Letters for Friday — January 20, 2006

• Tokioka switch galling

• Roberts’ vote disappointing

• Thanks Glenn, Paul (and Walter)

• KIUC needs maintenance program

Tokioka switch galling

I was appalled to read in The Garden Island that Jimmy Tokioka was leaving the Republican party and becoming a Democrat in order to run for state representative from District 15. I can’t think of a better example of self serving opportunism. A Republican who supported Bush and Lingle now masquerades as a Democrat in order to run for the legislature. If Mr. Tokioka has done such a great job on the county council, why is he afraid to run as a Republican?

Ezra Kanoho has served Kaua’i with distinction but now seems to have lined up behind Mr. Tokioka because he didn’t run against him a few years back. I am deeply disappointed that Representative Kanoho would be a part of such a good old boy political deal. He may welcome Mr. Tokioka’s change of party affiliation with open arms but I do not believe that the Democrats in District 15 will buy it. Hopefully, they will donate their time and money and cast their votes for a candidate who is really a Democrat and who is dedicated to the principles of the Democratic party rather than someone who just adopts the label for his own convenience.

  • Linda Estes

Roberts’ vote disappointing

Following in the footsteps of his benefactor, George Bush, with his decision on Oregon’s assisted-suicide law, newly confirmed Chief Justice John Roberts turned his back on the long-established constitutionally conservative position of supporting states’ rights to willfully advance the agenda of this country’s religious right.

I find that disappointing from a man who came to the court as a supposed preserver of the United States Constititution and scary as heck for its widespread implications.

What I find even more scary is the probability that nominee Sam Alito would have spoken with the same tongue, again advancing his own religious agenda over the wisdom of our Founding Fathers and subsequent truly conservative constitutional scholars.

  • Lynne Enders Glaser

Thanks Glenn, Paul (and Walter)

Recently I have found the juxtaposition of material in The Garden Island most interesting, and decidedly enjoyable.

Monday, I first turned to the Forum, as is my habit, and was downhearted to read Myles Fladager’s letter criticizing Glenn Mickens for his views on U.S. national security policy. Fladager’s opinions seemed rather familiar and I sadly realized that similar arguments had been advanced some 30 years ago by proponents of another unfortunate intervention — that of Vietnam. How little we as a country have learned in the intervening years about national security and foreign intervention! However, my day was brightened when I turned back one page to read that Walter Cronkite, of all people, was on record in favor of withdrawal from Iraq (“I think we can retire with honor anyway”).

Today I first opened to the Tuesday Forum, and just when I thought it was safe to go back in the water, I found yet another letter by a person named Saker (at least not a “Dr.” this time) describing a convoluted “scientific” explanation in an attempt to justify Divine Intervention in the creation of the universe. However, upon next opening to the Wednesday Forum, I was overjoyed to read Paul Kelley’s letter expressing my sentiments almost verbatim in response to those who criticize scientists (now add judges) for dismissing non-scientific issues such as intelligent design.

I will wait with restrained enthusiasm for the inevitable responses to Paul, who similar to Glenn Mickens, stated his case in no uncertain terms. In the meantime I offer thanks to Glenn and Paul, who like that famous newsman are not afraid to say: “And that’s the way it is.”

  • Robin Clark

KIUC needs maintenance program

I’m responding to the article in The Garden Island dated Jan. 17, 2006, that was titled “Chain reaction causes power to go out island-wide”.

I had previously responded to The Garden Island article dated Nov. 27, 2005, regarding the proposed BESS system but that letter was not published.

I mention my previous unpublished letter because, in that letter, I specifically discuss that one of the likely events, to which the KIUC power system will always be susceptible, are faults such as the flashover of an insulator like the one that shut down our island late Friday night. My statement (prediction?) was part of a larger idea that KIUC utilizes above-ground distribution almost exclusively. Even in a desert environment, insulators accumulate dust or other materials that, when combined with moisture such as rain, will cause current to flow due to the high voltages involved. Our proximity to the ocean contributes salt and moisture in addition to dust and other contaminants. Flashovers momentarily interrupt the power system, otherwise the abnormally high currents would seriously damage equipment all the way back to the power plants, possibly including the generators and switchgear (and nobody wants that).

If someone were to propose preventing interruptions with a scheme that would supply continuous power regardless of any line faults (I’m thinking here of BESS which I consider to be the most stupid idea ever conceived for our system), a flashover would then become a continuous explosion that would cause extensive permanent damage possibly resulting in outages measured in days or even weeks.

KIUC should have a continuous maintenance project to spray the junk off of the insulators before they flash. This is obviously very expensive but so are the many outages we experience. Does KIUC have such a cleaning program?

KIUC should consider requiring all new power distribution systems to be placed underground with land developers footing the bulk of the cost. Also, retrofitting the existing distribution should be started. I acknowledge that these will be tremendously costly; but, making changes that will never improve the reliability is just throwing vast amounts of our money away.

I have been an electrical industry professional since 1955 in the U.S. and worldwide. I continue to apply my experiences to provide effective suggestions regarding power distribution problems. I only hope KIUC will base any proposed modifications upon knowledge gained from practical, industry-wide solutions, and not based upon political convenience.

  • Elton G Davis

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