Entries Tagged as 'Business'

It’s World Press Freedom Day!

I didn’t know it had a special day.  I just always thought it was a fundamental right that was established many, many years ago.  But then, I’m spoiled-rotten.  I’m an American and for us it is a rudimentary kind of ingredient, or the foundation even, of our media as we know it today — both written and televised. 

Bloggers Unite!  So, why are we talking about it?  We want all journalists to have that same spoiled-rotten, power-of-the-pen that we have, no matter where they are in the World!

Here’s the goal:

Objective:
World Press Freedom Day is annually observed on May 3 to inform the international community that freedom of the press and freedom of expression are fundamental

The United Nations General Assembly declared 3 May to be World Press Freedom Day[1][2] to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression enshrined under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and marking the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek, a statement of free press principles put together by African newspaper journalists in 1991.

Did you guys know that this was celebrated every May 3rd?  I didn’t know that.  We’re supposed to know this stuff.  I wasn’t paying attention.  The rest of the World is supposed to know it too!  Freedom of the press and freedom of expression is a human rights issue — we’ve got it and we’re not giving it up!

I wouldn’t want it any other way and I want to “feel” what journalists, bloggers, and the literary wizards of the World are trying to share.  To clip a writer’s wings is just wrong.  Happy World Press Freedom Day!  Let’s keep it that way.

Lex Brodie’s: More Than Just Gas!

Lex Brodie sign

Oh the grief of getting a flat tire!  Oh the grief of getting a flat tire on a Sunday after 12 noon!

“NO!  Where am I going to go?!?  I’ve got enough air to get a couple of miles, maybe 10, and then I have to add more air.  Pick a direction.  Which way?  Who’s open?  Head for the mechanics and tire places that know your car!  Go!”

Okay, let’s head for an area where Sam’s Club and Lex Brodie’s are a stone’s throw away from each other.  Get the number for Lex Brodie’s, punch the number into the phone, and head on out!

“You’re open until 3:00?!?  I’m on my way, I’ll be right there!”

Sure enough.  They were there, they were willing to either fix my tire or sell me a new one.  They patched the hole, more like a gash, tested the tire for leaks, and it was good to go!

Lex Brodie's Tire Company

Yes, they’ve got gas, but they have a lot more.  They’ve got staff — real people that can actually help you!  On Sunday!

Lex Brodie gas pumps

You’ll notice from the pictures that it was getting very late in the afternoon.  As I waited for them to print up my bill and receipt, I promised them that my next set of new tires will come from there. They have got service! I’ve got gratitude.

Lex Brodie’s
701 Queen Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: 808-536-9381

Does Mended Trust Still Have Hairline Cracks?

Hawaiian yarn lei with koa embellishments Sometimes, patience is a virtue.  Sometimes falling behind in your blogging can be a blessing.  Check this out, back in January I started to write this post and then, for some reason, I thought better of it, saved it, and held off publishing it.

This is how I started:

“You have GOT to be kidding me!  What kind of a court master would recommend such a thing?  No, I’m not the only one who is reacting this way.   You’ve got to love the Honolulu Advertiser for letting people leave comments and share their opinion!

“For those who don’t know what all of the hollering is about, you might want to check out Samuel King and Randall Roth’s book, Broken Trust: Greed, Mismanagement, And Political Manipulation at America’s Largest Charitable Trust.  See, the corruption that all of us remember so vividly resurfaces whenever something as preposterous as this makes the headlines.  This horrible story made headlines across the Nation about ten or eleven years ago. 

“Let’s put it this way, Bernice Pauahi would have thrown up her hands in horror if she had witnessed these now-historical events.  Of course, she also would have thrown up her hands in horror when they removed the Bishop name from the name of the school.  So great a love should not have been dealt such a horrible blow.  Perhaps we’ll talk about that at a later date.”

As luck would have it, my blogger muse held off pursuing this story, right at that moment.  Part of what held me back was a secret hope that the trustees would do something exactly like what they’ve done!

After the courts approved their raise, the trustees opted to take a 10% cut instead.  I’m serious — they cut their own pay!

In short, the answer to the question in the title of this post is, “No, there are no hairline cracks.  The Trust was mended some time ago and the trust of the people was restored.”

What did they say about it?

“The trustees are committed to the keiki our trust exists to serve, and to the careful management of resources that will allow Kamehameha Schools to educate native Hawaiians in perpetuity.”

A historical resource like this one needs to be protected and it sounds like the trustees are taking their fiscal and fiduciary responsibilities seriously.  Mahalo and kudos to the Kamehameha Schools trustees.  🙂

Kamehameha Schools is a fine institution that produces some very fine graduates.  The students learn the subjects that all the schools teach, of course, but they also learn the history and culture of Hawai’i to a greater degree than most.  The trustees protect and preserve the trust and its ability to educate while the students leave with the benefit and ability to protect and preserve the culture.

I have other stories that I’ve held back on and I’ll share my initial, knee-jerk reaction with you guys and then tell you why I’m glad that I held back.  Yeah, this one could have been two blog posts but I have no desire to cut people down — until I find out that I’m justified in doing so.  I did not say that I would stop being a b*tch if I’m pretty darn sure that I’m right.  🙂

Happy Belated Birthday to Jamba Juice

Birthday balloons for nine-year-old Jamba Juice

On Wednesday, January 28th, I was surprised to see these balloons sitting in the middle of the Jamba store in downtown Honolulu.  A place that coworkers and I visit frequently, this location is very convenient for us and quite popular.  I remember when they opened; I just didn’t realize that it was so long ago.  Nine years sounds like such a long time but it has certainly gone by quickly!

And, yes, that is a Jamba surf board hanging on the wall next to those balloons!  🙂

PB n’ Jamba is my favorite.  If you’re avoiding dairy products, you can ask them to skip the yogurt and add more of one of the other ingredients if you like.

Jamba’s website describes this particular drink like this:

PB and Jamba for lunch“The Chunky PB ‘n Jamba is blended with soymilk, vanilla yogurt, peanut butter, strawberries, blueberries and organic granola into a thick smoothie and then topped with whole blueberries.”

I never knew blueberries tasted so good until I got to taste them fresh like this.

Jamba Juice
Financial Plaza
130 Merchant Street #110
Honolulu, Hawai’i  96813
Phone: 808-585-8359

Terroristic Weather Report

Why am I writing this?  I have no idea.  Well, I had all of these pictures to start a blog post or two and I just have to talk about things that annoy me.  I have to admit, this all took some thinking on my part because the series and sequence of events all blended together at some point.  Let’s go back a few weeks and take it from the start.  Back on December 26th, Oahu’s power lines were hit by lightening.  They say lightening doesn’t strike twice but Hawaiian Electric Company took it in the electrical wires five (5), yes five times that day.

Kahe Point Power Plant

HECO Finds the Cause

I’m glad that Hawaiian Electric Company was able to pinpoint just how this calamity happened.  I will agree that nobody likes a company that sends them bills in the mail.  But, oddly enough, I’ve felt the need to jump in and back HECO up on this.  Mother Nature does what Mother Nature wants and I’m afraid HECO was outflanked this time.  Most people were out of power for something over 12 hours — it was 20+ hours for us.  I have no problem being without power for a while but I really hate throwing away all of that food.  Ugh!  In spite of it all, HECO still offered to provide financial restitution to those who apply for it.

Mother Nature the Terrorist

We’ve been through a sufficient amount of natural disasters recently that have left some areas a little shell-shocked.  there have been heavy rains causing some very damaging flooding, we’ve had high winds taking the roofs off houses, and there have been combination storms that have kept us in the dark for several hours.  Now that these events are over and we’re sufficiently on edge, what happens when the weather service warns of a windy storm on its way?  State officials and the Department of Education decide to close all public schools.  “They what?!?” They never did that when I was in school!  We always braved the wind, rain, waves, mud, etc.  It did not take long for the private and charter schools to follow suit.  Fine, whatever.

Wait, it gets better.  All State and City & County offices are closed!  “You have GOT to be kidding me!”  Let’s see, Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day so the general consensus was that they all wanted a four-day weekend.  Fine, whatever. What happened on that Friday?  Nothing.  No hurricane.  Maybe a drizzle, maybe not.  Traffic was a lot lighter.

A Trashy Day Off

Road Work Ahead sign

Absolutely amazing.  Road work?  It’s a holiday; what are they talking about?  Who put that sign there?  I’m nosy, I need to know.  I don’t see any road work, they must have forgotten to pick the sign up during the week — maybe they left in there on Friday when they were suddenly closed for the day.

Surprise!  They were indeed on the road side, on a holiday, picking up somebody’s opala (trash) that was dumped unceremoniously on the side of the road.

This stuff fries me!  It’s bad enough when people dump garbage and abandon vehicles in obscure locations, but when they dump it on the side of the road in a residential area, especially a rural relief area (that’s what I call them) that exists so very close to the city but is still so very peaceful and simple, it absolutely makes my blood boil!  Dump it in your own damn yard, you slobs!  Grrrr!

When I saw what was going on and successfully checked my temper, I realized that I needed to talk about this.  It took me all of about thirty seconds to turn my car around and head back to take these photos.  Doing so rattled the City & County workers.  Does that make me the terrorist?  🙂  I think I’ve mentioned before that people are afraid of cameras.  But, when they heard my snarky reaction to the whole thing, they happily joined my rant and understood the intent.

City & County of Honolulu truck

This is what was left after they filled their trucks the first time.  They reassured me they would be back for the rest but this gives you some idea of just what a big pile it was.  A comment was also made that citizens like us hire people to do a job, pay to have the trash hauled away, and this is where it ends up.  It’s hauled away alright but I’m sure the homeowner did not have this kind of disposal in mind!

Opala tossed on the side of the street

You know, if you’re doing a job that requires this kind of heavy hauling and disposal and you do not want to pay the fees at the dump, I suggest that you find some other line of work.  Those fees are part of the cost of doing business.  They are a legitimate, tax-deductible, business expense.  But then again, maybe you don’t pay your taxes either?  There was something else that troubled me — there seemed to be more than one line of business here.  There was a lot of flooring debris making up this pile but there were also several cans of paint.  Those paint cans do look old.  Alright, I suppose a homeowner could have done this themselves.  Auwe!

Opala sliding down towards the river

The City & County workers were the ones who pointed out that I “should see what’s over the wall.”  The river is right below this and we wonder why there are so many signs about dumping and cautions about contaminated water?

For the record, later that same day I saw a State employee leaving the Capitol and I said, “Don’t tell me you guys are working?”

“Yep, only half-day though. Since we had Friday off we came in to work half-day.”

Aha!  So they guilted themselves into working on the Monday holiday to make up for what didn’t happen on Friday.  Okay, you guys are forgiven.

Shore breaks off Maile

There may have been a storm but this is where it really went.  The only real evidence of any storm that I saw was the kicking shore breaks on the west side of Oahu, a nice 30+ miles away from where the City & County was taking away all of that trash.  The water looked so inviting but the warning signs and little orange flags kept everyone out of the water.  Just watching the water and smelling the salt air is enough to make us forget the problems and focus on the beauty that is our home. Why did I write this?  I don’t remember.

A Shattering Experience

We all know how to find someone to help us repair things and we can figure out pretty easily how to get various materials — a piece of wood, a sheet of drywall, some sheet rock, a roll of screen, etc., etc.  But, where do you get a piece of glass that’s not for your car?

Mom’s tenants messed up her house pretty badly. One thing they did was remove the air conditioner and leave a gaping hole in the window, with no covering whatsoever. Okay, we’ll just cover that with a piece of glass.  That sounds good, don’t you think?  Good luck!

I know the size I need.  “No it’s not for my car. I just need a piece of glass. Do you have any?”

“No, we don’t do that.”

“Can you cut this to fit?”

“No, we don’t do that anymore, we got rid of that equipment.”

Auto glass? Yes. Shower doors? Yes. Jalousie windows? Sure. A piece of glass cut to the size I want? Hell no! “But it’s such a small thing; why won’t anybody help me?!? Aaargh!”

Pearl City Glass sign

Breathe. Pearl City Glass Shop to the rescue! Hooray!  A huge “Mahalo!” goes out to Ace Auto Glass on Ward Avenue for that recommendation!

The sound of breaking glass makes me cringe and the sight of broken glass is not much better — I hear danger and see pain. When I take bottles or cans to a recycling location I can’t stand the sound of the beer bottles being dropped off. I stand back and wait for that person to be done and for the sound to stop. Clearly, glass and I are not the best of friends.  I love to look at it but I don’t like to mess with it.  Glass belongs stationary or framed in some way. I also prefer keeping my blood on the inside of my veins. If there’s a way for me to cut myself, trust me, I will find it!

Glass cutting in action

The staff at Pearl City Glass Shop is very comfortable and skilled at working with this stuff. No matter the size or the reason, if you need glass and you need it cut to fit, Pearl City Glass Shop is there to help.  Oh, and if you think you’re stuck with whatever size mirror you are able to find in the department stores, think again — Pearl City Glass Shop can cut one any size you want!

Very small cut of glass

They’re located in one of those places that you pass all the time but never really see, or try not to.  You can find them at 659 Kamehameha Hwy in Pearl City, between the Sears Distribution Center and Leeward Community College.  If you still can’t find it, call them and they’ll tell you how to get there!

Something so small was so stressful.  Did I mention that Mom’s house is about 33 miles outside of town and gas prices hadn’t gone down yet?  “Ka-ching!”  One more huge “Mahalo!” goes out to Pearl City Glass Shop for saving the day and for solving an otherwise impossible problem.  Thanks you guys!

Pearl City Glass Shop, Inc.
659 Kamehameha Hwy
Pearl City, HI 96782

Phone: 808-456-4502

NFL Goes on Vacation

Every year Honolulu anxiously sets up to welcome the NFL, its players, cheerleaders and mascots for the Pro Bowl.  We have been doing so for several years now.  It has become a tradition — one that the community looks forward to every year.

Royal Hawaiian Bank welcomes the NFL

Our local residents, businesses, and the tourist industry as well, are all touched by this event in some way — the impact is more far-reaching than you may think.  In addition, those lucky athletes and staff members who are selected to participate in the Pro Bowl get to enjoy a vacation to Hawaii in the process. Here is the 2009 Pro Bowl roster of lucky players.

In 2010 NFL Takes Vacation Away from Hawaii

NFL Cheerleaders in Honolulu in 2007

The cheerleaders and mascots will be dancing to a different drummer in 2010 — the Pro Bowl is scheduled to be played in Miami next year, a week before the Super Bowl, which will also be hosted in Miami, on the same field.

Yes, it’s confirmed, next year’s Pro Bowl will be played at Dolphin Stadium a week before the Super Bowl.  Make no mistake about it, Dolphin Stadium is a quality venue.  I’m not sure how receptive or comfortable Miami will be overall but I’m sure we will hear all about it.

Philadelphia Eagles mascot, Swoop

This is going to be the first time since 1979 that Hawaii has not hosted the Pro Bowl.  At a time when we needed this event, and others like it, this decision by the NFL did not come at a very good time for us.

Don’t worry, Swoop, the NFL has got to let you guys come back!  I’ve no personal attraction to the Philadelphia Eagles but you’ve got to love a bird with attitude!  Apparently SportsRant.com thinks so too!

I’m still going to be happy to see them this year with all of the cheerleaders and mascots.  Losing them, however, will be nagging at the back of my mind every minute and with the snap of every photo.  Good luck guys, have fun and, above all, hurry back!

Chevron Puts My Rant to Rest

There have been some quiet things happening at our Nuuanu Chevron.  The signs are new and more brightly colored.  The new pumps are not only installed, they’re turned on.  You can see their little screens all lit up in the evening.

Chevron's Now Hiring Sign

The sign changed from telling us that they were renovating to serve us better to let us know they’re looking for people to hire.  Now, if you’re going to hire people, you need to have a place that’s open for these newly-hired people to work in, right?

Coca-Cola Truck parked at Chevron station

Okay, this is a dead give away if ever I saw one!  CocaCola would only be there if they were processing a servicing agreement or delivering products.  They would only be doing either one of those things if they had an active business that was going to sell those products.

Then, I got more than a hint in an unexpected place.  The new force taking ownership of this station left us all a comment right here!  This is what was said:

Aloha Evelyn:

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

GOOD NEWS!

NUUANU CHEVRON: Your favorite Chevron station located on Nuuanu Avenue will be opening on FRIDAY, JANUARY 2, 2009.

NEW, IMPROVED STATION! We’ve refreshed Nuuanu Chevron: brand-new gas pumps, bright lights, new signs, freshly painted new color scheme, colorful landscaping, and stocked with your favorite hot & cold beverages and tasty snacks. (We even have your favorite Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts in stock, waiting for your first visit to our store.)

NEW OWNERSHIP & MANAGEMENT: We are a locally-owned family business, honored to provide our customers with outstanding, friendly customer service and the highest quality gasoline and other automotive products and services in Hawaii since 1985. We are excited about opening our new location at Nuuanu Chevron!

AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR SERVICES: Watch Nuuanu Chevron install automotive repair equipment as we get ready to offer top-quality automotive services at realistic prices. We are hiring only the best ASE-certified technicians, and licensed Safety Inspectors to handle all types of automotive services for you, your family, friends and neighbors.

CUSTOMER SATISFACTION: Our goal at Nuuanu Chevron is customer satisfaction that exceeds your expectations. We strive to earn your loyalty and business by simply providing each customer with outstanding customer service every time.

Please come visit us at NUUANU CHEVRON. And when you identify yourself to the Customer Service Representative on duty, you get a FREE Pop-Tart of your flavor choice, with our compliments.

Aloha Pumehana,

Nuuanu Chevron

What can I say?  I did not expect that but I was very happy to see the announcement that they are opening up on Friday the 2nd of January and I was pleased to read through the other details about the services they plan to provide.  It will be so good to see it open again tomorrow morning!  I can’t wait!

Mahalo for your Business sign

Mahalo to you, Nuuanu Chevron, for getting things back up and running!  That chain-link fence was really beginning to get old!  Oh, we do need to get a vacuum installed again.  They took it out last time and never put it back.  I have my own theory about why you should have it there — I’ll talk to you guys about that later.  🙂

New Year Carnival of Aloha Reminder!

Decorated Christmas Tree

Okay, December just went way too fast!  It was like watching water go down the drain — the last part just goes, “sluuuurp,” and then it’s all gone!   

The deadline for the first 2009 Carnival of Aloha was actually today, BUT, I’ve extended it until Friday the 2nd.  🙂  I’m falling behind big time and, with the holiday season and all, I’m guessing that some of you guys are too!

Have a wonderful, safe and happy New Year celebration this evening and when you’re recovering from it all tomorrow, submit a post for the Carnival!  If you like, send in your favorite post of 2008 — just be sure to let me know that’s what you’re doing in the comments so I can make a note of it!

Mahalo to Richard Tajiri’s Christmas Hawaii for a picture-perfect tree that I almost didn’t want to decorate.  But, I did!  I’m hoping that I can be supportive of them at the start of the holiday season next year.

Follow-Up on Nuuanu’s Chevron Station

They’re closed again.  But, I was told by Chevron staff, not for long!  There is this chain-link fence keeping people out which is the first time I have seen this at this station — even when it was closed for nearly a year.  There was never a fence.

Nuuanu Chevron station surrounded by chain-link fence.

This banner is also a good sign.  They wouldn’t say it, put their name on it and then hang it if it weren’t the case.  Since displaying this banner, and fencing the place, the gas pumps have actually been removed.  Now, that may mean that there is some new, more state-of-the-art equipment coming but that remains to be seen. 

Sign saying that Nuuanu Chevron is renovating.

They have had staff painting the trims with nice fresh blue paint.  I’m not sure which day that was but I think it was Saturday, that I saw them sprucing things up a little. 

I saw an obvious employee checking out the station and I had to ask what they were doing (’cause I’m nosy like that).  He said, ” We’re remodeling.” 

     “Uh huh,” was my border-line sarcastic response.
     “Is that good or bad?” he questioned with a strange look.
     “Good!  After all my complaining and whining look where we are now. Closed again!” 

He just kind of smirked and dismissed me which was fine with me because I got the answer I wanted to hear.  I’m such a bitch. Businesses always forgive me, though.  Afterall, my money, although there isn’t much of it, is still green.  🙂

Matson container sitting at Chevron station.

Oh yeah, like I could have walked away from this photo op!  These corporations are just so lucky I like them so much.  I don’t know why.  I guess they provide needed services and they’re part of our community.  You see, there really is something to be said about logo recognition and trade familiarity.