BY SAM SLOM – No Disaster Relief for Puna. The State of Hawaii’s request to the Feds for major disaster relief for Puna on the Island of Hawaii due to Tropical Storm Iselle, was denied last Thursday. The decision was made by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator W. Craig Fugate. The State had declared Puna a major disaster area. So much for clout and help from our Native son, Mr. Obama, and his closest friends, Senator Brian Schatz and Governor Neil Abercrombie. FEMA said we can take care of ourselves. Maybe we can. Maybe we should. There is no relief from this Administration disaster either.
From the Cloud. This weekly SBH E Blast is now coming to you from the new SBH Virtual office. Hope you like it!
Beheadings Atrocious. How much longer will we have to watch Muslim beheadings of Americans before the US Government acts? Now revealed, the President has had security info on ISIS/ISIL for more than a year but has failed to act or lead. Why are golf and fundraising more of a priority than our security? America’s world leadership has become a bad joke.
Ho Hum: HGEA Endorses Democrat Ige. Just like the Sun rises in the East and Malasadas from Leonards are the best, it is no news that the state’s most powerful public labor union, the HGEA, endorsed Democrat David Ige for Governor this week. Early prediction: Despite entrenched special interests, Hawaii’s next Governor will be Republican Duke Aiona.
State to Survey Consumers. What do you spend your money on (assuming you have money left after taxes to spend)? The State of Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) will be conducting a Consumer Expenditure Survey that will be mailed to randomly selected Honolulu households this month. It’s been a decade since the State had reliable information on consumer spending patterns. The survey is designed to collect 2013 Hawaii household spending data for various categories including food, shelter, transportation, and health care. The questionnaire will be mailed out first to Honolulu households and then to Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai counties. All specific survey data will be strictly confidential. Only aggregated results will be released to the public.
Better the State survey its own expenditure patterns and reduce government spending, waste and welfare excess, so the rest of us will have something left to spend.
Marrone Takes BIA Helm from Nakamura. Gladys Quinto Marrone will succeed Karen Nakamura as CEO of the Building Industry Association of Hawaii. For the past three years Marrone has been the BIA political affairs director and lobbyist. Nakamura, has been active in Hawaii’s construction industry since 1968, and BIA CEO since 1998.
Marrone is a UH Law School graduate and former planner for Group 70 International Inc., and the past director of research and legal affairs for the Land Use Research Foundation. Marrone also served the State Senate Majority research office.
ASTON Sale Tomorrow. SBH member Aston Hotels & Resorts will announce one of their best deals of the year. Aston’s 48-Hour Sale of 22 hotels and resorts will kick off Thursday, September 4th. Book your reservation – this offer will only be available through Friday, September 5th. Look for Aston”s 48-Hour Sale email this Thursday with your exclusive promo code.
HECO to “Save” You Money-in 2030! The Public Utilities Commission required Hawaiian Electric to present a detailed plan by last week addressing solar hookups (which it has stalled) rate changes and service changes. Just meeting the deadline, HECO was long on words and short on meaningful specifics. The solar industry is still trying to figure out how HECO won’t cripple their industry. The take away- if you live long enough-at least til 2030-HECO promises rate “savings.” However, HECO didn’t talk about more requested rate increases between now and then.
HSFCU Education Grants. Hawaii State Federal Credit Union (HSFCU) is accepting applications for its 2014 Investing in Education Grant Program from September 1 through October 31, 2014. HSFCU’s annual Investing in Education grant program assists teachers in the Department of Education (DOE) to get much needed supplies, books, furniture, electronic equipment and basic necessities for their classrooms. Since 2009, Hawaii State FCU has given more than $117,000.
To apply for a grant, applicants are asked to submit an essay outlining how the grant will achieve classroom goals. Essay submissions are limited to one per teacher, per calendar year. First time recipients will have priority. Submissions will be reviewed and awarded as they are received beginning on September 1, 2014 and continue until all 2014 program funds have been disbursed. Applicants must be members of Hawaii State FCU and employed as a classroom teachers with the Department of Education.
“Give Aloha” to Malama Maunalua. Malama Maunalua is participating in Give Aloha, Foodland’s Annual Community Matching Gifts Program. This program honors Foodland’s founder, Maurice J. “Sully” Sullivan, and continues his legacy of giving back to the community.
From now until September 30, customers are invited to make donations up to $249 (per organization, per person) to participating Hawaii non-profit organizations at checkout. Individuals must use their own Maika’i card to make a donation. Foodland and the Western Union Foundation will match a portion of each donation made with a Maika’i card.
The Western Union Foundation has generously donated $50,000 to add to Foodland’s gift of $250,000 to Hawaii non-profit organizations participating in Give Aloha this year. Therefore, the total gift that will be given to all participating organizations combined is $300,000!
At checkout, present your Maika’i card (or give your 10-digit number) and inform the cashier that you would like to make a donation to Malama Maunalua. Tell the cashier the organization’s 5-digit code: 78639. Tell the cashier how much you would like to donate. Your donation will be added to your grocery purchase total.
HTA: Record July. From the Hawaii Tourism Authority: July 2014 was the highest July on record for our state in both visitor spending (+2.6% to $1.35 billion) and arrivals (+2.5% to 772,106). Year-to-date, we continue to pace ahead of the record-breaking year for our tourism economy in 2013, with nearly $212 million more in visitor expenditures and $23 million in additional tax revenue to the state in comparison to the same period last year.
While we initially projected a slight decline in air seats from North America, we have seen a slight growth with Delta Air Lines adding additional flights and Hawaiian Airlines redeploying aircrafts that were previously used for international routes. Our focus will be to ensure there is sufficient demand to sustain this increase in seats from our core U.S. market.
Land Use Appointments. Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced his nominations of Brandon Ahakuelo, Kent Hiranaga and Arnold Wong to the Land Use Commission (LUC), effective immediately. All are interim appointments subject to state Senate approval.
Ahakuelo and Wong were appointed to at-large seats and Hiranaga to the seat representing Maui County. With their appointments, there are now seven members on the nine-seat commission, which restores the LUC’s ability to meet quorum and exercise decision-making powers that were lost following five resignations in July.
Brandon Ahakuelo of Honolulu currently serves as director of organizing and training for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1260.
Kent Hiranaga, a resident of Paia, has served as a member of a board or commission for more than 15 years, including on the Maui Planning Commission from 2007 to 2013, the Maui Board of Water Supply from 2001 to 2006, and the Maui Board of Variances and Appeals from 1996 to 2001. Hiranaga has been president of Maui Kai Realty since 2001.
Arnold Wong, is currently government affairs director for the Ironworkers Union Stabilization Fund, Local 625. He was previously government grants manager for The Nature Conservancy. Wong has extensive volunteer experience, serving as a Honolulu Fire Commissioner, trustee for the Ironworkers Union Trust Fund, campaign committee member for Malama Learning Center, coordinating committee member for the U.S. Department of Justice Weed and Seed Program, member of the Hawaii Interagency Council on Homelessness, and board member for the St. Francis Foundation as well as Poi Dogs and Popoki.
The State Land Use Law was adopted in 1961, establishing a framework of land use management and regulation in which all state lands are classified into urban, rural, agricultural or conservation districts. The Legislature established the Land Use Commission to administer this statewide zoning law. The commission is responsible for preserving and protecting Hawaii’s lands and encouraging those uses to which the lands are best suited.
Public hearings will be scheduled by the Senate.
ALTRES Seeking Nurses. ALTRES Medical is seeking more than 300 registered nurses (RNs), nursing assistants (NAs) and medical assistants (MAs) to administer flu shots to Hawaii students and assist at school flu clinics statewide. ALTRES Medical is urging qualified applicants to apply now by visiting www.altresmedical.com.
For the last four years, ALTRES Medical has been chosen to manage the statewide flu clinics for the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH). The “Stop Flu at School” influenza vaccination clinics will be held on public school and private school campuses on all islands.
ALTRES Medical is a part of the ALTRES family of companies, which include ALTRES Medical, ALTRES Staffing, simplicityHR by ALTRES, and KilaKila Employer Services. The second-generation, kama’aina company has 168 employees in six office locations.
Manoa Center to Stay. The Manoa Innovation Center, Hawaii’s first tech center, whose lease was scheduled to expire next April, reportedly (from PBN) has reached a new agreement with its landlord, the University of Hawaii. Details not presently available. The Center is attached administratively to DBED&T.
Native Hawaiian Convention. The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) is hosting its 13th Annual Native Hawaiian Convention September 30th, 2014 through October 2, 2014. CNHA is partnering with the Sovereign Councils of the Hawaiian Homelands Assembly (SCHHA) combining the annual meeting of homestead leaders with the annual meeting of Native Hawaiian organizations, members, and leaders in various sectors of community work. The theme, “We Are Many, We Are One” referencing individual identities in the broader Native Community is reflected in the new structure of convention events, which now hosts caucus convening meetings over two of three days.
Bonterra Solar. Bonterra Solar has been named to the 2014 Inc. 5000: America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies list. With a three-year growth rate (2010, 2011, 2012) of 568 percent, Honolulu-based Bonterra was ranked number 801 out of 5,000 companies nationwide.
To be included on the list, businesses have to meet several qualifications, including having generated revenue of $100,000 in 2010 and at least $2 million generated in 2013.
Founded in 2009 by principals Andrew Yani and Blair Herbert, Bonterra Solar established business practices that would put it in a unique position to become one of Hawaii’s leading solar companies, despite ever-increasing competition brought on by the boom in home and commercial photovoltaic (PV) installations. Bonterra was named one of the nation’s top 250 solar contractors by Solar Power World, a national solar industry publication.
Ahearn Death. Sorry to just learn of the death of former Kahala Hotel pr head Kay Ahearn in early August. Ahearn, a professional’s professional, was a smart and talented lady and a pioneer in Hawaii’s public relations industry.
HHSC Announces Layoffs. The Hawaii Health Systems Corp., which operates the state’s deficit ridden public hospitals, said it will start eliminating jobs statewide as early as mid-December as part of a system-wide reduction in force that’s being implemented in response to a $48 million budget shortfall for the fiscal year that started July 1.
Got Milk? A KHON-TV story outlined a controversy locally involving milk pricing: Big Island Dairy, the state’s largest milk producer, wants to sell its product at a price lower than the law currently allows to compete with mainland farms. It also wants to expand business because 80 percent of milk consumed in Hawaii is imported from the mainland.
But another local dairy farmer, Ed Botelho, owner of Clover Leaf Dairy, is not happy. “”We look forward to revitalizing an industry and we look forward to working with those who have been in the industry, such as Ed,” said Big Island Dairy owner Steve Whitesides.
Hawaii consumers already pay the highest milk prices in the US. Price controls ALWAYS hurt the consumer.
ACLU Election Lawsuit Tossed. The Hawaii Supreme Court last Thursday rejected an ACLU Hawaii lawsuit seeking to allow voters on the Big Island to vote.
The court said in its opinion, that it didn’t have jurisdiction to grant the relief sought.
The ACLU had asked the court to allow voters who couldn’t make it to the polls on Election Day to cast ballots. They say voters were disenfranchised because they were blocked into their communities by fallen trees and downed power lines caused by Tropical Storm Iselle.
Meanwhile, dysfunctional leadership by the Chief Elections Officer continues without consequence.
PCDC Appoints Kapuniai. The Papakōlea Community Development Corporation (PCDC) Board of Directors appointed Ms. Lilia Kapuniai as its new Executive Director. Kapuniai was selected to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of long-time beneficiary community services advocate, Ms. Bridget Kahelekaapuni “Puni” Kekauoha.
Pasha Death. From George W. Pasha IV: “It is with deep regret that I must share with you the news that our Chairman, George W. Pasha, III, left us August 20, 2014 after a brief illness. In 1960, when he joined the company founded by my grandfather in 1947, he immediately put his entrepreneurial spirit into action, eventually creating the global transportation and logistics company that exists today as The Pasha Group. The diversity and success of the company’s operations is the result of his vision, as is our reputation as a leader in our industry.
He remained active in the company until his death. He enjoyed his role as Chairman of the Pasha Hawaii Advisory Board, which assured we stayed connected and responsive to the needs of the Hawaiian community and sensitive to the unique local business landscape and challenges.
I am pleased that he was able to know that our new vessel, M/V Marjorie C, named after my mom’s mother, was successfully launched. His spirit will sail with her as she joins M/V Jean Anne, the namesake of my dad’s mother. He was my mentor in many ways. He will be greatly missed by his family, our employees, and the many friends he came to know so well over 50 years in the industry.”
Panos on Fridays Now. Tune in to Dr. Panos Prevedouros, SBH Director and UH Engineering Professor, a weekly guest on Rick Hamada’s morning radio show now every FRIDAY, 7:05 a.m. to 8 am.
Get the REAL News. Listen to award winning Hawaii Reporter.com and Malia Zimmerman report daily (M-F) on the Rick Hamada Show heard on KHVH radio on 830 AM at 7:05 am and repeated at 9:35 am.
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