Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire



Isle electric vehicle program extended

Hyundai Motor Co. and the state are extending until 2005 the Hawaii Electric Vehicle Demonstration Program, to improve the fast-charging capability of the vehicles.

In the first phase of the program, 15 electric-powered Hyundai Santa Fe SUV prototypes were distributed to the city, the Hawaiian Electric Co., Hickam Air Force Base and the state for fleet use, and driven a total 145,000 miles in hot weather.

The program, started in July 2001, is a partnership that includes the city, the U.S. Air Force and Enova Systems Inc. of Torrance, Calif., which provides the electric drive system to power the vehicles.

Pleasant Holidays buys wholesaler

Major Hawaii travel wholesaler Pleasant Holidays is buying Hawaii World, a Livermore, Calif.,-based company that specializes in luxury Hawaii vacations, for an undisclosed purchase price.

The agreement is expected to be signed Thursday.

Hawaii World will continue to be based in Livermore and will operate independently.

Tesoro to outsource car washes

Tesoro Hawaii Corp. plans to lease out its car wash operations at five island Tesoro stations to another business. That will mean 33 employees being laid off, Tesoro said in a filing with the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

The company said it can give no assurances, but some or all of those workers may be hired by the company taking over the car-wash operations.

Tesoro did not name that company. Tesoro Hawaii, which has 35 gasoline stations in the islands and owns the state's largest refinery, laid off some 35 people six months ago and now has 602 employees. The timing of the car-wash change was not announced.

Help for parched businesses

Low-interest disaster loans are available to certain Big Island small businesses suffering losses due to drought conditions from Jan. 1, 2001 to Dec. 31, 2002.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $1.5 million are available to small businesses, such as nurseries, to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met were it not for the drought. Eligibility for the loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration is "based on the financial impact of the disaster only, and not on any actual property damage," said Alfred E. Judd, disaster area director. The loans carry an interest rate of 4 percent with a maximum term of 30 years.

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are ineligible for the SBA loans but may contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Services Agency about disaster assistance. Information and application forms may be obtained by calling (800) 488-5323 or by writing to the SBA at P.O. Box 13795, Sacramento, Calif., 95853-4795. The deadline to apply is Feb. 3, 2004.

Hawaiian Samoa route may resume


Wednesday, July 2, 2003

>> According to Hawaiian Airlines, repairs to the runway in Pago Pago, American Samoa, were not completed on Sunday. Also, the air carrier is still considering a plans to use Apia in the nation of Samoa as an alternate airport. There were inaccuracies in a news brief that ran on Page C1 yesterday.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Editor Frank Bridgewater at 529-4791 or email him at

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa >> Hawaiian Airlines could resume flights between Honolulu and American Samoa as early as Thursday, an airline spokesman said.

The flights are pending Federal Aviation Administration approval of the main runway at Pago Pago International. FAA personnel are scheduled to inspect the repaired airstrip Thursday morning, airport officials said.

Repairs to 6,000 feet of runway got under way Friday and was completed Sunday, according to contractor GMP Associates.

The carrier suspended its route June 24, after two of its aircraft were damaged from debris on the runway. A plan for Hawaiian to operate temporarily between Apia, the capital of the island nation of Samoa, has been canceled.

Judge grants Enron more time for plan

NEW YORK >> A federal judge yesterday gave bankrupt Enron Corp. until July 11 to file its reorganization plan, granting the former energy trader's request for an 11-day extension.

The plan had been due yesterday. But last week Enron asked for more time, saying it had reached a tentative agreement with creditors on the plan but still needed to work out details.

The plan will spell out how Enron will partly pay back the creditors it owes tens of billions of dollars. Most creditors will recover less than 20 cents for each dollar of debt, The Wall Street Journal reported.

In other news ...

>> A federal appeals court yesterday ordered a trial in a lawsuit filed on behalf of share- holders against ConAgra Foods over fictitious sales and misreported earnings at its subsidiary United Agri Products, which will result in $120 million in lower earnings for 1998 through 2000.

>> The Bush administration yesterday repealed a requirement that employers report repetitive stress injuries; the measure had not yet taken effect, and Labor Department officials said such data would be useless in identifying causes and preventing such injuries.


E-mail to Business Editor


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2003 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --