December 11, 2010

Symphony calls it quits after 110 years

By Michael Tsai

After 110 years of operation, the bankrupt Honolulu Symphony will permanently exit the Honolulu stage with its leadership deciding to liquidate the organization.

The decision comes roughly a year after the Honolulu Symphony Society filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in hopes of salvaging what had become a teetering organization mired in revolving debt.

According to a release issued late last evening, the society’s board of directors unanimously voted to convert to Chapter 7 bankruptcy….

CONTINUED AT: https://sites.google.com/site/thecatbirdsnest5/home/honolulu-symphony-calls-it-quits-after-110-years

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment



December 10, 2010

SEC Charges RAE Systems for Illegal Payments Made Through Joint Ventures to Win Chinese Government Contracts

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged San Jose-based RAE Systems Inc. with violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) for making improper payments through two of its Chinese joint venture entities to Chinese officials in order to obtain significant government contracts for their gas and chemical detection products….


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


December 6, 2010

Ariyoshi appeals lawsuit dismissal

The former governor and others also fight to avoid attorney fees

By Ken Kobayashi

Two years ago, former Gov. George Ariyoshi and others filed a lawsuit seeking as much as $725 million for what they said was an invalid 2002 merger involving the high-technology company Pihana Pacific.

But now Ariyoshi and his fellow plaintiffs, including the University of Hawaii, must pay $3.4 million in fees and costs to the attorneys who represented the companies named in the suit.

Ariyoshi and high-technology entrepreneur Lambert Onuma, both of whom helped raise more than $200 million in investments in Pihana prior to the merger, alleged that they and other shareholders of common stock were “frozen out”; when it merged with Equinix, a California-based company.

The suit said they did not receive any money for their stock.

But Circuit Judge Rom Trader granted a request by the civil defendants in May to dismiss the lawsuit and later awarded their attorneys the fees and costs, a staggering amount, legal observers say, for a matter that did not go to trial.

The litigation has raised eyebrows in the legal community with the dismissal of such a complex case and the amount of the fees and costs incurred before either side could mount the even more costly process of deposing witnesses and preparing for other pretrial matters.

It also underscores the price tag and the risks of high-stakes litigation over contract disputes that can allow the winning side to recover attorney fees.

Ariyoshi and the others are appealing the dismissal ruling and the fees and costs award to the Hawaii Supreme Court.

He and Onuma, who held the bulk of the common stock, said in court papers that if they lose the appeal, they will cover the $3.4 million judgment, which would mean UH and other plaintiffs would not have to pay.

Ariyoshi, 84, Hawaii’s governor from 1974 to 1986, and Onuma, who founded Pihana in 1999, both declined to comment because the matter is still pending in court, according to their attorney, John Edmunds….

CONTINUED AT: https://sites.google.com/site/thecatbirdsnest5/home/the-pihana-piranha

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hello world!



* * *

December 5, 2010

China’s skyscraper boom buoys global industry

Chinese workers labor on a scaffolding near Beijing's tallest building, the 75-story China World Tower III in Beijing, China, on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010. AP – Chinese workers labor on a scaffolding near Beijing’s tallest building, the 75-story China World Tower …
By JOE McDONALD, AP Business Writer   


BEIJING – The 121-story Shanghai Tower is more than China’s next record-setting building: It’s an economic lifeline for the elite club of skyscraper builders.

Financial gloom has derailed plans for new towers in Chicago, Moscow, Dubai and other cities. But in China, work on the 2,074-foot (632-meter) Shanghai Tower, due to be completed in 2014, and dozens of other tall buildings is rushing ahead, powered by a buoyant economy and providing a steady stream of work to architects and engineers.

The U.S. high-rise market is “pretty much dead,” said Dan Winey, a managing director for Gensler, the Shanghai Tower’s San Francisco-based architects. “For us, China in the next 10 to 15 years is going to be a huge market.”

China has six of the world’s 15 tallest buildings — compared with three in the United States, the skyscraper’s birthplace — and is constructing more at a furious pace, defying worries about a possible real estate boom and bust. It is on track to pass the U.S. as the country with the most buildings among the 100 tallest by a wide margin.

“There are cities in China that most Western people have never heard of that have bigger populations and more tall buildings than half the prominent cities in the U.S.,” said Antony Wood, executive director of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.

China is leading a wave of skyscraper building in developing countries that is shifting the field’s center of gravity away from the United States and Europe.

India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia have ultra-tall towers under construction or on the drawing board. In the Gulf, Doha in Qatar and Dubai — site of the current record holder, the 163-story Burj Khalifa — each has three buildings among the 20 tallest under construction, though work on all but one of those has been suspended.

The shift is so drastic that North America’s share of the 100 tallest buildings will fall from 80 percent in 1990 to just 18 percent by 2012, according to Wood. He said by then, 45 of the tallest will be in Asia, with 34 of those in China alone.

“So 34 percent of the 100 tallest buildings will be in a single country. That has only happened once before, and that was with the USA,” he said.

In China, skyscrapers are going up in obscure locales such as Wenzhou, Wuhan and Jiangyin, a boomtown north of Shanghai. It is building a 72-story, 1,076-foot (328-meter) hotel-and-apartment tower that will be taller than Manhattan’s Chrysler Building.

China’s edifice complex is driven by a mix of demand for space in a crowded country with economic growth forecast at 10 percent this year and local leaders who want architectural eye candy to promote their cities as commercial centers.

Dozens of midsize Chinese cities are building new business districts to replace cramped downtowns. They look to the model of Shanghai’s skyscraper-packed Pudong districtChina’s Wall Street — created in the 1990s on reclaimed industrial land….

CONTINUED AT: https://sites.google.com/site/sellingoutsellingofftheusa/

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment