Two Open Letters to KIUC board

SOURCE: Ken Taylor (
SUBHEAD: Responses to the KIUC Board arrogant "open" letter to the Kauai community.  

By Adam Asquith on 7 May 2012 in Island Breath -  

Image above: Citizen speaks his mind in detail from "Freedom of Speech" by Norman Rockwell, 1943. From (
I would like to thank the Board of KIUC for providing me with a hearty belly laugh. I literally spilled my coffee Sunday morning reading the “Open Letter”. The audacity of the Board, demeaning member concern and participation, pushes vexation into the sublime. In the end, you can only laugh at their hubris.

Other than some third-world banana republic, what brand of elected leadership believes that the one and only input from constituents is on election day? Our Board should be celebrating and embracing those members who find the time and motivation to consistently attend meetings and share information and ideas with Directors. Instead we get this condescending letter whining about how underappreciated they are and what a great job they are doing. 

Yeah. They are doing such a great job of interacting with the members that I had to go to the extreme length of the legal system just to get them to answer my repeated correspondence. While we’re at, let’s look a little more closely at some of their other claims and see who deserves a pat on the back. 

  1. They have done the research and are satisfied that smart meters are safe. They are going to put them on their own homes. Go for it. When I was attending Oregon State University, as part of a pest control class we watched a film clip of a professor in the 1960’s demonstrate the safety of DDT by eating a big bowl of it like it was corn flakes. Sure, acute toxicity was very low, but fortunately we know a lot more now. Only fools rush in.
  2. Their blueprint for hydroelectric? Oh what a short memory. Their “blueprint” for hydroelectric involved hiring some pirates from the mainland to use federal powers to lay claim to Hawaii’s sovereign waters. This claim jumping was so audacious that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission severely chastised KIUC for inappropriate use of Federal law (See FERC Order of 20 October, 2011, in which FERC accuses KIUC of “claim-jumping”). Now, after they were prevented from stealing our agricultural waters for their control, they refuse to purchase any electricity generated by that irrigation system. If the rules don’t tip the game in your favor you just take your ball and go home. Grow up.
  3. Transparency? You’re kidding right? You cannot receive any written information from KIUC without first signing away your rights. It is far easier to suffer a full body search at the hands of the TSA to board a flight than it is to engage in the “transparency” of KIUC. And how about allowing us to actually hear from our elected Board members regarding votes. Even the Supreme Court finds wisdom in publishing a dissenting opinion when votes are not unanimous. There is no strength in hiding behind a fa├žade of unity.
  4. KIUC renewable energy projects? Thank you to the hundreds of individual home and business owners who have invested their own money in PV and wind to reduce the load on the grid and our consumption of fossil fuels. Thank you to the landowners for the space and the tax payers for subsidizing our KIUC PV systems. Thanks to A&B, Green Energy Hawaii, Hawaiian Mahogany, andPacific Light & Power for assuming the risk and investing your own money in generating sustainable energy for us. Thank you to all the good employees at KIUC that keep the lights on. ……Thank you KIUC Board for continuing to purchase and burn fossil fuels with member money.
  5. KIUC as good neighbors? My neighbors don’t spy on me with electronic equipment. My neighbors don’t take my farm water to run an air conditioner in Poipu. My neighbors use their own resources to solve their own problems. My neighbors share my values and listen to my concerns with sincerity. Me and my neighbors share humble pie everyday.
It is pathetic when our Board of Directors must stoop to belittling Member efforts at communication, such as this letter, and offer only their own propaganda (e.g. Currents) as an alternative. It is arrogant and unprofessional to treat members with such disrespect. Shame on all Directors that signed on to that letter. But thanks for the laugh.

By Mike Shooltz on 6 May 2012 in the Island Breath - 

I've just read your message below which you've shared today. I must admit that I'm feeling a bit dismayed by some of your comments. I would primarily like to address two of them. 

First, I have attended your last two Board Meetings and have also attended Mike Yamani's presentation to the members regarding Smart Meters. I have listened intently at the Board Meetings to each Committee's reports. Never, in any of these three meetings, was there any mention by anyone on the Board of Directors, from any committee, to indicate that anyone was doing anything at all to ascertain the health risks of Smart Meters.

I personally questioned the full Board at both of the meetings, and I also asked Mike Yamani at his presentation, about who at KIUC is charged with assessing the health risks of Smart Meters. It was acknowledged that none of the Board Committees were assigned that task, and that no one on the staff of KIUC has the responsibility to look at the health risks of Smart Meters. Mike Yamani's answer was that he is responsible for implementing the Strategic Plan that he receives from the Board and CEO. 

So, I am a bit surprised that you state in today's communication below, and in The Garden Island Newspaper, that, "We've done the research and we're satisfied that smart meters are safe and don't represent a threat to health or privacy." 

In all of my interactions with KIUC the only "research" I have heard spoken of was a reference to FCC guidelines being followed. But unfortunately, as you know, the medical professionals at the American Academy of Environmental Medicine stated in their letter of January 19, 2012 to the California PUC recommending a moratorium on Smart Meters, that "FCC guidelines are inadequate for use in establishing public health standards." They stated that sufficient scientific and medical evidence suggest health risks......and raises serious concerns. 

At the last Board of Directors meeting there was also CEO Bissell's unfortunate comment that, "We have to trust the government", which brought waves of laughter from all those in attendance. So, in light of the serious concerns of the members of KIUC regarding these health issues it would seem reasonable that you would share with us who at KIUC has done the research, and present the results of that research to we the members. 

In light of your expressed concerns about where we the members are getting our information, and your suggestion that we "get as many facts as we can" it would seem reasonable that if you have information regarding the health issues around Smart Meters you would want to share it with the membership. It would be much appreciated. You suggest that we don't just "take our word for it", but it seems that on this very significant issue of health you are asking us to do just that!

Second, in your message you speak of your efforts to support our island in the efficient use of energy. This week I experienced a bit of incongruence in your operations vs. the goal of efficient use of energy.

I stopped by your offices to pay my electric bill. While there I asked for a deferral form for myself and also for six of my neighbors. I was informed that I could receive one deferral from but that my neighbors would have to each come in individually to pick up their own forms. I couldn't help but notice that at the receptionist's desk there were numerous other forms set out for the members to pick up themselves with no restriction on the number of forms taken, while the Deferral Forms were held out of sight behind the counter. And, while you temporarily provided the link to the deferral form on your website, it quickly was removed.

My neighborhood is in the Wailua Homesteads so it takes a fair amount of time, and gasoline to drive to your offices. These are obviously wasted energies caused only by your choice to make things difficult and inconvenient for we the members/owners. 

Little things like this speak volumes in terms of how you are relating to the member/owners of KIUC and how you are striving to make it as difficult as possible for the members to exercise their preferences. I applaud your commitment to "being good neighbors who listen and who act not in self-interest, but for the good of Kauai." The sharing of health information and removing the unnecessary obstacles would be great ways to demonstrate those intentions.

 See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Open letter back to KIUC board 5/6/12


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