Your Views for August 3


Critical of airline

Hoku Tagupa’s letter, entitled “Airline has no aloha” (Tribune-Herald, Your Views), struck a sympathetic cord with this haole. In my mind, all domestic airline carriers should be regulated by the U.S. government, as they once were.

Deregulation was supposed to provide competition between airlines, providing lowered rates and better service. What we got were higher rates, charges for all baggage, no free lunch on flights to the mainland and, in general, mediocre overall service.

Hawaiian Airlines is just one of the “good old boys” in this game (no better, no worse). As a local boy who has watched the airlines jockeying for position for over 50 years I, too, feel your frustration.

Remember, the lowest interisland fares and the best service occurred when Hawaiian and Aloha Airlines were struggling to keep a third airline from entering the game of monopoly. Bust out the outriggers and boycott the airlines. So, what you think, re-regulate the airlines? Come on, Hawaiian Air, give us more booking flexibility for everyone, without all the extra charges!

Mike and Marcy Frenz

Hilo

Incinerator? Really?

Mr. Mayor (Billy Kenoi), there are better alternatives to our landfill dilemma than incineration! Look at the factors we have in our favor. We have a new sorting station that is sitting idle, a petroleum-fired HELCO power plant less than two miles away, a fledgling hydrogen-powered bus fleet and an ample supply of supplemental biomass. Put it all together, and there pops out a very interesting and economical solution.

Use a piece of off-the-shelf technology that takes the entire incoming truck load of solid waste and subjects it to low-pressure steam in a large autoclave. This produces a sterile product that is easily sorted mechanically into plastics, glass, metals and an organic pulp (“refuse derived biomass”). Then gasify the biomass pulp into a clean-burning “syngas” and pipe to HELCO’s nearby Hill power plant.

The economic credit should be equal to the value of the petroleum that the syngas replaces. If the new hydrogen-powered buses turn out to be a viable idea, then a slipstream of hydrogen could be taken off the syngas to fuel the fleet.

This idea seems like a win-win for all concerned, and I’m willing to bet that the project could be put together for a whole lot less than the last $125 million estimate for an incinerator. There is no need to build a new incinerator/power plant. Our solid waste can be turned into an asset instead of an expensive liability.

Here is a link that will lead you to a number of sites in Europe and Australia that already offer the required technology (http://bigislandgrowers.com/MSW.html).

Bob Ely

Keaau

 

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