Editorials for Sunday — August 10, 2003

• Grove Farm


Grove Farm

The face and name of AOL-TimeWarner executive Steve Case is known across the globe. Case is known as one of the entrepreneurs who have made the world of personal technology what it is today, a pioneer in making the Internet a place for average people.

What most of the world doesn’t know is that Case’s roots go deep on Kaua‘i.

His grandfather A. Herbard “Hib” Case was a treasurer for Grove Farm Co., ran the food distribution program for the Island during the days of World War II rationing and was a well-liked local businessman.

Now Steve Case is helping to develop Grove Farm into a 21st century business with new improvements to Kukui Grove Center, the opening this weekend of the full 18-hole golf course at Puakea, plus starting other projects involving housing and other improvements to Grove Farm’s land.

Steve Case follows in the footsteps of G. N. Wilcox, the missionary son who developed Grove Farm into a successful sugar plantation in the last half of the 19th century into the early decades of the 20th century. Kaua‘i is benefiting from Case’s global success, and Case is remembering his Kaua‘i roots in striving for excellence in his local projects.


Changes are on the way to the makeup of the board of the Kaua‘i Island Utilities Cooperative. New elections are around the corner, and two board members are resigning.

The board might move up boardmembers who were elected to one-year terms, given them by board vote two, or one, more years on the board.

Randy Hee has turned in his resignation as a two-year boardmember, citing conflicts of interest as he works managing the new power plant at Kapaia that KIUC is attempting to buy from the owners of the power plant. With the sale possibly just days away, and the clear title to the plant being clouded for now by an ongoing lawsuit in San Diego involving the consulting firm that launched its construction, the resignation is timely, if not possibly a bit overdue. Hee is doing the right thing by resigning at this time.

The KIUC board’s decision to turn down an offer to purchase the aging Lihue Plantation bagasse-into-electricity plant is likely a wise one. The machinery is at least a generation or two in age. While the concept is a good one, and bagasse did provide a healthy portion of Kaua‘i’s power not too long ago, starting fresh with new machinery is probably the right way to go about relaunching this type of alternative energy production.


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