Green business program expands
The Hawaii Green Business Program
is expanding to include green offices and retail businesses.
The program will recognize businesses that have applied environmentally responsible practices within their office or retail establishments.
Various state agencies co-sponsor the program, which strives to reduce energy and water consumption, promote recycling and prevent pollution. The enrollment form and checklists can be found on the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, and Department of Health Web sites.
LIFTOFF: Harrison Martin, 16, took a test flight with a jet pack at the annual EAA Airventure Fly-in yesterday in Oshkosh, Wis. His father, Glenn, invented the jet pack, which can fly a pilot about 30 miles on a five-gallon gas tank.
L.A. blocks new fast-food outlets
LOS ANGELES » The Los Angeles City Council has approved a one-year moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in a low-income area of the city.
The moratorium unanimously approved yesterday is a bid to attract restaurants that offer healthier food choices to residents in a 32-square-mile area of South Los Angeles.
Councilwoman Jan Perry says residents at five public meetings expressed concern with the proliferation of fast-food outlets in the community plagued by above-average rates of obesity.
Nearly three-quarters of the restaurants in South L.A. are fast-food outlets. That's a higher percentage than other parts of the city but the restaurant industry says the moratorium won't help bring in alternatives.
Bennigan's files for bankruptcy
NEW YORK » Restaurant chains
Bennigan's and Steak & Ale
have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and stores owned by its parent company will shut their doors.
The companies owned by privately held Metromedia Restaurant Group of Plano, Texas, filed for bankruptcy protection yesterday in the Eastern District of Texas, less than two months after Metromedia said it was not preparing to do so. Metromedia Restaurant Group is a part of Metromedia Co., owned by billionaire John Kluge.
In a Chapter 7 filing, a company seeks to liquidate its assets and shut down.
Court reverses Whole Foods ruling
WASHINGTON » Whole Foods' long-running effort to acquire its rival organic supermarket chain Wild Oats isn't completely out of the legal woods yet.
A three-judge federal appeals court panel yesterday overturned a lower court ruling from last year that allowed Whole Foods Market Inc. to acquire Boulder, Colo.-based Wild Oats Markets Inc.
The 2-1 ruling sends the case back to the lower court for further consideration, but doesn't halt Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods' integration of the Wild Oats chain or require that the deal be undone.
However, a favorable ruling could disrupt Whole Foods' efforts to combine the companies.
Mining giant makes $14B deal
CHARLESTON, W.Va. » A global consolidation of the coal industry is shifting into overdrive.
Mining giant Teck Cominco said yesterday it will buy up all of the Fording Canadian Coal Trust for close to $14 billion in cash and stock. The deal is just the latest in a growing string of giant acquisitions centered on coking coal, a key raw material for certain steel mills.
Coking coal prices have gained more than 50 percent since April to $250 a ton or more, driven by tight supplies and demand from China, India, Russia, Europe and Brazil.
Japanese electronics profits mixed
TOKYO » Three Japanese electronics makers reported mixed results yesterday for their fiscal first quarters:
Sony Corp.'s April-June profit plunged to 34.98 billion yen ($326.9 million) -- about half that recorded a year ago -- as a strong yen, the absence of "Spider-Man 3" revenue and faltering results at its cell phone operations battered earnings.
In contrast, profit at Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. for the April-June period nearly doubled from the previous year on demand for flat-panel TVs and digital cameras.
Toshiba Corp. said it sank into a loss of 11.6 billion yen ($107.91 million) because of the nose-dive in flash memory chip prices.
The creators of a Scrabble knockoff responsible for countless hours at the online hangout Facebook suspend their game, days after being hit with a federal lawsuit.
STEEL SLUMP: United States Steel Corp. said yesterday that its second-quarter profit more than doubled and it expects continued robust growth in the third quarter because of surging demand and higher prices.
SIEMENS SCANDAL: Siemens AG said yesterday it plans to sue two former CEOs and nine other ex-executives for alleged supervisory failings in a corruption scandal that has cost the company millions in fines and damaged its reputation.
» Commercial Data Systems has named Mark Gilbert
as president. He replaces Mark Wong, who will maintain his role as chief executive officer. Gilbert previously served as vice president of sales for 10 years and is active in Hawaii's theatre scene.
» Bella Pietra has hired Nicole Murin as a sales associate at the Kona office. She was previously a private design consultant in California, working in home design and remodeling for three years. She also has 12 years of experience in the finance and software industries.