New Law Benefits Taxpayers, Avoids Future Refund Delays

Media Release:

Governor Lingle today signed into law HB1948, a bill that requires the Department of Taxation to provide refunds to taxpayers in a timely manner.  The legislation, now Act 171, states that the department must provide refunds within 90 days from the date the tax return is filed, or the due date of the tax return, whichever is later.

“One of the main benefits is that the state must pay interest to the taxpayer if the return is not paid within the required time frame,” said Rep. Pono Chong, the introducer of the bill.  “The legislature was concerned that using the refunds as a way to balance the budget was merely delaying our fiscal responsibility.  In addition, I think most taxpayers understand that the overpayment to the government is their money and they expect a return in a reasonable period.

The bill also requires that all general revenues collected from an increase of any general excise or use tax be used first to pay tax refunds delayed from fiscal years 2010 and 2011.  The law goes into effect on July 1, 2010.

Kaloko Ground Breaking to be Celebrated Next Week

From the Mayors Office:

County of Hawai‘i Office of Housing and Community Development and its partners will celebrate the groundbreaking of the Kaloko Housing Project at the project site on Hina Lani Street at 3 p.m. on Monday, June 28.

The Kaloko Housing Project will be a 96-unit complex, and will replace the Ka Hale O Kawaihae Transitional Housing Program.  The initial phases of the Kaloko complex will include 12 transitional housing apartments and 28 apartments for low‑income residents.

The Kaloko Housing Project will serve low-income families with children.  The transitional units will serve only homeless families, while the rentals will serve low-income families with a preference for families that are homeless or at risk for homelessness.

This is the second project to break ground in Kona in the past year that will assist in housing the homeless. The Office of Housing and Community Development broke ground in June 2009 for its first emergency shelter for the homeless in West Hawai‘i. The 31-bed emergency shelter in the Kailua-Kona old industrial area is scheduled for completion in October 2010.

Senator Akaka on Remembering Chief Justice William S. Richardson

U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka remarks on the passing of William S. Richardson, former Chief Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court and a close personal friend of Senator Akaka.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvMxZsaQk1E&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

Public Comments Being Accepted on Draft EA Posting on Strawberry Guava Impacts and Proposed Biocontrol Insect

Media Release:

The draft EA for the release of a natural predator (Tectococcus ovatus, a Brazilian scale insect) is open for public comment today (June 23) through July 23, 2010.

Strawberry guava is well-known as an ornamental plant that was introduced to Hawaiʻi from Brazil in 1825. Its fruit are a tangy trail-side snack for some, and the wood is free and plentiful. However, strawberry guava is also a fast-growing tree from Brazil that is spreading in forests statewide, forming dense thickets, outcompeting and replacing virtually all other native and non-native plants, and reducing surface and drinking water.

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Wordless Wednesday – A Swarm of Bees

I knew I had a beehive in my back storage shed for awhile now.  Yesterday about 1:00 in the afternoon I heard this loud buzzing sound.  I looked out my window and saw a swarm of bees flying around.

A swarm of bees

I took the above picture and then switched my camera over to video mode and caught the following video.  I stopped recording when bees started to come after me!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWOQDmoiBxQ&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

Fred Blas is Now a Candidate for County Council

I  got notification that Fred Blas has decided not to run for Hawaii House 4th District, “…Long story short why he changed his mind”.

However, he is now jumping in the County Council District 5 Race.

A quick run through Pahoa this morning and I noticed that all of his campaign signs have already been switched to show the new office he is seeking.

This certainly will be an interesting race.  We have the incumbent Emily Naeole, James Weatherford, Barbara Lively and now Fred Blas all running for the same position!

Interestingly enough, Loren Baker has pulled out of the race for health reasons.