Business Briefs


POSTED: Saturday, February 14, 2009

Average isle gas price jumps 3 cents

Gasoline prices gained four cents a gallon in most areas throughout Hawaii, but Hilo dipped by a penny from a week ago, according to AAA. Statewide, the gas price average rose by three cents during the past week at $2.39 a gallon.

Yesterday's average price in Honolulu was $2.32 a gallon for unleaded, 4 cents more from last week's price, 8 cents higher than last month, and $1.03 lower than this time last year. In Hilo, the average price was $2.47 a gallon, a penny less than last week, a nickel more than last month, and 94 cents lower than this time last year. The average price in Wailuku was $2.52 a gallon, 4 cents more than last week, up a nickel from last month, and $1.33 lower than last year.

“;Prices increased this week reflecting the trend on the mainland,”; AAA Hawaii Regional Manager Richard Velazquez said in a statement. “;Fourteen other states in addition to Hawaii have state averages that are more than $2 a gallon now.”;


HVCB launches business campaign

In concert with lobbying efforts to broaden business travel requirements, the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau has rolled out a campaign aimed at generating new business bookings through 2010.

Called “;Hot Rates, Hot Dates!,”; the HVCB campaign, which is posted on BusinessAloha.com, provides money-saving deals on accommodations, meeting facilities and other specials.

“;Customer feedback tells us there is tremendous desire to meet in Hawaii, but concerns over cost are holding some groups back,”; said Michael Murray, HVCB's vice president of sales and marketing. “;We believe this program will help alleviate those concerns and let groups book Hawaii knowing they are getting the most for their money.”;


Teddy Tanaka Associates cited

The state has issued a preliminary cease and desist order against Theodore Chinen for allegedly defrauding investors of at least $130,000 in a high-yield investment scheme.

Hawaii resident Chinen and his companies, Teddy Tanaka Associates Inc. of Honolulu and Trinity National LLC of Nevada, are said to have solicited investors by promising returns of 1,000 percent to 4,000 percent on their investments.

But Chinen failed to register the investments as securities, misrepresented the returns and risks of the investment and failed to disclose material information in violation of state laws.

He will be subject to an administrative penalty of $25,000.

Hawaii residents who have invested with those parties are urged to contact the Securities Enforcement Branch of the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Blackwater dumps brand name

RALEIGH, N.C. » Blackwater Worldwide is abandoning its tarnished brand name as it tries to shake a reputation battered by oft-criticized work in Iraq, renaming its family of two dozen businesses under the name Xe.

The parent company's new name is pronounced like the letter “;z.”; Blackwater Lodge & Training Center—the subsidiary that conducts much of the company's overseas operations and domestic training—has been renamed U.S. Training Center Inc., the company said yesterday.


Isle ag output mostly down

» Hawaii egg production totaled 6 million in December, down 6 percent from a year ago, the state Department of Agriculture reported earlier this week. It attributed the decline to a slump in the average number of layers in December, at 338,000. The rate of lay was down slightly from a year earlier.

» Hawaii's dairy cows produced 1.8 million pounds of milk in December, down 10 percent from a year earlier. Milk production for 2008 is estimated at 18.5 million pounds, down 48 percent from 2007.

» Hawaii's cow herd, both dry and milking, numbered 1,600 head in December, down 30 percent from a year earlier.

» Commercial pork production during the month totaled 303,000 pounds, down 9 percent. Cumulative production last year totaled 3.2 million pounds, down 5 percent from a year earlier.

» Hawaii fresh papaya production for 2008 is estimated at 30.9 million pounds, down 1 percent from 2007. For December, the output is estimated at 2.8 million pounds, 5 percent greater than November, but 1 percent less than a year earlier.

» Bucking the trend, beef production during December was 571,000 pounds, up 26 percent from 2007. Cumulative production for 2008 totaled 7.2 million pounds, up 12 percent from a year earlier.