NHIS Presents Ohana Storytelling Night

starsAloha Mai Kakou! 

E Komo Mai, 

Join Us for an Evening Beneath the Stars! 

Nanakuli High & Intermediate School 



Storytelling Night

Friday, April 12 – 6p to 8p – “A” Building  

Storytellers Include: 

Tamar Nite (Scholastic Books), Eric Enos (Kaala Farms), 

Analu Josephides (Alu Like Native Hawaiian Library) 

and othere Special Guests

 RSVP – Charlita Mahoe 306-450 or email


Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

US Dept. of State Legislature Internship Program

We would like to introduce our participant for the program: Dilek Meydanli Selek!

Dilek and Maile

L-R: Dilek and Maile. Dilek gave Maile the scarf that she is wearing in the photo.

City, Country: Ankara, Turkey.

Languages: Turkish, English

Education: Master’s in EU Studies, Missle East Technical University

Current Title and Place of Work: Expert, Ministry of National Education, Directorate General for the EU and Foreign Relations.

Current responsibilities: Ms. Selesk’s job responsibilities include coordinating projects on civil education for youth, the department she works at specializes on echanges on educational policies with other countries. She is interested in how to enable coordination between civil society organizations and government agencies in order to enhance teh quality of public education.

Professional Interests: Public Policy in Education, Cooperation between CSO’s and government.

Previous U.S. experience: none.

The Programs focus on providing exceptional young professionals from developing democracies opportunities to learn from their colleagues in the US and to share their knowledge with their peers and colleagues in their home countries. The echanges benefit not only the participant but also their American supervisors and colleagues, who are able to learn about a different country and culture, as well as receive valuable assistance in the office in which the Fellow is placed.

Lunch at Longhi's

Lunch at Longhi’s

One of the Turkish Gifts given to Maile by Dilek.

One of the Turkish Gifts given to Maile by Dilek.

After-Scho​ol All-Stars Hawaii e-Newslett​er Spring 2013; Nanakuli & Waianae Featured


After-School All-Stars Hawaii Spring 2013

Aloha All-Star Ohana,
It’s hard to believe that we started up the Hawaii chapter of After-School All-Stars in 2009. Fast forward four years later, and serving nearly 2000 at-risk youth in eleven middle/intermediate schools on Oahu and the Big Island, we have made great strides.


Recently, Hawaii’s Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui announced his commitment to bring after-school programs to all middle/intermediate schools in the state. This was a momentous occasion, and we look forward to working with Lieutenant Governor Tsutsui on his initiative. Mahalo to our All-Star staff, our participants, their families, our principals and their admin, my board, and everyone that has in some way contributed to our organization. I hope you enjoy reading about our All-Stars and their memorable experiences.
Warmest aloha,

Dawn Matsuyama Dunbar
President & CEO, ASAS Hawaii

Washington Middle School All-Stars Show the Love to the USS Houston

The All-Star Jewelry Class at Washington Middle School showed their gratitude to the service men and women of the USS Houston Naval Ship by making them over 100 lollipop-filled, heart shaped flowers containing hand written messages of appreciation. They were delivered on Valentine’s Day, the day of their deployment.

Kualoa Ranch – Lucky We Live Hawaii!

All-Stars from eight Oahu sites toured Kualoa Ranch for a fun-filled day, learning about the ranch and the three ahupua’a it spans: Hakipu’u, Kualoa and Ka’a’awa. The All-Stars hiked and toured the 800 year old Moli’i Fishpond, learning how the ancient Hawaiians practiced food-source sustainability.

Ka’u UPLINK All-Stars Outshine the Competition!

The Track & Field Class at Ka’u High & Pahala Elementary competed in the annual A-Troop Track Meet, taking home 6 medals: 1 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze!

Kulia All-Stars Are Highly Polished

The Girls Club and inaugural Boys Club at Jarrett Middle School learned about good manners, dining etiquette and the art of polite conversation. Chef Dale’s impressive All-Stars Cooking Class created “Kulia Restaurant” to give them a chance to practice their skills. The students staffing the restaurant cooked and plated a gourmet meal, and did an awesome job in their roles of maitre d’ and servers.

All-Stars CEO Inspires La Pietra

After-School All-Stars President & CEO Dawn Dunbar, was invited to speak to the La Pietra student body for Women’s History Month. She encouraged them to never be content, always look for ways to be better, and remember to give back to their community. Be innovative!
Kalakaua All-Stars Sing Their Hearts Out
The All-Star Glee Club toured campus on Valentine’s Day, crooning sweet songs and cute messages chosen by the lucky recipient’s special friend or secret admirer.
Central All-Stars Make the Grades and the Shots!

Over 30 Central All-Stars committed eight consecutive Saturdays to competing in an intensive basketball league, in addition to the rigorous practices three days a week and weekly grade checks. All players showed significant increases in basketballs skills as well as grades, many improving to A’s and B’s! Go Bulldogs!
All-Stars Get Active for National Girls and Women in Sports Day

In celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day, All-Stars from Nanakuli Intermediate, Central Middle and Washington Middle participated in Hawaii Pacific University’s annual event. HPU female student-athletes and their coaches put on clinics and games in all of the HPU sports – basketball, soccer, tennis, cross country, softball, volleyball, golf and cheer.
Kea’au Receives the 2013 Heroes UnitedHealth Grant!

In the spirit of fighting childhood obesity, the ASAS Pride Runners (the student led committee overseeing the grant) have been leading their peers toward their program goal of running over 2,500 miles – the distance from Hawaii to the mainland! They are well on their way, having run 1,567 miles at the halfway mark!
Pahoa All-Stars Create Masterpieces

The art class at Pahoa All-Stars painted watercolor portraits so compelling, the school administrators requested they be displayed in their offices!
Nanakuli Stays Connected

The All-Stars and Makahiki Club at Nanakuli Intermediate partnered to celebrate a family night with traditional Makahiki festival games and food. It was a night full of games like o’o’ihe, ‘ulu maika and kulakula’i. Families enjoyed Hawaiian foods like pa’i’ai, sweet potato, squid lu’au and fish.

Kumu Kau’i demonstrated how to make fresh pa’i’ai while the keiki enjoyed and waited for seconds!
Dole All-Stars Get Ready for High School Athletics

The All-Stars at Dole Middle are preparing themselves for High School sports through Mr. Jordan’s High School Sports Prep Class. All-Stars are introduced to the basic fundamentals of a variety of sports through intense physical workouts and drills.
King’s Stars Cafe Gets Rave Reviews!
The CEO class at King learned about all of the positions that create a successful restaurant, from the host(ess) to the back of house manager and everything in between. They cooked for, seated and served their peers and families, showing their well-practiced skills every step of the way.
The All-Stars at Washington Middle promoted this campaign wearing pins and bracelets in partnership with Special Olympics Hawaii to raise awareness against the “R-Word”. The movement has been so popular that the school will have students create flyers in their media class to help promote the mission!
Wai’anae All-Stars Look to the Future

Wai’anae All-Stars participated in a college and career fair at Wai’anae High School, learning the importance of setting goals and making a plan for success.

Connect With Us
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Kulia All-Stars Receive ASAS National Youth Advisory Board Grant

The Entourage Class at Jarrett Middle hit upon an award winning idea to re-use their empty juice pouches and boxes to create stylish wallets and bags, and sell them. The grant process included creating a business plan, complete with budget and pitch, which they were also asked to present at their faculty and School Community Council Meetings!

All-Star Friendly Scrimmage

The All-Stars from Wai’anae Intermediate and Dole Middle participated in good-will games of basketball, soccer and fun!Shane Victorino Foundation Supports Hawaii All-Stars

The Flyin’ Hawaiian generously donated $10,000 to help support After-School All-Stars Hawaii! Mahalo to Kari Uyehara, Executive Director of the Shane Victorino Foundation, who visited All-Star programs.Dancer’s Delite Pumps Up the Science Fair

Kalakaua Middle School’s Principal, Ms. Aiwohi, asked her All-Stars dance troop, “Dancer’s Delite”, to dazzle the attendees of the Honolulu District Science Fair at Kapi’olani Community College. They delivered, as always, wowing the audience with their sensational energy and enthusiasm!

NFL Charities ProBowl Grant

For the third year in a row, ASAS Hawaii was honored to receive the NFL Charities ProBowl Grant of $3,000.

Pahoa All-Stars Dig In!

As one of the 5C Friday Activities, the All-Stars at Pahoa Intermediate planted kalo on their campus, showing their “Contribution” to the school.

Hawaiian Electric Industries Charitable Foundation Donates $25,000!
Mahalo to The HEI Foundation (Hawaiian Electric Company and Hawaii Electric Light Company) for their continued support of the All-Stars’ mission to serve Hawaii’s at-risk youth with quality after-school programs.

2012-2013 Board of Directors

Greg Dickhens (Chair)
Kyo-ya Hotels and Resorts

AJ Halagao (Vice Chair)
Hawaiian Electric Industries

Brett Brewer (Founding Chair)

Lori Abe (Secretary)
McNeil Wilson Communications

Richanne Lam (Treasurer)
Morgan Stanley

Dawn M. Dunbar
ASAS Hawaii

Lori Harrison
Kaiser Permanente

Avi Mannis
Hawaiian Airlines

Jim Polk
Bank of Hawaii

Advisory Board
Bert A. Kobayashi, Kobayashi Group
Jeffrey Watanabe, Watanabe Ing
Jason Fujimoto, HPM Building Supply
Lynn Watanabe, Community Volunteer
Susan Kobayashi, Community Volunteer
Maya Soetoro-Ng, Author/Educator
Brady Yee, Pacific Contract

All-Star Ohana Donors
Alexander and Baldwin
America’s Mattress
American Savings Bank
Anthology Marketing Group
Atherton Family Foundation
Bank of Hawaii
BEI/Marathon Group
Bickerton Lee Dang Sullivan
Eric Brand
Brett and Sky Brewer
Campbell Family Foundation
Carlsmith Ball
Harold K.L. Castle Foundation
Central Pacific Bank
Chung Kun Ai Foundation/City Mill
Cooke Foundation, Limited
Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation
Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation
Walter A. Dods Jr.
Brad Downs
David and Dawn Dunbar
Farmers Hawaii
FIrst Hawaiian Bank
First Insurance
Jason Fujimoto
Galiher DeRobertis Ono
Gear Up Hawaii
The GIFT Foundation of Hawaii
Grace Pacific Corporation
Michael and Sandra Hartley
Hawaii Community Foundation
Hawaii Electric Light Company
Hawaii Sergeants Major Association
Hawaii Women’s Legal Foundation
Hawaiian Electric Company
Hawaiian Electric Industries Charitable Foundation
Hawaiian Telcom
Hensel Phelps Construction
Heyer & Associates
HMSA/HMSA Foundation
Peter and Michelle Ho
Hotel Wailea
Island Movers
It’s All About Kids
JN Automotive Group
Kaiser Permanente
Kamehameha Schools
Kaneohe Ranch Company
Kobayashi Group, LLC
Bert A. and Susan Kobayashi
Ko’Olina Hawaii
Kyo-ya Hotels and Resorts
Jim and Lynn Lally
Richanne Lam
Langtry Estate & Vineyards
Gabe and Shirley Lee
Bryan Luke and Cathy Luke
The MacNaughton Group
Dr. Eugene and Jayne Matsuyama
McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon
McInerny Foundation
Cheryl Merner
Mid Pac Petroleum
Bill Mills Development
Monarch Insurance
NFL Charities
Next Design
Nordic PCL
Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Reverend Takie Okumura Family Foundation
Pacific Contract
The Pacific Resource Partnership
Painters Union Local 1791-LMCF
Matt and Alana Pakkala
Philpotts Interiors
Jim and Robyn Polk
ProService Hawaii
Queen’s Medical Center
Kamran Razavi
Remedy Intelligent Staffing
Resort Management Group
Chuck Rettig
Stephanie Reynolds
Royal Contracting Co., Ltd.
Sean Satterfield
Dr. Todd Seto
Kosti Shirvanian
Star Advertiser
Swayne Family Foundation
Donn and Sisi Takaki
Thomson Reuters/Westlaw Next
Marc and Charlene Tilker
Tori Richard
The Shane Victorino Foundation
WCIT Architecture
Jeff and Lynn Watanabe
Watanabe Ing
Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
Westlaw/Thomson Reuters
Zhou Enlai Peace Institute
Joseph and Vera Zilber Family Foundation

LCC-Wai`anae Spring Open House 4/17/13


Please join us for an exciting night as we showcase our students’ work from over the past four months. We will be having a pot­luck dinner by our students, followed by stu­dent presentations of their writing and re­search projects. There will also be an art demonstration, exhibit and sale. Bring your keiki to our keiki reading room. The ukulele class will also perform to set the mood and kick off our annual International Week cultur­al performance night. This year we have In­dian dancers, belly dancing, a Spanish gui­tarist and Argentinian tango.

image002 image003

Bring the whole family and invite your friends!

Correction to the April Newsletter, the date of Open House is Wedneday, April 17, 2013

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 (Note corrected date from previous announcements)

5:00 PM Potluck

5:30 PM – 6:30 PM Student Presentations and Exhibits

7:00 PM International Week Performances

Leeward Community College Wai‘anae

86-088 Farrington Highway, Suite 201 – Wai‘anae, HI 96792 – (808) 696-6378

Hawaii Women Lawyers’ Annual Awards Ceremony on 4/5/13

Senator Maile Shimabukuro accepting the award for 2012 Outstanding Woman Lawyer of the Year

Maile with Governor Abercrombie

Maile with Governor Neil Abercrombie. [photo courtesy of Governor Abercrombie’s Facebook page; Click to enlarge]

Additional photos courtesy of Hawaii Women Lawyers can be viewed at this link: http://hawaiiwomenlawyers2012awards.shutterfly.com/4

Click here or go to this link for a related post:


Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa (left) congratulated Maile (right) for receiving the Outstanding Woman Lawyer of the Year award.

Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa (left) congratulated Maile (right) for receiving the Outstanding Woman Lawyer of the Year award.


click to enlarge

Front row, L-R: James Nakano, Maile holding her son Keani, Shayne Sakoda holding his son Tyce; 2nd row, L-R: Jennifer Waihe`e-Polk, Mihoko Nakano, Nalani Kaina, Kurt, Jaedyn, Dawn. 3rd row, L-R: Kristine Yoo, Mark Forman, James Kaina, Jay Waihe`e-Polk, Kekai Sakoda, Brittany Hamilton, Chris Sakoda.

Maile with family and friends. Front row, L-R: James Nakano, Maile holding her son Keani, Shayne Sakoda holding his son Tyce; 2nd row, L-R: Jennifer Waihe`e-Polk, Mihoko Nakano, Nalani Kaina, Kurt, Kekai Sakoda, Brittany Hamilton, Jaedyn, Chris Sakoda, Dawn. 3rd row, L-R: Kristine Yoo, Mark Forman, James Kaina, Jay Waihe`e-Polk.

Keiki Fest 4/26 at Wai`anae District Park

Keiki Fest

April 26th

Waianae District Park

8:30 pm – 1pm

Snapshots from last year:

Jenna and Kelly hard at work!

Jenna and Kelly hard at work!


More details & poster to follow!

Preschool Play Day

Preschool play day

Nanakuli HighSchool Gym

Theme is Dinosaurs!

April 9

9am -11 am

This program, which has been around for at least 15 years, is geared toward special-needs preschoolers.

Put on by the Honolulu District office of the state Department of Education.


The annual play day for preschoolers was held yesterday at Manoa District Park gym, with the theme “Dinosaur Daze.” More than 300 preschoolers got to play at different stations with various activities.
GREGORY YAMAMOTO | The Honolulu Advertiser

Watch a video at:


Testimony NEEDED Supporting Farrington Hwy Realignmen​t at Makaha Beach

(Courtesy of Council Member Kymberly Pine)
We are looking for testimony in support of a Farrington Highway Realignment Feasibility Study, an agenda item on this month’s Oahu MPO Meeting. The realignment of Farrington Highway mauka of Makaha Beach Park will benefit Oahu by expanding recreational use of the surrounding park, increase public safety, eliminate future repairs by moving the highway out of a beach erosion and storm wave zone, and improve access in and out of the surrounding neighborhoods.
DEADLINE FOR WRITTEN TESTIMONY: Testimony needs to be submitted online by Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 12:00 p.m.
TO SUBMIT WRITTEN TESTIMONY: Please complete attached form template by adding your name, saving and email completed document to: OahuMPOTestimony@oahumpo.org
TO REGISTER TO TESTIFY IN PERSON: Call 587-2015 by 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, April 10, 2013.
Oahu MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization)
Policy Meeting
Wednesday April 10, 2013
1:00 p.m.
Honolulu Hale City Council Meeting Room #205
(Located on the 2nd floor)
Additional information can be found at: www.oahumpo.org
It is critical that we receive as much written and in person testimony as possible to support this proposed measure. Please show your support and don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or if I can be of any service.

Louis Galdeira III
Waianae Coast Community Liaison
Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine
District One | Honolulu City Council
530 South King Street | Honolulu, HI 96813
Office: 808.768.5001 | Direct: 808.768.5089

Maile’s Testimony in Support of Farrington Highway Realignmen​t Feasibilit​y Study for Makaha Beach

Maile submitted the following testimony for the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Committee’s hearing in the City Council Committee Meeting Room, scheduled for Wednesday, April 10, 2013, at 1pm. She urges other community members to submit testimony as well, and thanks Councilmember Kymberly Pine for pushing for this agenda item.
in Support of
Addition of a Farrington Highway Realignment Feasibility Study
to the Draft FYs 2014-2015 Overall Work Program (OWP)
Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization
Policy Committee
Councilmember Breene Harimoto, Chair
Agenda Item III: Draft FYs 2014-2015 Overall Work Program (OWP), Addition of Farrington Highway Realignment Feasibility Study
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
City Council Committee Meeting Room
I write in support of adding the proposed Farrington Highway Realignment Feasibility Study to the Draft FYs 2014-2015 Overall Work Program (OWP).
It has long been the desire of the Leeward community and Oahu residents who enjoy recreation areas along the Leeward Coast, to improve the longevity and safety of Farrington Highway along this crucial juncture in Makaha. The realignment of Farrington Highway mauka of Makaha Beach Park will have benefit Oahu by expanding recreational use of the surrounding park, increase public safety, eliminate future repairs by moving the highway out of a beach erosion and storm wave zone, and improve access in and out of the surrounding neighborhoods.
The dire need to relocate Farrington Highway at Makaha Beach has been well documented.
In 2007, news media reported on the danger of the highway to pedestrians after the City removed one of the showers on the makai side of the highway:
In 2010, DLNR conducted a study which concluded, among other things, that the highway causes unnatural sand erosion, necessitating annual sand-pushing to protect public safety:
The community and government have had to push sand at Makaha Beach many times, and at great expense, to protect public safety. For example, two sand-pushing events occurred in 2011:
Now, in 2013, the community is in uproar about the Makaha Bridge project being conducted by
the State, in part due to concern that it may negatively impact the City’s 1997 plan to relocate
Farrington Highway. Click on this link for more information:
With the Policy Committee’s support, the Farrington Highway Realignment Feasibility Study will move this long-desired project closer to fruition by updating the estimate of the potential costs, benefits, and the planning necessary to realistically accomplish this project in the near future.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my views with you and I kindly request your support by supporting the addition of the proposed Farrington Highway Realignment Feasibility Study to the Draft FYs 2014-2015 Overall Work Program (OWP).
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
Aloha ,

Senator Maile Shimabukuro
District 21

(Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Ko Olina, Nanakuli, Ma`ili, Wai`anae, Makaha, Makua)
State Capitol, Room 222
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
808-586-7793 phone
808-586-7797 facsimile

Kamaile Academy Navigators’ Center Quarterly Update

Aloha friends and partners,

We just wanted to share with all of you our quarterly update. Attached you will find the Executive Summary to our third quarter review, and you can view the report in its entirety here.
Everyday continues to be filled with learning, challenges, and inspiration. If nothing else, we hope that this document illustrates the great admiration and gratitude we hold for all of you who do so much to support our students and school. It is an absolute honor working with and learning from each of you, and we look forward to finishing out the year on a strong note.
The Navigators’ Center Crew
Nav Center March 2013 Executive Summary_Page_1 Nav Center March 2013 Executive Summary_Page_2 Nav Center March 2013 Executive Summary_Page_3

The Fruit Hunter- Hawaii film festival April 10 6pm

HTFG Fruit hunter3

Click to enlarge

A great documentary on collecting fruit from around the world to grow in communities here. The Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers are helping to promote. Details are on the flyer.


Update 4/8/13:  The Legislature is considering some relief for employers who are negatively impacted by the proposed minimum wage increase.  HB1298 provides a taxpayer who hires an individual with a disability with a nonrefundable income tax credit at 50% of qualified wages for the 6-month period for which the individual is initially hired by the taxpayer. Effective 07/01/2030. (SD2).  Here is a link to HB1298:
The following is an email exchange between Maile and a business owner (who wishes to remain anonymous) regarding the state Department of Labor’s proposal to raise the minimum wage. Here is a link to SB331:
From: Maile Shimabukuro <maileshimabukuro@yahoo.com>
Date: March 12, 2013, 8:52:06 AM HST
Subject: Re: SB 331
Mahalo for your email and for expressing your legitimate concerns about SB 331, which increases the minimum wage.
First of all, I cannot thank you enough for the excellent service and products you have offered to Waianae Coast residents for all these years. I also appreciate the donations you have made to various community groups, and how you allow non profits to use your entrance to fundraise. I agree that your store is an irreplaceable asset to our community, and we would all be hurt if you had to layoff workers or close.
I realize that federal and state initiatives to raise the minimum wage may be difficult for employers. However there is some relief. In case you were not aware, the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) allows employers exemptions to the minimum wage. I have included the text of HRS 387-9 below, and you may contact DLIR for more information at 586-8845.
§387-9 Special minimum wages for learners; apprentices; full-time students; paroled wards of Hawaii youth correctional facility; handicapped workers. (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 387-2, the director may by rule provide for the employment:

(1) Of learners, of apprentices, of part-time employees who are full-time students attending public or private schools other than colleges, universities, business schools, or technical schools, and of wards paroled from the Hawaii youth correctional facility, under special certificates issued by the director, at such wages lower than the applicable minimum wage and subject to such limitations as to time, number, proportion, and length of service as the director shall prescribe; and

(2) Of individuals whose earning capacity is impaired by old age or physical or mental deficiency or injury, under special certificates issued by the director, at such wages lower than the applicable minimum wage and for such period as shall be fixed in the certificates.

(b) The director may by rule prescribe standards and requirements to ensure that this section will not create a substantial probability of reducing the full-time employment opportunities of persons other than those to whom the special minimum wage rate authorized by this section is applicable. [L Sp 1941, c 66, §6; RL 1945, §4359; RL 1955, §94-9; am L 1962, c 16, pt of §2; am L 1963, c 49, §3; HRS §387-9; am L 1974, c 14, §2; am L 2005, c 191, §2]

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have further concerns.

Senator Maile Shimabukuro
Dist. 21, Wai’anae Coast/Kalaeloa
415 S. Beretania St., Rm. 222
Honolulu, HI 96813
808-586-7797 facsimile
Twitter: @SenMaile
Like or Friend Me on Facebook

Sent from my iPhone

—–Original Message—–
Sent: Friday, March 08, 2013 2:02 PM
To: Sen. Maile Shimabukuro
Subject: SB 331Dear Senator Maile Shimabukuro,

…As a business owner, I was extremely disappointed to hear that you voted “Yes” on SB 331 earlier this week. While I understand how the intention of the bill is nothing but good, I believe it fails to consider all aspects of the business and economic effects that would follow such a large increase in the minimum wage. The repercussions that I will be faced with as a business owner include laying off workers, increasing my prices, and higher expenses.

First of all, I would like to share with you a little background on my company. ….has been serving the Waianae district since the 1920s. Currently, my business is the second largest company in the area; the first company being the Waianae Coast Comprehensive.
For the past decade, I have been fighting to keep my business open as larger, national companies slowly make their way toward the Leeward coast of Oahu. Businesses like Costco, Walmart, and Target have noticed the growth of the Kapolei area, and have since integrated themselves into the community.

Tell me, Senator, do you think that Costco, Walmart, and Target keep their money here in Hawaii?…We support local businesses. We do not want to be dependent on mainland suppliers and distributors. Just as we want local energy solutions to flourish, we should want local businesses to flourish as well. Also, unlike these companies, I have only one store location. I do not have other stores in other states that make enough profit to cover the wage increase in Hawaii. The increase you voted “Yes” for will not effect these national businesses the same way that it will affect a local store like mine. Do you want me, and other stores like mine, to go out of business? Do you want all the people I have currently have on staff to lose their jobs completely? This is what will happen if I go out of business because of this wage increase.

As I mentioned earlier, I know that if Hawaii’s minimum wage increases, I will not have the profits to support the currently employed staff. At first, I will need to lay off workers and all of those lay offs will be people who are currently making minimum wage. This bill that you voted “Yes” on will probably help a few people making minimum wage now, but have you considered the people that will lose their jobs because of it?
They will be worse off. They will have no income. They will be forced to collect unemployment, and that money will have to come from the taxes that Hawaii residents pay. Will we see a bill trying to raise the amount of taxes we pay next? And that’s just if I lay off a few workers. What will happen if I have to close my doors?Next, I would like to discuss the ways in which I will try to keep my business open. The most obvious way comes to mind first, which is to increase my prices. In case you didn’t know,…is a grocery store. We sell food products, with the occasional household item and beauty item. The products I sell are a necessity to live.
Each and every grocery item that comes in, should the minimum wage increase, will cost the residents of the Waianae area more money; money that you imply they don’t have by voting “Yes” on SB 331. The minimum wage increase may or may not cause an increase in pay for those who earn above minimum wage. Should it not, how will these people be better off when the products they need to buy to survive will cost more. As you can see, Senator, raising my price to stay open will affect every resident that chooses to shop at my store. I am proud to say that we have not padded our prices to increase our profit. We pride ourselves in having the best products for the best price in the area, and even island wide. After we raise our price, what is to stop the shoppers from choosing to drive further to save a few dollars? I foresee even more residents will be going to shop at the national stores like Costco and Walmart; stores that will not need to increase their prices in order to stay open. Do you support these mainland companies more than the local companies in your district, Senator?

Lastly, I want to share with you the hidden costs that all businesses must incur: expenses such as health insurance costs, worker’s compensation, payroll, TDI, hired services, and more, if that isn’t enough for you. For example, we hire…as the security company for our store. They currently charge us around $10 an hour for each guard they have on duty. If…now must pay their workers more an hour, it follows that they will now charge us more for their services. This kind of expense comes out of my profit. If I can not make money, how can I pay for the products I sell? If I have nothing to sell on my shelves, how can I stay open? Moreover, are you familiar, Senator, with the costs of health insurance these days? If an employee is full time, then I am currently paying for HMSA for that employee’s health benefits. However, because I can not currently afford to give more toward the cost of insurance, if that employee wishes to cover their spouse under the plan I offer, it costs them an additional $600 a month! That is an additional cost of $7200 a year! It is also an additional cost to cover their children. I do not want to know how much more profit I will lose to the other expenses I must pay, but it saddens me to think of the increase in cost for health benefits that my employees will need to pay in order to cover their family members. Will they even have enough money leftover to pay their mortage, rent, utilities, food, car, gas, and all their other bills? Shouldn’t we be fighting to protect the people of Hawaii from an even higher cost of living? Wasn’t this the initial intent of SB 331?

Do you see now, Senator, how your vote of “Yes” on SB 331 will REALLY affect the state you live in? Do you see how it will affect the district you represent? Do you see why it is my opinion that you have failed our community? Not only will this wage increase cause the national stores to flourish with new business from my customers, it will hurt the people that I must lay off in order to stay open, it will cause me to increase my profits and hurt all the people that shop at my store, and finally, it will cause an increase in the expenses that I must pay, which circles around again to lay offs and price increases. It is a vicious cycle that you could have helped us avoid. Again, I do believe that you intended to help people who make minimum wage, but Senator, you must think of all aspects of business and economics that will be affected. Please, think of another way to help the people of Hawaii with the high cost of living. Do you not see that the current approach is short sighted? You see the straight, inclined road ahead. But past the horizon lays a sharp turn down hill. Stop this car before we all perish.

A concerned resident and business owner,