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Annual Report Highlights Hawaii’s Improving Economic, Fiscal Trajectory

The State of Hawaii’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, has been completed and shows Hawaii’s asset growth has outpaced liability growth for the first time in seven years.

Fiscal

The 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) of the State of Hawaii, measures the state’s net position as a broad indicator of its net worth and overall fiscal health.

“The report measures the state’s net worth and overall fiscal health, which clearly shows strong positive fiscal growth over fiscal year 2012,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said. “Our improving trajectory is a reflection of positive trends in our local economy and responsible management of fiscal affairs, which now includes recognized improvements in meeting our obligations for timely reporting.”

The state Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS) in coordination with the Department of Budget and Finance and the Office of the Legislative Auditor completed the CAFR on Jan. 27, 2014. The report shows the State of Hawaii’s net position (assets less liabilities) for primary governmental activities increased for the first time since 2006 by $307.1 million, from $4.5 billion to $4.8 billion. This represents an increase of 6.8 percent over 2012. Assets increased by $1.1 billion, which outpaced an increase in liabilities of $807 million. The growth in assets is attributable to accelerating growth in revenues and slower-paced growth in operating expenditures.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie was joined by Comptroller Dean Seki and Finance Director Kalbert Young to announce the public release of the 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) of the State of Hawaii, which measures the state's net position as a broad indicator of its net worth and overall fiscal health.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie was joined by Comptroller Dean Seki and Finance Director Kalbert Young to announce the public release of the 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) of the State of Hawaii, which measures the state’s net position as a broad indicator of its net worth and overall fiscal health.

In addition, for the first time in more than five years, the state received the Award of Achievement of Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association for its 2012 CAFR. The award is given to governments for publishing financial reports that are clear, accurate, and delivered in a timely manner. Under the Abercrombie Administration, DAGS along with the Department of Budget and Finance have worked with the Office of the Legislative Auditor and an external auditor to address deficiencies in the timely production of previous CAFRs.

“The CAFR represents a coordinated and truly collaborative effort of all state departments with the Legislative Auditor and external auditor,” said DAGS Comptroller Dean Seki. “For each of the last three years, the CAFR has been delivered in a more timely manner, compared to the state’s delivery prior, and will serve as a helpful guide for anyone who has interest in the financial operations of the state.”

Fiscal3

State Finance Director Kalbert Young commended: “Investors and credit agencies expect year-end financial reports to be available as soon as possible after the closing of the fiscal year so that the information is not outdated. We believe the state can continue to improve delivery of future reports.”

The CAFR also identified an encouraging decrease in capital projects fund standing balances from $281 million to $149 million. This reflects an increase in capital improvement project activity as more funds were deployed with improved efficiency into the economy through construction projects.

PowerPoint Presentation

Addressing Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) liabilities, Young added: “The report illustrates the importance of pre-paying annual required contribution for OPEB liabilities, as Gov. Abercrombie has been advocating over the last three years. The successful passage of Act 268 in 2013 and our intending Annual Required Contribution (ARC) contribution of $100 million in fiscal year 2014 should start to slow and then reverse the increase on the balance sheet and further improve our asset ratio.”

The State of Hawaii’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, is available online at: http://ags.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/soh-cafr-20130630.pdf

Congressional Candidate Bob Marx on Jobs, the Economy, GMO-Labeling, and Education.

Speaking to a large crowd at the Hilo Woman’s Club this evening, 2ndCongressional District Candidate Bob Marx addressed a variety of issues including Jobs and the Economy, GMO-Labeling, and Education.

On education, Mr. Marx responded to the first question of a young woman in the audience who asked about the burden of her student loans: “New college graduates begin their careers with an average of $35,000 in student loan debt, in addition to any family repayment obligations or credit card debt they may have incurred. They face unemployment rates in the low teens, and most federally-backed student loans, like the popular Stafford program, come knocking on their doors immediately upon graduation and cannot be discharged or forgiven even through bankruptcy filing. And this Republican Congress is threatening to double the rates? That’s preposterous.”

“The near economic future for almost all college students will, unfortunately, be limited by the burden of the student loan repayment. How can we ask our kids and working families to put themselves through this?”  Marx asked, rhetorically.

Mr. Marx explained that many of the new graduates today have education debt higher than the cost of a modest home:  “That’s crazy,” he said, “the size of the debt has enormous future effects on the ability to get an affordable loan for a car to get to work or for a home to live in. To get a very low rate on a loan today, creditors look at one thing: debt-to-income ratio over an extended period. Are you good for it? They ask. Well, I think our young people and those who want to get back to work are good for it, and we should be there to help them out.”

Of course, it’s not just the college graduate who is getting hit. Many people on unemployment have seen their jobs evaporate and are left with unmarketable, less demanded skills that they once relied on for their livelihoods and well-being.

Marx responded, “If someone is out of work and has the drive to work, even in a new trade—like learning how to be a radiology lab tech, for example—then I think we, the same government and business that outsourced their last job to China or India, should be happy to contribute.”

For many young people, the overall cost of a college or university education can be managed or reduced by utilizing the Community College system for their lower division coursework and then transferring to a four-year College or University. Marx told the group, “I put myself through college working part-time and through Law School working full-time, so I know it can be done!”

When asked by a member of the audience if there was “a way out of the student-loan trap,” Marx said: “First of all, I don’t see it as a trap. True, for most, there is a financial obligation undertaken to get a higher education, and as with any large debt it may limit your future borrowing until it has been repaid. But the value of a four-year degree or a two-year certification program far outweighs the short-term burden. There is no greater investment an individual can make—or a country for that matter— than on education.”

Bob Marx restated his promise: “I will, as your Representative, work with every member of the Congress, regardless of ideology, to increase funding for and improve access to higher education and continual re-training for all Americans.”

Island Trust Consolidating Offices… Pahoa Branch Now Closed

The economic market is hitting home to me personally.   One of my advertisers (Island Trust at top Left) has recently been forced to make a smart economic move and vacate their Pahoa Location.

Side view of former Island Trust Building

Side view of former Island Trust Building

The Island Trust Realty office on Pahoa’s main strip has been in business for quite some time.   Due to the recent market conditions for real estate on the Big Island, Island Trust has decided to consolidate their offices and will no longer have Pahoa as one of their offices.

Front view of building formerly housing Island Trust, Pahoa Branch

Front view of building formerly housing Island Trust, Pahoa Branch

Of course, Island Trust is just one of many businesses that have come and gone through the Pahoa Downtown area in many years.  It is one of the first businesses that I have heard of that was still able to sustain themselves after vacating Pahoa.

Real Estate has really tumbled here in Hawaii, and while it may seem great for some of us first time home buyers… many may not realize the long term implications that this down turn in housing really has on us all.

Often times you may get the vibe from my blog that I don’t like tourists, or that I’d love to keep Pahoa as it is… but the truth of the matter is… we all suffer when we lose businesses here in town.

Inside look at the vacant building

Inside look at the vacant building

Not only is Pahoa losing a great business that did nothing but bring positive things to Pahoa… have you seen the people that have now started hanging out in front of the vacant premise?

I wish the best for Island Trust… and of course… I hope they will continue advertising with my blog.  I would hold no hard feelings though if they decided not to advertise here anymore since their office is no longer located in the Puna.

*Update #2* Should Gambling Be Legalized in Hawaii?… POLL

*Update #2*

Now the results have swung a bit more here are the current results:

Yes 63% (17 votes)
No 30% (8 votes)
Only on Hawaiian Homelands 7% (2 votes)
Total Votes: 27

Voting is still open for those who haven’t voted.  The voting service that I’m using only allows one vote per IP address, so sorry to those with multiple people in their house who may read my blog.

*Update*
Interesting results coming in.  Just one vote separates the main two choices.  Poll will remain open for about a week and I’ll bump this every few days just in case you don’t get a chance to see it the first few times it’s listed.

[polldaddy poll=”1358404″]

Are We Safer Now Then 10 Years Ago?… Poll

We all know the correlation between the tanking economy and rising crime rates.

When I moved from the Big Island to Oahu about 15 years ago, I noticed that the police record in the local papers only had about 5-10 names in them each day.  Now that I have moved back to the Big Island,  it seems like every time I check the police report, there is at least 20 plus names listed for various things.

Of course on Oahu, there are so many crimes being committed each and every hour,  they could never list all the names in a paper format.

So I ask… do you feel safer now then you did 10 years ago in general?

[polldaddy poll=”1361742″]

Taro Production Up 10%

The National Agricultural Statistics Service said Hawaii farmers produced 4.4 million pounds of taro in 2008. That’s a 10 percent increase over the 4 million pounds of the traditional island staple and poi base that was cultivated in 2007…

…The service said the total value of Hawaii’s taro crop rose 16 percent in 2008 to $2.7 million…

…The number of taro farms remained unchanged last year at 105. But taro acreage increased by 10 acres to 390 acres…

More Here

Big Island Kalo Farmer Jerry Konanui

Big Island Kalo Farmer Jerry Konanui

Luxury Home Owner on West Side Being Offered 100Mbps Internet Speeds from Time Warner!

In today’s news:  The Rich Get Richer!

timewarner1

…Time Warner Cable in Hawaii about their future plans for symmetrical 100Mbps connectivity in Hawaii. Unfortunately for residents, this is only being offered to those who have homes in the Hualalai Resort area, a luxury development on the Kona-Kohala Coast of West Hawaii. It’s the only instance I’ve seen where Time Warner Cable has opted for pure fiber, though you’re seeing cable operators embrace FTTH more and more for new developments. In this case it looks like Higgins gets symmetrical 100Mbps, while TC, Rick and Magnum get 8Mbps/1Mbps.

———-

According to Cable Digital News, Time Warner Cable has issued a request for information (RFI) exploring next-generation fiber-to-the-home architectures, (like RF over Glass (RFOG), EPON, 10-Gig EPON) that allow them to run fiber to the home, while keeping their current head ends and cable modems. Before anyone gets too excited, cable carriers are largely only interested in these technologies for new higher-end “greenfield” developments like, say, in Hawaii luxury residences — or small businesses.

More here

———

*update: I just found out that The Kona Blogged was the blog that broke this news a while back:  http://tinyurl.com/ar728u http://tinyurl.com/chbt4b Good Job Aaron!


Farmers Market Online… What Do You Think?

Inspired by my sickness today and my fondness for the Farmers Market in Makuu that I like to go to but am not today because I’m too sick, I was thinking it would be cool if there was a way to access some of these products that are sold at the market online.

If I went to the Farmers Market and took pictures of booths along with contact numbers or emails of the vendors and then set up a page on the top of my site that was just devoted to Farmers market items… do you think that would work at all?

Vendors pay $15.00 a week to have their products displayed for about 6-8 hours or so.

If I charged a vendor $5.00 a month to have their goods displayed and a contact to reach them 24 hours a day 7 days a week… I think that would be a good deal.

I need some feedback on this idea before I proceed.  Comments?

It wouldn’t just be delegated to Maku’u Farmers Market either… I could go to various farmers markets throughout the entire island.

The only proceeds I would get is that initial $5.00 per month.  All other sales would go directly to the vendors and all payments would be done in person at time of the product exchange.

Honolulu Star-Bulletin to Become “Tabloid”

Honolulu Star-Bulletin Converting From Newspaper to Tabloid

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin is converting from a broadsheet newspaper to a tabloid and taking steps to deal with the recession…

…The newspaper will lay off 17 newsroom employees and an undetermined number of employees elsewhere in the company, Oahu Publications Inc. There will also be a wage freeze.

In addition, the Star-Bulletin will close its neighbor island bureaus, on Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. Neighbor island news will continue to be covered, by reporters on Oahu and wire services…

More here

I’ve been saying for a long time that newspapers are a thing of the past.

People just don’t want to come to grips with it.

In 1998, I remember being told by a Professor that with the onslaught of Digital Media, things like newspapers will be a thing of the past.  This was more then 10 years ago now folks.

A few months ago I blogged about the HawaiiFreePress converting to an online format.  Yesterday, I blogged about the University of Hawaii’s Student Newspaper moving to youtube.  There are plenty of examples both nationally and locally.

I really feel sorry for those that are getting laid off now… or those that may get laid off in the near future.

Former Hawaii Tribune Herald reporter Dave Smith posted on Punaweb:

…Even more unfortunately, veteran journalist Rod Thompson, who has been manning the Big Isle bureau for many years, may be among the casualties. I hope not, as he has broad institutional perspective of the issues here, including those in Puna…”

Of course this is the same Mr. Smith that commented on my blog a while back: :roll:

Damon, are you trying to become the National Enquirer of the local blogosphere?

graph1

P.S. Damon Dollars are still available. :roll:

forecast


County Notifies Developers of Kamakoa Housing Project They Are in Default

Media Release

The county Office of the Corporation Counsel today formally notified the entities overseeing development of the Kamakoa at Waikoloa workforce housing project they are in default of their financing and development agreements with the county.

The county offered Waikoloa Workforce Housing LLC (WWH) and its parent company Hawaii Island Housing Trust (HIHT) 60 days to cure their defaults. The letter by Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida further advised WWH and HIHT that the county will not accept any proposal for the project that relies on additional funding or guarantees from the county other than what was previously agreed to.

“Simply stated, if the entities responsible for delivering this project cannot perform their obligations under their agreements with the county, the county must protect its taxpayers by enforcing the county’s rights under those agreements,” Ashida said.

The letter urged WWH to stop all work on Kamakoa except for the on-site construction that is already underway. On-site work is now being done under a contract with Isemoto Contracting Co. with funds supplied by the county, and that work will be completed. The Isemoto contract includes installing roads, waterlines, sewer lines, house pads, and other infrastructure for the project.

In the face of feasibility and financing difficulties, WWH and UniDev LLC (UniDev) each recently formulated a new proposal to try to advance the project. Without making a determination with regard to the viability or desirability of those proposals, Ashida stated that both plans amount to “a significant departure” from the parameters set forth in the financing agreement WWH entered into with the County last June. UniDev is the owner’s representative and is tasked with arranging financing and managing design and construction of the project on behalf of WWH.

Neither of the recently revised plans for the project proposed by WWH and UniDev adhered to the agreed-upon construction schedule; neither plan included clear provisions for the financing of a park and other community facilities that were required; and the UniDev plan proposed extensive use of rent-to-own housing units that were never contemplated by the agreement or the previous plans for the project.

“We are absolutely committed to ensuring housing that is affordable to working families in the area is constructed on this site,” said Housing Administrator Stephen J. Arnett. “Unfortunately, the project as it was originally planned simply no longer appears viable. We appreciate the hard work that the managers and staff of WWH and the board of HIHT have put into this project to try to make it work, but it is time to take a hard, realistic look at the problems confronting this development.”

The Kamakoa project was announced in 2005 as a development of 1,200 affordable workforce units, including for-sale homes and rentals on 268 acres of county-owned land in northwest of Waikoloa Village. UniDev and its plan for the site were selected after UniDev responded to a request for proposals. The non-profit Hawai’i Island Housing Trust was subsequently formed and took title to the land. Its for-profit subsidiary, Waikoloa Workforce Housing LLC, was created with the responsibility of developing the project, utilizing the expertise and management capabilities of UniDev.

In order to ensure that rents on the rental units in the project would be truly affordable and to support public facilities in the project and the related infrastructure, the county agreed to make $40 million in county funds available to WWH under several financing agreements.

Ground was broken last year on Phase 1A of the project on about 50 acres. The $28 million contract WWH has with Isemoto covers grubbing and grading, roads, water lines, sewer lines, sidewalks, house pads and other infrastructure for about 200 units, as well as preparation of the park site. Funds have also been used for design and engineering expenses and homeownership counseling.

The viability of the project as it was originally proposed has been called into question by a series of events both inside and outside of Hawai’i County, Arnett explained:

  • Infrastructure for the project such as roads and water lines was ultimately to be financed with community facilities district bonds that would be repaid over time through special assessments levied on the homeowners who bought into the project. The viability of that plan has been called into question by the recent upheaval in the bond and financial markets upon which the community facilities district financing is dependent.
  • A crucial attraction for the project was zero-down loans for working families to finance leasehold units ranging in price from about $230,000 to $377,000, but recent events in the state and national economies have reduced the number of potential buyers who can qualify for such loans. Adding to the uncertainty is the fact that families buying into the project would be required to pay significant charges for the community facilities district assessments and common area maintenance charges in addition to the principal and interest payments on their mortgages.
  • The project was originally proposed as a development that would rely on private financing with no cash contributions by the county. When it became apparent that the proposed financing would be insufficient to allow for the facilities and rental affordability desired for the project, the county agreed to commit up to $40 million to the project.  To date, the entire investment in the project, including land and cash, has been by the county. Private financing that was necessary to actually begin constructing homes has not materialized.

“We are disappointed that the original vision for the project is in jeopardy, but we will do what it takes to ensure that the interests of the taxpayers are protected and the people of Hawai‘i County ultimately get the affordable housing they need,” Arnett said.

—————–

COUNTY OF HAWAI‘I
OFFICE OF THE CORPORATION COUNSEL


Dear Mr. Dougall and Mr. Hendricks:

RE: Kamakoa at Waikoloa Project

On behalf of the County of Hawai‘i, I would first like to thank you for all of your efforts in connection with the Kamakoa at Waikoloa project. It has been a challenging project since its inception, but the County was hopeful that it would result in a unique and vibrant workforce community for the citizens of the Island of Hawai‘i. The plan for the Kamakoa at Waikoloa project (the “Project”), as detailed by UniDev, LLC (together with UniDev Hawai‘i, LLC, “UniDev”) was uniquely attractive and valuable because it promised to deliver a large-scale, high quality, perpetually-affordable workforce project on a timely basis with minimal financial risk to the County. Unfortunately, it has recently become apparent that Hawaii Island Housing Trust (“HIHT”), Waikoloa Workforce Housing, LLC (“WWH”) and UniDev are no longer able to deliver that project.
Without making a determination with regard to the viability or desirability of the most recent proposals from WWH and UniDev, it is clear that each such proposal is a significant departure from what was bargained for under that certain Development Financing Agreement dated June 12, 2008 (the “Financing Agreement”) and that certain Amended and Restated Development Agreement dated July 15, 2008 by and between the County, HIHT and WWH (the “Development Agreement”). The County believes that the alternative proposal made to the County by WWH on or around November 17, 2008 is a clear and unequivocal communication that WWH is unable to deliver the Project as contemplated by the Financing Agreement and Development Agreement. However, to ensure that there is no misunderstanding with respect to your ability to meet your obligations under the aforementioned agreements, the County desires to give you an opportunity to cure the above-referenced default in accordance with the notice and cure provisions of the Financing Agreement and Development Agreement. Accordingly, the County hereby provides you with formal notice pursuant to Section 5.1(b) of the Financing Agreement that the inability to develop the Project in accordance with the Project Guidelines is a default under the Financing Agreement. Specifically, your revised proposal does not clearly provide for the community facilities as set forth on Exhibit F4 to the Financing Agreement, does not conform to the financing plan set forth on Exhibit F9 and does not conform to the construction schedule set forth in Exhibit F10. Although you have already rejected the proposal made by UniDev, we note for the record that the adoption of UniDev’s proposal would also represent a default due to its failure to comply with the Project Guidelines. Specifically, that proposal fails to provide for the community facilities set forth on Exhibit F4, fails to offer the super-affordable units and the unit mix set forth on Exhibits F5 and F9, fails to conform to the types of products (providing rent-to-own units in place of many for-sale units) contemplated by Exhibits F6 and F9 and deviates from the construction cost and debt service analysis (though sufficient back-up documentation has not been provided for a full evaluation) set forth on Exhibit F9. Additionally, the County’s assessment of the UniDev proposal leads us to believe that further financial risk on the part of the County would be required in excess of that contemplated by the Financing Agreement and Development Agreement. As provided by Section 5.1(b) of the Financing Agreement, you have thirty (30) days from the date of this notice to cure the aforementioned default. If you are unable to do so, the County may exercise its rights and remedies under Section 5.2 of the Financing Agreement. Additionally, the inability to comply with the terms of the Financing Agreement is a default under Section 3.3(b) of the Development Agreement. Pursuant to section 5.1(b) of the Development Agreement, you have sixty (60) days to cure such default, after which time the County may exercise the rights and remedies as set forth in Section 1.2 of the Development Agreement.

In light of the above-described defaults and until such defaults are cured, the County urges you to cause all work on the Project, other than work that is directly related to on-site construction of Phase 1A, to be ceased immediately. We further wish to advise you that the County will not consider as a cure any plan that involves the provision by the County of additional funds to HIHT, WWH, or its contractors in excess of those already obligated under the existing agreements, will require the guarantee by the County of any financing, or will expose the County to further financial risk of any kind. Please conduct your operations and inform your consultants and contractors accordingly.

Sincerely,

LINCOLN S.T. ASHIDA

Corporation Counsel

Foodland to Begin Selling Island Dairy Milk

Island Dairy, one of the two remaining dairies in Hawaii, now is selling its milk at Foodland stores. The Big Island dairy will distribute whole, low-fat and fat-free milk under the label, Hawaii’s Fresh Milk…

The company, which uses solar power and grows its own feed, is trying to become sustainable as well as produce enough milk for the entire state

More here

For more on Island Dairy and how they do their farming check out this interesting article.

How Obama’s Economic Stimulus Plan Will Help Hawaii’s Construction Industry

I found this interesting site that shows how Obama’s Economic Stimulus plan could help Hawaii’s Construction industry.  (Of course it’s a site run by the construction industry so it might be a bit slanted of a report)

The economic impact of stimulus investment in Hawaii:

  • An additional $1 billion in nonresidential construction spending would add about $2 billion to the state’s GDP, about $685 million to personal earnings, and would create or sustain 19,000 jobs.
  • 6,500 of these jobs would be on-site construction jobs located within Hawaii.
  • 3,000 of these jobs would be direct and indirect jobs associated with construction supply materials and services. The majority of these jobs would be located within the state, but there would be some out-of-state jobs supported.
  • 9,500 of these jobs would be created when construction, supplier and service providers spend their incomes. These jobs would be based in Hawaii and throughout the economy.

Construction Employment:

  • In 2007, a total of 34,000 jobs were supported by the direct and indirect outlays associated with the state’s nonresidential construction spending.
  • The construction industry (residential plus nonresidential) employed 38,000 workers in October 2008.

Nonresidential Construction Spending:

  • Nonresidential construction spending in Hawaii totaled an estimated $1.8 billion in 2007.
  • This direct construction spending in the state contributed a total of $3.6 billion (5.9 percent) to state GDP of $61.5 billion.
  • Direct construction spending in the state added $1.2 billion in additional personal earnings to the benefit of Hawaii residents working in the state.

Construction Industry Pay:

  • In 2007 annual pay of all construction workers in Hawaii averaged $59,300, 58.5 percent more than the average for all private sector employees.

Small Business:

  • Hawaii had 3,000 construction firms in 2006, of which 86.9 percent were small businesses employing fewer than 20 workers.


SCAM Alert: 866-925-2651 Kalanet.com

The Hawaii County Police Department issued a media release warning of a text messaging scam that is going on and I received that text message 2/1/09 @ 10:19 in the morning (see bottom):

The Hawaii Police Department is warning the public about a possible scam involving text messages.

A 59-year-old Hilo man reported that he received two consecutive text messages on Sunday claiming to be from different credit unions. The messages asked the man to call a telephone number about his credit union account. The man didn’t have accounts with either credit union.

The first phone number was out of service. The second one had a recorded message asking the caller to leave his name and personal information.

Police advise the public not to provide personal information over the phone, by text message or by e-mail.”

Here is what the text message said to me:

“Aloha Pacific FCU.  Please call us immediately at 1-866-925-2651 regarding recent restriction placed on your account.”

Of course my wife and I have never had an account with this bank so we knew automatically that it was a scam.  But had we ever had an account… that little “Aloha” sure is a ruthless trick to island residents.

Unfortunately, a quick look at the Kalanet.com website does direct you to the Aloha Pacific Federal Credit Union and it is a legitimate business and they have put a SCAM NOTICE on their website:

Phony text, email and phone messages are being sent asking for personal information. THESE ARE FAKE MESSAGES. We NEVER request updated information through unsecured communication channels. When in doubt, always call us directly at 531-3711 or toll free at 877-531-3711 .

Assistance is available for members that have accidentally provided personal information. Please contact our call center during normal business hours.

Should you have a question about official Aloha Pacific FCU communications, always visit our website (www.kalanet.com) or contact us directly.

alohapacific

Lingle Releases $833,00 for Advanced Traveler Information System for Oahu Travelers

Governor Linda Lingle has released $833,000 to implement the first phase of an Advanced Traveler Information System for H-1, H-2 and H-201 (Moanalua) Freeways to help motorists avoid traffic and reduce their commute times

More Here

Bank Repo’s Air Kauai Helicopters… Again

On November 11th, I blogged that Air Kauai had it’s helicopters repossessed.

The following day, they were able to get them back.

Well now… they have lost them again!

airkauai

Air Kauai Inc., a Lihu’e, Hawaii-based company that specializes in island tours, had its helicopter fleet repossessed.

According to The Garden Island, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Faris gave the Bank of Hawaii the go-ahead to repossess two Eurocopter AS 350 helicopters last week.  Air Kauai failed to make its December payment of $31,402 to the bank and a $47,600 down payment to the insurance company, the newspaper reported.According to The Garden Island, the company took out two loans…

More here

Homeless Shipping… Hawaii to Return Homeless Back to Mainland?

I think we have all heard rumors of States on the mainland providing homeless people in their communities one way tickets to Hawaii.

Well it appears a certain legislator wants the Aloha State to start shipping newly arrived  homeless back to the mainland.

Rita Cabanilla

Rida Cabanilla

State Rep. Rida Cabanilla, chairwoman of the Housing Committee, said she plans to ask for $100,000 this legislative session for a pilot program that would fly people who have recently arrived from the Mainland and are now homeless back to where they came from…

More Here


Matson Cutting 10% of Employees… 60 Jobs

Alexander & Baldwin said Tuesday it will cut 10 percent of its workforce at Matson Navigation Co., Hawaii’s largest ocean shipper…

…Matson will eliminate 60 non-union positions, which come on top of a hiring freeze that began in 2007 and continued into 2008…

…In less than four months, A&B stock has lost more than half of its value, tumbling from $44 a share at the end of September.

More Here

Another “Damon Dollar” Arrives!

I didn’t check the mail all weekend and I finally got around to doing it today.

I wasn’t pleasantly surprised that I got another “Damon Dollar“.

It came courtesy of two places: The Pahoa Museum and “Jomama’s Hostel“.  (I guess they each put in $.50 ;) )

museumdolllar

Of course I blogged about the Pahoa Museum a few times…but only recently had I heard of “Jomama’s Hostel” in Pahoa.

jomama

Of course after receiving this dollar, I had to check out their website here.

It looks like a really nice place and the rates are also very reasonable.

fountain

You can contact JoMama’s here for more information.

Mahalo Pahoa Museum and JoMama’s Hostel!

“Spitfire Grill” The Movie that “Essay House” Scams are Based Upon

I’ve been writing about the Essay Houses that a mainland scammer named Mark Samwick has been running of late.

Here is the movie that has inspired this whole genre of essay houses (I’m trying to find a copy that has more then just the “Score” from the movie):

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raX4Ocv1p3k&hl=en&fs=1]

“An aging woman wants to put her grill up as a contest with the winner taking the grill.To enter you must spend $100 and you are in the pot.The person with the best reason to want the grill will win it.The woman obtains over $200,000.A tragedy occurs before the winner is picked.”

Parking Wars Honolulu (Repo Hawaii)… The Video

I previously blogged about a Big Island repoman video taping his repos and posting them on youtube here and here.

It now appears that a Honolulu guy is doing something similar, however, he has made it more into a movie with captioning and all!

I know the economy sucks right now, and I know these repo guys are just doing there job, but is there really a reason to post the videos to youtube other then to scare people into making payments?

I mean if they are doing their job correctly and have videotaped the repo, that’s one thing… but to post them online just seems a bit harsh.  Not only are they posting them online, but often times, like in this clip… they show the person that is having their car repoed.

Talk about shame:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0RFNEiFcIo&hl=en&fs=1]