- The Washington Times - Friday, September 14, 2007

HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii Superferry, halted nearly a month because of protests and legal challenges over its potential environmental impact, will resume service between Oahu and Kauai this month with heightened security, Gov. Linda Lingle said.

Mrs. Lingle, a supporter of the Superferry, said Wednesday that the vessel will resume service Sept. 26 on a temporary daytime schedule, arriving at Kauai’s Nawiliwili Harbor at 11 a.m., eight hours ahead of its usual stop. The daytime hours are being used to better ensure public safety, but it may inconvenience cruise ships.

The harbor will be heavily secured by Kauai County police and state officers, while the Coast Guard will escort the luxurious, 350-foot catamaran.

The governor said the plan also calls for “swift and sure prosecution of anyone who violates the law,” whether its federal or local.

“It’s not our desire to arrest anyone. … But it is Superferry’s legal right to use Nawiliwili Harbor,” she said.

Jeff Mikulina, director of the Sierra Club’s Hawaii chapter, criticized the move to resume service.

“It is highly inappropriate for Superferry to travel to Nawiliwili before an environmental review is complete,” Mr. Mikulina said. “Not only is such a trip contrary to state law, it belies common sense. We study and prepare for adverse impacts before they happen, not after.”

The Superferry, operating Hawaii’s first vehicle-passenger service, voluntarily suspended its Oahu-Kauai service Aug. 28 after two days of demonstrations at the harbor, where dozens of protesters on surfboards, canoes and kayaks blocked the $95 million ferry.

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