MOLOKAI HITS A DRY PATCH
FOREIGN INVESTORS GUT ISLAND
STATE LETS SPECULATORS OFF THE HOOK
KHNL8 NBC NEWS HONOLULU
"Molokai residents protest 178% rate hike on their water bills"
Hong Kong-Kuala Lumpur-Singapore Billionaires Cry Poverty: Republican Governor Sympathizes
Well, I guess Linda Lingle, the Sarah Palin of Hawaii, knows which side her sweetbread is buttered on. Instead of holding these ruthless alien capitalists to account for their misdeeds, the Governor is passing the buck to the victims of the Singapore shut-down of the Molokai Ranch, the Friendly Isle's largest (former) employer. On top of losing their jobs, Molokaians are now being hit with what may be the largest rate increase in the history of the State Public Utilities Commission, on their sole source of fresh water now: 178%, all in one gigantic hike!
The Republicans could have simply seized the historic property for unpaid bills, legal and contractual violations, condemned it or declared eminent domain. They could have put the whole place up on the block and sold it to an eco-friendly, Polynesian-loving, Hawaii-appropriate entity: Maybe even somebody local, and Hawaiian, like Bishop Estate, Hawaiian Homelands, or the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. But that would conflict with the Repukelickin's radical and hypocritical "conservative" philosophy, which always places profits before people.
It ain't about "property rights" or "Big Government": The Repukes have famously used eminent domain to condemn private property at unfairly low prices, just to move homeowners and small businesses out of the way of shopping malls and office parks. In those cases, of course, it was always "for the good of all the people:" All the people who own shopping malls and office parks.
The one unifying principle in the way the Pukes conduct government is the determination always to serve the rich over the poor, the powerful over the powerless, the corporations over the people. A hundred and sixty years ago, there were no corporations running and ruining our lives. We lived our lives freely in America, with government "Of the people, by the people, and for the people." But Lincoln was the first last and only Republican who ever believed that. And they shot him for it.
"Utility Rate Hikes Approved"
' In the midst of an economic downswing the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has taken the unprecedented step of approving temporary rate increases for two water utility service providers on Molokai. This is the first time the Commission has initiated the opening of a rate case for a utility provider. The rate case was opened in response to an announcement by Molokai Ranch that it would abandon services to customers of its three regulated utilities on Aug. 31. The company claimed that its two water utilities, Molokai Public Utilities, Inc. (MPU) and Wai`ola o Molokai, Inc. (Wai`ola), and one wastewater utility, Mosco, Inc. had been operating in the red for years and therefore would cease services. “Under these dire circumstances, the commission has no choice but to approve the temporary rate increases as a stop-gap measure,” said Carlito Caliboso, chairman of the PUC in a statement released Thursday. “We need to do what we can to require the utilities to keep operating, at least, temporarily, for the sake of the health and welfare of the people of West Molokai.” The rate hikes will affect approximately 1,200 customers in areas of west and central Molokai, many of whom were also affected by the closure of Molokai Ranch in April. Customers will see inflated rates for the next six months, beginning Sept. 1. “I’m appalled that the Governor would put this financial burden on the people,” said DeGray Vanderbilt, former chair of the Molokai Planning Commission. Questioning the PUC “It may appear they are being soft on the rate case issue,” but the commission has to provide adequate rate relief to the utility companies in order to compel them to continue providing services, said Carl Freedman, Haiku Design & Analysis consultant and expert witness for PUC rate cases. He said the strongest course of action for the commission at this point is to give the utilities exactly what they want. If the companies continue to refuse services, then the PUC has taken away the company’s claim to financial hardships, he said. Vanderbilt was quick to disagree. “The PUC didn’t have the gumption to challenge MPL’s claims of having no money.” “The three PUC commissioners, all appointed by Governor Linda Lingle, showed little backbone and totally wimped out when they approved the massive rate hike MPL demanded,” he said. '
"Rate increase concerns some on Molokai"
' The increase approved by the state Public Utilities Commission to stave off a potential shutdown has upset some residents on Molokai. Walter Ritte, coordinator of the group Hui Ho'opakele Aina, said he feels the burden placed on ratepayers is misdirected and that the water utilities' owner, Molokai Ranch, should be held accountable for its plan to shut down water services. "The increases are horrible. They're unprecedented," Ritte said. Saying it was unable to sustain losses without approval of a luxury development at Laau, the ranch announced in March that it planned to virtually shut down commercial activities and the water and sewage utilities. The state Public Utilities Commission said it was granting rate increases on Molokai to stave off a shutdown. The commission granted a rate increase starting Sept. 1 for the ranch's Molokai Public Utilities to $6.04 from $3.18 per 1,000 gallons of water and Waiola o Molokai Inc. to $5.15 from $1.85 per 1,000 gallons of water. Ritte, whose group opposed the Laau development, said the ranch's action was mean-spirited, and called for government officials to conduct an appraisal of the ranch's 60,000 acres of land. He said his group plans to organize against the rate increase and persuade the county to move toward condemnation of ranch lands to make sure it meets its obligations for water and sewage services. Ritte said if the county takes over the ranch's utility systems on Molokai, the burden will be placed on county taxpayers, including people on Maui and Lanai. '
MOLOKAI WATER STORY I.
"MOLOKAI: ATTACKING THE HEART OF HAWAII"
MOLOKAI WATER STORY II.
"DOES WIKIPEDIA HATE HAWAIIANS?"
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