BY SAM SLOM –  Merry Christmas to all! Oh, is that politically incorrect these days? Too bad!  Shame on those retailers and others who have been fearful of non-celebrants so they no longer wish you a Merry Christmas, just a drab, “Happy Holidays.”  Too bad we let all of our traditions get pushed away, one by one. The other side, never concedes or compromises an inch.

The Census now says we have a US population of 308 million-plus, not including illegal aliens (13 million more?). Hawaii has 1.3 million and won’t lose any House seats (we have 2)  but many states-mostly Obama Blue States-will. Texas is the biggest gainer. Nevada is the fastest growing state.

Good news: America is now a bona fide homosexual nation! Hooray! That “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” vote last week, was teriffic, wasn’t it? The single most important thing we could do. And, it was so welcome by not only the GLT community, but most of the mainstream media and politicians who have lobbied so hard, so long, to put sexual preference right up there, ahead of a sound economy, more jobs, and a better business climate. Reasons to be so proud as our economy tumbles, the dollar falls and debt grows by the minute.

Governor Neil Abercrombie’s press conference Monday, about the budget, no taxes and bringing the prisoners home at great cost, was masterful in what was not said or explained. Read it. Most of the mainstream media seem to be asleep here or mesmerized by our new Guv.

KITV’s top reporter, Denby Fawcett, retires at the end of this year after a distinguished journalism career. She will be missed. She was one of the few reporters here who was fair, accurate and knew how to ask the tough questions.

Was that former Governor Linda Lingle, now looking relaxed, fit and comfortable, jogging and shopping in her new Hawaii Kai neighborhood? You betcha!.

Those financially disastrous power outages over the weekend and the beginning of the week really hurt business, especially Kahala Mall and Ala Moana Center. The lost business, extra costs and other concerns during the most important retail time of the year really was harmful to end of year receipts.

“Gee… A Deli,” the iconic, original sandwich shop, once gutted by fire, is back in a lunch wagon in the streets of Kailua parked near Hardware Hawaii, still owned by Doug Izak and Bobby Sansonetti. Customers – old and new – are flocking there.

You can now enjoy John Pritchett’s stinging cartoons weekly in Hawaii Reporter. Charley Memminger is also now a regular humor columnist in the growing staff of the daily HR.

Both Governor Abercrombie, and new Mayor Peter Carlisle, are going full steam ahead on the $8 billion (newly revised cost) fixed, heavy elevated rail project, despite the cost increase, and despite the fact that the feds, under a new GOP House, will not fund this project.

Senator Dan Inouye, the fabled “King of Pork,” was handed a rare defeat last week after he tried the stealth route to get his omnibus spending bill- $1.2 TRILLION worth- past the Senate. It was actually crafted back in February when the majority knew the GOP would wallop them Nov. 2. Pork, earmarks, wasteful spending were all in the bill.

SBH Director Bob Sigall’s new book, “The Companies We Keep-3” is available in Barnes & Noble, Borders, etc. If you didn’t receive a copy for Christmas, get a copy now for a light-hearted historical look at the genesis of hundreds of Hawaii’s businesses.

Reminder: the 26th State Legislature, convenes Wednesday, January 19. Keep BOTH hands on your wallet or purse.

Another week went by and still no elected Speaker of the House at press time. Rep. Calvin Say still insists he is only one-vote shy of continuing his control.

What’s this? Senator Clayton Hee has ousted O’lelo television from the State Capitol?  Can he do that single handedly? We’ll see.

The State Employee’s Retirement System (ERS) gave a grim presentation at its annual board meeting Monday, and a preview to lawmakers yesterday about the growing underfunding. Look for more taxpayer support next year and higher “contribution” rates for state employees.

Last week’s rumor is this week’s news: former Mayor Mufi Hannemann has accepted a position with the Hawaii Hotel & Lodging Association.

Former Lt. Governor James Duke Aiona who lost to Abercrombie November 2, is the new Executive Vice President at his old Alma Mater, St. Louis School. Aiona will be responsible for development and funding of the all-boys school headed by Walter Kirimitsu. He’s keeping his political options open for the future.

You’re invited next Wednesday, December 29, to hear Sheriff Richard Mack talk about the 10th Amendment: Power to the People, Limits on Government. Panel discussion with Sheriff Mack, Sam Slom, and Dick Rowland. Moderator: Mike Rethman. Veterans Center, Foster Village, Oahu,1298 Kukila Street, 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Admission: $20. Discussion topics will be the Tea Party, American Idealism, national debt and the greatest threat to America -The Federal Government. RSVP to Sirius Event Planning, LLC at linda@siriuseventplanning.com or call 808-285-8591.

Reminder, there is no scheduled monthly SBH Sunrise Networking breakfast in December. Sunrise will return 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.

And, SBH’s 35th annual business and investment conference is Wednesday, January 12, 2011 in the Ala Moana Hotel.  Best selling author and popular radio talk show host, Michael Medved will keynote and is expected to broadcast live from the hotel. Many other fine business and community speakers are lined up including: Marcus Bender (Kai Vodka), Debi Halcro (Valenti Print Group) and James Kerr (SuperGeeks). A media panel will feature The Franklin Center’s Jason Strevak and veteran business reporters, , Jim Dooley, Matt Levi, Malia Zimmerman and Greg Wiles. Political leaders and Super Met Sid Fernandez will also join the Conference. Call Darlyn to reserve a seat at 396-1724

The weekly SBH News & Views E-Blast reaches more than 8,000 business owners and government leaders in Hawaii. Business press releases welcome. Not receiving your copy? Send request and email address to SBH@lava.net or call Darlyn at 396-1724.

Business alert: Final call to make some good end of year business and financial decisions. 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.

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