Letters for Tuesday, November 11, 2008

• Getting the message

• I smell the decay

• Why the higher rates?

• Beware of scams

Getting the message

Last week the voters approved five of six charter amendments, but rejected the amendment that would have exempted board and commission members from the requirements of Section 20.02(D), which prohibits officers and employees from appearing on behalf of private interests before any county board, commission or agency. The Charter Commission offered the amendment without public support or supporting evidence after its own chairman’s violations of 20.02(D) were brought to light by an alert citizen.

Twice during the past year the Board of Ethics ignored 20.02(D) and/or deliberately refused to enforce it in cases involving former county officials now serving on a board or commission, while the mayor and council ignored repeated requests to call for a public accounting from the board. Ironically, the board’s actions contradicted the interpretation of 20.02(D) published in its guide to ethical issues on its Web site.

The board would have the public believe that the county attorney’s office cited a higher authority than the charter to justify its decision to exempt the chairman of the Charter Commission from 20.02(D), but the board refused to release the opinion and refused to say why it is keeping the opinion secret. Would releasing the after-the-fact opinion allay the suspicion that it is as politicized as the board’s decision to ignore the charter and its own guide to ethical issues and to keep its deliberations secret?

Do members of the Board of Ethics get the message that voters expect 20.02(D) to be administered according to its plain meaning? Do the mayor and council get the message that they are responsible along with the board for enforcing the Code of Ethics? 

• Horace Stoessel, Kapa‘a

I smell the decay

How will Barack Obama repay all those political endorsements not to mention the donations from all those unknown sources?

It is clear that you and I got the same old-boy tax-and-spend liberals. Oh, by the way, Hawai‘i has been controlled by Democrats for the last 50 years. We are one of the highest taxed states with the lowest educational scores in the nation. The liberals in our society are more concerned about teaching that Johnny has two daddies and how to put a condom on a cucumber than the history of the Pilgrims who tried communial collectivism where half died.

Why?

I hope all of you enjoyed the Kool-Aid which was served up?

What we need is change in our policies concerning:

• Energy

• Economy

• Education

I have seen and heard nothing different from both sides. Keep that Kool-Aid ready for the coming depression and the new wealth tax (1 percent of your net worth ). I smell the decay of our liberties and freedom.

• Gary Pierce, Kilauea

Why the higher rates?

On Sunday, The Garden Island reported that O‘ahu homeowners would see a 7.4 percent decrease in their November electric bill because of declining oil prices (“O‘ahu homes to see break in electric bills,” Morning Briefing, A4).

The same article states that the typical home uses about 600 kilowatt hours per month so that their bill would drop from about $196 in October to $182 in November. 

Question 1: Will KIUC have a similar drop due to declining oil prices?

Question 2: Why is KIUC electricity so much more expensive than O‘ahu’s electricity (HECO)? Don’t they both use the same imported oil? 

My electric usage for October was very close to 600 kilowatt hours but my bill was about $260, or about 35 percent more than I would have been charged by O‘ahu’s HECO.

• Peter Nilsen,  Princeville

Beware of scams

Kaua‘i Police informed me that a local woman fell prey to a scam where she agreed to be a driver for a visitor.

The scammer sent what appeared to be a legitimate cashier’s check for more than what would be needed to cover expenses. The scammer then asked for whatever was left to be returned once the check cleared.

Weeks later, the check was found to be a fake and the woman was out several thousand dollars because she cashed it at her own bank. I have recently seen advertisements like this on Craigslist and brought them to the attention of our police department.

They suggested I submit a reminder via a Letter to the Editor. The police informed me that there were so many scams out there, that they can’t possibly warn about every one of them.

Never give out financial information including bank account numbers, social security numbers, eBay/PayPal info.

If you spot a scam, call FTC toll free hotline at 877-FTC-HELP or the KPD’s non-emergency number at 241-1711.

• Bill Steed, Kilauea

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