September 12, 2007
Hawaii Superferry to resume service to Kauai
Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle today announced that the Hawaii Superferry will resume service to Kauai starting Wednesday, September 26 on a temporary daylight schedule. The Governor also stressed that federal, state and county law enforcement agencies will strictly enforce a temporary security zone established at Nawiliwili Harbor by the United States Coast Guard.
Today's announcement follows extensive planning by many agencies to allow the Superferry to safely enter and depart the harbor, while providing a safe place for protestors to demonstrate.
"We have worked with our county and federal partners to make certain that the resumption of Hawaii Superferry service to Kauai focused on public safety, first and foremost," said Governor Lingle.
"We respect everyone's right to voice their opinion, but we will not allow a small group of protestors to act out in a lawless manner to obstruct the operations of a legitimate business, intimidate the people who wish to use its services or put people's lives at risk," the Governor added.
Governor Lingle also cautioned anyone who is planning to recruit children or teenagers to participate in illegal protests that they could be held liable for child endangerment. During the demonstrations that met the Superferry upon its first two voyages to Kauai, several children were on surfboards in the harbor and came dangerously close to the Alakai and Coast Guard vessels.
Between now and Sept. 26, Governor Lingle and state, county and federal partners are planning to visit Kauai to meet with the public regarding the plan for the return of Superferry service to Lihue. They will meet with groups on Kauai, both those who support and oppose the Superferry, as well as those who want to learn more.
"We want to make sure that those who choose to violate the temporary security zone and put themselves or others at risk understand that they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent allowed under federal and state law," said Governor Lingle.
Both the Governor's office and Hawaii Superferry have posted a list of penalties that may be faced by those violating the temporary security zone. They include hefty fines and imprisonment. What may sting the worst,though, is that protesters who break the rules risk having their toys--including surfboards and kayaks--taken away from them.