BY SAM SLOM – Kiss the first half of 2011 goodbye. Good riddance; let’s hope there is more Hawaii business improvement during the final six months of this year.

Plan to attend the next monthly SBH SUNRISE Networking Breakfast meeting tomorrow, June 30, from 7-8:30 am in the Pineapple Room, Macy’s Ala Moana Center. Complete buffet breakfast, networking, introductions and special guest speaker Tech Expert Jay Fidell. Fidell is the Founder, Think Tech Hawaii, Technology Advocate, and Attorney. His topic is: “What is the State Department of Business Talking About?” Don’t miss this provocative meeting. Bring a friend. Call Darlyn @ SBH, 396-1724.

Last week, Rep. Gene Ward & I hosted a Town Hall meeting on the closure of Foodland in Koko Marina Shopping Center at Kaiser High School. As stated, the purpose was not to interfere in private contract negotiations but rather to give residents an opportunity to give their opinions at a public forum. The next day, we met with the management of the Center and took the concerns of the public who attended the meeting. Now it is up to Foodland and Walgreens to see if they can reach an accommodation.

Local business Kai Vodka got a big shot in the arm when nationally known mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim, boosted their product, Kai Shochu, and made an exotic drink on the NBC Today program June 24. You can’t buy that kind of positive national exposure.

With the 4th of July holiday around the corner, Kailua and East Honolulu are still in a last minute frantic fundraising efforts to help defray the costs of the celebration, special events and fireworks. The shows WILL go on thanks to local businesses.

Yesterday the Reapportionment Commission met again and continued to debate whether or not to count non-resident military population in its total figures. A lot is riding on the final decision made by the Commission. If counted, Oahu will probably continue with the same number of state senators; if excluded, Hawaii would gain and Oahu would lose one senator. The first draft plan is due in August.

Also meeting yesterday was the Governor’s new Judicial Reinvestment Initiative (JRI). This unprecedented committee brings together federal, state and local government to make changes in our judicial system and imprisonment. It is a bipartisan effort to make changes and to save money.

This year, 42 states have introduced legislation that would enact or expand private school choice programs, including school vouchers and scholarship tax credit programs. If enacted, these programs would benefit millions of low- and middle-income families.

This Alliance for School Choice/ American Federation for Children memo, School Choice: Legislation State by State demonstrates the tremendous support that exists for school choice across America. In Hawaii,  Senate bill 1461 creates the school choice scholarship program, which provides scholarships to low-income students to attend a participating private school.

With prices going up everywhere it is good to know you can access our several existing internet sites at no cost: www.smartbusinesshawaii.com, www.educate808.com and  www.sbhfoundation.org.

Hawaii Reporter won the top investigative business news reporting awards at last Friday’s Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ)  awards banquet. You can hear Malia Zimmerman of Hawaii Reporter.com, daily (M-F) on the Rick Hamada Show, KHVH radio on 830 AM at 6:20 am. Malia also reports on Kauai’s KKCR with Sandy Brodie on Tuesday mornings, on the station’s “Morning Paper.” She will report the news behind the news for you.

Last call for small business award nominees for the upcoming Small Business Hawaii Entrepreneurial Education Foundation AWARDS BANQUET Friday, September 16, 5:30 – 8 pm, Waialae Country Club. Send business nominees to  SBH@lava.net.

Celebrate your freedom and independence on Monday, July 4!

What? Not receiving your copy? Send PR, additional requests and email address to SBH@lava.net or call Darlyn at 396-1724.

Let SBH help you with YOUR business. Just starting a business?   Call me personally for help at 396-1724 or email: SBH@lava.net. Smart Business Hawaii Means Business and we’re here to help you.

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