Sequester Siesta? Last Saturday, the day after the sequestration, the Hawaiian skies were blue, the birds were singing and life continued—as I told you it would. Shame on President Obama and his henchmen for their continuing “sky is falling” if we cut any government spending scenario. Especially since this plan was the President’s plan and it only reduced the amount ($85 billion) of spending INCREASES.
Dow Sets Record. Yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average set a new record closing at 14,254. Business, personal income and employment still remain in the doldrums but the DJA seems influenced by several record corporate profit reporting and a continued Fed easing of interest rates.
HMSA, Kaiser Post Profits. Hawaii health care giants, HMSA and Kaiser Permanente, both posted profits for the past fiscal year.
Congrats to UH Alumni. The University of Hawai‘i Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes outstanding alumni who have used their education to excel professionally, provide inspirational leadership to others, and provide service for the benefit of UH and the community. This year's honorees will be recognized on Tuesday, May 14, at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel at a dinner in their honor.
The Honorable Daniel Akaka is honorary chair of our 25th annual event.
The honorees are: Edwin Gayagas (BEd ’62 Mānoa) – Community Service Volunteer and Retired U. S. Army Officer Alden Henderson, PhD (BS ’77, MPH ’82 Mānoa) – Epidemiologist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Patrick Sullivan, PhD (MS ’81, PhD ’85 Mānoa) – Chairman & Founder, Oceanit Barbara Tanabe (MBA ’83 Mānoa) – Owner & Managing Partner, Ho‘ākea Communications
2013 UH Founders Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award David Ezra, JD (Attended Mānoa) – Senior United States District Judge
Kawamoto Arrested. Everyone’s least favorite Japanese visitor and billionaire to Hawaii, Genjiro Kawamoto, was arrested by Japanese authorities Monday on suspicion of tax evasion for owing $9 million in back taxes. Chump change to the 81 year old who has single handedly despoiled Kahala real property and who has thumbed his nose at City fines. Taxes get you all the time.
State Sells Securities. Gov. Neil Abercrombie Monday announced that the State of Hawaii and Citigroup Global Capital Markets, Inc. (CGMI) agreed to have CGMI purchase all of the state’s approximately $231 million remaining balance of the Student Loan Auction Rate Securities (Securities) at full face value.
The state purchased the Securities from CGMI back in February 2008. The market for purchasing and selling these Securities subsequently collapsed as a result of the global financial crisis, thereby limiting the state’s ability to sell the Securities at full face value. Fortunately, the state sufficiently adjusted its investment portfolio and avoided having to sell the Securities for cash flow purposes during this period. In November 2010, the state and CGMI entered into a settlement agreement that required CGMI to purchase all outstanding amounts held by the state on June 2015. At that time, the state held approximately $869 million of these Securities. Since then, the Abercrombie Administration and CGMI have been actively reducing portions of the holding, ensuring that no loss of principal occurs. This balance represents the last holdings of the Securities as well as the largest portion to be settled.
New KHON Prexy. LIN Media announced yesterday that Kristina Lockwood has been appointed as the new President and General Manager of KHON-TV in Honolulu. She returns to the station after having served there as National Sales Manager in 2004.
Ambassador Rodman, Dennis Rodman, super tattooed pierced former b-ball player, took it upon himself to travel to North Korea to talk sports with dictator Kim Il Un. ABC-TV, “This Week” interviewed the freaky Rodman Sunday and treated him like some kind of diplomat. Rod said his new BFF told him he didn’t want to start war or bomb Hawaii; he only wanted a call from President Obama so the two could talk basketball. Seems reasonable. The never eloquent Rodman, said North Korea and America were very similar complete with government prison camps.
Crossover. The first major legislative event, the crossover of hundreds of Senate and House bills, took place yesterday (and a few leftovers tomorrow). None of the bills are good for small business or taxpayers in general. More state spending programs, taxes, fees, a higher minimum wage and regulations highlighted the day with no relief in sight. These bills still have a long way to go to the May 2 deadline so there still is time to act.
Byron’s Closed. Byron’s Drive-In closed last week. Record crowds attended the final days. The airport area eatery was a favorite among locals for its unique foods. The property owner wants to develop the property.
Ellen Schultz. Honolulu HomeLoans (HHL) welcomed Ellen Schultz to the team as Vice President of Operations. In her new role, Schultz will manage the processing and closing functions while creating efficiencies with all internal business partners.
"We are very happy to have Ellen join Honolulu HomeLoans as our new operations manager," says Chief Production Officer Anders Hostelley. "Ellen brings a wealth of mortgage banking experience to our company." Schultz has worked in mortgage lending for 33 years. She holds a DE designation (Direct Endorsement for FHA), Contractors Oversight Management certification from George Washington Law School, and School of Mortgage Banking I certification. Relocating from California for this position, Schultz knew most of the executive management team at Honolulu HomeLoans through her time at Freddie Mac where she increased the market share from Hawaii by more than 50 percent. She is a recipient of Freddie Mac's President's Club Award for her excellence.
More Knives by TSA. The TSA has announced that beginning April 25 you will be able to bring your favorite pocket knife on board in a carry on.
Junior Achievement Friday. The annual induction into the Hawaii Business Hall of Fame will be held this Friday evening at the Hale Koa by JA of Hawaii.
More Ross for Less. Ross Dress for Less® (“Ross”), the nation’s largest off-price apparel and home fashion chain with more than 1,000 stores, will expand its presence in Hawaii on March 8th with new locations in Ewa Beach and on South King Street in Honolulu. The new stores bring the total Ross Dress for Less locations to 15 in the Honolulu market.
The new stores will give away $1,000 in Ross Dress for Less gift cards. From Friday, March 8th to Sunday, March 17th, customers may enter in store at one of the new locations for a chance to win a $500 shopping spree or one of five $100 shopping sprees.
The Maui Celebrity Series will return. Brian Evans, the singer who created "The Maui Celebrity Series" on Maui in 2009/10, will again produce the series on the island, with an eye on bringing shows to other islands in Hawaii.
His series, which brought to Maui the likes of David Spade, Mick Fleetwood, Citizen Cope, Roseanne Barr, William Shatner, MOS DEF, Tom Green and Rob Schneider, will again bring an act to the islands every month. Poo--Evans once ran for the US Senate in 2004 in Hawaii. He states he did so to bring attention to dental insurance. He never ran an ad for the campaign. For now, Evans plans on creating a series that will be filmed for eventual commercial DVD release. Evans hires Hawaii only talent to open for the headliners at every show. For more information on Brian Evans visit http://www.brianevans.com
Dictator Chavez Dies. Venezuelan dictator, Hugo Chavez, an Obama favorite, died of cancer yesterday. Guess those Cuban doctors are not miracle workers after all, as those who try to destroy America’s free market medical profession continue to say.
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