Angry Aloha | Blue, Blue Lights | Save our Plate Lunches | O’ahu Luxury Home Market Surges

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SBH news and views official logoBY SAM SLOM – Angry Aloha. Angry Aloha. Monday, I attended the U.S. Department of Interior’s first of 15 scheduled public hearings on a rule proposal to decide whether the Federal Government should negotiate for a government to government relationship with Native Hawaiians. The Feds already have enacted more than 150 laws benefiting Hawaiians.

The visiting, suited, DOI panel members, got an earful for nearly 3.5 hours in the Capitol auditorium. More than 100 people testified. There was plenty of passion, anger, shouting, chanting, cursing, laughter and even a song (“Red Ribbons”). Several told the visitors to go home-and take “their” homeless with them. The visitors were threatened with violation of UN genocide treaties. Many speakers declared they were not Americans. Opposition to the federal government was nearly universal-except for OHA (a state agency) and a few Hawaiian civic organizations.

There was anger by those who argue the Hawaiian Kingdom never ended, even after the 1893 overthrow, and never negotiated a treaty with the U.S. They urged nation to nation negotiations instead. They wanted the Secretary of State, not Interior. Some didn’t like to be called “Natives.”

Most speakers wanted to end the “American occupation,” and several simply wanted more money from the federal government. This event-an expensive vacation for more government officials and staff- underlies several points:

(1) it is an Obama political move to skirt the Congress on this issue;

(2) there still is no unified Hawaiian position,

(3) this is evidence of more unraveling of our vaunted “melting pot,”

(4) most Hawaiians, and others (including SBH), reject the phony government concept of making Hawaiians into a “tribe” for political purposes, and

(5) there is no Aloha for more deliberations and delays with the federal government. This is a far cry from the 94% vote in favor of Statehood in 1959. And the pride in being an American that followed. Just in time for Statehood (Admissions) Day in August, a paid holiday not observed here anymore.

Corporate Income Tax Adoption – Hawaii #1: A weekly chart by the Tax Foundation, Inc. shows when each of the states adopted a corporate income tax. Guess what? Hawaii is #1; according to TFH, Hawaii adopted a corporate income tax before Statehood, in 1901!  Wisconsin was next in 1911. Most states added this tax in the 1930s. Michigan enacted it in 1967, repealed in 1976 and re-enacted it in 2012. Ohio enacted it in 1971 and repealed it in 2010. Best states? Texas, Wyoming, South Dakota, Washington, and Nevada; they have no corporate income tax. Hawaii should follow suit.

Restaurant Association’s New Directors. The Hawaii Restaurant Association is the professional association of the restaurant and food service industry in Hawaii. The board of directors of the Hawaii Restaurant Association (HRA) has announced results of its 2014 board of directors’ election as well as new officers for the upcoming year.  As announced at its annual meeting held on May 7, 2014, the following officers have been named to serve from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015:

  • Chair-Dirk Koeppenkastrop, Ph.D., Founder, Il Gelato Hawaii
    Chair Elect-Eron Read, Director – Restaurant Development, Kona Brewing Company
    Vice Chair-Pat Kashani, President, Auntie Pasto’s, Tropics Tap House
    Treasurer- Allen Farinas, President/CEO, GRYLT
    Secretary- Tushar Dubey, President, Hokulani Bake Shop
    Immediate Past Chair -Bryan Andaya, CEO, L&L Hawaiian Barbecue

Six new directors have been elected to the HRA board of directors, representing both restaurant members and allied members.  The new directors include Michael Miller (Tiki’s Grill and Bar), Allen Farinas (GRYLT), Thomas Metzger (Cici’s Pizza), Thomas Frigge (TOBE Co. Food Safety), Biff Graper (Colliers International), and Conrad Nonaka (Culinary Institute of the Pacific).

HRA Says.”Don’t Take Our Plate Lunch;” Will Fight Styrofoam Ban. The Hawaii Restaurant Association is opposing the proposed Honolulu City Council Bill 40, which bans Styrofoam food containers. “Don’t Take Our Plate Lunch!”, a new web site, also opposes the measure, which was proposed by Councilmembers Stanley Chang and Ann Kobayashi.  The measure was deferred Wednesday.

The group argues (and Smart Business Hawaii agrees) bans are likely to hurt locally owned businesses because they limit choice and increase costs. When the City of Malibu in California enacted a polystyrene ban, a local yogurt shop was forced to raise prices to counter the higher cost of paper cups – an annual cost increase of over $30,000.

In reality, bans are really just a hidden tax on shop owners, who must pass the cost on to their customers. It is believed that any restriction – be it a ban or tax – ignores the real concern, which is litter. Some alternatives like compostable bio-based packaging may not perform as well when holding certain products at hot temperatures, may not be available in large quantities now, and is likely two to three times the cost of traditional plastics. The group supports promoting recycling, not onerous bans on individual products. They note many communities are collecting food service and non-food service polystyrene packaging for recycling purposes.

For example, the City of Los Angeles accepts clean polystyrene foam cups in their curbside recycling program. For a list of cities that offer curbside recycling of packaging and clean food service polystyrene, please visit this website>

Blue, Blue Lights. You may have noticed that Honolulu Police Department officers are now keeping their car blue lights on all the time during the day. There are some exemptions: notably if they are trying to catch speeders. That policy actually went into effect last month. In July, a new policy dictates that officers with tattoos cover them up. Nothing said about piercings. Yet.

Realtors® New Site. The Honolulu Board of REALTORS® launched its redesigned website, www.hicentral.com , which is now faster, more user-friendly and accessible to the public.  The new website allows users to find listings by specific neighborhoods on every island statewide, and get information about open houses in an easy-to-navigate layout on their computer, tablet or smartphone. Hicentral.com also provides potential homebuyers and sellers with useful information about Hawaii’s real estate market.

Ammerman Joins Graham. Graham Builders, announced that Christy Ammerman has joined the firm as Architectural Designer. She will be responsible for overseeing the company’s designing/planning of new homes and renovation projects, and production of construction documents.

SBA to Offer “Top 5 Risks to Business” On-Line. Two major challenges small business owners face after disasters are sales losses and a diminished customer base.  In a survey of 7,500 small and medium-sized businesses by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), 62% said losing profits and clients was their biggest post-disaster challenge.  Whether it’s a fire, flood or tornado, small businesses face an uphill trek when it comes to rebuilding in the aftermath of a disaster.  That’s why it’s important to have a recovery plan in place. Join Agility Recovery and the U.S. Small Business Administration on Tuesday, July 8, 2-3 pm (EDT) 8-9 am (HST), for an online discussion on how to protect your business before a disaster strikes.   Visit www.preparemybusiness.org to download disaster planning tip sheets and to view archived webinars. The SBA provides disaster recovery assistance in the form of low-interest loans to homeowners, renters, private nonprofits and businesses of all sizes. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov/disaster.

Hawaii Business Leadership Conference. On July 15, Hawaii Business Magazine will host the first annual Leadership Development Conference dedicated to the advancement of emerging leaders and young professionals. SBH is a co-partner for the event.   They aim to cultivate a community rich in innovation and success by focusing on the development of Hawaii’s ambitious and up-and-coming leaders. The event will be held in the ballrooms at the Sheraton Waikiki from 10 am – 5:30 pm on Tuesday, July 15, 2014.   The keynote speaker is Dusty Baker. There will be eight skill-building and leadership development workshops featuring prominent local leaders. Hosted Lunch. All day Expo for networking and sponsor/partner display tables. Contact Hawaii Business for registration details.

Pacific Edge Awards Coming. Pacific Edge Magazine (PEM) announced it has moved the Fourth Annual Pacific Edge Magazine Business Achievement Awards to September 25, 2014. Element Media, Inc., Hawaii’s premier custom publishing firm, will host the exclusive red-carpet soiree to recognize the state’s most influential business leaders, organizations and non-profits while celebrating the company’s eighth anniversary. Local business and community leaders are encouraged to submit nominations for the Fourth Annual Pacific Edge Magazine Business Achievement Awards by August 14, 2014 at www.pacificedgeawards.com. Self-nominations are encouraged.

Nomination categories include:

·         Lifetime Achievement Award
·         Young Professional of the Year
·         Business Executive of the Year
·         Educator of the Year
·         Commitment to Green Award
·         Corporate Social Responsibility Award
·         Best New Business
·         Best Family-Run Business
·         Best Social Media Campaign

Detailed information about the gala and award nomination submissions are available at www.pacificedgeawards.com .

O’ahu Luxury Home Market Surges. Oahu home and condominium sales saw a significant spike in the luxury market in May, with the strongest movement in the $1 to $2 million range, according to Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties (CBP), Hawaii’s leading residential real estate firm and a specialist in high-end real estate sales.  The figures are based on Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data of all single-family homes and condominiums sold for more than $1 million in May 2014 on Oahu. Oahu saw 84 luxury sales close last month. Oahu’s housing market is on an upward trend compared to the average number of homes sold in January through April 2014 (56 homes sales per month) and 62 home sales in May 2013.

Other key findings based on MLS data:

  • The $1 million to $2 million price range was the strongest market segment, with 61 sales compared to 52 sales in May 2013, a 15% increase.
  • With 11 sales in the $3 million to $6 million price point, Hawaii continues to see expansive interest from non-Hawaii buyers in this segment.
  • More than half the buyers are from the U.S. Mainland, three from Asia with only two from Hawaii.
  • These sales are significantly higher than May 2013, which only saw 2 transactions in the $3 million to $6 million range.
  • The most expensive sale recorded during May 2014 was a 7,765-square-foot home in Kailua with five bedrooms and seven bathrooms on a nearly 25,000-square-foot lot, which sold for $5.1 million in 89 days.

Millennials Go Global. A new poll conducted by Zogby Analytics in late May/early June reveals that Millennials are truly developing their global citizenship. About half (51%) of the 1,019 18-34 year old smart phone owners told us that they are likely “to live and work in a foreign country at some point in” their lives. That includes 68% of those 18-24 and 47% of the 25-34 year old group. The same percentage (51%) say that they “would like” to do just that – again more of the younger than older group of Millennials (64% to 47%) Read more here>

Want more local business information? Please visit the several SBH websites at www.smartbusinesshawaii.com, and www.sbhfoundation.org

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Many thanks to Sam Slom for going to Washington and personally lobbying the U.S. Senate against the Akaka bill during the crucial days of the cloture motion in June 2006. We who oppose creating a phony Hawaiian tribe will never forget. And neither will OHA!

  2. The author of this article acknowledges the overwhelming consensus from the first hearing, then subsequently contradicts himself by saying that there is no unified position.

  3. Beginning with the title of this report, there is a lot of spin by Mr. Slom regarding Hawaiian sovereignty, revealing his personal bias toward this issue. To his credit, he did accurately state that the testimony provided at the first DOI hearing, by Hawaiʻi residents of various ethnicities, was unanimously opposed to U.S. federal recognition of a fabricated tribal government for Kānaka Maoli, and that the Department of State should be holding these meetings instead.

    What was overthrown in 1893 was the government of the Hawaiian Kingdom, not its sovereignty as a country, nor its independence as a nation-state. The presumption of continuity of sovereignty places the burden of proof on the United States to provide overwhelming evidence that the sovereignty of the Hawaiian Kingdom was relinquished or extinguished, to rebut that presumption. Instead, U.S. Public Law 103-150 supports that presumption. Because Mr. Slom did not provide evidence to rebut the presumption of continuity of Hawaii's independence, he should not be putting the words, American occupation, in quotes.

    The United States waited until 61 years after it purportedly "annexed" Hawaiʻi without a treaty of cession, before administering its fraudulent "statehood" vote in 1959. The "statehood" vote would have failed if it was held on the same day that Hawaiʻi was "annexed," because a majority of the subjects were opposed, as demonstrated by the Kūʻē Petitions. Instead, the U.S. spent the next 6 decades transferring portions of its civilian and military population into the occupied territory—which is considered a war crime under international law—and Americanizing the territory through indoctrination and propaganda—which is also a war crime under international law (denationalizing the inhabitants of an occupied nation-state)—until it could get enough of the population to vote in favor of becoming the "50th State." Despite 61 years of occupation at the time, however, only 35% of eligible voters actively sought statehood. Since independence was not provided as an option for this vote, furthermore, it was not a plebiscite, as verified by U.S. Public Law 103-150.

    Notwithstanding the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom government in 1893, the illegal annexation of the Hawaiian Islands in 1898, and the omission of an independence option from the 1959 "statehood" vote which disqualified it from being a plebiscite, how has the 1959 "statehood" vote been misrepresented as having 94% approval? At the time of that election, 381,859 Hawaiʻi residents were "eligible" to vote—including American civilians and military personnel transferred by the United States into the occupied territory for 61 years, and their descendants. Of this pool of "eligible" voters, 171,383 voted in the 1959 General Election, which included the "statehood" question. Of these 171,383 who voted, 30,639 abstained from answering the "statehood" question. Of the 140,744 who did answer the question, 132,773, or 94% voted "yes," which is a lie with statistics. However, if you divide these 132,773 "yes" votes by the 381,859 eligible votes, the figure is approximately 35%. Compare this to the approximately 79%, or nearly four-fifths, of Hawaiian Kingdom citizens who signed the Kūʻē Petitions in 1898 to defeat the treaty of annexation in the U.S. Senate. What we're seeing today in these DOI hearings held throughout the Hawaiian Islands, is a continuation of the Kūʻē Petitions. It is very clear that the United States does not have the consent of Hawaiʻi residents, and the descendants of Hawaiian Kingdom citizens in particular, to reduce the multi-ethnic Hawaiian Kingdom to an indigenous tribe that is subordinate to the United States.

    There was never a government-to-government relationship between an exclusive Kānaka Maoli government and the United States government. Therefore, it cannot be re-established if it never existed in the first place. The only established relationship was nation-state to nation-state, between the Hawaiian Kingdom and the United States. The testimony on all of the islands so far clearly shows that the majority of those affected by this DOI proposal refuse to compromise on Hawaiian independence, just as their kūpuna (ancestors) did in 1898. That is the unified position, which even Mr. Slom has conceded but is reluctant to admit. Furthermore, Mr. Slom's calling it an "unraveling of Hawaii's melting pot" couldn't be further from the truth.

    • The independent nation of Hawaii had a revolution in which the Kingdom government was overthrown and replaced by a revolutionary Provisional Government followed by a permanent Republic of Hawaii government. The Provisional government was immediately recognized de facto by every foreign nation which had a local consulate in Honolulu. More importantly, the permanent Republic government was recognized as the rightful (de jure) government during the Fall of 1894 by letters in 11 languages personally signed by Emperors, Kings, Queens, and Presidents of at least 19 nations on 4 continents. I have photos of the original letters as found in the Hawaii archives, at http://tinyurl.com/4wtwdz

      This is how new governments have always gotten international recognition as having extinguished old governments following revolutions — when the heads of state of other nations having treaty relations personally recognize the change in government.

      The sovereign independent nation of Hawaii did indeed continue as an independent nation for more than 5 years after the revolution of 1893 extinguished the monarchial government. So how then did the independent nation of Hawaii get its sovereignty extinguished? By the Treaty of Annexation. The Republic government, having been internationally recognized as the rightful government, had the authority under international law to speak on behalf of the nation. It exercised that authority to offer a Treaty of Annexation in 1897, and the U.S. exercised its sovereign right to accept that treaty in 1898. This is not a situation of the U.S. using an internal, municipal joint resolution to reach out and grab Hawaii against Hawaii's wishes. Remember, Hawaii offered the Treaty first; then the U.S. accepted it.

      Some Hawaiian activists like to say that a joint resolution is not the proper method for ratifying a treaty. However, that's a matter for the U.S. alone to decide, because every nation has a sovereign right to decide what method to use for ratifying a treaty. So the U.S. exercised its sovereign right to pass a joint resolution as its internal method for deciding to accept the treaty. In terms of contract law: There was an offer by Hawaii, an acceptance by the U.S., and an exchange of value (Hawaii gave its public lands, and the U.S. gave enough money to pay off the accumulated national debt of Hawaii (it turns out that the amount paid by the U.S. was more than the ceded lands were actually worth; in effect the U.S. bought the ceded lands). So the Treaty of Annexation is what extinguished the nationhood of Hawaii.

  4. The illegal overthrow in 1893 is correctly classified as a fake revolution because it would never have been accomplished by a handful of individuals without U.S. military protection. If these insurgents were so confident in themselves, they would not have requested the landing of U.S. Marines under false pretexts for protection. President Grover Cleveland correctly stated that the Provisional Government was neither de facto nor de jure, but self-proclaimed. Therefore, the successor governments to the Provisional Government, in turn, have neither been de facto nor de jure. Furthermore, a government that immediately wants to go out of existence by naming itself "Provisional" is not a government. The reason they changed the name to "Republic of Hawaiʻi" was because President Cleveland withdrew their proposed treaty of annexation from the U.S. Senate. If their original intent was to be a permanent republic, as you suggest, then they would have done that to begin with, and never bothered submitting a treaty of annexation to the United States in the first place. Their intention was never to be permanent, and their government only existed for 5 years, so they never were permanent.

    If international recognition could be used in lieu of a bilateral treaty of cession, then the U.S. would not have bothered to obtain one for each of the other 49 states (98%) that it annexed over the course of the first 172 years of its history. Even dictionary definitions of cession say that a treaty is the customary instrument. A treaty is bilateral. You can't have one party ratify it as a treaty, and the other ratify it as a joint resolution after failing to ratify it as a treaty because it lacked the number of votes required. By the way, your self-published webpages are not references to primary sources, which weakens your credibility.

    Your analysis is contrary to U.S. Public Law 103-150, which by itself trumps your annexation argument. The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law will officially classify Hawaiʻi as an occupied state in the next edition of its annual War Report, to be published by Oxford Press on December 6, 2014 (http://bit.ly/1nBwomy). That's good enough for me to rest my case. So is the unanimous testimony provided so far at the DOI hearings. Since you feel so strongly about your point of view, I'm sure you'll state your case in person at the DOI hearings, if you haven't already. What you do have in common with a majority of those testifying—in what may seem like a most unlikely alliance—is that you are completely opposed to U.S. federal recognition of a tribal form of government for indigenous Hawaiians. So, I'm sure they'll be glad to have you on their side at the hearings. ʻŌkole maluna!

  5. I 'm still doing doing some reading on this subject.but the more I read,it looks like American imperialism and expansionism was hot and heavy starting as early as the Louisiana purchase,american-mexican war, and certainly,from 1890 into the early 1900's.our government and the major industries at the time with the help of the us military were getting involved in cuba,phillipines,guam,nd of course the annexation of Hawaii.hawaii and countries like Nicaragua,dominican republic,honduras were sought after.hawaii,was taken over for the benefit of our us military and certain industries.(military/industrial complex).and I'm reminded of the panama canal,and how that came into American possession.I mean even Teddy Roosevelt himself longed for wars. as far as Hawaii,a lot of propaganda to convince the American people that it was a peoples' revolution and not a military take over for corporatists from the mainland.

    • Aloha shaftalley. Here's a book I strongly recommend. My book review includes a summary of the main points plus lengthy quotes from each chapter. The book is available in the Hawaii Public Library. It's a fair and balanced description of what actually happened, written by a professor and former diplomat. Of course you never hear about this book, because the radicals at UH don't want you to know about it.

      Book Review of William M. Morgan Ph.D., PACIFIC GIBRALTAR: U.S. – JAPANESE RIVALRY OVER THE ANNEXATION OF HAWAII, 1885-1898 (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2011) http://www.angelfire.com/big09/PacificGibraltarBo

      • read your review on Mr. Morgan's book. should be required reading for people interested in getting all the historical information that is out there. I think that young people should avoid schools like UH for the simple reason you bring up: academic censorship.

  6. the rivalry between the Japanese and American governments over the Hawaiian islands does not take away from the US governments' plans at that time to acquire territories and spheres of influence for strategic military and economic interests.And we have to remember that commodore matthew c. perry wiyh the US Navy forced Japan to open up it's country with a letter of demands from Pres. Fillmore.(1852-1854). Man,it didn't take the Japanese long to acquire a knowledge of western technologies,industries and their own hunger for natural resources and territories and expansionism soon thereafter. Anyway, Hawaii was already an American protectorate more or less in the 1850's,when the sugar growers and the monarchy allowed the US government exclusive rights to maintain commercial and military bases in Hawaii in exchange for free trade in sugar to mainland(no tarrifs).

    • Your original posting was focused on issues regarding the revolution of 1893 and annexation of 1898. That's why I recommended the book "Pacific Gibraltar" — it does spend a lot of time on what Japan was doing in Hawaii, but it has a tremendous amount of valuable information about what the U.S. was doing in Hawaii during the time period you're interested in — information which I have not seen anywhere else, with footnotes up the wazoo to prove where the information is coming from. Read my book review, which begins with a list of the main points from the book related to 1893 and 1898, followed by lengthy quotes from each chapter. It won't cost you any money or inconvenience to read the book review webpage. Then if you want to read the actual book, it's free at the library

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