Editorial | Letters Contract cancellation not taken lightly June 12, 2016 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! At Hawaii Electric Light, we share concern about the Hu Honua project discussed in a recent commentary (“HELCO ditching deal with Hu Honua sends bad signal to energy investors,” Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, June 5). Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. At Hawaii Electric Light, we share concern about the Hu Honua project discussed in a recent commentary (“HELCO ditching deal with Hu Honua sends bad signal to energy investors,” Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, June 5). Despite the project’s troubled history, we worked with Hu Honua for many years through delays and missed construction deadlines that raised serious questions about its ability to complete construction and begin commercial operations by its targeted January 2016 date. We did not make the decision lightly to cancel the contract, a move supported by the state Consumer Advocate. Although we validly terminated our 2013 contract, we’ve continued to meet with the project’s representatives, but with the understanding that they must provide better terms and conditions that benefit our customers and don’t result in higher prices compared to today. We provided information to help them make such an offer. We thought we were making progress, so it’s disappointing that they’ve resorted to airing their complaints in the media. Hu Honua should focus on delivering a plan that will provide stable prices and system reliability, and that represents real progress toward our renewable energy goals. Jay Ignacio President, Hawaii Electric Light Co. Ali had good company as unpopular figure As we honor the memory of Muhammad Ali, let’s remember the full story. Who were the three most disliked, perhaps hated, American men in the 1960s? Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. and Muhammad Ali. Why such animosity? All three espoused a departure from the status quo. They wanted radical change — peaceful change, for the most part. Malcolm X was the most radical and his public statements made Martin Luther King more acceptable. After Ali changed his name and became an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War, as did King and Malcolm X, he was looked upon by many as a traitor. His means of making a living were taken away but he remained true to his values even when the cost to him was very high. What else did they have in common? Oh yes, they were black men. Dan C. Winters Ewa Beach Bigger reserve won’t cut fish exploitation An expansion of the Papahanau- mokuakea Marine National Monument has been proposed to make it a no-take ecological reserve. It is mistakenly expected that this will improve fish production inside and outside the reserve. The proposed expansion is virtually all deep, open-ocean space. No-take reserves in the open ocean have never been found to reduce fishery exploitation and therefore are not expected to enhance production or recovery of fish populations. The fishery operating in the proposed area is the Hawaii-based longline fishery. This fishery has been well managed for decades by international and U.S. laws that regulate harvest levels and protect endangered species. The monument would be expanded by virtue of the U.S. Antiquities Act, an act not designed as a fishery-management tool. To use it that way is pointless and a distraction from weighty ecological concerns such as rising temperatures, pollution and ocean acidification. Pierre Kleiber St. Louis Heights Halt rail construction and sell off the parts The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s warning that the price tag for rail transit could be significantly higher is an ominous warning to taxpayers. It raises the question: Is the rail too far along to be stopped? Visualize our current and future tax-dollar needs, such as solving homelessness, $100 million to cool classrooms, unfunded public employee pensions and deferred infrastructure maintenance. Halt the rail construction now and sell the components. Think of those huge, view-blocking columns being placed horizontally to strengthen our endangered reef system. Could those U-shaped rail beds be placed on agricultural land to facilitate profitable aqua-farming? Task city planners with creating a truly working, flexible public bus system. If those buses carry people who leave their cars at home, won’t there be fewer cars on the roads? Why mischaracterize our “El” as a traffic-jam panacea? Let’s move on. Phil Broms Niu Valley Stopping rail would make us look foolish Finish the rail. Every major city has issues with costs, overruns, schedules, surprises and land issues. This curtailment isn’t about money, it’s about an election year and fear of losing seats. After all that has been built, there is no tear down or abandonment. The citizens of Honolulu should demand a finish even if the cost is higher than predicted — it always is. If Honolulu strives to be a world-class city, it needs to start acting like one on many fronts, especially rail. Finish it and be done so we can ride the rail as intended. If not, it’s just another exercise in looking foolish. Jacob Vinton Foster Village FROM THE FORUM Readers of the Star-Advertiser’s online edition can respond to stories posted there. The following are some of those. Instead of names, pseudonyms are generally used online. They have been removed. “Homeless settling in, in Iwilei” Star-Advertiser, June 6: >> The homeless have always been a significant presence in Iwilei, thanks mainly to the nearby Institute for Human Services. >> I work on the waterfront and see these people every day, everywhere. They have been here for years, nothing new. But the volume of homeless camps and the level of tolerance for them continues to rise. Too bad. >> Get used to it. There is no solution in sight. What used to be temporary tents are now permanent. Kapahulu, Diamond Head, Waimanalo, Kaneohe, and, of course, Iwilei and many other sites around Oahu. At least after rail is built, there will be more restrooms to use. ——— “Question to Miss Hawaii USA questioned; Miss California responds to critics” Star-Advertiser, June 6: >> Miss Hawaii gave a great answer to a stupid, leading, gotcha question. >> Miss Hawaii did an amazing job throughout the pageant. Kudos to her for reflecting so well upon the people of our state. In Miss California’s defense, she was under a lot of pressure and obviously wasn’t very well-versed to give the politically correct answer to that question. She sure is cute, though. ——— “Cardinals send Wong to minors” Star-Advertiser, June 7: >> Kolten Wong should do the right thing and return some of that $25 million. All right, just kidding! But he is stinking up the joint. Jhonny Peralta is a far superior hitter and it’s no surprise the change was made. >> He’ll put the work in and return. It’s just a matter of tune-up. ——— “Djou, Carlisle mount runs for mayor” Star-Advertiser, June 7: >> Grab anyone off the street and they would be better than current Mayor Kirk Caldwell. It’s good to have some choices. >> People who think Caldwell has done nothing obviously don’t have enough experience (or memory) to compare him against previous administrations. >> If I was to vote for a change, it probably would be Peter Carlisle. But I think our current mayor is doing an acceptable job. >> Carlisle is no change. He was mayor before. I’m voting for Charles Djou. ——— “Haleiwa Beach House allowed to reopen with reduced seating capacity” Star-Advertiser, June 8: >> If you want to make money, you have to know your obstacles. D.G. “Andy” Anderson knew his obstacles, hit a small “glitch,” but emerged with minor “injuries.” I congratulate him for maneuvering around the “machine” we voted for. >> What happened to the “renovation” work was done without building permits”? ——— “Trash-strewn lot has city trying to get court order” Star-Advertiser, June 8: >> This irresponsible property owner is more than just eccentric; he’s also a public health menace. >> This place has “accrued more than $153,000” in fines? The property should have been auctioned off long ago instead of allowing the fines to pile up. ——— “HART board weighs 6 options to deal with rail’s cost overruns” Star-Advertiser, June 9: >> The answer to the options listed for consideration by the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation is “none of the above.” The solution is magnetic levitation (maglev) technology. If the city administration and HART officials refuse to consider it, they are not doing their due diligence for this island’s taxpayers and commuters. >> It’s too late to change technology. What is probably more viable is that if the feds think it’s going to cost that much more, then they should pay the difference. >> I don’t suppose using non-union labor is an option? >> According to the news article, “The HART board doesn’t know exactly who makes the final choice, either.” That kinda says it all about this project: No leadership, no control, no responsibility. >> Where is the mayor in all this? The guy who said he’d “build rail better”? Previous Story There’s actually a seventh option for rail Next Story Use rail structure for HOV highway?