roundtrip to military and their dependants with the purchase of one roundtrip fare. The offer applies to all members of the U.S. Armed Forces for travel booked through Dec. 15…

…The purchase of the first roundtrip will also receive the Superferry’s $10 military discount. The fuel surcharge will also be waived.

For more information military members should contact their MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) and ITT (Information, Tickets and Travel) desks.

More here.

The Timing of the Superferry Coinciding with the Stryker Brigade

I just noticed the following comment left by “Hiloliving” on the Kona Blog in response to the Superferry being delayed.

Any chance the Superferry delay is for the company to take advantage of military opportunities? At the Public Meeting in Hilo on expansion of the Oahu Makua Military reservation for the Army in October, one of the military officers mentioned that the Army was planning to ship in the Strykers via Kawaihae harbor and truck them up Saddle road to the Pohakuloa Range. The delivery of the Superferry next year is approximately the same time frame as when the Strykers are due back to Hawaii from Iraq.

Coincidence…  I think not.

Second Superferry Delayed… To Be Used Elsewhere Before Coming to the Big Island?

I just noticed this post on the Marine Log:

…The company is expecting to take delivery of it in Mobile in late February 2009 and says it “will look at short-term opportunities for use of the ship prior to its induction into service in the islands…”

Just what we wanted… a used ferry. ;)

I bet you anything… that this get’s put to use as some sort of military transport.

McNeil-Wilson Communications Represents Superferry… “McNeil and Wilson Both Draw Upon Their Military Experience for Leadership”

I think this is kind of ironic:

…A spokeswoman for McNeil-Wilson Communications in Honolulu, which represents Hawaii Superferry, confirmed  the report but did not provide further details…

http://washington.bizjournals.com/pacific/stories/2008/09/29/daily23.html

————–

McNeil and Wilson both draw upon their military experience for leadership. Wilson recalled receiving sage advice as a young officer, “Look after your troops and God will look after you,” he said. “That carries over into this business because we look after our people.”

Pressed for some quick milestones, Wilson said, “We just wanted a culture where people feel safe here, that they could feel ambitious without anybody stepping on anybody’s toes. That’s our big achievement.”

http://archives.starbulletin.com/2007/12/12/business/engle.html

Superferry and The Honolulu Advertiser Connection

You won’t ever see a negative article about the Superferry in the Honolulu Advertiser because the Honolulu Advertiser get’s big money for placing ads in its paper for the Superferry.

Point in case, earlier today, blogger Larry Geller linked the connection to the military with the Superferry, yet in the Advertisers breaking news they made no mention of the military connection despite quoting from the same newspaper article Larry did.

Superferry Admits to Military Suitability and Lease Potential

I blogged on August 16th about the new superferry being built in Alabama and casually joked that it would be easier for the Strikers to board and un-board.  I also blogged about how Saddle Road was getting a new road just so that the Strykers could get to the Superferry here.

Well the confirmation has been made, at least in my mind, that this will primarily end up catering to the Military.  (Hat tip to Larry Geller)

…At 113 meters (373 feet) long, the vessel launched Monday is 6 meters (19.8 feet) longer than Alakai, thanks to a ramp Austal added to its stern, making it suitable for military use. Industry watchers have said leasing the vessel to the military is a possibility, though the company said it is sticking by its plan to operate it commercially…

More Here

The Kapalua Adventures Zipline and the Superferry

I want to do this!

Or better yet… I’d love to get into a business like this on the Big Island somehow!

The Superferry is offering a package that includes this:

Kamaaina family package includes:

  • Two nights Villa accommodations
  • Hawaii Superferry passage for two adults and one passenger vehicle
  • Activity for each guest*– choice of Golf Round, Golf Academy Lesson, In-Villa Spa Treatment or Lower Mountain Loop Zipline Tour
  • $30 Honolua Store Credit

Rates from $999 for two adults. Two-bedroom upgrade available. Kids $39 each way.

More Here

Superferry to get Direct Access to Striker Brigade w/ New 27 Mile Road From PTA

I’ve made it apparent long before I had a blog, that I believe this second Superferry is being brought over here primarily for Military transport, with a belief that it will be used more so for people.

Now it looks like the Stryker Brigade is going to have direct access to it with a 27 mile, military only, road from PTA up on Mauna Kea down to Kawaihae harbor.

Today’s Hawaii Tribune doesn’t really address the Superferry as a reason for this new 27 mile road… but why else would it be built directly to the Harbor?

…The Army is planning more than $100 million in upgrades to PTA, including a battle complex area, a heavy-caliber live-fire training range and a new 27-mile trail from Kawaihae Harbor to the training area. But those projects are geared to use by the 5th Stryker Brigade…

Safeway 2… Superferry 0

I wonder how Kauai residents will feel about a new Safeway going up on the Island?

That island has many activists there that are really against anything moving in.

…Safeway is currently seeking county approvals for the project.

The new shopping center will be designed to fit into the area and be built using green standards that will use renewable and recycled building materials where possible…

…The new Safeway store will be the company’s second on Kauai after the Kapaa store. Safeway has a total of 19 stores in Hawaii.