Community Meeting on KIUC

SUBHEAD: It became clear that KIUC board members do not and never had any intention of seeking mutual agreement with the Kauai Community. By Elaine Dunbar on 24 June 2011 in Island Breath - ( Image above: Ols West salesman sells Snake Oil to the general public. From ( Last night Adam Asquith and others offered some sincere alternatives in the spirit of coming together and mediating; for instance, take FERC out of the deal, extend the voting deadline, recall the ballot. It became clear that KIUC board members do not and never had any intention of seeking mutual agreement by their firm reluctance to even consider anything except stay the course. The cheerful and agreeable willingness to continue community engagement has a leash on it; they will attend meetings until the cows come home, but their position is set in stone. A PR charade. Bisselʻs original statement that if the community does not want this, we wonʻt go forward was just hot air. Ben Sullivan, last night, added unnecessarily, to the contentiousness by his comment of the meeting being ʻpolarizedʻ; this was countered eloquently by a local lady who said she came to the meeting to try to understand what was going on and didnʻt appreciate being accused of being ʻpolarizedʻ she had not even gained knowledge at that point to have an opinion. She came there to learn. I came to the point of directing questions only to Carol Bain for direct, unmuddied answers. Ben Sullivan does not seem to grasp the details nor the whole picture or maybe he is just intent to stay KIUCʻs course; I canʻt and wonʻt tolerate spin, especially ill informed spin. Carol provided a direct answer, without delay, on the procedure to protect and process the ballots. She stated the ballots are received and handled by a 3rd party to their POBox and not opened until the day the votes will be counted and that the counting will be overseen by people chosen to monitor. Ben had informed me that it would take several days to provide this information. Thanks to Carol, I was satisfied with her efficient response. Stewart Burley who described himself as a risk management person, when asked why he didnʻt foresee risk potential before the MOA was signed without communicating with the public first, was rather vague in his answer and quickly digressed to submarines. There were some things they refused to respond to such as the amount of Membersʻ money spent so far, in ad campaigns to influence the Members to vote ʻYesʻ. Or the fact that canceling the contract with FFP would amount to millions as opposed to the $350,000 figure being tossed around. KIUC has created the polarization because, simply, they did not respect the local community enough to engage with them BEFORE the action was taken. Myself, I can only assume this occurred because they either have some other agenda or they think we donʻt know any better and are incapable of making informed decisions. I would hope that now they know we are. To date, there still has been no commitment from the KIUC board to honor a legally mandated responsibility to address Native Hawaiian concerns. This is something that should have been done at the onset, before the secret Memorandum of Agreement. They skate the issue every time someone brings it up and say they will get to it. I would think this is part of the due diligence that needed to be done before the MOA. And, as well, the Lawful Hawaiian Government filed a Notice of Objection, Cease and Desist with FERC, KIUC and FFP. Many would like to hear that addressed by KIUC in their ability to move forward and how they intend to respond. In Joan Conrowʻs excellent piece in the Honolulu Weekly Kauaiʻs Hydro Battle , one part by Isaac Moriwake, Earthjustice attorney, jumped out as particularly alarming: "Hawaii has very strong and nationally recognized protections regarding stream flows and Native Hawaiian rights. That stands to be completely wiped out by what KIUC is doing, and it seems theyʻre doing it for that purpose," And with that said, KIUCʻs MOA has become a more dangerous matter now. See also: Ea O Ka Ania: KIUC's Smoke Filled Room 6/18/11 Ea O Ka Aina: Kauai's Hydro Battle 6/24/11 .

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