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Gas prices surpass $4

Premium gasoline topped $4 a gallon yesterday in Honolulu, according to AAA’s daily fuel gauge report.

Premium gas was selling for $4.013, up from $3.978 on Tuesday, while regular gas yesterday was $3.830, according to AAA.

A year ago, a gallon of premium went for $3.595 in Honolulu.

The highest recorded average price for a gallon of regular in Honolulu was $4.390 on July 29, 2008.

In Wailuku, regular has been more than $4 a gallon for at least a month, according to AAA. Yesterday, regular was $4.156 in Wailuku and premium was $4.342.

Diesel was selling for $4.540 in Wailuku.

Fridge rebate expanded

Consumers in Hawaii and Maui counties are eligible for a $250 rebate on any Energy Star refrigerator purchased between now and March 19. The rebate is normally $50 under the rebate program run by Hawaii Energy. Rebate applications must be postmarked by April 30. To receive the rebate, consumers must provide proof that their old refrigerator was hauled away. The enhanced rebate is made possible by a federal stimulus grant.

3 Hawaii banks named top lenders

First Hawaiian Bank has been named Small Business Lender of the Year Tier 1 by HEDCO Local Development Corp., a not-for-profit corporation that has offered financial, management and technical assistance to small businesses since 1981.

American Savings Bank was named Tier 2 Lender of the Year and Hawaii National Bank was selected Tier 3 Lender of the Year.

First Hawaiian received the award based on the total volume of Small Business Administration loans the bank approved through the fiscal year ended Sept. 30.

It was the seventh straight year First Hawaiian has received the award.

The bank was responsible for nearly 58 percent of all requests approved for projects in Hawaii and Guam.

Bids sought for airport improvements

The state is seeking sealed bids for $2 million in improvement projects at Honolulu Airport’s international arrivals building. Bids are expected to be awarded next month.

The three projects, part of the state’s 12-year, $2.3 billion Airport Modernization Program, are expected to be completed in time for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Week in November.

The projects are:

» Replacement of the canopy on the Ewa side of the international arrivals building with a budget estimate of $400,000.

The area is used for group tours and is envisioned as a receiving area for APEC groups as well.

» Replacement of flooring on the baggage level of the international arrivals building with a budget estimate of $950,000.

» Repair and maintenance work for the international arrivals building, including lighting for both levels, a new ceiling near the entrance to the building from the third-level escalator, the new rock garden area, walkway improvements from Gates 24-25, two flight-information display boards and improved signs in baggage claim. The estimated budget for the third project is $650,000.

Job fair focuses on event specialists

Advantage Sales and Marketing is holding a career fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at Oahu Worklinks, 1505 Dillingham Blvd., No. 110. Event specialists are being sought to work with major retailers in Honolulu and Pearl City.

Call Barbara Moncivais at 505-501-9126.

Developer backs off from condo plan

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii » A developer is abandoning plans to build a four-story condominium at a favorite Kona surf spot after a public outcry.

On Monday, Allen Meredith of Meredith Kailua-Kona LLC investment group filed to withdraw his application for a special management area permit. He says his investment group still intends to develop something at the site but it is too soon to say what.

Meredith told West Hawaii Today he was pleased with the feedback, even though it was difficult for him to hear. He says a large, four-story condominium complex would be inappropriate for Lyman’s surf spot.

In December, surfers, cultural practitioners, real estate agents and retirees told the Leeward Planning Commission they were worried the project would hurt the reef, sea life, historic sites and burials.

ON THE MOVE

Territorial Savings Bank has announced Ken Sekimoto as its vice president sales/manager. He will be responsible for residential loan production-retail and wholesale. Sekimoto has 23 years of experience in the mortgage industry.

First Insurance Company of Hawaii has been rated "A" for its financial strength by A.M. Best Co., which is a global credit rating agency to serve financial and health care service industries. First Insurance has earned the "A" rating every year since 1997.

The University of Hawaii Foundation and University of Hawaii Alumni Association have announced the promotion of Janet Yoshida Bullard to vice president of marketing and communications-alumni and donor relations for the UH Foundation. Bullard’s experience includes being associate vice president of alumni relations at UH Foundation and executive director of UHAA.

Delta Construction Corp. and KSK Foundation of Kapolei have awarded $300,000 to establish two endowments and corresponding expendable funds for scholarships at Leeward Community College and UH-West Oahu. The scholarships will help students change their lives through higher education.

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