SBH news and views official logoBY SAM SLOM – Is Hawaii Part of America? It’s like living in the Ukraine; the Executive Director of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA), a state agency, wrote a letter to the Secretary of State (Mr. Kerry) to inquire if Hawaii is part of America and if the U.S. legally made us a part of the union. Huh? Are you serious? The letter, which was prompted by two activist University of Hawaii professors, was later rescinded, but too late.  The new Hawaiian Nation doesn’t want to be part of America. Period.

Snow Wows SBH Business & Investment Conference. Yesterday’s SBH 38th Annual Business Conference was a success.  Principal sponsors were HMAA, McDonald’s of Hawaii, ALTRIA Group and Reynolds America. Other sponsors included Aston Hotel and Resorts, Maui Divers of Hawaii, Valenti Print Group, Cliff and Bobbie Slater, Hawaii Reporter, Winners’ Camp, ProService, First Hawaiian Bank, Charley’s Taxi Aloha Lei Company, UBS Financial and Techniques Hawaii.

Patrick Snow, internationally known author, entrepreneur and motivational speaker, was SBH’s Keynote Speaker. Snow discussed “Proven Principles for Prosperity” and impressed the business audience. His takeaway message was “don’t let anyone else define you or your reality.” Snow also shared his dream of buying an NFL franchise, “The Honolulu Tiger Sharks,” and turning them into Super Bowl Champs in the next decade. He only needs $2 billion to finance his dream.

The Conference offered plenty of technology tips. Charley’s Taxi owner Dale Evans told her story of how her company has overcome obstacles and competition with cutting edge technology. Cole Slater of Maui Divers showed how technology aids the firm’s design process. Peter Kay (“Your Computer Minute”) gave several key tips on how to modernize and jump start your business with low cost technology aids including Facebook ads.

“The Companies You Keep” best selling author and marketer, Bob Sigall, got everyone thinking when he discussed “The Millenials,” and why they are important to your business-and how to understand their marketing needs.

Mike McCartney, President of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, updated the conference attendees on challenges and opportunities facing our visitor industry, while Tom Yamachika, President of the Tax Foundation of Hawaii, reviewed the past Legislature’s tax decisions. Jonathan Young, President of the merit based Associated Builders & Contractors, put Hawaii construction projects and costs in perspective. Mike Palcic reviewed the battle over minimum wage in 2014-and the consequences of the increase the legislature passed from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour that will take place over the next four years. Mark Storfer, Hilo Hattie, and Naomi Hazelton-Giambrone, Pacific Edge Magazine, gave practical tips for business success.

Political Candidates Visit. A number of top pro-business, free market candidates visited and networked at the SBH Conference. Included were Cam Cavasso (U.S. Senate), Charles Djou (U.S. House), Marissa Capelouto (U.S. House) and State House candidates Julia Allen, Cynthia Thielen and Gene Ward.

Pick Next UH President. Guess who the next UH President will be? Go ahead, guess. Will it be a 30-year insider, an interim President, David Lassner, or retired Lt. General (Ret.) Francis Wiercinski, friend of the late Senator Inouye’s wife? The General, who would bring fresh eyes and a new perspective to the University of Hawaii, was booed and protested at UH campus outings by those who don’t want a UH “military takeover.”  We are down to only two candidates. It’s an easy choice: it will be Lassner, a nice guy, but still an insider where change that is needed that will probably not take place.

Apple Gets it Right. University of Hawaii Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple, no stranger to controversy himself, made a good pronouncement last week: reduce the number of Chancellors, particularly at the Community Colleges, and combine some deans (notably vacancies and TIM) to save money. Good ideas. Let’s see if they are adopted.

Short Men Rule. While most 5-foot-tall men may not be all star NBA picks, they may live longer than their taller peers. That’s according to a new study at the University of Hawaii. The study focused on Japanese men, noting shorter men may have a longer life. >Read it here

Hee Haw. Senator Clayton Hee has thrown his cowboy hat and snakeskin boots in the proverbial ring announcing for Lt. Governor on Mother’s Day at Iolani Palace. He will challenge existing LG, Shan Tsutsui of Maui. Hee will run on his record of backing same sex marriage, killing the effective journalism shield law, an anti-business minimum wage increase, Native Hawaiian issues, a last minute Turtle Bay deal and animal rights. Should be interesting with a lot of expected Republican crossover in the Primary.

Hee also anointed Gil Riviere, former Republican turned Democrat, for his seat. Riviere will now run for Senate. The GOP will have a contest in the Primary between Rep. Richard Fale and former Rep. Colleen Meyer. Residents of the North Shore have a great deal at stake in this race.

Russia to Register Media. Russian President Vladimir Putin- you remember him, the bare breasted horse back leader of Russia-announced a new law to require media and bloggers to register on line, thus allowing the government more control over who says what on the Internet. Many in America would like to throttle the media the same way.

Gennaula to Iolani School. Former newscaster turned CEO of Aloha United Way, will assume leadership in the Admissions Office of Iolani School.

GMO Activists Land in Hawaii. The radical Center for Food Safety, which has financially aided local anti-GMO activists for years, has now opened their own office in Hawaii sensing Hawaii is easy pickins for GMO and anti-farmer regulations. The D.C. based group most recently helped Kauai activists enact a broad-based anti-pesticide law as well.

Whole Foods Mega Store. Whole Foods Market has inked a deal to allow the healthy grocer to build a 50,000 square foot store in Kaka’ako in the former Nordstrom Rack and current Office Depot space near the Ward Theatres. It will be the fourth and largest outlet in Hawaii. Three are on O’ahu, one on Maui.

Duke Will Do It.  Former Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona will formally announce for Governor this Sunday. His campaign team is set. He will face the winner of the Abercrombie-Ige Primary, and Independent, Mufi Hannemann, in the General Election.

Sea Level Rise: Flee. There is a lot of alarmist news in Hawaii about rising sea levels, global warming, climate change and the need for more mandatory government controls on your life. Just ask Al Gore (who recently visited) and Sen. Brian Schatz (who visits from Washington regularly). Many credible scientists dispute the role humans play in climate change, especially only those from America. Yet, government and environmental zealots are determined to subject you to more controls. But wait, if Waikiki will be flooded out, won’t the rail (“train to nowhere”) and the UH Cancer Center and other buildings also be below water in this scenario? Brush up on your swimming prowess.

Gold:  Connector Go Away. Michael Gold, President of HMSA, Hawaii’s largest and wealthiest health care provider, came out late last week against the troubled Hawaii Health Connector. That’s ironic, because Gold and HMSA were original cheerleaders for the Connector, and one of only two (with Kaiser) medical insurance providers to be part of the Connector. Now that HMSA may be separated from the Connector board, Gold is speaking out. He says the Connector is a “costly mistake.” Of course he is right – better late than never.

HWMG Appoints. Hawaii-Western Management Group (HWMG), one of the state’s largest insurance management service companies and administrator for health plans such as Hawaii Medical Assurance Association (HMAA) and self-funded employer groups with combined membership of more than 50,000, has announced the appointment of T. Michael Hogan, Jr. as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of its Insurance and Taft-Hartley Divisions. With his expertise, Hogan will also work on forming a new Investment Services Division for HWMG.

Digital Sync. Is it just me, or my television, or are more of the new digital television programs, especially news and current events, out of sync (mouth vs. speech)? We expect that of politicians, but not of our television dramas.

No Fireworks on the Bay. The annual Independence Day at Maunalua Bay Festival has been canceled for 2014. Maunalua Communities Foundation has not been able to raise the needed funds to support the fireworks event, according to Win Schoneman, president. “Our plan is to do the event again in 2015, but we will need more financial support and it has to be very early in the year.” Schoneman said MCF tried hard to work out sponsor partnerships to do the event, but could not. Its fund-raising fell $45,000 short.

The July 4th celebration is the signature event for MCF, which is a community education organization dedicated to creating opportunities and facilities to enhance livability and foster community pride and enjoyment. The Foundation has a long-term vision of providing the East Oahu community with a Culture and Arts Hale. To support the July 4th event’s return in 2015, call 383-6632.

No More Smokes at Longs/CVC.  CVS Caremark Corporation and Longs Drugs has received legislative recognition from the House of Representatives for its efforts to cease sales of all tobacco-related products by October 1, 2014. CVS Caremark Corporation, the nation’s second largest drugstore chain, announced on February 5, 2014, that it will begin to phase out cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and other tobacco-related products by October 1, 2014 in all of the 7,600 CVS Pharmacy stores in the United States to help grow the company’s business of working with doctors, hospitals and other health care providers to improve customers’ health and well-being. Some 53 stores in Hawaii are operated under the Longs Drugs brand and are a part of this nationwide initiative.

Celebrating the 2014 Hawaii SBA Awardees. As part of National Small Business Week, on May 7th, the SBA Hawaii District Office honored Hawaii’s outstanding small business owners and champions at the 27th Annual Statewide SBA Small Business Awards Luncheon. They include:

  • Small Business Person
  • David Erdman, President & CEO, PacRim Marketing Group/PR Tech
  • Small Business Exporter
  • Jorma Winkler, President, Winkler Woods LLC
  • Entrepreneurial Success
  • Jingbo Chang, Member, and Wendy Chang, Business Manager, Pacific Commercial Services LLC
  • Home-Based Business Champion
  • Terrina Wong, Deputy Director, Pacific Gateway Center
  • Young Entrepreneur
  • Kathryn Custer, Owner, Keiki Sitters dba Aloha Sitters
  • Family-Owned Business
  • Michael Nobriga, CEO, Maui Soda and Ice Works Ltd.
  • Women in Business Champion
  • Cynthia Yamasaki, Director, Patsy Mink Center for Business & Leadership
  • Veteran Small Business Champion
  • Raymond Jarmine, Jr., Chairman & CEO, Native Hawaiian Veterans LLC
  • Minority Small Business Champion
  • Joni Redick-Yundt, Sales Manager & Financial
  • Representative, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
  • Financial Services Champion, Naomi Masuno, Vice-President, Bank of Hawaii

New Oceanic Leader. Oceanic Time Warner Cable has announced that Gregg Fujimoto recently replaced Bob Barlow as President of the Hawaii market.   Bob Barlow, a 34-year veteran of the cable industry, retired after leading Oceanic for the past three-and-a-half years.

O’Reilly & Miller. A Blaisdell Concert Hall crowd laughed and enjoyed a sold out Saturday event by best selling author and most popular FOX cable tv host Bill O’Reilly and political comedian Dennis Miller.

GOP Convenes Saturday. The annual state convention of the Republican Party is this Saturday, May 17 in the Ko’olau Ballrooms in Kaneohe from 8 am to 3 pm.  New candidates will be showcased.

Want More Business? JOIN SBH! Is YOUR business a member of SBH?  No? Lots of benefits. Strong networking organization. Call 396-1724 or go online to  smartbusinesshawaii.com.

Hawaii Reporter.com, Hawaii’s first electronic daily newspaper launched in 2002, has all the breaking news and unlike other publications in town, is still free. Award winning Hawaii Reporter and Malia Zimmerman report daily (M-F) on the Rick Hamada Show heard on KHVH radio on 830 AM at 7:05 am. Malia will share the news behind the news.

Tune in to Panos Prevedouros. SBH Director and UH Engineering Professor Dr. Panos Prevedouros is a weekly guest on Rick Hamada’s morning radio show every Tuesday from 7:05 a.m. to 8 am. Tune in!

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Mahalo!

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