News & Notes

Sustainable energy subject of NTBG lecture

• Dr. Adam Asquith will address the future of Kaua‘i’s sustainable-energy efforts at the National Tropical Botanical Garden’s Science in the Garden lecture series Wednesday evening. Asquith, of the Kauai Agricultural Research Station and the University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program, will talk specifically about electricity, transportation, food production, housing and construction and tourism, and how they will be affected by the decreasing availability of affordable liquid fuels. 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, NTBG Harrison Chandler Education Center at the end of Papalina Road, Kalaheo.

Wells Fargo activates emergency assistance for Hawai‘i customers

• Wells Fargo Home Mortgage announced in a press release Friday a toll-free number for mortgage customers in Kaua‘i and Honolulu counties affected by the recent flooding and heavy rains. Customers can call 888-818-9147 to speak with trained specialists about home damage issues and all insurance and payment moratorium requests.

Emberson promoted at Bank of Hawaii

• Ian Emberson was recently promoted to executive loan officer of Bank of Hawaii’s Kauai Residential Loan Center. Emberson joined Bank of Hawaii as the assistant manager of the Lihu‘e branch in 1995, after working as a territory manager for Unocal 76. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Massachusetts, and has been a member of the Kauai Rotary Club for 15 years. Bank of Hawaii also announced the election of Kent T. Lucien to its board of directors, for a two-year term beginning April 28. The former chief executive officer of operations for C. Brewer & Company who will also serve on the Audit Committee, and filled the void left by the November retirement of Steve Baldwin.

Aloha Beach Resort-Kauai purchase finalized

• Anekona Real Estate Development closed on the purchase of the 216-unit Aloha Beach Resort-Kauai, located at the mouth of the Wailua River, from Equinox Hotel Management for an undisclosed amount. Anekona also recently purchased the nearby 350-room Kauai Beach Hotel & Resort, which will be re-branded as the Hilton Kauai Beach Resort this summer. “They are going to be sister properties,” said Candy Aluli of Aluli Public Relations.

go! fare sale ends today

• go! Airlines’ $39 one-way fares between Honolulu and Kaua‘i, Maui and the Big Island are scheduled to end today, though the interisland airline has extended the sale several times already. The new carrier, which launches June 9, is the Hawaiian division of Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group. The lower fares are available for travel through Sept. 30. Both Hawaiian Airlines and Aloha Airlines have responded with similar sales over the same time period.

First Hawaiian Bank posts record first quarter

• First Hawaiian Bank posted record first-quarter earnings of $48.7 million recently, up 26.5 percent from last year’s first quarter, states a press release. The state’s oldest and largest bank also saw total assets reach $11.7 billion, up 8.8 percent, and deposits of $8.6 billion, up 6.4 percent. President and Chief Executive Officer Don Horner credited net interest margin and asset quality for the strong numbers.

HVCB offers revamped online-travel-agent school

• The Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau unveiled its new Ke Kula O Hawai‘i (School of Hawai‘i) Destination Specialist program recently. The free program takes about four hours to complete, and offers travel agents several business tools for selling Hawaiian vacations. HVCB’s Elizabeth Johnsen said half of the training focuses on Hawaiian culture, history and geography, and the other half centers around selling Hawai‘i in today’s marketplace. More than 7,000 travel agents have been certified in the Destination Specialist program since its launch in 1999. For more information, see www.agents.gohawaii.com.

Hawaiian Airlines expands West Coast service; earns high customer service marks

• With four new Boeing 767-300 jets scheduled to join the fleet in the fall, Hawaiian Airlines is increasing its flights to and from Honolulu and Maui to five major West Coast cities, states a press release. Starting on Sept. 6, Hawaiian will extend its nonstop San Diego-Maui summer schedule to year-round service. Throughout the fall, the airline will also beef up its Seattle-Maui, Portland-Maui, Sacramento-Honolulu and Seattle-Honolulu routes. In the summer of 2007, one of Hawaiian’s Los Angeles-Honolulu flights will increase from four flights a week to daily service.

• Hawaiian Airlines also ranked first or second in four of the five customer-service categories tracked by the U.S. Department of Transportation for the first quarter of 2006. Hawaiian led all 19 domestic airlines in on-time service, fewest cancellations and fewest baggage-handling mishaps. The airline ranked at the top of each category for all of 2005. It placed second behind JetBlue in fewest over-sales, and ranked seventh in consumer complaints. Eight airlines with service to Hawai‘i were ranked. Like Hawaiian, Aloha Airlines accounts for less than 1 percent of total domestic passenger load, and, as such, is not required to file statistics with the DOT, said Aloha spokesman Stu Glauberman.

Quarterly dividends declared

• Hawaiian Electric Industries declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of 31 cents per share last week. The dividend, which is equivalent to an annual rate of $1.24 per share, is payable June 14 to all stockholders of record at the close of business on May 15. In a Tuesday press release, President and Chief Executive Officer Constance H. Lau said the company intends to maintain dividends at the current level.

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