BY SEN. SAM SLOMHAPPY THANKSGIVING! Despite the fact that many of us are struggling financially, are enduring physical ills, or other challenges, we should stop, enjoy and be thankful for the many blessings we often take for granted.

 

Turkey Fixin’ Costs Up. The cost of all your fixings for the turkey holiday is up from 2011, by about 20% in Hawaii. Check your own receipts.

 

“Full” Funding for Rail. The Mayor and HART were gloating over Monday’s announcement by the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) that they were going to sign off on the $1.55 billion to Honolulu for its $5.2 billion ($9.3 billion in total) heavy rail project. The FTA admitted it waited ’til after our election for Mayor here; the decision was political, not based on economics. The Mayor taunted anti-rail foes. But hold on! There are still law suits (federal and state) pending and the Congress is dealing with a little thing called the “fiscal cliff.” The money is not in the bank yet. Even if the money is delivered, it is less than 1/3 of the costs. Who will make up the difference? Look in the mirror.

 

Looking for an Attorney. I know there are plenty of attorneys in Hawaii-the Senate UH investigation demonstrated that-but I’m looking for one special barrister. The state Senate Minority is looking for a young, bright, energetic, committed attorney with a strong work ethic to head up the Senate Legal and Minority Research office at the Capitol. Lots of responsibility and legislative involvement. Full time position. Salary negotiable. Interested? Qualified? Available immediately. Call me personally at 349-5438.

 

Speaker, Speaker. As of today, the political logjam in the State House is unbroken and no one has been chosen Speaker of the House. Dissidents once again launched an attack on SpeakerCalvin Say. Former Speaker Joseph Souki of Maui (pro tax, pro rail, pro van cam, pro red light camera, etc.) is bidding to replace Say. No one has yet garnered the needed 27 votes although wheeling and dealing escalates. There can’t be an agreed upon 2013 legislative calendar until the Speaker is chosen. No House Committee heads either. The State Senate organized itself hours after the November 6 election returningShan Tsutsui of Maui as Senate President.

 

Black Friday. More stores opening earlier- even on Thanksgiving night- for Black Friday holiday bargains to the excitement of many shoppers, and to the dismay of many employees. It is tacit recognition by retailers that it is even more competitive, that the numbers for 2012 are not there, and that there is no widespread recovery. I’ll enjoy time with my family rather than shopping for more bargains.

 

Buy Hawaii. Today, Governor Abercrombie will unveil his“Buy Hawaii, Give Aloha!” campaign to urge residents to buy and gift locally made products during the holiday season.  The Governor will make his announcement at 11:30 am, Ceremonial Room, Governor’s Office, State Capitol, 5th floor, amid a display of Hawaii-made products representing the vast array of Hawaii goods to consider for gift giving including:

  • Fashions: casual wear and accessories, a mainstay of Hawaii’s lifestyle brand, featuring models of some of Hawaii’s hottest fashions;
  • Specialty food and gift products: many of which are only found in Hawaii;
  • Sporting goods: from surfboards to dive wear, wet suits to rash guards;
  • Cosmetics and nutraceuticals: derived from our natural ocean and botanical resources;
  • Agricultural products: such as candies, flowers and coffee;
  • Jewelry, and
  • Music CD’s by local artists.

The Governor will also announce his Buy Hawaii, Give Aloha! initiatives to increase the export of Hawaii’s products during the coming year, made possible through a grant from the US Small Business Administration:

  • An extensive “Hawaii Pavilion” at the largest fashion trade show in Japan, the JFW International Fashion Fair, in January;
  • The Hawaii Islands of Booths at the largest natural products show in Asia, the Hong Kong Natural Products show in August; and
  • The Made in Hawaii Pavilion at the largest gift trade show in Asia, the Tokyo International Gift Show in September 2013.

The Governor will announce that October 2013 will be “Hawaii Fashion Month,” when local merchants will be encouraged to celebrate made-in-Hawaii fashions.

 

Finally, the Governor will announce his intention to revive the”Governor’s Fashion Awards,” to help stimulate the garment and jewelry industries in Hawaii.

 

Buy Hawaii, Give Aloha! partners include:

  • U.S. Small Business Administration
  • Hawaii Fashion Incubator
  • Hawaii Food Industry Association
  • Made-In-Hawaii Festival
  • Hawaii Book Publishers Association
  • Hawaii Association of Recording Artists

Small Business Saturday. This Saturday, November 24, is the 3rd annual Small Business Saturday, organized by American Express. Last year, an estimated 100 million people came together to Shop Small. Go out there and shop between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

 

SBH on Sale Too! OK, everyone else is having a sale so, for the month of December only, your firm can be part of SBH and enjoy all of the benefits and discounts, for 50% off. That’s right, if you join during December only, your membership will be only $100 per year. Go online or call Darlyn (396-1724) now!

 

Occupancy Rising. Hawaii hotel occupancy continues strong during Jan-Sept 2012 with O’ahu leading the Neighbor Islands. Visitor arrivals and expenditures also are at record rates for the year.

 

UH Senate Hearings Pau. On Monday, the Special State Senate Committee on Accountability wrapped up its UH “Wonder Blunder” investigation. Senator Donna Mercado Kimand Committee presented its findings (all on line), recommendations and 18-point action plan. There will be a financial and management audit of UH. In the end, there were no consequences, no identification of who actually should be held responsible (there were several) and no doubt that Dan Inouye continues to rule every aspect of Hawaii, including UH.MRC Greenwood is still there, as is Tom Apple and Virginia Hinshaw– all with bloated salaries and perks. Jim Donovan, a major part of the investigation, reportedly will leave UH for the AD position in California if he gets it. The Board of Regents and the Administration of UH has lost the confidence and trust of a great many people and still face a moral cliff.

 

Elections Meeting Moved Up. The Office of Elections will hold a meeting open to the public next Tuesday, November 27 at 10 am. Originally, this meeting was scheduled for the week of December 10. The meeting will be held in the State Office Tower, 235 S. Beretania St., Room 204. Testimony is allowed. Many, many people are upset with the performance during 2012 of the elections office and its executive, Scott Nago.

 

GMO Hearing. City Ordinances supporting the statewide mandatory labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) will be heard next week. On Tuesday, November 27th at 1:00 PM the Honolulu City Council will be hearing GMO labeling resolutions in the Executive Matters and Legal Affairs Committee (EMLA). Committee Chair Councilman Breene Harimoto and newly elected EMLA Vice Chair CouncilmemberJoey Manahanwill lead the meeting. “Two bills on GMO labeling from both Hawaii County and Maui County are up for adoption in the HSAC package this year which will be submitted to the Speaker of the House. Last year the GMO labeling passed all island Councils unanimously except for Honolulu.” If GMO labeling succeeds past the EMLA committee it will be heard for a final vote on December 5th at the next full City Council meeting.

 

Twinkies Saved? The news by Hostess Baking last week that it was shutting down because of a standoff with its unions, sent consumers scurrying for Twinkies, Ho-Hos and Ding Dongs. Personally, I have always been a loyal Tasty Kake consumer. However, good news: the high calories snacks may continue after all as a result of either bankruptcy or a partial union settlement. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people got as excited about elections and especially fiscal issues as they do about IPads, snacks and vampire movies?

 

SBH Sunrise Next Thursday. The November SBH SUNRISE Networking Breakfast, the final session of 2012, will be next Thursday, November 29. Our speaker is Tyler Roukema, Owner, Outback Steakhouse, Hawaii Kai. He will speak on, “Entrepreneurship Challenges In Hawaii” The SBH SUNRISE will be 7 – 8:30 am, in the Pineapple Room, Macy’s Ala Moana. Call Darlyn @ SBH, 396-1724 for reservations to SBH events.

Gas Prices Decline. For the first time in months, the price of regular gasoline in Hawaii (Honolulu) has dipped below $4 per gallon.

 

SBH 2013 Conference. The 37th annual SBH Business & Investment Conference is coming! Save Wednesday, January 9, 2013. The SBH Conference will be held 8 am to 1:30 pm at the Ala Moana Hotel (Garden Lanai and Hibiscus Ballroom). There will be networking, business exhibit tables, full luncheon and a tremendous program with outstanding speakers. Speakers include: ASTON’s Kelvin Bloom, the FBI’s Tom Simon, Freedom Works’ Matt Kibbe, best selling author Bob Sigall and successful business owners. Luncheon keynote speaker is Ben Cayetano. He should have plenty to say! Sponsorships still available. Reserve now! Call Darlyn at 396-1724 for sponsorship or reservations.

 

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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