The Maui 10
Who's the county's most powerful player?
July 12, 2007
|4||4||Alexander & Baldwin|
|5||5||Maui Land & Pineapple Co.|
|9||9||Maui Electric Co.|
|10||10||Wailuku Water Co.|
THE HEAT IS ON
Things are looking mighty bad for hapless Hawaiian Telcom. Sometime in September the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) will finish its long-running investigation into why customer service problems have been so bad ever since May 2005, when behemoth private equity firm Carlyle Group bought the phone company. And the long knives are really cutting into the company. "[A]dditional regulatory oversight of HT's managerial conduct is essential if the state of Hawaii and HT's retail and wholesale customers are to have any chance benefiting from the merger transaction rather than continuing to be harmed by it," Time Warner Telecom—a wholesale customer—told the PUC, according to the July 2 Honolulu Advertiser. When a cable company is asking for more regulation, you know you're in trouble. So why didn't HT drop further? Because according to the Advertiser, the state Division of Consumer Advocacy insists officials shouldn't punish HT "because it did not deliberately cause the problems."
THERE GOES THE FUTURE
Looks like the future belongs to Monsanto. Literally—in the July 19 issue of The New York Review of Books, noted physicist, futurist and author Freeman Dyson eloquently explains the considerable (though not necessary laudable) power of genetic engineering firms like Monsanto in the essay "Our Biotech Future." "The public distrusts Monsanto because Monsanto likes to put genes for poisonous pesticides into food crops, just as we distrusted [computer pioneer John] von Neumann because he like to use his computer for designing hydrogen bombs secretly at midnight," Dyson writes. "It is likely that genetic engineering will remain unpopular and controversial so long as it remains a centralized activity in the hands of large corporations." MTW
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