Hawaii pension fund gains 6.2%
HONOLULU - The state's pension fund posted a 6.2 percent return on its investments during the last quarter.
The gains lifted the Employees' Retirement System pension fund's assets to more than $11 billion for the first time since 2007.
Over the last 12 months, the fund's assets increased by $971.4 million.
ERS Administrator Wes Machida said the investment gains will help reduce the state's unfunded pension liability, which stood at $7.14 billion at the end of June.
But Machida cautioned that the ERS still has $1.5 billion in deferred investment losses. The portfolio lost 18.7 percent in 2009 and 3.4 percent in 2008.
The fund provides retirement, disability and survivor benefits to more than 111,000 active, retired and inactive vested state and county employees.
Actor urges tax credits expansion
HONOLULU - Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. is asking Hawaii lawmakers to expand tax breaks for TV and movie production.
Gooding testified at the Hawaii Capitol on Monday at the request of Hollywood entertainment company Relativity Media LLC.
Gooding told lawmakers it was "a childhood dream" to film "Outbreak" in the islands in 1992.
The tax credit would rise from 15 percent to 35 percent on Oahu, and from 20 percent to 40 percent on the Neighbor Islands, with 5 percent bonuses for using special effects and animation.
The bill also provides tax credits for new production facilities.
Tax officials estimate the measure would cost the state $46 million, but supporters say that amount would be offset by revenues from new film and TV productions.
Lender moves to repossess hotel
HONOLULU - A creditor is seeking to repossess the 51-room Lotus at Diamond Head hotel from the Unity House labor union fund.
MK Pacific LLC filed a foreclosure lawsuit in 1st Circuit Court Monday to have the Waikiki hotel sold at an auction.
The company says Unity House failed to repay a $5.5 million one-year loan due in December.
Arthur A. Rutledge founded Unity House in 1951. Unity House maintains a fund for the benefit of organized laborers. It has bought real estate among other investments.
Unity House board Chairman Jim Boersema says the nonprofit has arranged for a new loan to pay the overdue loan. He says the transaction is expected to be completed in about 30 days and before any repossession can take place.