BY SEN. SAM SLOM – Election Surprises. There were few surprises during last Saturday’s Hawaii Primary Election. The turnout was an anemic (shame on us) 42%. A LOT of blank ballots. Many Republicans and Independents crossed over to vote in the Democrat primary ballot. Ed Case worked so hard for so little return. Mufi Hannemann never knew what hit him as Tulsi Gabbard, a 31-year old, attractive combat veteran, backed by Dan Akaka, Dan Inouye, Pacific Resources Partnership and Mainland special interest groups, swamped the former Mayor.
Former Governor Ben Cayetano was denied his 50%+1 outright victory, in part because of the $1.5 million PRP union attack campaign against him; he wound up with 45% and will face Kirk Caldwell (same support as Tulsi) November 6. Mayor Peter Carlisle, above his pay grade as Mayor, lost badly as 3rd man out. House Speaker Calvin Say is probably pau as Speaker next year since both his reapportionment scheme and candidates designed to knock out his dissident opponents all failed. Winners were Della Au Belatti, Sylvia Luke, Scott Saiki, K Mark Takai and Jessica Wooley. In contested primaries, Senator Brian Taniguchi ousted Senator Carol Fukunaga; Senator Pohai Ryan was defeated by Laura Thielen; Republican Gil Riviere lost to Richard Fale and Rep.Robert Herkes, trying for the Senate, lost on the Island of Hawaii. A Big Island senate race between Malama Solomonand Lorraine Inouye is a contested 69-vote race with a court challenge. Multiple problems occured on the Big Island. And yes, though you’d never know it from the media, there ARE many Republicans in contention for the General Election.
Election Coverage. Did you watch television coverage of election night? Did you live stream instead? Who do you think did the better job of coverage? For sheer numbers of people, analysts, candidates and technology, Hawaii News Now coverage was rated the best.
Where’s Mazie??? Remember the news coverage on Sunday after the Primary when a fired up Mazie Hirono said how she was looking forward to debating Linda Lingle, early and often? She ducked Lingle repeatedly during the 2002 governor’s race and she did it again today. There is a debate tonight before the Maui Chamber of Commerce (Iao Theatre, Wailuku, 4:45-6 pm), and Hirono is not coming.
Where’s Froggie? Senor Frog’s, a meeting place and watering hole in the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, has closed its doors. Where it will move has not been announced. The Center says a new restaurant will replace the Frog.
“2016” The Movie. “2016,” a new movie based on NY Times best selling author and university president, Dinesh D’Souza, and his controversial book on President Obama, opens Friday at Dole Cannery.
Saw “The Campaign” If you are looking for a movie with a few really funny scenes, a lot of laughs, but with poddy humor, gratuitous sex scenes and plenty of innuendo, “The Campaign” is the movie for you.
Honored in Aina Haina. I was honored to attend a special luncheon of the Friends of Aina Haina Library yesterday at the library. The Friends, a 50 year old volunteer group, has helped their Library and were successful during the 2012 Legislature in retaining their independence from a bigger, politically invested group.
Rail Trial Next. The long awaited (since May, 2011) federal lawsuit filed by seven plaintiffs, including SBH, finally gets its day in court, 10 am, next Tuesday, August 21. A state lawsuit, based on Hawaiian iwi, is up next.
Social Security at 77. Social Insecurity became law 77 years ago yesterday. It was not to exceed 1% of income. It was to be a supplement only to your regular, private pension and private retirement savings. The SS number was “for social security purposes only-not for identification” How’s that aa working out for you?
HTA TO HOLD 2012 HTA CONFERENCE. The Hawai’i Tourism Authority (HTA), the state’s tourism agency, will hold its eighth annual Hawai’i Tourism Conference, this year themed E Kui ka Moku: Together We Will Succeed. This two-day event, which will be held Aug. 23-24, 2012 at the Hawai’i Convention Center, is Hawai’i’s premier tourism stakeholder event featuring local and national visitor industry experts’ insight on tourism issues and trends.
“Working in harmony with our industry partners and the community to recover from a series of global, economic and natural events, we have truly shown, Kui ka Moku, that together we will succeed,” said Mike McCartney, HTA president and CEO. “As a result, Hawai’i’s tourism economy is prospering to record levels, and it is more important than ever that the HTA continue to build this momentum by providing an opportunity to gather industry members to learn from and inspire one another.”
The conference agenda will focus on updates on tourism statistics and revised 2012 targets presented by HTA vice president of brand management, David Uchiyama, and 2013 domestic and international marketing plans by regional marketing contractors, Hawai’i Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB), Hawai’i Tourism Japan (HTJ), Hawai’i Tourism Asia (HTAsia), Hawai’i Tourism Oceania (HTO) and Hawai’i Tourism Europe (HTE).
Keynote speaker, David Sheatsley, vice president of research at MMGY Global will kick off the conference by painting an overview of the tourism industry and international travel trends.
Please refer to the agenda for details on the conference schedule and speakers by clicking here.
GI Bill Training. Hawaii Computer Training and Solutions (HawaiiCTS) received GI Bill approval, offering those in the service or reserve financial support for the many computer training courses and certifications offered by the training school. With Hawaii having one of the nation’s largest concentrations of military personnel, HawaiiCTS’s stamp of approval from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs opens many educational opportunities for this growing population.
New UH West O’ahu Campus. The Grand Opening of the long awaited UH West O’ahu Kapolei Campus, is this Saturday, Aug. 18, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The public is invited to attend the grand opening. There will be free entertainment, food trucks and family activities to showcase the latest in 21st Century higher education. With more than 220 freshmen registered and nearly 2,000 more students set to transfer from the Pearl City campus, UH West O’ahu is ready for this long awaited grand opening. “We’re really excited to be at this point of opening the new campus,” said Chancellor Gene Awakuni. “This is also a huge milestone in Kapolei’s development,” said Richard Dahl, president and CEO of James Campbell Company.
Knifer Schooled. Benjamin Davis, who stabbed two people on a trail at Koko Head Crater three years ago, will attend classes at Windward Community College, unsupervised. “Privacy” prevents the state from telling us who is paying for Davis. Davis was acquitted of attempted murder after being diagnosed as a schizophrenic. Mental health experts say it is “therapeutic.” The city prosecutor’s office said Judge Richard Perkins will allow Davis to leave the Hawaii State Hospital two days a week to take classes.
I’m sorry, but as a citizen, and a lawmaker, I ask, “where is the justice?” And punishment? Where is concern for past victims and potential future victims? This is injustice, and an unfortunate continuation of a trend that places more concern for criminals than victims in our community. If I had my way, a knife for a knife seems appropriate. “Mental illness,” then freedom without responsibility for criminal acts, is criminal.
UH In Concert. So an “internal (unreleased) investigation has found no guilt for Athletic Director Jim Donovan or the director of the Stan Sheriff Center, (or anyone else) in the ludicrous Stevie Wondergate concert fiasco. Yet new Manoa Chancellor,Dr. Apple, will replace Donovan as AD and reward him (for his silence?) with yet another $1/2 million bureaucratic job created out of whole cloth, while still searching nationally for a new AD. What’s going on here? Nearly all of the recent UH positions are not in the classroom; they are in the growing and expensive bureaucracy. Does anyone care? By the way, where is the $250,000 advanced in the concert scam? Legislators next year need to ask tougher questions, and get real answers, from UH on their spending spree.
Total new registrations for all of 2012 are forecast to finish 16.2 percent higher than 2011, while 2013 is expected to see a gain of 9 percent, according to the Auto Outlook.
Same Sex. U.S. District Court Judge Alan Kay upheld Hawaii’s ban on same-sex marriage in a ruling last Wednesday in Honolulu federal court. The ruling came in a lawsuit between two women, Gov. Neil Abercrombie and state health director,Laura Fuddy.
The women sued the governor and the state health director because they were refused a marriage license in November, calling it unconstitutional. In April, Hawaii Family Forum was granted intervenor status in the case.
Kay’s ruling said that no same-sex couples have been married in Hawaii nor have ever had the right to do so. So, the legislature’s amendment and Hawaii’s marriage amendment did not take away from same-sex couples the designation of marriage while leaving in place all of its incidents, since Hawaii, unlike California, did not have a civil unions law at the time the legislature made the amendment and when Hawaii residents ratified the marriage amendment. The ruling also said Hawaii’s marriage laws do not treat males and females differently as a class, so the laws do not discriminate on the basis of gender.
SBH Biz Awards. Smart Business Hawaii (SBH) and the Small Business Hawaii Entrepreneurial Education Foundation, invite you to join the Lex Brodie SBH Business Persons of the Year, Bobbie & Cliff Slater of Honolulu Traffic.com. at the annual SBH Foundation awards banquet Friday, September 21 at the Waialae Country Club. The SBH Jean Fukuda Civic Leadership Award for 2012 will go to Mike Palcic of MGP Consulting and the SBH George Mason Outstanding Business Reporting awardee is Andrew Pereira of KITV-TV. More winners next week. Details? Sponsorships? Come join us. Call Darlyn: 808-396-1724.
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.