For Wednesday, February 8, 2012
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Feb 08, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 08:40 a.m. HST, Feb 08, 2012
Going green sure is costly
Frankly I'm confused by the messages that Hawaiian Electric Co. is sending me these days.
I'm constantly being told that we need to install alternative energy sources to save us millions on imported oil necessary to produce local power.
In the past year, Oahu has more than doubled its solar output, and now we're being told we have to pay more for electricity to make up for the lost income to HECO caused by this solar production.
Am I missing something?
Where are those millions of dollars in oil saved by the local solar generation of 18.5 megawatts last year? It seems like that would more than make up the company's income shortfall.
If this rationale for increasing rates is taken a step further, then how much will our electrical bills be when we achieve energy independence from oil?
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HECO ignores solar's savings
I question Hawaiian Electric Co.'s claim that customers with solar panels "do not contribute to the cost to maintain the system of wires and generators that other customers help pay for" ("Rate increase blamed on sun power," Star-Advertiser, Feb. 6).
It fails to recognize the contributions made by such customers to the grid. Customers with solar panels pay for the installation of their solar power-generating units and, more important, generate electricity at no cost to HECO.
In short, HECO receives its electricity without paying for its installation or generation.
Michael A. Lilly
Teachers want to know details
As past presidents of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, we were distressed at the comments of David Shapiro ("Teachers have lost respect in drama over labor talk," Star-Advertiser, Volcanic Ash, Jan. 25).
As former elected leaders, we have represented teachers since 1971. Never did we find teachers unwilling to be held accountable.
Teachers have been involved in developing the teachers' evaluation systems since 1971 from the old 750/751 checklist system through PATH and Pep-T.
Nor are teachers afraid of performance-based pay. Teachers ratified a performance-based salary schedule in 1997, but it was never implemented by the DOE for a variety of reasons, including cost.
The recent ratification results show that teachers refused to agree to an evaluation system sight unseen.
Shapiro would not recommend that citizens sign a blank mortgage contract, but he calls teachers selfish for refusing to sign a blank contract. How unfair.
Odetta Fujimori, Ted Waitt, Karen Ginoza, Roger Takabayashi, Barbara Nagaue and June Motokawa
Former HSTA presidents
Catholic Church evading liability
The Catholic Church has no grounds to stand in opposition to the legislation raising the statute of limitations for filing lawsuits against perpetrators of sexual abuse ("In pursuit of predators," Star Advertiser, Insight, Feb. 5).
The Catholic Church lost all moral authority to speak on this issue after the church hierarchy covered up decades of sexual abuse, reassigned pedophile priests, and intimidated victims of abuse. The church's opposition to this bill is just one more example of its lack of compassion or support for victims of sexual abuse, and it is clearly one more attempt to protect the church's assets from future lawsuits.
After decades of clergy sex abuse scandals, the Catholic hierarchy still has not learned that kindness and support for victims will help heal the wounds of abuse. It has learned that cover-ups and denials are the best route to save the church's money.
‘Disruption' is the real issue
House Bill 2751, which was mentioned in Lee Cataluna's column, basically prohibits a person from exhibiting disorderly or contemptuous behavior at a legislative session or committee hearing ("Disorder can be outlawed; disrespect, not so much," Star-Advertiser, Lee Cataluna, Feb. 5).
The prohibition applies, no matter the person's reason for the disorderly or contemptuous behavior or position on an issue. It is not directed at any particular individual or viewpoint.
The bill is intended to preserve order and decorum for efficient and effective legislative deliberations as well as protect the public, legislators and staff from possible physically volatile reactions of persons dissatisfied by legislative decisions.
Legislators perform their official duties at legislative sessions and committee hearings which, unlike other workplaces, are open to the public. For the most part, attendees have been respectful and courteous to each other, legislators and staff.
Some disruptions in the recent past, however, indicate that clarification of policies for keeping order during sessions and hearings is necessary.
Cataluna makes a valid point that HB 2751 should reference "disruption," not "disrespect." The House will keep the criticism in mind as amendments are contemplated for the bill.
Speaker, state House
Legalese masks child abuse
Mahalo to Sens. Shan Tsutsui and Will Espero for introducing Senate Bills 2062 and 2404, respectively ("Proposals would ban the thrashing of keiki," Star-Advertiser, Feb. 6).
I find it appalling to think we do not already have these legal measures on record to protect our keiki from the abusive adults in their lives.
I can think of a million creative ways to explicitly and affectionately be the authoritative voice in a child's life before resorting to throwing, kicking, burning, biting, cutting, shaking or striking a child, let alone using "a belt, ruler, clothes hanger, stick, twig, tube, pipe, shoe, slipper, or any hard man-made object that causes welts, cuts, bruises, or damage to the skin or injury to the body."
Shame on us as a society for using legalese terms such as "parental discipline" to disguise ongoing abuse of children. Child abuse is child abuse!
Wylma C. S. Robinson
Live with dignity, die with dignity
As one of the 77 percent of Hawaii voters who believe the terminally ill have the right to some measure of control at life's end, I disagree with the recent attorney general's opinion that aid in dying is unlawful in Hawaii. The 1909 law in question is only part of a constellation of laws advising on this issue. The combined legislative intent is very clear.
At 81, I know that legal interpretations often differ and can change over time. This elasticity is what makes the American judicial system the envy of the world. Not perfect, but ever evolving to meet the needs of current and future generations.
I have incurable cancer and fear a torturous death. I've lived a full life and want this choice to be mine, not the government's. I've lived my life with dignity, so please let me die with dignity.
Ernest "Juggie" Heen
Former member of the state House of Representatives