BY SEN. SAM SLOM – Memorial, Lantern Events. Hawaii remembered its war veterans at the annual City & County of Honolulu Punchbowl morning ceremony and State Kaneohe afternoon event held on Monday, Memorial Day. There were fewer politicians and veterans this year, but the event was still memorable. Then the annual Floating Lantern ceremony was held in the evening at Ala Moana Beach Park.
TOMORROW With Clark Hatch. Fitness guru and business entrepreneur Clark Hatch will speak to Smart Business Hawaii members tomorrow, Thursday, May 30, at the SBH SUNRISE Networking Breakfast forum, 7-8:30 a.m., at the Pineapple Room, Macy’s Ala Moana on “Doing Business in Asia.” Bring a friend; you’ll learn a great deal from Clark and you can network with other business members and promote your business or project. Advance reservations available through SBH. Call Darlyn at 396-1724 to secure your seat.
Hawaiian Homelands Audit. I participated in a jammed public information briefing held last Thursday at the Capitol regarding an April audit of the State Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. DHHL was criticized by the Legislator Auditor for misuse of funds, laxness in collecting timely lease rents, delinquency policy and favoritism in choosing lessees, among other things. Nothing had changed from a previous 1994 Audit.
Fireworks in Kailua After All? After several Independence Day fireworks events were being pronounced “dead” for this July 4, late news yesterday was that private donations surged to the point that fireworks will again be featured this holiday in Kailua. Meanwhile, other private and military fireworks have been cancelled, and the Hawaii Kai event, Independence Day at Maunalua Bay, is on life support. Organizers of the Hawaii Kai event are hoping for a substantial donation so the important community tradition can continue.
SBH Invites Young Professionals. Reminder that decades ago, Smart Business Hawaii (SBH) reached out to Young Entrepreneurs with special business programs, membership and benefits. It was the first Hawaii business organization to do so. Last week, the SBH Board voted unanimously to re-establlsh a special place within SBH for younger business owners. The SBH YOUNG PROFESSIONALS is now up and running. Annual dues only $75 if you are under 30. Contact me directly (SBH@lava.net), go online (smartbusinesshawaii.com) or call Darlyn at 396-1724 for details. Welcome aboard!
Summer Concerts Coming. Hawaii Kai Towne Center announced the return of the annual Sunset Serenade Summer Concert Series! HKTC will be featuring award-winning entertainment for each concert beginning with Duncan Kamakana Osorio (recently featured on the popular show “The Voice” and on local Burger King commercials) to kick off the series on June 22 from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at the Waterfront Stage. Also, Billy V from Hawaiian 105 KINE will join the festivities as guest host. There is an opportunity to showcase your business at each event. Other dates are July 20 and August 24. Contact Alex Kirley , Senior Marketing Manager at Hawaii Kai Towne Center, atAlexandra.Kirley@am.jll.com or 808-235-1143 ext. 18.
Conservative Republicans Organize. Saturday, the Hawaii Republican Assembly (HIRA) organized to provide Hawaii conservatives with a home and a voice in Hawaii politics. Conducting elections, adopting by-laws, and announcing the strategy for the organization were key items for the meeting. Setting the tone for increased conservative political action is their goal. New officers were unanimously elected at the organizing meeting of the Hawaii Republican Assembly (HIRA). The full roster of officers, elected to one-year terms:
- Tito Montes, president
- Willes K.Lee and Colleen Meyer, National Directors
- Marissa Capelouto, 1st vice president
- Carol White,2nd vice president
- Mike Palcic, Treasurer
- Brett Kulbis, secretary
The Republican Assembly was founded in 1932 in California, gaining prominence under Ronald Reagan in 1964. The Hawaii Republican Assembly (HIRA) was originally founded in 2009. All HIRA members are card-carrying members of the Hawaii Republican Party.
Anti Monsanto March Held. Last Saturday, several hundred local residents, representing a number of organizations, marched in Waikiki against GMOs and Monsanto. Dubbed “Save Hawaii/March Against Monsanto,” the event was part of a coordinated effort in 41 countries and more than 400 marches. Monsanto, however, does have its supporters in Hawaii and the GMO issue was not resolved during the 2013 Legislature. It will return in 2014.
Snake Captured. Military personnel at Hickam Air Force Base captured a small snake last week in a maintenance bay near the airfield. Inspectors from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture were called and took custody of the foot-long snake. There are no snakes in Hawaii – at least officially or legally.
The snake was later identified as a juvenile ornate tree snake (Chrysopelea ornate) by a herpetologist at the Bishop Museum. Ornate tree snakes are “mildly” venomous and are related to the brown tree snake, which has devastated the ecosystem in Guam. Ornate tree snakes are native to South East Asia and their diet consists of lizards, mice, bats and birds. They are also known as ornate flying tree snakes for their ability to spring from tree to tree. It is not known at this time how the snake got to Hawaii; however, Air Force personnel are continuing surveys of the area. They should also check inside the State Capitol-during session.
Housing Sales Improve. Housing sales, nationally and locally, continue to improve but the overall economy still is below expectations by government.
HAL Appoints Lyons. Hawaiian Airlines has appointed Daniel F. Lyons, P.E. as senior director – performance engineering & operations analytics. In his new role, Lyons is responsible for improving the efficiency of Hawaiian’s ground and flight operations for its current fleet of more than 40 aircraft.
Young Brothers NI Cargo Falls. Young Brothers, Limited announced last week that intrastate cargo shipments between Honolulu and six neighbor island ports declined by 3.9 percent in the first quarter of 2013, according to the Young Brothers Quarterly Shipping Report. Agricultural cargo volume was basically flat.
University of Hawaii West Oahu: More Problems. UH West Oahu continues in the news but for the wrong reasons. Rick Daysog of Hawaii News Now broke a story last week that the campus sold a piece of land to Japan’s Tokai University for a reported $6 million, taking $5.1 million in cash up front, long since spent. Oops. Now, Tokai finds they don’t have a deed from UH and can’t get a building permit or anything else.
Good scam: sell land over and over without a conveying deed. UH says they will get a deed.
Meanwhile, the new campus, has land conveyed previously from Campbell Estate. That land used to be used by local farmers and ranchers, but have not been allowed to continue for three years. They said UH West is the single entity, which has abused the most prime agricultural land on Oahu to date.
Kaiser, ILWU Ink Contract. Kaiser Permanente Hawaii employees represented by the ILWU (International Longshore and Warehouse Union) ratified a new three-year collective bargaining agreement. The contract provides for modest wage adjustments and benefit changes, including a move to a defined contribution retirement plan for employees hired after January 1, 2015.
According to the 2012 Employee Benefit Plans in Hawaii survey conducted by the Hawaii Employers Council, Hawaii has seen a steady decline in the number of companies offering defined benefit plans. In 2009, 30.4 percent of companies reported offering a defined benefit plan. In 2012, that number declined to 24.8 percent.
New Law Raises Hurdles for Families Traveling by Taxi.Honolulu’s new seat belt law, enacted on May 20, 2013, is already causing problems for local and visitor families who are attempting to use taxicabs while traveling with children, according to a report from Hawaii News Now.
Backseat passengers must now buckle up in taxis, but local fleets are not equipped with enough infant car and booster seats.
“We have always provided infant and toddler car seats to passengers on request,” said Dale Evans, President of Charley’s Taxi told Hawaii News Now. “The problem is that with all the luggage and other cargo our vehicles carry, we cannot keep car seats and boosters in every car. So families need to know that they need to request them in advance. They currently have no idea. For instance, just last night 70% of families who called for a taxi were stranded due to this new law.”
Taxis as Handi Vans? Hanni Hartmann read the story in the Sunday paper about the state of disrepair and costs of Honolulu’s Handi Van fleet.
Hartmann says, “The solution is so easy: Have the C&C negotiate contracts with local taxi operators. Some taxis can easily be acquired to be suitable for wheelchair clients.The C&C will save hundreds of thousand of $$. The C&C is -again- in dire financial needs of funds.The Service will be beneficial for the 3500 residents who need this service. The Oahu taxpayer will benefit; or at least they should…. Bottom line; take it away from the bureaucracy and allow companies, who are in this business AND pay taxes, to do their jobs.”
What do you think?
Eminent Domain Seminar Coming. The 2nd Annual Honolulu Eminent Domain Seminar is coming in August.Public infrastructure projects and real estate development projects in urban Honolulu raise a host of legal issues tied to eminent domain, burial law, urban planning, and valuation. Honolulu’s rail project raises unique challenges from contractor licensing, transit oriented development, property valuation and relocation benefits. An ethics section will provide an update on ethics rules in Hawaii. Join Program Chair Mark M. Murakami, a Director with Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert, along with the outstanding faculty he has assembled.
These topics will be covered:
- Honolulu Rail Litigation Update – EIS and Acquisitions
- Contractor Licensing Update
- Planning Update – Development near the Right of Way
- The Evolving Process of Eminent Domain
- Uniform Relocation Act Benefits
- Rail Development and Property Valuation
- Ethics in Eminent Domain: Obligations of Condemnor’s and Condemnee’s Counsel
Dr. Panos Prevedouros, is a weekly guest on Rick Hamada’s Tuesday morning radio show every Tuesday, 7:05 – 8 am. Tune in!
Read SB NEWS. Don’t forget to read your current monthly SB NEWS by PDF attachment or link. More expanded news and views for the Hawaii business community.
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.