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POSTED: Friday, February 06, 2009

HAWAII

Hawaiian Airlines load factor falls

Hawaiian Airlines Inc. said yesterday its load factor, or the percentage of seats filled, fell 4.8 percentage points to 78.3 percent in January from 83.1 percent a year ago. However, passenger traffic rose 12.5 percent to 637,946 from 567,160.

Revenue passenger miles, or one paying passenger transported one mile, dropped 0.6 percent to 647.6 million from 651.7 million.

Available seat miles, or one seat transported one mile, rose 5.4 percent to 827.3 million from 784.7 million.

 

Number of state farms up by 39%

The number of Hawaii farms has increased by 39 percent to 7,521 since the last census in 2002, according to the 2007 census of agriculture report released yesterday.

The increase was related to an agency-wide effort to reach under-represented audiences such as minority producers, women producers and hobby farmers, the report said. Nationally, the number of reported farms increased by 4 percent to 2.2 million.

In Hawaii, farm coverage was measured for the first time in 2007 so the farm and ranch count total is not comparable to previous censuses.

The average farm size in Hawaii is 149 acres compared to 241 acres in 2002. Overall, the majority of Hawaii farms are smaller operations with more than 72 percent characterized as residential/lifestyle, retirement, or limited-resource farms.

 

NATION

30-year mortgages rise to 5.25%

WASHINGTON, D.C. » The average U.S. rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage rose this week, thwarting Federal Reserve efforts to cut borrowing costs, on investor concern the government will increase spending.

The fixed rate increased to 5.25 percent from 5.10 percent last week, Freddie Mac said in a report yesterday. The 15-year fixed rate jumped to 4.92 percent from 4.8 percent.

“;Investors are growing a little bit nervous about all the Treasury bonds they're going to be asked to buy to finance the government's response to the financial crisis,”; said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Economy.com.

 

Securitas USA expands in Hawaii

Securitas Security Services USA Inc. said yesterday that it has bought the Hawaiian commercial assets of Akal Security Inc. in a transaction scheduled to close on February 20. The acquisition will include more than 30 locations and 300 security officers.

Akal's pacific region director, Lee Donohue, will be joining Securitas USA in the capacity of director of security for Hawaii.

Securitas USA employs more than 2,400 workers in Hawaii, with 11 branch managers, overseeing four offices on Oahu, Maui and Kauai, and two offices on the Big Island.

 

IHOP opens fourth Oahu restaurant

Oahu's fourth International House of Pancakes opened earlier this week in Waikiki at 1850 Ala Moana on the ground floor of the Aqua Palms Hotel.

The 6,500-square-foot store employs 80 employees and has a capacity of more than 200. In addition to the main dining room, the restaurant also has a private function room and outdoor lanai dining area.

 

Animal rights group files petition

The World Society for the Protection of Animals said yesterday that it has sent a petition to the state Department of Agriculture asking it to investigate if “;island produced”; pork labels, when used on meat from imported animals, are in violation of the Hawaii Meat Inspection Act.

The group said many pork products labeled “;Made in Hawaii”; and “;Island pork”; are actually from U.S mainland pigs.

PEOPLE

Fund expert says U.S. must spend trillions

NEW YORK » Bill Gross, co-chief investment officer of Pacific Investment Management Co., said the U.S. may slump into a “;mini depression”; unless policy makers spend trillions of dollars to spur growth.

“;This economy needs support from the government, a check from the government in the trillions,”; Gross said yesterday in a Bloomberg interview from Pimco's headquarters in Newport Beach, Calif. “;There is a potential catastrophe if the U.S. government continues to focus on billions of dollars.”;

Gross manages the $132 billion Total Return Fund, the world's biggest bond fund.