Letters for Thursday — November 24, 2005

• Thanksgiving situation

• Smile, girls! Look who’s denied and oppressed now

• What about boys’ self-esteem?

Thanksgiving situation

Much to my dismay, and just a few short days before Thanksgiving, I received my second suspension letter from KIUC since my last stay of execution; threatening to disconnect electricity as opposed to placing a limiter on my gauge. Somehow God provided funds for my first two plasma donations (they got their money), still it seems a limb is in jeopardy ($245) if I don’t come up with the cash by the 24th.

Not to fret, I won a 6-lb turkey at the Aloha Church Thanksgiving program this past Sunday, and earlier that day my family and I were treated to a lunchtime feast at the Hanapepe Church of the Nazarene, so we won’t go hungry. Thank goodness for your local church.

But I don’t need charity. I have a full time job. I was just there to be with the membership. A membership of people much like the community who has entrusted KIUC’s board of directors to oversee certain essential services in today’s modern age of survival. Not to be confused with one’s membership to a country club, a frequent flyer miles account, or cancellation of membership in the society for the prevention of cruelty to animals.

What KIUC’s board of directors fails to comprehend is that there is a significant difference between disconnecting one’s phone line, or canceling their membership to public or cable television, and cutting off their electricity. If it gets too hot inside the house we can just walk down to the park and wait for a tradewind, but without the cooling temperature of a refrigerator, food spoils, and without electricity, my 2-year-old son won’t be able to use his nebulizer if he has another asthma attack.

In a Q&A forum posted on KIUC’s own web site between KIUC and The Garden Island, the topic of surcharges was addressed, the scapegoat being increasing fuel costs. Apparently KIUC is “allowed a certain energy rate adjuster that when driven by an increased cost of fuel and coupled with higher efficiency no longer remains simply a pass-through.”

What baffles me, besides the lack of sensitivity and flexibility by the KIUC collections department, is the use of the word “higher efficiency.” When I read this word I had to ask, “higher than what?” Surely the respondent was not describing KIUC’s operations, for that statement would be in conflict with a Coop that has the highest rates in the nation; or any agency that refuses to address the concerns of its members in a meeting open to the public; or any entity that abuses its stewardship of resources to censor The Garden Island, or its reporters (i.e. Andy Gross’ resignation). Is this “higher efficiency” equated to deceit?

This member would prefer honesty up front, as well as monthly savings instead of a year-end absolution (X-mas refund.) $777 is not a perfect number when it results in an electricity bill within 120 days. That’s $6.47 a day (if you work for minimum wage the first hour and 15 minutes of your day goes to pay your electricity bill), and at that rate my wife and I would be better served to get our charge from a couple of mochas, although it’s been quite some time since we’ve enjoyed a luxury such as that.

With that said, Happy Thanksgiving, Kaua’i. I am thankful for laws against crimes such as “Theft of Utility Services” which is punishable by five years in prison. My only question is whether the KIUC Board of Directors conducts business in such a manner as to abide by the same guidelines they hold their members accountable, or are we just supposed to grin and bear it?

Mr. Mayor, can you help?

  • Jack R. Viohl, Jr.

Smile, girls! Look who’s denied and oppressed now

Do women really think like that (Letters, Nov. 21)? About that oppression-and-not-being-able-to-vote-until-1920 “thing,” I promise I had nothing to do with that, but I’m paying for it.

Currently a victim of Title IX, I’m denied the same opportunity as UH-Manoa women to play collegiate soccer even though all that other stuff happened decades before I was born, so smile! It’s a good time to be a girl.

Women have been marketed so well as being “victims” that they’re perceived as underdogs even when they’re soaring. Girls have always been the achievers in high school, yet they still get most of the encouragement to succeed as more boys struggle and fail. Girls get more scholarships and occupy up to 60 percent of the UH-Manoa student body. It’s still socially unacceptable or “politically incorrect” to say anything that may harm the self-image of girls even if it’s true, yet boy-bashing has survived the “politically correct era” and is thriving.

Since the 1920s the pendulum has swung far in the opposite direction, but only for certain things. Men are expected to be the provider of family and the protector of country, while women have the luxury of choice, and now it is boys who are denied equal opportunity to collegiate sports and are oppressed in archaic gender roles.

  • Edwin Ramos
    Student, UH Manoa

What about boys’ self-esteem?

This letter is in part thanks to Dr. Peter Saker’s encouragement (Letters: 11/18/05), and is regarding Sophia Martens’ letter 11/21/05.

It always seems socially wrong for a guy to defend himself against a woman without being accused of being a “sexist.” I’m not a sexist, but I’m not going to sit quiet and let football be taken away just because some smart girl is upset that mostly guys play it.

There’s something about being on a football team that builds self-confidence in being a guy. Sometimes it’s tough facing a team of guys way bigger than you, but we do it side by side, and even if we lose, we stood up to the challenge together. Football is more than just a game. It’s the last place guys can be guys and test our skills without holding back because a girl is playing.

Why do some girls think they have to be a part of everything anyway? Some things guys can do that girls can’t, and I’m tired of that being thought of as a crime. Guys and girls are just different. I’ve been told since forever to respect girls for who they are, so why can’t girls respect guys for being guys?

What I’ve found out about Title IX, I don’t like, and I’m not against girls gaining self-esteem, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of boys being allowed to play a sport just because girls can’t compete on the same level.

  • Ray Kanahele

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