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Oahu electric bills to fall in June

Oahu customers of Hawaiian Electric Co. will see small drops in their power bills, while Big Island and Maui customers will see increases.

On Oahu the typical residential electric bill for June will be $156.83, a 0.8 percent drop from May’s $158.20. The rates are based on typical customer usage of 600 kilowatt-hours a month. Big Island customers will see the biggest jump, to $210.14, up from $204.26, a 2.9 percent increase. Maui customers will see a 1.5 percent increase this month to $181.24, up from $178.51.


Undersea cable study pact awarded

The Lingle administration awarded a $2.9 million contract to AECOM yesterday to perform the environmental impact statement on an undersea cable that would bring wind power from Lanai and Molokai to Oahu and help reduce the state’s dependence on imported oil.

The environmental review will examine the preferred routes for the cable and the potential impact on cultural, archeological and ocean resources. The study, which is being financed with federal stimulus money, is expected to be completed by April 2012.

The estimated cost of the undersea cable is between $800 million and $1 billion. The wind power project, which could be completed by 2014, could help satisfy 12 percent of Oahu’s energy demand.


Americans rebuilding wealth slowly


The rebuilding of Americans’ wealth is proceeding in steps rather than strides.

Households’ net worth rose last quarter – the fourth straight quarterly gain. Yet tumbling stock prices have reduced their wealth since then. Some economists say Americans’ net worth might now be down slightly for the year. That helps explain why many say it will be 2012 or 2013, at best, before Americans’ wealth will return to its pre-recession levels.

Net worth – the value of assets like homes, bank accounts and investments, minus debts like mortgages and credit cards – rose 2.1 percent last quarter, the Federal Reserve said yesterday. It now amounts to $54.6 trillion.

In the midst of the recession, household net worth sank as low as $48.3 trillion. It’s since risen 13 percent. Yet even counting last quarter’s gain, net worth would have to rise 21 percent more to regain its pre-recession peak of $65.9 trillion.


SEC announces new safety measures


Federal regulators put in place yesterday new rules aimed at preventing a repeat of last month’s harrowing "flash crash" of the stock market.

Members of the Securities and Exchange Commission approved the rules, which call for U.S. stock exchanges to briefly halt trading of some stocks that make big swings.

The exchanges will gradually start installing the trading breaks early next week, expecting to reach by Wednesday the full number that will be covered.


Trade deficit up; export demand falls


The U.S. trade deficit rose to the highest level in 16 months as exports fell for the second time in three months, a potentially worrisome sign that Europe’s debt troubles are beginning to crimp American manufacturers. The Commerce Department said yesterday the trade deficit widened to $40.3 billion in April, up by 0.6 percent from March. U.S. exports dropped 0.6 percent while imports declined by 0.4 percent.

U.S. manufacturing has been a standout performer as the U.S. recovers from the worst recession in decades. But the concern is that Europe’s debt crisis will slow growth in that part of the world and dampen demand in a key U.S. export market.



Sheraton Waikiki has named Kelly Kitashima as senior sales manager. She was previously a national sales manager at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas and facilitated special programs for the 2007 NBA All-Stars.

Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties has announced the following agents have been designated as Previews team members: Lynn Toma of the King Street office; Debbie Schatz of the Windward office; Michael Yoshino at the King Street office; and Stuart W. Wade of the Kahala office.

Bank of Hawaii has promoted the following to vice president:

» Michael Ching, product manager in BOH’s investment products department

» Marsha A. Colotario, operations and support manager in the training and support center

» Ann Neizman, the Lahaina Branch manager who also oversees the Kahana Branch in West Maui and the bank’s branch on Lanai

» Wilson Yip, the bank’s fair lending risk officer

Hawaiian Airlines has promoted Lorrin Sardinha to vice president of maintenance and engineering from acting vice president of maintenance.

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