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BY SEN. SAM SLOM – KISS and Tell. Remember when KISS rock-and business- legend Gene Simmons was the SBH keynote speaker at our January, 2008 Annual Business Conference?
The star of A&E Network’s “Gene Simmons Family Jewels” reiterated in Honolulu that he would NEVER get married, even though he and Shannon Tweed had lived together then for 25 years with two grown children. Now, three years later, Gene and Shannon, after airing programs with Gene’s female therapist, and their Anaheim “Marriage Bootcamp” weekend, actually did the deed. The show aired last night. Ah, romance. The programs were very serious, revealing and emotional but what will they do for an encore? An important lesson I learned years ago: NEVER say NEVER!


Occupy APEC: The professional political, union and amateur multi-tasking protesters are gearing up for the Honolulu Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) November 7-13. The organizers are already on the ground, planning and printing signs. Our protesters (generally) are better groomed and less violent than some on the Mainland and definitely those in Europe. Civil unrest is growing. Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle reportedly said they will be allowed to protest. I think the U.S. Constitution preempted our Mayor’s approval. APEC may be a boon for visitors and tax revenues but clearly many businesses and individuals will be inconvenienced.



No Legislator Left Behind. Hawaii wants to be the 41st state to seek a waiver from the “No Child Left Behind” legislation. Hawaii, like many other states, can’t make the requirements of the bill, originally sponsored by Republican George Bush and Democrat Ted Kennedy. When the going gets tough, the weak seek a waiver.


Not So Fast. SpeediShuttle of Maui, and the State Department of Transportation, announced the commencement of a new Airport-Waikiiki shuttle service last Sunday. The firm, which purchased 11-passenger Mercedes vans, also announced it would soon expand shuttle service from Kahala to Ko Olina then Island-wide service. There is some discrepency as to the actual fare per person cost but it will be less than taxi fare (which can include multiple passengers). The next day, Roberts Hawaii announced it too would now add Airport shuttle service. The taxi cab industry cried foul because they are limited as to where they can pick up, where they can talk to passengers, how much in fees they must pay and other government regulations. As a consumer-and a free market advocate-
I embrace competition and choice. However, the heavy hand of government has dealt an unfair hand to local cabbies.


Train Transparency? The Waialae-Kahala Neighborhood Board meeting at 7 pm tomorrow, Thursday, at the Montessori School (behind Kahala Shell), will attempt to shine light and truth on the unsustainable elevated steel-on-steel rail train. The Board asked City Councilman Stanley Chang to address concerns regarding accountability and affordability of the project. Rail opponents Walter Heen, and Cliff Slater, as well as members of HART-Honolulu Area Rapid Transit-are also scheduled to appear and answer questions. Should be HOT!. You’re welcome to attend too. The City continues its forced blackout of allowing two sides to appear at any public function.


Let’s Talk! This Saturday, October 22, Reps. Gene Ward andBarbara Marumoto will host a community “Talk Story” event at Maunalua Bay, Hawaii Kai, (by the Canoe Hale) 10 am – 2 pm. I’ll join them. You come and share your thoughts, suggestions and problems with us. We promise to listen-and to act. Light refreshments too.


Blessing. Also this Saturday at 10 am will be the blessing and re-dedication of the Aina Haina Shopping Center.


Got Mail? On January 22, 2012 the price of a First Class postage stamp (the social media generation asks, “what’s postage?”) goes up a penny to 45¢. Other rates will rise too. That will not stem the USPS buckets of red ink; an $8 billion deficit in 2010.


Toys Not Books. New resident at Ward Center where Borders Bookstore closed, is Toys R Us. At least until the holidays.


No Aloha for Hospice. Hospice Hawaii announced it was buying a residence in Aina Haina, to operate a hospice facility. That hasn’t sat well with local residents and community associations who have been previously burned by planned Arch 2 facilities, a Buddhist/Japanese Wedding Chapel and other incursions into the quiet neighborhood. There will be a big crowd at the next Kuliouou Neighborhood Board Meeting, Thursday, November 3, most in opposition.


I Like Mike. Bloomberg reported that former Bankoh CEO (2000-2004), Mike O’Neill, 64, has been appointed by Citigroup, Inc., as Chairman of Citigroup. He succeeds Jerry Grundhofer. O’Neil served as CEO previously at Barclay’s PLC, Continental Bank and Bank of America.


The Real News. Award winning Hawaii, Hawaii’s first electronic daily newspaper begun 9 years ago, still is free. Hawaii Reporter and Malia Zimmerman report daily (M-F) on the Rick Hamada Show, KHVH radio on 830 AM at, 7:40 am. Malia also reports on Kauai’s KKCR with Sandy Brodie on Tuesday mornings, on the station’s “Morning Paper.” She will report the news behind the news for you.


Taxpayers Unite. Taxpayers United of America (TUA), founded in 1976 by Jim Tobin, will hold its 35th anniversary celebration on November 3. The event will be at the University Club of Chicago. TUA is now one of the largest taxpayer organizations in the nation.


Billions and Billions. By the end of this month, there will be 7 billion people on Planet earth. The 7 billionth human will probably be born in India.


Think About It. ThinkTech Hawaii is holding its 11th annual reunion, tomorrow, Thursday, October 20, from 5:30 – 8:30 pm in The PlazaClub, 20th floor. Rendezvous with ThinkTech guests, speakers, thinkers and friends from the past decade. Join the continued conversation of  tech, energy, diversification and globalism.


Come Home. There are many special events scheduled this weekend for the UH at Manoa Homecoming.The Warriors football team takes on New Mexico State at Aloha Stadium at 6 pm Saturday. Let’s hope they learned how to kick PATs and extra points after last week’s humiliating special teams performance at San Jose.


UH Law Among the Best. The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law has been named one of the nation’s most outstanding law schools by The Princeton Review in its annual ratings of the nation’s top accredited law schools. In the new 2012 edition of “The Best 167 Law Schools,” the Richardson Law School was ranked first in the nation for having the “Best Environment for Minority Students.” The Princeton Review book also rated Hawai’i’s law school as 4th in the United States in the “Most Diverse Faculty” category. Dean Avi Soifer noted that the law school is named in honor of Hawai’i’s legendary Chief Justice and prides itself on attracting a very diverse student body and faculty. Soifer, who has led the Law School for the past eight years, added, “The entire Law School community celebrates diversity without forgetting our specific origins, and we help develop cultural fluency that is sure to be invaluable within an increasingly diverse world.”


These outstanding ratings by the Princeton Review are just the latest in several top rankings the UH Law School has earned in the last two months. In September, the Law School was named one of the “60 Best Value Law Schools” for 2011 by PreLaw Magazine. And it was 16th in National Jurist Magazine’s ranking of the top 20 law schools that offer exceptional clinical training opportunities. Princeton Review’s law school ratings are based on opinions collected from more than 18,000 law students in what the Review considers the best ABA-accredited law programs in the United States.


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