BY SAM SLOM –

Happy New Year of the Dragon
Hope you had an auspicious start to the new year. Do you ever remember a two-week period with less work completed than the past two weeks of the year? Every time you called for someone, especially in the government sector, they were not there. Let’s see if that improves.

Next Wednesday’s SBH Conference.
You MUST join us next Wednesday, January 11, for the 36th annual SBH Business Conference, the first major business and economic conference of the New Year. You WILL learn tips for prosperity and success for your business this year. The public is welcome. Reservations required. Join Hawaiian Airlines CEO Mark Dunkerley, demographics expert Wendell Cox, American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) Jonathan Williams computer guru Peter Kay and leading Hawaii business owners: Matt Longfellow, Valpak of Hawaii; Marissa Capelouto, Oahu Express and Tyler Roukema of Outback Steak House (Hawaii Kai).

Also speaking, is Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald. FOX TV and The Wall Street Journal’s John Fund keynotes the annual SBH conference. It all happens next Wednesday, January 11 (Ala Moana Hotel, 8 am – 2 pm). Call Darlyn (808-396-1724) for information and reservations or go to  www.smartbusiness.com.

Case for Case.
Former Congressman Ed Case, running for the U.S. Senate in the Democrat Primary, against Congresswoman Mazie Hirono, has asked Democrat Party Chair Dante Carpenter to have the Party sponsor several statewide joint presentations before the August 11 Primary. Good luck with that Ed, with Senator Daniel Inouye and the Party insiders all backing Mazie. (Last October, SBH invited Case, Hirono and Republicans Carroll and Lingle to a candidate forum at the January 11 Conference. Only Case and Carroll accepted. Hear them next week).

Ben for Mayor?
Former Governor Benjamin Cayetano shook up the political world last week by announcing he was forming a political committee to look into running for Mayor of the City & County of Honolulu later this year. The feisty Cayetano, author of the best-selling autobiography, “Ben,” endorsed current Mayor, former City Prosecutor, Peter Carlisle in 2010 but now opposes him on several issues including the $6 billion steel-on-steel heavy elevated rail. Ben is one of 7 plaintiffs-including the SBH Foundation-opposing the ill-conceived money draining rail. He will make his decision within 2 weeks. Let’s hope it’s YES! He can go the distance and save the taxpayers.

Rail Suit Opponents.  
The Carpenters Union and the community organizers in FACE, Faith Action for Community Equity, yesterday filed a motion in the federal lawsuit against the rail under the Pacific Resource Partnership. The group supports the train to nowhere and argues that the project will create jobs and that the public already voted (in 2008) for the rail.

This Ain’t Iowa Bub.  
The Hawaii Republican Party will host its first Candidate Caucus on March 13 in Honolulu. Candidates have to pay a $5,000 fee and register. So far, only 2 Republicans have paid to play.

Number 4 Goes Home.
President Barack Hussein Obama, ended his $4 million,10-day Kailua, Hawaii vacation leaving the Islands Monday. A week earlier, asked how he thought his Administration would stack up against other Presidents, Obama modestly said he thought he was number 4. Really?

Office Vacancies.  
Colliers International reported that the office vacancy rate for 2011 in Honolulu climbed to 13%.

On Your Roof.
FarmRoof® founder Alan Joaquin, Kamehameha Schools representatives and other supporters begin installation of a 38,000 sq. ft. USDA-certified organic farm on the rooftop of Auto Mart USA (formerly CompUSA) at 604 Ala Moana Blvd. today. It is the first commercial urban rooftop farm in Hawai’i and FarmRoof’s largest. The rooftop farm will supply community, retailers and chefs with an assortment of delicious, healthy, and nutrient-dense crops such as heirloom kale, arugula and mustard greens.

The farm will grow in a proprietary ultra-lightweight soil infused with minerals, trace elements, nutrients, and billions of microorganisms. The installation is part of landowner Kamehameha Schools’ vision to redevelop Kaka’ako into a healthy and sustainable urban community.

Okamura Appointed.  
Governor Neil Abercrombie announced the appointment to the State House of Representatives (District 33- Aiea) of Democrat Tom Okamura, replacing Rep. Blake Oshiro who the Governor tapped late last year as his Deputy Chief of Staff. Okamura previously served in the House for nearly 20 years.

Battle for Brooklyn.
Tonight is the final night (7:30 pm) of the film, “The Battle for Brooklyn,” at the Honolulu Academy of Arts Doris Duke Theatre. The film is an indictment of present government usage of eminent domain to destroy private property and small business. Pacific Legal Foundation’s Honolulu attorney, Robert Thomas will be on hand for questions and commentary.

Not Civil.  
Despite a last minute court challenge, same sex couples in Hawaii were able to go online and register as civil union partners January 1. Delaware authorized the same thing. There was some interest, lots of publicity and computer glitches which back logged the nuptials.

Go To The Mill.
Hawaii’s 113 year old City Mill Company, Ltd., home improvements retailer, greeted 2012 with the announcement the firm will open a super store in Ewa Beach. President and CEO Steve Ai, expects the store to open before the end of this year.

See Ya In The Movies.
The Enchanted Lakes Keolu Theatres in Kailua have reopened as a family four plex with inexpensive second run flicks and CHEAP popcorn. Check them out.

SBA Nominees.  
The U.S. Small Business Administration is seeking nominations for awards honoring the critical economic role small businesses play in federally funded research and development through SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

Three awards will be given, one for companies that have participated in the SBIR/STTR programs, one for individuals who advocate on behalf of the programs, and a third “Hall of Fame” award recognizing companies that have an extended period of extraordinary success of research, innovation, and product commercialization within the SBIR or STTR program.

The awards are presented to companies and individuals that are beacons of promise and models of excellence in high technology.  Typical of past award winners are a Maine company that created a self-propelled and eco-friendly “AquaPod” for sustainable aqua-culture. A previous Hall of Fame award winner that won numerous SBIR grants – a major west coast chip manufacturer – started with a staff of 35 and has expanded to a global work force of 17,500. Selections for Tibbetts Awards are based on several factors, including the economic impact of the technological innovation, overall business achievement and demonstration of effective collaborations.

Nominations for these awards will close 5 PM EST on January 31, 2012.  Awards will be presented in Washington, DC, in April 2012. To submit a nomination, please visit  tibbetts.challenge.gov  (Tibbetts Awards – companies and individuals) and sbirhof.challenge.gov  (Hall of Fame Awards).

JA Awards.  
The deadline for nominations for Junior Achievement of Hawaii business laureates is this Friday, January 6. Awardees will be announced shortly thereafter and the annual banquet will be set.

Ethical Shortcoming.  
The Honolulu Ethics Commission has allowed city Special Events Coordinator Patty Teruya to resign from her job rather than face a contested case hearing on multiple counts of abuse of her government position and city resources.

The commission deemed Teruya’s alleged violations “numerous and egregious” as to make her “unfit for continued employment with the city” if proved.

Earlier this year, based on an investigation by the commission’s staff, the commission found probable cause by Teruya in the following:

· Misused her city computer privileges by accessing 2,135 non-work related websites over a two-month period.

· Sent and received 174 non work-related emails within the span of four months to support her campaign for council, as well as the campaigns of city and state politicians; to conduct job searches for her boyfriend; to sell her boat; and for personal shopping.

· Exploited her authority as Special Events Coordinator over non-profit and vendors to make them submit letters of recommendation to bolster and advance her city career.

· Endorsed her close friend for service contracts for at least eight city-sponsored events to the exclusion of other contractors.

“These violations are some of the most blatant I’ve seen in the city, and happened after the commission staff, her department head and two other agencies told her not to misuse public resources for her own benefit,” said Chuck Totto, the Executive Director and Legal Counsel for the commission.

Totto also expressed his concern that city law does not allow the commission to impose civil fines directly on civil service employees who abuse their power.

“Without civil fines, there is no process to make the public whole for extreme misconduct by employees like Ms. Teruya,” said Totto. “The best we could do was to drum her out of her city job.”

Blonde Uprising.  
You may have seen Malia Zimmerman on FOX-TV (Neil Cavuto) Drudge, NEWSFAX or the London Daily Mail last week; she owns and edits the award winning Hawaii Reporter.com, Hawaii’s first electronic daily newspaper. Begun almost 10 years ago, Hawaii Reporter still is free to all readers. Hawaii Reporter’s Malia Zimmerman reports daily (M-F) on the Rick Hamada Show, KHVH radio on 830 AM at, 7:40 am. Malia will report the news behind the news for you.

Want more local business information? Please visit the several SBH websites at:: www.smartbusinesshawaii.com, www.educate808.com and www.sbhfoundation.org.

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