Aside Posted on Updated on
The first in a series of debates between the candidates for governor of Hawaii took place today, hosted by the Grassroot Institute. See complete coverage:
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By Mufi Hannemann
In 2010, I called for re-establishing an inter-island ferry service for all residents of Hawaii. I believed then, as I do now, that a ferry system will improve our quality of life and provide an economic boost for our state, not only by creating jobs, but by saving Hawaii’s businesses millions in shipping costs. Think of the farmers and small businesses that will see their cost of doing business decrease with another option to choose from for moving their products, goods and services to the marketplace. It would also provide a safety net during emergencies and give families another less expensive choice to visit relatives on other islands.
When I filed to run for governor on the Hawaii Independent Party ticket, I repeated this call for reconsideration of an inter-island ferry service; one that will be used by Hawaii residents and visitors much as the state-run Alaska Marine Highway System and Washington State Ferries serve the people of those states.
With the exception of some critics who remain opposed to this notion, the response to re-examine an inter-island ferry system from a fresh perspective has been overwhelmingly positive. This is especially true at the numerous talks story sessions that I have had throughout the state in order to learn firsthand from island residents of their wants and desires for a better future.
To begin with, unlike the prior state administration’s political and legal missteps that accompanied the last Superferry attempt, I will propose a different process this time around where prior to implementation, we make sure that we thoroughly examine not only environmental concerns, but procedural issues as well.
Just as the Honolulu Rail Transit Project had to undergo rigorous environmental reviews, public comment and legal scrutiny, so too should any inter-island ferry proposal. All impacts of creating a ferry service should be openly vetted and evaluated.
Of course, consideration must be given first and foremost to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and all relevant state and local environmental disclosure laws which protect not only the marine environment, but our residents. Other considerations would include transportation demand, economic impacts, cost effectiveness, safety and regulatory compliance.
I am committed to conducting an environmental impact study and I will insist that we adhere to an open and through state wide vetting process. The lack of transparency must not be repeated.
Ferry service comes in all sizes, speeds, amenities and costs. Around the world ferries serve potential rough water areas like the North and Irish Seas, the English Channel, the Gulf of Alaska, the Straits of Gibraltar and the Atlantic Ocean near the Canary Islands, as well calmer seas such as those found in Puget Sound and the Alaska Inland Passage.
To determine the best type of vessel and operation to serve Hawaiian waters, I will consult with experts in the field, as well as meet regularly with the four county mayors through a newly created Hawaii Council of Leaders that I have proposed to enable collaborative deliberations of this sort to take place. I will carefully solicit their input on the type of ferry service that would best serve their respective counties. Public outreach will include many open meetings with citizens around the state where all of the concerns raised by the Superferry in its brief time of operation, as well as issues and needs involving any type of ferry service, will be on the table.
To facilitate this process, I will appoint a working group to examine all sides of issues related to ferry service. This will include supporters of an inter-island ferry system, as well as those concerned about such factors as marine animal protection, the threat of invasive species, the impact of vehicle traffic on a destination and resource protection. This task force will be similar to one I convened as Honolulu mayor to study issues surrounding the fate of Oahu’s decaying Natatorium that included both proponents and opponents of full restoration. This group developed the recommendations that the state and county are now planning to implement.
I am hopeful that strong government support, coupled with great public demand, will lead to private investors coming forward to work with the state in a public-private partnership to create a new “marine highway system ” that will benefit us all. Passenger reports during the Superferry experience demonstrated that ridership was steadily increasing and the most recent Star-Advertiser survey indicated 87% of our people would support the return of an inter- island ferry service provided that an EIS be done. Moreover, retired Admiral Thomas Fargo, who was the former Superferry Executive, is right on point when he says that “there are few archipelagos in the world that don’t have a ferry system to serve the needs of the people.”
Even many Superferry opponents recognize that having a cheaper way to get people, vehicles and products between islands, if done correctly, will be beneficial for both residents and visitors. Today, large cruise ships still routinely travel our island chain without problems.
Let’s put real, current and up-to-date facts on the table and have a combination of government officials, especially county mayors, ordinary citizens and an appointed working group examine them in a non-confrontational manner. This time we will include a thorough environmental impact study, a critical step that was skipped by the last administration. Armed with this new information, a governor with a strong record and reputation of being pro- business could then actively solicit a private partner to invest in Hawaii again. It will take time, but it will be worth it if we go through the process openly and correctly. After all, isn’t that what you want from your governor – someone who respects and responds to your desires?
Hawaii Independent Party candidate for governor Mufi Hannemann has agreed to abide by the state’s voluntary campaign spending limit for this year’s election.
It is time for government to be returned to the people with elected officials who don’t always answer and are easily influenced by their major contributors. For our campaign to be successful, it will require strong and organized grassroots efforts so that we can make a difference by breaking the cycle of government run by big donors. Now isn’t that what we all really want?
We invite you to be a charter member of Mufi’s Hawaii 100. Our goal is to receive 100 new donations of at least $100 each by June 26. This means it is urgent that Mufi receives individual contributions from Hawaii residents beginning today.
We ask you to embrace our cause by also reaching out to three to five of your friends and ask them to support us as well. Visit Mufi’s Website at http://www.VoteMufi.com or click on the contribute button below. You can also mail your donation by June 26 to:
The Hannemann Committee • P. O. Box 459 • Honolulu, HI 96809
Thank you for helping us keep our momentum moving forward. Together—we can make great things happen for the people of Hawaii!
Treasurer, The Hannemann Committee
Think Independently… Come Home to the Middle.
Aside Posted on Updated on
Mayor Alan Arakawa has endorsed Hawaii Independent Party gubernatorial candidate Mufi Hannemann, the candidate’s campaign announced Friday.
“I know in my heart of hearts that Mufi Hannemann is the best administrator.” Said Arakawa, who himself is running for a second consecutive term this fall. “He is very trustworthy and can be depended upon to do what he says he is going to do.”
The Maui county mayor said he has known Hannemann for more than three decades and has worked very closely with him through the Hawaii Council of Mayors.
“There are deficits virtually in every department in the state,” Arakawa said. “When you talk to the personnel, they tell you about lack of support in equipment, manpower and antiquated policies. Mufi, as a former mayor understands what it takes at the ground level. He has served several governors, and he has the executive experience to address these deficits.”
Hannemann, who ran against Gov. Neil Abercrombie in the Democratic Party primary four years ago and lost, said that he was “humbled and pleased to receive Arakawa’s endorsement.
“He has proven to be the quintessential mayor who can work in a bipartisan fashion and bridge the gaps between party divides.” said Hannemann. “Having worked with Mayor Arakawa over the past several years, I admire the fact that he is a knowledgeable, experienced visionary, and has the reputation of getting the job done.”
If elected, Hannemann said he intends to create the Hawaii Council of Leaders mode up of the governor and the four county mayors. He pioneered the formation of the Hawaii Council of Mayors back in 2005 when he was first elected mayor of Honolulu. The council continues to operate today, Hannemann’s news release said.
“The Hawaii Council of Mayors is proof positive that when all four county chiefs are working together, four heads are better than one.” Hannemann said. “With the proposed HCL, the mantra will be five heads – with the governor included – will also be better than one.”
He said the council of leaders will work toward strengthening government collaboration and cooperation at the executive level between the state and county jurisdictions, encouraging streamlining efficiencies and collaboratively planning strategy.
Top priority will be given to homelessness, the state hospital, transportation—including and interisland ferry service—public safety, allocation of the transient accommodations tax and collective bargaining, he said.
“If the state does well, the counties prosper,” the candidate said. “If the counties are strengthened, the state will benefit, and ultimately, the people whom we serve win.”
(Honolulu, Hawaii) – Hawaii Independent Party (HIP) gubernatorial candidate Mufi Hannemann today secured a solid high-profile endorsement. Alan M. Arakawa, Mayor of the County of Maui, announced that he is giving full support to Hannemann in the 2014 governor’s race. Arakawa said the former Honolulu Mayor’s impeccable leadership is critical to the progress of the state of Hawaii.
“I know in my heart of hearts that Mufi Hannemann is the best administrator. He is very trustworthy and can be depended upon to do what he says he is going to do. We are at a time in history where the State of Hawaii has a dire need to be able to upgrade many things within its system,” said Arakawa, who has known Hannemann for more than three decades and worked very closely with him through the Hawaii Council of Mayors. “There are deficits virtually in every department in the state. When you talk to the personnel, they tell you about lack of support in equipment, manpower and antiquated policies. Mufi, as a former Mayor understands what it takes at the ground level. He has served several governors, and he has the executive experience to address these deficits. Mufi is very smart and a man of his word who truly cares about the people of Hawaii,” said Arakawa.
“I am very humbled and pleased to receive Alan Arakawa’s endorsement. He has proven to be the quintessential mayor who can work in a bipartisan fashion and bridge the gaps between party divides,” said Hannemann. “Having worked with Mayor Arakawa over the past several years, I admire the fact that he is knowledgeable, experienced visionary, and has a reputation of getting the job done.”
If elected in November, Hannemann announced that one of his goals is the creation of the Hawaii Council of Leaders (HCL) made up of the Governor and the four county mayors. He pioneered the formation of the Hawaii Council of Mayors back in 2005 when he was first elected mayor of Honolulu, which continues to operate strongly today. “The Hawaii Council of Mayors is proof positive that when all four county chiefs are working together, four heads are better than one. With the proposed HCL, the mantra will be five heads—with the governor included—will also be better than one.”
The HIP candidate said the leadership body will work toward accomplishing two goals: 1) strengthen government collaboration and cooperation at the executive level amongst state and country jurisdictions, and 2) encourage streamlining across the board and efficiencies within a collaborative planning strategy. Top priority will be given to issues dealing with homelessness, the state hospitals, transportation like the inter island ferry service, revenue administration, such as the TAT, public safety, and collective bargaining. Hannemann explained that, “If the state does well, the counties prosper. If the counties are strengthened, the state will benefit, and ultimately, the people whom we serve win.”
Present today were President Tenari Ma’afala and Vice President Malcolm Lutu of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers (SHOPO), who also endorsed Arakawa in his bid for re-election on Maui. One week ago, Hannemann received dual endorsements by SHOPO and the Hawaii Sheet Metal Worker’s Union, Local 293, at the same location.
When Mufi Hannemann and running mate Les Chang officially filed yesterday to run for Governor and Lieutenant Governor they wasted no time in going after a big issue. Hannemann proposed bringing the Superferry, or similar large scale inter island ferry service back to the Islands.
According to AP:
Hannemann said Wednesday that it will not be easy, but he will take a different approach than his predecessors, who introduced an inter-island ferry that failed within two years.
“It’s come up on numerous occasions that people want to see the Superferry come back,” Hannemann said. “And I said, ‘You know what? I think I can take a crack at this again.’ “
Hannemann said he succeeded in building coalitions to push for a rail system on Oahu, and he could use that experience.