State driver was getting his checkup
On Tuesday morning, Oct. 24, I saw a state highways truck driving into the Kaiser Hospital Moanalua parking lot. I thought that it was very odd for someone driving a state vehicle to be at the hospital for what looked like a routine appointment. I went to my appointment and later saw the same individual in front of me. Are state employees allowed to do personal appointments on state time?
Answer: With the license number and information you provided, state Comptroller Russ Saito, director of the state Department of Accounting and General Services, was able to look into your complaint.
The supervisor of the man you saw reported that the visit to Kaiser Hospital was "job-related," Saito said.
The employee has a commercial driver's license and is required to have a Public Utilities Commission medical checkup once every two years.
On the date you saw him, the employee was having his biennial PUC medical checkup, Saito said.
"He was sent in the morning so that he would have the rest of the day to work," he said.
Q: Smoking was always allowed at the Honolulu Zoo. When I complained, I was told that the zoo was an open area, so smoking was allowed. Now, with the new law, will smoking still be allowed at the Honolulu Zoo? It is quite annoying when you are standing in front of a cage or when walking along the paths and someone lights up.
A: You must not have visited the zoo recently, because the facility was ahead of its time in implementing its no-smoking restriction.
Nearly two years ago the zoo prohibited smoking, except in a designated outdoor area near -- but not too near -- the food concession area.
"As it turns out, that designated smoking area meets the state law ... before there was a state law," zoo Director Ken Redman said.
"We've never had any problems" with the no-smoking restriction, he said. "People totally understood."
The Internal Revenue Service, AARP and Hawaii Asset Building Coalition are seeking volunteers to prepare federal and state returns during the next tax-filing season for seniors, the disabled, non-English speaking, and those with limited income.
Volunteers will be provided with free training.
More than 200 volunteers in Hawaii helped 5,000-plus taxpayers last year with more than 10,000 federal and state tax returns, according to the IRS.
Bilingual volunteers are particularly needed, but anyone can be a volunteer, the IRS said. Organizations and social groups also can participate or host a site.
For more information, call AARP Tax-Aide at 955-5776, saying you are calling for Tax-Aide volunteer information, or Hawaii Asset Building Coalition, 539-1503.
Kahala, not Kahawai
"Aileen from Kahawai" said she meant to say "Aileen from Kahala" in her "mahalo" to a good Samaritan ("Kokua Line," Nov. 16
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to email@example.com
. See also: Useful phone numbers