BY HAWAII REPORTER

Hawaii Underemployment among Nation’s worst

Hawaii is one of nine states with the highest underemployment rates in the nation, according to a survey by Gallup Inc.

The polling company’s Daily Tracker telephone survey found the Aloha State and eight other states had underemployment of 21 percent to 24.9 percent. That means at least one out of every five people in the state’s workforce were either unemployed or working a part-time job when they desired a full-time position.

Gallup reported that nationally 18.9% of Americans were underemployed in 2010 and said rates varied substantially across states. North Dakota and Wyoming had the lowest underemployment rate with a range of 9.0 percent to 11.9 percent.

Hawaii was in the highest range, in a group that included Illinois, North Carolina, Oregon, Florida, Nevada, Mississippi, Michigan and California.

Gallup obtained the results in more than 200,000 telephone surveys during 2010. It said the margin of error for states is no greater than plus or minus 7 percentage points, with most states in the 4 percentage point range.

Star-Advertiser Owner Turns a Profit

Last year was a profitable one for Black Press Ltd., the Canada-based owner of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, as it bought, sold and merged newspapers.

An earnings report filed by Torstar Corp., which owns almost one-fifth of Black Press,  indicates the Victoria, British Columbia-based Black Press had an about $17 million profit excluding impairment charges during 2010. That compared with about $12.9 million of earnings in 2009.

Torstar reported its share of the Black Press’s 2010 earnings were $100,000 Canadian after an impairment loss of $3.1 million. It said the loss was associated with a customer-related intangible asset and goodwill related to a printing operation.

The year was a busy one for Black Press, which publishes more than 100 weekly and daily newspapers and shoppers. It bought more than a dozen newspapers, at least four of which it closed.

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The purchases included the Honolulu Advertiser, which Black merged with its Honolulu Star-Bulletin to create the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. In the process it fired more than 450 people as CEO David Black combined the operations while hiking advertising rates and prices for commercial printing at his Kapolei press.

The results do not offer details about profits at Black’s media company, which operates newspapers in Western Canada, Ohio and Washington. In Hawaii Black owns Oahu Publications Inc., which publishes the newspaper, Midweek, three military newspapers and several glossy magazines.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser Publisher Dennis Francis was traveling on the Mainland and not available for comment on the newspaper’s profitability and operations.

But the Star-Advertiser may not have reached Black’s projections, at least when it comes to circulation. After the merger was completed last summer the newspaper reported it expected a circulation of 135,000 daily and 150,000 on Sundays.

In December the Star-Advertiser carried an article saying the merger had created an operation with 128,000 daily subscribers and 135,000 on Sundays.

The printing operation also lost customers, including Pacific Business News.

Black purchased the Honolulu Advertiser’s assets from Gannett Co. Inc., the largest U.S. newspaper chain. Gannett’s regulatory filings show the company received $106 million in sale proceeds from the disposition of the Honolulu Advertiser and a small directory company in Michigan.

The filings show Gannett recorded a $21.2 million gain on the sales.

The profit is an approximate estimate of earnings for Black, a private company that does not have to report its financial results. But Torstar reports its share of Black’s profits from which profit estimates can be computed and adjusted from Canadian to U.S. dollars.

Julia Gillard

Australia Prime Minister to Stop in Honolulu for Briefing

Australian Prime Minister is scheduled to stopover in Honolulu this month for a security briefing as part of her visit to the United States.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard is traveling to Washington, D.C. during a March 5 to 13 trip that will have her meet with Pres. Barack Obama and address a joint session of Congress.

She is to stop in Honolulu on her way back to Australia and receive a security briefing about Asia-Pacific security issues during a meeting with Adm. Robert F. Willard, Commander, U.S. Pacific Command.

Tripler Ordered to pay $7.38 million in Malpractice Case

A woman who did not get proper medical treatment for kidney stones at Tripler Army Medical Center has won a $7.38 million award after suing the hospital.

Federal District Court Judge Leslie Kobayashi found that Siulia Mamea received improper care in 1997 and 1998, according to her attorneys, Judith Ann Pavey and Mark D. Kamitomo.

Mamea has been forced to undergo dialysis three times a week for the past five years as a result of the improper treatment and will need dialysis for the rest of her life without a kidney transplant.

KITV Leads TV Local Stations in Regional News Awards

KITV won five awards and KHON one in the recent Associated Press Television-Radio Association annual Mark Twain Award honors in 12 Western states.

The judging took place Saturday by broadcast professionals and university professors.

KITV won the Bill Stout Memorial Award for Excellence in Station Spot News for its “Tsunami Saturday” coverage and Best Weathercast Segment. It took the Best Investigative Reporting award for “Pot Paradise,” a piece by Daryl Huff and Rex Von Arnswaldt.

KITV also won the Best Serious Feature award for “Pirate Fighters” by Dick Allgire, Stu Ishikawa and Hans Kolo and an award for Best News Broadcast – 60 Minutes for its 10 p.m. news hour.

KHON was awarded an honor for Best Light Feature for its “Korean Drama Kraze” by Marisa Yamane and James Kawana.

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