Today's top headlines for Lanai: News or April Fools?
From Friends of Lanai, April 1, 2013
Gv. Neil Abercrombie
Governor Abercrombie announces Big Wind on Lana’i is DEAD!
Fulfilling a campaign promise to make regular visits to his Neighbor Island constituency, Neil Abercrombie made his second visit to Lana`i in 3 years to announce that he “...gets it. I see the idiocy of letting private developers tell me what state energy policy should be. Now that Molokai stood up for itself, I have instructed HECO and the PUC to withdraw the island of Lana’i from any further consideration as a source of power for O’ahu.”
Perhaps Larry Ellison’s vision of making Lana’i a world-class model of self-sufficiency in food and energy has something to do with the Governor’s abrupt reversal, but Lana`i residents applauded Neil’s statement that, “We will no longer seek to destroy Lana’i’s beauty, culture and lifestyle with the Big Wind project.” IMUA, Neil!
David Murdock donates his “rights” to the Lana’i wind power plant to Kupa’a no Lana’i
Photo Courtesy Friends of Lanai
Today, multi-billionaire Murdock (although not in the same “multi” level as his successor Larry Ellison), announced that given his advancing age, his love for Lana’i’s people, his newly-discovered understanding of “Pono” (and advice from his tax attorney), he was transferring the rights to develop Big Wind on Lana’i to Lana’i’s Kupa’a no Lana’i (KNL). KNL was formed to protect, preserve, and perpetuate the Hawaiian values, culture, and heritage of Lāna'i through aloha and mālama 'āina. Murdock said, after 25 years, that he “...gets it. Ka’a ahupua’a is much too valuable a cultural resource to forever destroy for a few years’ profit. I don’t know what I was thinking. Larry tried to tell me this was a bad idea. He was right.”
Larry Ellison says “I will donate $10 million dollars to establish a cultural park in Lana’i’s north end.
Kupa’a no Lana’i’s management of the Keahiakawelo and the entire north end of Lana’i in Ka’a ahupua’a has been awarded a $10 million endowment to care for land previously targeted for Big Wind. KNL announced that as a result of Ellison’s generous endowment, that area will now be protected and preserved as a cultural and recreational destination for residents and tourists alike. Larry said, “I get it. Allowing Murdock any rights at all on MY land was a big mistake. It’s just not a good fit with my plans to take Lana`i off grid, and show the world that we can be completely self-sustaining. Why would we spend a billion dollars for a cable that, if it worked at all, would desecrate the National Humpback Whale Sanctuary, kill ua’u and enable O`ahu to keep spending energy that isn’t even theirs to spend?”
First Wind, Biological Capital and Siemens announce the Cable Replacement Endowment
Scale of Murdock's big wind project on Lanai (photo courtesy of Friends of Lanai)
The major players in Hawaii’s ongoing wind-wars today announced that they have generously agreed to donate hundreds of millions of dollars to the newly-established North End Cultural Park on Lana’i, to be managed by local native Hawaiian group Kupa’a no Lana`i. “We have decided to pool the profits we were guaranteed by the undersea cable bill and instead support the creation of a cultural and recreational resource on the island of Lana’i,” said wind developer consortium’s spokeswoman Noneed Cablea. “We get it. Others tried this in the 1980’s and the Courts shut it down. Just thought we could slip it in again, hoped everyone would have forgotten how the last cabling attempt turned out, but we were wrong. We’re SO over it.”
Public Utilities Commission becomes the “Community Protection Agency”
Today’s vote in the Legislature confirms a ground-breaking shift for the previously opaque and utility-friendly PUC. Its new mission is to protect communities from the unchecked, profit-driven, monopolistic Hawaiian Electric utility companies. A PUC spokesperson issued a statement: “Ok, ok, we get it. For too many years we have given the utility whatever it wanted, and rates for Hawaii’s customers have gone through the roof. If the Legislature hadn’t taken this new and creative approach, we’d have ended up with completely independent electric co-ops! We’d be out of business!”
Senator Kalani English promises to spend at least one day per year on Lana’i
Sen. J. Kalani English
Lana’i’s State Senator Kalani English today announced his intention to visit Lana’i one day each year so he can learn about his constituents’ issues. This would be in addition to his Lana’i visits on the one day before each election. According to Senator English, “I’m sorry, I don’t get it. Why do they want to see me? Don’t they know how much I have to travel to the South Pacific?”
Lana’i’s ILWU Chapter announces its support for Lana`i’s newly-established cultural and recreational park.
The 600+ members of Lana’i’s ILWU today announced their support of Kupa’a no Lana’i’s efforts to convert the north end of Lana’i from a destructive and culturally insensitive wind power plant to a culturally sensitive preserve and recreational area. When asked why local members previously let a handful of Maui leadership tell them what to do, a local spokesperson commented, “We did the math. There are more of us than there are of them, and they did nothing much during Murdock’s last days but whine and threaten us. Now it’s our turn. We think Ka`a can be the centerpiece to our visitor industry. Besides, we all fish and hunt there. How stupid would it be to give that up to profit someone who doesn’t even live here?” Members all donated funds to contribute to the growing endowment created by Larry Ellison, and in addition, have formed an ILWU Workers Brigade for upkeep and environmental management of the area.
Friends of Lana’i closes its operations.
“Now that Big Wind on Lana’i is dead, Friends of Lana’i’s efforts are no longer needed,” said FOL spokesperson Robin Kaye. “Members of FOL have all agreed to shift their efforts to supporting the work of Kupa’a no Lana’i in establishing a cultural and recreational refuge on the island of Lana’i.”
Ah, were it only so! HAPPY APRIL FIRST!!
Friends of Lanai is located on the island of Lanai and can be reached at email@example.com or online at www.friendsoflanai.org