Business Briefs


POSTED: Saturday, February 07, 2009

Isle weekly gas prices mostly flat

Gasoline prices remained mostly flat throughout the islands with no changes recorded in Honolulu and Wailuku from a week ago, according to AAA. Statewide, the gas price average rose by a penny over the past week at $2.36 a gallon.

Yesterday's average price in Honolulu was $2.28 a gallon for unleaded, unchanged from last week's price, 7 cents higher than last month, and $1.07 lower than this time last year. In Hilo, the average price was $2.48 a gallon, three cents more than last week, six cents more than last month, and 99 cents lower than this time last year. The average price in Wailuku was $2.48 a gallon, unchanged from last week, up a nickel from last month, and $1.37 lower than last year.


Valentines spending down this year

Spending on Valentine's Day will be down more than $2 billion this year, according to the latest survey from the National Retail Federation.

Consumers plan to spend about $20 less than last year, according to NRF's consumer intentions and actions survey—an average of $102.50 a person this year versus $122.98 last year.

Total spending is expected to reach $14.7 billion, compared to $17 billion last year.

Nearly half of those surveyed plan to spend money on a special night out, while 35.7 percent will buy the traditional candy, flowers and jewelry.

The majority of people (90.8 percent) will spend the most on their spouse ($67.22), with other family members such as children getting about one-fifth of their budget ($20.95).


Hawaii investors involved in fund claim

Hawaii investors are part of an eight-state investigation into possible misconduct by Charles Schwab & Co.

Securities fraud litigators said in a statement that they have filed claims on behalf of corporate and individual investors in California, New York, Texas, Florida, Missouri, Minnesota, Illinois and Hawaii, and are currently investigating claims in other states relating to the company's YieldPlus Fund.

According to one of the claims, Charles Schwab marketed the fund as a safe “;cash alternative”; to retirees and others, but the fund has lost more than 40 percent of its value in the past 18 months because of the concentration of mortgage and asset-backed securities.


Isle LifeSmarts contest today

Keaau High School will defend its LifeSmarts champion title against Farrington High School, Hilo High School and Kealakehe High School today at 9 a.m. at the State Capitol auditorium. Hawaii high school students in grades 9-12 will compete in subjects of personal finance, health and safety, the environment, technology, and consumer rights and responsibilities.

The winner of the state competition will advance to the national competition in April in St. Louis, Mo.


Island Insurance debuts coverage

Island Insurance Co., Hawaii's largest locally owned and managed property and casualty insurance carrier, said yesterday it is offering a new equipment breakdown coverage to all homeowners policyholders.

The optional endorsement is available for $15 a year and covers the cost of repair and replacement of high-value home equipment due to mechanical breakdown or electrical failure.


Contract in sight for Young Bros.

A tentative agreement has been reached on a six-year union contract between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 142 and interisland cargo company Young Brothers Ltd.

The agreement, which must still be ratified by union members who work for the shipper, covers more than 200 longshore industry workers. Ratification of the agreement is scheduled to begin on Kauai on February 21, followed by Hilo on February 25, Kawaihae on February 26, and Honolulu on February 27. Ratification will wrap up with a joint meeting of Maui, Molokai and Lanai union members on March 3.


Madoff scandal hits Hawaii

The Bernard Madoff investment fraud netted several people and entities in Hawaii, all of them on Maui or Kauai.

They include trust funds, individuals engaged in nonprofit organizations and a real estate agent who also operates vacation rentals.

Only Sally Simonds could be reached, and she declined comment. Others did not return requests for comment.

The names, on a list released by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, N.Y., are included among thousands of victims as well as attorneys and accountants who received statements from Madoff's companies.

The name Bernard L. Madoff appears some 40 times, sometimes among the victims' names and in some instances, as an in-care-of contact or as a trust or estate custodian.



1. Brooke Simonds, Makawao

2. Edward L. Simonds, Trustee, Edward L. Simonds Living Trust 7/27/2000 Makawao

3. Edward L. Simonds Trustee, for the benefit of Brooke Simonds u/w Robert Simonds, Kula

4. Edward L. Simonds Trustee, Edward L. Simonds Living Trust 7/27/2000, Kula

5. Sunny-Wyanne Bunyan, Hanalei

6. Sally K. Simonds Living Trust dated July 27, 2000, Kula

7. Sally K. Simonds, Kula