It was a big box crayon kind of morning, with streaks of apricot, salmon, scarlet, hot pink, soft pink, gold, yellow and lavender lighting up the dawn. But in the end, the sky made its own choice: gray.
KIUC customers who choose to opt-out of a smart meter are now being charged $10.27 per month — a fee approved by the Public Utilities Commission and endorsed by the consumer advocate. In most utility companies, that would be the end of it. But since KIUC is a cooperative, members were able to conduct a petition drive to put the issue to a vote.
Now KIUC will spend $63,000 to conduct an election to ask members whether everyone should pick up the tab for the opt-outs, or if the 10 percent who want customized service should pay extra. Meanwhile, Jonathan Jay and Adam Asquith are reportedly seeking an injunction to prevent the utility from collecting those fees pending a vote.
Like Bill 2491, much of the stirring up about the smart meter issue has come from radio station KKCR — itself a major emitter of microwave radiation — where Jonathan and Adam have talk shows. They've been aided by another programmer, Felicia Cowden, who last night told the KIUC board, “It hurts me to have to put KIUC back in the crosshairs.”
Crosshairs? As in the sights of a gun? As in targeting someone or something for death? That's ugly language for a talk show host who is supposed to be following programmer guidelines that state:
Verbal non-violence is the standard for all programming: programming should encourage thoughtful consideration rather than attempt to provoke outrage; it should not use inflammatory, deliberately provocative or culturally insensitive language, terms or labels, or “hot button” slogans; it should not attack or insult individuals, groups or cultures; and it should never incite hate, intolerance, or religious or cultural bigotry.
Programming should strive for objectivity. Programs should attempt to fairly convey all sides of an issue that is under discussion. Programmers are expected to strive for balanced discussion and to moderate discussions fairly, rather than to promote personal, political or religious agendas.
How, pray tell, is someone going to provide fair, objective programming when she's publicly announced she's got KIUC in her crosshairs?
I've been a member of KKCR for a long time, but I no longer can listen to the afternoon talk shows because they are so biased and filled with disinformation, by which I mean the deliberate promulgation of misinformation in order to achieve a specific agenda. And I know I'm not the only one who feels this way.
Both Felicia and talk show host Jimmy Trujillo submitted applications for the recent County Council vacancy, and Jonathan ran for the KIUC board. In other words, all three have political aspirations aided by their shows.
When KKCR broadcasts a public hearing or meeting, that's true community-based radio. When it allows talk show hosts to rant unopposed for hours on end and spout all kinds of untrue, inflammatory stuff, that's something else, something more akin to propaganda. I hope the KKCR Board of Directors looks into this issue and cracks down on its public affairs programming to make it more representative of the larger community instead of dominated by a handful of people who all hold the same views.
While we're on the topic of disinformation and propaganda, I've been disheartened to see so many fake comments being submitted to this blog. What's even more troubling is that they're being generated by the pro-2491 group. Most recently, I got a batch of comments, all obviously written by the same person(s), trying to dispel the notion that the movement was haole-dominated. How pathetic.
As a friend said, “I hate pesticides, but I hate liars even more."
Or to quote Mahatma Gandhi: “Truth never damages a cause that is just.”