The Maui 10
Who's the county's most powerful player?
December 07, 2006
RANK PREVIOUS COMPANY
Maui Land & Pineapple Co.
Alexander & Baldwin
Maui Electric Co.
Wailuku Water Co.
NO WEINBERG BEFORE ITS TIME
Every once in a while I look over the Maui 10 and wonder how an
organization like the Weinberg Foundation made it onto the list. They
don't make huge campaign contributions or deal in high-tech or
high-value industries. They certainly don't appear in the news very
often. And every time I get close to yanking them somebody goes and
gives me evidence that they absolutely must be on the list. In this
most recent case, you need only refer to "Top 20 Wealthiest Landowners"
list that appears in the November 2006 issue of Hawaii Business
magazine. Right there at Number Three—Three!—is Weinberg (which seeks
to aid "those unfortunate people who by reason of poverty, disability,
failing health and/or advanced age are unable to adequately help
themselves") with its $1.258 billion worth of Hawai`i landholdings. The
vast majority of their holdings are on Oahu, but they do own 402 acres
of Maui, including the Lahaina Shopping Center, the Lahaina Center, the
Kahului Industrial park, the Ka`anapali Shores resort and, of course,
that giant vacant lot next to the Lahaina Cannery Mall that's notorious
as a home for homeless people and vagrants.
CALLING FOR HELP
Carlyle Group-owned Hawaiian Telecom—currently drowning in a flood
of customer complaints largely stemming from massive phone billing
problems—has decided to buy more than $1 million worth of computer
software that it hopes will help. According to a Nov. 28, 2006 press
release sent out by Fine Point Technologies, Inc., the new software
will "help enhance customer support and smooth the transition of users
to new network services." It will also "allow Hawaiian Telcom to reduce
customer support costs [subcontracting out boiler rooms full of
customer service reps to handle the torrent of complaints] while
enhancing the quality of experience (QoE) realized by broadband and
dialup customers." If that doesn't make Hawaiian Telcom customers feel
better, I don't know what will. MTW
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