Letters for Sunday — October 30, 2005

• Still hoping for better days

• More questions for KIUC

• Accolades for concert

Bridge is a joke


Still hoping for better days

The photograph adorning the front page of The Garden Island today (Thursday, Oct. 27) gives the perfect answer to the torrents of questions from indignant electric users (members by default of the Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative). The bored (sleeping?) chairman of the board and the CEO of the “cooperative” are simply telling the “members”: “There’s not a damn thing you people can do about it!” before going back to sleep. And they are right, because the state of Hawai’i has no rules, regulations or laws governing “cooperatives”! So these guys operate in No Man’s Land. All it took to bless the creation of this “People’s Cooperative” was an affirmative vote of the Kaua’i County Council, the then-chairman of the council is reported by The Garden Island to be one of the directors of KIUC.

Those hundreds of people who opposed the creation of this “co-op” will remember that at the crucial public meeting in the convention hall all the council members were in support, and the lone voice in vehement opposition was none other than then-Mayor Mary-anne Kusaka. As we continue to pay the highest price for electricity in the nation, we at least have the comforting thought that there are honest, conscientious and long-suffering workers in KIUC who are risking their jobs by becoming whistle-blowers.

Whistle-blowers on this island historically don’t fare well. One recent example I have (from one such brave soul) has to do with the supervisor of a base-yard on this island who clocks in early in the day, then disappears from the work site, only to return before quitting time to clock out. A whistle-blower reported this to the mayor’s office, and was rewarded by being docked for one day’s pay. The supervisor was transferred to another baseyard.

If you think this is an exceptional case, you don’t yet understand how this government operates, and why we pay the highest per-capita property tax in the state, and have the largest number of pot holes per mile of road.

By the same token, we not only continue to pay the highest electricity rate, we have also had more power outages (some lasting hours) than the days when Citizens Utilities from Connecticut owned and operated the electric company here.

I am sorry I can offer no solution to our situation. However, since the action of the County Council made possible the creation of this monster called a cooperative, that outfit should be able to reverse its action?! No, I’m dreaming, of course. Sorry! Not this council, this elected body that has squandered hundreds of thousands of dollars extracted from property owners to oppose the will of the people in court actions.

Still hoping for better days,

  • Ray Chuan
    Hanalei

More questions for KIUC

Like most residents on Kaua’i I have watched my electric bill climb and climb. I received my small rebate like others, but I wondered why it kept going higher and higher.

Now I know. It seems that KIUC through Anne Barnes wants to keep the owner public from knowing what goes on within the utility. Their recent statement by Barnes also said they couldn’t find a rental home close to the office. So what. Can’t he drive a few miles? How far can you go on this island? Travel expenses should be posted on a Web site. How are they traveling, first class, or tourist like we common folk? What class hotels are they staying at, and are we paying for booze and other improper expenses?

It is appropriate to keep reserves of cash above normal operating expenses, but that should also be posted on their Web site. What makes and models of cars did they buy, and what niceties do they have? If all are of the same make and model, a very generous discount on the purchase of 10 cars could be obtained from any dealer on Kaua’i or O’ahu. What is the utility policy as to the use of the cars, and who are they assigned to? Does this include unlimited personal use? Who approved the purchase of the cars, the board or one individual? How much rent is Achenbach paying for his home? Who pays the utilities on the house, KIUC? If appropriate, they should apply for a rate reduction from the PUC. It appears that now that their hands have been caught in the cookie jar, they are trying to keep we owners from finding out what they are trying to hide.

In my opinion, only firing and disciplining employees should be kept confidential. Everything else should be disclosed.

  • Bob Yount
    Koloa

Accolades for concert

Superb!!! That is the word that describes the evening event held at Kaua’i Community College.

The Kauai Concert Association brought Black Grace, a fabulous dance troop from Auckland. The choreography was beyond your imagination, breathtaking.

It was a sold-out event with a very-mixed group, young and old. Even the children were in awe as the dancers played out each dance. It was fun, inspiring, creative, artistic, and totally athletic.

What an evening for all those who attended. Accolades go to all those who were involved with the production, and to the Kauai Concert Association for bringing Black Grace to Kaua’i.

The next featured event will be on (Saturday) Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. at KCC. This time Gypsy Pacific will be the highlight for the evening.

  • Dick and Barbara Smith
    Hanalei

Bridge is a joke

First I would like to say “right on” to the person who put the $4.2-million sign on the ‘Olohena bridge. What a joke!!

Went up there last week expecting to see something like a span to Ni’ihau. Man, was I shocked! Someone sure filled their pockets on this one. Come on people, wake up! Can’t you see what these clowns are doing to us tax-payers? Enough is enough. Vote new blood!!!

Where was the “Shadow” on this one??

  • Jerry Daly
    Lihu’e

Striking a chord

It’s called “ad hominum.” It means to attack an opponent’s character rather than answering his argument. I was taught when you did this you lost the argument. To the gentleman with the beautiful name and the elegant style who gave all his Rolls away years ago, I would respond that perhaps he didn’t know the fellow who attacked him is a local contractor.

Sigh.

As any reader of the Forum paper knows, I have been attacked countless times. Poison pen phone calls. Threatening letters, the works. Don’t feel badly. When it happens, I always know I struck a chord.

I now have a column on the net. Come visit me at http://journals.aol.com/onegeaeme/WORDSFROMTHE SLOWLANE/

  • Bettejo Dux
    Kalaheo
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