Letters for Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Shred it • Show me the money • Smart power grid?

Shred it

For many years our county has been “trying” to site a new landfill and, in not being successful has been doing all they can to extend the life of “Mount Trashmore” in Kekaha.

At the council committee meeting on June 6, Danford Kaeo, the operations manager of the Shredco Company, put on an outstanding presentation of how their company could extend the life of our landfill.

There are a number of ways that this can be done but our county, moving at the pace of a sleeping monk seal is quickly running out of space and time in Kekaha before the new landfill can be found and made operational.

Mr. Kaeo pointed out in the most simplistic terms how his company could shred materials before dumping them in the landfill and, as The Garden Island reported in their front page story of June 7, “it’s about smaller chunks that can be compacted tighter and take up less space, potentially buying more time for a landfill that keeps expanding.”

In other words, by extending the life of the landfill we gain more revenue by using the same facility and collecting added tipping fees while looking for the site.

Yes, adding another step to make better use of existing “air apace” will cost more, but Mr. Kaeo put up numbers for the shredding (all verified) showing the bottom line cost savings by his company shredding waste before dumping.

According to Mr. Kaeo, “their shredder would achieve 1,800 pounds per cubic yard allowing the landfill to survive 45 percent to 60 percent longer”.

There is no argument even from the administration that shredding will extend the life of the landfill. But their track record shows that unless it was an idea that originated within their “circle” and a consultant was paid thousands of dollars to tell them what they wanted to hear, they will refuse to listen to any other recommendation.

I thank Mr. Kaeo for his fine presentation. Hopefully this shredding operation can become a reality sooner rather than later.

Glenn Mickens, Kapa‘a

Show me the money

Monday’s TGI editorial by Ivory McClintock is yet another of a succession of claims by KIUC spokespersons that smart meters will bring substantial benefits to KIUC. The most notable of these claimed benefits are, in summary, less use of fossil fuel due to greater network efficiency, lower electric bills and decreased electrical outages.

I have seen these benefits claimed several times by KIUC but I have yet to see any quantitative numbers behind these claims. As the old TV commercials used to say “where’s the beef” or “show me the money”.

During my engineering working career I was responsible for designing and proposing upgrades to very complex systems. These upgrades were often made feasible by new technology advances.

However, in every case there were two critical facets of the proposed upgrade, namely the cost of the upgrade itself and the system cost savings and mission benefit resulting from the upgrade.

These parameters were quantified as a result of comprehensive engineering studies that I led. The customers and users of these systems demanded to see quantified benefits and costs and I provided these to them.

I would expect that the engineering and management staff of KIUC have conducted similar studies to quantify the benefits of smart meters.

So, as one of the owners and users of the KIUC system I would like to see the quantified values of the three benefits I reiterated in my opening paragraph.

Once I see these numbers I will be able to decide if my position on smart meters can go from my current neutral position to one of support or objection.

If KIUC doesn’t provide these numbers I can only assume it is because they either didn’t do the necessary studies or the numbers don’t support their arguments.

I sincerely hope that is not the case.

So, once again, “show me the money.”

Peter Nilsen, Princeville

Smart power grid?

 At first I was quite curious about how Ms. Ivory McClintock, a recent graduate of UH Manoa with a degree in political science and a certificate in Spanish, merited a large guest commentary Monday at TGI espousing the benefits of smart meters.

But I did as she suggested and went to the Blue Planet website, where I looked at their board of directors. It is quite a representation of the same combination of power (two former governors of Hawai‘i) and money which is inflicting smart meters on communities worldwide. Their website suggests that “to learn more” about the cost and benefits of smart meters you go to another website, which I did.

I was not surprised to find myself at the website of “The Association of Electrical and Medical Imaging Manufacturers,” in other words the same people who make the smart meters, who offered the analysis about the benefits of smart meters that Blue Planet references.

So I guess if Ms. McClintock is backed by two former governors and those who manufacture smart meters, it should be no surprise that she would merit a guest commentary in TGI.

I am sure the Ms. McClintock is an intelligent and capable young woman.

However I must certainly question the obvious bias that a new college grad in her first, post-college job might display in urging the ‘ohana of Kaua‘i to embrace this flawed technology. And I can’t help but wonder who or what influenced TGI to so highly honor her opinion.

As always, follow the money. And then do your own research on smart meters.

Michael Shooltz, Kapa‘a


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