News? What Traffic News? INRIX released its 5th annual Traffic Scorecard and ranked Honolulu #1 worst in the Nation in traffic congestion, edging out LA. But then you already knew that.
Reapportionment Hearing. Last Friday, a three-judge 9th Circuit Court panel here heard a motion to issue an injunction stopping the “extraction” of 108,000 military personnel from this year’s new reapportionment districting. Yesterday, the panel ruled against the motion. This isn’t right. A trial-after this year’s election-is still possible. Hawaii’s word to the military: we want you to come here, buy here, and pay taxes but we won’t recognize or represent you. Kansas is the only other state to exclude any military from reapportionment and they extract only about 900 personnel.
Ronald Reagan. Watched a gripping, two-hour special on, “Saving President Ronald Reagan,” on the Military Channel. You should see it. It chronicles the events of March 30, 1981, with never before seen actual footage, re-enactments and interviews with medical personnel who saved Reagan-the only American President to be shot who lived. There are also taped recordings of the chaotic White House meetings when Reagan hovered near death.
Memorial Day. Join me Monday, May 28 for the annual Mayor’s Punchbowl Memorial Day Ceremony to honor all of our armed forces men and women.
Lei Needed. Lei makers and loose flowers are needed at Waikiki Community Center, Friday, May 25th from 9:00-12:00 p.m. WCC helps in providing leis to be placed on the fallen hero’s Memorial Day (Monday, May 28) at Punchbowl. Won’t you kokua by donating loose flowers or flowers leis? Please drop them off between 9:00-12:00 p.m. or stay and sew. Made leis must be 22″ no larger, no smaller. We need lei makers to bring your own lei needle. Lei strings will be provided. Free parking for those participating are limited. Call 923-1802 if you’re donating flowers, leis or coming to sew. Mahalo
Marumoto to Retire. State Rep. Barbara Marumoto (R-19) announced yesterday she will not run for re-election this year. Marumoto, the dean of House lawmakers, was first elected in 1978 after serving in the State Constitutional Convention the same year. She is currently House Minority Policy Leader and an active community leader.
Democrat Convention Coming. “We are Democrats because” and “Hawai`i is Obama Country” will be the political themes punctuating the 2012 State Convention of the Democratic Party of Hawai`i. The convention will take place over the weekend from Friday, May 25 through Sunday, May 27. Look for fireworks because of contested high profile Mayoral and Senate contests. The Republicans met last weekend. Wonder if top Democrats will call on its party members to be more “bipartisan” as Republican leaders did? Don’t bet on it.
State I.D. Changes. Effective July 9, 2012, the Department of the Attorney General is changing the issuance of State ID cards from an “over the counter” issuance to a “central issuance” system.
The primary purpose of this change is to prevent people from fraudulently obtaining identification cards, either by using the identity of another person or using a fictitious identity. Central issuance protects against fraudulent activities by allowing for additional security checks before the final identification card is issued. It also ensures that Hawaii complies with rules provided by the United States Department of Homeland Security. These rules require protecting the equipment and supplies that are used to produce identification cards, when those cards may be used to enter federally controlled facilities (e.g., courthouses, federal buildings, etc.) and to board federally regulated commercial aircraft (e.g., any commercial air carrier).
Big Island Power. Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO) and Hu Honua Bioenergy today announced the signing of a Power Purchase Agreement to provide Hawaii Island with 21.5 megawatts (MW) of renewable, dispatchable firm capacity fueled by locally grown biomass.
Over the 20-year term of the agreement, the Hu Honua facility at Pepeekeo on the Hamakua Coast would supply electricity at pricing not tied to the price of oil. The agreement requires approval by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC), with input from the state Division of Consumer Advocacy.
Hu Honua Bioenergy is converting the former Pepeekeo Sugar Mill into a modern, efficient electric generation facility using renewable biofuel, including locally grown biomass, such as eucalyptus. The facility will consist of a biomass fuel yard, steam boiler, turbine and generator. The previous plant used sugar cane waste and later, coal. Estimates are that Hu Honua will be able to supply about 10 percent of the island’s electricity needs. The plant is anticipated to be completed approximately 18 months after refurbishment begins.
No More Electric Rebates. A state government subsidy program that provided Hawaii motorists with up to $4,500 for the purchase of electric vehicles ended prior to the expiration date (November, 2012) because higher than anticipated demand drained the fund. Since January of 2011, the state issued more than 450 rebates amounting to nearly $2 million until the program ended earlier in May. The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism had extended the program twice, adding an additional $150,000 in January and $350,000 in March.
Job Growth? The good news: Hawaii’s unemployment rate has declined to 6.3% (April); the bad news? Hawaii’s labor force is declining faster than employment. UHERO came out with a generally positive Hawaii economic status report stating, “Tourism continues to be the primary engine of Hawaii’s recovery. A number of other sectors have turned the corner, and we expect gradually improving performance this year and the next.”
Strauss New HAL Cargo Director. On May 18, Hawaiian Airlines announced the appointment of Timothy Strauss to the position of managing director of cargo. Hawaiian created this new marketing and sales position to support its growing cargo business in conjunction with its expanding route network and the addition of more Airbus A330-200 aircraft with greater cargo-carrying capacity. Strauss reports to Peter Ingram, Hawaiian’s executive vice president and chief commercial officer.
Apple of Your Eye. On May 17 The University of Hawai’i System announced that distinguished scientist and academic leader Dr. Tom Apple, currently provost at the University of Delaware, will become chancellor of the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. Apple will succeed Virginia Hinshaw this summer as chancellor of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The University of Hawai’i Board of Regents approved Apple’s appointment at its May meeting at the UH Mānoa John A Burns Schools of Medicine. There was some discussion about the need for a new Chancellor and Apple’s hefty salary (nearly $435,000-plus) but in the end he gained unanimous approval.
Steak & Seafood Time. SBH member Peter Kim, whose Hawaii restaurant holdings include Liliha Bakery, announced plans to open a high end restaurant named Signature Prime Steak & Seafood in the Ala Moana Hotel in the top site formerly occupied by Aaron’s.
Become an SBH Member. Is YOUR business a member of SBH? No? Lots of benefits. Strong neworking organization. Call Darlyn today (808-396-1724) or go online to www.smartbusinesshawaii.com.
Hawaii Reporter Celebrates 10th. Hawaii Reporter.com, Hawaii’s first electronic daily newspaper, celebrates its 10th anniversary on Friday, June 1, at the Waialae Country Club (5:30 – 8 pm). There will be good food, entertainment and surprise announcements. Go to www.HawaiiReporter.com, for details of the dinner and the real news. HR, founded by Malia Zimmerman, continues to break major investigative stories. Tune in to KHVH every week day now at 7:05 am to hear Malia’s report.
Want more local business information? Please visit the several SBH websites at:: www.smartbusinesshawaii.com,www.educate808.com and www.sbhfoundation.org .
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SBH can help you with YOUR business. Just starting a business? Call me personally for help at 396-1724 or email: mailto:SBH@lava.net. Smart Business Hawaii Means Business and we’re here to help you.