Letters for Tuesday — November 01, 2005

• Using candles now

• Enjoying the debate

• Investigation warranted

• Something worthwhile?

Using candles now

I recently wrote a letter to the mayor’s office concerning the business dealings of KIUC featured in The Garden Island, and on the web at kiuc.coop, regarding the alleged mismanagement of community funds. I also spoke with a well-known radio personality here on the island, and having read both sides of the story, and in comparing electricity bills with neighbors and co-workers, I am convinced that KIUC has indeed been negligent in their stewardship. As a consumer, I am greatly disturbed by the increase in cost of electricity, and though it is true that the increase is in part due to rising fuel costs, it does not excuse the majority of their extravagant purchases passed on to us. Furthermore, if the board members and the employees of KIUC are so well-trained, then why can’t they figure out a way to lower their rates in a state where space heaters are not necessary? Throwing more money at the problem is not the answer.

Less than three months ago my wife, our baby, and I moved into a two-bedroom, plantation-style house in Hanapepe. We do not own a washer and dryer, nor do we have air conditioning, and our water heater is only 30 gallons. Straight out of the gate we were charged $175 for 10 days use, our next bill was $194, and the one after that was $245, though we had not resided at our residence yet 90 days. Just this last week we received a suspension notice despite my attempts to resolve the matter with KIUC personnel. They were quite helpful when it came to issues of power usage and problematic sources, but in many cases personnel in Communications and Collections did not want to discuss the articles in The Garden Island, their rates, nor were they open to payment plans. I spoke with Ellen Smith from the collections department about my concerns and she agree to extend suspension five days, after which a man would be sent out to my house to either collect the monies or install a limiter on my meter.

As you can imagine, as a husband, a father, and a consumer I was out-raged, shamed, and appalled at the arrogance, the lack of compassion, and complete disregard for the customer/merchant relationship. Save my discussion with Ray Paler and an employee named Melanie, I was made to feel like a second-class citizen because I could not afford their rates. It was as if they were saying, “can’t afford it, no come Hawai’i.” Then I realized, this is not a customer/merchant relationship, this is an owner/employee relationship, and they work for me. I know I am subject to my employer where I work 40 hours a week, why should it be any different for them? So in turn, I say to KIUC, “abuse power, you should go to jail.”

Using candles now…

  • Jack R. Viohl Jr.

Enjoying the debate

I have been enjoying the debate going on regarding evolution versus creation. It is interesting to me to see two very-well-educated people discuss their views.

I happen to be a “Born-again” Christian. BUT I cannot prove to anyone that I am correct on my views about God.

For me, it is a matter of choice. I choose to believe there is a God, and I choose to believe that the Holy Bible is His laws written by men whom he inspired.

Could I be wrong? Of course. Only time will tell. But if I am wrong and there is no God, all that will happen to me is that I will have lived a life trying to be “righteous,” and I will have lived a life with hope for a better eternity. The non-believer will have been short-changed, since it will be incumbent on that person to have as good a life as possible during his living-on-earth years, and he will be without hope for a great eternity. And worse yet, if he is wrong and I am correct, which of us would you rather be? Off hand, I would say that he, the non-believer, would be making a pretty bad choice.

But we all go through life making choices almost every day. Some good, some bad. So each of us must be willing to live with the choices we make. However it turns out, I have sure enjoyed the thoughts of two well-educated people on the subject, and I find it interesting that education doesn’t make us all think alike.

  • Gordon “Doc” Smith

Investigation warranted

I would like to respond to the following… “KIUC spends $800,000 for CEO home” by Andy Gross, The Garden Island, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2005.

It seems obvious that, once again, CEOs are taking advantage of their positions to steal from those who pay their salaries.

How much do these directors make annually?

A criminal investigation needs to be under way now into any potential unlawful acts made by employees of the KIUC. It’s time to stop people abusing their positions and making the working people pay for their pathetic greed.

Working people have a tough enough time just paying their own bills, let alone buying houses, cars and trips for the already well-off or rich.

I want to know who is supposed to be watching groups like the board of directors of KIUC, because they have not done their job, either.

The first thing that should be started is a criminal investigation of all expenditures that have been made since the KIUC started, in other words, an internal audit, possibly by the IRS Criminal Investigation Unit.

While this is done, the CEO and any other directors who are under suspicion of having spent or allocated funds for personal use, should be suspended while the investigation continues.

And if and when any of the directors, including the CEO, are found to have, in effect, stolen funds for personal use, then they should go to jail.

Let’s prove that all Americans have equal rights.

  • Dennis Chaquette

Something worthwhile?

In regards to the articles in The Garden Island news about the unusually high expenditures that the KIUC staff has been caught spending on themselves: Since my electric bill is so high compared to other islands in the state and on the main-land, I think that the KIUC should have a staff member who will come to our homes and reset our clocks and other electronic devices whenever our electricity goes out, as it does several times a week. At least we might get something worthwhile from them.

  • Robin Voorhies

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