Your Views for July 4


Concern for farmers

Several weeks ago I sent the Tribune-Herald my comments about the water and fuel shortages which are clearly affecting our Waimea farmers and ranchers on the Big Island. Ironically, Richard Ha wrote a column which appeared in Sunday’s paper that was very close to … the email I sent you.

Mr. Ha’s comments were well done. I agree with him and believe this concern is reaching a dangerous point. We the people of Hawaii need to continue to speak up and express our views, and I sincerely hope the Tribune-Herald will continue to publish this concern for our farmers. I am hoping that, because it’s an election year, our politicians might step up to the plate and kokua.

Kudos to the Tribune-Herald and Mr. Ha.

Ernest Alfonso Jr.

Honokaa

The farce continues

Beware of believing anything that is stated in the letter by John Sylvia entitled, “Hu Honua’s path” (Your Views, June 29).

I reviewed the Hu Honua application for a clean air permit, and it became clear to me that it was a self-serving calculation to make the project appear to be a “minor source” of pollution, thus not subject to more stringent pollution controls. The Environmental Protection Agency questioned this approach but turned the application over to the Clean Air Branch of the Hawaii Department of Health, which unfortunately has no expertise in these matters and approved the original application. None of the objections raised by local residents were given any weight.

Finally, local residents used their own funds to sue the EPA, which revoked the original clean air permit, and that is why there is a new application underway. This was not a voluntary action by Hu Honua. The new application also contains numerous flaws.

Mr. Sylvia apparently feels that the laws of physics do not apply to his operation. Ask any power plant engineer and you will learn that the efficiency of converting wood to electricity is in the neighborhood of 20 percent, but there is a huge amount of heat generated. This heat is not being recycled for other uses and has to be dissipated by using huge amounts of water.

I wish Mr. Sylvia would have explained how he can run a business that does not pay the general contractor or the subcontractors who are all in court to try to get the money they are due.

When a plan surfaced in 2005 to reopen the Pepeekeo power plant, this newspaper published a letter of mine entitled, “The Pepeekeo monster.” The current Hu Honua operation amply lives up to this description. We wait with bated breath for the next installment of this farce.

Adrienne S. Dey

Hilo

 

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