Letters for Sunday, April 1, 2012

• Kaua‘i’s ancient grid • GOP supported Civil Rights Act • Economics and smart meters • Koloa Camp • Government and safety

Kaua‘i’s ancient grid

Most of us lucky folks who live in paradise have just experienced the second island-wide power outage in less than 10 days.

This latest outage lasted almost two hours in Kalaheo and longer in the Princeville area.  KIUC said a transformer failure at Port Allen was the culprit.  

Here’s a novel suggestion from a customer/owner of KIUC. Instead of spending tens of millions of dollars or more for smart meters, let’s spend that money to purchase a new, modern grid for our island.

After all, one would never think of commissioning a hand-made, jeweled leather saddle for a horse slated for the glue factory, now would one?  

And to those spending big bucks on those full page ads trying to make a case against smart meters, re-direct your energy and money.

There is something more basic that is badly needed in paradise — electricity you can count on.

Michael Diamant, Kalaheo

GOP supported Civil Rights Act

Steve and Cokie Roberts (Forum: March 29) claim that “the progressive (read left-wing Democrat) religious community” provided the leadership for civil rights.

But they make no mention that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed because a far greater percentage of Republicans voted in favor than did Democrats.

In fact, the lengthy filibuster opposing passage was led by the likes of Albert Gore Sr., and former KKK cross-burner Robert Byrd, both Democrats.

Steve and Cokie supported Al Gore Jr. in his run for the presidency.

This in spite of Jr.’s lie that his father, Al Gore Sr., lost an election because he supported the Civil Rights Act.

John Burns, Princeville

Economics and smart meters

Regarding the recent smart meter controversy, I seriously question the economic feasibility of investing $11 million dollars to replace a small force of meter readers.

 Twenty meter readers would have jobs for two decades with that expenditure.

 By that time these meters will have to be replaced at probably three times the current cost.

They contain sensitive electronic components that would be subject to rapid degradation in our environment.

They cost money to operate, unlike the passive meters we have now, which have a 60-year life.

The only feasible argument for this meter system would be if we were interconnected in a national grid.

We’re an island. We’re only connected to the world’s most expensive power generation system.

I think $11 million would be better spent on alternative energy sources.

Part of it should be spent to find competent management with a better plan.

Sam Watkins, Princeville

Koloa Camp

I appreciate Gail “Tutu” Rosen’s letter (Letters: March 25). She made very good points, all of which I agree with.

I am from Koloa, and I have been able to attend several meetings with Grove Farm and the Koloa Camp residents present. I am appalled at how this ‘new generation’ is running Grove Farm.

What used to be such a well-respected company has now turned into bullying and using threats to members of its community. Never have I ever seen such unprofessionalism. This day and age, bullying should never be tolerated from anyone.

Shame on you Grove Farm, how you are treating those in the community and not just your tenants.

Kailani Brent, Koloa

Government and safety

I was reading an article in a newsletter published by an organization on Kaua‘i.  The article ended with “… the federal government said it is safe.”

It was if they were saying “If the federal government says it is safe, it’s got to be safe.”  I found this disturbing.

Let’s cite some history.

The cigarette? The government said it was safe.

Atomic weapons?  Ever see those films of atomic weapons being tested in the desert and all of those soldiers rushing into ground zero, with all that radioactive fallout, shortly after the explosion? A very high percentage of these men later died from cancer and leukemia. The government told them it was safe.

Agent Orange? During the Vietnam War, Operation Ranch Hand was the operation to defoliate dense jungle in Vietnam with a defoliant infamously known as Agent Orange, a herbicide whose main ingredient was the deadly dioxin.

Helicopters and planes would use sprayers. Many, if not all, of the men who loaded the sprayers with this chemical died from cancer, and their children and their children’s children suffer from cancers and birth defects. The government told these men who served that working with Agent Orange was safe.

I can cite more incidents in history where the federal government said something was safe, then it was found to be deadly.

I think it wise to be very cautious when governments say something is safe, especially if that government has a long history of stating such, and later on it’s found out they were dead wrong.

Chris Schaefer, Kapa‘a

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