Beware HECO’s decoupled rates
As a Hawaiian Electric Co. customer I believe that decoupling is unfair because I will have to assume the risks of HECO’s cost of doing business.
The state Public Utilities Commission and others assume that with a guaranteed revenue stream, HECO will do the right thing by developing renewable energy and energy conservation. Quite frankly, HECO is a privately owned, profit-motivated company with loyalties to its stockholders and directors. Developing renewable energy and energy conservation programs may be a consequence of its goal toward greater profits, but there are no assurances that HECO will not be using the revenue stream to boost its profits.
In answer to PUC’s argument for fewer rate cases, I say that is exactly why there should be rate cases, to force HECO to justify any increases in rates. With the decoupling mechanism, HECO will no longer have to justify its rate increases.
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Sen. Sakamoto served us well
On a recent flight from Kauai I had the pleasure to sit next to Sen. Norman Sakamoto, who was returning from the Kauai Democratic Party unity dinner.
I know about Mr. Sakamoto being a strong advocate for education in the state of Hawaii. Under his leadership the state made strides to address the shortcomings of the public school system. What I did not realize about the senator is he is a nice and kind person.
On the short flight we talked about how humbling it was to have just lost the election for lieutenant governor and the next day step forward to support your opponent in public. I was impressed by his commitment to the democratic process.
The public is cynical about the honesty and integrity of our elected officials, but Sen. Sakamoto dispels this myth. He is facing adversity with courage and a strong commitment to his personal values.
Mahalo, Sen. Sakamoto, for your years of service to Hawaii.
Carlisle needs dose of humility
As a fan of the Waipio Little League players, I think the whole state applauded their being so humble in their victories.
With that in mind, I would like to comment on the victory speech by Mayor-elect Peter Carlisle. He was offered a victory lei by acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell, and very shortly later was rolling his eyes and wanting no part of the temporary office arrangements since Honolulu Hale was under repair. Behaving arrogantly and putting his feet up on the table for all the media to see is not humble at all, but verges on an "ainokea" attitude.
Carlisle should review again the Little Leaguers and how humble they were. I wonder if the majority that elected him knew he is already divisive rather than trying to be cohesive.
Tea party critics are the radicals
Tea party activists believe that government intrusion into our personal affairs should be limited to the confines of the Constitution. They are concerned that government is spending us into penury. They are worried that we have a chief executive who intends to replace our system with European statism. They are generally conservative, not ashamed to proclaim their patriotism, and have a religious connection. They are average Americans — the mainstream. So where do we place the critics who ridicule their views, mainly Democrats but also establishment Republicans? Out of the mainstream?
Voters have clear choices among candidates, issues
"Lucky you live Hawaii" took on new meaning with the primary election results in the islands.
While much of the nation reels under a tea party-tainted GOP and a dysfunctional Democratic Party that can’t rally around the most productive and principled president in decades, Hawaii politics draws sensible lines in the sand.
In Duke Aiona, Republicans nominated an attractive, traditional fiscal conservative who now only has to convince voters he can succeed where his boss and mentor failed. Democrats, with Neil Abercrombie, went for a colorful, unashamed liberal supporter of President Barack Obama. And few were in the mood for throwing out incumbents, either, although there might have been a few who deserved it.
Clear lines are being drawn statewide on civil unions, the role of government, taxes, education reform and other issues. It’s great to be part of a state where people aren’t ashamed of their politics, with a reasonable chance that what you vote for is what you’ll get.