Kalapa Funeral TODAY. Funeral services for Lowell Kalapa, Hawaii’s fiscal watchdog, is scheduled for today at Diamond Head Memorial Park with viewing beginning at 4:30 p.m. and the service at 6:30 p.m. Kalapa, who died December 30, headed the Tax Foundation of Hawaii and was an important voice in Hawaii politics.
State of the State. Gov. Neil Abercrombie delivered his 4th “State of the State” message yesterday at the Hawaii State Capitol. There was nothing new or innovative in his speech, just cheer leading for more government and bigger government. Actually, the governor sounded like he was making a campaign speech, and unlike when he was in Congress, there was no passion or podium pounding. Read my full comments in HawaiiReporter.com
Minimum Wage Battle. The Majority party in both the House and Senate are making a big push to increase the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to as much as $10.10 an hour. The governor said he wants the compulsory wage to be at least $8.75 an hour, while in the Senate, the Majority is pushing for $9.25 an hour. Senate Judiciary and Labor ChairClayton Hee wants the top proposed rate of $10.10 an hour. I will continue to fight against such increases.
Ideologically, government should not be in the business of dictating the entry wage that businesses should pay. The government is already taxing and regulating business. Hiking the minimum wage again just reinforces our negative business climate and destroys jobs. As small business owners know, as the wage goes up, opportunities for entry level jobs goes down, and if it goes too high, full time employees are also at risk of being put on part time work.
People who call for minimum or “living” wage, have never been in business for themselves or have never met a private payroll. They don’t understand that when the minimum wage goes up even by $1, that adversely impacts the costs to that business, because withholding taxes, social security and Medicare, and employer mandates such as workers compensation, unemployment compensation tax and temporary disability insurance, also all go up.
Less than 5 percent of all workers are in minimum wage hospitality or restaurant wage jobs. This push is a scheme by labor unions to force up an artificial wage for employees who are not subject to union dues, so the unions can push for their own increase for higher paid employees. It is an insidious process that panders to special interest calling for more compensation without any regard to productivity. Why just $1.75 or $2 per hour increase, why not $10 or $20. It makes no economic or business sense. Proponents are well organized, so small business owners need to pay attention and attend legislative hearings.
Liz Moore Starts New Realty. SBH member Elizabeth (Liz) Moore ®, with partners Stephanie Lopez ® and Ilona Penzes ®, launched a new business, Hawaii Real Estate Partners, LLC. For veteran Realtor Moore, the new business is an exciting customer oriented real estate partnership dedicated to providing the best service and expertise. The firm is located in the Aina Haina Professional Building, 850 West Hind Drive, Suite 111. Grand Opening is next Thursday, January 30. See more at HawaiiRealEstatePartners.com
Let’s Go to Beijing. Direct Hawaiian Air flights between Honolulu-Beijing began this week. Now, if we could only have lower Inter-Island rates.
Pro-Bowl Sunday. The NFL Pro Bowl is this Sunday, January 26, preceding February 2nd’s Super Bowl in New Jersey between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks. Note toGovernor Christie’s staff: please don’t mess with the traffic that day. The Pro Bowl this year is not between the AFC & NFC and may not be played in the future.
Happy Birthday Kahala! The Kahala Hotel (aka, Hilton, Mandarin, Kahala Resort) celebrates its 50th birthday this week. Happy Birthday to a beautiful property. Did you ever attend an SBH “Share N’ Tell Business Forum” at Kahala during the 80s and 90s? They were wonderful and unique business events.
Randle Exits. One of our favorite television reporters, award-winning Brianne Randle, is exiting KHON-TV2 to pursue mommyhood. Replacing her is television reporter- turned politician- turned television reporter Nestor Garcia. Randle is better looking.
Keep reaching for the stars. Also celebrating a 50th anniversary of astronomy in Hawaii led by the University of Hawaii.
Reapportionment Appeal Lost. On Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of the Hawaii Reapportionment Plan issued by the 2011 Reapportionment Commission in 2012. The Reapportionment Plan provided that non-permanent residents, including military and students, would be excluded from the population base when state legislative districts were redrawn.
The constitutionality of the Reapportionment Plan was challenged in federal court in Kostick v. Nago, Civ. No. 12-00184. In Kostick, the plaintiffs argued that the Hawaii State Constitution violated the equal protection clause of the United States Constitution with respect to the population base and drawing of legislative district lines.
In July 2013 a three-judge panel for the United States District Court for the State of Hawaii upheld the Reapportionment Plan, stating that the plan did not violate the United States Constitution. Plaintiffs appealed this decision directly to the United States Supreme Court; in its response to the plaintiffs’ appeal, the State of Hawaii asked the Supreme Court to affirm the decision of the District Court. On January 21, 2014 the U.S. Supreme Court granted the State of Hawaii’s Motion to Summarily Affirm the decision of the District Court.
In effect the Court ruled against citizens who appealed the Hawaii Reapportionment decision disenfranchising Hawaii’s military. Reapportionment, which took place here in 2011, took away a Senate seat from O’ahu, added one to Hawaii Island, and in the process, did not count 108,000 military on O’ahu. (Not for voting purposes, but for the Census). Hawaii is the only state to disregard the military and dependants who are not accounted for anywhere and thus, not represented.
Medved at HIRA Event Tomorrow. You are cordially invited to a Pau Hana event co-sponsored by SBH and the Hawaii Republican Assembly, Thursday, 5-7 pm at the Waialae Country Club. Meet talk show host, author and movie criticMichael Medved. Tickets are on sale now at www.HIRA.com
Breakfast With Michael. Can’t make Thursday’s social withMichael Medved? Then come to next week’s SBH SUNRISE Thursday, January 30, 2014 in the Ala Moana Macy’s Pineapple Room with national Salem radio talk show host and author, Michael Medved. Guarantee a place now by reserving your seat. Call Susan at 396-1724.
Hawaii #1! Sometimes we are criticized for not giving Hawaii credit while complaining about our lowest of low national rankings in business, economic development, infrastructure and education. Well, in true transparency, we must acknowledge a recent ranking for Hawaii as number 1 in the nation for the state with the largest gay and lesbian population. The New York Times reports 5.4% of Hawaii’s 1.3 million people are gay, which is three times the national average, but below the District of Columbia’s 10.4%.
Professor Lingle. According to California State University at Northridge, former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle will return to her alma mater this spring to teach an upper-division course on public policy in California State University, Northridge’s Department of Political Science. According to the school’s publication, “Lingle hopes to tap into her contacts and experience from more than 30 years as a public servant, including eight as Hawaii’s governor, and give the more than 20 students in the senior seminar, Political Science 471A, a taste of what it truly means to create public policy, whether at the local, state or federal level.”
More on Koko Head Firing Range. The Hawaii Rifle Association’s Dr. Max Cooper writes, “The entire Koko Head Shooting Complex remains closed for remediation work. KITV News reports the re-opening is planned Wednesday for noon, Jan 29, per Rangemaster Mike Muramoto.
Motivational Speaker Patrick Snow to Keynote 38th SBH Conference. Best-selling author and motivational business success speaker, Patrick Snow, will be the SBH’s Keynote Luncheon Speaker, Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 8 am – 2 pm, for the 38th Annual SBH Business & Investment Conference at the Ala Moana Hotel. A great line up of exciting and informative speakers and issue topics, networking, business exhibits and more. Sponsorship and booth exhibit opportunities still available. Contact Malia (306-3161) or Susan (396-1724) for details. Thanks to HMAA, HonoluluTraffic.comand Maui Divers for being among the confirmed sponsors. Please patronize those sponsors who support SBH.
Free Healthcare Workshop. David Tumilowicz is holding a free workshop on healthcare reform. The workshop will cover whether your business is considered a small business under the Affordable Care Act; How to get up to a 50% tax credit for businesses with 24 or fewer employees; How a new method of rating will affect small business premiums and billing; How to comply with the new law to avoid fines or audit; What small and large businesses responsibilities there are under the law. There are two workshops on Monday, January 27, one from 8 – 10 a.m. (free breakfast) or another from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. (free lunch) at Kaiser Permanente’s Honolulu Medical Office at 1010 Pensacola St. Visit kphawaii.eventbrite.com
PBN Networking. Don’t Miss Out on the Premiere Networking Event of the Year featuring the Pacific Business News 2014 Book of Lists, Thursday, January 30, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Pomaikai Ballrooms at Dole Cannery Iwilei.
Projects Preview Forum. SBH member Paul Vierlinginvites you to the free NUCA Hawaii Chapter O’ahu Utility Construction Projects Preview Forum at the O’ahu Country Club. The Forum is Wednesday, January 29, 12:30 – 4 pm with speakers and networking reception. Reserve online at:NUCAhawaii.com or call 703-890-7805.