BY SAM SLOM – Court Hands Obamacare Body Blow. Yesterday, the District of Columbia Federal Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 against a major portion of Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act. The court ruled the IRS is not legally able to change the original law by unilaterally extending federal subsidies to states that have chosen to use the failed federal Connector rather than to have a state Connector like Hawaii’s. Without those subsidies, most who did sign up for Obamacare will be unable to afford the higher, actual costs of the new law. A total of 36 states rejected creation of their own state Connector. The Obama Administration will appeal the decision, but legal experts conclude the ruling is correct.
Meanwhile, at a state House briefing on Monday, the state’s troubled Hawaii Health Connector still has no reasonable financial plan and little chance of succeeding without additional state taxpayer funding. The Connector has spent or obligated the majority of the $204 million federal grant to launch the connector, but still has a costly web site that doesn’t work properly, even months after it was supposed to launch fully functional in October of 2013.
SBH Will Go “Virtual.” As previously announced, Smart Business Hawaii (SBH), founded in 1975 by Lex Brodie, will leave its Hawaii Kai office in the Hawaii Kai Towne Center, after more than 20 years, effective August 31. SBH, like so many other local businesses, faces major financial challenges and will go “virtual.” Emergency financial support is being sought. Want to join now or donate to SBH? (6600 Kalanianaole Hwy, #212, Honolulu, HI 96825). There will be an office equipment and furnishings “garage sale” soon.
SBH SUNRISE. The next SBH SUNRISE Networking Breakfast will be held next Thursday, July 31, 7 – 8:30 am, in the Pineapple Room, Macy’s Ala Moana Center. It is a great place to meet new people and do business. Good for those running for office to talk to real small business owners! Networking, full buffet breakfast and interesting and informative speaker. $25. The special guest speaker this month is Sarah Allen, the state Procurement Officer. Learn about contracting opportunities for business and the law. All participants are introduced and asked to promote their business. Advance reservations required. Call me at SBH, 396-1724 (or cell 349-5438) for info and to make reservations.
Happy Feet. More than 2,000 physicians and medical specialists will gather at the Hawaii Convention Center for the American Podiatric Medical Association annual scientific meeting from July 24-27 to share breakthrough research and cutting-edge clinical knowledge in podiatric medicine. The organization, the nation’s leading professional organization for podiatrists, last held its conference in Hawaii in 2008. The diverse programming will include sessions on the impact of marathon running, use of stem cells to treat diabetic wounds, general pediatrics, sports medicine, and more. A debate will also be held to discuss minimalist versus traditional running shoes.
The conference is expected to benefit Hawaii’s economy with its 2,000-plus attendees generating an estimated $9.4 million in visitor spending, $916,000 in state tax revenue, and more than 16,000 booked room nights.
“You’ve Got the Power.” You’ve Got the Power, a new half hour television show about Hawaii’s most inspirational people, will air Saturday, 6 p.m. on KGMB TV (CBS). The show, created by journalist Malia Zimmerman, features three remarkable people who have overcome tremendous challenges to be successful and then go on to help others.
Rich Julian suffered an unimaginable tragedy at age 14, when a drunk driver left him paralyzed and killed his sister and his girlfriend on Kalanianaole Highway. An avid waterman and athlete, he became a world champion wheelchair tennis player, paddler and surfer, and now helps children and adults with disabilities learn to surf in addition to counseling patients at the Rehab Hospital of the Pacific.
World champion weightlifter Dominic Ahuna, the strength and fitness coach at Iolani School who runs the Fellowship for Christian Athletes program, and Dana Vennen, who helps hundreds of children at the Therapeutic Horsemanship Center of Hawaii through horseback riding lessons and horse riding therapy, also share their remarkable stories of courage, hope and perseverance.
Malia Zimmerman, Irma Baptiste and Shaunna Touchi of Luminescent Productions LLC produce the show. The show’s sponsors include SBH members Winners’ Camp, Charley’s Taxi, HMAA, E & J Lounge Operating Co., Rehab Hospital of the Pacific and the Jackson family.
To nominate inspirational people for future shows who have overcome tremendous odds to be successful and go on to help many others, email Malia at MaliaMZimmerman@gmail.com
Help to Help You Vote. The non-partisan League of Women Voters of Hawaii has launched a new web page to help Hawaii’s voters become more knowledgeable. Click here>
The League does not endorse or oppose any party or candidate and has no commercial advertisements on the website.
All 327 candidates who filed are in the Primary Election 2014 section, over 300 with photos and more than two-thirds with statements in their own words to tell constituents why they are running, where they stand on important issues facing the state, and what they hope to accomplish if elected. There are also links to candidates’ websites and social media and to the State Elections Office. After the Primary, the site will show all candidates for the General Election.
Sakai Joins HHL. Honolulu Home Loans welcomed Kelly Sakai to the team as a senior loan officer. In her role, Sakai will specialize in residential mortgage loan origination.
Financier Lipper Here Tomorrow. Rep. Calvin Say invites you to attend a meeting with financier Arthur Lipper who is in Hawaii this week for meetings with fund managers, bankers, selected Hawaii companies and government agencies to talk about royalty finance and possible investment of capital in Hawaii’s economy. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 24th, noon-1pm, State Capitol Conference Room 423. Please email your RSVP Say’s Office Manager, Evelyn, with your attendance by noon, today, Wednesday. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Post Watching Demo Primary Battle. According to the Washington Post, the Abercrombie-Ige battle for Democrat Governor nominee in Hawaii is one of the top 10 primary contests in America. The Post says: “Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) is a familiar name to folks in D.C., having represented the Aloha State in Congress. Now he’s an unpopular governor facing a tough reelection bid — both in the primary and the general election. A recent poll, in fact, showed state Sen. David Ige with a double-digit lead over Abercrombie in the primary, 48 percent to 37 percent.”
Abercrombie/Caldwell Meet in the Street. On Monday, Kirk Caldwell, Democrat Mayor of Honolulu, walked across the street from Honolulu Hale to meet and endorse Democrat Governor Neil Abercrombie. The two met in a crosswalk on Punchbowl Street. They shook hands, hugged and chatted in the crosswalk. It was magical. Don’t they know Honolulu leads the Nation in traffic deaths for those in a crosswalk? Think of the chaos if a semi….
Gov Ducks AARP Debates. First he said he would, then he wouldn’t, and now he’s not. Gov. Abercrombie agreed to four AARP debates with David Ige. Then he backed out of all four. AARP and Ige both opposed Abercrombie’s proposal to tax pensions. He would rather jump back in his old Yellow Cab for another TV commercial.
HI Population. Not everything is down in Hawaii. According to the Census Bureau, Hawaii leads the US in average population growth with a 12.3% population expansion between 2001-2010. Now let’s see: where will the new residents work or live? Not to worry, we lead the Nation in welfare and are #2 in homelessness.
Unemployment Steady. The State DBED&T released the most recent (June) unemployment figures for Hawaii, which remain at 4.4%, the same as May. Many have stopped looking for a job and rely on welfare.
Expo Booths Available. The American Logistics Association of Hawaii announces its business-to-business show. The expo is Wednesday, August 20, in the Pacific Beach Hotel in Waikiki. Local companies will meet one-on-one with key Defense Commissary Agency and combined military exchange buyers. New this year is a distributor meeting — companies can discuss possible business partnerships prior to the Vendor Food / Trade Show. Companies with products (food and nonfood items) made in Hawaii, unique to Hawaii and best-selling national items sold only in Hawaii should contact Mark Honda, email@example.com or 808-845-3211. Cost for a booth is $495.
Kona Bill Fish Tourney. This big game fishing tournament built on prestige and strict International Game Fish Association rules for world records starts fishing Monday, July 28 and continues through Friday, August 2. Thirty-five teams are headed to Kona and include teams from Australia, China, Japan, Kenya, New Zealand, South Africa, Papua New Guinea Vanuatu and from the good ole’ USA.
Aina Haina Gets New Drug Store: Longs Drugs purchased a $7.6 million property near the Aina Haina Shopping Center from the Jehovah’s Witnesses and will build a new store and pharmacy there, PBN is reporting.
View “A Better Day. A Better Day with Senator Sam Slom in Aug 2014 features the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War. I interview Col. Gene E. Castagnetti, USMC Ret., Chairman of the 50th Anniversary Vietnam War Commemoration Committee and Jerry Stanfield, US Army Vietnam Vet and Veterans’ Advocate. “Don’t Blame the Warrior,” says Castagnetti. Watch it here>
On Illegals. Making its way on the ‘Net: What did Presidents Hoover, Truman, and Eisenhower have in common? Back during the great depression, Herbert Hoover ordered the deportation of all illegal aliens in order to make jobs available to American citizens that desperately needed work. Harry Truman deported over two million illegal aliens after WWII to create jobs for returning veterans. In 1954 Dwight Eisenhower deported 13 million illegal Mexicans. The program was called Operation Wetback. It was done so WWII and Korean War veterans would have a better chance at jobs. It took two years, but they deported them. If you have doubts about the veracity of this information, enter Operation Wetback into your favorite search engine and confirm it for yourself. Don’t forget to pay your taxes – 12 to 20 million illegal aliens – are depending on it.