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Moloka'i The Friendly Isle

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Unread 03-24-2008, 03:53 PM   #1
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Default Molokai Ranch Closing; 120 to lose their jobs

Now Molokai residents, some who had put hope in MPL (Molokai Properties Limited) to revitalize the island, know how the offshore owners actually care about it's employees, and residents who share the island, and how much the "Hawaiian" culture that makes this place special, means to them.

Absolutely nothing.

There's more to this story than meets the eye; hopefully more of it will come to light. It's intriguing what greed will do, even at the highest corporate levels.
"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple."; Dr. Seuss
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Unread 03-24-2008, 05:31 PM   #2
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Don't Blame Me, I Voted For An American
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Unread 03-25-2008, 09:27 AM   #3
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that was a really nice place - one of our good friends was one of the people that helped renovate that place, hang pictures, installations, etc... and he was telling us how nice the place was. i was hoping to take my wife and son back again to go see that place one day, maybe this summer. i heard they had all kinds of activities, etc... there.
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Unread 03-25-2008, 09:32 AM   #4
iz jus me dakine li'dat!
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120 people is a lot for an island that small...

any word on what will happen to those properties/businesses?
any buyers? or would be buyers?
so sayeth idio
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Unread 03-25-2008, 11:49 AM   #5
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Thats terrible. In semi-unrelated news: Somewhere in the back of my mind I always wanted to own a small mom and pop shop on the neighbor islands.

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Unread 03-25-2008, 12:11 PM   #6
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As of last notice, the property; 60,000 acres worth, will be put in "mothballs".

I'm assuming that it means that other than absolute minimal maintenance, there will be no activity on the properties.

What's the real shit in the face is that they announced that they will close ALL access to any of it's properties. Many physical features of Molokai have been accessible through the courtesy of Molokai Ranch / MPL, Ltd. for generations. According to their off-shore management, NO MORE.

They want to intentionally hurt Molokai people for their protesting the development of La'au Point, with 200 houselots of a minimum value of one million dollars EACH.

Imagine someone building a Portlock-type subdivision.... at Kaena Point. That's why Molokai residents are so uptight. It's pretty much the same hypothetical scenario (dry arid, undeveloped land, would need massive amounts of water piped over from the wetter parts/ agricultural lots, to irrigate manicured lawns, ponds and swimming pools, and artificial forests and tropical gardens, despite being in arid conditions).

Ever since Singapore-based GuocoLeisure Limited purchased Molokai Ranch from the New Zealanders, it's only been about money. No concern for the Hawaiian culture or lifestyle that attracts people here. No concern for the employees who have served 15, 20, 30, 35 years (several people were laid off or fired even after that long). No concern about the people who live and (in many ways) eat off of the land for much of their meals, or fish the seas responsibly. No concern about the atmosphere and lifestyle which makes Molokai so attractive to locals and visitors alike to "go back in time a bit".

It's all about money. Pure, raw, profit. F*cking greedy leeches. Really sad.

In past years, they have, at Molokai Ranch;
  1. Created ad campaigns promising a good future and better lifestyle for Molokai residents, IF THEY WOULD SUBMIT to their "Plan" which began with the development of La'au Point.
  2. Closed down two of their "eco-camp" sites, despite the fact that they were quite low-maintenance and that there was and still is a market for "eco-tourism" on Molokai.
  3. Recently removed the Hawaiian culture and life program from the Molokai Ranch Lodge, and fired it's curator of 30 plus years.
  4. Letting the Kaluakoi Resort Hotel deteriorate by the year since they purchased it in 2000, despite the fact that it could be brought up to satisfactory operating status with a whole lot less money than they claim.
  5. Made amendments to their Environmental Impact Statement that the development at La'au point was not a "final" development effort, but merely the primer for "potential expansion of it's land resources", and not preservation of 50,000 acres as they had originally claimed would be "returned to the community". Lies. They were going to simply allow access to their private property, which in turn would be developed in smaller increments to keep the activists quiet.

And now, they will close the Lodge, the theater, their gas station and store, several beaches which are accessible only by Molokai Ranch's land, and the golf course.

They claim they can "only" restore the hotel by selling 200 lots for a million apiece. 200 million dollars. We rebuilt a closed-down hotel in Kaunakakai with VOLUNTEERS and DONATED materials for less than one million dollars, and we think we have a pretty nice retreat center. 200 million? I'm still drawing blanks on that one, having LIVED THROUGH MY EXPERIENCE. I KNOW how much it takes. I go to the beach behind that resort hotel once in a while. I don't think it needs that much money to start up. Plus, GuocoLeisure is not interested in a "local" style hotel. They want to do a Waikoloa here, and attract the arrogant rich and snobby.

"Once the millionaires come to stay at Laau Point, Molokai is surely going to change", (Hawaiian activist/ culturalist Hanohano) Naehu said.

"Guys like them will be going to the mall and guys like me will be going to jail," he said.

Anyone ever tried to fish at Portlock lately? China Wall, spitting caves areas? Last time I went, the cops came and said that the neighbors felt "uncomfortable" with us there, despite the fact that I didn't have any alcohol or drugs, we had 3 in our group, and we didn't make much noise except for setting our bells and adjusting our drags. That was over 20 years ago, and the last time I ever fished there. Rich snobs... "uncomfortable" because we wanted to fish from a PUBLIC area below their castles.

I've come to know what it's like to have a culture shift on Molokai. People (not locals), complain in the aisles of the small hardware store because "they only have 8-10 styles of drawer pulls here, and not dozens like the big Home Depot on the mainland".

"Scuse me, but if you want a mainland size store, kindly GO BACK THERE. People here have 'made do' with what was available for years and generations".

Folks are already complaining about the lack of a McDonald's, Jack in the Box, or Burger King, having only a Subway franchise to eat fast-food.

"Scuse me, but most of the people here have eaten off the land and sea for generations now. Enjoy that opihi."

What's next? They'd want traffic lights here in town because they get too impatient when locals are backing out slowly, or stopping to say "hi" to their friends and neighbors on the sidewalk, or in their storefronts. I've never heard so much horn-honking from the rental cars of impatient drivers.

"Scuse me, but if you don't like waiting a minute while Uncle and Aunty say "hi" to someone, park your car and WALK Main Street. I don't mind, but I also walk anyway."

These "small town" values that make Molokai extra special are quickly dying out to mainland attitudes. The young people here (locals) do no better because they learn to act like L.A. ghetto gangsters from watching too much TV, and turning the irritation from the outsiders into outright hatred for "crackers" (the Molokai slang for haoles).

It's a losing situation... but I'm not giving up.

Geeze. I ran on a bit, didn't I.
"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple."; Dr. Seuss
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Unread 04-04-2008, 03:47 PM   #7
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I hear ya Kyle...
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