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Monday, September 20, 2010
NYT: In an Ugly Human-Trafficking Case, Hawaii Forgets Itself
By Selected News Articles @ 8:34 PM :: 9987 Views :: Agriculture, Labor

In an astounding display of amnesia and misplaced sympathy, Hawaii rallied around the defendants. After entering their plea deal, the farmers, Michael and Alec Sou of Aloun Farms, orchestrated an outpouring of letters begging the judge for leniency at sentencing. Business leaders, community activists, politicians — even two former governors, Benjamin Cayetano and John Waihee, and top executives at First Hawaiian Bank — joined a parade attesting to the brothers’ goodness.

The men were paragons of diversified agriculture and wise land use, the letter writers said. They had special vegetable knowledge that nobody else had, and were holding the line against genetically modified crops. If they went to prison, evil developers would pave their farmland. Think of the “trickle down impact,” one woman implored the judge. Besides, their produce was delicious.

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Friday, September 03, 2010
Green hypocrites: Case & Omidyar’s Maui Land & Pine tied to human trafficking case
By Selected News Articles @ 12:03 AM :: 18462 Views :: Kauai County, Maui County, Environment, Ethics, Agriculture, Labor

THREE MONTHS after Intajak arrived in America, in October 2004, Global Horizons sent him to Hawaii to work for the Maui Pineapple Co. Here, the pay was better than in Yakima—$9.50 an hour—but the conditions were worse. One Global Horizons agent, Intajak and other workers told me, was in the habit of carrying a knife, a gun, or a baseball bat, and of threatening workers with "deportation" if they didn't behave or meet their quotas. Just four days in, Intajak says, he watched the man beat a coworker. 

The Maui Pineapple Co.'s land is nestled among gorgeous foothills, shrouded in mist and covered with volcanic soil the color of dark coffee. The now-defunct company was part of Maui Land & Pineapple Co., whose majority owner is Steve Case, cofounder of AOL; another primary shareholder is eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, a generous benefactor of anti-slavery organizations.... 

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Unions reject furloughs: Governor seeks ag inspection alternatives
By Letters to the Editor @ 1:08 PM :: 5396 Views :: Agriculture, Labor

State Government  cannot afford to look or be the same.  We need to find new ways to do the tasks that were once performed.  We want to explore with the Agriculture industry options such as third-party certification, self certification, and random sampling.

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Saturday, March 22, 2008
Molokai Ranch: Protesters to Cash in with Takeover Plan?
By Andrew Walden @ 2:49 PM :: 14605 Views :: Maui County, Agriculture, Greenmail

Molokai’s largest private employer is closing operations. With unemployment already at 7 percent, 120 more Molokai residents (on an island of just over 7,000 residents) are losing their jobs. In a state where politicians pretend to be obsessed with “saving agriculture,” cattle ranching will end on the 1/3 of the island owned by Molokai Ranch.

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