Cancer Center given $140 million
The state has released $140 million for the construction of the University of Hawaii Cancer Center in advance of its groundbreaking on Thursday.
The six-story center, previously known as the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii, was renamed to underscore its connection with the university, Gov. Linda Lingle’s office said.
The project will include 150,000 square feet of laboratory space and offices for more than 300 research faculty and staff. The money will also help the facility maintain its National Center Institute designation, as well as a $1 million-per-year federal grant for ongoing research, Lingle’s office said.
The center is expected to open in early 2013.
On Thursday the UH Board of Regents is expected to approve a $2.5 million settlement of a breach-of-contract lawsuit brought by Townsend Hawaii LLC, the project’s original developer.
UH chose Townsend to negotiate a deal on designing, financing and building the center, but talks with Townsend broke off in June 2009. The university later selected Kobayashi Group LLC to oversee design and construction. Townsend sued the state for damages, including lost profits.
In November the state released $28 million to cover planning and design of the project. The center’s total estimated cost is $120 million, with $20 million for unanticipated construction expenses.
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Boyd Gaming’s income drops
Boyd Gaming Corp., the operator of Vacations Hawaii and 16 mainland casinos, suffered a drop in net income to $5.6 million in the third quarter from $6.3 million in the same quarter last year.
The drop was largely the result of reduced casino revenues, although lower ticket prices and higher fuel costs for charter flights from Honolulu to Las Vegas also were a factor, the Las Vegas-based company said.
Total revenue in the quarter was $595.4 million, down from $620.8 million a year earlier, which Boyd said was the smallest decline in the last four quarters and reflected a stabilization.
Boyd didn’t disclose revenue for Vacations Hawaii, which operates five flights a week.
Paul Chakmak, Boyd’s chief operating officer, said improvements in Hawaii’s economy should lead to improved revenue for the company and its downtown Las Vegas casinos.
Fed weighs in on foreclosure mess
WASHINGTON » U.S. banking regulators are examining mortgage lenders’ procedures to see whether they are improperly foreclosing on homes and expect preliminary findings soon, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said.
"We are looking intensively at the firms’ policies, procedures and internal controls related to foreclosures and seeking to determine whether systematic weaknesses are leading to improper foreclosures," Bernanke said yesterday at a housing conference in Arlington, Va. "We anticipate preliminary results of the review next month."
Ally Financial’s GMAC Mortgage unit, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. are among loan servicers that temporarily halted foreclosures while the companies reviewed paperwork. Court documents have shown that employees might have submitted affidavits without confirming their accuracy, a practice that state officials say could amount to fraud.
"We take violations of proper procedures seriously," Bernanke said.
ON THE MOVE
Chaminade University has announced three new members for its board of governors: R.J. "Zap" Zlatoper, Sai Cheong Chui and Julie T. Watumull. Later this fall, Sharon Weiner will also come on board as a new governor. Officers for the board of governors: Michael Kerr, chair; Anton Krucky, vice chair; Sharon McPhee, second vice chair; and Blaine Lesnik, secretary.
CEO leaves struggling Office Depot
NEW YORK » Office Depot Inc.’s Chairman and CEO Steve Odland is stepping down as the office supplier struggles to turn its business around in the face of tough competition.
The disclosure on Monday that Odland has resigned comes only days after the company, Odland and another executive agreed to pay civil penalties tied to Office Depot’s disclosure of corporate information to a select group of investors and analysts.
Office Depot also announced that it expects to report a profit for its fiscal third quarter.
Office Depot’s stock rose 25 cents, or 5.4 percent, to $4.88 in afternoon trading after going as high as $5.19 earlier in the day.
Nissan to sell hybrid
YOKOHAMA, Japan » Nissan is playing catch-up with Japanese rivals Toyota and Honda in introducing its own hybrid car, the luxury Infiniti M. Nissan Motor Co. showed the new gas-electric hybrid, called Fuga in Japan, today at its headquarters in Yokohama, southwest of Tokyo. The hybrid goes on sale in Japan next Tuesday, starting at nearly 5.8 million yen ($72,000), more expensive than the regular gasoline version, which starts at about 4.3 million yen ($53,000).