• Hope for those in despair
• We can co-exist
• It happens with dogs
• Is this progress?
• Let’s fire them
Nuclear power’s flaws
In a letter from Saturday’s edition (“The nuclear option,” Letters, June 14), T.L. Cameron from California writes that nuclear energy is the “clear solution” for generating Hawai‘i’s power “that no one wants to talk about.”
Perhaps, however, there are reasons no one does; there are many flaws inherent in contemporary nuclear-power generation.
For one, there is the issue of safety. To be sure, accidents may be highly unlikely if proper protocol is followed, but when the natural human errors do occur, or when — Heaven forbid — sabotage occurs, the results can be catastrophic (remember Chernobyl, the aftereffects of which are still felt in the fallout zone today). Radiation from fuel and waste alike is highly toxic, and numerous opportunities for contamination of land and water abound starting from the mining of the uranium for fuel all the way to the storage of the waste.
Which also brings up one of nuclear power’s most critical flaws, which is the issue of what to do with said waste, which will continue to remain radioactive and therefore hazardous for thousands of years. Such a long time that great care must be taken in how and where it is stored, while experts are concerned that it could, for instance, accidentally be unearthed by people millennia in the future who are unaware of the hazard, or be disturbed by unforeseen geologic activity. Furthermore, disposal of any waste, let alone toxic, radioactive waste, is a particular problem for a small island chain in the middle of the Pacific.
Ultimately, nuclear power is not sustainable. Fuel must be mined from the Earth, and like fossil fuels, supplies are finite. Fuel must be shipped in from elsewhere and then the waste must be shipped out again.
Rather, Hawai‘i should seek locally available, green, safe sources of energy like solar, wind and geothermal that will sustain us indefinitely and prosperously into the future. Thereby we could become a model for the rest of the world.
Why is it so hard to connect George W. Bush’s invasion and occupation of an Arab country with Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ holding back on oil? They certainly couldn’t retaliate militarily, so they used the only effective weapon that they have; starve us for oil. Commit the economic equivalent of rape by crippling our industrial base. When you create a shortage of supply of any important commodity, you automatically create the opportunity for speculators to rush in to exacerbate the situation.
That’s what has happened in this case. Nothing short of congressional action is going to give us even a modicum of relief.
Don’t hold your breath. With the Democrats saddled with the weakest leadership in the history of the party, the best that we can hope for is that the change that Barack Obama is promising will really result in a general awakening of the Democratic majority in the Congress to the reality of the situation that our country faces today.
For a fabulous production
For those who did and did not see the recent production of “The Man From La Mancha” at KCC:
I want to sing the praises of the Kauai Community College Music Department’s recent (and last) presentation of “Man of La Mancha,” and my rating of it as “a magnificent production.” I have to admit that we went to the show because our “niece,” Nalani Kaauwai-Brun, had a leading role, and believe me, that alone made the trip worthwhile. But there was so much more. We were stunned by the number of fine singers, dancers and talented volunteers from this little island. They sang and danced their hearts outs, wearing absolutely beautiful costumes and whirling in and around imaginative and attractive sets and props, making this a truly professional production. Greg Shephard is the drama teacher at KCC, and the show’s director.
That involved six months before the curtain rose for a show to a “live” audience June 6, recruitment of cast and crew, try-outs, a million details, substitutions and improvisations, organizing and training, and regular, long, exhausting rehearsals.
In addition to all that, Greg played the lead as Miguel de Cervantes/Don Quixote and is obviously an accomplished actor with a truly outstanding baritone singing voice.
As to Nalani, I knew, she sings like an angel, so I wasn’t surprised that the power and beauty of her voice brought tears to the eyes of some of those sitting near me (including some men).
While I too was enthralled with Nalani’s signing, I was surprised that in her role as “Aldonza,” she is also a fine actress.
And my claim that the production was exciting, beautiful and overall “magnificent” seemed to be seconded by several hundred people who were saying many of the same things.
There were “rave reviews,” over the seats from row to row, in the lines for the lua, and during the standing ovation (plus tears) as the entire cast and crew sang “The Impossible Dream,” for the final time. There was also great praise heard as hundreds of people filed out of the KCC auditorium to meet friends and to give flowers and congratulations to cast members (including George Freitas’ praising Nalani for her versatility, saying in the past he’d only heard her sing “The National Anthem” and “Hawaii Aloha” at every official ceremony and grand opening.) Special credit went to the talents of Greg and Nalani: plus Nestor Figuroa who did a wonderful job as Cervantes’ loyal manservant, Sancho; Tim Andre, the singing Padre; Bruce Fehring as the Innkeeper; and 20 more talented cast members, who acted, sang and danced.
A marvelous “mahalo” was given to Esther Manning who designed all the sets and made almost all the costumes; also kudos went to Musical Director Aki Conquest; and Brenda Biehler Turville, who choreographed the dances and kept all the dancers on time and in line.
Appreciation went to Ed Eaton, who was in charge of lighting; Bob Conti, Glenn Taba and Jimmy Trujillo, who led students from the three high schools and the Carpentry Academy in design and construction of sets and props; Max Vandervoort, who had considerable responsibility as stage manager; the musicians who played a big, harmonious role in the show’s success; as well as John the sound technician; Phill who gave cues for the microphone; and Kent who was technician for the KCC Theater.
It’s hard to imagine Broadway could do it better.
And with that, now I feel better.
I wanted those involved to know their talents are recognized and their work is appreciated. Also to encourage others to pay attention in the future to invitations from the community theater and Kauai Community College’s special events’ call for volunteers and attendance at programs.