Letters for Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014

Letter writers coming out lateBreaking down county’s prioritiesVote ‘yes’ for energy independence

Letter writers coming out late

Does anybody but me find it just a bit peculiar that all these pro smart meter letters have started appearing in The Garden Island? The authors are even taking the time to counter point the opposition letters, which deal mostly with their health and privacy concerns. Looks like everybody is an expert. You’d think the real issue for them would be the equity of smart meter members having to have to pay for reading nonsmart meter accounts. I mean, isn’t that what the upcoming ballot is about? I just find it a little coincidental that these folks start speaking up so late in the game and so close to the ballot.  

John Clayton


Breaking down county’s priorities

Concerning the results of last week’s question … “What should be the County of Kauai’s top priority for 2014? The number one answer “road repairs” shows us that it’s those who have secure jobs, have some sort of income to survive here or are worried about the damage to their cars’ suspension are the one’s who voted in the survey. We already pay an excessive tax on gasoline and if you haven’t noticed, state and county vehicle fees have doubled for some. I have often wondered why a large percentage of the millions that get collected every year, which are for new roads and maintenance, get diverted to other uses.

The number two answer … “enforcing the GMO bill.”

Now that four of our council members decided to use corrupt politics to override the mayor’s veto it will now become a legal matter and most likely cost the taxpayers millions in court battles, so don’t let the depression set in yet if you think for a minute that the council will have all the red tape worked out in 2014.

The number three answer … “Attract new business. Diversity for our economy” should have been the number one answer. The mentality of government leaders seems to think the $85 billion dollars of stimulus printed “free” money that pours into the stock market every month is going to turn the economy around.

Do you ever think, why is it that there are less jobs to be found, but the stock market is setting record highs? New businesses will be the only way to diversify the economy and bring much needed jobs to the island’s people. It’s the only chance we have to create a more stable economy and help feed the greedy hands of government services.

This week’s question… “Should Hawaii legalize pot?”

After watching much coverage on New Year’s Day of legal recreational sales of pot in Colorado it’s easy to come up with mixed opinions.

The pot store’s forecast is that sale’s will exceed $600 million a year. Of that, Colorado government will get a fat 25 percent tax revenue from all sales as well as the income tax from the thousands employed working in the new found business. When the stores opened on Jan. 1, pot could be had for $400 an ounce.

With the lines of people and demand, the cost in some stores rose to $500 an ounce. With the ever-increasing people getting “medical marijuana cards” and being able to grow their own, they too are creating their own business and with no jobs are now making ends meet selling what they don’t consume to friends and neighbors. There are plenty of people here who pay their mortgage, utilities, food bill, property taxes and even put their children through college on what they grow and sell in the privacy of their homes. There is no crime element in their actions, it’s just the way it is in a poor economy of the job market. The going rate on Kauai for pot from local medical growers is around $240 an ounce. I sense the legalized pot stores will soon see their profits dwindle. Why would people go and pay $400 to $500 for the same thing friends are selling for $240 an ounce?

On the issue of yes or no vote on charging the anti-smart meter people, I see it as they have three choices. One, since they opt out, pay the added fee. Second, disconnect from KIUC grid and install solar, wind, geothermal, and batteries. Or third choice, pack it up and move somewhere else. We have enough people already who want us to pay for their problems and what they think should be free services paid by others.

Steve Martin


Vote ‘yes’ for energy independence

As Kauai begins a new year, we, as citizens, have a rare opportunity to make a difference in our energy future. In the upcoming KIUC meter fee election, we can either vote yes in support of sustainability and energy independence or vote no in support of business-as-usual and fossil fuels.  

 Crude oil prices have gone up 400 percent in the last decade. Add in the hidden costs of pollution, foreign wars and climate change, and it’s clear that we need to find a new energy source for our isolated island community. It’s time for us to strive for energy independence. We can’t continue to burn diesel fuel as our primary fuel source and we can’t transition to an island run primarily off renewable energy if we don’t have a smart grid in place.

It’s not about saving KIUC money on meter readers or bringing our utility bill down (because energy prices are going to continue to rise). It is about being able to accurately match the supply of electricity with the demand. It’s about flattening out the daily demand curve by promoting the use of electricity when it’s readily available (when the sun is shining) and discouraging it when it’s not (at night). It’s about shedding the stranglehold of oil on our isolated island community and minimizing our contribution to climate change. Most importantly, it’s about using the resources that we have (sun, wind, and water) to power our island. A smart grid, by enabling time of use pricing and furthering consumer education based on real time energy usage, is a necessary bridge to a sustainable future.

Those who opt out of a smart meter should be responsible for paying the direct costs associated with opting-out. Please vote yes in the KIUC election.

Luke Evslin



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