WAILUKU – Three years after it banned using water from the Hamakuapoko Wells for human consumption, the Maui County Council is considering tapping the wells for emergencies.
The wells are contaminated with pesticides, but county water and state health officials have said treatment removes the chemicals to undetectable levels and makes the water safe to drink. Water Director Jeff Eng said Tuesday that if the council allowed the wells to be used as a backup during times of drought or other emergencies, it would allow the county to issue several hundred water meters from the Pookela Wells to residents who have been waiting for water Upcountry.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has ruled that more work needs to be done on an environmental assessment for a produce irradiator that’s proposed for a location near Honolulu International Airport.
The commission’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board issued a ruling last week saying the NRC staff needs to consider alternate technology and sites in producing the assessment. The board’s decision said it expects the staff to give meaningful consideration to transportation accidents in preparing a final environmental assessment.
The ruling came after almost three years of discussion at the NRC, which has been considering Pa’ina Hawaii LLC’s request to build an irradiator that would use up to a million curries of cobalt-60 to treat local fruits such as papayas, vegetables and other items so they can be shipped to the Mainland insect-free.
This is a terrible time to start importing foreign bananas due to the proposed layoffs of agricultural inspectors. The domestic crop could easily be devastated by invasive pests including banana rasp snail, red palm mite, two-spotted mite, banana root borer, banana aphid and the mealybug.
Philippines: Banana exports to US [HAWAII] seen by next year
Local banana producers will likely be able to export fresh bananas to the United States starting next year, an Agriculture official said yesterday.
"I am optimistic that the process in exporting [bananas] would be fast because the banana industry is organized," Joel S. Rudinas, director of the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), told reporters.
"Right now we are in the comment period [proposing procedures to the US Department of Agriculture, or USDA]…until maybe end of August or September," he said, adding that the US banana market is worth over $100 million.
Manila asked Washington in December 2005 to allow fresh banana exports to the US mainland, and followed this request with another in September 2007 to export the same commodity to Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands.
August 30th, 2009 by peoplesdialectic
I’ve always been impressed with the quality of events Kanu Hawaii puts on to help the community and raise awareness about important issues.
The Eat Local Challenge is no exception. In fact, it strikes at the heart of possibly one of the most immediate and important questions for our islands. Eating local is beneficial on both an economic and environmental level. And the light the Challenge shines on food channels couldn’t have come at a more crucial time.
The Honolulu Star-Bulletin featured on Wednesday, August 12, an article discussing plans to develop 1,500 acres of some of ‘the best ag land’ on Oahu for a 12,000 home community. The loss of this prime agricultural land to tract housing, shopping centers, and business parks will be a significant loss of our ability to grow food for ourselves.
There was a day when the economy of our islands didn’t depend on visitors from around the world. While no one suggests we return to the plantation culture, we do need to diversify our economy away from tourism. With a revenue stream that is so fundamentally tied to the vacation plans of people around the world, Hawaii is particularly vulnerable to economic hard times and recessions. We can no longer afford to depend so heavily on the disposable income of others. Hawaii must once again become self-sufficient.
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Aug 30, 2009
Maggie Cox makes a good point. If public libraries on rural islands are to be closed to save the state some money, it’s only fair that libraries on Oahu share the pain.
Cox represents Kauai on the Board of Education and though none of the libraries at the top of the list for shuttering are on the Garden Island, Cox speaks in defense of the stepchildren of the state.
They are the Cinderella regions of Hawaii, exploited for the natural beauty they have largely retained while most of Oahu has been so disfigured it is no longer eligible for the tourism image of unspoiled paradise.
They are expected to do the heavy lifting for undesirable projects like prisons and military training grounds, but stand at the back of the line for the good stuff like technologically top-grade schools and medical facilities.
State land use panel rejects plan for 12,000 homes on Ewa farms
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Aug 29, 2009
In a rare move, the state Land Use Commission rejected yesterday a developer’s push to urbanize 1,500 acres of prime agricultural land in Ewa to create a new community of nearly 12,000 homes.
The commission voted 5-3 to declare the petition by D.R. Horton-Schuler Division "deficient," saying the developer had not followed the rules by spelling out an incremental development plan for its Ho’opili project. But it said Horton could fix its petition and try again.
"Hallelujah!" Kioni Dudley, president of Friends of Makakilo and leader of the opposition, declared after the vote. "It’s a great victory. It’s a victory for the aina. I hope the setback to the developer is permanent."
Dudley had some powerful support at yesterday’s hearing, including the state Office of Planning, which argued forcefully against the project, and the heads of the state Transportation and Agriculture departments. The commissioners also heard hours of testimony from members of the public, most of them pleading to keep the land growing fruits and vegetables for local consumption.
If there’s anything we like to cover besides net/nets here at Cheap Stocks, it’s real estate, more specifically, companies that own relatively large amounts of raw land, commercial property, or a combination of the two. My portfolio is chock full of these companies, from retailers such as Cabela’s, to restaurants (Cracker Barrell, Denny’s) to shipping companies (Alexander and Baldwin) to agriculture (JG Boswell and Limoneira), to name just a few.
Over the years, I’ve also sold out of some names as well. Maui Land and Pineapple (MLP) is a great example. I continue to follow the company, however, looking for a re-entry point, or making a determination of whether I want to take a new position.
MLP, which owns 24,500 acres primarily in Maui, Hawaii, including 10.6 miles of ocean frontage with 3300 of lineal feet along sandy beaches, has fallen on hard times during the recession. The company recently reported a $54 million loss for the second quarter, which included more than $37 million in writedowns, $21.3 million of which represented a decrease in value of the Company’s investment in the Kapalua Bay resort. Clearly, the downturns in real estate prices and resort visitors has been a double whammy for MLP. The stock now trades at $6.22, down 79% from its 52 week high of $29.69.
Three Men Charged in Human Trafficking Conspiracy for Exploiting Thai Farm Workers in Hawaii
WASHINGTON, Aug. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Justice Department announced the indictment of Alec Souphone Sou and Mike Mankone Sou, owners of Aloun Farm in Hawaii, and Thai labor recruiter William Khoo late yesterday for engaging in a conspiracy to commit forced labor and visa fraud. The charges arise from the defendants’ alleged scheme to coerce the labor and services of Thai nationals brought by the defendants to Hawaii to work under the federal agricultural guest worker program. Both Sou defendants are also charged with conspiring to commit document servitude.
The charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. If convicted, Alec and Mike Sou each face maximum sentences of 15 years in prison and William Khoo faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.
By EDWIN TANJI, For The Maui News
POSTED: August 28, 2009
There may be plenty of water on Maui.
There is not enough cheap water – not when an extended period of abnormal rainfall places much of the island in drought and not when Hawaii law and court decisions require reallocation of access to the cheap water.
That’s not how state water commission hearings officer Dr. Lawrence Miike put it in his proposed findings and recommendations on setting stream flow standards for Na Wai Eha, the four major streams at Waihee, Waiehu, Wailuku and Waikapu (hawaii.gov/dlnr/cwrm/currentissues/cchma0601/CCHMA0601-01.pdf).
But his analysis, including a synopsis on the evolution of Hawaii law on water rights, helps to explain the issue. His history doesn’t go into detail but that was not its purpose.
The Miike findings note that sugar planters in the mid-1800s were granted rights to divert water from streams by the Hawaiian monarchy, but say nothing about whether the monarchy tempered effects on downstream users.
In the post-overthrow era, Miike notes the territorial Supreme Court turned out rulings that treated water as property of landowners. But after World War II, the legal standing of water was modified by other court decisions until the 1978 Hawaii Constitutional Convention added a section that established water as a public trust.
The constitutional amendment led to a State Water Code – Hawaii Revised Statutes 174C – and sets up the Commission on Water Resource Management to create and enforce standards on use of the islands’ water resources.