Obama Care is Here! Son Spencer is in college in Michigan and just bought a car. (I know, I know!) I thought I could put it on my local Farmers insurance. Wrong! Contacted the Farmers affiliate on the Mainland and they informed me that Michigan has a unique provision for all auto insurance called “PIP,” Personal Injury Protection. It is medical coverage. It is mandatory. Even if your son is covered by private medical. It is mandatory, no matter what. The estimate for coverage was $764 (six months, yikes); the PIP compulsory coverage accounted for $422 of that total. My son is still looking for insurance.
Occupy Bishop Street? The “Occupy Wall Street” protests came to Hilo this week. Expect more during APEC in Honolulu in November. Make no mistake, the organizers are not college kids or even the unemployed; the muscle comes from socialist and Marxist organizations. We said several months ago that the protests in Europe would be duplicated in America. I opposed ALL government bailouts-banks, auto, others-but attacking the wealthy and calling for more government control is not the answer. Especially when government policies and leaders brought us to where we are now. Not surprised to see professional protester, Jim Albertini, heading up the Big Island event. Comforting to know he receives state taxpayer money to fund his Marxist “peace” education.
She IS Nuts! The London Daily Mail reported that Big Island resident and erstwhile presidential candidate (“The Green Tea Party”) comedienne and political activist Roseanne Barr has launched another scathing attack – this time taking aim at bankers and the wealthy, ordering them to return profits or be beheaded. Barr, whose recent reality program, “Roseanne Barr is Nuts,” appeared on the Russia Today television program Keiser Report to reveal her solution for dealing with the economic crisis saying the banks should repay the money the U.S. government bailed them out with in 2008. She also said that if she were president, she would bring back the guillotine as a form of punishment.
Calvin Say: Chop Chop. Selling Ice to Eskimos? Did you see the national news story last week about the small town of Americus, Georgia? The town used to be a manufacturing center but all the plants closed down and unemployment soared into double digits. An enterprising entrepreneur knew there was plenty of lumber (trees) nearby so he reopened one plant, hired 50 workers and started manufacturing and exporting chopsticks. To China. The operation is so successful he hired another 75 people. True, most of the wages are at or just above minimum wage but they are real jobs. China has made new inquiries about using some of the other plants for Chinese products. Speaker of the state House, Calvin Say, imports chopsticks. Maybe he can get them from Georgia.
Focus on Asian Markets. The Air Cargo Alliance of Hawaii will be celebrating “Air Cargo Day” in Hawaii with a focus on Asian markets, next Tuesday, October 11 at the Pagoda Hotel (7 am – 4 pm). Awards will also be presented.
Rev Your Engines. Auto sales are up here and on the Mainland but the push is not from hybrids, not from electric cars, but from gussied up SUVs and pickups.
Unstuck on the Freeway. The State Department of transportation announced it will expand its popular Freeway Service Patrol that helps stranded motorists on the H-1 and H-2 freeways. More than 20,000 motorists were assisted during the first two years of the program. The program works on the freeways from 5 am to 7 pm Monday through Friday. The cost of the service is $2 million; the feds pay $1.8 million and Hawaii $200,000.
Bank-Rupt. First International Bank of Plano, Texas was seized by Federal regulators last week. It is the 74th bank seized by the government since January 1.
JA Ed. Junior Achievement of Hawaii will provide financial education to students at Aiea High School. There will be 30 business volunteers to help juniors at Aiea and they come from American Savings Bank, Bankoh, First Hawaiian Bank, ING Direct, Morgan Stanley, Smith Barney, Guardian, New York Life, Farmers Insurance, Lowe’s and Pacific Shipyards International.
Meet Me at the Shopping Center. The McCully Shopping Center is up for sale. Upset price is $15 million. The newly renovated Aina Haina Shopping Center holds its grand reopening Saturday, October 22, 10 am – 6pm. Construction may resume on the Ward Shopping Center/Ward Shops as funding has arrived.
Latte and a Job Please. Starbucks rolls out its new help for small business on November 1. Just give $5 or more with your latte and Starbucks will give proceeds to non-profits who assist small business. Bet Obama wished he thought of that. But will it create new jobs? Not with the Obama taxes and regs. At least you get a cool bracelet to wear.
Catch a Wave! In 2004 the State Legislature passed a law allowing surfing to become a high school elective. First state to do so. (North Dakota briefly considered similar legislation but decided against it). However, because of liability questions and lack of money, it wasn’t implemented. Until now. One of Hawaii’s greatest surfers, Governor Neil “Hang 17” Abercrombie, formally announced the program Monday. It will get private money, students will be responsible for liability and it will start in 2013.
UI Tax Hike Coming? Hawaii was one of the many states that borrowed money from the Feds to pay federally mandated extended unemployment compensation benefits for 99 weeks. The total borrowings from the states equals $38 billion. Hawaii and the other states have now started to pay back the loans. Guess who ultimately will pay these amounts? That’s right, we employers. Watch for even higher UI taxes in Hawaii soon.
Visit Uncle Willie. Willie K will be holding a Grand Celebration on Sunday October 16, 2011 at the Waiehu Beach Center on Maui, noon to 4 pm. It is to celebrate the Grand Opening of Willie’s recording studio and retail store; the release of Willie’s newest CD “Warehouse Blues”; and Willie’s Birthday. There will be food, crafts, kid’s activities, and entertainment by Indio & Avi, Jesse Tanoue, Napua Makua, and of course, Willie K and the Warehouse Blues Band.
Ag Liaison. Mayor Peter Carlisle has appointed Laura H. Thielen as the City’s agricultural liaison. Thielen has served as chair of the State Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Commission on Water Resource Management, and as director of the State Office of Planning. She has a Masters Degree in Public Policy from Georgetown University and a Juris Doctorate from Case Western Reserve University. Thielen is also a member of the Waimanalo Agricultural Association, a University of Hawaii Master Gardener, and a past president of the Hawaii Women Lawyers. Carlisle commended the City Council for creating and funding the position of agricultural liaison within the managing director’s office to serve as an advocate for the island’s agricultural community.
Truth in Accounting. Sheila Weinberg, CPA, and President of the Institute for Truth in Accounting in Chicago, will be in Kona and Honolulu next week. She will address a legislative meeting on Tuesday, October 11 at the State Capitol and will be a luncheon speaker sponsored by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii at the Pacific Club, Wednesday, October 12, 11:45 – 1:15. She will speak on, “Government Accounting; the Seen and the Unseen; What Needs to be Done?” Call GRI at 591-9193 for info.
Fall in Love With Art. Friends of a Feather Art & Tea Gallery, Hawaii Kai Towne Center, will hold an art reception, wine sampling and hors d’oeuvres this Saturday, October 8, 6-9 pm. Come meet artists: Eddie Davis (Expressionist Artist), Mark N. Brown (Hawaii’s Plein Air Artist), Andrew Honda (Photographer), Joshua Miles ( Ceramics Artist/Sculptor), Ron Grimes (Impressionist Artist) and Brigitte Tiedge (Impressionist). Unfortunately, the art firm has lost its lease and is closing its doors on October 10. Aloha, friends.
Farewell. Jim Boersema left as Communications Director for the Senate Democrats last week, a post he held since January. Boersema, has a background in the military, marketing and part ownership of Waikiki’s Zanzibar. Don’t be surprised to see him help Republican Congressional candidate, Charles Djou. They served together in the military.
Go Warriors. UH Warriors have a bye this Saturday after a convincing win over WAC opponent La Tech in Louisiana last Saturday. Next up: San Jose State.
Want more local business information? Please visit the several SBH websites at:: www.smartbusinesshawaii.com, www.educate808.com and www.sbhfoundation.org.
Award winning Hawaii Reporter.com, 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.