Southwest will fly to Hawaii

Staff & Wire Reports

FILE - In this Sept. 4, 2013 file photo, a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 takes off, rear, as another taxis in the north runway complex at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The airline says it has gained government approval to begin flights between California and Hawaii, capping a long effort that was delayed by the government shutdown. The airline's chief operating officer, Mike Van de Ven, told employees Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, that the Federal Aviation Administration granted the authorization. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

FILE - In this Sept. 4, 2013 file photo, a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 takes off, rear, as another taxis in the north runway complex at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The airline says it has gained government approval to begin flights between California and Hawaii, capping a long effort that was delayed by the government shutdown. The airline's chief operating officer, Mike Van de Ven, told employees Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, that the Federal Aviation Administration granted the authorization. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

Southwest gets FAA OK for flights to Hawaii from California

Wednesday, February 27

DALLAS (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday it has granted Southwest Airlines approval to begin flights between California and Hawaii, capping the airline’s effort to extend its reach 2,400 miles (3,800 kilometers) across the Pacific.

The Dallas-based airline’s chief operating officer, Mike Van de Ven, said Southwest will announce timing for selling tickets and beginning flights in the coming days.

The FAA will increase oversight of Southwest for the first six months, an agency spokesman said, adding that the additional monitoring is standard practice.

Southwest plans to launch flights to four of the Hawaiian islands, including Oahu, where Honolulu is located. It will fly from four cities in California: San Jose, Oakland, Sacramento and San Diego.

CEO Gary Kelly has left open the option of adding flights between islands, which would encroach on markets dominated by Hawaiian Airlines.

Southwest needed FAA certification of its ability to operate long, over-water flights with twin-engine jets where the options for emergency landings are few. In recent weeks Southwest has operated several test flights with FAA personnel on board to monitor such things as navigation and communications.

Southwest hoped to begin selling Hawaii tickets last year, but that had slipped even before the 35-day partial government shutdown, which began in late December and resulted in the furlough of thousands of FAA employees.

More than a name: Indians’ Bieber a rising pitching star


Associated Press

Wednesday, February 27

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Shane Bieber’s last name draws an immediate connection to a more famous global pop superstar, and playful teasing from his teammates.

As a rookie last season, Bieber often endured taunts about singer Justin Bieber — the other “Biebs.”

“They’d just get angry at me after I’m talking smack or whatever and say ‘All right, Justin,’” Bieber said with a laugh following a recent morning workout at training camp. “That’s kind of they’re go-to.”

Well, while the confident right-hander won’t match Justin Bieber’s commercial success or his number of Twitter followers or ever be the subject of endless Hollywood tabloid headlines, Cleveland’s Bieber is making a pretty good name for himself.

These days, the joking from his teammates has subsided.

A fourth-round pick in 2016, Bieber shot through the Indians’ farm system and became one of the team’s steadiest starters in just his third pro season. After beginning 2018 at Double-A Akron, he was promoted to Triple-A Columbus and wound up making 19 starts for the Indians, going 11-5 with a 4.55 ERA.

“He’s had a lot thrown at him in a hurry,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “You want guys to make adjustments and he did a lot of that on the fly last year, it was fun to watch.”

From the moment he arrived in the majors, Bieber looked like he belonged. In 20 games, he struck out 118 while allowing just 23 walks in 114 2/3 innings. Bieber’s 5.1 strikeout-to-walk ratio ranked among the top 10 in the league, behind All-Stars Justin Verlander, Chris Sale and teammate Corey Kluber.

Beyond his impressive statistics, the 23-year-old Bieber displayed a veteran’s composure, something he attributes to his development at the University of California-Santa Barbara.

“We were big on the mental side of the game,” said Bieber, who helped the Gauchos reach the 2016 College World Series. “And just being able to stay poised and confident, especially when things go wrong.”

One place he saw things go wrong during last season was through the later innings of games, particularly facing batters for the third and fourth times through the order. Francona believes adjustments made to Bieber’s changeup — a pitch he used less than four percent of the time last season according to Statcast — will help.

“Not just for the third time through the order but when he falls behind a lefty, he got a little predictable,” Francona said. “He’s trying to find a grip (on the changeup) where he can soften it up a little bit.”

Bieber got off to a strong start in his spring exhibition debut Wednesday, retiring all six Milwaukee hitters he faced in Cleveland’s 6-1 win.

Over the past few weeks, Bieber has become more familiar with the Indians Player Development Complex. This is his first time spending all spring in a big league camp, an experience he was fully prepared for last year but never got the invite.

“Guys are kind of looking at me like it’s not my first,” said Bieber, who did enough last season to be added to the postseason roster. “They’re like, ‘Oh shoot, it’s actually your first? Maybe I shouldn’t be asking you where to go,’ because I’m just trying to follow the crowd and not be too much of a greenie.”

He may still be learning the lay of the land in Arizona, but Bieber is very comfortable when it comes to helping the three-time reigning AL Central champions win. With an adjusted change now in his arsenal plus improved breaking balls, Bieber will be counted on as a vital fifth starter in one of baseball’s best rotations.

“He deserves to be where he is. He earned it,” Francona said. “We tell the young guys, you know, we don’t want you just to get called up, we want you to get called up and help us win. There’s a difference.”

And even a well-known last name won’t help.

More AP MLB: and

Experience the magic of Hotel LeVeque during a new pop-up experience

Ohio’s top magician brings new show Rare Magic to the iconic hotel

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Drew Murray is returning to Hotel LeVeque for two more evenings of mind-bending deception. His show Rare Magic will be at LeVeque for four viewings, March 14 and 16 at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. in the intimate Coleman Room. Throughout the immersive 75-minute performance, guests will experience some of the most gripping magic and illusion just inches away. Murray is a top choice by corporations across the country looking to make an impact at their events. After years of demand, he is excited to bring his live show to the public again in an iconic Columbus venue.

Tickets for the enchanting event start at just $49.99, and purchase is recommended for those 18 and up. Murray has a large and loyal following. With only 40 tickets available for each show, it is likely this exciting pop-up will sell out fast. Those interested are encouraged to sign up for early access at [] to get tickets one hour before they are available to the public and not pass up this limited event. Guests will not want to miss Murray’s signature mystifying illusions as he wows his audience with his celebrated personal flair.

Visitors can get the full experience that’s exactly like nothing else when they book a room to sleep under the stars at Hotel LeVeque. The boutique hotel is sure to captivate each guest with stunning details ranging from custom, locally curated bath amenities to an inspiring signature starry turndown service. Guests can add on a magical dinner at The Keep onsite with its indulgent Modern French Brasserie inspired cuisine. The curated signature cocktails, too, are spellbinding. Rooms during Rare Magic start at just $199. Additional booking information can be found at

With stunning views of Columbus’ vibrant riverfront and the new National Veterans Memorial and Museum, Hotel LeVeque opened to stellar reviews in 2017 with 149 guest rooms and suites. Tucked in the historic LeVeque Tower at 50 E. Broad St. in the heart of downtown in Ohio’s capital city, this Autograph Collection property is part of Marriott International’s boutique collection of hotels, each of which is carefully selected for its quality, bold originality, rich character and uncommon details that embody a truly unique sense of place. Details and reservations can be found at

Originally built in 1927 as the American Insurance Union Citadel, the LeVeque Tower was architect Charles Howard Crane’s masterpiece. At the time, the LeVeque Tower was the tallest skyscraper between New York City and Chicago, and the fifth tallest building in the world. It was home to the graceful Deshler Wallick Hotel. It later became known as the Lincoln LeVeque Tower, then simply the LeVeque Tower, after its purchase in 1945. The LeVeque Tower’s remarkable art deco architecture remains the city’s most recognizable feature and is among Columbus’ most photographed and revered architectural treasures. Illuminating the night skyline as a soaring tower bathed in light, its architectural beauty has been carefully preserved and highlighted in elegant design by Columbus-based Schooley Caldwell architects.

About First Hospitality Group, Inc.

First Hospitality Group, Inc. (FHG) is a leading hotel management, acquisition and development company with more than 30 years of award-winning experience. FHG’s unique people-driven professional culture fosters a team of highly skilled and motivated hospitality experts who consistently deliver outstanding property level performance, as well as memorable and engaging guest experiences. Headquartered in Chicago, FHG’s portfolio features 19 brands and 46 properties throughout the Midwest. Having been recognized in 2016 as #1 in Travel in Forbes America’s Best Midsize Employers 2016, #28 overall, and #3 amongst all of America’s best travel companies, FHG moved up to a #19 ranking out of the 250 best midsize employers in the country in 2017 and #1 in the Travel category for the second year in a row. FHG is one of only 25 companies to ever place on the Forbes list two consecutive years. For more information, visit,

About Autograph Collection Hotels

Autograph Collection Hotels celebrates individuality by curating one-of-a-kind travel experiences at more than 100 luxury lifestyle hotels found in the world’s most desirable destinations. Exactly like nothing else, Autograph Collection properties are hand selected for their rich character and uncommon details. A personal realization of an individual founder’s vision, these hotels are defined by unique design, differentiated guest experiences and their meaningful role in locality. For more information, please visit, and explore our social media channels on Instagram Twitter and Facebook to learn more about championing the independent spirit that is #ExactlyLikeNothingElse. Autograph Collection Hotels is proud to participate in the industry’s award-winning loyalty program, Marriott Rewards®, in which members can link accounts with Starwood Preferred Guest® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer.

Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is the world’s largest hotel company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with nearly 6,000 properties in 120 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts. The company’s 30 leading brands include: Bulgari®, The Ritz-Carlton® and The Ritz-Carlton Reserve®, St. Regis®, W®, EDITION®, JW Marriott®, The Luxury Collection®, Marriott Hotels®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Renaissance® Hotels, Sheraton®, Delta Hotels by MarriottSM, Marriott Executive Apartments®, Marriott Vacation Club®, Autograph Collection® Hotels, Tribute Portfolio™, Design Hotels™, Gaylord Hotels®, Courtyard®, Four Points® by Sheraton, SpringHill Suites®, Fairfield Inn & Suites®, Residence Inn®, TownePlace Suites®, AC Hotels by Marriott®, Aloft®, Element®, Moxy® Hotels, and Protea Hotels by Marriott®. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®. For more information, please visit our website at, and for the latest company news, visit and @MarriottIntl.

Spate of ADA lawsuits

Fellow Chamber Members,

The Chamber Board wishes to apprise you of a recent spate of lawsuits filed under the American with Disabilities Act which claim that a company’s websites is inaccessible by the disabled community. Basically, the plaintiff in such lawsuits claims s/he attempted to access the website but was presented with barriers not present for the non-disabled consumer. Plaintiffs include sight and hearing disabled persons as well as those experiencing mobility difficulty with hand maneuvers.

Title III of the ADA provides that a public accommodation must provide disabled persons access equivalent to that provided to non-disabled persons. Public accommodations are those places that generally allow access to the public. Courts across the United States have held that a company’s website may constitute a public accommodation if it provides a means to purchase products or services through the website or provides information about the company necessary for a disabled person to locate a physical location to obtain goods or services. In addition, lawsuits are also increasing under Title I of the ADA which prohibits discrimination in employment against the disabled. The plaintiffs in these lawsuits claim that barriers to access of the company website for the purposes of applying for a job on line or obtaining information about employment discriminate against the disabled.

Examples of barriers to access of a website include such issues as the following:

the inability of the blind to access the website with the assistance of a web reader which vocalizes content on the website – images that do not contain alternative text are not readable by this device;

the inability of the sight disabled to be able to adjust focus, color, brightness and font size of the website through his or her own computer;

the inability of the mobility disabled person to access the website solely through the keyboard without use of the mouse, or solely through use of the mouse without use of the keyboard.

Unfortunately, the ADA, which was enacted prior to website technology, does not provide any guidelines for when a website provides “equal access.” Courts have relied on the WCAG 2.0 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.0) provided by the World Wide Web Consortium to provide some guidance on what a website must include to be considered compliant with the ADA.

Failure to comply with the ADA can result in substantial monetary damages and attorney fees, in addition to the expense of redesigning and modifying the website and POS terminals. Some states have their own statutes which contain minimum penalties. California’s state law imposes a minimum penalty of $4,000.00 for each attempt at access to a website foiled by a barrier to access. Many of these lawsuits are filed by California plaintiff attorneys on behalf of California citizens, including against Ohio companies that do business nationally.

To ensure compliance with the ADA it is imperative that you work with your IT department or provider. Ensuring compliance with the WCAG standards will help to limit exposure to these lawsuits.

Thank you,

Maribeth Meluch

Isaac, Wiles, Burkholder & Teetor, LLC


The Conversation

America can afford a Green New Deal – here’s how

February 26, 2019

Author: Edward Barbier, Professor of Economics, Colorado State University

Disclosure statement: Edward Barbier does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Partners: Colorado State University provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey are calling for a “Green New Deal” that would involve massive government spending to shift the U.S. economy away from its reliance on carbon.

Their congressional resolution goes into great detail about the harms of climate change and what the U.S. government should do about it. Left unanswered, however, is how America would pay for it.

Some commentators have been calling a Green New Deal unaffordable, with some estimates putting the bill for complete decarbonization at as high as US $12.3 trillion.

As the author of the United Nations Environment Program’s Global Green New Deal – a plan to lift the world economy out of the 2008-2009 Great Recession – I disagree. I believe there are two straightforward ways to cover the cost and help accelerate the green revolution, while lowering the overall price tag.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez advocates for the Green New Deal.

What a green new deal may cost

Before we talk about how to pay for it, first we need a rough idea of how much it might actually cost.

For starters, it’s important to be realistic. Rather than putting a price tag on going 100 percent renewable – which would take decades – I believe we should figure out how much to spend over the next five years to build a greener economy.

Ambitious efforts to foster green energy during the Great Recession are a good place to start.

In total, the world’s largest 20 economies and a few others spent $3.3 trillion to stimulate economic growth. Of that, more than $520 billion was devoted to “green investments,” such as pollution cleanup, recycling and low-carbon energy.

The U.S. share of that was about $120 billion, or about 1 percent of its gross domestic product. Around half of this went toward energy conservation and other short-term energy efficiency investments to quickly shore up the then-nascent recovery and generate employment.

The stimulus may have spurred some growth in renewable energy but didn’t do much on its own to reduce carbon emissions permanently.

Another country that made fairly big green investments during the Great Recession was South Korea, which promoted “low carbon, green growth” as its new long-term development vision. It allocated $60 billion, or 5 percent of its 2007 GDP, to a five-year plan.

But in the end, South Korea may have spent only $26 billion on low-carbon energy and failed to adopt pricing reforms and other incentives to foster renewables, such as phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, pricing carbon and improving regulatory frameworks. The result was only a modest improvement in energy efficiency, and carbon emissions have continued to rise.

In other words, the price tag of a Green New Deal that would make a difference would have to be much higher than what governments like the U.S. and Korea actually spent during the Great Recession. The original South Korea five-year plan, however, to spend 5 percent of GDP to me seems about right, as the best guess of the public investment needed to decarbonize a major economy through a green growth strategy.

So if we use Korea as a starting point, that means the U.S. would need to spend around $970 billion over the next five years, or $194 billion annually.

How to pay for the Green New Deal

As for paying for it, the first thing to bear in mind is that in my view a Green New Deal should be covered by current rather than future revenue.

A common way for Congress to pay for the cost of a new program or stimulus is by deficit spending. So the U.S. borrows the money from investors and then eventually has to pay it back through taxes down the road.

With the federal deficit projected to reach $1 trillion in 2019, increasing it by several hundred billion more – even if for a good cause – is not a great idea. Ballooning deficits add to the national debt, which is already $21 trillion and counting.

Saddling future generations of Americans with unsustainable levels of national debt is just as dangerous as burdening them with an economy that is environmentally unsustainable. Deficit spending is warranted to boost overall demand for goods and services when unemployment rises, consumers do not spend and private investment is down. When that is not the case, I believe efforts to grow green sectors should pay for themselves.

So the U.S. would have to find new revenue sources to finance additional government support for clean energy research and development, greening infrastructure, smart transmission grids, public transport and other programs under any Green New Deal. Two of the main ways to do that would be by raising new revenues or finding savings elsewhere in the budget.

On the revenue side, I believe passing a carbon tax is one of the best ways to go. A $20 tax per metric ton of carbon that climbs over time at a pace slightly higher than inflation would raise around $96 billion in revenue each year – covering just under half the estimated cost. At the same time, it would reduce carbon emissions by 11.1 billion metric tons through 2030.

In other words, not only does it help raise money to pay for a transition to a green economy, a carbon tax also helps spur that very change.

In terms of savings, the removal of fossil fuel subsidies is a particularly appropriate target. Consumer subsidies for fossil fuels and producer subsidies for coal cost U.S. taxpayers nearly $9 billion a year. These subsidies could be shifted instead to cover some expenditures under a Green New Deal.

And again, doing this would accelerate the transition to cleaner energy.

So where might the other $89 billion come from?

One option is to simply impose a higher carbon tax. A $20 tax would put the U.S. roughly in the middle among countries that currently impose carbon taxes. But doubling it to $40 per ton would raise an additional $76 billion annually, or $172 billion in total, as well as reduce 17.5 billion metric tons of carbon by 2030.

Another idea is to raise taxes on the highest-earning Americans. For example, imposing a 70 percent tax on earnings of $10 million or more would bring in an additional $72 billion a year.

Cost savings

But it’s also possible that the cost of decarbonizing the economy may fall over time.

For example, the drop in emissions accompanying the carbon tax should lower the price tag in a way that’s hard to estimate today. The right policies and reforms would also help lower the costs.

In a sort of “chicken and egg” effect, as economists Ken Gillingham and James Stock have shown, green innovations spur demand, which leads to more innovation, all of which ultimately reduce costs. A good illustration is purchases of electric vehicles, which will stimulate demand for charging stations. Once installed, the stations will reduce the costs of running electric vehicles and further boost demand.

The Green New Deal as proposed by Ocasio-Cortez and Markey would be expensive. But what policies are adopted and how we choose to pay for it could ultimately determine the plan’s success and whether we can afford it.


Rabid Pogoista, logged in via Google: I’m not clear on how you arrived at the $970 Billion over 5 years, but your explanation for it sounds heavily fudged. I’m no economist, but I can’t help thinking that maybe you’re being more than a bit over-optimistic about the expenditures.

Richard Vlastnik: One of the problems is that the “subsidies” for fossil fuels in the US are primarily in the form of tax breaks. Its not money paid to the fossil fuel industry, it is taxes that are not paid. There is no pot of money that can be used for other purposes. Then lets look at the lead sentence of the article’s conclusion: “But it’s also possible that the cost of decarbonizing the economy may fall over time.” Wow. Amazing. Its also possible that we may discover unicorns who magically convert carbon to cotton candy…

FILE – In this Sept. 4, 2013 file photo, a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 takes off, rear, as another taxis in the north runway complex at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The airline says it has gained government approval to begin flights between California and Hawaii, capping a long effort that was delayed by the government shutdown. The airline’s chief operating officer, Mike Van de Ven, told employees Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, that the Federal Aviation Administration granted the authorization. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File) – In this Sept. 4, 2013 file photo, a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 takes off, rear, as another taxis in the north runway complex at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The airline says it has gained government approval to begin flights between California and Hawaii, capping a long effort that was delayed by the government shutdown. The airline’s chief operating officer, Mike Van de Ven, told employees Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, that the Federal Aviation Administration granted the authorization. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

Staff & Wire Reports