Sunday, November 29, 2015         


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Hawaii largely left out of free shipping incentive

By Erika Engle


Big national department stores are touting free shipping promotions for the upcoming holiday season but you, oh savvy Hawaii shopper, know full well that you have to read the fine print.

Wal-Mart announced a free shipping promotion last Thursday, but a spokeswoman confirmed that Hawaii residents must pay shipping surcharges, which will vary based on the items' size.

Target also announced free shipping of Christmas trees and another free shipping promotion, but alas, its communications department confirmed that Hawaii residents are exempt.

Rather than a free shipping offer, Kmart announced that online shoppers could order merchandise through its Kmart2go mobile application -- and pick up purchases from one of 600 Kmart locations. TheBuzz inquired of Kmart owner Sears Holding Corp. last week if the offer applies at Hawaii Kmart locations and despite numerous back-and-forth communications, there is as yet no answer.

A few companies have cropped up to save Hawaii (and Alaska) residents the often egregious shipping fees charged by retailers doing business online.

ShipToHawaii LLC offers freight forwarding to paid members, offering savings of 70 percent off air freight costs.

Ship & Save Service in Missouri is transaction-based. You can take advantage of an e-tailer's free shipping to get it to Ship & Save and the company will send your item on in U.S. Postal Service flat-rate boxes or priority mail, whichever is cheaper, using PayPal to accept payment prior to shipment.

Colorado-based Aloha Forwarding, established by former Hawaii residents, offers a similar service using the U.S. Postal Service to save its customers money.

Hilo broadcaster buys Kona station

Hilo-based New West Broadcasting Corp. will buy KMWB-FM 93.1 on the Big Island for $450,000 from Louisiana-based Captain Cook Broadcasting Inc.

President Joel Sellers built the station from the ground up, having won the right to do so in a Federal Communications Commission auction in 2004.

In a time-brokerage agreement, New West was operating the Kona-side station as "B-93-FM," simulcasting the programming of its B-97-FM (KNWB-FM 97.1) in Hilo for the past three years, said Chris Leonard, president. "The hope was that we would buy it out at some point -- and we are in the process of doing that."

Pending approval from the FCC, the sale does not represent Sellers' departure from the Hawaii market.

Hawaii broadcaster George Hochman and his partners have applied with the FCC to buy a majority interest in KRYL-FM 106.5 in Haiku, but as reported in this space last month, Sellers will retain minority interest.

Sellers paid $1.4 million for the KRYL construction permit and $358,150 for KMWB's. The asset purchase agreement for KMWB includes a notice of insolvency indicating that Sellers, also known as Joel Cavaness, is obligated to pay a redacted sum of money to Cavaness Management LLC on the strength of a promissory note. U.S. Bankruptcy Court records in Louisiana show that Cavaness Management was listed as an unsecured creditor in Sellers' 2009 Chapter 7 bankruptcy and was owed $1,560,000 at that time. Sellers is to transfer any sale proceeds to the management company.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Advertiser. Reach her by e-mail at


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