Thursday, February 16, 2012

Musings: Equally Ridiculous

A crescent moon floated through filmy white gauze, center stage in a sky that was beginning to glow scarlet around the edges, when the dogs and I went walking on a morning that sure felt like spring. And when I opened the door to my home office, where the first gardenia of the year has been exuding its delightful fragrance since yesterday, it reinforced that impression.

If you ever had the impression that our utility cooperative is punitive, vindictive and not especially interested in transparency and debate, much less the views of its owners/members, well, you'd be right. Seems that in a fit of petty pique, KIUC has decided to reduce its annual underwriting of KKCR, our community radio station, from about $2,700 to $250:

When asked why, the explanation was that 'a couple' of our programmers just won't give KIUC a fair shake and constantly bash them.

I wonder what/who they found so offensive. Was it Jonathan Jay urging folks to —gasp — stop using electricity from dawn to dusk for one day a month in order to promote conservation? Felicia Alongi-Cowden expressing her concerns about smart meter technology? Jimmy Trujillo asking for support in live-streaming some of the forums on the upcoming KIUC board elections, like the one in Hanalei last night that attracted a remarkable 50 persons?

Or has KIUC decided it will only spend our money on messages it can thoroughly control, like "Currents," its "never is heard a discouraging word," replete with recipes, monthly throwaway?

I was interested to learn, while perusing the job announcement for KIUC's communications manager, that the position manages a $1 million annual operating budget. Wow. That's a lotta kala to be spending on promotions/advertising in this tiny market where there's no competition for services. Even worse, it obviously hasn't been effective.

Equally ridiculous is that voters may be asked to decide this burning question:

“Shall the terms “must” and “shall,” when used in the Kaua‘i County Charter, be interpreted as mandatory directives and shall the term “may,” when used in the Kaua‘i County Charter, be interpreted as permissive?”

I know, this is really challenging, especially when the word "shall" is used twice in posing the question, which would seem to indicate we already know what it means. But just to be sure, let's do a five-second online dictionary check:

1 archaic a : will have to : must b : will be able to : can 2 a —used to express a command or exhortation b —used in laws, regulations, or directives to express what is mandatory 3 a —used to express what is inevitable or seems likely to happen in the future b —used to express simple futurity

Yup, there it is clearly spelled out in 2-B. Yet County Attorney Al Castillo is apparently a) unable to Google search words, b) unable to read, or c) so mired in the political game that he's lost common sense.

But hopefully voters, whether they're casting their ballot for three new faces on the KIUC board in March — hey, let's give Joel Guy, Pat Gegen, Ken Stokes or one of the others a go! — or marking yes on the “shall” question in November, will help to set things right.


Anonymous said...

KIUC has a million dollar pr budget? crazy

Anonymous said...

I wonder where all the money goes?

Whose pockets are getting lined?

Community Cooperative? We have a "power struggle going on with those in control of all the bells, switches and whistles and those who pay the bills.

Who is making money on the Smart Meters?

Dr Shibai

Anonymous said...

What an embarrassment for KIUC.

Anonymous said...

Is there another coop in the country that spends 1 million dollars on PR to it's own membership?

Anonymous said...

thanks for the juicy details which I would not have known without you...great job! while the $1M pr budget and withdrawal from KKCR is what will undoubtedly stick in most readers minds, still...would love to see Joel's name corrected in the parting reference just to avoid any unintended inference?

Anonymous said...

In some "Modern" States the utility companies sell solar sytems at no cost to the customer. You just order the system and then pay for it's use. The company makes money and the customer pays a lower rate for electricity. If KIUC is in the energy business....the should sell energy systems.No one could compete against them....however KIUC would rather argue against solar systems.

Anonymous said...

Koloa Camp offer has been rejected. Thank you Warren, Mike, Mike, Errol and the rest of the GF GOBs.

Your commitment to erase he history of this island will be remembered.

Anonymous said...

Koloa Camp offer has been rejected.
... turds

Anonymous said...

You forget to thank he Mayor for all his efforts in saving Koloa Camp.

Oh, that's right he supported the GF development. Check his campaign coffers!

Anonymous said...

Just wait until they start their big project, when that news gets released. Then you will know true evil.

Joan Conrow said...

would love to see Joel's name corrected in the parting reference just to avoid any unintended inference?

Thanks for pointing out the typo!

Mauibrad said...

Like your choices.

BTW, a million dollar communications budget means they don't need a rate increase in a year or so...