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In Brief | Island Inc. 4-15-13

Gas prices stable but high

Local gas prices are continuing their two-month pattern of barely budging, according to the AAA Hawaii Weekend Gas Watch released last week.

As of Thursday, the state average for unleaded is $4.38 per gallon, which is down a penny from last week, two cents below last month and 23 cents less than on this day last year.

Honolulu’s average price is unchanged for six weeks at $4.31 a gallon for regular unleaded — also unchanged from last month and down 16 cents from a year ago. In Hilo, the average gas price is $4.33 per gallon, one cent less than last week, four cents less than last month and 41 cents less than this time a year ago. Wailuku’s average is $4.53 a gallon, one cent lower than last week, three cents more than last month and 32 cents less than the price last year.

The watch is a weekly snapshot of gas prices. Price comparisons are offered as a service. Prices are derived from fleet vehicle credit card transactions at more than 100,000 stations nationwide. Prices shown are combined averages of last card swipe of previous day, according to AAA Hawaii.

New website makes condo association registration easier

The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs is kicking off the 2013-15 condominium association registration period with the introduction of a redesigned website and enhanced access. Registration is available through May 31 via the upgraded website,

More than 1,650 condominium associations are registered with the department’s Real Estate Branch. Those associations cover more than 157,000 condominium units and their owners in Hawaii.

The website upgrade is part of the Abercrombie administration’s Information Technology Transformation Initiative, as set forth by the state Office of Information Management Technology. The design elements of this online service follows the new state website template, optimized for touch screen technology and smart phone interfaces by providing larger text, buttons designed for touch response and custom layouts for smaller screens.They were developed through the program, a largely self-funded public-private partnership between the state and Hawaii Information Consortium LLC, a Hawaii corporation and wholly owned subsidiary of eGovernment firm NIC Inc.

Local marketing agency recognized for tabloid work

Hafner Creative Communication is credited with the creation of award-winning marketing materials for the Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union.

The Hawaii Island marketing agency designed and wrote a 16-page tabloid in 2012 that won a Diamond Award this year from the Credit Union National Association. “The Lives We’ve Touched” was created to celebrate the credit union’s 75th anniversary and was chosen out of more than 1,000 competing pieces from around the United States. The Diamond Award is the credit union industry’s most prestigious competition for excellence in marketing and business development. Awards are given to the very best examples of creativity, innovation, relevance and execution.

Hafner Creative Communications has worked with Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union since 1988, assisting it with marketing, public relations and a rebranding campaign. The Diamond Award was given for brand awareness.

Event to explain benefits of legal, business consultations

Warren Chong, a LegalShield independent associate and the 2013 Small Business Administration’s Home-Based Business Champion for Hawaii County, will speak April 24 about how businesses can make better educated decisions by having access to unlimited legal and business consultations for less than $5 per day.

This event is hosted by the Kona Krew chapter of Business Network International, which meets from 7:45 to 9:15 a.m. at Island Naturals on Kaiwi Street in Kailua-Kona. Visitors are welcome, reservations are required, and there’s no fee to attend this event.

For information or to make a reservation, call Lynn at 960-9630 or Marie-anne at 345-2897.

Village stroll scheduled for Sunday

Kokua Kailua Village Stroll is scheduled from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday when Alii Drive in Kailua-Kona becomes a pedestrian-only roadway.

There are shops to explore, island vendors with a variety of art, crafts and other wares plus free entertainment throughout the afternoon. At 4 p.m., is entertainment on the Hulihee Palace lawn.

The event is sponsored by the Kailua Village Business Improvement District, Destination Kona Coast, Kailua Village Merchants Association, Hulihee Palace, West Hawaii Today and Pacific Radio Group. The program is designed to rally support for merchants and restaurants and to remind residents to shop, dine and buy local.

First Insurance donates $49K to nonprofits

In the first quarter of 2013, the First Insurance Co. of Hawaii Charitable Foundation donated more than $49,000 to local nonprofit service organizations, including the Hawaii Community Foundation, Hawaii Charter School Network, American Red Cross and Helping Hands Hawaii.

Established in 1998, the foundation focuses on education and career development; economic and workforce development; family, social services and health care; and civic, culture and the arts. It also matches gifts to eligible nonprofits made by its associates.

Yoga dance workshop offered

Kealakekua author and wellness consultant Marya Mann is leading a Fun Flow Glow workshop from 1 to 4 p.m. April 27 at the Banyan Tree Sanctuary in downtown Kailua-Kona.

The workshop is designed to awaken total health, bring new life to yoga, as well as provide positive outcomes of stress relief and greater well-being.A donation is requested and conscious commerce is practiced. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 345-0050. For directions to the site or more information, visit and

— New Businesses —

Bank launches new mortgage loan ventures

Central Pacific Bank has launched two new joint venture entities incorporated in the state, Haseko HomeLoans and Island Pacific HomeLoans, to provide residential mortgage loan services. The companies are in addition to the bank’s two existing residential mortgage joint ventures, Gentry Homeloans and Pacific Access Mortgage.

Haseko HomeLoans is a joint venture between the bank and Haseko Inc., while Island Pacific HomeLoans is a joint venture between the bank and M&A Ent. The joint venture partnerships will allow Central Pacific Bank to better support these two premier companies with financing for home purchases and help families realize their dreams of home ownership.

Haseko Inc., one of the top new home builders in Hawaii, has been developing high-quality residential, commercial and resort projects in Hawaii for almost 40 years.

Central Pacific Bank, through its Central Pacific HomeLoans division, is a residential mortgage lender in Hawaii, originating more than $1 billion in residential mortgage loans in 2012.

— Movers & shakers —

Crawford to lead Friends of NELHA

The Friends of NELHA board of directors has selected Sarah Crawford as its new executive director. She replaces Guy Toyama who died last November.

For the past 15 years, Crawford has been a Kona coffee farmer and attorney in a small private practice, mediating disputes and counseling clients in the areas of technology and intellectual property licensing. She has also served as general counsel for various companies in Silicon Valley and was an attorney with the U.S. Department of Energy.

A graduate of Stanford University and the University of San Francisco School of Law, Crawford brings extensive nonprofit experience as a founder, chairwoman, organizer, fundraiser, director and volunteer for various community organizations, including West Hawaii Mediation Center, Hualalai Academy, Aloha Performing Arts Company and the Chamber Orchestra of Kona.

A Super Blood Donor with the Blood Bank of Hawaii, she also received an outstanding achievement award from Stanford University, participated in the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce’s Ulumau Leadership Series, and received the Pookela Award from Hualalai Academy.

Ossipoff joins Kohala Center board of directors

The Kohala Center recently named Valerie Ossipoff of Honolulu to its board of directors.

Ossipoff, the executive director and former president of the Oahu Choral Society, and past member of the former Honolulu Symphony Society board of directors, joined the center’s board in February.

Born and raised in Honolulu, Ossipoff graduated from Punahou School before earning a bachelor’s degree from Wells College, a master’s in health and medical sciences from University of California at Berkeley and a second master’s in clinical psychology from the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology in Palo Alto, Calif.

By local sources