Local Industry News & Notes for Sunday, October 12, 2008

• Hawaiian air traffic up, capacity down

• Kekahu Foundation to hold board election

• KCC examines organic growing

• Westside to host job fair

Hawaiian air traffic up, capacity down

Hawaiian Airlines Inc. reported increases in traffic for September, the third quarter and the year to date, while seating capacity dropped for those same periods.

The company attributes the increase in passenger numbers year-over-year to its expansion of interisland operations; the lower revenue per passenger mile and average load factor reflect adjustment of capacity between markets and lower transpacific capacity as Hawaiian has raised fares in an effort to offset the increased price of fuel.

For the month of September, the total number of passengers increased 2.7 percent to 595,070, compared to the same month last year. The seating capacity was at 80 percent, a 7.9 percentage point drop over 2007.

In the third quarter, the total number of passengers increased 9 percent to 2.04 million, compared to the same quarter last year. The seating capacity was at 80.3 percent, a 7.4 percentage point drop over 2007.

For the year to date through September, total passengers increased 11.4 percent to 5.9 million, compared to the same quarter last year. The seating capacity was 83.4 percent, a 4 percentage point drop over 2007.

Hawai‘i banks lower base rates

In response to the Federal Reserve’s interest rate drop last week, Hawai‘i banks have followed suit with cuts to their prime lending rates.

First Hawaiian Bank, Bank of Hawaii, American Savings Bank and Central Pacific Bank all lowered their prime lending rates from 5 percent to 4.5 percent on Thursday.

 The prime rate is a benchmark for interest rates on many types of loans.

Kekahu Foundation to hold board election

This fall, for the first time since Kaua‘i Community Radio went on the air in 1997, members of the Kekahu Foundation will have a direct say in who sits on the foundation’s board of directors.

The Kekahu Foundation board has voted to implement a two-year pilot program to bring the board elections to the membership. The goal is to find the right balance of governance and determine if board members should be elected, appointed or a combination of the two. Currently, board members fill vacancies to any of the nine seats as they become available. If successful, the process could become permanent.

The pilot process requires a voter turnout of at least 15 percent, with the top vote-getter winning a seat. Results will be made public Nov. 6.

The nonprofit Kekahu Foundation board is tasked with the long-term direction, policies, financial health, community support and stable operation of the foundation and KKCR. The board is not directly responsible for the day-to-day operation of KKCR, its programming content or individual programming decisions.

KCC examines organic growing

In the face of rising food costs and tumbling financial markets, Kaua‘i Community College will offer a seminar on how to grow your own food organically.

“Growing Food: Principles and Methods of Organic Horticulture” is designed for home gardeners and those seeking to establish community gardens in their neighborhood. The 10-session program will be held Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. beginning this week.

Principal instructor Katherine Doherty is experienced in organic horticulture and permaculture systems of food production. She worked with a National Science Foundation-funded program at Bishop Museum and has authored several studies in the fields of horticulture and ecology.

Other instructors will include several organic farmers from Kaua‘i and others from KCC and UH College of Tropical Agriculture.

Tuition is $120 and a limited number of partial scholarships are available. For more information, call Glenn Hontz at 246-4859. To enroll, call 245-8318.

Westside to host job fair

WorkWise! Kaua‘i invites Westside job-seekers to a job fair Oct. 18 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Hanapepe Recreation Center.

Macy’s, Lockheed Martin, Big Save, Paxen Group and Pioneer Seed have signed on to participate.

Career development professionals will also provide applicants opportunities to learn about job training resources, job search tips and how to prepare for an interview.

Companies from Po‘ipu to PMRF are being invited to assist attendees with their questions and employment intentions. There is no charge to vendors or job seekers.

Internet access will be available for job searching and submitting applications. Call 652-0515 for more information.

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