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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, February 3, 2010

BUSINESS BRIEFS
Kailua shops readied for demolition

Advertiser Staff and News Services

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Chris Andrews yesterday was unbolting a rooftop air conditioner from a building that will be torn down to make way for a Whole Foods Market. The air conditioners will be donated to the Kailua Christian Academy.

DEBORAH BOOKER | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Luella Costales

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Workers removed rooftop air conditioners and took other final steps yesterday in preparation for the demolition of shops on the corner of Kailua Road and Hinano Way where a new Whole Foods Market will be built.

Landowner Kaneohe Ranch said the project will feature a 32,000-square-foot Whole Foods and 8,000 square feet of other retail space. The plans call for construction to be completed in the fall of 2011.

Kaneohe Ranch will hold a blessing this morning to mark the start of the redevelopment project.

UPCOMING HAWAI'I BOND SALE RATED 'AA'

Fitch Ratings assigned an "AA" rating to Hawai'i's upcoming $534 million general obligation bond sale, saying the state has sound financial operations and has demonstrated a willingness to maintain a budgetary balance under stressful conditions.

The ratings apply to $312 million of general obligation bonds that will be used to finance public improvement projects and up to $30 million toward the fiscal 2010 Hawaiian Home Lands settlement payment, Fitch said.

Another $222.3 million is being issued to retire bonds sold at a higher interest rate. The sale is expected to be completed through a negotiated transaction Feb. 10.

Fitch also assigned the state a negative outlook because of its financial problems in an economic downturn.

20% OF HONOLULU JOB SEEKERS GO ONLINE

About one-fifth of people looking for jobs in Honolulu have gone online to look for work during the past 30 days, according to Scarborough Research.

Honolulu's 20 percent in Internet job searches ranked slightly above the national average of 19 percent.

Detroit; Providence, R.I.; and Las Vegas are the leading markets for online job searches, with 24 percent of people going to the Internet to look for work.

HOSPITAL ENDS TIES WITH CONSULTING FIRM

North Hawaii Community Hospital on the Big Island said it will no longer need the assistance of a consultant since improving its quality of care and productivity.

The hospital on April 1 will end its contract with Quorum Health Resources, NHCH Chief Executive Officer John White said in a news release.

QHR had assumed management responsibility in 2008, providing the CEO and chief financial officer positions along with purchasing, billing, and health care facilities expertise. In late 2008 the board was restructured and both the CEO and CFO are now employed directly by the hospital, "providing strong, local leadership at both the governance and executive levels," White said in the news release.

North Hawaii Community Hospital is a 39-bed, full service, acute care hospital in Waimea.

BIG ISLE BREWERY TO INSTALL SOLAR SYSTEM

Kona Brewing Co. is mixing solar energy and suds. The Kailua, Kona brewer said it will be the first beer production facility in Hawai'i to be solar powered when the installation of a 229 kilowatt-capacity solar system is installed by April.

Kona Brewing said it expects the solar photovoltaic system will allow it to offset about 60 percent of its electricity usage and save it about $100,000 annually. The installation work is being performed by Sunetric.

GROUNDBREAKING FOR SAFEWAY, TARGET

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled today in Hilo for a Target and a Safeway store to be built on land leased from the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

The roughly 120,000-square-foot Target and the 60,000-square-foot Safeway are projected to open in 2011.

Target's store is expected to employ about 300 people. Safeway will close its nearby store when the new one opens, adding employees to accommodate its bigger size.

The 15.5-acre parcel is near Hilo's largest shopping center, Prince Kuhio Plaza.

COSTALES TO HEAD FARMING FEDERATION

Luella Costales has been named executive director of the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation, a statewide nonprofit organization counting more than 1,600 families and companies as members.

Costales will oversee the group's administrative functions, fiscal responsibilities, internal and external programs, advocacy, communications and member support. She most recently served as the director of development with the University of Hawai'i Foundation.

CREDIT UNION OPENS BRANCH IN KAPOLEI

Aloha Pacific Federal Credit Union has opened a branch in Kapolei, its ninth location on O'ahu.

The Kapolei branch, at 1001 Kamokila Blvd., is a full-service community-style branch open 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekdays and 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays.

The branch will feature a coin counting machine and Kala Cafe, a free Wi-Fi Internet cafe, for members. The branch also offers more than 560 safe deposit boxes for rent.

TESORO POSTS $179M FOURTH-QUARTER LOSS

Tesoro Corp. said it lost $179 million during the fourth quarter.

The company, which operates Hawai'i's largest refinery, said the loss was equivalent to $1.30 per share and compared with a net profit of $97 million, or 70 cents per share in the year-earlier period.

OUTRIGGER EXPANDS CHOICE HOTELS TIES

Outrigger Enterprises Group said it has expanded its alliance with Choice Hotels International.

An additional 10 Outrigger-managed and affiliated properties representing more than 1,700 rooms on O'ahu, Maui, Kaua'i and the Big Island will be added to the relationship, which already included six properties representing more than 3,000 rooms. The hotels can be booked through Choice's central reservation system and also will be part of the company's Choice Privileges rewards program.