POSTED: Saturday, December 13, 2008

Hawaii gas prices keep falling

Gasoline prices in Hawaii continued their decline for the 11th straight week, according to AAA. Statewide, the gas price average fell by 12 cents to $2.49 from a week ago.

Yesterday's average price in Honolulu was $2.39 a gallon for unleaded, off 12 cents from last week's price, down 63 cents from a month ago and 95 cents lower than this same time last year.

  In Hilo, the average price was $2.52, down 16 cents from last week, off 63 cents from a month ago and down 88 cents from a year ago.

The average price in Wailuku was $2.86 a gallon, down 11 cents from last week, off 74 cents from a month ago and down 92 cents from a year ago.


HawTel wants case moved to isles

Hawaiian Telcom Communications Inc., which filed for bankruptcy on Dec. 1, said yesterday that on Monday it will file a motion to approve a stipulation to transfer its Chapter 11 case to federal Bankruptcy Court in Hawaii from Delaware.

The company initially filed its case in Delaware because Hawaiian Telcom is incorporated under Delaware law and the court is close to the company's advisers involved in the case which would assist in mitigating costs to the company.

  However, following discussions with various constituents, Hawaiian Telcom determined that it is appropriate to move the case to Honolulu. The company said it considers the move to be a positive step in the restructuring process.

  Hawaiian Telcom said it anticipates that the hearing on the motion to approve the stipulation will be scheduled for Dec. 23, in Wilmington, Del.

The company said at the time of its bankruptcy filing that it was seeking financial protection due to increased competition and an economic downturn that prevented it from reaching an agreement with creditors over $25.6 million in interest payments.


Agricultural work force drops 8%

Hawaii's hired agricultural work force totaled 5,900 workers during the Oct. 12-18 survey week, down 8 percent from a year ago, the state Department of Agriculture said last week.

Pineapple and sugarcane operations employed 1,000 workers during the week, down 13 percent from the same week a year ago due largely to layoffs at Maui Land and Pineapple Co. and Gay and Robinson's decision to terminate their sugarcane operations.

Other hired workers showed a 7 percent decline from a year ago at 4,900 workers during the week.

Hawaii's total farm work force is estimated at 10,200 during the survey week, down 6 percent from the same week a year ago. The average wage paid to all hired workers was estimated at $13.24 an hour. This was up fractionally from a year ago.


Credit union returns $1.5 million

Hawaii State Federal Credit Union said last week that last month it returned $1.5 million to members in the form of bonus dividends and loan interest rebates. The bonuses and rebates were based on actual dividends earned on share accounts and loan interest paid by members from Jan. 1 through Sept. 30.

“;This is the 13th consecutive year that we've been able to return a portion of earnings to member owners,”; said Deborah Kim, Hawaii State Federal Credit Union president. Since 1996, credit union members have received more than $36 million through the program.

The credit union's membership is open to all state, city and county employees and their families. It has 69,000 members and $905 million in assets as of September.


An egg-xact count

Hawaii egg production totaled 5.8 million eggs in October, down 13 percent from 2007. The average number of layers on hand during October was estimated at 333,000, up 1 percent from September but down 9 percent from a year ago, the state Department of Agriculture said in a recent report.