Letters for Saturday, June 18, 2011

• ‘Yes’ in KIUC ballot • ‘No’ in KIUC

ballot • Support hydroelectric •

Vote ‘no’ to FERC

‘Yes’ in KIUC ballot

The Kaua‘i Filipino Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors encourage all our members and supporters to vote “yes” in the exploration of hydroelectric power on Kaua‘i by KIUC.

We firmly believe this study can bring us closer to becoming self sufficient in generating power from renewable resources and therefore lowering our electricity rates on Kaua‘i.

We are fully aware of the importance and value of water on our island. Water is a valuable resource, and has produced electricity for more than 100 years in our island.

KIUC is already drawing power from these hydro facilities spread across our island and these hydroelectric facilities have been proven to work very well in an economic and cultural environment.

Exploration and studies of developing additional hydroelectric projects on Kaua‘i is necessary. By upgrading the existing hydro facilities from the plantation days to harness additional hydropower is a must.

We humbly ask you to vote “yes” in the upcoming KIUC ballot to show your support for hydroelectric power on Kaua‘i.

Oscar Portugal, Board of Directors

Kaua‘i Filipino Chamber of Commerce, Lihu‘e

‘No’ in KIUC ballot

Please vote “no” on KIUC’s issued ballot because the choice between a “yes” and “no” vote is inadequately explained. As it is written, it encourages the voter to think that a “no” means “no to FFC-FERC” and that he/she is against minimizing our dependency on fossil fuel and against hydroelectric power. That is so far from the truth for most who are voting.

To be fair, where is the option to vote “no” on FERC from being involved in a project, but “yes” to the exploration of hydroelectric power resources?

The written ballot has failed the efforts of KIUC’s board to clarify what we are authorizing our co-op to do in its quest for alternative power sources.

It is also troubling to learn that the meeting requested to hold public discussions to ensure that voters are well informed severely limited those presenting researched data and expertise to only three minutes. Why was there no facilitator to ensure neutrality in the way all sides could be fairly presented?

 We must know that an underlying question this ballot does ask is, “Do you want the governance of our free-flow water systems to move from under State to Federal rule?”

It is so important to think how decisions made from an agency out of our state can affect the control of water use for our agricultural community. This is another factor which has not been clearly articulated.

 Let us work toward more opportunities to help “our” KIUC bring the best possible energy generating systems that will support all aspects of our island community.

What is paramount is working together to avoid wasting valuable time and needless spending and to focus only on partnerships which make the welfare of our island and its people their highest priority for generations to come. I just cannot envision that premise being taken from a Federal agency’s point of view.

Please make an effort to understand the issue before voting. Talk to our friends who serve on the board with commitment and dedication. Will they be able to convince us that they are on the right course? If they can’t, ask them to rewrite a ballot that clearly and fairly brings choices to the table.

We have to live with the outcome of our votes, but let the decision be made with an understanding of its powerful impact on our precious community.

Millie Wellington, ‘Ele‘ele

Support hydroelectric

I strongly support your plans of developing hydroelectric power plants to provide energy to the people of Kaua‘i. We need to seek alternatives to fossil fuel and hydroelectric plants has proven to be very successful in a great many countries, some of which have been built to serve a vast portion of the country.

Other potential source of energy, such as wind power has been show to be almost cost-prohibitive due to a multitude of ancillary cost associated with wind power as indicated in an article published in Europe, and specifically looking at many of the Scandinavian countries.

Kudos to all of our serving members of the board for seeking alternatives in our endeavor of providing this county with energy that will not depend solely on fossil fuel.

Thank you for the opportunity to hear the concerns of your members.

Calvin Fujita, Kapa‘a

Vote ‘no’ to FERC

KIUC trying to use the FERC process clearly reveals what should already be evident to astute observers; that KIUC executives have failed abysmally at engaging their members and stakeholders.

If you will remember, KIUC spent all of 2009 and some of 2010 fighting their membership trying to get a rate increase while making little to no progress in shifting to renewables. Now they’re trying to play catch up on the backs of compromised Hawai‘i water and property rights.

On other islands around the world energy policy is steadily moving forward on a weekly basis with regular working meetings between the community and the utility. But no, not at KIUC.

Case in point, energy projects already in development on Kaua‘i’s Westside, that at least one of the six FERC applications is intended to preempt.

KIUC executive leadership has failure because they have not engaged the community in an ongoing working relationship.

They would appear rather rely on marketing, eminent domain, and distant federal decisions than to actually have weekly working relationships with the community to hash out the details of hydro on Kaua‘i.

Brad Parsons, Hanalei

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