Letters for Friday, May 11, 2012

• The dark side of smart meters • It’s all about lighting Power to the people Hubris Where’s the bees? The times are indeed changing Who should teach morals? Gay marriage with your coffee?

The dark side of smart meters

Smart meters should fall under the scrutiny of an EIS. There is solid evidence on the adverse health effects of smart meters to humans as well to other creatures such as bees, which apparently have been killed by smart meter electromagnetic radiation. Can we really afford to lose our bees?

What about damage to other species like dogs, cats and wild animals, such as my parrot which is on the endangered species list? (Yes, she’s an umbrella cockatoo, rapidly disappearing in Indonesia where these birds originate.) If my parrot is damaged by the smart meters, I will be heartbroken.

The environmental facts of smart meters must be examined before they are shoved down the throats of the people. Otherwise, what we have is a police state where truth and public opinion have no value.

Shame on KIUC and shame on members of county government who give no consideration to the dangers of smart meters.

Janet Ashkenazy, Kilauea

It’s all about lighting

Lighting has become one of the easiest ways to lower our overall energy demand, but first I would say that “not all light bulbs are created equal.”

Incandescents are cheap to buy, expensive to run. They’re being phased out.

  Fluorescents — CFLs and tubes — are a little more expensive and are more efficient. These lights have mercury and other things in them that make them a hazard for our homes, landfills and water tables. If a CFL breaks in your house and you have a carpet, every time you vacuum it will make the particles airborne. It does not take to much imagination to see that this technology should be leapfrogged.

  L.E.D.(light emitting diodes) are here. They use 90 percent less than incandescents, 50percent less than fluorescents and they’re made to recycle. Although they can seem expensive at first, they will pay for themselves in just months.

  Lighting is 40 percent of our energy use. That means we can reduce our island energy demand by 1/5, just by changing our bulbs to the right bulbs.

 There are L.E.D. Companies that will lease or finance your bulbs for home and business for less money than the monthly savings, putting money in your pockets straight away.

Larry Rohlfs, Anahola

Power to the people

Konohiki Hydro Power LLC was granted rights to use the old cane irregation ditch (Koke‘e ditch) to build a hydro plant at Pu‘u Loa Reservoir. It won’t generate much power — 5.3 megwatts. It is my understanding that it was given approval and was recognized by FERC.

Konohiki Hydro Power wants to sell its power to

KIUC. KIUC said that “we will not purchase power from Konohiki Hydro Power because it is of no interest to the co-op and the members.”

Wouldn’t it make more sense to buy the power that Konohiki has to offer? After all, any amount of natural energy would be better than paying the price if fossil fuel.

Since we are co-op members, shouldn’t KIUC present it to the members for a vote?

KIUC board members, we voted you in to look after our best interest. Our best interest is to get cheaper electric power and pay less on our monthly electric power usage. Let’s start somewhere, KIUC board members, and what better way than natural resources such as sun, wind, and water?

Howard Tolbe, ‘Ele‘ele


Funny, but I find myself having more confidence in the hubris of the majority/unanimous votes or support of the KIUC Board of Directors in comparison to the hubris Mr. Adam Asquith has in himself as a critic of KIUC. (Letters, May 8)

He seems to have the mistaken belief that the KIUC board should be bound by “those members who find time and motivation to consistently attend meetings and share information and ideas,” overlooking the fact that the Board, elected by members like himself, engage in serious review and discussions evaluating all information provided by those who attend meetings, along with information made available to them from other sources.

Add to that the integrity of each board member to make the right decision for the good and welfare of all the members. The decisions they make do not neccessarily agree with those “members who consistently attend meetings.”  But, is it not within the realm of possibility that the decisions agree with and have the approval of a majority of members who share the hubris of the board and not that of Mr. Asquith?  They may not attend meetings but choose to let the board speak for them.

By the way, the KIUC open letter, was approved unanimously by all nine members of the board, including, I’m sure, members he voted for.

Alfred Laureta, Lihu‘e

Where’s the bees?

Perhaps for no other reason than preserving dollars for tourist industries dependent upon Kauai‘s beautiful views, I suggest The Garden Island newspaper join forces with an organization like the Sierra Club in an in-depth investigation into our recent degeneration of air quality and/or mountain visibility.

While you‘re at it, for the sake of that other little industry, agriculture, you may well look into the missing honeybees. Maybe there’s a connection, or am I the only one who’s noticed?

By the way, here’s a hint too for you local Woodward and Bernsteins: don‘t bother dialing the Environmental Protection Agency; their budget went to Homeland Security.

Rolf Bieber, Kapa‘a

The times are indeed changing

The Garden Island newspaper recently announced they will no longer be printing a Saturday edition. Saturday has always statistically been the least read day of most newspapers around the globe. The Friday and Saturday papers, starting May 4, were combined as a special weekend edition. However a Saturday paper is still available online.

 This is a brilliant move by TGI, since I believe the future of print media will go totally electronic. People now read novels electronically on their Kindles with a quick download, students do the same with their textbooks and most of us can read just about any newspaper across the planet with a simple click of the mouse.

 The environment benefits, there are no polluting papers or inks, and the business going totally electronic can save enormous amounts of capital.

 Radio did not go belly-up the advent of the television, movie theaters did not go out business with the advent of the VCR and DVD, and although many may lose jobs, such as pressmen and paperboys and girls, many others will gain soulful employment in the cyber world.

 For now, you can still enjoy your morning Joe with with a hard-copied TGI; however, to quote my friend Robert Zimmerman, a.k.a. Bob Dylan, “The times, they are a-changin’.”


James “Kimo” Rosen, Kapa‘a

Who should teach morals?

Joseph Lavery, in his “Real Leaders” letter, makes this statement: “…that a kid in Detroit just played Lizzie Borden on his ex girlfriend’s mother and her lover. It seems to me that since we have taken God out of our school system, society has gone downhill.”

In response, I have to ask this question: Was God in the school systems when Lizzie Borden axed her father and stepmother to death?

Granted, she was in her early 30s at the time she committed this act … perhaps God got taken out of the schools when she was still a school-aged child. That would explain why she could do something so heinous.

It’s also possible  — in fact, I would say highly likely  — that “God in the schools” has absolutely nothing to do with any of this.

Religious belief does not equate to moral behavior, Mr. Lavery. It would be nice if it were that simple, but it isn’t. There are plenty of amoral, unethical, unscrupulous, downright evil people in the world who consider their spirituality to be of utmost importance. There are also plenty of people with no sense of spirituality at all who are nonetheless decent, kind, giving, and deeply respectful of life.

It is not the job of the schools to teach morality in a spiritual sense. Parent should do that. Churches should do that. Putting such a burden on schools is inappropriate. You claim to not advocate for any particular religious belief, but do you honestly expect all religious beliefs to get the same treatment?

I doubt it.

Michael Mann, Lihu‘e

Gay marriage with your coffee?

I have just learned that the Starbucks Corporation has begun a public campaign to rewrite our marriage laws and to recognize same-sex marriage. I was shocked to hear of a major corporation willing to alienate such a large portion of their constituents in favor of a political agenda.

I have decided that I will no longer buy my coffee at Starbucks – there are plenty of community coffeehouses that both support my values and need my business. While there’s little that I can do alone to make Starbucks reconsider their position, together we can make a statement. There are many in our community, I know, who believe in marriage and would be deeply offended to know that a portion of every cup of Starbucks coffee they buy is being used to lobby in favor of same-sex marriage.

It’s time to dump the Starbucks habit, at least for my family. And I invite others to join me by learning more at DumpStarbucks.com.

Roger Brown, Hau‘ula, O‘ahu


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