Postal rate hike arriving Sunday
Early mailings are suggested to avoid postage problems
The U.S. Postal Service is urging people to get their mail in early before new postal rates and fees take effect Sunday.
A first-class postage stamp will go up to 39 cents from 37 cents, and mailing a postcard will go up one penny to 24 cents.
Even though the effective date of the rate increase is Sunday, any mail deposited in mailboxes and at post offices after the last collection Saturday will be subject to the higher rate, said Duke Gonzales, U.S. Postal Service spokesman.
Mail with insufficient postage will either be returned to the sender or forwarded to its intended destination with postage due.
"That's why we really want to make sure everybody does get their mail in early Saturday or before then. Why take a chance? Get your mail in before Saturday," Gonzales said.
Most of the postal rates and fees will increase about 5.4 percent. It is the first price increase since 2002.
The Postal Service said the higher prices are needed to fulfill a federal law passed in 2003 that requires it to place $3.1 billion in an escrow account by Oct. 1. Without that requirement, the price increase would not have been necessary, the Postal Service said.
Home Lands workshop to discuss home buying
The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is offering a free orientation to help people prepare for when 600 new homes are built on Oahu in the next two years.
The orientation will be 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the King Intermediate School cafeteria in Kaneohe at 46-155 Kamehameha Highway.
The department plans to add these new homes in East Kapolei, Consuelo and Kaupea.
It created a program called Home Ownership Assistance Program to teach people how to obtain approval to own these new homes and offer tips on how to qualify for a loan.
The program will also help individuals repair their credit and reduce their debt.
To register or for more information, call HOAP at 791-3403, visit the Web site at www.dhhlhoap.org or e-mail questions to email@example.com.
What's inside your Star-Bulletin this weekend:
Another young uke-meister
At the corner of Kalakaua and Liliuokalani avenues, 16-year-old Taimane Gardner draws a crowd every Friday night, wielding her ukulele a la Jake Shimabukuro as she catches the groove of "Wipeout" or is channeling Jimi Hendrix.
A global design dream
Hawaii's soaring real estate market was the catalyst for several longtime professional acquaintances to take a gamble on expanding Sourcing Asia LLC to become the furniture and interior design store of their dreams.
Star-Bulletin Good Neighbors Fund
|Edward & Diane Sakai
|Tu Long Lac
|Margeret M.H. Chang and Noreen K.S. Ueda
|Total to date
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
Missing woman last seen leaving work
Police need the public's help in finding a missing 32-year-old Pearl City woman.
Angela Baker was last seen at about 10 p.m. Dec. 23, leaving the Hyatt Regency in Waikiki where she works, police said. Baker told her co-workers she was going to catch the bus home, police said.
Baker is described as Caucasian, 5 feet 11 inches tall, 155 pounds, with auburn hair and blue eyes.
Anyone with information concerning Baker is asked to call missing-persons investigator Phil Camero at 529-3394 or *CRIME on a cell phone.
Navy identifies victim in fatal car accident
The Navy has identified the man who died Wednesday in a single-vehicle accident on Naval Station Pearl Harbor as Henry Dean.
Dean was employed with security at Navy Region Hawaii, Navy officials said yesterday.
A Navy spokeswoman said Dean's vehicle struck a light pole.
Woman accuses man of sexual assault
Police arrested a 53-year-old Kapahulu man yesterday on suspicion of sexually assaulting a 23-year-old woman.
The woman told police she met the man to talk, but instead he allegedly sexually assaulted her at 3 a.m. Wednesday, police said.
Dispute over power tools leads to shooting
Police arrested a 76-year-old Waianae man yesterday on suspicion of second-degree attempted murder of a 30-year-old woman Dec. 29 in Nanakuli.
Police said the man allegedly shot the woman after a dispute over power tools at Tracks Beach Park.
The woman had been shot with a .22-caliber bullet, which was lodged in her left shoulder, police said. She was taken to the Queen's Medical Center in guarded condition, police said.
A police investigation led to the suspect being found and arrested yesterday morning.
Snorkeler, 77, drowns at Hanauma Bay
A 77-year-old man apparently drowned Wednesday while snorkeling at Hanauma Bay.
Police said the victim was snorkeling with family when he got separated from the group.
About a half-hour later, he was found lifeless and floating in about 3 feet of water. Lifeguards at the scene were able to resuscitate the victim, and he was transported to an area hospital, where he later died.
Haleiwa brush fire contained quickly
Firefighters speedily contained a Haleiwa brush fire yesterday evening.
The fire was near the Joseph P. Leong Highway and was reported at 6:09 p.m.
Two fire companies and a tanker responded to the blaze and had it contained by 6:32 p.m.