Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire



PUC waives wireless regulations

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission is waiving certain regulatory requirements imposed on wireless carriers operating in Hawaii, saying the changes would allow phone companies to focus on bringing new and innovative services to the islands.

The waivers free wireless firms from having to get prior approval from the commission for mergers, changes in ownership and certain financial transactions such as issuing debt. The waivers also drop a requirement that carriers file documents with the commission indicating their rates and terms of service.

The changes are aimed at giving carriers "increased flexibility and relief to (facilitate) ... new and innovative wireless telecommunications technologies to Hawaii," the commission said in a news release.

Michael Bagley, Verizon Wireless director of public policy for the West Coast and Hawaii, said it remains to be seen whether any specific benefit will trickle down to subscribers.

"But any easing of the regulatory burden is good for us, especially in such a fast-moving industry," he says.

Lisa Kikuta, chief researcher with the PUC, said lifting the requirements was justified by the fact that no wireless carrier dominates the Hawaii market. She added that healthy competition serves the same purpose as regulation.

Several companies provide local wireless services, including national carriers such as AT&T Wireless, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile.

Kikuta said many of the previous requirements were redundant. She added that the waivers could be rescinded if, for example, merger activity begins to threaten competition.

UH college honors graduates

The University of Hawaii College of Business Administration honored four distinguished graduates last night.

Dee Jay Mailer, chief executive of Kamehameha Schools; Hideo Noguchi, founder and chief executive of Noguchi & Associates Inc.; T.C. Chan, head of Citigroup operations in Taiwan; and Jim Hassett, area managing partner of Ernst & Young in Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan were lauded at the college's annual Business Night event.

Also last night, Noguchi awarded five $1,000 scholarships to immigrant students, each pursuing a college education in Hawaii.

Castle to drop program facility in Waimanalo

Castle Medical Center will close its day-treatment program facility in Waimanalo sometime in June or July and will lay off its five employees at the center.

A Castle spokeswoman could not be reached for comment. Castle employs 1,000 people islandwide.

Drought assistance available to firms

Small nonfarm businesses are eligible to apply for low-interest disaster loans to offset reduced revenue resulting from drought conditions. The deadline to apply is Nov. 22.

The U.S. Small Business Administration said the working capital loans will be based on the financial impact of the disaster and not on any actual property damage. The loans have an interest rate of about 3.3 percent, a maximum term of 30 years and are restricted to small businesses that don't have the financial ability to offset the impact without hardship.

Small businesses may qualify for economic injury disaster loans of as much as $1.5 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses.

Information and application forms may be obtained by writing to the SBA at P.O. Box 419004, Sacramento, Calif., 95841-9004, or by calling 1-800-488-5323.


[Hawaii Inc.]


New Jobs

>> Halekulani Corp. has engaged James F. Pedone as sales and marketing vice president. He is responsible for all sales and marketing programs and initiatives for the Halekulani, Waikiki Parc and all future properties. He has nearly two decades of experience and previously served as sales and marketing director at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, Calif.

>> Gae Bergquist Trommald has joined Communications Pacific as executive vice president. Her primary responsibility is overseeing the company's marketing division, which includes CP Advertising, CP Interactive and the promotional public relations group. She was most recently senior financial advisor at Merrill Lynch's Saracco, Hochuli, Bergquist Trommald & Associates Group, focusing on investment management for endowments, foundations and high net worth individuals and families.


>> Aloha Airlines has promoted Soren Burkhart to senior vice president of business and technology integration and chief information officer. He was previously president and founder of software company Burkhart Technology Solutions and Hawaii Business Consulting cofounder and managing director.

>> Nishikawa Architects Inc. has promoted John Morgan Gerdel to associate and Durwin Kiyabu to principal. Gerdel joined the company in 2000 and Kiyabu joined in 1998.


E-mail to Business Editor


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2004 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --