Donald Horner and his Committees; Legislature in Final Days; Bob Sigall’s ‘The Companies We Keep’ in the News and More Smart Business News

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BY SAM SLOM – We have finally found the way to cut government costs and reduce public employees: just appoint First Hawaiian Bank CEO Don Horner to very major public agency in the state. Horner is experienced, qualified and full of energy but does he have to do everything? Last week Horner was confirmed as  chair of the newly appointed State Board of Education. Yesterday, the Mayor appointed Horner to the Transit Authority. He also serves the Hawaii Tourism Authority. YIKES!

The Legislature has completed 51 days of the 60 day session. The majority still want to tax you more, stifle business, and keep government spending and debt growing. The relatively small turnout at last Friday’s 3rd annual Tea Party protest at the Capitol (about 200) gives the majority additional perceived support.


Wednesday, the House Republicans in conjunction with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) held a “Balanced Budget Summit” in the Capitol Auditorium.

Chevron Hawaii, in partnership with the Hawaii Science Teachers Association announced a grant for science teachers, K-12 for innovative projects that will directly impact the quality of education for students in the areas of conservation, environment stewardship, and science. The grant awards range from $500 to $1,000. Applications are available and due by May 20. For more information and an application, see

High school teams from Iolani and Maryknoll Schools each claimed division titles in the 2011 Island Insurance Companies Economics Challenge. Hosted by the Hawaii Council on Economic Education on Monday at the University of Hawaii Campus Center Ballroom, the spirited competition featured over 150 registered students from Hawaii private and public high schools, showcasing Hawaii’s outstanding high school economics students.

GE investors were urged yesterday to vote for the Climate Change Risk Disclosure shareholder proposal (#4) in the company’s 2011 proxy statement that was filed by the National Center for Public Policy Research – the parent organization of the Free Enterprise Project. The results of the shareholder proposal will be announced at GE’s annual meeting on April 27 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The shareholder proposal, which was based on guidance issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), asks GE to disclose the business risk from changes in the scientific, legislative and political landscape regarding developments in climate change.

Apple, Inc. has filed a copyright infringement suit against Samsung.

The Obama Administration is trying to downplay and dis the statement on U.S. debt issued by Standard & Poor’s on Monday. It was a shot across the Obama bow of increased taxation, spending and debt. Confidence in the U.S. government’s ability to responsibly handle debt is called into question.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser has begun a weekly column of stories and photos from Bob Sigall’s best selling books, “The Companies We Keep.” SBH is the publisher of his best selling book series.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has completed construction of the first predator-proof fence in the Hawaiian Islands at the Ka’ena Point Natural Area Reserve, a wilderness area at the northwestern tip of O’ahu that DLNR manages as a natural area reserve and state park. Spanning 700 yards, and enclosing over 59 acres, it provides a safe habitat for native plant and animal life.

Volunteers interested in helping at Ka’ena Point are encouraged to contact the Friends of Ka’ena at  For more information on the project, go to

Papa Johns Pizza rumored to be leaving Koko Marina after their current lease expires.

This week, as previously reported, McDonald’s across the nation sponsored “Hiring Day” and hired 50,000 new employees in one day; 1,000 in Hawaii.

Saw Part 1 of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” over the weekend. Just like reading today’s political headlines. It was good, but not great. Read or re-read the classic book.

Reminder that this Saturday, Rep. Gene Ward is sponsoring a major Ka Iwi shore beach cleanup for Earth Day, from 9:30 am to 12 noon. Ward, his staff, Boy Scout Troop 101 and Ka Iwi volunteers will adopt the area. Call Pam Kam at 358-9145.

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