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Letter: Good News on the Wind Front

Good news for Molokai Ranch may be good news for us all!

Many of you remember early last year when Molokai Ranch CEO Peter Nicholas held a series of informational meetings, where he explained that Governor Abercrombie’s threat of eminent domain — condemning private land for public use — had forced the Ranch to lease 11,000 acres to Pattern Energy for the construction of 90 giant wind turbines.

Two weeks ago, members of I Aloha Molokai (IAM) were invited to meet with former Castle & Cook Resorts Lanai land development director Mr. Clay Rumboa, who is now the new Ranch general manager. He repeated the same touching story: how the Ranch didn’t really want the windmills, and how they were forced into the project by the governor’s threat.

We at IAM are fair people. We are reasonable people. We don’t want to see anyone bullied, whether it’s a homestead farmer or a sprawling ranch. So we went to see the governor, just to ask him, why are you doing this?

Of course, Mr. Abercrombie is a very busy guy, so we were granted an audience with Mr. Ambruce Cobba, the governor’s chief of staff. When we explained the situation, Mr. Cobba was shocked and amazed! The governor never threatened eminent domain, he said, that’s just not his style. He does want a cable from Oahu to Maui, but otherwise he just wants the islands to all work together, like one big ohana. Mr. Cobba stated categorically that “no threat of eminent domain ever came from this office.”

So here’s a great opportunity for everyone. There’s no threat after all. Mr. Ramboa can tell his bosses to relax. The Ranch can go ahead and cancel the lease with Pattern Energy (their lawyers know how to do this) and make the wind turbines go away. Then we can all sit down and discuss Mr. Ramboa’s list of win/win opportunities — like the reopening of the theater, the lodge and the hotel, the upgrading of the west end water system, raising hogs and growing feed stock on Hawaiian Homelands and maybe even the conversion of Molokai’s diesel power plant to solar.

We are I Aloha Molokai, and we too just want everyone to get along.


Kanohowailuku Helm, President


3 Responses to “Letter: Good News on the Wind Front”

  1. Kalikiano says:

    Auew! had to chuckle seriously at the enormous (& delightful) whimsy in your words! Delicious use of the language to get a point across about the duplicity of large commercial entities (read: corporations) when it comes to self justification of actions that may not be either popular or acceptable in the main.

    As we all know, due to the keeping of stock animals ranches usually have a surfeit of high quality fertilizer on hand, tons of it in fact…and apparently Molokai Ranch has found a convenient new use for a particularly fragrant load of it! (This is, of course, not exactly news to all of us).

    If all this is as you say, the line of horse exhaust ‘the Ranch’ has spread regarding the wind turbine project is prime AAA effluent indeed! Mahalos to you for taking the matter to the virtual woodshed and giving it the treatment it deserves here in print! This example of ‘fiction as reality’ has all the earmarks of behavior that large multi-million dollar corporate entities in the islands have employed to deceive islanders ever since the Christian god (and all of his Yankee capitalist followers) first set foot on Hawaiian soil, almost 200 years ago.

    Presumably these folks (Mssrs. Nicholas & Ramboa, et al) are all good God-fearing Christians? If so, they seem to have completely ignored the last three commandments Moses brought down from the mountain…especially the 9th!

    Mahalos, bruddah Helms! Malama pono!

  2. Steve says:

    This is what Abercrombie stated on 3/3/11:

    “If the Molokai landowner (Molokai Ranch) is incapable of participating in a viable plan for the island, the state is willing to exercise its right to condemn lands for this public purpose….”

  3. Kalikiano says:

    That has the sound of an excerpt from a transcript of Abercrombie’s remarks ‘in camera’. Despite being politically joined at the hip, perhaps Mr. Cobba and Mr. Abercrombie are not on the same page of the wind turbine script? Looks like more research is needed to see exactly who said what, when! If there is an official transcript of remarks made on this issue (on the public record, by any and all parties to the accord), it would be good to know of it so that others may review the documentary record.

    One thing is certain: If the Governor did threaten eminent domain, the practical result would make a stirred-up wasp’s nest seem like a nursery full of babies all snoozing serenely! The contention over Laau Point would be looked back on as if it were merely an afternoon mahu teaparty!

    Mahalos for that additional information.

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