News & Notes for Sunday — October 16, 2005

My back pages

. Beyond the fluctuations in prices, the gas cap is having an unsuspected affect on retailers. In no other industry does the media advise consumers which day they should make their purchases. As one retail owner said, “can you imagine if the press told the public what day they could (should) buy milk at Safeway? They’d have a lot of sour milk.”

. I still don’t understand the “inventory” concept when it comes to real estate. If a majority of “boutique projects” are sold inhouse and do not make it to the Multiple Listing Service, and other housing is still in the “proverbial” pipeline, what accounts for growing inventory except for sellers either flipping units or long-term residents selling their homes at overheated prices?

. Please, all you dogs and cats, stop e-mailing me your photos and offering me bribes. No, I don’t want that remote you buried three years ago. Ditto that autographed copy of “Milo and Otis.” I have no control over who wins the Pet Idol contest, though I’m beginning to enjoy those Sausages.

Cruise ships calling on Nawiliwili

. Tomorrow, Monday, Oct. 17, the Pride of Aloha, 850 feet long, calls on Nawiliwili Harbor, arriving at 7 a.m. and departing Tuesday, Oct. 18. This Wednesday, Oct. 19, the Norwegian Wind, 754 feet long, arrives at 7 a.m., and departs the same day at 5 p.m. This Thursday, Oct. 20, the Pride of America, 965 feet long, arrives at 8 a.m., and leaves Friday, Oct. 21 at 6 p.m.

Cox and Purisima wins Po’ipu golf recognition

. Thomas Cox and Tiffany Purisima have been named Poipu Bay Golf Course’s Employees of the Quarter for the third quarter of 2005. Both are relatively new employees. Cox has worked in Poipu Bay’s Guest Service Department since April of this year, and Purisima has worked in the Accounting Department since February. Cox was nominated for the honor by his supervisor, Chad Dusenberry, who says, “Tom has an outgoing attitude, and takes initiative in doing tasks before being asked to do so. He provides guests with prompt service.”

Lynne Matsumura nominated Purisima, saying, “Since Tiffany started working for us just a little over six months ago, she’s taken the proverbial ‘bull by the horns,’ and tackled her job with confidence and zeal. The company can rely on Tiffany to do her job well, and that makes her invaluable!”

Poipu Bay’s quarterly employee awards are based on nominations made by department supervisors, commending employees in the areas of attendance, conscientiousness, attitude, efficiency, innovation, guest service and aloha spirit. Cox and Purisima received a variety of gifts as part of the award, and are recognized on plaques that are displayed at the Poipu Bay clubhouse.

Hanalei Colony Resort completes renovations

. Hanalei Colony Resort, a small, intimate beach resort on Kauai’s North Shore, at Ha’ena, has completed a summer-long refurbishment project, upgrading the interiors of the property’s 48, two-bed-room condominium units.

All of Hanalei Colony’s units now feature new tropical furnishings in the living room, dining area and bedrooms, including new sofas, love seats, dining sets, barstools, window coverings, lamps, bedroom dressers and night stands, beds and bedding. The fresh new interiors feature custom-made furniture with the mirrors, dining-room chairs, barstools and coffee tables sporting a carved, taro-leaf motif designed exclusively for Hanalei Colony, a spokesperson said.

In addition to the interior-refurbishment project, Hanalei Colony leaders have also been undertaking a renovation of their units, upgrading them from two-bedroom, one-bathroom units to two-bedroom, two-bath layouts. This renovation has been taking place for the past two years, and is proceeding slowly, in order to limit inconvenience to guests, the spokesperson said. Ten of the resort’s 13 buildings have been converted to two-bathroom units, with the final three buildings expected to be completed by the end of 2006.

Hanalei Colony is a five-acre, low-rise property located on a long curve of golden beach near the end of the road in Ha’ena, Kauai’s remote, northernmost town. Hanalei Colony Resort amenities include a swimming pool, hot tub, barbecue and picnic areas, free wireless Internet service, a guest laundromat, and twice-weekly maid service. Guests are invited to a weekly, complimentary continental breakfast, and an afternoon mai tai party in the resort’s beachfront Makana Room. A variety of wellness activities, including yoga sessions and therapeutic massage services, are offered by operators of Hanalei Day Spa, located on the resort property.

Hanalei Colony is independently-owned and managed. For reservations or information, call toll-free from Hawai’i, the U.S. mainland and Canada, 1-800-628-3004. Visit the hotel’s Web site at www.hcr.com (reservations can be made online), or e-mail aloha@hcr.com, for more information.

American Savings Bank’s Lau to be honored

. Editors at U.S. Banker magazine, a national trade publication, has named Constance “Connie” Lau, president and chief executive officer of American Savings Bank, number 11 among its 25 Most Powerful Women in banking nationwide. She will accept the honor at a gala in New York City this Thursday, Oct. 20.

This marks the second year in a row Lau has been named to the Top 25. In 2004, Lau also placed number 11 on the list, and was named “Number 1 Fast-Tracker” for transforming American Savings Bank into a fast-growing player in Hawai’i’s banking market, a magazine source said. This year, Lau was listed in the “Fast Lane” top five, and was invited to appear on the cover of the magazine. Lau’s recognition is an impressive accomplishment given the fact that over 50 percent of those ranked last year did not make the cut this year.

In her four years as president and chief executive officer, Lau has been the driving force behind the bank’s transformation efforts, from a “sleepy thrift” to a powerhouse bank, the third-largest financial institution in Hawai’i. She has moved the bank from just selling checking and savings accounts and mortgages, to becoming a major player in the commercial banking and commercial real estate businesses in just a few short years, business lines normally dominated by men, according to a magazine spokesperson. Bank officials now provide an expanded roster of business banking and investment services they didn’t have before.

More than 5,000 women were considered for U.S. Banker’s third-annual ranking. Judging included examining factors such as tenure in the business, year-over-year financial performance, three-year financial performance, as well as the qualitative side, including position and responsibility, management style, charitable work, sway within the bank, participation in the local community, and influence within the industry as a whole.

Island Air announces partnership with Avis, Budget

. Travelers who fly Island Air can now also make Avis or Budget carrental reservations through a new agreement between leaders of Island Air and Cendant Car Rental Group, the parent company of Avis Rent A Car and Budget Rent A Car, an airline spokesperson said. Customers making flight reservations on Island Air can now be transferred to a reservations agent at Avis or Budget to make carrental arrangements.

“We’re very happy to be working with Avis and Budget,” said Island Air Chief Executive Officer Rob Mauracher. “This new program allows us to extend our services beyond flight reservations to make travel easier for our customers.”

When traveling around Maui or the Big Island, passengers who book car reservations through Island Air can also take advantage of a 66-percent reduced drop-off fee when returning their car to a different airport. Customers will have the added convenience and choice of returning rental cars at either the Kahului or Kapalua airport on Maui, and the Hilo or Kona airport on the Big Island.

Island Air is a regional carrier, serving more destinations in Hawai’i than any other airline. Island Air now offers 88 daily flights to O’ahu (Honolulu), Maui (Kahului and Kapalua), Kaua’i (Lihu’e), the Big Island (Kona and Hilo), Moloka’i and Lana’i. Please visit www.islandair.com for reservations and flight information.

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