Archive for May, 2012

Dyslexia Link to Enterpreneurs

May 25th, 2012

Last week I interviewed Paul Brown, the man behind the salons, hair products and a cosmetology school that bears his name, and learned something interesting: he's dyslexic, and that was perhaps one reason he found his calling in the hair biz. As a 12-year-old boy, he started cutting his own hair and discovered that looking in the mirror made things easier. Then he began cutting his family's hair and started charging others 50 cents per haircut. Paul has come a long way since then. In addition to his six Hawaii salons, his hair care products are being sold all over the world. Just this month, over 500 T&G salons in Indonesia began selling his line.

I recalled reading about a study back in 2007 that showed 35 percent of American entrepreneurs surveyed, identified themselves as dyslexic -- compared to 1 percent of corporate managers who have dyslexia, according to an NY Times article. About 10 percent of the general population has dyslexia, which ties into my 10 Percent Theory column I wrote awhile back for the old Star-Bulletin (click here for that piece).

Paul said he was quite aware of that study, and believes there is something to the idea that people with dyslexia compensate by becoming their own boss. Dyslexia is defined as having problems with the "visual notation of speech" -- such as transposing letters or numbers, and having trouble reading or writing certain words. To get around that, they tend to delegate more tasks to others, which frees them up to deal with bigger problems and ideas. Here's a Businessweek piece about a HBO documentary on the subject that aired last year.

An Inc. magazine article noted that Richard Branson, Charles Schwab, Ted Turner, and Cisco CEO John Chambers have the disorder. Henry Ford also had dyslexia. Click here for that link. Our segment on Paul and the Paul Brown Institute at Remington College won't begin airing until June 7, but you can still catch our current episode this weekend and throughout next week on OC16.

For daily viewing times and other useful career-related links, visit www.CareerChangers.TV -- and check out videos from past and present episodes on the CCTV YouTube Channel. Have a nice Memorial Day weekend, and please take a moment to reflect on the meaning of the holiday. Mahalo.

Last Regrets and Weekend Rec

May 17th, 2012

A chance encounter at Whole Foods in Kailua this week got me to thinking about the fleeting nature of life and the regrets of the dying. Before I get to my weekend recommendation to go see the Hawaii Quilt Guild show at Linekona Art Academy (across from the Honolulu Academy of Arts, which is now the Honolulu Museum of Arts) let me explain my train of thought...

I had just finished shooting a segment about the Paul Brown salon in Kailua, which ties into a story on the Paul Brown Institute at Remington College. My camerman, Stanford Chang, and I were getting sandwiches at the new Whole Foods superstore when I recognized the woman behind the counter. She used to be a waitress at the old Brent's Deli, which was beloved for their great sandwiches and deli food. She told me Brent recently died. I didn't know him personally, but I sure missed his Reuben sandwiches when he decided to close the restaurant. Truth be told, the Whole Food sandwiches were all right... just nothing special. They lacked the something extra that came with Brent's food, including the old-fashioned diner waitress attitude.

From there, Stan and I went to shoot the WorkForce job fair at the Blaisdell. There were more than 175 employers and other career-related exhibitors, with a steady stream of job seekers. But it wasn't the mob scene it had been two or three years ago when there was an air of desperation after this country teetered on the brink of Depression. If anything, there was a calmness and sense that people had more control over their destiny now.

Then I went home and it seemed every news channel was running a story about that corpse flower at the Foster Botanical Garden, which took 10 years to bloom here in Hawaii. People were lining up to get a whiff of death! Which got me to reflecting on last weekend, when my wife and I went to the "Echoes of Rainbows" flower show at the Academy of Arts -- yeah, I know it merged with the Contemporary Museum and changed its name, but it will always be the Academy of Arts to me. There were beautiful flower arrangements and lovely photos that had a rainbow theme (the UH Rainbow logo was missing in action, however) and we really enjoyed the temporary exhibit, which is only done every three years by the Garden Club of Honolulu.

There were a lot of senior citizens and elderly folks in wheelchairs. Many were apparently gardeners or flower growers themselves. You could see the appreciation in their eyes for these ethereal blooms that would eventually wither and drop to the ground. Yet they seemed happy and at peace... in my mind, I couldn't help but think about all the younger and middle-aged people I see every day rushing around, working hard, and wondered how happy they truly were with their lives. Did they take time to stop and smell the corpse flower, or gaze at rainbows when they weren't on their smart phones?

Anyhow, as we left the museum, Isabel noticed there were people entering the Art Academy building across the street. So we decided to investigate and discovered there was a free quilt show going on inside. As soon as I walked in, I was awestruck by the colors, patterns and variety of designs -- some were historical, others were whimsical like a quilt made of scarves a retired woman used to wear to work every day. In one room, I experienced a hundred stories told in visually arresting ways. Please go see it while you can, since it only runs until this Sunday, March 20. Here's a link to the Hawaii Quilt Guild site.

I don't know much about quilting. Yet I have another personal connection to it. When I got sober back in 1988, my AA sponsor -- Kevin Cronin -- and his wife had their own Hawaiian Quilting kits mail-order business, which they ran out of a small apartment on Richards Street. Eventually, Kevin moved to the Mainland and built up a successful Arizona real estate business. But in the process, he relapsed and became addicted to prescription drugs. He died from an overdose awhile back. I still think of him in that little apartment putting together his quilting kits.

The last piece of this blog entry was supplied by a Facebook post about a nurse who listed the top five regrets of the dying. I don't think you'll be too surprised by her findings, but it's a reminder that we can choose our own paths to happiness and satisfaction. Here's that link.

When I look around my home office, I notice my life is organized in little project stacks -- screenplays, books, stuff for my OC16 TV show, material for my blogs...sort of like a patchwork quilt. It is incomplete and flawed, but I am happy with my work. It is life as art.


High school sports are winding down, which means my Career Changers TV show is returning to its regular time slots. For daily viewing times, please visit www.CareerChangers.TV or check out videos from past and current episodes on the CCTV YouTube Channel.

Weds. Job Fair Alert!

May 14th, 2012

More signs the economy is on an upswing: there will be over 170 employers at the WorkForce job fair on Weds., May 16, 9 am to 3 pm at the Neal Blaisdell Center -- and they're not just looking for entry level people, according to Beth Busch, the event organizer and president of Success Advertising Hawaii. She says the number of exhibitors has increased 10 percent over last year, and many are now in the market for management personnel. To pre-register, click here.

National statistics show that 2.1 million people QUIT jobs in March -- which is a positive sign, because most were able to find better career opportunities or higher pay. If you're not entirely satisfied with your present job, this is a good time to check out other options. But you should have a plan and come prepared, because the people manning the job fair booths might very well have a say in hiring you or setting up an interview.

Do your homework. Don't just walk in and expect the jobs to come to you. Know who you want to work for and why. At the end of this post, I'm including the WorkForce employers roster so you can see who will be there. The featured employer is T.J. Maxx, which is hiring staff for three Oahu stores -- and from what I'm hearing, other retailers are ramping up too.

Coincidentally, my show just filmed a segment about a local clothing retailer that has expanded to Guam and Japan, and I asked their Ala Moana store manager how she landed her job. She had moved here from Florida about a year ago and had no job leads or referrals. Yet she impressed the general manager during her interview by doing something a lot of job candidates don't think about: she asked the GM about himself -- how he came to Hawaii and wound up in his position. She turned the tables on the interviewer, while demonstrating that she had a genuine interest in people... and retail is all about relating to customers in a friendly way. Too many job candidates just sit there during interviews and answer questions, without creating any rapport with the interviewer.

For more job interview tips and viewing times of Career Changers TV on OC16, visit our website. You can also watch video segments from past and current episodes on the CCTV YouTube Channel.

Here's the WorkForce employers list:

• ABC Stores • Accountemps/OfficeTeam • Aerotek • Alliance Personnel • Aloha Pacific Federal Credit Union • Aloha Petroleum • Altres Medical • Altres Office/Professional • Altres Staffing • Altres Technical • American Savings Bank • Arc in Hawaii • Argosy University • Attention Plus Care • Audio Visual Company • Avis Budget Group • Bank of Hawaii • Beard Papa • Behavioral Counseling & Research Center • Big City Diner • Bishop & Company • Bubba Gump Shrimp • C & S Wholesale Grocers • CareResource Hawaii • Catholic Charities • Central Pacific Bank • City & County of Honolulu • Clear Channel Radio • Clinical Laboratories of Hawaii • Coco Cove • Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf • Combined Insurance • Community Empowerment Services • Copier's Hawaii • Covance • Crazy Shirts • Desert Watch • Diagnostic Laboratory Services • Discover Hawaii Tours • Employer Support of the Guard & Reserves • Enterprise Holdings • Express Employment Professionals • Farmers Insurance Hawaii • Fernandez Events • Food Pantry • Foodland • Frito-Lay

• Goodwill Industries of Hawaii • Guardsmark • Hawaii Army National Guard • Hawaii Behavioral Health • Hawaii Department of Education • Hawaii Job Engine • Hawaii Medical Institute • Hawaii Pacific Health • Hawaii Pacific University • Heald College • HI Steaks • HMSHost • Island Movers • Island Temporary Nursing • Jack in the Box Hawaii • Jeans Warehouse • John Hancock Financial Network • Kaiser Permanente • Kohala Bay Collections • Kumabe HR • Lamont's • Malama Market • Mandara Spa • Manpower • Marine Corps Community Services • Mary Kay Cosmetics • Maui Divers Jewelry • McDonald's of Hawaii • MDX Hawaii • Med-Assist School of Hawaii • Midas Hawaii • Mobi PCS • Municipal Services Bureau • Mutual of Omaha • Navy NAF - HR Fleet & Family Readiness • New York Life Insurance Company • Oasis Lifestyle • Olsten Staffing Services • Organo Gold • Outrigger Enterprises Group • Paradise Beverages • Pepsi Beverages Company • Petco • Pharmacare Hawaii • Pizza Hut • Power Up! • Prudential Insurance Company of America • Remedy Intelligent Staffing

• Remington College • Sack 'N Save • Scentsy Independent Consultant • Sears • Securitas Security Services USA • Servco Pacific • Seven Eleven • Silpada Designs • SNR Systems • Staffing Solutions of Hawaii • Star of Honolulu/Royal Star Hawaii • Sullivan Family of Companies • Syntek Global Xtreme Fuel Treatment • Taco Bell • Tanioka's Seafood & Catering • TeamPraxis • Teksystems • Terminix • Travel Transportation Plaza • U.S. Army Recruiting Company • Universal Technical Institute • University of Phoenix • Valtech • Visalus • Wealth Strategy Partners • Whalers General Store

Shipmates to Workmates
• AMSEC • Commander Navy Installations Command • Commander Navy Region Hawaii • Fleet Logistics Center Pearl Harbor • HII-Ingalls • Military and Family Support Center • Military Sealift Command • Naval Air Systems Command • Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific and Hawaii • Naval Sea Systems Command • Naval Supply Systems Command • Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard • Space and Naval Warfare

Swinerton Builders
• A-1 A-Lectrician • A-1 Construction • Alaka'i Mechanical Corporation • Architectural Glass & Metal (AGA) • Carpet, Linoleum & Softile, Local 1926 • District Council 50 • Glaziers Architectural Metal & Glass Workers, Local 1889 • Honolulu Community College,Apprenticeship Program • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1186 AFL-CIO • International Union of Painters & Allied Trades, Local 1791 • Island Flooring Company • Lanakila Pacific • Plumbers & Fitters, Local 675 • Sheetmetal Workers, Local 293 • Workers United Union of Roofers and Waterproofers, Local 221

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I Fought the Law... and Won

May 10th, 2012

Back in March I blogged about getting nailed for doing just over 35 mph on a 4-lane major street in Kailua that is supposed to have a 25 mph speed limit... which bugged me because the police set up their radar gun in an area where you first go up an incline, then go downhill on a straight stretch where there are no pedestrian crossings or intersections. As I wrote in that post, I returned to the scene and took video of the street and the two cops who were playing tag team, pulling over car and after car -- while letting some speeders go scot-free if they slammed on their breaks upon seeing the radar gun.

Anyhow, I checked off the "Not Guilty" box on my ticket and wrote a detailed three page account of what happened, which I mailed in. Lo and behold, last week I got my ruling: Case dismissed in my favor. I suspect the judge has been hearing an earful about these police speed traps that are set up during the day with the sole purpose of writing hundreds of tickets, while the real problem of drunk driving and speeding on highways at night doesn't seem to get that same kind of attention. And sure enough, there was another fatal accident that occurred late at night related to speeding and drinking right after I posted my mini-rant. Coincidentally (or not) after I wrote that blog, an HPD spokesman sent a letter to the Star-Advertiser in which he stated that they actually do set up similar speed traps at night to catch drunks and speeders.

Lately, I've also been reading more letters from people who are upset about cops writing tickets for jaywalking Downtown, instead of going after drug dealers and real criminals. I understand why the police want to discourage jaywalking -- and speeding -- but if the person wasn't endangering himself of anyone else, why can't the cops give them a warning instead? It would serve the same purpose, and not take up so much of the court's time dealing with extra paperwork and nuisance fines that do little to address more serious problems and crimes.


Belated kudos to the big winners of this year's Merrie Monarch: Halau I Ka Wekiu, kumu Karl Veto Baker and Michael Casupang. If you watch Career Changers TV, their faces -- along with one of the male hula dancers -- may have looked familiar because we featured them on our show last year. Here's a link to that video, which was shot and edited by Rob "Aukai" Reynolds, who performs with that halau.

Aukai left CCTV to accept a full-time job as multimedia director for the HART project. Speaking of which, Howard Dicus wrote an intelligent, level-headed blog piece on why he supports it (click here for his post). I agree with him a hundred percent, and have been making the same argument for mass transit and long-range community planning for the past 20-some years, while watching in frustration as the cost has multiplied due to all the delays and naysayers -- who still don't get that it will cost even more in the future, because it is inevitable that we will need some sort of rail system sooner or later.

It's the same with arguments against legalizing marijuana or gay marriage. Like it or not, those things are inevitable simply because of common sense. The War on Drugs has failed and you cannot say that pot is more dangerous than alcohol or prescription drugs, which come with a page full of side effects in small print. And not allowing gays to marry is discrimination, which is not permitted under our Constitution. The states that have passed laws against gay marriage, ironically, are practically ensuring the matter will have to go to the Supreme Court... and no matter what their politics are, I believe they will have to rule that you can't discriminate on the basis of one's sexuality or gender. It's like the judge who read my three-page letter about why I did not deserve to be ticketed for speeding -- what is "legal" or illegal is not the same as what is right.


More high school sports playoffs on OC16 this week, meaning the current episode of Career Changers TV is being preempted. But you can still see the new video segments on the CCTV YouTube Channel or DVR it during the weekday (click here for our normal viewing schedule and On Demand channel info).

May 5 Hina Mauka fundraiser

May 3rd, 2012

image003Sorry for the short notice, but I've been busy wrapping the new May episode of Career Changers TV, which premieres Thurs. night at 9:30 pm on OC16 (approximate time since it's following high school softball).

In any event, here's the scoop on the Hina Mauka Luau on Sat., May 5 from 4 to 8 pm:

Onolicious kau kau at the Lu'au for friends, families and alumni.  Under the stars at Hina Mauka we'll have Hawaiian food, hula and live music by Mount Keala. Tickets are $25, and can be bought at Hina Mauka from Evon 384-3873, Helen L. 447-5270, Helen S.U. 447-5258, or with a mail-in form (click here). Proceeds will benefit Hina Mauka's Kokua Fund, which helps needy clients with treatment related costs.

As many of you know, I'm a grateful recovering alcoholic. Although I did my rehab at Castle Medical Center (which no longer has a recovery unit) I am proud to be considered a Hina Mauka alumni and have done PR work for them in the past. It's safe to say that had it not been for rehab, I probably would not be as happy or successful as I am today. In fact, I'd probably be in prison or dead.

Unfortunately, when the economy cratered after eight years of reckless cut-taxes-and-spend policies, social services -- including addiction treatment centers -- took a huge hit. Government support and grants were slashed across the board at a time when more people were turning to drugs and alcohol to cope with depression and job losses. Yet people in the recovery business didn't do a lot of public complaining. They just continued doing the best they could with less resources and money. And what they do is save lives... like mine.

If you can't make it to the Hina Mauka Luau this weekend, please consider visiting their website and making a donation. I can vouch for the effectiveness of their program, and tell you firsthand that most alcoholics and addicts aren't bad people at heart... they made bad choices, and many can lead productive lives if given a second chance. I'm living proof of that.

Here's the link to their site. Please give what you can -- or better yet, go to their luau!


For details on our new May show, please visit www.CareerChangers.TV or check out video segments from that episode on the CCTV YouTube Channel. Mahalo!

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