BY SAM SLOMA major lawsuit is being filed in a last gap attempt to stop the $8 billion City & County of Honolulu’s rail project. (A lawsuit regarding Native Hawaiian iwi-bones-was dismissed last week). This challenge, however, goes to the heart of the federal requirements for alternative analysis; something the City did not do in selecting the current steel on steel proposal and its route. Honolulutraffic.com, Inc., introduced Mr.. Nicholas C. Yost, of the San Francisco offices of global law firm, SNRDenton, recently retained by Honolulu Traffic to institute legal proceedings against the Federal Transit Administration and the City and County of Honolulu. The lawsuit will cite the legal deficiencies of the environmental processes leading up to, and including, both the Final Environmental Impact Statement and the Record of Decision.

Plaintiffs will be former Hawai’i Governor Benjamin J. Cayetano, Hawai’i State Senator Samuel Slom, Hawai’i non-profit corporation Honolulutraffic.com Inc., and Cliff Slater, its Chairman. Additional litigants and amicus briefs will be added prior to the filing of the lawsuit.

Mr. Yost, was formerly General Counsel of the President’s Council on Environmental Quality, and was responsible for drafting the regulations that implement the National Environmental Policy Act and its environmental impact statement requirement throughout the federal government. He was last year’s winner of the American Bar Association’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Environmental Law and Policy. His bio is >at this link.

City Council Chair Nestor Garcia, revealed after KITV reporter Darryl Huff inquired, that yes, he had accepted a $60,000 part time job (very part time) with the Kapolei Chamber of Commerce ( a creation of pro rail, pro development interests). Garcia, a long time rail supporter was perceived to be rewarded by the interests he pushes at the Council, sometimes as a 5-4 vote. Is there a conflict?

You can still make a reservation for tomorrow’s, March 31, Smart Business Hawaii’s Sunrise Networking Breakfast in the Pineapple Room at Macy’s, Ala Moana from 7 to 8:30 am. This month’s speaker is “Surfer Joe” Joe Teipel. Of Auction Action.  Dynamic Joe is a well known sports commentator and a business auctioneer. He’ll discuss the growing trend in business auctions as a means of selling commercial property in Hawaii.

Members at SBH Sunrise enjoy a complete buffet breakfast, free exhibit area, networking, and business introductions to boost their business. The public is welcome and parking is free at Ala Moana Center. Call Darlyn (808-396-1724) for reservations.

Big Mike Palcic of MacMouse Club writes, “I know many have been very excited about the new iPad2.  But the unfortunate events in Japan are going to have a huge impact on the supply of iPads.  Even though the final assembly and product is made in China, There are several components that are made in other countries.  The components that are made in Japan are listed below.

* NAND flash from Toshiba Corp.;
* Dynamic random access memory (DRAM) made by Elpida Memory Inc.;
* An electronic compass from AKM Semiconductor;
* The touch screen overlay glass likely from Asahi Glass Co;
* And the system battery from Apple Japan Inc.

Just a heads up as Apple has declared it possesses about 3 weeks worth of components for assembly.  Also, a reminder of the interconnectedness of the global workforce in producing the livelihood and lifestyles we enjoy today, an interdependence without which these things would be priced out of the range of affordability or impossible to produce altogether. Watch now as the energetic and resourceful people of Japan pull their country and its productive capacity back from this disaster.

Sorry to learn that former Hawaii resident and small business owner (The Royal Hawaiian Mint) Bernard von NotHaus was convicted in a trial by the US Treasury Department in North Carolina involving his previous minting of the Liberty Dollars. He was charged and found guilty under the provision of the Constitution reserving the minting of legal tender coinage to the US Government.

Several years ago when Benard unveiled his plan to offer individuals and small businesses an alternative to predicted future government devaluation and inflation of our money supply, SBH supported his proposals. There was no possible way that one could conclude his Dollars were meant to challenge the US currency, only that this was a barter-like movement with physical exchange media to offer taxpayers protection if they chose to voluntarily participate. We stand by his attempt but it shows you again, don’t mess with the feds about money. You can murder, rape, pillage or steal, just as long as you give the government its perceived due.

Yesterday, the State Council on Revenues held a special emergency meeting at the request of Governor Abercrombie. The Council looked at its most recent quarterly (March) estimates in light of the Japanese earthquake and Tsunami. The prognosis?  Further declines in revenue and economic activity.

The newest state operating deficit projection has climbed to nearly $1.5 billion.

No meaningful levels of harmful radiation have reached Hawaii as a result of Japan’s nuclear industry plant problems.

Japan Airlines announced it is reducing the number or weekly Japan-Hawaii flights in light of the continuing Japanese economic disaster.

The Hawaii Legislature, which now has completed 39 days of the 60-day session, is still trying to raise your taxes and take your pension while giving only lip service to program “cuts.”  What is being “cut” are the Governor’s budget increases, not the base budget amounts. It is still a $21 billion budget for the next two fiscal years.

Solar companies have quietly layed off a significant number of employees.

When are the arsonists who have destoyed three North Shore shark tour boats going to be caught and prosecuted?

HMAA and Ceridian have inked a business deal together.

Friday, April 15 will be Tea Party Day at the State Capitol (4-7 pm) and on the Neighbor Islands. Get out there and participate!

Also on April 15, Ayn Rand’s magnum opus, “Atlas Shrugged,” will be shown at local theatres.  Rand has recently enjoyed a huge resurgence in popularity. Capitalism and free-markets are, it seems, constantly under seige. Government has grown larger than ever. And individualism is often mocked as outdated, immoral, and destructive. >More on the show.

Atlas Shrugged depicts a world not unlike our own in which production is maligned and moochers are enabled. To find a theater near you, >go to this link.

Yesterday, the State Legislature held its sixth annual Hawaii Medal of Honor ceremony at the Capitol for fallen heroes with ties to Hawaii.  It is a moving service-very emotional-and one of the very few things the Legislature does right. Credit for the idea six years ago goes to State Rep. K. Mark Takai of Pearl City. Hopefully this will be the last year of the ceremony.

Greg Wiles, arguably the best business writer in the state (formerly of the Honolulu Star Bulletin and most recently Hawaii Reporter) has accepted a job with the Legislative Auditor. You just can’t compete with state salary and benefit packages. You can’t. We wish Greg well but hope he finds a way in the future to return to do what he does best: objectively report on business in Hawaii.

Celebrating a major business anniversary?  New location or product? Your business press releases are welcome in the weekly SBH News & Views E-News which reaches more than 8,000 business owners and government leaders in Hawaii.

What? Not receiving your copy? Send PR, additional requests and email address to SBH@lava.net or call Darlyn at 396-1724.

Let SBH 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.

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