By Ray Songtree on 17 June 2012 for Kauai Truth -
Image above: Reddy Kilowatt disguised as as Hawaiian warrior Kelco (Kauai Electric Company mascot) attached to wall of KIUC Port Allen Power Generation Station at 261 Akaula Street, Eleele, Kauai. He's mashed-up with original Reddy Kilowatt, a frequent presence in electrical generation PR material until energy conservation replaced energy production as a national goal. See background (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reddy_Kilowatt).
[IB Publisher's note: This email from Ray Songtree was added to clarify the conclusions drawn by Mark Naea in his previous post concerning Adam ASquith's federal suit with KIUC.]
Nothing has changed on Kauai except for the rights of one person, Adam Asquith, who took KIUC to Federal Court. KIUC is pretending that it can discriminate and give one person different rights than everyone else. And on top of that, this is supposed to be a coop of equal member/owners. Where is the equality? The person who recently wrote the "free / opt in" announcement, is realizing that what is logical to an honest mind like his, is not how KIUC is behaving. We have to go back to court now to insist that discrimination doesn't occur. But KIUC even hides this, and claims their "deferred installation option" is equivalent to the court stipulation which Adam obtained, and this is not true.
The Board should be sued for misleading the public and giving wrong legal advice and entrapping people to pay a fee for opting out, when the court told them verbally they could not charge the plaintiff. Even if we win next round, KIUC will probably word things so that we have to AGAIN, third time, take them to court. You see, they have OUR money to spend playing cat and mouse with the judge, so the more lawsuits, the more time they have to install smart meters and throw away analog meters. I swear, this is their strategy. Hopefully the judge will mandate certain requirements second time around, but if we aren't careful,
KIUC will snake around those too. KIUC will break any law, and wait to be caught, without any fear... because they are using OUR money for lawyer, and there are NO PENALTIES, so why not? They are criminals and think like criminals. In ten years, KIUC Counsel David Proudfoot cannot show any progress on implementing the Coop Principles, which he calls "aspirations". It is the opposite. He has consistently worked against them, and us, to create a corporate culture of fear and secrecy at KIUC to hide back room decisions. He laughs at the word transparency. For him, transparency means someone might be caught. I can say this without being accused of slander, for he would have to prove me wrong, and he cannot. Until we sue the Board themselves, as individuals, crime at our expense will continue. Why wouldn't it? It has worked so well since "the Coop" paid too much in the buy out of Kauai Electric and made us all debt slaves.
Consider that WE pay $1.1 million per year to lease the KIUC building. Consider that WE pay the CEO at least $304,000 per year. Consider that WE pay over 2 million dollars in legal fees each year.
Consider that over 100 employees at KIUC make over $100,000 a year. It is like a Chicago political machine, right here on Kauai. How many times has KIUC Chairman Phil Taciban flown to Philippines at our expense to visit his charity recipients there? Does he have family or friends at the utility there, who we rich Kauaian's support? Who knows? There is no transparency. How do we explain, that when the FERC/Hydro petitioners were proven correct in their "claim jumping" accusations by FERC itself, that KIUC did not reimburse them for their accurate educational efforts?
They are members who worked for the good of all and were correct. Why were they viewed as opponents? They were legally correct. They should be reimbursed. Meanwhile KIUC is installing health and privacy threatening Smart Meters daily, hell bent on their agenda, which I'm sure gives them kick backs. It is a mafia paradigm.
Yes, until we sue the Board, trying to stop this crime or that, is like band aids. We are hoping to find an attorney who can see a winning strategy, and win, and gain an award from the Board's pocket in order to pay his fees, for we victims lack funds for an attorney up front. If you would like to help with a real lawsuit that stops the criminals at KIUC from using our own money against us, please make contact at StopKIUC.com and voice your concerns. Listen to the drums, the natives are restless. We need you.
SOURCE: Jane Ely (email@example.com)
SUBHEAD: Kauai Island Utility Cooperative settles in Federal Court with Adam Asquith over Smart Meter installations.
By Mark Naea on 12 June 2012 for Stop KIUC -
Image above: Mashup by Juan Wilson of Lucky Strike ad featuring a recommendation by 20,679 physicians attesting that Luckies are less irritating because they are "toasted" providing protection against irritation and cough.. from (http://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/20334.aspx).
[IB Publisher's note: We have modified the title and SUBHEAD of this article to reflect a more modest conclusion than Mark makes in his article. Even of we don't have a clear Opt-In, rather than Opt-Out program on KIUC Smart Meters, this court decision may have some of the effect Mark attributes to it. We are in process of getting a clarification from Adam on an interpretation of the settlement.]
The landmark Federal Court case of “ADAM ASQUITH vs. KAUAI ISLAND UTILITY COOPERATIVE” for injunctive relief ended in an out of court settlement when KIUC’s motion to dismiss was voluntarily withdrawn on April 25, 2012.
The case was settled without going to trial. This was agreed upon at the first hearing on the injunction where the judge severely admonished KIUC. KIUC agreed that they did not want it to go to trial and agreed to settle with Adam on his complaint.
The settlement agreement was presented to the court for approval and signed by both parties on May 31, 2012. The “STIPULATION FOR DISMISSAL WITH PREJUDICE; AND ORDER”, was approved and so ordered by Federal Court Judge Helen Gillmor on June 1, 2012.
The agreement reached between Adam and KIUC as stipulated in this settlement has completely changed the landscape of KIUC’s planned roll out of smart meters here on Kauai. The settlement agreed to has two (2) conditions.
“Condition 1” of this agreement states:
"KIUC agrees that it will not seek to install (including but not limited to requesting from the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission ("PUC") permission or authorization to install a smart meter on premises where the electricity accounts are in Plaintiff's name), and will not voluntarily install without court order or an order or determination of the PUC, any smart meters on premises where the electricity accounts are in Plaintiff's name without Plaintiff's permission."“Condition 2” of this agreement states in essence:
“. . . the dismissal with prejudice in this action will not prevent Plaintiff from challenging said decision . . .” if in the future the PUC authorizes or allows KIUC to install a smart meter without Plaintiff’s permission.The complete settlement document in PDF format can be found here:
Settlement Changes Smart Meter Program to Opt-In ONLY!
The legal ramifications of “Condition 1” go far beyond this just being an "opt-out program", as some see it. By legal definition, making such an agreement with one (1) member of the Cooperative, KIUC is required by state law and PUC regulations to have this settlement apply to all Cooperative members.
Under “General Order No. 7” of the Hawaii PUC “Standards for Electric Utility Service in the State of Hawaii”, section 1.2 “Application of Rules”, item “f” states:
f. Each electric utility may of its own accord establish uniform non-discriminatory rules more favorable to its customers than the rules herein established.KIUC of its own accord established such a “rule” by signing and agreeing to the above settlement and its conditions. This new rule must be applicable as a “uniform non-discriminatory rule” to all cooperative members.
Adam Asquith states,
KIUC admitted that they cannot offer me a special deal and these new conditions must be offered to all members under their PUC regulations.
To clarify “Condition 1”, and establish this new KIUC rule as required by state law, the term “Plaintiff” now becomes “Co-op Member” as below:
“Condition 1” of this agreement creates this new rule:
"KIUC agrees that it will not seek to install (including but not limited to requesting from the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission ("PUC") permission or authorization to install a smart meter on premises where the electricity accounts are in Co-op Member's name), and will not voluntarily install without court order or an order or determination of the PUC, any smart meters on premises where the electricity accounts are in Co-op Member's name without Co-op Member's permission."
This new rule changes everything and has the following legal guidelines that KIUC has agreed to follow and implement:
1. KIUC must have Co-op Member's permission before installation of any smart meter on premises where the electricity accounts are in Co-op Member's name.
2. KIUC will not request permission or authorization to install any smart meters from the PUC where the electricity accounts are in Co-op Member's name.
3. KIUC must have a court order or an order or determination of the PUC to install any smart meters without permission of Co-op Member.
The continued rollout of smart meters on Kauai by KIUC is in direct violation of PUC regulations and state law, as well as undermining the Federal court approved settlement with Adam Asquith.
KIUC is now required by their lawful and signed settlement with Adam to seek permission first before installation of any smart meter. KIUC is prohibited from installing any smart meters without consent of the account holder.
It’s an Opt-In Rule!!!
What we now have is an Opt-In rule, written and agreed to by KIUC, and enforced by PUC regulations and state law.KIUC Breaks State Law, Deceives Public and PUC by Omission
All installations of smart meters on and after June 1, 2012, have been done illegally by KIUC, its contractors and interested parties.
It is imperative that KIUC stop all involuntary smart meter installations on Kauai and not expose the Cooperative to multiple lawsuits.
I now call on all of our duly elected officials and the PUC to enforce the laws that KIUC has agreed to in Federal court, and by definition, PUC regulations as they apply in this case.
I call on the Ohana of Kauai to make it known to KIUC to stop wasting our hard earned money and stop the smart meter rollout.
And lastly, I call on KIUC to show us its integrity, follow the law, and make good on its commitment to us all.See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Clarification on KIUC Ruling 6/17/12 .