Maui Business

HC&S Hosts Community Open House

April 14, 2014, 7:00 AM HST
* Updated April 15, 9:23 AM
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HC&S Puʻunēnē Mill in Kahului. Photo by Wendy Osher.

HC&S Puʻunēnē Mill. Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

The Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar company on Maui will host a community open house from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, at the Maui Waena Intermediate School Cafeteria.

The company says the meeting is intended to give the public an opportunity to dialogue with its management team and learn about harvesting operations.

“We felt that an open setting would be a good way to hear suggestions and ideas that will help us better understand the diverse views of the community while updating the public on improvements we have made and will be implementing,” said HC&S General Manager Rick Volner in a statement.

HC&S workers were on scene this morning, attempting to salvage some of the cane burned during one of the suspicious fires in Waikapū. Photo by Wendy Osher.

HC&S workers in Waikapū. File photo by Wendy Osher.

The company says the community open house will be led by a facilitator and the agenda will include presentations focused on HC&S’ harvesting operations as well as sugarcane harvesting in other parts of the world.

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Other topics to be covered include regulation and monitoring of cane burning and community perspectives on cane burning on Maui.

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Company representatives say attendees will also be given an opportunity to provide comments and suggestions and to ask questions.

The meeting comes shortly after the start of this year’s sugarcane harvesting season, and on the heels of the statewide broadcast of the Ola I Ka Wai documentary that aired statewide on KGMB on March 27, focusing on Maui’s Water Rights and backed by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Volner, who was interviewed for the half-hour special, said in the documentary that HC&S and East Maui Irrigation own the collection, distribution, and conveyance system for water that helps to support the company’s 36,000 acres of sugarcane in the central valley.

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The meeting also comes amid mediation proceedings involving the waters at Nā Wai ʻEhā. The contested case hearing involving permits and instream water flow standards at Nā Wai ʻEhā or “the four great waters” in Central Maui, was scheduled to commence last month, but was postponed pending developments of discussions.

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