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Business briefs

For Wednesday, June 1, 2011

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services


Food-stamp use climbs

The number of Americans receiving food stamps rose to a record 44.587 million in March, up 0.9 percent from 44.199 million the previous month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. Recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program subsidies for food purchases remains 11 percent higher than a year ago, the USDA said yesterday. Participation has set records every month since December 2008.

LEDs offered to small biz, nonprofits

Hawaii Energy is offering a new program called "Lighting the Future" that gives small businesses and nonprofit organizations the opportunity to obtain LED lamps at no cost.

Small businesses and nonprofits need to install the LED lamps prior to June 30. Switching to LED lighting technology can reduce lighting electricity costs up to 75 percent versus halogen lamps, and saves about $78 a year in electricity for every lamp changed from halogen or incandescent lamps, Hawaii Energy said.

To qualify, the organization must be:

» A small business on an electric utility rate schedule that begins with the letter "G," for General Service.

» A nonprofit organization classified as a 501(c) on an electric utility rate schedule that begins with "G" or "J."

» A commercial electric utility customer on Oahu, Hawaii island, Maui, Lanai or Molokai.

Small businesses or nonprofits that need assistance determining their electricity rate schedule or do not pay for electricity directly can call Hawaii Energy at 521-2189 for more information on qualifications and how to apply.

Verizon Wireless adds 2 cell sites

Verizon Wireless said yesterday it has activated new cell sites in Waikiki and Kailua-Kona that will make calling, downloading applications and surfing the Internet on the provider's 3G network easier and faster.

The Waikiki site expands 3G wireless coverage and voice and data capacity in the areas of Ala Wai Boulevard to Saratoga Road and from Kalia Road to Hobron Lane, while the Hawaii island site expands capacity in Kailua-Kona.

Verizon Wireless' network investment in Hawaii now totals more than $254 million, including $40 million in 2010.

Horizon gets NYSE delisting warning

Horizon Lines Inc. has been notified by the New York Stock Exchange that it has fallen below continued listing standards related to minimum market capitalization in combination with stockholders' equity.

The company said yesterday it is below the listing criteria established by the NYSE because the company's market capitalization averaged less than $50 million over a consecutive 30-day period at the same time that stockholders' equity was below $50 million. Horizon has notified the NYSE that it will submit a plan to restore compliance.

Horizon's shares were unchanged yesterday at $1.12.

Jobs to deliver Apple keynote talk

NEW YORK » Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs will take a break from medical leave to deliver the keynote speech at next week's Apple conference, the company said yesterday.

The keynote will feature a new "iCloud" service, the company said. It didn't explain what the service will do, but Apple has been in talks with all four major recording companies on allowing users to store their songs on Apple-run servers rather than on their home PCs, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Jobs went on medical leave in January for unspecified reasons, handing over day-to-day control to Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook. Investors were rattled because Jobs is seen as the creative force behind the company, crucial to shaping hit products like the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off Monday in San Francisco. Jobs' decision to appear at the conference indicates he believes iCloud will be another breakthrough service for Apple.

ICloud could give users a wide array of music for their iPhones, iPads and Wi-Fi-capable iPods without having to connect them to their home PCs to transfer songs.

On the Move

Chef Mavro restaurant in Honolulu has hired Paul Feng as chef de cuisine. His has been sous-chef and chef de cuisine at Wolfgang Puck’s famed San Francisco restaurant Postrio as well as opening executive chef of Swell Restaurant in San Francisco.


Olelo Community Media has named Roy K. Amemiya Jr. as president and chief executive officer. His experience includes work as senior vice president of Central Pacific Bank and the former City Bank as well as director of budget and fiscal services for the City and County of Hono­lulu.


The Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission has announced the appointment of Christopher M. Kaliko Baker as interim KIRC commissioner. Baker is an instructor at the University of Hawaii-Manoa Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language.


First Wind, an independent U.S.-based wind energy company, has awarded the following recipients scholarships through the 2011 First Wind Scholars program: Dane Oshiro, Maui High School; Stephen Adolfson, Lahaina­luna High School; Kamie-Lei Fujiwara, Kamehameha Schools Maui; Kiana Wilson, Kahuku High School; and Daniella Reyes and Jeffrey Milhorn, Leilehua High School.

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