Letters for Tuesday, September 9, 2008

• Sentence did not fit crime

• Coal is the way

• Our chickens are free-range

• I am Carmen Miranda

Sentence did not fit crime

The sentences meted out by the court in San Diego to the co-conspirators in the murder of surfer Emery Kauanui make a travesty of justice (“4 sentenced to up to 349 days in pro surfer death,” A1, Sept. 6).

While the trial is still pending for the ringleader who may be found guilty and sentenced more severely, being sentenced to up to 349 days does in no way equate to the taking of a life. The sentence can be more severe for someone guilty of drunk driving.

The four men sitting remorsely as they heard their sentences have participated in the death of a fellow human. They have, as the mother of the deceased has stated, destroyed the love of her life. Perhaps the alleged ringleader will receive a sentence more severe and more proportional to this meaningless heinous crime. Perhaps it is also fitting to reflect on other similar crimes where the punishment is far less than the impact and severity of the crime.

The societal standards on punishment for crimes are enacted by the state Legislature. Rather than take for granted without question the actions of our representatives, ask before you vote in the forthcoming election, how they stand on punishment for crimes.

Monroe Richman


Coal is the way

This is to amplify on a point Bob Nesti made in his letter of Sept. 8.

In the August 2008 issue of KIUC Currents, there was a series of points outlining the situation assessment and strategic plan Kauai Island Utility Cooperative was following to meet its goals. Specifically, on page 10 it mentions Strategy D which is to “Ensure fair and competitive rates” which has a Goal 1 which says “Maintain reasonable, comparable rates with other Hawai‘i utilities.”

Then back on page 6, there is a situation assessment which reads, “KIUC currently relies on highly refined products (diesel and naptha) for more than 90 percent of its energy supply. In contrast, most of the state’s energy is supplied from coal and residual fuel oil (RFO) both of which are significantly cheaper. Coal is about one-fifth, and RFO is about five-eighths the cost of diesel or naptha.”

I’m guessing that the entire energy surcharge and then some would go away if we were burning coal rather than diesel. It was hard to tell from the budget data, but on page 14, I’m assuming the $93 million line item labeled Power Cost is mostly for diesel. So say giving it the benefit of the doubt that it is only $80 million for fuel, switching to coal would reduce that to $16 million saving Kaua‘i $64 million year.

Uhhh … why am I not hearing about an initiative to switch to coal as fast as we can. I know it will cost something to switch over, but I’m paying about $250/month for the comfort of knowing that my electricity came from nice clean diesel. I think I could feel equally comfortable if it were nice clean coal like most of the rest of the state and the nation. I don’t think Japan or China will be able to smell our puny little plume regardless of the form of carbon we use in this short interim while we switch to some more green power source. I’d feel a lot better if my $200 monthly fuel surcharge was going to accelerate the switch to a sustainable power source rather than maintaining the use of the most expensive carbon we can find.

Robert Hickling


Our chickens are free-range

After reading that the Humane Society is now charging to pick up feral chickens, I just have to speak up. I’ve been hatching a plan for some time that would address the Kaua‘i chicken issue and make a few bucks at the same time.

All over the left coast of the U.S. Mainland and the North Shore of Kaua‘i, people have been concerned about chickens raised in cages for market. They assert that the birds should be free to move about and be fed natural foods rather than prepared feed. These would be “free-range” chickens that command premium prices for their healthier presence on the menu.

So, my half-baked idea is this: Trap the fowl around Kaua‘i and work out an arrangement with Medeiros or someone else to process them. Sell these truly free-range birds to the high-end restaurants, boutique markets, etc., here and on the Mainland.

Any takers?

Steve Hansen


I am Carmen Miranda

I just got through reading your article about Kaua‘i’s World War II celebration over the Internet (“Kaua‘i’s World War II Victory Celebration,” Island History, Sept. 5).

I remember it so very well.

I was an eighth-grade student at Lihu‘e School at the time. Everyone was having a good time and so happy that the war was finally over.

The reason for my letter is to submit a correction to the last name of the individual who won first prize imitating Carmen Miranda. It was me, Gilbert Funes, not Nunes. I graduated from Kaua‘i High School in 1950 and now live in San Francisco, Calif.

Aloha — Kaua‘i no ka oi.

Gilbert Funes

San Francisco, Calif.


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