Crummy Drivers | #SequesterThis | Public Schools Report | Inouye Center Controversy

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BY SAM SLOM –  Labor of Love. Happy Labor Day this weekend. Don’t forget, all of us who work and contribute to our Hawaii are laborers, not just compulsory unionized workers. The holiday is to celebrate the ability and opportunity to work and the benefits of working versus solely taking, or politically redistributing the resources from those who do work.

Jan Kaeo Tomorrow at SBH SUNRISE. Jan Kaeo, marketing and media specialist, and head of the Dale Carnegie courses in Hawaii, will speak at the next monthly SBH SUNRISE Networking Breakfast, tomorrow, Thursday, August 29, from 7-8:30 a.m. at the Pineapple Room, Macy’s, Ala Moana Center, on “How the Best Senior Leaders Pave the Way to Engagement.” There will be networking, a full breakfast buffet, business updates and all participants will be introduced. Call 396-1724 to RSVP.


Gridiron #1! The 2013 Annual Gridiron media spoof show, a fundraiser for the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), featured journalists, recovering journalists and other talented actors, singers and dancers in a fantastic show, the best Gridiron ever.The theme was #SequesterThis. Proceeds from the 2½-hour show, which was produced by Keoki Kerr of Hawaii News Now and former Honolulu Advertiser journalistRobbie Dingeman, poked fun at a variety of politicians, leaders, and celebrities and the problems they cause in Hawaii.

Gordon Pang of the Star Advertiser played a self-absorbedMRC Greenwood, who is still president of the University of Hawaii until August 31.

Dan Cooke of Hawaii News Now reprised as former Gov. Linda Lingle in a star spangled bathing suit, and in the skit, was at a conference in Alaska for ex-Republican governors with former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

Chad Blair of Civil Beat was a convincing Gov. Neil Abercrombie who can’t dance, but nevertheless, tried to dance Gangham style. The real Gov. Abercrombie attended, and danced, Friday night.

Jodi Leong, formerly of KITV News, was featured in a variety of roles including Senate President Donna Mercado Kim, (who was in the audience Saturday) while Mahealani Richardson of KITV played the role of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. Also notable, among an entire cast of notables, was HNN’s Ben Gutierrez, who has pipes and agility.

Several skits poked fun at the many problems that have occurred at the University of Hawaii over the last two years, including the so called “Wonder Blunder,” the failed Stevie Wonder concert that never took place at the University campus because school officials were dealing with scammers and not the real Wonder agent, CCA. The University took hits for its lack of transparency and for President MRC Greenwood’s battles with Senate President Kim’s special investigative committee.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell also took heat from the cast for always wanting attention on himself and not the many problems Honolulu faces.

One of the best performances of the night was by HPR radio reporter Wayne Yoshioka who played Senate Judiciary and Labor Chair Clayton Hee during his attack on local journalists over the Hawaii shield law. Hee, through his political games, ultimately killed Hawaii’s journalism shield law that was revered nationwide for the 5 years it was in existence, but then tried to blame the House.

Congratulations to the very talented cast and crew in the 2013 Gridiron Show, and we’ll all look forward to Gridiron 2015. Too bad the journalist actors aren’t allowed to report with the same verve about the government scams and corruption all around us.

Get the scoop on Obamacare’s impact on you at the Hawaii Kai Chamber. The Hawaii Kai Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a special networking luncheon and update on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), “Obamacare,” today, Wednesday, 11 am – 1:30 pm at the Hawaii Kai Golf Course. Featured speakers include Reg BakerDr. John Aoki and Paul Kaiser of HMAA. Call Terry Peacock at 808.372.7297

Crummy Drivers. Honolulu ranks at No. 128 of 200 U.S. cities in the new “Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report.” The ninth-annual report ranks Honolulu as one of the least safe cities to drive in. The average driver will experience a collision every 8.7 years, 15 percent more than the national average.Last year, Honolulu was 113 on the list, so Hawaii slipped 15 spots over last year.  The city’s best performance was #89 in 2011, and the lowest rank was #135 in 2007.

But, is this really news? We have drivers that cut you off, don’t signal, cross double solid lines and panic stop. You know who you are!

Crackin’ The Books. Hawaii got an “F-” in the latest Public Schools report by CATO Institute. Per pupil revenues, expenditures and classroom results were the basis for state-by-state rankings. See full report in Hawaii Again, is this news?

More Doctors in Maui. Kaiser Permanente Hawaii hired three new physician specialists in its Maui clinics: Eugene Lam, MD, a specialist in gastroenterology and Healani McConnell, MD, a specialist in obstetrics/gynecology have joined Kaiser Permanente’s Wailuku Clinic, while Laura Hassen, MD, a specialist in pediatrics, will be practicing at the Maui Lani Clinic, also located in Wailuku. These physicians are part of the state’s largest multi-specialty medical group, Hawaii Permanente Medical Group (HPMG),that includes more than 500 physicians and providers that deliver comprehensive care to Kaiser Permanente’s 227,000-plus members.

Ala Moana Center, AUWE! Been to Ala Moana Center lately? The construction and demolition at Ala Moana Center is taxing everyone’s patience. The old ramps, parking and of course, Sears anchor store, are gone, making way for Bloomingdale’s, more upscale, expensive shops that are less friendly to locals. The construction will last beyond next year.

UH Football Kick Off. The 2013 University of Hawaii “Rainbow Warriors” debut tomorrow (5 pm) against powerhouse USC on national television (Oceanic CBS 247). Another annual beat down? UH Coach Norm Chow’s team will start the new season amid coaching and financial controversy in a new league. Less than 20,000 season tickets had been sold by mid-month, but let’s support UH and the team. Go ‘Bows!

Inouye Center Controversy. The University of Hawaii is preparing a pricey tribute to the late U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye through the construction of the Inouye Center on the Manoa Campus, which will house papers and memorabilia of the Senator who served more than 50 years in office and was Hawaii’s #2 most important economic driver. Unfortunately planning for it is taking place in secret. The estimated cost of the Center rose from between $16 million and $20 million in late June to $25 million in August, without public hearings. If it were a private project or supported entirely by UH Foundation grants, secrecy may be acceptable, but taxpayers will be asked to fund the project. The project is the most costly center of its kind (at an estimated construction cost of $1,200-$1,600 per square foot) in the nation. I’m sure Senator Inouyewould be embarrassed at the fiscal folly. See the full story byRob Perez of the Star Advertiser.

Sexy Session Lobbying. Special interests are lobbying for a legislative session on same sex marriage. House Democrats meet today to determine if they have 26 of 51 votes to pass a same sex marriage bill. Senators (except for Mike Gabbardand me) are solidly behind holding a session that is not special and not urgent, so they can ram through another attack on traditional marriage. Many church leaders are opposed because they would be required, despite their religious beliefs, to accommodate same sex couples. As I’ve said previously, the real answer is to get the government out of the marriage business. A special session if it occurs, should be about alleviating our economic pain.

Welcome HME! SBH welcomes its newest member, Deanna Butler of Hawaii Mortgage Experts (HME), in Hawaii Kai. Contact HME at 381-7934.

Let the Music Play. The Hawaii Symphony Orchestra (HSO) announced its fall Masterworks concert series kick off for Saturday, October 19. Tickets are on sale for what is expected to be an exciting series of concerts featuring soloists, guest conductors and programs designed for all those who love live performances of some of the world’s greatest, most enjoyable music. HSO board member Vicky Cayetano said the goal is to bring great music to many people, young and old, of every ethnic background in our state’s rich patchwork of cultures.

Performances will be on March 16; April 5, 6, 26, 27; May 11, 17, 18; and June 1 at the Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall. Tickets can be purchased at the Hawaii Opera Plaza Box Office at 848 South Beretania Street #303 Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or call (808) 593-2468.

Jellys Slippahs. Big Island-based Hawaiian Jellys, LLC has contracted a major logistics/warehousing company as well as Amazon to handle skyrocketing sales of the super comfortable and health-conscious slippers sold in bright combinations of Hawaiian Fruits with silicone jelly inserts and air bags. Founded in 2011, Hawaiian Jellys is home of the world’s only slip…aaahs and other paradise-inspired apparel based in Kona, Hawaii. Hawaiian Jellys currently has its first store on the Big Island of Hawaii in Kamuela and plans to open seven more across the other islands during the coming year.

Gordon Trimble on “A Better Day.” Remember former State Senator Gordon Trimble? “Dr. No?” Miss him? Well. You’re in luck: you can see a current interview with Gordon on O’lelo TV, “A Better Day,” (VIEWS, channel 54) on:

9/05    Thurs    7:00pm

9/10    Tues      8:30am
9/17    Tues      8:30am

9/24    Tues      8:30am

10/01  Tues      8:30am

Check out News Behind the News with Malia Zimmerman where we discuss Hawaii’s Business Climate. >Click here

SBH Welcomes Young Professionals. Smart Business Hawaii (SBH) is welcoming Young Entrepreneurs. The SBH YOUNG PROFESSIONALS is now up and running. Annual dues are only $75 for those under 30 years. Contact me directly (, go online ( or call 396-1724.

Hawaii, Hawaii’s first electronic daily newspaper launched in 2002, has all the breaking news and unlike other publications in town, is still free. Award winning Hawaii Reporter and Malia Zimmerman report daily (M-F) on the Rick Hamada Show heard on KHVH radio on 830 AM at 7:05 am. Malia will share the news behind the news.

Tune in to Panos Prevedouros. SBH Director and UH Engineering Professor Dr. Panos Prevedouros is a weekly guest on Rick Hamada’s morning radio show every Tuesday from 7:05 a.m. to 8 am.

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.

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  1. C'mon, he wasn't that bad. I mean he did some good things for Honolulu, for sure. Just nobody can't remember them.

  2. I don't know what to say. It's an extensive article and I feel like I should give it another read before I form an opinion.

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