BY SEN. SAM SLOM – Trial By Rail. Yesterday, lawyers, the public and contract beneficiaries of the Honolulu taxpayers squeezed into new federal district courtroom 8 for the hearing by federal Mainland Judge A. Teshima on the Honolulu $9.03 billion rail project. Lead plaintiff attorney, Nicholas Yost,was in a San Fran hospital recovering from an after surgery infection. Matt Addams was his legal surrogate up against a bevy of City and Federal attorneys. The Judge took the matter under advisement but hinted the City might have to prepare for making major changes to its costly project.

 

Cayetano-Lingle? One of the strangest impacts of this year’s election is the growing Republican support for former DemocratGovernor Ben Cayetano (also one of 7 rail plaintiffs) who is running for Honolulu Mayor. Sprouting up on cars and fences, Cayetano bumper strips or posters next to Linda Lingle (US Senate). Who would have believed it?

 

No Statehood for You! Last Friday, August 17, was Statehood, or Admissions Day. The state and county holiday we used to take to celebrate our pride in being the 50th state of America in 1959, is now just another day off. I suggested several years ago it should be removed as a paid holiday since the state is afraid to celebrate our being a proud part of America.

 

New Forbes Book. Steve Forbes is the author of a new book, “Freedom Manifesto,” along with Elizabeth Ames. It is a great read and timely, concerning America’s Constitutional turning point.

 

See “2016” The Movie. Saw “2016,” last weekend, the new movie based on NY Times best selling author and NYC King’s College president, Dinesh D’Souza, and his controversial book on President Obama. Playing at Dole Cannery. Some scenes shot in Honolulu. Will see it again this weekend.

 

SBH Biz Awards. Smart Business Hawaii (SBH) and the Small Business Hawaii Entrepreneurial Education Foundation, invite you to join the Lex Brodie SBH Business Persons of the Year, Bobbie & Cliff Slater of HonoluluTraffic.com at the annual SBH Foundation awards banquet Friday, September 21 at the Waialae Country Club.

 

The SBH Jean Fukuda Civic Leadership Award for 2012 will go to Mike Palcic of MGP Consulting and the SBH George Mason Outstanding Business Reporting awardee is Andrew Pereira of KITV-TV. Additional awardees include: Dale Evans(Charley’s Taxi) SBH Business Booster; SBH Success All Stars: Bill Comerford (O’Tooles/Hawaii Bar Owners Association), Peter Kim (Yummy’s Korean BBQ) and Bob Sigall, “The Companies we Keep” and Rear View Mirror (in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser); SBH Educator of the Year: Justin Mew (Niu Valley Middle) School Educator and Jed Gaines, Read Aloud America, Business Educator. Details? Sponsorships? Come join us. Call Darlyn: 808-396-1724.

 

UH Regents Meet Today. The University of Hawaii Board of Regents meet today amid local controversy over AD Jim Donovan, the botched Stevie Wonder Concert, the bizarre responses of new Manoa Chancellor John Apple, President MRC Greenwood and many questionable monetary expenditures. Meanwhile the long awaited West Oahu UH Campus opened and already may be in trouble with its accreditation. Beautiful campus but challenged content.

 

Witness’ Property for Sale? There are signs announcing the property for sale of the Jehovah’s Witness sanctuary in Aina Haina.

 

COSTCO Gas? There may be a renewed attempt to build a COSTCO gas station and marine fuel depot adjacent to the big box property in Hawaii Kai. Would be subject to Neighborhood Board and other approval.

 

“Earth, Wind and Fire.” The wind turbines at Kahuku on Oa’hu’s North Shore are still down after a fire in the battery room shut down the wind energy weeks ago. Alternative energy for sure, but this is a real world example of what can happen to wind power and lots of clouds and/or rain affecting solar. We don’t have the luxury of totally jettisoning petroleum just yet.

 

Sam Choy in LA. Successful local chef and restauranteur, Sam Choy, has recently opened his Pineapple Express food truck in Los Angeles.

 

Hawaii Legislative Website Tops. With its redesign and upgrade,  the Hawaii State Legislature’s website has won top honors as the nation’s best legislative website.   It earned the Online Democracy Award from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), which was presented on August 8 during the National Conference of State Legislatures’ 2012 Legislative Summit in Chicago.

“Through public input and the teamwork of our diligent staff, the Hawaii State Legislature’s website has become a more user-friendly, accessible portal for citizens of all ages wishing to participate in or learn more about the legislative process,” said Senate President Shan Tsutsui. “The website helps citizens throughout Hawaii to connect to information and policy issues that directly impact their lives and communities.  We are greatly honored to be recognized for our efforts.”

Hawaii State Legislature’s website was redesigned and upgraded less than a year ago.  The website can be found byclicking here.

The Hawaii State Legislature stood out to the panel of judges for the extensive amount of information available on the website. Features such as the guide for first-time users, explanations about how to use various features, a citizens’ guide and a legislative glossary allows citizens of all ages to participate in the legislative process.

The judges also noted:  Additional features that invite citizen involvement, such as a “Submit Online Testimony” link on the home page and on bill summary pages, and a flexible “Find Your Legislator” feature.

  •  Easy and accessible links to calendars, caucus sites, and committee hearings.
  •  A simple, clean and consistent layout, with the most frequently-used items in the center of the home page and a consistent search function on left and navigation tools on the right.

NCSL’s Online Democracy Award is given each year to a legislature, legislative chamber or caucus whose website stands out for making democracy user-friendly.  Previous winners of the NCSL Online Democracy award include the Florida Senate, Washington Legislature and Tennessee General Assembly.

 

Fraud on Seniors. Bank of Hawaii to present free seminar on fraud on seniors. Millions of people fall victim to fraud each year. But did you know that many of these victims are our seniors? That is why it is critical for seniors to be educated on the different types of scams. Have peace of mind by empowering yourself with the tools and knowledge to help protect your hard-earned savings.

In this seminar, you’ll learn:

  • What is senior financial abuse
  • How to identify different types of scams
  • How to protect yourself from fraud

The Bankoh seminar schedule and location is as follows:

September 8 * 4:00 – 5:30 pm * Moiliili Branch

September 12 * 5:30 – 7:00 pm * Pearlridge Branch

September 19 * 5:30 – 7:00 pm * Keeaumoku Branch

September 19 *  5:30 – 7:00 pm * Hawaii – Kona Branch

September 27 *  5:30 – 7:00 pm * Pearl City Branch

October 6 *  4:00 – 5:30 pm * Moiliili Branch

 

This seminar is free and open to anyone to attend.

 

Greek, Not Geek. Don’t forget to go to the annual Greek Festival this Saturday and Sunday at McCoy Pavillion in Ala Moana Park.

 

Veto Override. The Honolulu City Council last Wednesday voted to override Mayor Peter Carlisle’s veto of a bill that bans commercial activities at Kailua and Kalama beach parks in Windward Oahu. The council voted 7-2 to uphold the law, which had passed July 11 but was vetoed by Carlisle. Major impact on small businesses.

 

Waihee: Pay Up! Former Hawaii Gov. John Waihee and three associates have agreed to pay $1.3 million to settle claims by the state Attorney General that they helped to illegally divert some $30 million from funeral and burial plans sold to thousands of Hawaii residents. The lawsuit was one of many filed after the 2004 financial collapse of funeral homes and cemeteries owned by the RightStar group of companies. Waihee and fellow trustees who oversaw RightStar’s customer trust accounts consistently denied wrongdoing and agreed to settle the claims against them to put an end to eight years of litigation, according to interviews and court papers. The Attorney General’s office has also agreed to settlements in a series of other legal claims against various parties involved in the failure of the RightStar companies.

 

Office For Rent. The vacancy rate for the Honolulu office market increased to 14.9 percent during the second quarter, according to a new report from Hawaii Commercial Real Estate. Four of the 10 submarkets tracked in the company’s survey lost occupancy, while three gained and three remained flat.

 

PEOs at SUNRISE. Still time to reserve and attend. JS Services’ founder, Jack Schneider, speaks at the next monthly SBH Sunrise Networking Breakfast in the Pineapple Room, Macy’s Ala Moana, Thursday, August 30, 7-8:30 am. Public welcome. Call Darlyn at SBH for details and reservations (396-1724).

Eatery to Close. Ed Kenney’s Downtown @ the HiSAM restaurant in Honolulu will close next month after failing to negotiate a lease renewal with the state for the space at the Hawaii State Art Museum, according to a letter posted for customers: “After numerous attempts to renegotiate a favorable second five-year lease term we have reached an impasse and we will serve our last lunch on Saturday, Sept. 15,” according to the letter, which was in a frame on the main counter inside the restaurant.

 

Hawaii Data Book. The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) released the 2011 edition of the State of Hawai’i Data Book(click here). The state’s Data Book is the most comprehensive statistical book about Hawai’i in a single compilation. With 800 data tables, it covers a broad range of statistical information in areas such as population, education, labor, energy, business enterprises, government, tourism and transportation.

 

“As a part of government services provided by DBEDT, the Data Book is a great tool for the public to use in their business planning or just to know Hawai’i in depth,” said DBEDT DirectorRichard C. Lim. “We are in an economic environment where we must carefully target our resources.” The Data Book is available on the DBEDT website, (click here) and may be downloaded in whole or in part as PDF or Excel files.

 

Ford: Wine & Wheels. Honolulu Ford presents “Wine and Wheels” an event to benefit the Kalihi Business Foundation and scholarship program for Farrington High School. Join them Thursday August 30th from 5:30pm until 8:30pm at Honolulu Ford, 1370 N. King Street (Houghtailing and H-1). Enjoy wine tastings, ono food, an opportunity to explore the newest Ford automobiles and meet KBA members and friends. Cost is $50 and donations of school supplies for Kalihi area schools are welcome.

 

Mark Benson, President of Honolulu Ford said “we are excited to have this opportunity to give back to the community that supports us and we encourage everyone to come out and help this worthy cause.” For more information or tickets for the “Wine and Wheels” event, contact Donna Davis at 532-1700 or via email at ddavis@honoluluford.com.

 

SBH can 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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