POSTED: Saturday, January 31, 2009

FEMA warns of disaster-aid scams

Beware of disaster-assistance scams, warns the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

FEMA officials remind residents that disaster-recovery workers will not ask for credit-card information or other personal data by telephone.

The agency says bank information will be discussed only if you wish to have any disaster-assistance grants deposited directly into your bank account. FEMA representatives would never knock on your door or telephone you directly to ask for information, it says.

Applicants are assigned a FEMA registration number when they apply. FEMA workers who assist later will have this number on file.

To file a claim for flood losses suffered from Dec. 10 through 16 last year, register with FEMA by calling (800) 621-3362 or (800) 462-7585 for those with speech or hearing impediments. Individuals may also register at www.disasterassistance.gov.


Bill for nuclear-power plant shelved

An idea to build a nuclear power plant in Hawaii isn't going far at the state Capitol.

Hawaii lawmakers shot down the proposal Thursday in its first hearing of this year's legislative session.

Instead, House Energy Committee Chairwoman Rep. Hermina Morita will propose that the feasibility of nuclear power be studied more, and then perhaps it will be reconsidered next year.

Opponents of nuclear power claim Hawaii would have to import its uranium, export its nuclear waste and find a large area of land for a facility.

But nuclear power's supporters testified that it's a clean, inexpensive alternative to coal power plants.

And Hawaii is no stranger to the technology: The Navy has 16 nuclear-powered submarines based at Pearl Harbor.


Official misses deadline to pay fine

LIHUE » Newly elected Kauai Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho has gone past the time limit to pay a $500 fine imposed on her office for failing to appear in court.

The office was sanctioned by Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe for not being in court on time on Dec. 17 and for failing to communicate with the court.

The deadline to pay the fine was Jan. 17.

Further sanctions could be levied for failing to pay on time. In an e-mail to the Garden Island newspaper, the prosecutor wrote that the failure to appear arose because her short-handed staff was spread thin, and a prosecution witness for a grand jury hearing fled courthouse sheriffs.

Iseri-Carvalho says an order from Watanabe rescinding the sanction or transferring to community service hours would be forthcoming.


YWCA to honor female isle leaders

The YWCA of Oahu will honor women whose leadership has improved the cultural, environmental, political, economic or social well-being of Hawaii at its annual Leader Luncheon.

Friday is the deadline for nominations for the award. Forms are available at http://www.ywcaoahu.org or by calling Valerie Moore at 754-3049. Nominees must be a woman and resident of Hawaii; they must have demonstrated leadership in service to her community at home, at work and at large; and they are willing to support promotional efforts directed by the YWCA.

Nominees must be available to attend the 32nd annual Leader Luncheon on June 19.