Business Briefs
Star-Bulletin staff & wire reports





Interisland fares are on sale, briefly

Aloha and Hawaiian airlines are both offering discounted interisland fares for a limited time. Aloha is offering one-way fares between Honolulu and the main islands for $65 for travel through Sept. 8. Hawaiian has responded by offering $55 one-way interisland fares for bookings made on its Web site for travel through Sept. 15. Both fares exclude taxes and fees.

For more information, visit www.AlohaAirlines.com and www.HawaiianAirlines.com.

Lanai getting first gas system

The Gas Co. is installing an underground utility gas distribution system for a 38-unit luxury home project under construction on Lanai, providing the island's first utility gas system.

The home and condominium development is called the Palms at Manele Bay, and it is expected to be completed by 2007. The state Public Utilities Commission has approved a utility gas rate schedule.


Federated to sell off 26 stores

Federated Department Stores Inc. will sell 26 stores in its purchase of May Department Stores Co. as part of an antitrust agreement with five states, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said yesterday.

Federated must receive offers for the stores by Feb. 1, Spitzer said in a statement. The states of California, Massachusetts, Maryland and Pennsylvania were involved in the settlement. In a separate statement yesterday, Federated said it completed the May acquisition and will sell an additional seven stores in New York, Massachusetts and California, bringing the total to 75. It didn't cite the antitrust accord.

The agreement follows an investigation into the transaction by Spitzer and the states attorneys general. The officials pushed for the sales to ensure the deal wouldn't squelch department-store competition and consumer choice, Spitzer said. Federated has said it's selling to eliminate duplicate stores in markets and to further expand the Macy's brand.

iPod faces new patent challenge

SAN FRANCISCO » Raising another legal threat to the iPod music player, Creative Technology Ltd. said it has been awarded a U.S. patent for a song-navigation technology it claims is used on Apple Computer Inc.'s market-leading devices.

The Singapore-based digital audio company did not, however, say how it would attempt to enforce the patent. And some experts were skeptical that legal action could succeed at extracting cash from the maker of the world's most popular music players.

"Apple tried to claim invention, but this patent dispels that," said Craig McHugh, president of Creative Labs, a Milpitas-based subsidiary. "We are going to look at all the alternatives that the patent provides. We can look at legal remedies."


New jobs

» KHNL/KFVE-TV has appointed Ron Shiraishi and Nani Liu as sales and marketing executives. Shiraishi most recently served as OfficeMax's business development manager. Liu previously served as a Spotlight Hawaii Publishing account executive.

» ChaneyBrooks has hired Kohei Hakamada as the commercial brokerage team's international sales agent and Tom Kenney to work in the retail leasing and sales team. Hakamada previously served as sales liaison for such companies as Nitten USA Inc., Hawaiian Dream Corp. and Eiji Japan Corp. Kenny previously oversaw outlets for Bulgari, Tespacific P.K. Ltd. and Etro in both Waikiki and Ala Moana Center.

» ResortQuest Hawaii has appointed Robyn Basso national accounts director and regional sales manager for the Midwest, East Coast and Eastern Canada. Based in Chicago, she will be responsible for establishing and maintaining relationships with key accounts with travel agencies, franchise groups, cooperative groups and travel marketing organizations. She has 12 years of hospitality experience in Hawaii, Chicago, Detroit and Boston.

» Hilo Hattie has hired Mari Tianne Okamoto as Oahu sales manager and promoted Stephen Lopaz to tracking supervisor of the sales and marketing department. Okamoto will be responsible for driving business into the flagship factory store on Nimitz Highway and the store at the Ala Moana Center. Lopaz handles the administrative and supervisory activities of the tracking and commissions division, and the daily office activities for his staff.

On the board

» The Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaii has announced its officers for 2005-2006: Dwayne Mukai, president; Phoebe Lambeth, first vice president; Barry Taniguchi, acting second vice president; Owen Nakatsu, third vice president; Naomi Menor, secretary; Michael Miyahira, treasurer; and Yukio Takeya, auditor.

» The Plumbing and Mechanical Contractors Association of Hawaii has installed Robert Hann as president for the 2005-2006 term. He succeeds Glenn Tango.

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