Breaking News

Breaking News

Winners or losers?To the Forum:

I’ve lived on Kaua’i for 26 years and recently retired from an administrative

position at Kaua’i Electric.

After attending the first session of the

Lihu’e town meeting, some pretty hot issues are still out there regarding the

sale of Kaua’i Electric (KE) to the Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC).

I’d like to talk about what I perceive to be the major issues jeopardizing

community support of this sale. I support this sale and what follows explains


Many in our community feel the $270 million bid for KE was just too

much when compared with KE’s true dollar value. A few individuals in our

community think they have sufficient data to support this idea. Others agree

simply because the co-op was the winner in a bidding war. Few of us feel the

price was just right.

Most of us were upset to learn our rates wouldn’t go

down anytime soon. Partially because of that $270 million bid. Payments on

the cumulative loans involved, plus building an equity fund for routine

maintenance will take some time. More time than most of us care to endure.

However, the co-op did point out that most of the costs associated with

disaster recovery should be covered by FEMA funds due to their non-profit


Many felt some members of the current Board of Directors are

lacking the right stuff. We learned that a routine election process should

address this issue going forward. We also learned that Directors receive zero

compensation except for business travel expenses. This surprised most of us

and may have eased some fears that Directors serve for the wrong reasons.

Having no previous experience with co-ops myself, I find this idea quite


At the conclusion of the town meeting, I managed to get past the

issue of how much the co-op bid. It’s likely the other companies bidding

against the co-op were investor-owned utilities just like Citizens. Had someone

else won the bid, there’s no question in my mind that we’d continue down the

path of investing in that company instead of our own community. I don’t know

of anyone who can prove our rates would go down had someone one else won the

bid, even for less money.

By the way, let’s not forget the forces in place

that help set the rates we pay. Rates are not just an arbitrary number set by

a utility company. Rate levels have to survive intense reviews by government

agencies such as the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and the Consumer

Advocate (CA). These agencies wield a double-edged sword. On one hand,

they’re partly responsible to insure electric utility customers dot get over

charged for their service(s). On the other hand, they’re partly responsibility

to insure the utility company survives economically and continues to provide

safe and reliable energy for the community it serves. No approvals, no rate

changes. Will being a co-op change all that? I doubt it.

In conclusion,

the KIUC has miraculously made it possible for us to control the destiny of our

island’s power company and it’s electric rates. I support this idea for these

reasons and thank the current KIUC members for making it possible.


Vince Cosner


Invest in renewable


To the Forum:

The current sale of the Electric Company as well

as the plans to build a new oil powered plant that will emit smoke over our

major population area deserve serious attention.

Our current path of buying

a power company that is so reliant oil now and in the future is risky. Experts

say within 15 years oil reserves are going to diminish and fuel for our

dinosaur oil plants may become cost prohibitive. We will, however, still be

paying the 30 year note on the 270 million we’re going to borrow to buy the

plant that may be obsolete.

We need to begin investing our money in

renewable energy such as Hydroelectric, Solar, Windmills, Fuel Cells and

Biomass. The 270 million were spending on the old diesel plants can buy a

massive amount of this new technology.

The Island of Maui’s Solar program

is so successful that it was a feature article in the May issue of Solar Today

Magazine. Maui also just signed a contract to build a windfarm that coupled

with their Solar program will defer the necessity to build an oil fired


Kaua’i Electric’s Solar program, however is the laughing stock of

the Solar Industry. While the other Islands utilities are sponsoring thousands

of systems, Kaua’i limits the number of systems to loss then 70 per year.

Kaua’i Electric’s Energy Wise program actually impedes the growth of Solar

Water heating here because of their “selective” rebate process. On Maui and the

Big Island any homeowner can got a $1000, rebate toward the purchase of a Solar

Water heater. On Kaua’i “select” homeowners receive large rebates as much as

$4000 to $10,000. The qualification process is unfair since every rate payer

pays for the program as an adder to your bill called “Resource Cost Charge.” I

should know, since I’ve been a Solar Contractor on this island for 20 years and

worked as a Participating Energy Wise Contractor since its inception.


all need to take a better look at our future energy picture. Having the highest

rates in the nation should enable us to be the renewable energy model more so

then Maui.

Paul Lucas


Bring Sherry Hoe back

To the


Pet lovers unite! The inmates have taken over the asylum!


else can you explain the less than unanimous decision by the Board of Directors

to fire the Executive Director, Sherry Hoe from her position at the Kaua’i

Humane Society. Talk about loyalty! Her “numbers” were wrong?

Are the

numbers wrong because the shelter continues to operate even though it is

understaffed and underfunded? That must be why the disgruntled staff has tied

all of the yellow ribbons around the trees.

Are the numbers wrong because

Sherry and Raymond Hoe are on the verge of realizing their dream of a beautiful

new facility in Puhi for the homeless animals? That must be why this facility

was built mostly with donations and the efforts of many fund-raising


Are the numbers wrong because Sherry Hoe wanted to bring

affordable spay and neuter programs to the public? Probably. She brought in a

program where any dog or cat could be spay/neutered for less than $100. That is

ridiculously low. If you look at the prices quoted by this island’s

veterinarians you will find the price difference between the highest and lowest

is more than $100 for any dog or cat. Why doesn’t anyone question these


Sherry Hoe should not be fired for trying to get animals

spay/neutered that normally would go on adding to the animal overpopulation and

I say enough!

The animals of this island need our help. They need Sherry

Hoe back in the position where she can help them the most, and they need us to

speak up for them.

I agree that heads should roll. Let’s fire the

egomaniacs who removed Sherry Hoe. I have no doubt in my mind that they will be

much easier to replace.

Allan B. White, animal lover & pet



Tribute to a Champion

To the Forum:

We were

saddened and shocked to hear the news of Sherry Hoe and the Kaua’i Humane

Society. To us Sherry Hoe and the Kaua’i Humane Society are one and the same

(synonymous). This is not in any way meant to under estimate all of the other

excellent workers and volunteers that make up the Kaua’i Humane Society. Sherry

is without question the undaunted leader but what’s a leader without a great

team? We want to voice our heartfelt concern that we’ve never known anyone who

loves animals like Sherry or who will champion their cause like Sherry.

Remember when she raised money for the new shelter by living in a cage at Kukui

Grove Shopping Center? Not to mention all the other fund-raisers (Furry

Scurries, chili cookoffs, silent auctions, just to name a few). The hard work,

blood, sweat and tears that Sherry has put into the Kaua’i Humane Society

cannot be measured.

We know it will be difficult if not impossible to find

anyone comparable in compassion and dedication to Kaua’i’s animals as Sherry

Hoe. May the decision that takes Sherry’s presence away from the Kaua’i Humane

Society be reversed.

Linda Hardy




Macintosh is a treasure

To the Forum:


weekend, I had the pleasure of attending one of the many concerts given

throughout the years by Kaua’i musicians under the conductorship of Larry

Macintosh. From fast to slow, classical to bop, the music and the evening

always comes out just right. It would be hard to find another person that has

touched so many people in a positive way for so many years as Larry Macintosh.

He may be too young to be listed as a “living treasure,” but nevertheless — he

has my vote.

Bill Whitney



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