Letters for Friday — December 23, 2005

• Public has a right to know

• More on CEO credentials

• Go get your own holiday!

• ‘Cool your jets’


Public has a right to know

At a recent Council meeting consideration was given to a resolution that was consciously obscured in the agenda to urge the exemption of the County Council from the provisions of the state Sunshine law.

The Sunshine laws have been enacted in all states to further the goal of having government affairs conducted openly in the public view. But our Council Chair complained in his comments following the public testimony at the meeting that his hands are being tied. Rather clearly he believes himself above a law which he considers a nuisance.

In a power point presentation, Mr. Asing offered numerous misstatements about the application of the state law. In this prepared offering he claimed (wrongly) that the law would prevent off-site meetings of the Council such as a viewing of the proposed speed bumps in Hanalei. He railed at the position of the Office of Information Practices in its findings that the law necessitated disclosure of certain matters discussed in Council executive sessions. He complained about a request made for access to minutes of Council executive sessions that should be made available saying that the County incurred costs and used staff time unnecessarily in identifying the materials needed to be disclosed. He ignores, of course, that the request did not seek anything that citizens are not entitled to under the law and only asks that the County meet the obligations that the law imposes.

Fortunately other Council members resisted the urgings by Mr. Asing to adopt the resolution and it was deferred. Congratulations to those who had the courage and judgment to stand for the better government that is provided under Sunshine law standards.

It appears that our Council chair does not believe that the Council should consider openly and debate its agenda of legislative matters and would prefer that these matters should be resolved behind closed doors and out of the public view. It is to be strongly hoped that these archaic views should not be upheld and that the Council’s business can be conducted, as it should be, openly and with public participation.

  • Walter Lewis
    Princeville

More on CEO credentials

It is interesting that Marjorie Lewis should ask about the credentials of KIUC CEO Dutch Achenbach in her letter in The Garden Island of Thursday, Dec 1, 2005. Well, I didn’t even need to go to Google to find out!

This comes from the April 7, 2005, issue of the Casper Journal (the Community Newspaper of Casper, Wyoming) in a story about boosting the town of Mills to attract more businesses:

“Sounds like a dream—if we build it they will come—but we’ve started,” said Code Enforcement Officer Dutch Achenbach.

Now that’s a pretty impressive title even if it didn’t denote any connection with electric utilities. But what is Mills? It turns out that Mills is a blue-collar town west of Casper with a population of 2,591. Reading the Casper Journal further we find the following:

….Major undertaking: Cleaning up the town to improve Mills’ image is a major initiative. Achenbach’s strategy of meeting every complaint one on one seems to be working. “We’re getting quite a bit done.” Achenbach said. “Over the last eight months, we got rid of 177 vehicles, 13 cars out of one yard. One week we got rid of 554 tires and 140 batteries.”

Now that’s beginning to get impressive! 140 batteries would go a long way towards ensuring the reliability of Kauai’s electric utility with the vaunted BESS system that KIUC CEO Achenbach has been touting here on our little island that has a population twenty times that of Mills. Marjorie Lewis can retire with assurance that her electricity would never again flick out on her like it did the night of Nov. 18, 2005, now that the former Code Enforcement Officer of Mills, Wyoming is in charge here.

If anyone wishes to know more in the Casper Journal, go to http://www.casperjournal.com.

  • Raymond L. Chuan
    Hanalei

Go get your own holiday!

This message is for those folks who would like to take Christ out of Christmas. Everyone has his choice. I don’t celebrate the eight days of Hanukkah with Jews or the month-long Fast of Ramadan with Muslims but I think it’s great that they have those seasons for their observances. I’m not Irish but I love to join in celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.

If BJ.D. and the other selfish anti-Christians on Kaua’i don’t want to celebrate our Christian holiday season then why don’t they go get their own holiday and leave ours alone. If every person on Kaua’i could only be filled with the true spirit of Christmas, imagine how wonderful everyone’s life would be. And no longer would we be reading nasty letters printed in The Garden Island.

  • Mike Ashman
    Kennewick WA

‘Cool your jets’

Everybody knows Bettejo Dux as a regular contributor to the letters section in TGI. But I must say, her letter on 12/12/05 kind of turned me off. We all know you’re very vocal in your opinions and often refer to your own website (self-promotion?!) on your viewpoints but as we locals used to say: “Cool your jets, man.” The tone in your last letter sure reflects a lot of, as you said, “your” anger and is very mean-spirited.

Everybody has an opinion in one form or another concerning the situation in this country. How on earth can you form a true complete picture of what’s going on unless you have full, unimpeded access to all the information the President has. I mean full-on global intelligence that affects the entire world!. Yes, I too have an opinion, but I try to keep it in perspective of just how utterly mind-blowingly complex and overwhelming this entire country/world is. You’re right, this is just the tip of the iceberg. What WE see and hear in the media is just that. I’m always amazed at how simpleminded people can be.

If the world was such a simple place, than why is it so hard to just make it better. If you think you can do a better job, run for office. You’ll get my vote to see if you can do better other than just complain about a subject so vast I doubt any one person alone can comprehend.

Lastly, I would think that men and women alike have opinions on Clinton’s indiscretion. But the reference you made to which side our zippers are … gee just ’cause you zip yours on the side as opposed to the front.

  • Steve Shioi
    Kapa’a
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