Smart Business Hawaii News and Views: August 11, 2010

article top

BY SAM SLOM – “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” Ronald Reagan

Governor Linda Lingle issued the following statement regarding the decision by the Senate Majority to vote down her nomination of Judge Katherine Leonard as the next Chief Justice of the Hawai’i Supreme Court. “I am disappointed for the people of Hawai’i who have been denied by the Senate Majority the opportunity to have Judge Leonard as the head of the Supreme Court.  However, I know Judge Leonard will continue to serve with distinction on the Intermediate Court of Appeals. “It’s extremely sad that someone of Judge Leonard’s stature and legal expertise became a victim of bias that had no merit or basis.   “The 14 senators who voted down Judge Leonard’s confirmation represent the height of hypocrisy, given that earlier this year they all voted for a resolution calling on me to appoint more women to the bench.  Yet, when given the opportunity to confirm my nomination of a woman who is eminently qualified to serve in the highest judicial position in the state, these senators revealed their true colors that their so-called resolution was purely for show.  “I commend Senators Espero, Gabbard, Galuteria, Green, Hemmings, Sakamoto, Slom and Tsutsui who recognized Judge Leonard was eminently qualified to be the next Chief Justice.”


Guess what?  I ate at Bob’s Big Boy in Mapunapuna on Monday. The iconic local eatery closed after a disasterous fire in April, 2009. It quietly re-opened-partially-in late May. It serves breakfast and lunch only, Monday through Friday. The restaurant expects to be fully re-opened by year’s end.

Hawaii real estate sales, generally speaking, remain flat. At least there is no sharp downturn as on the Mainland.

Chris Tatum, son of longtime NFIB Hawaii leader Bette Tatum (and husband Lon) and area VP of Mariott International’s North Asia, South Pacific and Hawaii operations, was elected Chairman of the Hawaii Hotel & Lodging Association. He is an outstanding visitor industry leader.

Bow WOW: Since pets are so important to Hawaii residents, and we spend money to da max, it is not surprising that more Mainland companies are coming here, or in the case of PETCO, announcing expansion. The discount chain based in San Diego will open six more locations on the Neighbor Islands and Oa’hu. It opens on Maui at the end of this month, and next in line is Kaneohe, possible the Beretania Safeway site and Aina Haina with Kauai and the Big Island in PETCO’s sights.

Member Kaiser Permanente Hawaii again received an Excellent Accreditation status from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for service and clinical quality that meet or exceed NCQA’s rigorous requirements for consumer protection and quality improvement. The Excellent Accreditation status for Kaiser Permanente Hawaii means that all of its eligible health plans – commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid – are accredited with NCQA’s highest quality rating. Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has been accredited as Excellent since NCQA first established this accreditation status in 1999 and was the first health care organization in Hawaii to be accredited by NCQA in 1995.

While numerous voices in and out of the local political establishment are calling for an increase in the General Excise Tax to cover any future budget shortfalls, a Grassroot Institute of Hawaii study has identified $1.4 billion in unspent excess balances sitting in special funds. According to the study, 186 special funds spread across 20 different departments hold an estimated $1,412,357,203 in unspent revenues over and above their operational requirements. Some of the special funds were tagged by the auditor almost a decade ago for repeal. The study, Exposing Hawaii’s Special Funds, can be found at the GRIH website: The mission of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is to promote individual liberty, free market economic principles and limited, more accountable government.

Attended the East O’ahu Breakfast Club monthly meeting yesterday-EOBC meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month, 7 am, Hawaii Kai Retirement Center-and listened to small business owner, Charlie Long of Private Security, Inc., the security company most identified with television (“Lost”) and film (“Pirates of the Caribbean”) productions. He discussed the current good times with Hawaii film & tv series, but also talked about the need to branch out for more regular residential and commercial security work.

Another small business opens up in Kailua, SBH member Brook Gramann’s brother and sister-in-law, and their son opened up Lanikai Home. Great place for furnishings and accessories in Kailua. Check it out

A reminder that several current members of SBH are running for office and they include:

  • Cam Cavasso / US Senate
  • John Carroll / Governor
  • Adrienne King / Lt. Governor
  • Sam Slom / Senate (8th – Hawaii Kai)
  • Joe (Joe Builder) Pandolfe / Senate (25th – Kailua/Hawaii Kai)
  • Gene Ward*  / House (17th – Hawaii Kai)
  • Barbara Marumoto-Coons* / House of Rep. (19th -Kahala)
  • Julia Allen / House (20th – Palolo)
  • Marissa Capelouto / House( 40th – Kapolei)
  • Lawrence Bud Ebel / House (45th – Waialae)
  • Cynthia Thielen*  / House (51st – Kailua)

* Have no opponent; will automatically be re-elected in the Primary, September 18.

The debate heats up between an APPOINTED or ELECTED Board of Education for Hawaii. Voters will decide in November. However, the Department of Education (DOE) costs taxpayers $2.7 BILLION for Hawaii’s failing public education system. Time for major CHANGE(S)? Visit our new transparency website shining the light on Hawaii’s education issues –

Are you registered to vote? The deadline is August 19. The Hawaii Primary election is Saturday, September 18 and the General election is Tuesday, November 2.

Still time to join us with our next monthly SBH SUNRISE, and our special guest speaker, Congressman Charles Djou,  Thursday, August 26, 7-8:30 am at the Pineapple Room, Macy’s Ala Moana.  Call Darlyn for reservations: 396-1724.

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