In Brief | Island Inc.


Local gas prices rise

Local gas prices increased slightly in many areas over the last week, according to the AAA Hawaii Weekend Gas Watch. The Hawaii state average for regular unleaded is $4.34 per gallon, which is the same price as last week, a nickel less than last month and 20 cents less than on this day last year.

Honolulu’s average price is $4.25 a gallon for regular unleaded, up a penny since last week, 6 cents less than last month and down 15 cents from a year ago. In Hilo, the average gas price is $4.36 per gallon, which is 2 cents more than last week, 2 cents less than last month and 34 cents less than this time a year ago. Wailuku’s average is $4.51 a gallon, unchanged from last week, 3 cents less than last month and 38 cents less than the price last year.

“The gas price average here continues to be more than $4 a gallon, followed by Alaska at $3.99 and California at $3.96,” according to AAA Hawaii General Manager Liane Sumida. “If possible, plan your commute or errand-running with a route that has few stoplights, less congestion and likely a slower flow of traffic. We encourage motorists to check their tire pressure for proper inflation and remove unnecessary items from their vehicle to increase fuel economy.”

AAA Hawaii Weekend Gas 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 around the country. Prices shown are combined averages of last card swipe of previous day.

Free VA home loan benefit seminar offered

Veterans United Home Loans of Hawaii will be conducting a free seminar about the VA home loan benefits from 10 a.m. to noon on May 18 at Kuakini Tower, 75-5722 Kuakini Highway, Suite 214, in Kailua-Kona. All veterans, active duty, reservists and national guardsmen are encouraged to come. Seating is limited. Call 676-8254 to register or visit veteransunitedhawaii.com.

Tool helps business owners with health insurance

The Hawaii Health Connector recently announced its funding opportunity now available to organizations and individuals in Hawaii for development and implementation of in-person marketplace assisters. The marketplace assister program, called Hii Ola, will provide outreach, education and facilitate enrollment for those seeking health insurance through the Hawaii Health Connector. The awards will be distributed as block grants to community organizations and individuals who are established as trusted resources within their communities.

“The Connector’s goal is to simplify the process for small business owners to provide insurance for their employees and take advantage of the tax credits currently available,” said Rose Hughes, Hawaii Health Connector’s director of communications.

The marketplace assisters will personally help consumers located on every island. They will provide impartial assistance about plan options, assist with enrollment and conduct outreach and education for individuals and small business owners. This will include educating small business owners about tax credits only available through the Connector and individuals about the advanced premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions.

“The Hawaii Health Connector is great tool for comparing and purchasing health insurance,” said Bonnie Anela McAfee-Torco, the Hawaii Health Connector’s regional consumer relations coordinator. “We want to make sure people know that there’s a friend and neighbor to help them understand the process of enrolling in a quality health care plan.”

For more information, visit HawaiiHealthConnector.com.

— New Businesses —

Real estate company opens office on Kohala Coast

Hawaii Beach and Golf Properties has opened its new office at The Shops at Mauna Lani.

Hawaii Beach and Golf Properties is a real estate company specializing in beach, oceanfront, golf and resort properties. The firm offers residential real estate, commercial real estate and property management services.

Principals Eileen Lacerte and Tomoko Matsumoto are longtime resort residents and successful brokers, as well as licensed both in Hawaii and in California with extensive oceanfront and resort development backgrounds. Their office is located across from Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, near the water feature and stage.

By local sources