NEWS + VIEWS — September 29, 2010

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By Sam Slom
President, Smart Business Hawaii and SBH Entrepreneurial Education Foundation

The President signed legislation Monday that he says is designed to help small business. But will it?  Not if you read the bill. Not if you listen to what small business needs and wants. It is yet another bureaucratic, big government attempt to fool the public. And to further bail out the banks who may or may not make more credit available to small business. This Administration is hell-bent on higher taxes, more regulations and disincentives for all business, no matter how good the legislation sounds.

The Federal HUD last week told the State of  Hawaii that the law recently passed in May that purports to mandate “local jobs for local workers,” is in violation of Federal procurement law. Senators Hemmings and I voted against the bill warning it was anti-business, unconstitutional and in violation of federal and state laws. The Governor vetoed it but the Democrat Legislature easily over-rode the veto, playing to the unions in this election year. We need an improved business and investment climate and lower taxes, not special legislation for the few.


You have until Monday, October 4, to register (at City Hall) to vote in the November 2 General Election, or to change any information (name, address, etc.). Do it!

Hawaii tourism getting stronger and the 4th quarter looks even better but that is one of the very few bright spots in our overall economy. Construction still hurting. Retailing lagging. Unemployment remains high for Hawaii.

How was your business’ 3rd quarter just ending?

The price of gold soared to over $1,300 an ounce yesterday. Check your teeth.

Hawaiian Airlines has inked a deal with Thai Chef Chai to be the executive chef for the airline during the next two years. Good eats for First Class and upgraded coach customers.

After 20 years as Hawai`i’s preeminent experts in strategic branding, partners Gloria Garvey and Brook Gramann are saying a hui hou to pursue other interests. Garvey intends to turn her writing skills to more public opinion writing and local political commentary, and Gramann will continue to consult on projects that matter to the community and Hawai`i’s future.

Both women will spend time also on their brand/store/internet business Lanikai Bath and Body which is one of Hawai`i’s most successful new brand launches since 2005. 

Was in San Francisco last week. The buzz in California-other than the state being bankrupt and employees getting IOU’s-is the upcoming vote on legalization of marijuana. Looks like it will pass but federal law still is against MJ. Cal looking at it for a revenue enhancer. Can Hawaii be far behind? Wait a minute; you can’t hardly smoke legal tobacco in Hawaii now.

The New York Times had a scathing editorial last week about Aloun Farms and big businesses and  local politicians who are siding with the brothers involved with human trafficking rather than with the victims. It is a black eye for Hawaii. The trial is set for November but may be delayed.

Acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell  (who was defeated September 18 by Peter Carlisle) will sign the O’ahu ban on fireworks today. It doesn’t make sense: sparklers and small poppers will be outlawed but small firecrackers in 5,000 packs will be allowed as long as you pay the City permit fee. It is illegal to use aerials that have caused the fires and other problems. Nothing will change. Bans don’t work.

The International Executives Association (IEA) is holding its annual conference in Honolulu next week. Jack Schneider of JS Services in Honolulu is the International president. Congressman Charles Djou is the keynoter.

By the way, Djou will be making appearances and touring local SBH small businesses next week while Congress vegetates.

Local CPA and Business Appraiser Ed Kemp, was recently reappointed for another three year term as Hawaii’s only representative to the Office of the National Ombudsman (ONO).  The ONO was created by Congress in 1996 as an Office within the Small Business Administration to monitor the negative impact on small business from Federal regulations and Federal regulators.  Ten Regional Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Boards (with five members each) were established to provide regional input to the ONO.  Mr. Kemp recently attended the annual meeting of the ONO in Washington D.C. and learned that the National Ombudsman plans to have a regional meeting in Hawaii either later this year or early next year.  Any small business person experiencing problems with Federal regulations or Federal regulators will have an opportunity to make a presentation at that meeting.  There will be some public announcement of the time and place when that is established.

State Senator David Ige (District 16, Pearl City) was named  a recipient of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers’ 2010 State Technology Innovator Award for his work supporting the State Senate’s Paperless Initiative. The award was presented on Monday, September 27,  in Miami, Florida. An engineer by training, Senator Ige has served as the champion for expanded use of information technology within the Hawai’i State Senate and the legislative branch of government.  During the 2007 interim Ige scheduled meetings with Senate staff to identify infrastructure requirements (hardware and software); developed changes to Senate procedures; and provided updates to Senate leadership to reassure them that this initiative would be embraced by Senators and the public. Based upon this interim work, the Senate proceeded to adopt a variety of “paperless” legislative procedures during the 2008 legislative session. By the adjournment of the Senate’s first “paperless” session in 2008, the Senate had reduced its paper waste stream by 6.7 million copies, a sixty percent reduction. Founded in 1969, the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) represents state chief information officers and information technology executives and managers from the states, territories, and the District of Columbia. Through this award, NASCIO strives to acknowledge state leaders, managers and employees who promote innovation, excellence and good government. Nominees must be an employee, elected official, appointed official or other appointee representing state government.

The IRS announced this week it will no longer mail out paper 1040 and other tax forms starting with this taxable year.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will hold statewide public hearings regarding revisions to Hawai’i Administrative Rules relating to dams and reservoirs. The rules are in Title 13, Subtitle 7, Chapter 190, “Dams and Reservoirs” and Adoption of Proposed Hawaii Administrative Rules, Title 13, Subtitle 7, Chapter 190.1. The revisions are required under the Hawai’i Dam and Reservoir Safety Act of 2007, Chapter 179D Hawaii Revised Statutes. They are intended to provide guidance on new construction of dams, alterations or removals of existing dams, to clarify certificate to impound application requirements, set the amounts for fees, establish minimum operational and physical requirements, clarify some definitions, and implement other related requirements pursuant to Chapter 179D HRS. A copy of the proposed rule change packet is available online at   Copies for public review are also available Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the DLNR Engineering Division, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 221, Honolulu, Hawai’i 96813  A copy of the proposed rules will be mailed to any interested person who requests a copy and pays the required fees for the copy and postage.  These requests should be mailed to the following address along with the person’s name, complete return mailing address and phone number:  Ishida & Yamada, LLLP,  888 Mililani Street, Penthouse 5, Honolulu, Hawaii  96813. Attention:  Mr. Edsel Yamada
Want to see where your candidate—or opponent—stands on a variety of issues important to local business?  Go to Hawaii’s Election Guide and see all the online surveys completed by the candidates.

“Its all for the Keiki.” Really? To learn more about where your tax dollars go for public education visit our new transparency website shining the light on Hawaii’s education issues –

Join me, community leaders, and special guest speaker, Jason W. Stverak, President of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, at the October 15 9th anniversary of Hawaii Reporter. Details below.

9 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE.Please ioin Hawaii Reporter as they celebrate their 9th year of revealing the state’s most important and powerful news stories. The evening’s program Includes an EXCLUSIVE REPORT from Jason Stverak of and the Franklin Center who will unveil the way several states including Hawaii have come together to report the real news, keep a close watch on government and dig into state house reporting.

Friday, October 15, 2010
Waialae Country Club
4997 Kahala Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii
5:30 p.m.  beachside for cocktails at sunset
6:30 dinner and dessert in the main hall
7:15 program
8:30 It’s a Wrap.

Contact Linda O’Grady:  to reserve your seat. Thank you for your support!





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