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POSTED: Monday, October 12, 2009

Direct flights to China could take off before year's end

Direct service between China and Hawaii could begin before year's end now that Hainan Airlines, China's largest private airline, has gotten approval for liftoff from the state Department of Transportation.

Hainan Airlines, which operates nonstop service between Beijing and Seattle, said in July that it intends to use a three-class Airbus A340-600 to bring a weekly service to Hawaii. The company said it will eventually expand service up to three times per week.

“;We hope and believe that these flights will begin before the end of the year,”; said state Tourism Liaison Marsha Wienert.

The new service is targeted at Chinese tourists, considered one of the most promising visitor markets in the world.

 

Nature Conservancy seeks bids to remove invasive algae

The Nature Conservancy is seeking bids for a project to remove invasive marine algae from 22 acres of shallow reefs in waters off Hawaii Kai.

Federal stimulus money is paying for the $3.4 million project, which is expected to create 73 jobs while removing harmful algae from the Maunalua Bay reef.

Until now the Nature Conservancy and the group Malama Maunalua have been relying on volunteers to clean up the algae.

The nonprofit group is seeking bidders for two separate contracts. The first is for the removal, transport and disposal of the algae. The second is for taking high-resolution aerial images of restoration efforts and documenting ecological change in reef flats over 18 months.

 

Businessman donates $25,000 to HPU for scholarships

International businessman Manuel “;Manny”; Menendez III is donating $25,000 to the Hawaii Pacific University President's Fund, HPU has announced.

Menendez is the chairman and founder of MCM Group Holdings and 8M8 LLC, which specializes in business development, international trade and marketing in China and the Asia Pacific region. He was also director for economic development for Honolulu during Mayor Jeremy Harris' administration.

The fund helps HPU President Chatt Wright and the Board of Trustees support scholarships, curriculum and faculty.

 

Foreign currency being favored while dollars snubbed

Central banks flush with record reserves are increasingly snubbing dollars in favor of euros and yen, further pressuring the greenback after its biggest two-quarter rout in almost two decades.

Policymakers boosted foreign currency holdings by $413 billion last quarter, the most since at least 2003, to $7.3 trillion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Nations reporting currency breakdowns put 63 percent of the new cash into euros and yen in April, May and June, the latest Barclays Capital data shows. That's the highest percentage in any quarter with more than an $80 billion increase.

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Star-Bulletin staff and news services

 

TAKING NOTE

UH-Hilo gets tool to help ID chemicals

A $250,000 instrument that will be used to identify the structures of unknown chemicals, including potential new drugs, was recently donated to the University of Hawaii-Hilo's College of Pharmacy by the Wyeth Corp.

Dr. Robert P. Borris, associate dean for research at the college, said the Bruker-Biospin Advance DRX 400, a 400-megahertz nuclear magnetic spectrometer, “;removes a major impediment to scientific research that must compete on a national or international scale.”; The gift means researchers at the college won't have to go to Oahu or the mainland to conduct their work, he said.

Dr. Guy T. Carter of Wyeth Research's Chemical & Screening Sciences said the New York-based drug company tries to place functional, retired equipment with an academic research group that will have the greatest benefit.

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Star-Bulletin staff

 

Total recall

» About 20,300 pieces of Halcyon Scuba diving equipment, manufactured in the United States by Halcyon Manufacturing Inc. of High Springs, Fla., are being recalled because the overpressure valves on BCDs and other inflatable devices could fail, allowing the devices to leak. Details: by phone at (800) 425-2966 or by Web at http://www.halcyon.net.

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Associated Press

 

[ NEIGHBORHOOD SALES ]

The median price of a fee-simple, single-family home in Mililani was $380,000 in 2008. Its median price so far this year is $362,000.

 

Sales past 12 months

» Homes: 61
» Median sales price: $362,000
» Median sales price per square foot: $308.29
» Median market time: 44 days

 

Active listings

» Homes: 44
» Median listings price: $365,000
» Median listings price per square foot: $315.95
» Median market time: 56 days
» Months remaining inventory:* 8.7 months

* Inventory divided by monthly sales

Source: Prudential Locations Inc.