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Business briefs


3 airlines get free Wi-Fi

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. » Google said yesterday it will offer passengers on AirTran, Delta and Virgin America free Wi-Fi access this holiday season. The wireless Internet through Google’s Chrome browser will be available Nov. 20 to Jan. 2. All three airlines have fleetwide Wi-Fi that generally costs between $6 and $13. Experts say extending sponsorships like Google’s are the key to getting people to use in-flight Wi-Fi.

Honolulu a favorite American city

Honolulu is the favorite city for romantic getaways, relaxing retreats and spring break stays, according to a Travel + Leisure magazine readers poll. Honolulu ranked second in weather, behind San Diego (by two one-hundredths of a point), and second, behind Orlando, Fla., for favorite family vacation destination.

Honolulu ranked fourth for friendly people, behind top-ranked Charleston, S.C.; Savannah, Ga.; and Nashville, Tenn.

Visitors responding to the poll gave Honolulu 20 top-10 rankings, while residents’ voting gave the city 17 top-10 grades. For more on the poll, click here.

Bubba Gump gets new owner

Texas-based Landry’s Restaurants Inc. has purchased the 32-unit Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Restaurants, Inc. as well as the three Mai Tai Bar locations and the single-unit Capi’s Italian Kitchen in Chicago and Rusty Pelican restaurant in Newport Beach, Calif. Terms were not disclosed.

Bubba Gump locations are primarily in visitor destinations, such as the Hawaii stores in Ala Moana Center, Lahaina and Kona. The Ala Moana Center Mai Tai Bar has sister stores in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Long Beach, Calif.

Bubba Gump’s, inspired by the Tom Hanks film "Forrest Gump," was established in 1996 in Monterey, Calif.

Mobi PCS activates Big Isle cell site

Mobi PCS has upgraded its 3G voice and Hele Wireless Broadband networks on the Big Island with the activation of a new cell site in he Orchidland area of Puna.

The new site addition provides enhanced in-building and street coverage throughout the residential Orchidland Estates subdivision. It also strengthens street coverage between Keaau and Pahoa, according to a news release from the company. Mobi PCS is Hawaii’s only locally based wireless provider. The company has activated 10 new cell sites statewide so far this year.

Hilton employee sues union

An employee at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa has filed another unfair labor practice complaint against Unite Here Local 5, the union representing most of Oahu’s hotel workers.

The complaint alleges union officials attempted to have Grant Suzuki fired for resigning from the union, refusing to pay dues and informing co-workers of their workplace rights, according to the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation Inc., a nonprofit, charitable organization that provides free legal aid to employees against compulsory unionism.

Suzuki filed a successful unfair labor practice charge in 2008 requiring the union to return union dues that he believed were illegally taken. He said he has since been targeted for harassment for informing his co-workers of their rights to opt out of union dues, resign from union membership and work during a union-instigated strike, according to a press release issued by the organization.

Union officials agreed to a settlement with Suzuki in 2009 to refund all dues collected for activities unrelated to workplace bargaining and post public notices informing hotel employees of their rights. However, following the settlement, union officials harassed Suzuki and attempted to have him fired, the organization said.

The National Labor Relations Board said it is investigating Suzuki’s complaint. A call to a Local 5 representative was not returned.

On the Move

Galiher DeRobertis Ono has hired Todd Eddins as a lawyer who will focus on personal injury litigation. He was previously a criminal defense attorney in private practice and with the Office of the Public Defender, as well as an attorney for the state House of Representatives Judiciary Committee and judicial clerk to Justice Yoshimi Hayashi.


Elite Pacific Properties has appointed Bob Vieira as broker-in-charge. His experience includes 37 years as a real estate agent and 32 years as a broker, as well as being involved in many sales of beachfront property in Kailua and Lanikai.


Access Information Management has promoted Jaime "Kaleo" Allado to mobile fleet operations supervisor. He was previously a customer service supervisor for Shred-It Hawaii as well as a driver at the Napa distribution center in Waipahu and has more than 10 years’ experience in the information management and document destruction industry.


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