Business briefs


POSTED: Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hawaii personal tax collections fall

Hawaii, which has proposed state furloughs during the next two years because it is facing a $688 million shortfall, saw its personal income tax collections drop 19.2 percent through the first four months of this year compared with a year ago, a research institute reported.

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government said 34 of 37 income tax-collecting states that submitted data for its latest monthly report experienced declines, with Arizona seeing the steepest drop at 54.9 percent. Nationwide, personal income tax collections fell 26 percent, or $28.8 billion compared with the same period in 2008, the institute said.


Superferry builder writes off loans

Australia-based Austal Ltd., whose U.S. subsidiary built the two Hawaii Superferry ships in Mobile, Ala., said yesterday it now will write off the entire $23 million it is still owed by the bankrupt company.

Austal has the second secured position behind the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration, but since MARAD is owed $135.8 million, Austal said “;in the current market conditions it is not anticipated there will be sufficient funds on disposal of the vessels to recover Austal's loan.”; Austal said it will take an $18 million write-down on its loan on top of the $5 million it wrote off for another loan at the end of last year.

“;The repayment of the HSF loan was not due before 2013 and therefore this does not have an impact in Austal's short term cash flow nor its ability to pay a dividend for the year,”; Austal said.

Hawaii Superferry filed a motion last week to abandon its two ships after citing a lack of liquidity and the costs it is incurring for insurance, maintenance, security and storage.


Ruehl at Ala Moana to close

The 29 Ruehl apparel stores belonging to Ohio-based Abercrombie & Fitch Co., including the Ala Moana Center location, will be closed by the end of the current fiscal year on Jan. 31, 2010, the company said this week.

“;It has been a difficult decision to close Ruehl, a brand we continue to believe could have been successful in different circumstances,”; said Mike Jeffries, chief executive officer and chairman of Abercrombie & Fitch Co., in a statement.


Hale Makua nurses OK contract

The 50 registered nurses at Hale Makua on Maui have ratified a new three-year contract calling for improvements in salary, benefits, scheduling and staffing.

The contract covers Hawaii Nurses' Association members working in home health, rehabilitation, long-term care and the Maui Pace program. Members will receive a 3 percent annual wage increase for a total of 9 percent over three years, increases in the dental plan cap and life insurance coverage and other contract enhancements.




;  » Mobi PCS has named Allison Chung as marketing manager. She previously was director of marketing and business development at Universal City Studios Credit Union, business development/marketing associate at Los Angeles Federal Credit Union, and public relations and events coordinator at Robinsons-May/Meier and Frank.

» Hawaii Theatre Center has named Eden-Lee Murray as education director. She has extensive experience as a performing arts educator, including director of four senior play productions at Waldorf's high school, and producer and director of Kaimuki High School's annual Shakespeare Festival for seven years. She also founded the tradition of the Manoa School sixth-grade play.