BY SEN. SAM SLOMDid you see the story broken by Ron Mizutani on KHON-2 last week involving the food markets in Chinatown? The property is City-owned and the air conditioner failed, leaving the small vegetable and food market owners (and their customers) without air. The veggies began to wilt and die. The temp soon reached 110 degrees inside and drove customers away. This went on for days. At first, the merchants were told that air contractor Heide & Cooke would be on it but then were given a huge estimated bill and a 1-2 week delay.

There was an emergency temporary air unit installed but without the publicity from Ron and a dedicated City employee, who sought a second opinion on the repair, we would still be sweating. The City employee, however, located a small $40 part, in stock in Honolulu, and fixed the job in ½ hour. All ended well thanks to the efforts of KHON and the responsible City department.

Yesterday, Moody’s Investment Service downgraded the State of Hawaii’s General Obligation bond rating because of a number of our fiscal practices and struggle with the economic downturn. It is further recognition that tax and spending must stop in Hawaii. Read the full report in Hawaii Reporter.com.

“Sew Lei for Memorial Day” for our fallen heroes… On Friday, May 27th, 2011 Join the Waikiki Community Center in sewing flower leis in the  WCC auditorium 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. Jeff & Barbara are accepting loose flowers and donated lei’s that day from 8- 10:30 a.m. Made leis must be 22″ no larger – no smaller. Please call Waikiki Community Center at 923-1802 and let them know if you’re bringing flowers and if you’ll be sewing lei’s. Please bring your own lei needle. Free Parking

Seems our Governor Abercrombie chose to attack the successful anti-pension tax opposition during the past legislative session by the AARP. I wouldn’t think any politician would want to chastise the retired folks – who vote – for demonstrating what democracy is all about. You go, AARP!  Actually, the Guv attacked nurses in Maui and his own Democrat legislators for not giving him everything he wants. Wonder if he ever learned about separation of powers while in far away D.C.?

The State Council on Revenues next meets next week, May 26. A lot riding on their projections. Pacific Business News (PBN) conducting its annual ballot to identify Hawaii’s “Top 50” growing businesses.

Tomorrow, the Sales and Marketing Executives International Honolulu Affiliate presents the 51st Annual Distinguished Sales & Marketing Award Program.  Winners will be published next week.

Today, OMPO will meet and present a program on transportation and climate change. The OahuMPO will be presenting information gathered and outcomes from its
recent Climate Change Transportation Adaptation Workshop held as a part of a Climate Change pilot grant awarded by the Federal Highway Administration. You still have time to attend if interested.

The meeting will take place at 5:00 p.m. in the state Capitol Auditorium.

The Hawaii Automotive Dealers Association reports the new vehicle market in Hawaii posted a 4.2% improvement in the first quarter of 2011. New retail registrations are predicted to exceed 36,000 units in 2011, a 6% increase from 2010, according to HADA.

Be sure to hear Malia Zimmerman of Hawaii Reporter.com, daily (M-F) on the Rick Hamada Show, KHVH radio on 830 AM at 7:20 am. She will report the news behind the news for you.

The next SBH Sunrise Networking Breakfast will be Thursday, May 26, in the Pineapple Room, Macy’s, Ala Moana Center, 7 – 8:30 am. In addition to networking and marketing for your business, our special business speaker is, Bob Sigall, Best Selling Author (“The Companies We Keep”) and marketing expert (Creative-1). He’ll discuss, “Marketing Your Business in Challenging Times.” Call Darlyn at SBH 396-1724 for reservations.

Ann, tell us it isn’t so! Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi introduced a bill in the City Council to ban any person from using “a mobile electronic device while crossing a street or highway.” What? First a cell phone ban in autos. Now a pedestrian ban?  The Council has too much time on its hands.

Council member Stanley Chang, who succeeded Charles Djou, says publicly that he is opposed to tax hikes but seems to vote for them anyway.

The local electronic media doing a better job of keeping all elected officials transparent and honest.

Ho-hum. Matson raising its surcharge again (4th time this year) in July. Higher shipping costs and food costs? Of course.

Your HECO electric bill too high? Rising? Even with solar? Relax. Parent Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. CEO Connie Lau is pulling down a cool $5.1 million after a $3.1 million raise during 2010.

Don’t ya love the local media spin on business stories? Most local radio/tv/newspapers (reading out of the same source) in early May reported “Business will save $3 million on HMSA health care costs.” Saving? HMSA announced yet another rate increase but the State Insurance Commissioner reduced the premium hike (for now), thus a lesser increase. No saving.

Jim Dooley of Hawaii Reporter broke the exclusive story about the state DHHL (Hawaiian Homes) deputy, Bobby Hall, who ordered expensive personal exercise equipment on the taxpayers’ dime. (Just a small example of government waste and largesse). DHHL first denied the story. So did the Guv’s office. A week later Hall was asked to resign by the Guv.

Dooley also reported that the original cost of the City’s rail EIS was $86 million but the current cost mushroomed to $156.2 million.

Hotel owner Kyo-Ya is chipping in $1/2 million of the total $2.5 million to replenish Waikiki Beach with sand that has seriously eroded. The Hawaii Tourism Authority will also donate a like amount to help add 24,000 cubic yards of sand from offshore deposits. The project is expected to begin at the end of the year and add many local jobs.

The Aulani Disney Resort at Ko Olina will hire 800 new employees for its August hotel opening.

Reminder that the Hawaii Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is hosting a small business event Wednesday, May 25, 7 – 9 am at Sam Choy’s. Speakers will include tax and labor attorneys Nelson Befitel, Ron Heller, John Knorek, Barbara Krieg, as well as Patrick Parsons of Hawaii Business magazine. Registration is $20. Call Eliza at 397-4026 for info.

Save the date: Friday, September 16, the Small Business Hawaii Entrepreneurial Education Foundation will hold its annual small business awards banquet at the Waialae Country Club. Want to nominate a business or business person for an award? For information and categories, call Darlyn at SBH, 808-396-1724 or email SBH@lava.net.

Categories include: Lex Brodie Small Business of the Year, Jean Fukuda Civic Leadership, SBH Young Entrepreneur, SBH Business Booster, Business All Stars and several media awards.

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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