Bat Out of Hell | Merger Mania | Sears Aloha | Aina Haina Dust Up

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BY SAM SLOM – Power Up. It seems every time the wind blows hard, we don’t get wind energy we get power outages from HECO. Especially East Honolulu. Sunday was another 4 ½ hour disruption for restaurants, gas stations and other businesses. Did someone say undergrounding the wiring? Again?



Hear Kalbert Young. State Budget Chief, Kalbert Young, speaks on state finances and how they affect you at the next SBH Sunrise Networking Breakfast, next Thursday, February 28, 7-8:30 am, Pineapple Room, Macy’s Ala Moana Center. Call Darlyn at SBH for info/registration at 396-1724 or go online.


Sequester Coming? The so-called Budget Sequestration-President Obama’s idea- is looming March 1. That is when, absent Congressional action, “massive automatic spending cuts” will take effect. Really? What would really happen is that the rate of spending increase would decrease; $1 trillion in spending reductions would take place (maybe) over a ten-year period and there still would be excessive government spending. But the media and the majority party want taxpayers to believe there would be massive cuts and destruction of life as we know it. More on this next week.


Merger Mania. The announced merger between American Airlines and US Airways, creating the largest airline, could prove beneficial for Hawaii routes.


SMEI: Starn Speaks. Sales & Marketing Executives International (SMEI) presents its monthly meeting tonight, February 20, Moana Surfrider at 5:30 pm. Andy Starnspecializes in Waikiki retail for CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate services company. Focusing on the submarket’s unique business landscape, Mr. Starn’s unsurpassed knowledge and ability to complete lease and sale negotiations allow landlords as well as occupiers to succeed in this globally recognized retail destination.


A selection of his notable clients and transactions include Goldman Sachs, Outrigger Hotels, Queen Emma Land Company, Tory Burch, Peter Lik, Uggs, Burberry and Volcom – all contributing to over 345,000 square feet of transacted space and $120 million in consideration.


Sears Aloha. The official date of the closure of the flagship Sears Ala Moana store-and all the small business merchants inside-is now announced for the first week of June. That will be a sad time.


Macy’s Downtown. The closure of the downtown Macy’s outlet is coming soon as the final sales take place. Yep, business couldn’t be better in Honolulu.


Ritz Carlton in Waikiki. Realtor Myra Brandt informs that

The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach is now accepting registrations. Located adjacent to the internationally acclaimed shops of Luxury Row, The Residences will offer unobstructed views to the Pacific Ocean. As a homeowner at The Residences, you will enjoy finely appointed residences combined with the legendary services and amenities of The Ritz-Carlton (TM). This is fee-simple condominium ownership starting at $500,000.


Gas Up, Up and Away. Gasoline prices continue to rise in Hawaii, $4.20 on average in Honolulu, higher on the Neighbor Islands, far above the national average, several cents at a time. And we’re not even close to memorial Day. Shortage of refinery capacity?


Bat Out of Hell. The Native Hawaiian Hoary Bat, ‘Ope’ape’a,’ is the subject once again of a bill at the Legislature. I reintroduced my bill to designate the Hawaiian hoary bat as the State land mammal.  SB775 is scheduled for a hearing this Thursday in Technology and the Arts (TEC) at 1:15 pm. Anyone interested could submit testimony. Gordon Morse, outdoor writer for the Honolulu Advertiser in 1964 said. “This bat is not only rare in Hawaii but is considered among the rarest in the world.”

Paul Breese, former director of the Honolulu Zoo, estimated there were probably about 100 left. Quintin P. Tomich, in the second edition of his definitive work, Mammals of Hawaii, estimates there are a few thousand. Gary Andersen, Former Chair, Sierra Club, Honolulu Group, O’ahu Chair Earth Island Institute, O’ahu Chair Windstar foundation and presently a member of the Manoa Neighborhood Board, said in part, “
Longtime residents of Hawai’i say they were seldom seen and even less today.”


On October 13, 1970, the Hawaiian bat was placed on the National Endangered Species list. By declaring the ‘Ope’ape’a Hawaii’s official land mammal we might insure a sanctuary for the bat and let us hope the next generation will not ask of us, “What was the ‘Ope’ape’a?”


Dust Up in Aina Haina. Many residents, including Wayson Chow and Neighborhood Board member Kurt Lajalla, in Aina Haina are concerned about developer Jeff Stone’s plans to build houses at the end of Hao Street. (The property is slated for clearing and grading now).  Critics warn of danger of losing significant native Hawaiian cultural resources, as well as physical history of the Wailupe `Ahupua`a.  A community meeting held last week was not attended by Stone.


Think Tech on Transportation. Think Tech Hawaii presents an update and discussion on Transportation in Hawaii, how are we getting around these days, what works and what doesn’t, and the issues in play.

There will be panelists on the evolution of cars and congestion, mass transit, complete streets and the biking alternative, air and sea travel among the islands and city and state plans to improve the systems that were developed before.


This luncheon program is Thursday, February 28, at the Plaza Club, 900 Fort Street Mall, 20th Floor.  Registration is at 11:30 a.m. and the program will start at noon.  Register at  or call Gail at 382-4638.

SBH can help you with YOUR business. Just starting a business?   Call me personally for help at 396-1724 or email: Smart Business Hawaii Means Business and we’re here to help you.








  1. 4 1/2 hours?? Well – we were out from 8AM until 9:15PM – thats 13 hours without electricity. Called Heco and they said the wind blew our lines down – hellooo – they are underground in Hawaii Kai…. couldn't get a straight answer from anyone there, and it took their service tech about 5 whole minutes to re-start the generator- once he got there – 13 hours later.

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