Quoted: Trouble in Larry Ellison’s paradise

“I don’t think Mr. Ellison’s trying to hurt people, but I don’t think he realizes what a delicate little ecosystem the economy is here. We were so zealous: ‘Oh, my God, he’s coming to save our island!’ It just feels like everything’s in limbo now. All of a sudden, there’s a fear factor: ‘What are we going to do if this thing falls apart?'”

Gail Allen, a Lanai gift-shop owner, on the future of the Hawaiian island Oracle founder Larry Ellison bought in 2012. According to an article in the New York Times Magazine, among the projects on hold on the island for various reasons are a golf course and a water-desalination plant. While fans of Ellison can be found on Lanai — “he is renewing, refreshing, rejuvenating every part of the island,” says resident Mimi Evangelista — other residents are getting worried. “This place was developed on the backs of humble people; people who cared for each other… Now it feels like everything’s being driven from outside by some force that is not part of that tradition,” says Pierce Meyers, a retired school principal.

 

Photo of Larry Ellison from Associated Press archives

 

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