Superferry President Meets With Senators in Private

Senator Suzanne Chun Oakland
Senator Suzanne Chun Oakland
Senator Will Espero
Senator Will Espero

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Days after lawmakers criticized Hawaii Superferry executives for their lack of communication, the company's president met with senators face-to-face.

John Garibaldi refused to say exactly what they discussed Monday afternoon, but his intention was clear based on a binder he passed out to lawmakers.

Door to door, senator to senator, Garibaldi visited Jill Tokuda first, then Les Ihara, and lastly, Suzanne Chun Oakland, all in private.

When asked if his personal visit has anything to do with lawmakers criticizing Superferry executives for not communicating with legislators other than through lobbyists?

"Oh no, I spend a good part of my life up here, I'm a known face around here," Garibaldi says.

"If he had communicated better with all of the lawmakers from the beginning then he would've known that many of us support the Superferry," says Chun Oakland.

Chun Oakland says Garibaldi re-iterated some of Superferry's environmental policies, from mitigating invasive species and traffic, to dodging whales.

"I think we need to look at their whale avoidance policy. Right now they're saying 25 knots, I recommended 20 knots," says Senator Will Espero.

Most lawmakers want to let the Alakai operate while an environmental study is conducted, but they're divided on what environmental restrictions to impose if the Legislature were to pass a bill saving the ship.

The Senate will Caucus Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. No word yet on if the revised version of the Superferry bill will be done by then for senators to review.