Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire




Kapiolani nurses vote on contract

Some 450 unionized nurses at Kapiolani Medical Center will decide today whether to reject a final contract offer from management and seek a strike.

The Kapiolani nurses have already given the hospital notice of their intent to strike beginning 7 a.m. Monday, as have nurses at Kaiser Foundation Hospital, Kuakini Medical Center, and St. Francis. Nurses at Queen's Medical Center have set a similar deadline of 7 a.m. Tuesday.

The union representing the nurses is scheduled to continue bargaining with Kapiolani Friday.

The Hawaii Nurses Association said it is willing to bargain Saturday with several hospitals to avert a strike.

Kapiolani nurses want 10 percent annual increases in their base wage, while the hospital is offering 6.5 percent increases, according to the hospital. The union wants a ban on forced overtime, which the hospital opposes. Both sides also disagree on retirement benefits. Kapiolani issued its last and final offer after both sides failed to reach a settlement during a meeting last week.

Also today, the nurses union will resume negotiations with Kaiser. No hospital negotiations are currently scheduled for Thanksgiving Day, but are "possible," the union said. Talks between St. Francis and the nurses union broke off Monday, with the union rejecting the hospital's best and final offer outright, without a vote of the members. Kuakini negotiations continued yesterday. Talks between nurses and Queen's will resume Friday and Saturday.

Island Air adds to Kapalua flights

Starting Sunday, Island Air will add three flights a week to its Honolulu-Kapalua/West Maui service. The airline currently has five flights a day to Kapalua, using 37-seat De Havilland Dash-8 aircraft. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays that will rise to six a day. The West Maui airport provides easy access to the resorts at Kapalua, Kaanapali and Lahaina.

Island Air is part of privately owned Aloha AirGroup Inc., whose biggest subsidiary is Aloha Airlines. For schedule details check

Group 70 design firm nabs awards

Group 70 International, a Hawaii design firm, said yesterday it has received awards for two projects in the state and was recognized for two other projects.

The two awards came from the Building Industry Association during its 17th annual Renaissance Building and Remodeling Awards. Group 70 received the Overall Grand Award for Commercial Remodeling for the Kalihi Valley Homes renovation Phase 1 project. BIA also awarded Group 70 the Overall Grand Award for the Newcomer to Show Building for the Ward Entertainment Center project.

In addition, Group 70 was recognized by the American Institute of Architects, Hawaii State Council, which presented developer Kamuela Associates with the Excellence in Architecture award for the Holo Holo Ku at Parker Ranch, The Cottages project, which was designed by Group 70. The award is granted for projects that exemplify excellence of architectural design.

Group 70, founded in Honolulu in 1971, offers architecture, assets management, urban planning, environmental services and interior design services.

Hawaii's tech sector growing, report says

Hawaii's private-sector technology job count increased 4.1 percent to more than 13,500 last year, according to a new report from the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

The tech sector accounted for 3 percent of all private sector jobs in the isles in 2001, the report said, and about 5.2 percent of total private sector wages and benefits.

Telecommunications provided the most tech jobs, 47 percent, followed by information technology, at 33 percent. Biotechnology was the fastest-growing tech field.

The average salary in the tech sector increased 2 percent in 2001, to $50,800, according to the report.

Commerce invests $4.1M in Hawaii

The U.S. Department of Commerce said it invested $4.1 million in the 2002 fiscal year to boost business development and job growth in Hawaii. The department's economic development administration provides venture capital grants to help attract investments from the private sector.

The grants in the 12 months that ended June 30 are expected to attract $231 million in private-sector capital and create or keep 400 jobs in the islands, the department said.

Information on the program can be found on the department's Web site at

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