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LETTERS for March 24 issue

March 24, 2011
Lahaina News
FORGET MECO! PEOPLE SHOULD STRIKE

In the last two years on Ainakea Road, we have had about a DOZEN power outages in the grid going up north and mauka of Ainakea, starting at Kapunakea. South and west of Kapunakea, everything is okay. The Shell Station, Safeway and the traffic lights at Honoapiilani/Kapunakea are always working when the Ainakea grid goes out.

One should think that by now, MECO would have at least noticed that pattern, let alone fixed it. All that we get is a strike and increase in prices. In the last two years, the price per kilowatt hour went from 22 cents to 34 cents — an increase of about FIFTY percent in two years.

And I am just soooo glad that we could use wind and solar energy to produce electricity much more than we do, but noooo — we burn oil like there is no tomorrow. Not to mention the longtime deal for the next 20 years or so that (fortunately) ex-Gov. Linda Lingle made, setting the cost for solar energy at about 44 cents!

As far as the strike is concerned, I don’t think that HECO made a lot of friends recently. There should be a law that gives the governor the power to order workers and management to keep working until an agreement is reached, just like air traffic controllers can be ordered by the U.S. president to continue working or face jail time. This is not just a JOB; this is also a PUBLIC SERVICE.

How about WE strike for a change? Don’t pay the electric bill or don’t pay taxes at all! That would get some people’s attention in a hurry. And I mean a concentrated effort where NOBODY pays his/her electric bill. Are they going to shut off every single household and company?

When I finally reported the constant outages at the Ainakea grid today, March 10, the greeting tape I got before I was connected was just playing messages how you can pay your bill.

I am generally not for government involvement in private industry, but in my humble opinion, HECO is abusing its power (pun intended) and should be put under the state’s control should the need arise. The current arrangement is not only ludicrous but also endangers the safety of the public.

Despite all the raises in electricity prices, just look at the power poles and “connection cables” in West Maui. I am surprised that there is any energy at all. Those things are patched up a dozen times, poles and lines alike. Never mind that Lahaina (all the way up to Honolua and in between) had the biggest growing rate in population over the past two decades on Maui. Who cares? Certainly not MECO. When you look at the poles and the patchwork of cables, you think it’s about 1955.

What happens to all the money MECO takes in? They don’t even properly itemize the bill. You have a whole lot of very ambiguous charges that show up on the bill, yet the bottom line is a 50 percent increase per KWH over the last two years for the average household in West Maui. We residents should put some pressure on our government, MECO, oil companies, etc. It’s high time to overhaul our legislation BIG time, and not just as far as HECO and their subsidiaries are concerned.

Mayor Alan Arakawa’s statement about the strike situation could also have not been more pitiful. In essence, he was saying, “I am not doing anything and don’t even want to.” Does not exactly sound like his campaign promises.

I say it is time that WE THE PEOPLE don’t take all the abuse by companies protected by politicians and by the parties themselves anymore. Enough is enough — it’s time the people take the power back from the parties. Let’s not forget: EVERY POLITICIAN IS A SERVANT OF THE PEOPLE. Period. So either act that way or get out. Unfortunately, most people vote the same way again and again, saying, “What difference does it make?” This latest strike might just be the last straw. Are we all “camels” that take every burden without protest?

JOHN BLAHUTA, Lahaina



MAHALO TO SURF CONTEST SUPPORTERS

The ninth annual S-Turns Keiki Surf Contest held on Sunday, Feb. 20, showcased over 120 keiki surfers.

Once again, the contest turned out to be a great success! Mahalo to all the organizers, keiki, parents and spectators for your continued support.

And to all the wonderful sponsors, your generosity and support year after year is greatly appreciated.

Looking forward to next year, as we celebrate the tenth annual S-Turns Keiki Surf Contest.

BERT KUKAHIKO & THE S-TURNS GANG



GLAD TO SEE RELIGIOUS SIGN

I would like to address the sign along Honoapiilani Highway that has been called “The horrible Jesus sign that looms above it all...” and “it’s an eyesore and a disgrace.”

Millions of people worldwide, and thousands who live in the Hawaiian Islands, would not consider Jesus or the sign horrible. In times of pain and despair, especially after the recent tragedy in Japan of the earthquake and tsunami, many people would be calling on the name of Jesus and looking to God to find comfort and help. Of course, the sign would be “looming above the highway” as a reminder that Jesus is above all! He is God who has come in the flesh.

We live in a free country where we can express our love for God and our spirituality. It is of great benefit to offer hope to people in a broken world. The sign is in compliance with county ordinances.

The sign is not a disgrace!! It is actually the Grace of God that has come to all men (Romans 5:17).

How fantastic to have a God who would send his son, Jesus Christ, who is described in John 1:14 as, “The one and only who came from the Father who is full of Grace and Truth.”

The sign is that of grace, not disgrace!

I would like to applaud those who spent their own money and time to put up that sign and demonstrate care for tourists and locals to remind them of Jesus.

Kudos on you (Vessels of Mercy)!

John 3: 16-17 — “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through him.”

I find this as a great comfort, and not a disgrace but rather an Extravagant Grace!!

MELANIE TURNER



WHAT'S INSIDE IS WHAT MATTERS

Through the years, men have changed their hair to have various styles. The fashion has gone from crew cuts to long hair to no hair.

Mustaches have been around a long time, even though some say a mustache hides a weak upper lip.

Currently, various types of beards are in fashion. Most are adornments. Many take a lot of care.

Some say beards are worn to make you appear knowledgeable and learned. Other tailored beards are to make you look upscale. Sloppy beards are just sloppy.

My view is that it doesn’t matter how you groom your head — it’s what’s inside your head that counts.

ARSENE “BLACKIE” GADARIAN, Lahaina



IF I ONLY HAD A HAMMOCK TO LIE IN

Sunday evening, March 13, I lie at home in my hammock, cold beer in hand. The air is still, birds are singing and the sun, nearly setting.

Suddenly I become glassy eyed. I thought of the thousands of people in Japan tonight that wish, “If I only had a hammock to lie in.” The beer, singing birds and a setting sun would be a luxury.

We take so much for granted, and the best things in life are free. I suggest on your next walk on the beach, leave the electronics at home and enjoy and uninterrupted peaceful one-on-one walk with yourself.

Breathe, smell the air, listen to the birds, feel the sand beneath your feet and the warmth of the sea, and keep in mind “lucky you live Hawaii.”

Disconnect from the electronics and reconnect with yourself and your natural surroundings. It’s important, it’s healthy, and pray that you never wish, “If I only had a hammock to lie in.”

RICHARD ROSHON, Lahaina
 
 

 

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