Letters for Saturday, June 21, 2008

• Let’s lose dependency

• Laws not all bad

• Concern for canceled column

• Winner’s Camp rewards

Let’s lose dependency

Thank you Gov. Linda Lingle for your straightforward speech at the Kauai Chamber of Commerce. You are spot on; oil-burning systems can no longer be considered the most dependable form of generation. “If you can’t get the oil, reliable becomes a meaningless word,” Lingle said. Additionally, if we the energy consumers cannot afford the oil, reliability of the supply becomes meaningless. The governor also stated that energy security should take top priority by focusing on independent and clean generation.

It was no surprise that the president of the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative board of directors was not in agreement with the governor. In her speech, Lingle called Hawai‘i “the biggest junkie” in our oil-addicted nation. I would add that KIUC and we, the members, are very much oil junkies and continue to be in denial about our life-threatening dependency. KIUC has been all talk and no action about kicking this dependency. After all these years, 90 percent of our electric power generation comes from burning oil and only 10 percent comes from a 100-year-old hydro plant. We seem to be on a dead-end road to bankruptcy. Co-op members, it is vital that we kick this dependency before it kills our economy and we are living in dark homes with no water in the pipes. Speak up and be heard.

David Ward


Laws not all bad

In response to the letter about government laws being a bad thing (“The destruction of culture,” Letters, June 19): I think the writer has been misinformed.

Government in and of itself is not a bad thing. Bad government is a bad thing. Government, specifically the U.S. government, has had shining moments and shameful moments, mostly shameful from the perspective of most native cultures. But technically we are the government. So we have no one to blame but ourselves for the state of things. The perpetual right-wing myth that the free market can regulate itself and that government should just stay out of the way is destroying the middle class of America. Does anybody really believe that credit card, oil, pharmaceutical, insurance, savings and loans, developers, automobile and chemical companies are all just going to do the right thing without some kind of regulations? Our current economic situation and history says otherwise. Have you been charged $29 for going less than a dollar over your credit card limit?

Do you notice how gas rises with the price of oil but never drops when oil drops? Government laws are supposed to protect us and our environment, but as long as those in power can perpetuate the myth that government is the enemy of the people, then we all lose.

Jason Nichols


Concern for canceled column

This week, Kaua‘i resident and opinion columnist Juan Wilson received a letter informing him that Kaua‘i Publishing Co. had terminated his “Island Breath” column.

How disappointing for those of us who value free and vigorous debate about important social issues.

Hardly a column by Wilson appeared without a subsequent and lively exchange of ideas on the opinion page.

Clearly, his views got people thinking, and quite often, riled up. Is this a problem? I like to think of it as a good thing — for democracy, anyway.

Is it any coincidence that this action by Kaua‘i Publishing occurred immediately after The Garden Island published Wilson’s controversial columns about policing?

How sad to watch The Garden Island join the corporate media’s “race to the bottom,” timidly sacrificing its role as democracy’s watch dog.

Katy Rose


Winner’s Camp rewards

Thank you, Pam Woolway, for your article about Winner’s Camp (“Winners Camp transforms teens,” B4, June 20).

We have known Rosemary Smith for many years and have been aware of the camp and did attend the last-day ceremony with the attendee’s parents. It was heart-warming. Children and parents were talking and crying together in joy. Even some tough-guy dads had tears in their eyes.

A couple of things that were not included are that Winner’s Camp is a tax-free gift. We have been pleased to support three children every year and were rewarded with a thank you letter from those students. Time is short for helping 24 children who are on the wait list today for assistance. Arrangements for air and expenses are needed now. You also are invited to make the trip to O‘ahu for the graduation and see how your gift helped the students.

Secondly, the telephone number for Rosemary Smith was incorrect — should be 822-5216. The number in the paper is for her FAX.

To those parents and children who have benefitted from the camp, please let your neighbors know about it; maybe even tell them through the Forum.

Bobbie Love



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