The sun is now rising the earliest — 5:49 a.m. — it ever will this year, a schedule it will maintain until June 15 as it meanwhile sets a bit later each day. As a person who just naturally wakes at first light, I especially love this season because it seems possible to get all my work done, and still spend some serious time outside.
The air was completely still, and lightly perfumed — save for the eye-watering stench of dog pee on cement that briefly assailed my nostrils as I passed my neighbor’s yard —when Koko and I walked through our quiet neighborhood this morning.
Ran into farmer Jerry, who was expecting a pile of school kids to visit the CTAHR experimental station as part of “ag awareness day.” It sure beats the rocket-making sessions that are offered to students by high-tech companies that work at PMRF. It seems somehow disingenuous to get kids all excited about launching rockets without also explaining the implications of their military use.
Noticed that the good old boy KIUC Board, masters of cronyism that they are, chose to appoint two of their former members — Dee Crowell and Ron Paler — to fill two unexpected vacancies on the board, rather than runner-up candidates from the last election.
The Garden Island reports Paler as saying:
Paler said yesterday he’s honored to fill in for the remaining 10 months at the “will of the board,” as his past experience will save KIUC thousands of dollars in training and lessen the learning curve.
“We haven’t been away that long,” Paler said of himself and Crowell.
Shoots. Why bother with elections at all?
The article also reports:
According to Board Policy No. 20, it is considered “efficient” for the group to look to former members to fill vacancies, so long as it avoids the appearance of favoritism.
So actual favoritism is OK, it’s just the appearance of favoritism that’s to be avoided?
It was interesting to hear Ken Stokes, who has yet to secure a seat on the Board, talking about KIUC on the radio the other day. Ken actively supported acquisition of the utility, but acknowledged on the radio that things didn’t turn out quite like he expected.
They turned out exactly as I expected, given that sleaze master Greg Gardiner was one of the architects of the deal, and we ended up paying worth more than it was worth. And now we have some of the highest electric rates in the nation.
A friend on Oahu asked the other day, so what, is your energy surcharge about 20 percent of your electric use? I said no, the surcharge last month was actually $15 higher than my kwh use. He was absolutely astounded, but that’s just business as usual on Kauai.
He made a good point, though, when he said that so long as the utilities can pass the energy surcharges along to the consumer, they have no incentive to wean themselves from oil.
Much hay, meanwhile, was made in a fawning puff piece inThe Advertiser yesterday about the growing passenger count on Hawaii Superferry, which has yet to hit customers with the full cost of its own oil consumption. It’s still offering low subsidized rates, even as the Associated Press is reporting that the two Maui ferries, which serve Molokai and Lanai, are seeking rate increases from the Public Utilities Commission.
The Advertiser, which is increasingly coming across as a shill for HSF, reported:
The interisland ferry carried more than 5,500 passengers and 1,500 vehicles between Maui and O'ahu over the four-day holiday period. That's an average of 393 people and 107 vehicles per one-way sailing.
Brad Parsons, who follows the numbers closely, puts them in a bit more perspective:
First, that means nearly a quarter of all of their traffic for May happened during the 4 days of the Memorial Day weekend.
Second, there were 14 one-way trips over that weekend, so they averaged: 393 people per one-way trip and 107 vehicles per one-way which is enough to cover just their fuel costs for those 4 days, NOT the rest of their expenses. This is noticeably a higher ratio of people to cars than HSF has been averaging...onboard live blogging pictures on the web over the Memorial Day weekend indicated increased foreign visitor group travel onboard which would account for the blip of passengers and not so much cars over the weekend.
Third, they will have had 96 one-way trips for the month of May, so they would average: 219 people per one-way trip and
60 vehicles per one-way which is NOT Enough on average to cover just their fuel costs for the month of May. Furthermore, those trip averages for the Month of May are actually lower than the trip averages they were having in the latter part of April.
Spin on, Hawaii Superferry. Spin on.