Maui a top pick for islander vacations
HONOLULU - Maui is the fifth most popular place for traveling Hawaii residents this summer, according to the AAA Hawaii Summer Travel Survey.
Not surprisingly, Las Vegas, the choice of 20 percent of respondents, was the top destination, followed by the Big Island (17 percent), Los Angeles (17 percent) and Oahu (14 percent).
Maui was the choice of 13 percent of respondents.
The poll released Wednesday indicated that more Hawaii residents than last year are definitely planning at least one summer vacation.
The results showed that 57 percent said that they definitely plan at least one summer trip - a 7 percent increase over last year. Thirty-three percent of respondents will not be traveling this summer.
Among those who are vacationing this summer, 60 percent said that high gas prices are not a major factor in their travel plans.
The survey involved 376 AAA Hawaii members, who were polled from May 17 to 29. The survey has a 5 percent margin of error.
Federal disaster loans available
Low-interest federal disaster loans of up to $2 million are available to small nonfarm businesses in Maui County that were impacted by the drought earlier this year.
The loans are intended to help offset economic losses because of drought conditions in Maui County beginning Jan. 1, the U.S. Small Business Administration said.
Eligible businesses include those dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses due to the drought.
These may include small nonfarm businesses, nurseries, agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofits, according to the SBA. Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
"Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only, and not on any actual property damage," Alfred Judd, director of the SBA's Disaster Field Operations Center-West, said in a statement.
The loans carry a 4 percent interest rate for businesses and 3 percent interest for private nonprofits.
For applications, see disas terloan.sba.gov/ela.
Foreclosures are fewest since 2008
HONOLULU - Hawaii foreclosures last month were down 70 percent to the lowest level since July 2008.
According to RealtyTrac, there were 267 filings last month, compared with 900 in May 2011. That's the lowest for any month since 229 filings four years ago.
The falloff continues to be linked to an overhaul of Hawaii's foreclosure law that caused lenders to stop filing cases out of court. The law passed in May 2011.
Act 48 is meant to provide homeowners with a fair chance to avoid foreclosure, including a mediation program.
A bill passed by the Legislature this year is pending before the governor. The bill would revise the law to make it more favorable for lenders.