Local Industry for Sunday — December 18, 2005

NEWS & NOTES

Kaua’i records record vegetable, melon cropKaua’crop

  • According to state Department of Agriculture figures, farmers in the County of Kaua’i produced a record 1.8 million pounds of vegetables and melons last year, up 17 percent from the previous year. Major crops are watermelons, sweet corn and cucumbers.

The farm value of that crop was $1.35 million last year, down 13 percent from $1.558 million in 2003.

Haruki named to Superferry board

  • Warren H. Haruki, president and chief executive officer of Grove Farm and affiliated Lihue Land Company, has been named to the board of directors of Hawaii Superferry, Inc. Grove Farm owner Steve Case has invested in the Hawaii Superferry. Haruki holds a master’s degree from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, is a Kaua’i native, and is the former president of GTE Hawaiian Tel and its successor, Verizon Hawaii (now Hawaiian Telcom).

Haruki also serves as a board director for First Hawaiian Bank, Pacific Guardian Life Insurance Co., Blood Bank of Hawaii, and the Parker Ranch Foundation Trust.

Hawaii Superferry officials plan to begin interisland ferry service in early 2007, and to establish advisory boards on each of the Neighbor Islands made up exclusively of residents of each of those islands.

State tax take is on the rise

  • Overall tax revenues for the first five months of the fiscal year are up 13.7 percent compared to the same period last year, according to figures from the state Department of Taxation. Total tax revenues last month were $352.5 million, and $1.7 billion for the first five months of the fiscal year begun July 1, compared to $1.5 billion for the same period last year. Collections of transient accommodations taxes, individual income taxes, and general excise and use taxes, were all up for the first five months of the current fiscal year compared to the same period last year.

Papaya-farmer training course continues

  • A free training program for income-qualifying residents interested in learning how to grow and market papayas is ongoing, led by officials from Kauai Economic Opportunity, Inc. Please call 245-4077 for more information.

Federal inquiry of Bank of Hawaii ends

  • Officials at Bank of Hawaii announced that staff members of the federal Securities and Exchange Commission have terminated their investigation related to alleged market timing and/or excessive trading in the Pacific Capital Funds, and has decided not to recommend enforcement against company leaders, those in the Asset Management Group of Bank of Hawaii, or any of the present or former officers who had received so-called “Wells notices.”

HVCB has goodwill ambassadors program

  • Leaders of the Hawai’i Visitors and Convention Bureau are offering a free program, Sharing Aloha, to help members of nonprofit groups serve as goodwill ambassadors while traveling abroad for special events. The program provides nonprofits with free promotional Hawai’i-themed gifts to hand out during their travels to performances, competitions, and other events outside the islands.

To qualify, group representatives register on the HVCB Web site at sharingaloha.com. A variety of promotional gift items are available, including logo pens and pencils, “Aloha” stickers and post-its, and shell lei. Groups members also receive free online publicity for their events on the Sharing Aloha Web site calendar, which is linked to HVCB’s popular travel Web site, GoHawaii.com. For more information, please visit the Web site, sharingaloha.com, or call HVCB at 1-808-942-0213.

Chamber silent auction nets $10,000

  • The Kaua’i Chamber of Commerce annual silent auction at this month’s quarterly general membership meeting netted over $10,000, Chamber officials said. All money raised help to pay for from our membership dues, 22 percent comes from functions and seminars, and the remainder comes from grants, wedding and re-location packets and Kaua’i book sales, silent auction, etc.

Holiday happenings at ResortQuest properties

  • Officials at ResortQuest Hawaii, formerly Aston Hotels & Resorts, are celebrating this holiday season with an array of fun-filled activities at all 28 of its hotels and condominium resorts, including the Waimea Plantation Cottages and Islander on the Beach on Kaua’i.

At ResortQuest Waimea Plantation Cottages, the kupuna (elders) of the area are welcomed year-round to gather in the breeze-way for crafting and singing. They share their crafts, culture and heritage with guests.

During Christmas week, the kupuna will be caroling and sharing home-baked Christmas cookies with guests staying in each of the property’s 61 historic cottages.

Halfway around the island, in Waipouli, rumor has it that Santa, who arrives Christmas week at the ResortQuest Islander on the Beach, bears an uncanny resemblance to the resort’s general manager. During the week, light refreshments follow employee caroling on the pool deck each evening.

Invites go out for Taiwan trip

  • Leaders with the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism are inviting anyone interested in participating in the Hawai’i pavilion at Gourmet Taipei, one of the largest food and lifestyle shows in Taiwan, from April 27 to May 1. Over 36,000 people attended this event in 2005. In 2006, the show will feature a Hawai’i theme, with highlights including Hawai’i chefs’ cooking demonstrations, Hawai’i entertainers on the main stage, and a Hawai’i pavilion showcasing Hawai’i food and beverage products, educational opportunities, Hawai’i tourism promotions, and much more.

Half and full booths are available for those interested in providing displays, offering product samples, selling products, and more. Business meetings tailored to business interests will be scheduled, as well as one-on-one meetings. For more information, please call toll-free 274-3141, then ask for the DBEDT offices after the recorded message.

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