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Another Cruise Ship
Protest Planned on Molokai

Posted 05:35 PM HST, November 21, 2011

By Wendy Osher

Walter Ritte file photo by Wendy Osher.

Walter Ritte file photo by Wendy Osher.

A group of residents on Molokai plan to hold another protest this weekend in demonstration against a cruise ship company planning port calls on the island.

There are four more inter-island trips planned between now and the end of the year by the American Safari Cruises company, according to the company’s booking website.

The Molokai leg of the cruise is on day three and four of the eight-day adventure, with a stop at Kaunakaki Harbor and hands-on activities at Halawa Valley.  The booking website encourages customers to “meet the people of Molokai and experience their land and traditions as few visitors ever do.”

Protest organizers say, “it will be the beginning of the end for the island’s rural lifestyle” if the Safari Explorer is allowed to come to Molokai without proper community process.

“We must demand community participation in the decisions over tourism on Molokai, and not let a few business people control tourism for their personal benefits,” said Molokai resident Walter Ritte in an email communication issued prior to a similar protest earlier this month.

American Safari Cruises promotes its journey as “an un-cruise experience” with voyages that combine upscale cruising with adventurous activities.

The Molokai activities include hiking or hiding a mule on the switchbacks of the Kalaupapa Trail; visiting plumeria and macadamia nut farms; hiking with a local resident to a hideaway waterfall at Halawa Valley; restoring taro terraces; helping ready poi for an evening pa’ina; and spending leisure time in the charming paniolo town of Kaunakakai.

The Molokai visit also includes an evening talking story with a local guest and enjoying the pa’ina with hula and a Hawaiian music.

The protest, which is the third of its kind, is planned for 6 a.m. on Saturday, November 26, 2011 at Kaunakakai Wharf.

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Editor's Note:Maui Now is an open forum and we welcome any views. However, please apply your sense of aloha when posting comments - remarks that are unnecessarily offensive will be blocked.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000252429248 Craig Satterfield

    I find this interesting that the article does not mention that this is a boat that holds only 36 people!

  • me2

    Even if there is "News" in the title of a blog, it does not represent journalism. Easy to call oneself a" News Hub" – harder to actually report the truth.
    If this was journalism, it would have to report the fact that Molokai is the only island in Hawaii where unemployment continues to grow, as was reported today in The Maui News. We are now officially 17.5%, up from 16.8%, while all other islands saw a decrease. It wouldn’t be too difficult I assume to report that this 36 passenger boat will directly impact no less than 20 Molokai businesses and offer a much needed cash infusion. Not building hotels, or strip malls, but supporting our paniolo heritage by buying beef through the Molokai Slaughterhouse and Cattlemens’ Association. Our farmers are also being supported as well as many other diverse on-island small businesses. Any sensible person would recognize this as a definition of "Keeping Molokai, Molokai".
    A decent reporter would also point out that the majority of the twenty or so people on the protest line are dependent on taxpayers’ dollars through their welfare, food stamps and grants.
    Maybe a news reporter would illustrate that twenty people do not represent the majority of the island. No one BODY, be it an individual or organization, either Walter Ritte or the Aha Kiole speaks on behalf of the entire island. This is a community where unity would have to include diversity. Don’t make it out that these few protestors speak for our island, I assure you that they do not.
    Might as well call "Maui Now", "Walter’s Blog".

    • David Kvasnicka

      Thanks for your comment. Maui Now is an open forum, so we welcome all views, including yours. However, our writers do not engage in the kind of editorializing that you suggest here out of policy.

      We have already published an opinion piece from a Molokai resident, addressing many of the concerns you raise. You can read that article here: http://mauinow.com/2011/11/15/letter-re-molokai-c… (copy/paste this link into your URL bar, or visit the Opinion section).

  • Maui Now staff

    @Craig, size and purpose of the voyage was mentioned in a previous story. @me2, the article explains the concept of the voyage as an "un-cruise" and the types of activities that are conducted–this was not left out or overlooked. The article is to simply highlight the fact that protests continue, not to take sides either way.

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