Letters for Tuesday — April 04, 2006

• More thoughts on KIUC choices

• Good reason for criminal investigation

• Prayers from Puyallup

• Case for war in Iran

• Aloha, LaFrance

• Ground Zero in Hawai’I


More thoughts on KIUC choices

I would like to respond to a recent letter by Toby Kinkaid titled “Questions KIUC choices” and dated 30 March, 2006.

I agree with Mr. Kinkaid’s assessment of burning “something” to make energy. It seems like a measure of “last resort.” After all, we need our electricity to stay on but we also need to breathe or survive without pollutants.

I’m not convinced that wind energy is as practical as some would have us believe. For instance, the costs of installation and maintenance could be very high on our island (compared to installing such systems as has been done in California and Arizona for example). I strongly agree that as Mr. Kinkaid points out, “avian impact, visual impacts, grid interconnection issues and land impacts” are formidable concerns for large wind turbines.

I must confess that I had not been aware of smaller wind generators of the type that Mr. Kinkaid’s company apparently produces.

My biggest concern with any type of wind-generating system is that wind is not always available nor at an “optimum” level. This means that energy produced when the wind is cooperating must be stored so that it is available later. This process is inefficient not only due to the percentage of time that wind is available during each day but due to the inefficiencies of storing and releasing electricity.

The item in Mr. Kinkaid’s letter that I completely agree with is that his company should have been allowed to submit a demonstration of its technology to KIUC. I know that I would like to know more details about his company’s products even though I had been inclined to reject ALL wind-generating systems as not being practical enough.

Final thought: Mr. Kinkaid did not mention if his company’s products are designed to supply large amounts of power (megawatts) which are meant for centralized distribution or smaller amounts (kilowatts) which are meant for local use such as businesses and homes. Obviously, the size of such generators would severely affect KIUC’s planning and approach for its customers.

  • Elton Davis
    Kapa’a

Good reason for criminal investigation

I presume that Robert Wolaver’s question (TGI, April 2) as to why only the Ka Loko reservoir was “breached” is rhetorical, since as a resident of the Wailapa Stream area he is probably well aware, as are many others on the island, of what caused the problem. Suffice it to say that there is a good reason for the criminal investigation into the matter.

That the other 53 reservoirs performed as usual is a testament to the brilliant engineering and construction techniques employed as many as 100 years ago, especially as many of these reservoirs have not been significantly modified from the original. It must be appreciated that the reservoir systems were designed not only for irrigation, but as a means to protect the lowlying areas from flooding.

During the frequent heavy rains, the reservoirs take in huge volumes of water, some of which is collected, whilst the excess is metered via spill-ways into systems of canals, drainage ditches and aqueducts. Without this, Koloa town, for example, would have been turned into our own local version of New Orleans last month. To suggest that these reservoirs are no longer needed, as one local resident recently did, borders on the ludicrous. And to suggest that the Ka Loko disaster was an act of nature begs the answer to Mr. Wolaver’s question.

  • Robin Clark
    Kalaheo

Prayers from Puyallup

Just a note to let the people of Kaua’i know that our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with them (especially those who have been lost) as they recover from the fierce weather they have been experiencing. Kaua’i is our favorite vacation destination, and having seen it return to a state of lush beauty after Hurricane ‘Iniki we have no doubt that in no time at all your island will be as stunning as ever.

  • Stephen Peterson
    Puyallup, Wash.

Case for war in Iran

In case your readers are wondering what their elected representatives are up to in Washington these days, I’d like to point out that Ed Case is beating the drum for war with Iran. I refer to HR 282, which he co-sponsors. It is a resolution “to hold the regime in Iran accountable for its threatening behavior and to support a transition to democracy in Iran.”

I guess he thinks Iraq is going so well that we should try it next door, against an even tougher opponent. I suggest we first hold the regime in Washington accountable for its threatening behavior, including Ed Case; then we can see how the rest of the world shakes out.

  • Leonard Lyons
    Hanalei

Aloha, LaFrance

With the passing of Daisy LaFrance Keahikuni Kapaka-Arboleda, Kaua’i has lost a bit of her soul.

LaFrance for many of us was the embodiment of malama and aloha.

Her lifelong dedication to Kaua’i and her people will be missed by all.

Mahalo e aloha, LaFrance, I and Kaua’i can never thank you enough for everything you did.

Kaua’i will always hold you in her heart. Aloha ke Akua.

  • Tim DeLaVega
    Hanapepe

Ground Zero in Hawai’i

I was fascinated by the somewhat strange debate going on about the meaning of “ground zero” and could not help think about what “ground zero” might mean to the Hawaiian people.

There were hundreds of thousands, perhaps over a million kanaka maoli living on these islands prior to European contact. After that contact and not much after the great Mahele there were 40,000 Hawaiians. Just one British ship with one small pox infected sailor led to the death of more then 3,000 Hawaiians — Trade Center numbers. Imagine watching family members die all around you and not being able to do anything about it. Keiki, kupuna, makua, everyone! No FEMA, no disaster aid.

Hawaiians still live at Ground Zero — for them their homeland is Ground Zero. Ground Zero means tragedy in epic proportions and the deaths through cultural and environmental destruction and disease fall well within that definition.

  • Christian Smith
    Honolulu
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