BY SAM SLOM – God Bless Tornado Victims in Oklahoma. Our prayers to those hit hardest in the latest round of devastating tornadoes, in Oklahoma. What a resilient people. If you heard from victims who lost nearly everything-not well reported by the drive by media because of references to God and prayer-they thanked God for their lives and the ability and strength to rebuild. They will.
Remember Memorial Day. Honor our men and women in uniform who have served our Nation on Monday, Memorial Day.
SBH Invites Young Professionals. 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. Monday, the SBH Board voted unanimously to re-establish 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 (www.smartbusinesshawaii.com) or call Darlyn at 396-1724 for details. Welcome aboard!
Hawaii Great on “Today” Show. Hawaii got a good look on the NBC Today show Monday on KHNL. There was plenty of weekend background footage (canoes, Arizona Memorial, surfing, etc.) to go along with the 1 am, three-hour live broadcast from the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Governor Abercrombie found a way to be on set. Today moved on to the beaches of Montana from Honolulu as part of its Great American series.
Congress: Apple, Inc. to Blame for U.S. Deficit? A US Senate Subcommittee yesterday hauled Apple, Inc. executives before its special hearing, led by Senate blowhard Carl Levin (D-Michigan) to explain why they leave some money in an Irish holding company, thus not paying the 35% tax rate on these funds. It is all perfectly legal and done by other companies to consolidate non-US sales but Levin chastised Apple CEO, Tim Cook, and then blamed Apple for poverty, uneducated children and lack of adequate defenses. Seriously?
Apple, probably America’s most successful corporation, paid $6 billion in taxes last year, 2.5% of all income taxes collected by the Feds. How much did Obama favorite GE pay? Only Committee member Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) stood up for Apple, and non-government dependent corporations, and said the Committee should apologize. Levin went on to say, no business has the right to determine how much they pay in taxes. What? That must be a shock to CFOs and CPAs everywhere. This is the same Congress that basks in a 9% approval rate.
Click It…Or Else. Governor Abercrombie signed Senate Bill 4 into law Monday mandating the use of seat belts in back seats (in addition to front seats and child restraints) of your vehicle beginning immediately. The Governor also signed a statewide ban (except for hands free) operation of electronic devices in your car.
Unions Break With Obamacare. The Hill.com (May 21) reports: “Key unions and labor groups are coming out against the Obama administration’s flagship health care reforms, warning that the details of their implementation could adversely impact their members’ existing plans. The United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers put out a statement calling “for repeal or complete reform of the Affordable Care Act,” and other major unions issued similarly critical statements.”
“Light” Rail on 5-0? In last Monday’s episode (May 13) of “Hawaii 5-0,” when the team found bodies of Yakuza murders in Ewa, three (3) separate references were made to that being the “light” rail construction site. Since we all know there is no “light” rail, only ugly, expensive, blighted HEAVY rail, we wonder who wrote or paid for that script?
Get Fit With Clark Hatch. Fitness guru and business entrepreneur Clark Hatch will speak to SBH next Thursday, May 30. Hatch, very active also as a community leader, especially at Diamond Head, will be the next speaker at the monthly SBH SUNRISE Networking Breakfast forum, 7-8:30 am at the Pineapple Room, Macy’s Ala Moana. He will speak on “Doing Business in Asia.” Bring a friend; you’ll learn a lot from Clark. Advance reservations available through SBH. Call Darlyn at 396-1724,
No Greek Festival? The popular and anticipated annual Greek Festival, will not be at the Ala Moana Park McCoy Pavilion this August because the Pavilion will be closed for renovation. Hopefully a new venue can be found otherwise we’ll have to plan a Geek Festival.
More Fallout Here From IRS Spying. As the IRS spying and the Obama Administration made up stories continue to unravel there has been another revelation. Three FOX-TV correspondents have been spied upon, including William La Jeunesse, who spoke in Hawaii previously both to the Grassroot Institute and to Smart Business Hawaii. He was the correspondent that really broke and followed the story on Obama Administration gun running in the failed “Fast and Furious” scandal.
Hawaii Graduates in the NW. Last week was a big weekend for Hawaii graduates in the Northwest. Attended my son Sid’s graduation in Forest Grove, Oregon at Pacific University. It looked like UH East with so many local ties. They sold orchid lei (from Thailand?) at $40. Many local families traveled to parts of Oregon and Washington State for the big family events. Those two states have done an outstanding job of recruiting Hawaii undergrads.
Further Adventures in TSA Land. Leaving Hawaii for Portland last week, I was stopped after the scanner and pat down by a TSA agent who said I would have to be scanned again because, “Your pants are too low.” What? Just because you have my belt, now my pants are “too low?” Duh. Went back for a second round with the scanner and outstretched my hands and fingers. The TSA lady said, “Sir, no one can see your middle finger extended.” I could. Then I got a second pat down.
Alaska Air. Alaska giving real competition to Hawaiian Air in the Northwest. My first trip on the carrier. Low fares, good service were positives; Three by Three seating and 15″ skinny aisles a negative on the Boeing 737 (remember Aloha Airlines flew these?). They do say, “Aloha,” and give you a free Mai Tai coming here.
Takai in Seattle. While lunching at Ivan’s at Pier 54 Seattle last Friday, who did I spy feeding the gulls outside the restaurant but State Representative K. Mark Takai (D-District 33-Aiea). Takai is the world’s best UH sports fan and was in Seattle to support the UH Wahine Softball Team in the regionals. He also knows how to feed the birds. We chatted about, what else, UH and the departure of UH President MRC Greenwood.
Greenwood: I’m Not to Blame. Following the Obama model, UH President MRC Greenwood– a former Obama Administrator in D.C. -said none of the financial or other problems at UH are her fault. In a stunning exclusive half hour interview on Hawaii News Now with Tanya Joaquin Monday, Greenwood blamed : former AD Jim Donovan, UH Athletics supporters, Governor Neil Abercrombie and Senate PresidentDonna Mercado Kim for problems about the 2012 Stevie Wonder Concert Blunder, and beyond. She announced her resignation September 1, two weeks ago.
The Rest of the Story with Donna Kim. Senate President Donna Mercado Kim, not part of the Greenwood HNN TV interview Monday, taped her response with Malia Zimmerman of “New Behind the News” on O’lelo TV. For the facts, go toHawaiiReporter.com for the video.
Got Gas? Gas prices continue up again, just in time for Memorial Day even though Hawaii drivers don’t do a lot of extra driving on this holiday.
Jones Act Failing. The Federal Jones Act, responsible for higher shipping costs and cost of consumer goods to Hawaii, is being challenged in Puerto Rico, Alaska and Hawaii. The Act needs to be repealed, or Hawaii and the other areas deserve an exemption. Support is failing for the Act except for the lobbyists of the American Maritime Association and the politicians they support. Attorney John Carroll and HPU economist Ken Schoolland, leading repeal efforts in Hawaii.
Things Go Better With…Pepsi! There has been a major change at COSTCO in Hawaii. Now when you buy that wonderful loss leader $1.50 kosher beef or Polish dog, you get a Pepsi and not a Coke. Me, I have always been partial to Pepsi products as friends know. That’s a major switch in the continuing cola wars. At least Coke, Pepsi & Dr. Pepper are all in synch against the Abercrombie-Fuddy sugary beverage tax rip off.
Maui No Ka Oi. I’ll see my Maui friends on Thursday, June 13, 6 pm for a speech and get together with the Maui Tea Party.
Tune in to Panos.SBH Director and UH Engineering Prof,
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.