|3||4||Alexander & Baldwin|
|6||7||Maui Land & Pineapple Co.|
|9||9||Maui Electric Co.|
|10||10||Wailuku Water Co.|
WATER FOR HC&S
A&B’s affiliate Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar (HC&S) is a big company: its 37,000 acres worth of Maui sugar fields produces 60 percent of all raw sugar in the state. Those fields get water from HC&S affiliate East Maui Irrigation Co. (EMI), which dates back to 1876 when A&B founders Samuel T. Alexander and Henry P. Baldwin famously dug the mighty Hamakua Ditch. That ditch is long gone, but EMI today is a massive operation sucking up a huge amount of water, and it’s often considered the villain in the current Upcountry drought situation that has residents and small farmers there looking at mandatory 10 percent cuts in water usage. But on June 12 Warren Watanabe—president of the Maui Farm Bureau—reportedly told the county Board of Water Supply that EMI is no bad guy. In fact, Watanabe said that small farms like his “would not exist” were it not for EMI’s irrigation system, according to the June 14 Maui News. Now that’s public relations you just can’t buy.
SUPERFERRY GETS SUPER COVERAGE
In the public relations-you-can-buy corner, we have Hawaii Superferry (HSF), partially funded by our very own Maui Land & Pine. Man, did it ever get its money’s worth by hiring super-public relations firm McNeil Wilson Communications. They sent out a press release early June 14 headlined “Hawaii Superferry’s Alakai Sets Sail For Hawai`i Today!” and within 24 hours, that exact story was in the Pacific Business News, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Honolulu Advertiser and Maui News (the last two papers carried essentially the same Associated Press story). All were positive stories with glowing quotes from HSF CEO John Garibaldi (only the Star-Bulletin bothered to get a quote that didn’t come with the press release). All minimized the news that Coast Guard inspections of the new vessel took considerably longer than the company expected, and none mentioned that a recent citizen-sponsored traffic simulation in Kahului showed that it’s very possible the new boat will dramatically increase traffic around the harbor. MTW