Wednesday, December 22, 2010

HAPPY TRIALS

HAPPY TRIALS: We’ve never been much for “belief,” rather subscribing to the “half of what you see and none of what you hear” philosophy.

But our skepticism regarding a certain intrepid, red-suited, north pole denizen got a challenge with the news that the local newspaper’s courts and police reporter, Paul Curtis, is apparently no longer in their employ.

Assuming it was an involuntary separation- something we have it on fairly decent authority is the case, especially since his name has been purged from the staff page- it would be the third such termination for the Billy Martin of local reportage.

Although our celebration of the departure of government beat reporter Leo Azambuja was premature, we’ll proceed as if once burned, twice shy doesn’t apply here.

Last time Curtis was canned it was for causing then Business Editor Andy Gross to quit when Curtis tried to squelch Gross’ investigation of some of the shenanigans at the Kaua`i Island Utilities Coop (KIUC).

Curtis had been given his first job in reporting at the now seemingly defunct Kaua`i Times (despite a consent decree in a lawsuit forcing the local newspaper to continue to publish it) by Gregg Gardiner, who later pushed through the sale of Kaua`i Electric at an exorbitant price that continues to saddle rate payers with the highest rates in the country.

Though rumors of kickbacks were rampant, nothing was ever proven.

But with Curtis’ departure it’s time for the paper to regain the professionalism it exhibited during the recent and brief golden age when current editor Nathan Eagle and the now departed Mike Levine provided hold no punches coverage of island news.

That’s going to take one of two things.

The first and least likely is to see one of the myriad professionals recently let go in the contraction of Honolulu newspapers being lured to Kaua`i despite the starvation wages the paper notoriously pays.

The best scenario is to see Publisher Randy Kozerski loosen the purse strings and spring for a living wage so as to lure one of them- or even one of the local professionals- to do the job.

We’re not expecting a miracle. Just another little present from a gift-giving fat man.


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Speaking of most likely, unless something forces us to sit in front of this screen, we’re gonna take a long weekend.

3 comments:

KimoRosen said...

Andy,

Why don't you apply for Paul's old job!!!!?

damontucker.com said...

Cheaters never win... winners never cheat.

Janet said...

I worked on-site during the construction of the power plant on Ma'alo road. My layman's guess of the exorbitantly high cost of the "purchase" is that the executives were able to, through the creation of a co-op, have the co-op absorb the extra costs of going over schedule in construction. There were several construction issues with the second contractor that delayed the start-up date and in the contract, there were defined, extremely high, daily monetary damages that had to be paid from the promised date to the actual date of turn-over.
The power company who "built" it sold it to Dominion Energy. Then Dominion sold it to the coop. I could never figure out why Dominion was involved. The initial power company could have sold it to the coop. However, the broker partner "Kauai Power Partners" made a percentage, then the first power company was able to sell it to Dominion and WRITE off the costs of those damages. Then Dominion buys it, adds their percentage profit and sells it the co-op for an exorbitant price. This is just my opinion, of course.