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.
» Bowling alleys: Bowling alleys were introduced to Hawaii soon after the beginning of the whaling era. During the 1820s, the foreign population rolled 10-pins at Anthony Allen's tavern. In 1837, the Hotel Waititi advertised "a Bowling Alley and such other facilities for amusement and recreation" and later boasted of its "spacious adobie built rolling alley."
For a brief period in 1843, Herman Melville (who later wrote "Moby Dick") worked as a pinsetter in a Honolulu "ball alley."
Viewed as something of a public nuisance, bowling alleys eventually fell from favor. A renewal of interest occurred around 1917, but it was not until 1937 that the first modern bowling establishment opened - the 10-lane Pla-Mor at Hotel and Richards streets.
Source: "Firsts and Almost Firsts in Hawai'i" by Robert C. Schmitt;
edited by Ron Ronck
Worker gratuities a tricky subject
Keep your hands out of the cookie jar, boss.
That's the message disgruntled Starbucks Corp. employees sent when they filed suit in California, claiming shift supervisors had been partaking in a shared tip pool meant only for non-managerial employees. The coffee company was ordered to pay $100 million to make up for lost tips to angry baristas.
Now a barista lawsuit has popped up in New York as well.
To help navigate gratuities, employment lawyer Michael Cohen offers advice on who is entitled to what:
» Don't let employees who are generally not tipped, such as dishwashers or managers, share in a tipping pool where customarily-tipped employees such as wait staff deposit their tips to be evenly distributed later. And supervisors who do insist on helping themselves to pooled tips should be punished for theft, Cohen said.
» But as a consumer, you can still tip who you want. If, for example, you'd like to tip the bellhop at your hotel, the maid service, and the supervisor at the front desk, you can.
» Don't frequently assign staff whose salary is under minimum wage and who are dependent on tips to tasks that wouldn't generate gratuities. A busboy should not, for example, spend hours cleaning the bathroom.
» Initiating new fees can be problematic. AMR Corp.'s American Airlines instituted a $2 fee for curbside check-in, and the airline's skycaps at Boston's Logan International Airport sued, saying customers paying the fee were tipping them less. After losing the case, American agreed to up the wages of the skycaps and outlawed tipping skycaps at Logan. Skycaps are still unhappy, and the airline's contractor pays more.
How did you spend your rebate?
The federal government and Wall Street are hoping we spent our stimulus checks at the mall or on a car. Rebate checks, $600 for an individual and $1,200 for couples, depending on income, started landing in mail boxes last month.
And one Web site, howispentmystimulus.com, aims to show and tell what Americans are doing with that money - it posts pictures and a brief description of how consumers are using their checks.
Laura, a marketing associate from Plano, Texas, for example, put her check towards a down payment on a "new sexy car," while Giacomo Abrusci, of Washington, D.C., spent his on "freedom from arbitrary corporate control" - he paid down his credit card debt.
There have been about 250 posts so far, said site founder Rudy Adler, a freelance advertising copywriter.
The posts are subdivided, and the most popular spending categories so far are vacation and travel, home and garden, and credit card debt.
Adler said he plans on keeping the site up even after the last checks are sent out in July, making it a time capsule.
"The stimulus, it is supposed to give this magnificent boost to the economy but nobody really knows how it is going to be spent," he said. "I thought there should be some way to capture all these different stories. Look at the collective picture and see where the money went."
Office temperature is top gripe
Nap areas. Energy-efficient elevators. Color. Free food.
A survey of office workers' attitudes toward their work spaces found that a third had taken or left a job because of the amenities or unsavory conditions of a building. And another one in three worried about sickness or injury due to the unsanitary or unsafe state of the building.
The top complaint: The office is too hot, or too cold. The top requests: Covered parking and subsidized cafeteria food.
The survey, which drew more than 5,000 comments and suggestions, painted a diverse picture of workers' wants.
» It would be nice to have better artwork.
» Security measures such as metal detectors and security guards. Bullet-proof glass would be an asset.
» Area to lay down for a quick nap during lunch.
» A good rug cleaning.
» Free popcorn, coffee and fruit once a week.
» Fix the roof so it doesn't leak.
The online survey was commissioned by real estate company Blumberg Capital Partners. It polled 500 American adults who work in office buildings.
Bidding on meal with Buffett set
OMAHA, Neb. » Bidders on eBay
will have the chance to win lunch with billionaire Warren Buffett next month. Last year, two investors paid $650,100 for the chance to have lunch with the chairman and chief executive of of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
The auction benefits the Glide Foundation, which provides social services to the poor and homeless in San Francisco. This will be the sixth year Buffett auctions a lunch on eBay and donates the proceeds to the foundation.
This year's auction will begin at 4 p.m. Hawaii time on June 22 and end at 4 p.m. HST on June 27.
The winner and up to seven friends will dine with Buffett at the Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in New York City.