This morning I left my house one hour ahead of my 11 AM dental appointment. The drive with normal morning Maui traffic takes 30 minutes or less. Sipping my chai latte from my stainless steel to go cup, the drive along Hana Highway to Kahului was clear as I zipped along in the morning sunshine. I pictured myself arriving early at the clinic, leisurely filling out the forms and maybe being called in early.
The last mile of my journey took 35 minutes. The road was open–no accidents, road crews or lane closures. My car was running fine–no flat tires or spewing pipes. As I turned onto Pu’unene Avenue, I inched a little closer to the center line to rubber neck the delay. In the distance at the end of the road docked next to two cruise ships was the Hawaii Superferry. It had just pulled into the Kahului Harbor and was offloading cars from Oahu.
As I finished my tea and watched the clock tick pat my appointment time, my frustration boiled. This situation is exactly what an environment impact statement (EIS) would have uncovered. The State, County and Superferry would have had to work it out before letting the ferry start ferrying. But at the last minute in special session and under major pressure from the governor, the State legislature passed a new law specifically for the Superferry exempting it from doing an EIS.
For those residents of Maui who may be open to the ferry but find such strong arm tactics by our government to be a mockery of democracy emitting the stink of special interests, elections seem too far away. As I got my teeth cleaned, I drooled over the idea of a legislative house cleaning.