Friday, March 20, 2009

Superferry Pulling Ship Out Of Hawaii

The Hawaii Superferry announced on Thursday morning that it will pull its ship out of Hawaii, at least temporarily, following a ruling this week by the state Supreme Court. Hawaii Superferry President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Fargo made the announcement in a news conference at Pier 19. (Watch the entire Hawaii Superferry news conference.) The Hawaii Supreme Court on Monday ruled that a law allowing the Superferry to operate while conducting an environmental impact statement was unconstitutional. "The problem before us today is there appears to be no short-term solution to this ruling. To conduct another EIS even with the work done to date and move it through the legal review that might take a year or so, and other options do not provide the certainty that's necessary to run a business. As a result, we are going to have to go out and find other employment for Alakai for now," Fargo said. Senate President Colleen Hanabusa was on KITV 4 Island Television News This Morning. She said she was surprised the Superferry is leaving.While Fargo said the company will pull the Alakai out, he left the door open for the company to return. "Our intention is not to dissolve Hawaii Superferry as an entity. Make no mistake about it. Our clear belief again, is that there is a clear need for a high speed interisland ferry system here," Fargo said. The governor said she hoped the Supreme Court will take another look at its ruling that the law was unconstitutional to allow the Superferry to operate while completing its environmental review. "The Legislature is looking at perhaps requesting a reconsideration along with us. Ask the Supreme Court to take another look at this beyond the Superferry issue. There are larger implications from the decision," Gov. Linda Lingle said. The governor said the Supreme Court decision is too broad because it said the Legislature can never do anything to favor one group over another but that is what lawmakers do every day. Superferry made its last round trip for now to Maui to return stranded vehicles and customers to their homeports on Thursday.

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