Maui Land & Pineapple loses management of golf course and may lay off workers

The owner of the two Kapalua Resort golf courses on Maui won’t retain Maui Land & Pineapple Co. to manage the facilities after March 31.

Maui Land notified employees last week that they may be terminated as part of the change, though Maui Land said in a statement today that it hasn’t determined how many employees will lose their jobs.

Troon Golf of Scottsdale, Ariz., will assume management of the Kapalua Bay Golf Course and Plantation Course.

Maui Land, in an effort to raise cash and pay down debt, sold both courses over the last two years to an affiliate of Japan-based retailer Fast Retailing Co. Ltd. with agreements to lease back and manage the properties until March 31

Maui Land & Pineapple loses management of golf course and may lay off workers – Hawaii News –

Haliimaile Pineapple topic of Rotary talk

KIHEI – Doug Schenk, a director of the Haliimaile Pineapple Co., will speak at the 7:30 a.m. meeting Wednesday of the Rotary Club of Kihei Sunrise.

He will discuss the “rebirth” of pineapple on the Valley Isle. As a locally owned and operated successor to Maui Pineapple Co., Haliimaile Pineapple Co. is trying to fill the void left by Maui Pine, which closed in 2009, a release said.

The breakfast meeting convenes at the Five Palms restaurant at the Mana Kai Maui Resort in Kihei. The cost of breakfast is $17. The meeting is open to the public.

For more information, call President Ed Corbett at 264-3468 or see

No. 690: The Ginaca Machine

by John H. Lienhard

Today, a machine keeps a gentle land from being gobbled up — but only for a while. The University of Houston’s College of Engineering presents this series about the machines that make our civilization run, and the people whose ingenuity created them.

In 1951, a young woman took me to a fancy luau at the University of Oregon. It was peculiar culture shock for me. Half the college students from Hawaii studied in Oregon. My left-brain focus was ill-fitted to the easy-going rhythm of the event. I still had much to learn.

Ukeleles and steel guitars nattered on cheerfully in 8/8 time. Everyone wore shorts or muumuus. And the food! It was roast pork and pineapple — poi washed down with pineapple — pineapple juice and gin. I never saw so much pineapple.

Less than sixty years before, Queen Liliuokalani had ruled Hawaii. She was a poet and composer, but not much of a manager. Hawaiian and American members of the so-called Annexation Club managed to depose her and ask the United States to annex Hawaii.

Hawaii became a U.S. Territory in 1900. The mainland was a huge market for her pineapples and sugar. She became a market for our manufactured goods.

Now think about the armor-plated pineapple. A skilled operator, with coring and slicing machinery, could cut up 10 or 15 a minute. Pineapple canning was absolutely limited by the rate a human could core, peel, juice, and slice a pineapple. And then, all the juice near the skin was wasted.

Dying for Discovery

Almost 20 years ago now, in western Ecuador, I traveled with a team of extraordinary biologists studying a remnant of forest as it was being hacked down around us. Al Gentry, a gangling figure in a grimy T-shirt and jeans frayed from chronic tree climbing, was a botanist whose strategy toward all hazards was to pretend that they didn’t exist. At one point, a tree came crashing down beside him after he lost his footing on a slope. Still on his back, he reached out for an orchid growing on the trunk and said, “Oh, that’s Gongora,” as casually as if he had just spotted an old friend on a city street.

The team’s birder, Ted Parker, specialized in identifying bird species by sound alone. He started his work day before dawn, standing in the rain under a faded umbrella, his sneakers sunk to their high-tops in mud, whispering into a microcassette recorder about what he was hearing: “Scarlet-rumped cacique … a fasciated antshrike … two more pairs of Myrmeciza immaculata counter-singing. Dysithamnus puncticeps chorus, male and female …”

Police search for missing hunter

Honolulu police and fellow pig hunters are looking for a missing man in Waianae Valley.

Police said 37-year-old Thomas Kalama Jr., an avid hunter, was last seen on Jan. 11 at 4 p.m. at his home in Waianae.

Family members found Kalama Jr.’s 1983 Toyota pickup yesterday at 1 p.m. parked at the end of Waianae Valley Road.

Anyone with information on Kalama Jr. is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300.

Police search for missing hunter – Hawaii News –

Seed capital: a third of Hawaii farm revenue

By Howard Dicus

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Hawaii grows more corn for seed than for eating, and the seed industry is the new sugar for Hawaii, accounting for more than a third of all farmgate revenue in the islands.

All four of the nation’s largest seed manufacturers have substantial farming operations in Hawaii now, including farms on Molokai, Kauai, Oahu and Maui. The vast majority of seed produced is corn, driven in part by farmers growing corn for ethanol on the mainland, but diversification into other seeds is under way.

Using figures from 2009 for a report released Tuesday, the National Agriculture Statistics Service and the Hawaii Department of Agriculture reported that seed farms account for more than $222 million of the more than $627 million in statewide farmgate revenue.

Total revenue is up 4% from the year before, and also represents 37% more milk farm revenue as the dairy industry regroups on the Big Island, along with smaller rebounding in cattle operations and improved revenues for bananas, basil, sweet potatoes, head cabbage and other crops.

Drought, which has been a problem for local cattle operations since 2009, caused lower revenues that year in the flower and nursery industry, which had been the largest chunk of Hawaii diversified agriculture before the advent of the local seed industry.

Scope of isle farm labor abuse case widens

The exploitation of impoverished Thai farm workers by a Los Angeles-based labor contractor went on for longer than federal prosecutors had previously disclosed and involved more workers and more growers in more states, including Del Monte and Aloun Farms on Oahu and a macadamia nut farm on the Big Island, according to a federal indictment unsealed yesterday.

The indictment, an update to one returned last September, adds more charges of forced labor and related offenses against labor contractor Global Horizons Manpower Inc. owner Mordechai Yosef Orian and five alleged co-conspirators, officers in his company and recruiters in Thailand. The new indictment adds two more Global Horizons officers as defendants.

Aloun Farms owners Alec and Mike Sou are facing separate federal forced-labor charges for actions unrelated to Global Horizons.

Last September’s indictment said Orian, 45, an Israeli national, and his co-conspirators exploited about 400 Thai workers in forced-labor conditions from May 2004 to September 2005. It named only one property where the workers were allegedly confined and forced to work, the valley isle’s now-defunct Maui Pineapple Farm.

Big Island prosecutor Kimura announces retirement

Hawaii County Prosecutor Jay Kimura today announced he is retiring on April 1, in the middle of his four-year elected term.

First Deputy Charlene Iboshi will serve the remainder of Kimura’s term, under succession prescribed under the county charter.

Kimura has been the county prosecutor since 1992, winning five consecutive elections. He began his career as a deputy prosecutor in 1979. He is native of Lihue, Kauai, and served in the Army in Vietnam from 1969 to 1971.

Big Island prosecutor Kimura announces retirement – Hawaii News –

Rambutan is packed with vitamin C and sweet-tart tasty in winter

While it’s been grown in Hawaii for at least a decade, rambutan is still somewhat new to the islands. It’s a fruit that’s related to the lychee, distinguished by its oval shape and red rind covered in hairlike bristles.

The fruit comes from the Malay peninsula, and its name is derived from the Malay word “rambut,” which means hair.

Rambutan season is during the winter months, a nice counterpoint to the summer lychee season. The flesh is white, translucent and grapelike in flavor, perhaps not as juicy as a lychee, but certainly reminiscent of its sweet-tart flavor.

Rambutan are grown mostly on the Big Island, and much of it is exported to ethnic markets on the West Coast. Look for rambutan at farmers markets and Chinatown stores. As trees have matured in recent years, the fruit has become more delicious.

To eat a rambutan, use a small knife to cut through its equator and remove the spiny shell. Just pop it into your mouth and discard the seed. This fruit is a good source of vitamin C and refreshingly delicious.

Rambutan is packed with vitamin C and sweet-tart tasty in winter – Hawaii Features –