The 2003 Legislative Session is now officially over with the Governor issuing nearly 50 vetoes during the last week of June. Meanwhile, lawmakers are still holding meetings, informational briefings and making site visits to UH and its 10 campuses. The Senate-House Felix Special Education Committee is on the road with hearings held on Molokai last month and Hawaii island and Maui visits scheduled next.
SBH founder, businessman and civic volunteer Lex Brodie announced his retirement from the State Board of Education because of poor health and eye problems. The 89-year-old business legend will spend more time on his native Kauai. Lex: Thank You Very Much! The Governor will appoint an interim replacement to fill the BOE vacancy.
Other SBH members have made the news in recent weeks too. SBH director and Copy Shop (Hawaii Kai) owner, Brian Zinn, was appointed to the newly invigorated Small Business Regulatory Review Board by Gov. Linda Lingle. The Governor also appointed former director, treasurer and restaurateur, Kenny Lum, to an interim position on the Hawaii Paroling Authority. E Noa corporation head, Katsumi Tanaka, was nominated for the Hawaii Tourism Authority Board by Speaker of the House Calvin Say. Several SBH members were recently elected to Neighborhood Boards including: Tracy Ryan, Dick Rowland and Jack Schneider.
Among the “Excellence in Journalism” top winners at the annual Society of Professional Journalists banquet June 14 were John Pritchett (Outstanding Editorial Cartoon) and Hawaii Reporter’s Malia Zimmerman for Outstanding
Investigative Reporting (“Exposing a Garment Factory” about Vietnamese workers
in American Samoa. Mainland judges selected the pair as well as recent SBH business reporting awardees, Lee Cataluna (The Honolulu Advertiser), Darryl Huff (KITV4) and Kam Napier (Honolulu Magazine) as additional top awardees.
SBH’s Susie Weisbrod participated in the annual Small Business Fair at Leeward
Community College on June 21. The SBH cosponsored Scholarship Awards Luncheon featuring Erin Brockovich (the real one, not Julia Roberts) was a huge success for the ABWA. Several hundred people attended the June 22 luncheon at the
Hilton Hawaiian Village.
Something’s up with the State Department of Labor: an unusual number of challenges to employers with non-employee independent contractors occurred during the past month. SBH is investigating. Many Jeremy Harris City & County of Honolulu fees and permit costs up as of July 1 to add to your cost of doing business. The Mayor also has threatened to close the brand new (January, 2003) Hawaii Kai Satellite City Hall, not for fiscal reasons, but because of
political reasons. Area Councilmember is Republican Charles Djou, a strong vocal critic of the Mayor’s spending and debt spree, The office has had increasing business, good employees and is set to do driver re-licensing.
It’s twins for SBH director and Edward Jones (Kaneohe) owner Geal Talbert due in September. Congratulations!
SBH’s Dave Muldoon sold his Xvertx communications company to Maui.Net but still operates All Products Corporation.
SBH and Aloha Petroleum will soon roll out a new member benefit: discount Aloha
gasoline. None too soon!
Interisland airlines, Aloha and Hawaiian, both in red ink, complain their local routes are less profitable. Let’s see, they raised rates to around $100 each way between islands (remember years ago when competition with a third carrier allowed $25 rates?), cut the number of flights and seats, and the security wait and check-in is 1-2 hours for a 20-minute interisland flight. Hawaii needs competition. Likewise, University of Hawaii sees reduced sports season ticket purchases after raising ticket prices and adding additional
“contributions” for most seats. This is needed to pay the new $.8 million salary for head coach June Jones and the many assistants.
A good business investment would be to get behind U.H.’s efforts to have the world’s largest and newest telescope technology atop Mauna Kea (the current largest ‘scope