Mayor Billy’s Speech going Viral | Hawaii #1-WORST | Star Advertiser credit card breach | FBI’s Simon in Spain

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SBH news and views official logoBY SAM SLOM – Kamehameha Day Today. Today is a celebration of Hawaii’s greatest monarch, King Kamehameha. There will be a parade, lei draping at the Kamehameha Statue in front of the State Supreme Court and other events. The King united the Islands (except for Kauai) by throwing his opponents off the Pali. Reminds me of my daily routine as the lone Republican in the State Senate.

Hawaii #1-WORST. The recent Forbes Magazine lists the Best and Worst Places in America to make a living. Hawaii is ranked worst. How’re you doing?


Dear Old Dad. Don’t forget Father’s Day this Sunday, June 15. You don’t have to buy Dad anything fancy – just remember and acknowledge him.

Kaiser Pancakes. Sunday, I’ll be at the 41st Annual Fathers Day Pancake Breakfast at Kaiser High School. The delicious breakfast and entertainment is from 6:30-10:30 am. It is a fantastic event and is fun for the whole family. The event draws 4,000+ people. It is a major fundraiser by the Hawaii Kai Lions Club to raise money to fund community projects such as Vision Testing for East Oahu Pre-School Children, Painting & Repair projects for East Oahu public schools, Hawaii Kai Holiday Parade, the Junior Police Officer programs, monetary support of Hawaii Kai Library, Kaiser High School Project Graduation, and many other projects that make a difference in the community.  The entertainment, which begins at 7:30 a.m., features
Dennis & LaVerne, Magician Richard Bautista and the First Chinese Church Ukulele Orchestra.

Shooting Sports Fair. This weekend is the 21st annual Shooting Sports Fair, Saturday & Sunday, at Koko Head shooting complex, 10 am – 4 pm. The event is sponsored by the Hawaii Rifle Association and is fun and educational. Take the whole family and participate in the many different events. Learn how to use firearms responsibly.

Hawaii Worst – For Veterans. Several media including KITV, KSSK, KHVH and Hawaii Reporter reported that Hawaii has the longest wait time in the nation – 145 days average-for veterans to get their first appointment with a primary care physician. An internal audit of hundreds of Veterans Affairs facilities released last week found that more than 63,000 veterans were waiting to be scheduled for care nationwide. The Department of Veterans Affairs announced it was scrapping performance bonuses for all senior management in 2014-16 as part of its response to the review. The internal VA audit provides a more complete picture of widespread problems at the agency’s health care facilities — as reported by CNN over the past seven months — than its preliminary findings last month that led to the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary
Eric Shinseki. Our Hawaii Congressional delegation reports Hawaii VA officials misled them by assuring them before the audit that there was no problem.

WalMart Hires Vets! On Memorial Day 2013, Walmart announced its Veterans Welcome Home Commitment, which guarantees a job offer to any honorably discharged veteran within his or her first 12 months off active duty. In five years from the program’s implementation, it is anticipated more than 100,000 veterans will be hired into Walmart’s workforce. Last week, WalMart announced that during the first year, more than 42,000 veterans had been hired.

PAYCHECKS HAWAII Ratings of the 2014 Hawaii State Legislature. Each legislative session, since 1986, PAYCHECKS HAWAII, the independent non-partisan, political action affiliate of Smart Business Hawaii rates each of Hawaii’s 76 state legislators on their support and advocacy for small business. The subjective business ratings are based upon:

(1) key business votes involving tax, fee and regulatory increases;

(2) efforts to actively increase or decrease government size and spending;

(3) employer mandates (i.e., unemployment comp, workers’ comp, TDI, etc.);

(4) conduct in business hearings, accessibility and response of legislator, and

(5) active sponsorship, introduction and advocacy of business climate legislation.

Each lawmaker is rated, regardless of political party, from #1-“most supportive and outspoken advocate for small business and an improved Hawaii business climate,” to #5, “least supportive or hostile to a better business climate.”

During 2014, the following business and investment bills and votes were among the “key” measures used in the ratings: Minimum Wage, Taxation of “E Cigarettes”, Hawaii health Connector Premium Tax, Increased Business Fees for Employers, Additional Government Regulations on Hawaii Business and General Excise Tax on all Internet Purchases (“Streamlining Tax”). See the full ranking by clicking here>

Mayor Billie – A Hit. Hawaii Island Mayor Billie Kenoi was the commencement speaker at the Hawaii Pacific University graduation and his words and Hawaiian style delivery for 9 minutes have gone viral on You Tube. The grads WILL remember this speech. Check it out here. Shaka Billie!

Budget Buster. The Governor, Budget Director and Attorney General held a press conference on Monday to say the recently passed $23.7 billion State Supplemental Budget and an accompanying bond authorization bill were in trouble because the totals, subject to a State Constitutional limit, did not match up. This information was known prior to the final floor vote on this budget at the end of April. The legislature rushed to pass the budget bill, and the political Turtle Bay bill last minute. I had raised these and other issues on the Senate Floor and voted no on the budget because it was over the limit. The Governor will now use his line item veto to strike money from the budget, but instead of cutting pork, it looks like there will be more borrowing and debt to make up the difference.

Senators Committed to State Hospital. The Senate Special Investigative Committee will tour the Hawaii State Hospital today as part of its ongoing investigation into allegations of misconduct at the Hawaii State Hospital. The investigation takes a wide-ranging and in-depth look at the Hawaii State Hospital to address the safety of workers and allegations of administrative improprieties, and failure to conform to established employment policies and practices including nepotism. While I am a member of this Senate Committee, I fear if I go to the State Hospital as the sole Republican, they may try to lock ME up. The next public hearing is next Wednesday, June 18, 10 am at the Capitol room 016.

Star Advertiser credit card breach. Hawaii Reporter and Hawaii News Now notes the Star Advertiser is facing some potentially embarrassing news.  Sadie Jane Groy and Tori Samiere are charged with stealing the credit card numbers of several clients of Hawaii’s largest daily paper. The pair allegedly obtained the credit card numbers of Star Advertiser customers from a storage locker in early April where the daily paper stored its hard copies of client records. Police believe the pair did not act alone and are part of a larger ring of credit card thieves operating in Hawaii. The Star Advertiser reported the break-in to the Honolulu Police Department in early April, but said nothing was taken. HPD quickly learned at least one large cardboard box containing the names and credit card information of the Star Advertiser clients was stolen. The box contained hundreds – if not thousands – of client records, a police department source told Hawaii Reporter.

FBI’s Simon in Spain. Honolulu FBI Special Agent Tom Simon and Assistant U.S. Attorney Les Osborne are in Spain this week to depose Helen Williams of Elite Entourage Management. Williams is the person who claimed to be Stevie Wonder’s international agent and allegedly helped dupe the University of Hawaii athletic department out of $200,000. She is a witness in the case. Simon has been a speaker at several SBH events and is a top-notch white-collar crimes investigator. Will the FBI ever get University of Hawaii’s $200,000 back? That’s unlikely. But two people were indicted for the theft, one pleaded guilty and the other will go to trial.

SBH Sunrise June 26. The next SBH Sunrise Networking Breakfast will be held on Thursday, June 26, 7-8:30 am in the Pineapple Room of Macy’s Ala Moana Center. Jane Sawyer, District Director of the Hawaii US SBA (Small Business Administration) will be our speaker. Details on the SBH website or by calling 396-1724.

Convention Center Hires Two. AEG Facilities, the management company of the Hawaii Convention Center, has appointed
Vickie Omura to the newly created position of vice president for Meet Hawaii – citywide sales and marketing.
Grant Hickman also was appointed regional director of accounts – Midwest. Omura and Hickman, both longtime Starwood Hotels & Resorts executives, will become an integral part of the experienced Meet Hawaii sales team, which centralizes the statewide resources of the HCC, Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, and Hawaii Tourism Authority’s international meeting, convention and incentive (MCI) specialists to help planners execute their most productive meetings in Hawaii.

Mediation Forum Next Week. Attend a free public forum and brown bag lunch: Sponsored by the Center for Alternative Dispute, Thursday, June 19, 2014, Noon – 1:00 p.m. at the Aliiolani Hale, 417 S. King Street, Multi-Purpose Room 101. Andrew Hipp, new Director of the Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution, will discuss his experience in alternative dispute resolution and the Center’s mission and services. Meet the new Director and the Center’s staff.

Hawaii Business Sponsors Wellness Forum. Healthcare premiums are a substantial part of your labor costs. However, there are healthcare tax credit provisions in the laws that can help reduce those costs without compromising the quality of health plans you offer your employees.  Join Hawaii Business magazine on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 from 7:30 am to 9:30 a.m. at the Pōmaika’i Ballrooms for an educational panel discussion, hosted by the Hawai’i Health Connector. In this seminar, you’ll have the opportunity to learn what provisions in the law apply to your business.

Top Producers for May for Honolulu Home Loans. Mortgage banker Honolulu HomeLoans announced the following retail loan officers who were recognized as the top producers for May 2014: Paulette Suzuki; Ryan Nakagawa; Alan Fentriss; Colleen Westervelt and Leonard Loventhal.

McDonald’s Aids UH Football. McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii has presented a check for $22,000 to University of Hawaii football Head Coach Norm Chow, UH Athletics Director John McNamara and Na Koa Executive Director Kim Fujiuchi. The money was raised from the “Big Mac Monday” promotion, which ran during the 2013 football season.

During the promotion, McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii donated $500 for every touchdown made by the UH Rainbow Warriors. The Warriors ended up scoring 44 touchdowns, which generated $22,000 for the Athletics Department. The University scored the most touchdowns – seven – in the final game against Army. The promotion began on September 2 and ended on December 2, 2013. During that time, those who purchased a Big Mac Extra Value Meal on a Monday during the UH football season also received a second Big Mac sandwich, free.

No-So-Pono-Choices. The over the top “Pono Choices” explicit sex education program of the Hawaii Department of Education, targeting 11 year olds, was subdued thanks to the consistent efforts of Rep. Bob McDermott who withstood angry opposition and threats as he sought to reform the $1 million course. He had help from a citizen panel, including Senate Minority staffer, and former (10 years at Farrington) teacher,
Kimberly Kepner-Sybounmy, PhD. Now, parents will opt-IN instead of out for the controversial program. Other reforms were adopted as well.

ALTRES Seeks Workers. ALTRES Staffing, Hawaii’s largest and most-trusted staffing organization, has expanded its hours. Starting June 7 through the end of July 2014, ALTRES Staffing ( will be open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., in addition to its normal business hours, at its Pearl City location located at 850-B Kamehameha Hwy, #162, in the Pearl City shopping center. According to state economists, Hawaii’s economy will see stable economic growth through 2014 and beyond largely due to an increase in construction activity, which is creating many jobs.

ALTRES Industrial Staffing is currently hiring for the following positions:

*    Maintenance Technician (West Oahu)
*    Masonry Apprentice (Sand Island)
*    Construction – Laborers and Skilled Helpers (Island-wide)
*    Landscape Supervisor (West Oahu)
*    Construction Estimators (Leeward)
*    HVAC Tech (Mapunapuna)
*    Loader / Unloader (Honolulu)
*    Landscape Maintenance Workers (Windward)
*    Delivery Drivers (Honolulu and West Oahu)
*    Automotive Mechanic (Sand Island)
*    Printer Technician(Honolulu)
*    A/C and Refrigeration Techs (Varies)
*    Utility / General Help (Aiea)
*    Movers (Airport and Leeward)
*    Warehouse / Driver (Pearl City)
*    Furniture Installation Workers (Honolulu)

New Tori Richard Store. Tori Richard Ltd. has opened its ninth retail location at the Kahala Hotel & Resort. The 450-square-foot shop offers a mix of men’s and women’s destination-inspired apparel designed exclusively by Tori Richard and predominantly manufactured in Honolulu. Retail Manager Jason Zambuto said the legendary luxury resort is an ideal location for Tori Richard as the company expands its retail presence in the islands.

Harter Joins Coldwell Banker. Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties (CBP) announced that Rich Harter (RA) has joined the firm in the Windward office. Prior to joining CBP, Harter was co-owner of Alaska-based Stars and Stripes Realty, where he was a top producer. He also is a military USAA-V.A. Loan Specialist.

Take the Leap-Or Elope. Hawaii wedding planner, Moana Events, is launching Modern Elopements, a custom-designed Hawaii wedding experience exclusively for the bride and the groom or an intimate group of family and friends. As more and more couples choose this approach to saying ‘I Do’ for reasons ranging from reduced financial burden, stress and the notion of romantic adventure, Modern Elopements will partner with the couple to create the wedding of their dreams in a spectacular island setting. Couples can choose from two wedding ceremony collections of Modern Elopements: Modern Romance and Modern Hawaii.  The weddings themselves can be held at a variety of stunning Hawaii locations on multiple islands, such as a beachfront resort, a private estate, gorgeous tropical gardens or at a secluded mountain ranch. Visit

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Hawaii, Hawaii’s first electronic daily newspaper launched in 2002, has all the breaking news and unlike other publications in town, is still free. Award winning Hawaii Reporter and Malia Zimmerman report daily (M-F) on the Rick Hamada Show heard on KHVH radio on 830 AM at 7:05 am. Malia will share the news behind the news.

Tune in to Panos Prevedouros. SBH Director and UH Engineering Professor Dr. Panos Prevedouros is a weekly guest on Rick Hamada’s morning radio show every Tuesday from 7:05 a.m. to 8 am. Tune in!

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