Portlandia Calls. A lot of interest and activity in Portland, Oregon currently. More Hawaii residents have moved to Oregon and the state’s colleges have done a great job in recruiting local students. In response, Hawaiian Air has announced additional flights to and from Portland and Honolulu starting next month.
Guv Says Higher Tax. “Propaganda” Governor Abercrombie on Monday dismissed visitor industry concerns that his proposal to repeal the sunset on the high transient accommodations tax rate would harm Hawaii’s tourism industry. The bill (SB 1194 SD2) failed to pass the House Committee on Tourism.
In response to a legislator’s echoing of industry worries that the high tax rate is hurting business and the greater Hawaii economy, the governor interrupted by saying he has been hearing “the same propaganda.”
Gov Names UH Regent Nominees. Gov. Neil Abercrombieyesterday announced the nominations of Eugene Bal III, Barry T. Mizuno, and Randolph A. Moore to the University of Hawaii Board of Regents. The nominations are subject to state Senate confirmation. Bal and Mizuno’s terms for the Maui and Hawaii County seats, respectively, are effective July 1, 2013.Moore begins his term immediately upon confirmation by a full Senate vote. He will complete the term of At-Large RegentMichael Dahilig, who resigned before his term ends on July 1, 2013.
Moore will then begin a new term on July 1, 2013. “These nominees have exceptionally strong leadership qualities and the experience and expertise to guide the University of Hawaii System to its full potential,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “As a UH alumnus, I understand the critical role the university plays in our state economy and the opportunity it provides for students and researchers. These appointees are fully committed to resolving the governance challenges currently at issue. They know the UH System needs and deserves our support.”
The Governor’s nominees were selected from a list of nominations provided to the Governor by the Regents Candidate Advisory Council.
Heap Big Raises. The State Salary Commission Monday recommended large raises for legislators, judges and the Governor. They cannot be justified in this economy but there are no hearings and no votes. (Bob Hogue & I were the last lawmakers to vote NO to salary increases years ago when we could still vote.) I warned against, and voted against, establishing a Salary Commission. Hey folks, this is public service for a part time legislature.
Unemployment Up. Honolulu’s rate of unemployment increased last week from 5.1% to 5.2%, the first increase in 11 months. Our economy getting better?
Kaʻaihue Appointed. WCIT ARCHITECTURE announcesMālia Kaʻaihue, Ph.D., as its new Director of Community Planning. Kaʻaihue comes to WCIT ARCHITECTURE from Pacific Basin Communications where she was the Editor of MANA Magazine. Kaʻaihue previously served as the Chief Knowledge Officer at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
Kaʻaihue is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi [UH] where she earned a BA in both Hawaiian Studies and Hawaiian Language and an MA in Political Science. Kaʻaihue was a ʻŌiwi Doctoral Fellow and completed a Ph.D. in Political Science specializing in Indigenous Politics. Following her graduation she spent eight years teaching at several UH campuses and served as the Director of Native Hawaiian Career and Technical Education at Leeward Community College.
Kaʻaihue serves on several non-profits, the Board of Directors for Nā Kama Kai, a non-profit organization focused on ocean awareness and education, and Nā Leo Kakoʻo, a non-profit organization in support of Hawaiian Language Immersion education at Ke Kula Kaiapuni o Ānuenue. She also is a member of Hālau Kupukupu ke Aloha.
Strip Mall Meeting. Rep. Gene Ward (R – Hawai’i Kai-Kalama Valley) and all of the East Honolulu elected officials including the Hawai’i Kai Neighborhood Board have announced a Townhall meeting to address concerns related to Kamehameha Schools proposed development of a strip mall on the “Great Lawn” across from Maunalua Bay in Hawai’i Kai. The meeting is this Thursday, March 21, 7pm at Kamiloiki School. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.
The confusing results of polls put Rep. Ward’s polls and Kamehameha Schools’ polls at polar opposites: Ward= 87% AGAINST development; KSBE’s poll, 72% FOR development. You come and decide.
Be a WINNER. ATTENTION ALL PARENTS OF TWEENS & TEENS! Hawaii Leadership Academy/Winners’ Camp is having a Spring Break Retreat Weekend, Friday, March 22 – Sunday, March 24. It’s not too late to sign up for this amazing retreat. Internationally acclaimed life skills coach Bill Cordes is the special guest facilitator. We would like to thank the US Air Force Troop TOP 3. 35 US Air Force officers and their families who were up at camp helping with cleaning & landscaping to get ready for this weekend.
Please contact Delorese Gregoire to sign your tween or teen up for the Spring Break Retreat. Or visit their website: www.winnerscamp.com.
Sweet Honor. Big Island Candies President and Chief Executive Officer Allan Ikawa received a Certificate of Recognition from the Hawaii State Senate for recently being awarded the Entrepreneurial Success Award for the State of Hawaii. The award was part of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Small Business Awards 2013. The Entrepreneurial Success Award is given to a business that started small by SBA standards, then developed into a large business.
Bank on Cyprus. The announcement that the government of Cyprus would tax all bank savings accounts to slow that country’s debt sent shock waves through the world economy. Cypriots were not able to withdraw their funds from the banks that were closed. Cyprus is known as a money laundering site for the Russian mobs. Could it happen here??
DLNR Hearings. Between March 27 and April 5, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will hold statewide public hearings to receive testimony on proposed amendments to Hawaii Administrative Rules, Title 13, Subtitle 5, Part 2, Chapter 124, “Indigenous Wildlife, Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, and Introduced Wild Birds.”
The primary purpose of the proposed amendments is to prohibit and deter the transport and release of introduced wildlife. Introduced species can impact Hawaii’s ecosystems and economy by introducing harmful predation and competition to indigenous species, damaging watersheds, spreading pathogens and diseases, and harming agriculture.
“The movement of live, introduced wildlife poses direct threats to our native ecosystems, and the proposed amendments will help prevent harm to our natural resources and economy,” saidWilliam J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson.
The purpose of the public hearings is to collect public testimony on the proposed amendments, such as suggestions for clarifications, improvements or modifications. DLNR encourages the public to provide testimony by either attending hearings or submitting written testimony. The public hearings are : Hilo (March 27), Kona (March 28), Kahului (April 1), Lanai (April 2), Molokai (April 3), Honolulu (April 4), Lihue (April 5).
The public may submit written testimony within 15 days following the close of the last public hearing by mailing written testimony to: Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, 1151 Punchbowl St., Room 325, Honolulu, HI 96813, attention Lauren Goodmiller.
The public can review the proposed amendments at the links below:
No News: Honolulu Driving Costs Bad. A new survey of conditions and costs of driving in America’s 50 most populated cities documents what drivers in Honolulu already know: Gas prices and congestion are high.
Honolulu is ranked 8th worst out of a list of 10 cities with the most frustrating driving conditions.
The report, published in Nerd Wallet, said about Honolulu: “Gas is very pricey on the island-with the high shipping costs, Hawaii has a higher cost of living than most cities. The added traffic from Honolulu’s booming tourism industry makes it hard to get around the city.”
The report considered traffic congestion, including how many hours commuters spend in their cars in traffic in addition to regular commute time; the cost of gasoline and how it varies from the national average, as well as population density.
Cities ranking even worse than Honolulu were New York City, NY; Chicago, IL; San Francisco, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Boston, MA; Washington, DC and Oakland, CA.
Panos Powers Up. SBH Board member and UH Engineer, Dr. Panos Prevedouros, enlightens everyone on transportation alternatives, infrastructure and world economic conditions every Tuesday at 7:05-8 am on KHVH radio with Rick Hamada. Listen in!
7:05 am on KHVH. Get the REAL news with Malia!
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.
Hawaii Reporter On The Air. Go to www.HawaiiReporter.comfor the real investigative news. HR, founded by Malia Zimmerman, continues to break major investigative stories that most of the media won’t touch. Tune in to KHVH (830 am) every week day now at 7:05 am to hear Malia’s report.