BY SEN. SAM SLOM – Breakfast With Ben SOLD OUT. Thursday’s SBH Sunrise Networking Breakfast with former Governor, Honolulu Mayoral candidate, author, and staunch rail opponent, Ben Cayetano, in the Pineapple Room, Macy’s Ala Moana Center was a SOLD OUT event.
Watching The Supremes. The U.S. Supreme Court is considering what to do about Obamacare. It seems simple enough: the Federal Government should not have the power to force you to buy a commodity, such as health insurance, or anything else, but it will be a close vote, probably 5-4.
Hawaii Connectors. Despite conflicts of interest, lack of Sunshine, and ethics exemptions, the Hawaii Senate Commerce & Consumer Protection (Sen. Roz Baker) rushed last Friday to approve all of the Governor’s nominees to the new Hawaii Health Connector-where you will be forced to purchase medical insurance under Obamacare. AARP, League of Women Voters, and several other groups raised serious concerns about several of the nominees’ conflicts of interest (HMSA, Kaiser, Hawaii Dental) but the Committee voted 5-1 to approve all. I said it wasn’t about character, experience or integrity of the candidates but the process of force itself, and cast the lone no vote.
Pacific Beach Hotel Appeal Rejected. The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from the owner of the Pacific Beach Hotel in Waikiki by declining to hear the hotel’s challenge to the National Labor Relations Board involving the power of the board’s general counsel to bring complaints.
And Still More Court Action. A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Mike and Chantell Sackett and Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) against one of the most abusive federal agencies, the EPA. After obtaining all local permits to build a modest home in Priest Lake, Idaho, the Sacketts cleared their lot and laid gravel in preparation to pour the foundation. Before they could go any further, officials from the EPA declared their property a “wetland.” They denied the Sacketts a hearing and ordered them to restore the property, plant wetland vegetation that was never there before and wait 3 -5 years for it to grow, and then apply for a Clean Water Act permit. If they did not comply, they would be subject to $75,000 per day in fines.
PLF took up their case and sued the EPA to challenge the compliance order. After losing in the Ninth Circuit, PLF asked the High Court to grant review. The Supreme Court’s ruling now makes such orders immediately subject to judicial review rather than after the enforcement action takes place. In summarizing the decision from the bench, Justice Scalia joked that the Sacketts were surprised by the EPA’s decision that their land contained “waters of the United States,” since they had “never seen a ship or other vessel cross their yard.” His tone demonstrates how impatient the Court is growing with federal over-reaching under the Clean Water Act. Congratulations, PLF!
Robots. After three rounds in the finals, the Red Alliance consisting of Waialua High School (Oahu), Baldwin High School (Maui) and Island Pacific Academy (Oahu) outscored the Blue Alliance consisting of Punahou School (Oahu), West Hawaii Exploratory Academy (Big Island) and McKinley High School (Oahu) with a score of 48 to 41. Representing Hawaii at the 2012 FIRST Championships will be: Baldwin High School, Island Pacific Academy, Kealakehe High School, Kohala High School, and Waialua High School.
Hawaii corporate sponsors who made this event possible included: BAE Systems, Oceanic Time Warner Cable, Booz Allen Hamilton, Northrup Grumman, USA Funds, Hawaii Self Storage, McDonalds of Hawaii, Matson, Sunset Rotary, Starn, Otoole, Marcus, and Fisher, Hagadone Printing, KITV, University of Hawaii, City Mill, FEDEX, Hawaii National Guard, Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, SAIC, MW Partners, Olsten Staffing, and AFCEA.
Two teams from outside Hawaii attended this year’s event – McMain High School from New Orleans and Taipei American School from Taiwan.
No Concealed Rights. Honolulu’s Chris Baker’s Concealed Carry Lawsuit against the City and County of Honolulu was heard last Wednesday, in the Federal District Courthouse. The judge ruled against Baker. Hawaii is one of a only a few states that do not permit concealed carry.
Hawaii Medal of Honor. The Hawaii State Legislature, in special joint session at 2 pm Wednesday, honored 24 fallen military warriors with Hawaii ties. It is the 7th annual event and one of the best things your Legislature does. Chief organizer is Rep. K. Mark Takai.
New Judges. Hawaii Supreme Court CJ Mark Recktenwald has nominated two new judges: Shirley M. Kawamura and Paul B.K. Wong in the Hawaii District Court of the First Circuit on Oahu. Both must be confirmed by the State Senate.
Buiding or Remodeling? Bank of Hawaii is offering a free panel on building and remodeling featuring:
*Phil Camp, AIA, LEED A.P. & Principal, Hawaii Architecture;
*Chad Taniguchi, General Contractor & Owner, Dream Home Builders;
*Dean Masai, CGP, Energy Analyst, State of Hawaii, DBEDT, and
*Iris Yafuso, Construction Loan Manager, Bank of Hawaii
On Thursday, April 19, 6-7:30 pm at Bankoh Pearl City Branch.
This seminar is free and open to anyone to attend. For more information call Iris Yafuso at 808-694-1423.
CPB Names Mizumoto CBO. Central Pacific Financial Corp the parent of Central Pacific Bank named Lance Mizumoto to the position of executive vice president and chief banking officer. Mizumoto has been with CPB since 2005 and is currently the executive vice president of its Commercial Markets Group.
Secrets. Come to the SBH Special Networking Luncheon, Wednesday, April 11, 12 noon – 1:30 pm, at The Outback Steakhouse, Hawaii Kai. Speaker: Peter Kay, “Secrets of Social Media for Your Business” Call Darlyn at SBH, 396-1724.
CEO Fired for Theft. Certified Hawaii, a property management firm, has fired its CEO, Toni Floerke, for thefts between $50,000 and $100,000 from the condominium associations at three Oahu townhouse complexes.
Chinatown Druggies Threaten Bakery. The owner of Otto Cake, a cheesecake bakery in Honolulu’s Chinatown, said he keeps his doors locked during business hours because of threats he’s received from drug dealers in the neighborhood. This is not a new problem. We need more baked goods, not more drugs.
Race to Bottom Continues. There still is no signed contract between the teachers’ union, HSTA, and the State. Four Fed examiners are winging their way here to check up on Hawaii’s status for the $75 million “Race to the Top.” They should save the airfare, keep the $75 million and understand we don’t like changes here; especially in public education. There is no transformation; only a desire for more fed money. The DOE currently gets more than $2.5 BILLION annually and has no incentive to change or improve.
New GOP Exec. Nacia Lee Blom has recently been hired as the Hawaii Republican Party’s Executive Director. Nacia, a Waimea High graduate, is a long time supporter and member of the Hawaii Republican Party.
“Save Our Honolulu” A Fundraiser for the “Save Our Honolulu” lawsuit, drew more than 100 people-and Ben Cayetano-Saturday, March 24th at the Portlock home of Rob and Ann Burns. All proceeds go to the lawsuit to defend Honolulu from elevated steel on steel heavy rail transit.
See You at the Auto Show. The annual First Hawaiian Bank International Auto Show will be held this Friday-Sunday at the Convention Center.
Join Us! Is YOUR business a member of SBH? No? What? Call Darlyn today (808-396-1724) or go online to www.smartbusinesshawaii.com.
Point-Counterpoint on KHVH. Tune in Tuesdays 7-8 am to the Rick Hamada show on KHVH radio (830 am) to hear Senate Democrat Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria and me tackle the legislative issues at the State Capitol. Call in at 521-8383.
Real News. Go to www.HawaiiReporter.com, for the real news. HR, founded by Malia Zimmerman, 10 years ago continues to break major investigative stories. Tune in to KHVH every week day at 7:40 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.