|Gail Kalani and Melani Camba operate the Ka`u branch of Bank of Hawai`i.|
FORMER OFFICE OF HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS trustee Dr. Malama Solomon has been appointed to the state Senate by Governor Neil Abercrombie. She takes the place of Dwight Takamine, who was named chief of the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Solomon, who is 59 years of age, spent 18 years as an OHA trustee and 16 years in the state Senate. She operates a 1,600-acre ranch in Waimea, North Kohala and Hamakua. Solomon also serves as the Kakau `Olelo (historian) to the Beamer-Solomon Halau O Po`ohalu. She holds a Ph.D. in Education from Oregon State University, a MA in Education and BA in Cultural Anthropology from UH-Manoa. She will serve as interim senator for the Hamakua side of the island until her confirmation by the state Senate.
Abercrombie will also appoint a new senator from Ka`u within 60 days of Sen. Russell Kokubun becoming the new head of the state Department of Agriculture after Christmas. The process involves the local Democratic precinct officers interviewing more than a dozen candidates who are expected to submit their resumes. In Solomon’s case the precinct officers caucused together, each casting ballots in three rounds of voting to come up with three nominees to present to the governor. Besides Solomon, former state Rep. Kenneth Goodenow and current state Rep. Mark Nakashima were nominated.
YOUNG BROTHERS asked the Public Utilities Commission yesterday for rate hikes that could send prices for interisland shipping soaring. The cost of moving livestock, vehicles and 40-foot containers could go up by 15 percent. Building material shipment costs could rise by 35 percent. Young Brothers filed the application in response to the PUC giving permission for the San Diego-based Pasha shipping company to drop off interisland cargo on its way to and from the West Coast. Young Brothers has threatened to leave the state, saying the competition is unfair.
Matson has already received permission to hike rates by two percent in January.
ML MACADAMIA ORCHARDS, which is one of the largest employers in Ka`u, is looking forward to a better 2011 since recent rains are likely to boost its crop next year. The company reported a net loss of $308,000 for the third quarter of this year, posting total revenues of $4.7 million dollars, $1 million less than the same quarter last year. The company explained that severe drought delayed the picking and reduced the macadamia harvest. The company also purchased the IASCO property makai of Hwy 11 in Pahala. ML says it is the world’s largest grower of premium macadamia nuts.