Your Views for December 16


Biomass energy

Each time I listen to or read information regarding biomass energy, I think back to 1984, when I sent a letter on the subject to Dante Carpenter, the former mayor of the Big Island.

I was on the mainland and came across an invention and inventor of a fully self-sustaining biomass plant, through my lawyer. I was greatly interested because of what it could and would mean to Hawaii on all islands because of the tremendous amounts of biomass that is created here.

Mr. Carpenter was a former management person for a large sugar-producing mill in Ka‘u. That is where we met, and that is where I learned of the very large amounts of bagass available from the fields.

I toured an operating plant and was very impressed by the operation and the positive consequences, not only for low-cost power production and the eco-friendly results. The company I worked for was interested in doing the financing, which made very good sense, and I became interested in acquiring the license for Hawaii.

However, as things do happen, I was told that after I made the system noticed here, the license was then bought by a wealthy, old-time, well-known person. I made a trip to Molokai to visit family and was told that a small biomass plant was created there, and they didn’t know if it was operating.

Too bad. Biomass energy is “the” regenerative source of energy.

Gerald Ferro

Hilo

Good job, HTH

I just wanted to thank Colin Stewart for the wonderful article that he did on “The Gift of Life” that appeared on the front page of the Nov. 15 edition of the Tribune-Herald. His coverage of the poignant story of Angie Toma’s willingness to donate a kidney to her son’s coach, Gregg Hirata, was an inspiration to others and a good example of positive journalism at its best.

I really appreciated his thorough coverage of the realities of kidney disease in our state and its impact on our families and communities.

Your coverage helped to promote our E Pule Kakou event that Sunday evening, and we were able to share this inspirational story with the people who attended, as well as to share more information on kidney disease and the latest advances to help other families struggling with it. We were also able to bless the families who attended with prayer from the many pastors that attended.

Thanks also to Editor David Bock, who immediately responded to the idea of doing an article on this story, and for helping members of our community by promoting these positive stories of local people in our city.

Keep up the good work, Tribune-Herald!

Pastor Renee Godoy

E Pule Kakou, Big Island coordinator

Hawaii vs. teachers

Two years ago, the Hawaii Department of Education was awarded a $75 million grant by the federal government. The grant came via President Obama’s “Race to the Top” (RTTT) initiative, which raises expectations for teachers and students.

The year the state was given $75 million to improve the quality of education in Hawaii, its educators were working on an expiring contract. The current contract was not created through negotiation with the state. It was, more or less, imposed upon teachers.

The “agreement” teachers now honor pays them less and provides them with less planning time than the previous contract. RTTT, however, requires teachers to plan more. They have to capture and analyze more student data than they did two years ago.

They have to learn a new (and more demanding) curriculum, too, and devise effective strategies to teach this new curriculum. And they will be held more accountable for student performance than ever before.

I thought of a statement teachers could wear to communicate all of the above: “The state of Hawaii got $75 million, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.”

Eric Lammerman

Kailua-Kona

Then and now

We hope that your front page on Jan. 21, 2013, will feature President Obama as you did on Jan. 21, 2009.

Bob Peck

Pahoa

Praise for new lights

Congratulations and mahalo to the County Department of Public Works for the ongoing project of installing the new LED streetlights. These fixtures are a huge improvement in reducing light pollution, glare and power consumption.

I look forward to the day when all streetlights on the island have been replaced.

Bob Alder

Hilo

 

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