BY SAM SLOM –  Today, at 10 am, the 26th State Legislature convened for a 60-working day session through April. Hold onto your wallets or purse with both hands.

Nationally, the US Justice Department announced it will grant Comcast approval to acquire NBC Universal. Some conditions will apply. Comcast in America’s largest cable company.

Tonight at the O’ahu Vets Center, 6-8 pm, you can hear from law professor Dan Subotnik of Touro Law University, New York, sponsored by the Hawaii Public Policy Forum (cosponsored by SBH) regarding the Akaka Bill and other related matters.  Subotnik is the author of, “Toxic Diversity: Race, Gender and Law Talk in America.”  Call Linda Ogrady for reservations at: 285-8591.

According to Realtor Myra Brandt, Principal Broker of Kahala Associates, during December, sales of 306 single-family homes and 341 condominiums were reported through the Board’s MLS, an increase of 12.5 percent for single-family homes and a decrease of 2.6 percent for condominiums, from December 2009. The median price paid for island properties in December was $587,000 for single-family homes and $303,000 for condominiums, increases of 5.8 percent 0.2 percent respectively, compared to the same month last year. According to the Days on Market indicator, sales closed at a slower pace last month compared to December 2009 with single family home sales listing for 36 days, up from 32, and condominiums for 42 days, up from 38.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will be holding a second round of public hearings regarding proposed amendments to the rules and regulations of the State Land Use Conservation District, known specifically as Chapter 13-5, Hawai’i Administrative Rules (HAR).  Through Chapter 13-5, HAR, the Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands (OCCL) is responsible for overseeing approximately 2 million acres of private and public lands that lie within the conservation district including beach and marine lands out to the seaward extent of the State’s jurisdiction.

Based upon public input received during the first round of public hearing in August 2010, OCCL has made considerable revisions to the first proposed draft amendments.

This second series of hearings and collection of public input will result in better-defined administrative rules to regulate the Conservation District to improve work efficiency; contribute positively to OCCL’s core objectives related to natural resource conservation, and will benefit landowners and agencies alike. The public hearings will be held at 5:30 p.m. as follows:

January 24, 2011
Waiehu, Maui
Paukukalo Community Center, 657 Kaumuali’i St.

January 25, 2011
Hilo, Hawai’i
Hawai’i County Council Room, 25 Aupuni St.

January 31, 2011
Kaunakakai, Moloka’i
Mitchell Pau’ole Center, 90 ‘Ainoa St.

February 1, 2011
Lihu’e, Kauai
Lihue Library, 4344 Hardy St.

February 7, 2011
Kona, Hawai’i
Mayor’s Conf. Room, 75-5706 Kuakini Hwy., Rm. 103

February 9, 2011
Honolulu, O’ahu
Kalanimoku Bldg., 1151 Punchbowl St., Rm. 132

The proposed 13-5 amendments may be found online at the OCCL’s website at hawaii.gov/dlnr/occl.

Anyone with special needs requiring accommodations or assistance please contact OCCL at least four days prior to the public hearing.  For more information contact the Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands at (808) 587-0377.

Hawaii’s 32 high school FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams have launched into full speed as they design and construct a robot in six weeks. Teams will showcase their creations at the FIRST in Hawaii Regional Robotics Competition, March 24-26 at the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Stan Sheriff Center.

Helping fuel the stock market’s recent surge is news like Apple’s first quarter earnings which soared even above expectations. However, the news is dampened by CEO Steve Jobs’ announcement he will again take a medical leave for cancer. Jobs is the “I” behind all of Apple’s successful I-products.

Oahu residents can now view all 21 of the newest Oahu tsunami evacuation zone maps in the 2011 Hawaiian Telecom Yellow Pages. Found within the yellow tabbed Hawaiian Telecom Disaster Preparedness Guide these maps provide a visual reference to quickly determine if your home, business, children’s school or other feature is situated inside or outside of an Oahu tsunami evacuation zone. In addition, bulleted notes provide other important tsunami preparedness and public safety information.

The map revisions which were completed in August of 2010 are a culmination of more than four years of collaboration and work by county, state, federal, private and non-government entities.  These maps represent the most current evacuation information since 1991 and provide invaluable assistance with tsunami preparedness, planning and response island-wide.

In addition to the printed maps Oahu residents can also visit the department’s website at www.oahuDEM.org. Click on the Evacuation Zone Map Viewer found at the bottom of the page and enter their street address to view a map or satellite image specific to that location.

Remember, If you are in a tsunami evacuation zone you must leave when a tsunami warning is issued.  If you are not in the evacuation zone, stay where you are and keep streets and highways open for emergency responders and those leaving the shoreline.

The SBH 35th annual business & investment conference last Wednesday was terrific with best selling author and popular radio talk show host, Michael Medved,. Charley Memminger the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s Mike McCartney, Mets’ Pitching ace Sid Fernandez and business leaders Marcus Bender (Kai Vodka), Debi Halcro (Valenti Print Group) and James Kerr (SuperGeeks). The media panel with veteran reporters, Jim Dooley, Matt Levi, Malia Zimmerman and Greg Wiles was outstanding.

The next monthly SBH Sunrise Networking breakfast is coming up, Thursday, January 27 at the Pineapple Room, Macy’s Ala Moana, 7-8:30 am with guest speaker, Shiro -Hawaii’s Saimin King- Matsuo. Call Darlyn at SBH (396-1724) for reservations.

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.  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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