BY SEN. SAM SLOM – Had a Merry Christmas? Hope you and your family got some quality time together and had a wonderful Christmas. Never saw anything like it at the stores and malls; it never stopped since Thanksgiving Day and consecutive open hour’s records were smashed. Even during a difficult economy, people open their hearts-and wallets-during this time of the year. Many fine church services too. After lighting all of my Hannukah candles, I enjoyed the annual Christmas Celebration at the First Presbyterian Church at Ko’olau. Do it every year; they make everyone feel very welcome. What a class service with beautiful music, staging, heart warming stories-the military Weaver family was the best this year- and the kids. You go, Dan Chun! Good current story this year about war hero Jerry Coffee. (Wonder what the professional atheists do for uplifting thoughts and friendship?)

 

End of the World Delayed. Whoever was reading and translating the Mayan calendar must have also worked on some political campaigns this year too. We’re all still here ready for the next ride. Plenty of Mayan commercials; I liked the Chevy truck one the best, ending with the distribution of Twinkies.

 

Happy New Year. OK, 2013 is on the way, ready or not. Happy New Year next Tuesday.

 

A Hui Ho, Dan. The celebrations of Senator Dan Inouye’s life have almost ended-there will be events on each of the Neighbor Islands- and they were done in style. Hats off to the State Capitol protocol people, who provided a wonderful ceremony Saturday night on very short notice. Governor Neil Abercrombie delivered an outstanding eulogy. The ceremony at Punchbowl was also done with class. God Bless the surviving 442nd Vets; they know courage and respect.

 

“Politics in the Post-Inouye Era’” That is the topic of the keynote speech former Governor Ben Cayetano will deliver at the 37th annual SBH Business & Investment Conference, Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at the Ala Moana Hotel. Still time to make your reservations for the full day event (8 am – 2 pm)There will be networking, business exhibit tables, full luncheon and a tremendous program with outstanding speakers including: ASTON’s Kelvin Bloom, the FBI’s Tom Simon, Freedom Works’ Matt Kibbe, best-selling author Bob Sigall and successful business owners, Kitty Lagareta and Roy Yamaguchi. Sponsorships are still available. Reserve now! Call Darlyn at 396-1724 for sponsorship or reservations.

 

Scramble for the Senate. The only unseemly action seems to be everyone and her sister rushing to announce for Senator Inouye’s Senate seat. There are the usual old guys and some frosh who haven’t even accomplished much yet, vying for the seat. Power. Not service, but power. Then there are the behind the scenes maneuvering to become the “senior” Senator first. The Democrat Party meets today to select the top 3 candidates and the Gov said he will have his decision by this Friday. That could set off another scramble for a Hawaii Congressional seat. It’s all about the power. And control. Stay tuned. Note: Hawaii Lieutenant Governor Brian Schatz was chosen by Governor Neil Abercrombie today to replace the late U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye.

 

New Barge. Sause Bros. announced that construction of the new barge Columbia began this past March at Gunderson Marine, Inc. in Portland, Oregon.  The new barge is being specially designed and built to service the Hawaii market and will be larger, more efficient than its predecessor the Nestucca. The Columbia will be launched this spring after being outfitted at Southern Oregon Marine, Inc. in Coos Bay and will be operational in the fall of 2013.

 

“The Columbia will join our latest barge Kamakani,” said Jeff Browning, General Manager for Columbia River Service of Sause Bros. “With two modern barges; we will now be able to provide sailings twice a month between the Northwest and Hawaii.”

In addition to the Columbia, Sause Bros. is also in the process of rebuilding its tug fleet. The new additions and improvements will make the company’s fleet the most modern and fuel-conscious choice for shipments between Hawaii and the mainland.

 

Sause Bros. provides a common carrier service from Rainier, Oregon to its Hawaii terminal in Kapolei.

 

SA Hires VP. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser announced it has hired David G. Williams as vice president of Circulation. He will assume the post on Jan. 14, 2013.

 

Williams, a native of Reno, Nev., has more than 33 years of experience in the newspaper industry. His most recent position was as director of alternative publications and revenue analysis for the Gannett Company at their corporate headquarters.

 

HAL Attorneys. Hawaiian Airlines announced the promotion ofMark Arimoto to the position of associate general counsel, and the appointment of Robin Kobayashi and Scott Miyasato to the position of assistant general counsel in the company’s legal department.

 

Farrington High’s Roof. A report by the Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) has found that a design flaw in Farrington High School’s 58-year-old auditorium contributed to its roof collapse on November 23, 2012.

 

The report by structural engineers from Kai Hawaii found that one of the steel trusses that created the roof framing was inadequately designed to support the loads that a normal truss would – in addition to a light balcony attached to that truss. The balcony, which was used to mount and access lights to illuminate the stage, also consisted of a metal deck cantilevered perpendicularly to Truss 2 (second from the stage).

 

The light balcony almost doubled the truss’ vertical load capacity, the report says. A 40-foot section of the auditorium roof collapsed in a brief but heavy afternoon downpour. The report stated, “The unique weather conditions of heavy wind and rain on the day of the collapse appear to have pushed the truss beyond its ultimate capacity.” No one was in that area of the auditorium at the time.

 

None of the DOE’s existing buildings have been designed or built by the same companies used in the construction of Farrington’s auditorium, according to an initial review.

 

Collector’s Item. The January, 2013 issue of the Small Business News, volume 38 number 1, is now out (and also on the SBH website) and is the final printed issue of the monthly news letter after 38 years. You can go to the website or call SBH and ask for a free copy of this final issue. Enjoy!

 

No Rail Decision Yet. Federal Court Judge A. Wallace Teshima has yet to issue his decision from the 12-12-12 arguments in the case against the Honolulu rail. The suit was filed in May, 2011. The judge had promised an early ruling. The FTA last week executed a $1.55 billion agreement with Honolulu in Washington. A separate state suit has temporarily stopped construction but not spending and planning. An appeal by the losing side is expected.

 

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.

 

Aloha,

Sam

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