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Security Zone Implemented With
Safari Explorer’s Return to Kaunakakai

Posted 10:35 AM HST, January 14, 2012

Courtesy photo from water blockade at Kaunakakai, Molokai.

By Wendy Osher

The state of Hawai’i and the US Coast Guard will hold a community meeting to present the security plan for the resumption of port calls by American Safari Cruises to Kaunakakai Harbor on Moloka’i.

The meeting will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 17, at Mitchell Pau’ole Community Center in Kaunakakaki.

American Safari Cruises is scheduled to resume its port call into Kaunakakai Harbor on Saturday, January 21, 2012. The company cancelled its port calls last month in response to community concerns following a water blockade and protests.

Opponents had called for community input into decisions over tourism on the island, expressing concerns over impacts on the island’s lifestyle and resources.  Supporters of the operation maintain that the 36-passenger Safari Explorer yacht supports local business, and helps to address the island’s historically high unemployment rate.

Since then, Moloka’i residents and officials have held meetings to discuss the future of tour operations in Kaunakakai, with Department of Land and Natural Resources Chairman William Aila participating in the discussions on behalf of the state.

“I am pleased that we have settled the situation with American Safari Cruises, which could not have been achieved without the coming together of all the concerned parties,” said Chair Aila. “This meeting is the next step in keeping an open dialogue with the community.”

Aila said the upcoming meeting will allow the state an opportunity to provide information regarding the resumption of port calls.  He also thanked the people of Moloka’i in seeking a resolution.

Chair Aila will be joined by officials from the state Department of Transportation, the Maui County Police and the US Coast Guard who oversee and ensure environmental, public and navigational safety in the harbor.

“I am thankful that Chairman Aila, the community and American Safari Cruises have been able to reach a peaceful resolution to this matter,” said Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa.

The US Coast Guard will also be seeking public comment on a temporary security zone that has been established for the waters of Kaunakakai Harbor. Specific details on the security zone, including instructions on submitting comments, can be reviewed at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-01-13/pdf/2012-549.pdf.

State officials say the security zone will be enforced one hour prior to Kaunakakai Harbor entries and departures by the passenger vessel Safari Explorer.  Notice of the zone’s activation will be provided by broadcast notices to mariners and the display of a red flag at the Kaunakakai Harbor Master’s building.

Captain Joanna Nunan, Commander Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, said, “Public safety in Moloka’i remains our top priority and we are committed to maintaining an open dialogue with community stakeholders on how we can best serve our shared interests.”

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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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  • view from the veranda

    The one percent comes to Hawaii with their arrogant ‘business as usual’ mentality. Big business, knowing they have the Tourism Authority behind them, tries to elbow in on what seems like opportunity. Then the 99% who have not the funds to manipulate is forced to use their voice and speak up or at a blink of an eye they will be gobbled up. Very careful planning is needed if you are going to introduce tourism to Moloka’i.  How gracious Moloka’i, knowing they need it economically, to allow this intrusion. It will be a brow beater itself for those affected by change to find  compromise. American Safari to have not included a thorough protocol to this island is plain ‘old school’ corporate.

    • MauiNoKaOi

      I see that alot of tourism dollars are making the way to Molokai yeah? Tours with Rudy or simply hanging at the Hotel Molokai isn’t going to cut it. Ever since the ranch and the others have gone money has gone with it. Corporate or otherwise what else do you propose for the Island? Killed the Super Ferry, killed other viable economic projects yet when one small ship comes calling, suddenly it’s all about the “Island”. 

      I would be happy to see the people of Molokai stand up and say here is our island, respect it and visit it and make money. But control the growth of cruise ship calls so as to not overload the island and it’s infrastructure. 

      • Freddycrugger

        Very true… most of the people on Molokai live off wellfare and do not work, they complain about their financial situation, yet when an opportunity appears, they try to shut it down. It is unfortunate, the new generation has no chance of success on an island that does not move forward. Respect the culture, but work as a community to fix the many problems we have.

  • Bumpy

    Molokai is a cesspool of hatred and intolerance.  I have no idea why anyone would wanna go there.  There is a plenty of beautiful Hawaii on other islands with out the localism and crime that this island offers.  Leave it to the savages where they kill endangered species, kill tourism, kill any profitable venture, and kill the aloha spirit.  They should turn off the water and the electricity, close the airport, and cancel the daily ferry to the island for good.  Let them eat each other until the place turns into Lord of the Flies.  Actually, its not too far away from that realiy.  God save them.

    • Judge Prim

      Wow, Bumpy.  I can see you left your aloha at the door step.  It’s been a long time since I’ve seen/heard anyone refer to the indigenous population as “savages”.  So Hollywood!  I grew up with Grandparents who taught me respect, in every sense of the word.  They taught us to “leave certain things alone”.  I am proud of the people of Molokai who are standing up and saying “leave our island home alone”.  Otherwise, Molokai would turn into another Oahu.  All you have to do is look across the channel and see what’s happening to Maui.  I was born and raised in Lahaina and each time I return home all I see is more opala, more people, more buildings, more everything.  The island itself, the smell of the sea, the wind, and my ohana who are buried there, thank God hasn’t changed.

      • Bumpy

        You’ve been away from Maui/Molokai too long braddah!  The shoe fits, and they should wear it.  You have no idea whats goign on over there.  I was born/raised in Paia, and I too have seen the affects of progress but what going on over there is bad.  I have family that had to leave because no way to earn a living to pay bills and they dont want welfare.  They want to earn their living.  Molokai should be set adrift into the pacific.  I stand by my words.  Enjoy hollywood.

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