Gas prices up from last month, holding
HONOLULU - The price of unleaded regular gasoline in Wailuku held steady at $4.54 a gallon Thursday, unchanged from the same day the previous week, according to the AAA Hawaii Weekend Gas Watch.
That price was 13 cents higher than last month and 29 cents higher than the same date last year.
Hilo's price on Thursday was $4.59 a gallon, also no change from last week but 19 cents more than last month and 53 cents higher than a year ago. The price in Honolulu was $4.33, a gallon, 3 cents higher than last week, 26 cents more than a month ago and 41 cents higher than a year ago.
The statewide average Thursday was $4.44 a gallon.
The higher prices are being felt by people in Hawaii. In a AAA Hawaii new Spring Break Travel Poll, 66 percent of residents are feeling the pinch on their budgets, up from 59 percent last year.
According to the poll, the top actions being taken in response to the increases are:
* Cutting back on unnecessary driving, 79 percent.
* Spending less money on eating out at restaurants, 50 percent.
* Putting less money into savings, 47 percent.
* Spending less money on entertainment, 40 percent.
Foreclosures filings down by 50 percent
HONOLULU - Foreclosures filings in Hawaii last month were cut in half compared to a year ago.
A report released Thursday by real estate research firm RealtyTrac says foreclosures against Hawaii homeowners fell to 473 in February, the lowest level in four months.
The 50 percent drop is a result of a state law - intended to protect homeowners - that limits the amount of cases filed by lenders. The number of filings has fallen by double digits on a percentage basis in every month since May, when Act 48 reformed rules for out-of-court foreclosures. Act 48 provided the option of requesting a case go before a mediator. However, most lenders chose to purse foreclosures in court.
By county, Honolulu had the highest total of foreclosures at 134 but the best rate at 1 per 1,861 households. Hawaii island had the next-highest total at 123 and the state's worst rate at 1 per 484 households. Maui had 68 foreclosures, or 1 per 838 households, and Kauai had 29 filings, or 1 per 784 households.
Nonprofits urged to use Hawaii program
The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau is encouraging nonprofit groups to use its Sharing Aloha program when traveling to special events outside the state.
Qualified participants may receive free Hawaii-themed pens, pencils, stickers, bracelets and magnets to hand out to people outside the state. Nonprofit organizations also can post their events on the SharingAloha.com website calendar, which is linked to HVCB's travel website, GoHawaii.com.
For more information, go to the website SharingAloha.com or contact Brandon Goda by email at email@example.com or by calling (808) 924-0271.