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POSTED: Monday, August 31, 2009

5 local businesses to be honored at Japanese center

The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii will honor five longtime local businesses at its Annual Celebration of Leadership and Achievement Dinner.

This year's honorees are 100-year-old Deja-Vu Surf Apparel on Kauai; Diamond Bakery, established in 1921; Marians Catering/Dots Restaurant on Oahu, founded in the 1930s; Tasaka Guri Guri on Maui, more than 90 years old; and KTA Superstores on the Big Island, founded in 1916.

The event begins at 5 p.m. Oct. 3. Tickets are available at $175 ($150 for JCCH members). Table purchases start at $2,000; reservations can be made at 945-7633 or online at jcch.com.

Hawaii State FCU offers assistance to members

Hawaii State Federal Credit Union has introduced a financial assistance program for those of its 72,000 members facing financial hardship.

The program is geared toward members experiencing reduced income due to furloughs or reduced work hours and will ease their loan obligations to help them make ends meet.

Qualified members may receive a special line of credit with a discounted rate.

The program is being made available deliberately, as the state and its employee labor unions negotiate new contracts, said Deborah Kim, HSFCU president.

Department of Labor offers Kaneohe drop box

The state Department of Labor has installed a secure drop box in front of the Kaneohe satellite office.

The locked drop box, located at the Kaneohe Atrium Building at 46-005 Kawa St., Suite 205, will be available 24 hours, seven days a week. The office still will remain open from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Clients can drop off weekly unemployment claims cards, registration forms, medical records and other unemployment insurance or work force development-related documents.

Wikipedia tests new method to curb false information

NEW YORK » Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that has increasingly drawn some decidedly juvenile pranks, is looking to impose more discipline with new restrictions on the editing of articles.

The latest changes come as Wikipedia continues trying to balance a need for credibility and a desire for openness.

While anyone can still edit entries, the site is testing pages that require changes to be approved by an experienced Wikipedia editor before they show up.

If the site's users respond well to the test run, the new restrictions will apply to all entries for living people in the next few weeks.

The idea is to block the kind of high-profile vandalism that has marred some pages.

In one of the most recent embarrassments, Democratic Sens. Robert Byrd and Edward Kennedy were prematurely declared dead by rogue editors.

Traveling by air getting cheaper

The recession has driven fares down to their lowest point since early 2005, says American Express' business travel arm, and more employees are flying coach than at any time this decade.

The average price businesses paid for international airfare dropped to $1,603 in the second quarter, while the average domestic ticket cost $212, the least in more than four years. Both are down nearly 20 percent from the same time last year.

Businesses kept 91 percent of their North American airfare purchases for employees in the cheapest economy seats. A year ago that was 89 percent.

For international fliers, 59 percent of airfare purchases were “;economy”; class. A year ago half of all international tickets were business class.

COMING UP

» Tomorrow: Major automakers report U.S. auto sales for August.

» Wednesday: Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission hold joint meetings on current financial rules and recommend changes.

» Thursday: Retailers report sales results. Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, releases weekly mortgage rates.

» Friday: Labor Department releases employment data for August.