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Local developer closes News Building deal

A company led by Hawaii developer Marshall Hung finalized a deal Wednesday to buy the former Honolulu Advertiser property in Kakaako for an undisclosed price.

The developer is contemplating building up to 1,000 moderate-priced condominiums in two towers, according to the Hawaii Community Development Authority, which governs development in Kakaako. The 3.7-acre property at the corner of South Street and Kapiolani Boulevard sold by former Advertiser owner Gannett Co. includes the historic News Building.

The condo project could displace operations of the "Hawaii Five-0" TV series beyond its third season now in production. The show uses the property for a variety of functions including as a soundstage.

Hanabusa to discuss Jones Act at forum today

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa will be among the panelists discussing the impact of the Jones Act on Hawaii’s shipping industry today at a forum organized by the Hawaii Venture Capital Association and ThinkTech Hawaii.

The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, requires that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried in U.S.-flagged ships constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by Americans and U.S. permanent residents. The goal was to prevent large shipping companies from circumventing U.S. labor and trade laws by using cheap labor in the construction of ships or transport of goods at the expense of U.S. shipbuilders and sailors. Though the law has been amended several times over the past 90 years, and exemptions have been granted, some wonder whether this protectionist policy is still in the best interest of the United States and Hawaii in particular.

The event is set for 11:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m. at the Plaza Club in downtown Honolulu. For information, call 382-4638.

Akaka to headline export-import event

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka and Export-Import Bank Director Patricia M. Loui will host a Global Access for Small Business forum Friday that will provide local small-business owners with the information they need to maximize their export opportunities and increase sales. The event will be from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.

The Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. In the past six years, the Ex-Im Bank has earned for U.S. taxpayers $3.7 billion above the cost of operations. The bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees, export-credit insurance and financing to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. goods and services.

Kapiolani Health Foundation to get $800,000

The James and Abigail Campbell Family Foundation and the Campbell Family will present $800,000 to the Kapiolani Health Foundation in support of the Campaign for Hawaii’s Children. The check presentation will be from 2:30 to 3 p.m. today at the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children at 1319 Punahou St. in the second-floor auditorium.

Co-chaired by Dee Jay Mailer and Bert Kobayashi, the campaign aims to raise $30 million toward the $160 million cost to renovate and rebuild the Shared Services building at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children — the first phase of a 15-year master plan to rebuild Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children.

T-Mobile brings back unlimited data plan

NEW YORK » Unlimited wireless data is back. After sliding off the menu of cellphone plans, data plans with no caps are making a comeback at smaller wireless companies trying to compete with AT&T and Verizon.

T-Mobile USA, the nation’s fourth-largest cellphone company, said Wednesday that it will start selling an unlimited-data plan again on Sept. 5, after stopping sales of such plans early last year. A day earlier, No. 5 carrier MetroPCS cut the price of its unlimited-data plan as a promotion for a limited time. The moves by T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS, neither of which sells the iPhone, come as their three larger rivals are thought to be gearing up to begin selling the iPhone 5 in a month or so.

Fed hints it may take new action soon

WASHINGTON » Federal Reserve officials signaled Wednesday that they may be ready to launch a new bond buying program when they next meet in September.

The goal would be to try to lower long-term interest rates to encourage more borrowing and spending.

Minutes of the July 31-Aug. 1 policy meeting released Wednesday don’t explicitly say what action the Fed would most likely take. But they hint that the central bank is preparing to begin more bond buying.


The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i has announced the appointment of Tyler Tokioka as its new chairman of the board of directors for 2012-2013. He became involved with the cultural center in 2002 and served as a member of the board of governors as well as chairman.

Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties has announced the following hires:

» Douglas K. Young as Realtor associate for the firm’s Windward office.

» Cindy Flanigan as Realtor for its Kahala office.

» Stephen Florino, KenLyn Lum Yee, Josie P. Jove and Neaulani Kuamo‘o-Peck as Realtor associates as well as Kenneth Lee as Realtor; all have joined the firm’s Leeward office.

Financial Executives International — Hawaii Chapter has announced its new board for 2012-2013:

» Aaron Sato, chief financial officer of Finance Factors, has been installed as president.

» Harvey Rackmil has moved to first vice president from second vice president.

» Colby Kisaba is second vice president.

» Randall Kawano will continue as treasurer.

» John Sutton will continue as secretary.

Ernst & Young has promoted Jason Nagai to executive director from senior manager. He joined the firm in 1994.

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