BY SAM SLOM – Happy New Year, “The Year of the Rabbit” and no fireworks for you. A total ban on O’ahu. Glad you bought and stored enough. However, aerials have been banned for years and we see more than ever.

Prediction: President Obama will not have a 4th Christmas vacation in Kailua in December of this year.

One of the few tax REDUCTIONS took place January 1 with a reduced payroll social security tax of 4.2%, from 6.2%, this year. Enjoy it, with other tax and fee INCREASES.

Congratulations to Fred and Phoenix Pacific. Fred Smoot, CEO of Phoenix Pacific, Inc. has a new location in Kapolei. Phoenix Pacific, Inc. is having a grand opening and blessing of its new facility, TODAY, 12 – 2 pm.  Incorporated on January 6, 1976, Smoot will be celebrating his company’s 35th anniversary.  An SBH member since May 1985, Fred has been a great supporter of SBH and attends our events. Now located at 1019 Lauia Street, #2, Phone:  682-1000. Fax:  682-1047.

And pop the champagne for First Insurance Company of Hawaii, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Congratulations!

The Legislature held a briefing on Monday about the upcoming Asian Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) in Honolulu, November 6-13. Major planning underway. If your small business wants to be involved or you want to volunteer to help out with our visitors, the heads of state of 21 nations and thousands of visitors-contact SBH (396-1724).

HECO at it again: they recently received another substantial rate increase. The more you turn off the electric, the more you switch bulbs, the more you conserve energy, the more your rate will continue up. Auwe!

Senate Ways & Means Committee and House Finance are holding budget hearings now before the start (January 19) of the 26th State Legislature. The numbers don’t add up.

“Don’t take my Kodachrome away.”  (Paul Simon). The 1930s pioneering color film, Kodachrome film, ended all production 12/30/2010.

Newly elected City Councilman, Tom Berg, was as surprised as others that he won the special election last week for the seat vacated by Todd Apo. Berg is a hard-working, energetic savvy Tea Party conservative who proudly represented his Ewa community for years as a volunteer. He will be a good addition to the Honolulu City Council.

Time is running short to reserve a place for SBH’s 35th annual business and investment conference next Wednesday, January 12, in the Ala Moana Hotel.  Bestselling author and popular radio talk show host, Michael Medved will keynote and is expected to broadcast live from the hotel. Charley Memminger will provide the spice and humor.  The Hawaii Tourism Authority’s Mike McCartney will bring you thoughts for optimism.

Mets’ Pitching ace Sid Fernandez will join us too!  Many other fine business and community speakers are lined up including: Marcus Bender (Kai Vodka), Debi Halcro (Valenti Print Group) and James Kerr (SuperGeeks). A media panel will feature the veteran business reporters, Jim Dooley, Matt Levi, Malia Zimmerman and Greg Wiles. Call Darlyn to reserve at 396-1724 NOW!

Did you watch my favorite series, “Undercover Boss” on CBS, Sundays (8 pm)? Last Sunday, it was the CEO of NCL Cruise Lines and part of it was shot in Maui. Haven’t seen this show yet?  Watch it Sunday (KGMB-TV).

What? Another week went by and still no elected Speaker of the House at press time? Rep. Calvin Say has insisted for more than a month that he is only one-vote short of control. Maybe so, but where is that vote?

The State House-Senate Investigating Committee yesterday released its report on its investigation of the State Budget & Finance investment with Citigroup Global and the former Attorney General’s settlement with the securities firm. The Committee voted 4-1 to accept the report with Republican Rep. Gene Ward casting a no vote. The Committee indicated further legislative review after the November 23 settlement is warranted.

Last week, several dozen people heard Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack discuss his case before the U.S. Supreme Court several years ago against President Clinton and the conditions of the Brady Bill. The case involved the 10th-not 2nd-amendment and was a landmark decision, 5-4 in Mack’s favor..

The next regularly scheduled monthly SBH Sunrise Networking breakfast is coming up, Thursday, January 27 at the Pineapple Room, Macy’s Ala Moana, 7-8:30 am with guest speaker, Shiro -Hawaii’s Saimin King- Matsuo. Call Darlyn at SBH (396-1724) for reservations.

Celebrating a major business anniversary?  New location or product? Your business press releases are welcome in the weekly SBH News & Views E-News which reaches more than 8,000 business owners and government leaders in Hawaii..  Not receiving your copy? Send PR, additional requests and email address to SBH@lava.net or call Darlyn at 396-1724.

Start the new year and 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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