Nothing was in the sky, save for the thinnest of moons and a few patches of gray, when the dogs and I set out walking on this first full day of spring. Before me rose Waialeale, adorned with a lacy shawl, and around me were signs of the recent rains: channels dug in hillsides, an irrigation ditch scoured clean of pesky guinea grass. I thought of my garden, where I'd spent several hours yesterday, fluffing up beds compacted by the downpour, in preparation for today's planting. The dogs, meanwhile, pulled me along, straining and whining after chickens that kept themselves tauntingly out of reach.
I bet David Bissell, CEO of KIUC, feels much the same way about Adam Asquith, who has again thrown a wrench into the utility's plans, this time by filing for an injunction to halt the smart meter rollout planned for next month.
As you may recall, it was Adam who raised the alarm about FERC, forever endearing himself to the KIUC board and staff that was then forced to — choke, gag — actually communicate with the members about its hydroelectric plans. And lo and behold, it discovered we weren't all that crazy about them, though it's proceeding anyway, even with its most bitterly opposed proposal to do hydro at Hanalei and Wailua.
One big problem with the smart meter project is that KIUC has been slow on the draw with the opt-out issue. I just finished writing an article about the rollout for Honolulu Weekly, which will run in tomorrow's paper. As part of that, I contacted KIUC about the opt-out, and got this response on March 1:
KIUC does not currently have an opt-out program. Members will be offered an opportunity to be placed on a deferred install list until the board comes to a decision on an opt-out program.
Then on March 19, after Adam has filed for the injunction, KIUC issues a news release:
]t]he cooperative has said it will indefinitely defer installation of smart meters for the small number of members who are opposed to the technology and submit a formal request.
So did this just come about in the past two weeks? And isn't “indefinitely defer,” which implies that eventually it will be installed, different than “opting out,” which means you're not ever going to be a part of it?
This is the kind of unclear, untimely communication that causes people to mistrust KIUC. I just can't believe KIUC has waited this long to develop and articulate an opt-out policy, seeing as how it's been an issue in California.
In other matters, as a follow up to the recent Tasing of a student at Kapaa High, I've been wanting to post KPD's use of force policy. As you will see, nearly everything related to Tasers has been redacted, which the county justifies based on this opinion from the Office of Information Practices.
I've written to OIP asking it to take another look at its opinion to see whether it does also apply to Tasers, and whether it was the Office's intent exclude the public from all right to know anything about how police use this potentially lethal weapon. Because if we're kept in the dark, how can we have any role in reviewing, considering or debating their use?
And finally, to KamaKele, who left a comment on yesterday's post saying:
Joan you completely lost me when you said plants have intelligence, self-awareness, etc...treat them with respect? sure. But self-aware and intelligent? The last time I checked, you needed a brain for that. Or maybe that's my scientific method talking.
Check out this article:
Richard Karban, professor in the Entomology department at UC-Davis (UCD). He states that, “Plants engage in self-recognition and can communicate danger to their “clones” or genetically identical cuttings planted nearby.” [UCD] The research, published in Ecology Letters, would be the first suggestion of this kind, that plants are fully aware of themselves and look out for their own kind.
Then read “Botany of Desire” by Michael Pollan. It certainly got me thinking about plants in a very different way.
I've got nothing against science or the scientific method. But my complaint is that it tends to dismiss anything it hasn't figured out how to prove or bothered to check into. And I don't see why I should limit my world or belief system because scientists haven't determined a way to prove something that I already know through direct experience to be true.