Letters for Tuesday, June 7, 2011

• Open letter to KIUC • Mahalo to each

of you

Open letter to KIUC

I attended the meeting of the KIUC members on June 4. There were some concerns I had that were not addressed at that meeting. Mr. David Bissell said he would be happy to hear from any of the members after the meeting or any time. However, I could not find a telephone number or email for Mr. Bissell on the KIUC web site, so I hope this reaches him.

1. One speaker inquired about why the number of rate payers is listed at 35,000, but only 25,000 ballots were mailed in the last directors’ election. The response, from Mr. Phil Tacbian, I believe, was that the extra 10,000 payers were most likely street lights, and all human rate payers received ballots.

I collect and pay the KIUC bill for five meters in different locations. Two of the bills are for condos, but they have separate meters. I receive bills every month, but I did not receive ballots for the two condo meters. As I am not a street light, Mr. Tacbian’s response was clearly false. Not all human rate payers received ballots, and perhaps KIUC should check its records or policies to ensure that all rate-payers receive important KIUC communications. Or, is it possible that one person can only have one “membership” or “ownership?” If so, when was that decision made and by whom? I hope I receive a ballot for all five meters for the upcoming vote. I eagerly await a response from KIUC regarding my missing ballots.

2. In response to a question about why the voters guide did not include any opposing viewpoints, Mr. Bissell, or perhaps Mr. Proudfoot, explained that the board was publishing the board’s position. The opposition should find their own way to air their viewpoint. He used the analogy of a Republican paying for a Democrat’s viewpoint. It was not a logical comparison, however, and somewhat patronizing. Republicans generally do not pay dues to the Democratic party; nor are they owners of the Democratic party. We, however, are all paying members and owners of KIUC, so everyone keeps saying. The board and management do not own the “cooperative.” If the board decides again to publish only its viewpoint, then admit that it was the board’s choice to exclude the voice of any other member. This is not necessarily the right or ethical thing to do.

3. There are still unanswered questions about the contract KIUC (we) signed with Free Flow Power (FFP):

3a. As different dates were given by different parties at the meeting, who really did go to FERC first?

3b. What, if any, is the relationship between FFP and Bill Collet, KIUC’s merchant banker, who introduced FFP to KIUC. And did KIUC ask?

3c.. What is the cost of the contract with FFP?

3d.. What has FFP actually accomplished in the area of establishing power generating systems?

Listening to the presentations and testimony at the meeting, other members have even more questions which have not been answered openly and fully by the board or management of KIUC.

4. County Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura, spouse of a board member, and one or two people at the front table (Mr. Proudfoot and possibly Mr. Tacbian?) said that if the members vote down the contract with FFP, we would be left to the mercy of fluctuating and escalating oil prices and never see hydro-electric power in our lifetime. Future generations would be saddled with the horrible consequences of members’ bad decision.

If that is truly the board’s opinion, it is very foolish. There are other avenues of building hydro-electric power generating systems and other power systems without FFP (which has yet to build anything). It may take more work on the part of KIUC, but it can be done, and you know it. If that is not truly the board’s opinion, then it is a scare tactic. In order for us to do as you wish, you try to frighten us into going along. This sounds like the plantation owner mentality: “We know what is best, and you should just obey.” This is hardly a good way to run a “cooperative.”

There are KIUC owners who are knowledgeable and educated as was seen at the meeting. You would be well served to keep that in mind and communicate with the owners/members with honesty, respect, and full disclosure.

Lynn Leonard, Princeville

Mahalo to each of you

On Saturday, June 4, 2011, my husband and I along with our (almost) 3 year old daughter were participating in the 31st annual Haena to Hanalei run.

Around mile 5 my husband needed emergency medical attention. People responded so quickly. My mind was a mess and others took over and saw that everything was taken care of.

Fellow runners called 911 and made sure event coordinators from Hanalei Canoe Club were informed. A few short minutes later, a wonderful young HCC paddler came to provide assistance. Then the Kaua‘i Fire Department showed up and made sure my daughter was OK as well as checking on my husband. Shortly after their arrival a medic crew arrived with an ambulance and they were so good at communicating with me and convincing my reluctant husband to go to the ER.

So from the bottom of my heart, mahalo to Hanalei Canoe Club, KFD and the medics who responded to my husband’s emergency. I’d also like to say a huge mahalo to the fellow runners and drivers who stopped to assist. A special thank you goes to Noe (didn’t get your last name) who stopped and stayed with my daughter and I until the end.

I am so grateful for each and every one of you!

Emiko Meyers, Lihu‘e

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