Letters to the Editor: August 18, 2020

Congressional delegation needs to act

Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono and Reps. Ed Case and Tulsi Gabbard, you must act immediately to do everything possible to stop the current process of destruction of the U.S. Postal Service. Congress must act now to protect the United States of America from Trump’s plan to stay in office by blocking the election. This is vital to our democracy.

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Barry and Gloria Blum

Kailua-Kona

Time to rename town

In these crazy times, I feel compelled to write. The craziness of “cancel culture” is something I do not support and rewriting of history is a dangerous path. However, in light of all this, I think one bit of history should be considered in this and that is the town of Captain Cook.

For the past 45 years, with the Hokulea and the Polynesian Voyaging Society (and probably before then by those in the know), it is clear that Captain Cook should not be honored for simply sailing into Kealakekua Bay while en route to find a northern passage back to Europe. In fact, it has now been proven that the Polynesians had explored to both North and South America long before Captain Cook arrived — perhaps even as much as 500 or more years before.

So in light of changes happening now, some to right some wrongs and others out of defiance, I believe that the story of Captain Cook’s “rediscovery” is incorrect and that we honor what the true story of Kealakekua Bay and West Hawaii is. One one way to do so would be to rename the town of Captain Cook to something more appropriate.

Ned McMahon

Captain Cook

PUC should reconsider Honua Ola decision

I’ve lived on Hawaii Island all my life and I am an advocate for energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. For the past 37 years, I’ve worked in the renewable energy field in a variety of renewable energy technologies, including photovoltaic,wind, geothermal, hydro, and utility-scale solar with energy storage installations. Our island requires a diversity of technologies to attain 100% clean energy by 2045.

I was shocked by the PUC’s decision to revoke Honua Ola’s waiver from competitive bidding they previously granted in order to speed up the development of firm renewable energy for the Hawaii Island grid. Instead of focusing on how to replace existing fossil fuel plants with a continuous renewable energy source, like Honua Ola, the PUC apparently ignored the limitations of solar plus 4-hour battery projects.

While these projects certainly have their place in Hawaii’s renewable portfolio, they cannot replace the existing fossil fuel plants. That is exactly what Honua Ola was built to do. If the goal is to stop our dependence on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gases as quickly as possible, we need to replace the existing oil-burning plants with renewable energy facilities, like Honua Ola, that can deliver continuous power 24/7 on demand.

Because Honua Ola was designed to replace existing fossil fuel plants, the PUC should be comparing the cost of Honua Ola’s power to these plants, not to other renewables. For example, the Keahole fossil fuel plant costs about 28 to 30 cents per kilowatt hour, while Honua Ola delivers power at a cost as low as 22 cents per kilowatt hour. Once HOB begins sending more than 21.5 megawatts to the grid, the cost per kilowatt hour begins falling and can go as low as 8 cents per kilowatt hour.

The PUC should reconsider its decision and get Honua Ola online as quickly as possible.

Leonard Tanaka

President/CEO of T&T Electric, Hilo

An election scare tactic

Here we go again, every election the Democrats bring out canceling Social Security to scare people from voting Republican.

President Donald Trump, as did President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, is temporarily canceling SSI withholding and not requiring the beneficiaries to pay it back. As with Obama-Biden, funds will be diverted from other programs to make up the lost revenue though the fund would survive even if the short-term holiday wasn’t paid for. SSI and Medicare are efficiently run programs but they are lousy retirement plans. They are basically Ponzi schemes with new workers paying for the benefits of older workers. With an ever-increasing work force, it’s worked. Unfortunately, there has been a decrease in worker coming in at the bottom in relation to those collecting at the top. Medicare is going to be losing money in a couple of years followed by SSI a decade or so later. To maintain current benefits, taxes will have to be increased or benefits reduced. Ten years ago, it would have been a relatively painless fix but the closer we get to default the more expensive it will be.

Peter W. Ogilvie

Kailua-Kona

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