FAST FACTS HAWAII
FIRSTS AND ALMOST FIRSTS IN HAWAII ...
Here is the story behind one of Hawaii's "firsts," as noted by former state statistician Robert C. Schmitt.
» Burlesque: The islands' pioneer burlesque house, the Beretania Theatre, was located at 1229 Kamanuwai Lane in a congested urban slum a block mauka of Chinatown. Built around 1936 or 1937 as a neighborhood movie theater, the Beretania was bought in 1944 by William C. Ferreira and used thereafter mostly for adults-only films. Three years later, Ferreira renamed his theater the Beretania Follies, erected a saucy neon sign above its entrance, and initiated regular stage shows, beginning in July 1947 with "Cover Girl Scandals."
Source: "Firsts and Almost Firsts in Hawai'i" by Robert C. Schmitt;
edited by Ron Ronck
Consumers have a taste for Apple
AUSTIN, Texas » Apple Inc.
dominated the home computer support ratings recently released by Consumer Reports, and, in what's becoming a typical pattern, it wasn't even close.
The magazine said consumer PCs again ranked among the most trouble-prone of the products it surveys each year, and the computer makers' tech support operations weren't strong enough to alleviate a lot of those problems either.
Apple was the only company to score higher than 80 out of 100 in both desktop and notebook support. In fact, no other home-computer maker scored higher than 66 on either type of PC. Lenovo Group Ltd. received a 66 for its laptop support, the highest non-Apple score.
Dell Inc. finished third in notebooks with 60 points, and second in desktops with 56 points.
The magazine collected readers' feedback on their experiences with 10,000 desktop and notebooks PCs. It found that overall tech support from all the companies "solved problems for only about 60 percent of the respondents who used it." Apple solved problems about 80 percent of the time, the report said.
Pharmaceutical prices vary widely
A recent study shows there are huge disparities in prices for pharmaceutical drugs, with the difference sometimes costing more than $100 for the same prescription. While prices vary from store to store, a prescription can sometimes cost much less at a pharmacy of the same chain that's just down the street.
Consumer Reports magazine made more than 500 calls to 163 pharmacies nationwide to gauge prices of four different prescription drugs. One of the drugs, generic alendronate for osteoporosis, had a price range of $124 to $306.
Besides placing calls and comparison shopping, other cost-saving tips include:
» Check independents. While mom-and-pop stores are not the cheapest overall, many are highly competitive.
» Talk with your employer and pharmacy benefit managers, who are in charge of processing prescription drug claims. They may be able to negotiate rebates and discounts on behalf of their clients.
» Buy generic drugs, which can cost 20 percent to 50 percent less than their brand name equivalents.
» Check for discount programs specific to age or insurance.
Most CFOs eschew CEO role
The majority of chief financial officers believe that the roles of chief executive officer and chairman should be held by different people, according to a recent survey.
Of those polled by the accounting firm Grant Thornton LLP, about 82 percent said the two positions should be independent of each other, while a third said their company was not fully compliant with federal corporate accounting laws under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
More than 90 percent said shareholders should have greater access to compensation information in proxy statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, in order to nominate directors more easily.
"We're seeing that chief executive officers do want shareholders to step in and be as knowledgeable as possible when it comes to playing a role in this process," said Ed Nusbaum, CEO of Grant Thornton. "There seems to be an overwhelming response in regards to their corporate governance. They are saying what they feel is in the best interest of the company and the investors, and that is that the CEO may have too much control - something they might not normally come forward and say without a veil of anonymity."
Cell phones tempt bad manners
Sure, there once was a time when the corporate BlackBerry - usually reserved for high-ranking employees - gave you anxiety every time the e-mail notification buzzed. But not anymore, according to an online survey of 1,465 professionals; nearly 80 percent said they were not stressed by their work phones or handheld devices.
But along with that nonchalant attitude comes a case of mobile faux pas - 18 percent also admitted to being reprimanded for having bad manners.
Tom Musbach, managing editor of Yahoo! HotJobs, said the more relaxed attitudes about handheld devices has made improper wireless etiquette as commonplace as bad table manners.
"These devices have become like leeches," Musbach said. "People get into the habit of answering e-mails or calls instantaneously, but it may be a good idea to curb that and only answer when absolutely necessary. We're seeing more and more major lapses in decorum. The worst habits are talking loudly on a bus or train, or connecting with someone while in the bathroom."
Those talking on-the-go often try to skip small talk, without letting the person on the other end of the line know it's because they aren't in an office setting. Usually, they are misinterpreted as just plain rude, Musbach said.
"You don't think about it because you're mobile, but you have to let your colleague or client know where you are and what you're doing so that they understand why you can't chat about the weekend or how the kids are," he said.