POSTED: Monday, April 13, 2009

Bank of Hawaii warns of Scam

The Bank of Hawaii is warning of fraudulent text messages being sent to cell phone customers in Hawaii.

The messages tell recipients that their accounts have been restricted, to call a phone number and then to enter their account and identification information.

But the bank says the messages are fake and that it does not request confidential account information by telephone or text message.

Recipients should contact the bank if they mistakenly provided their information in response to the text message.


Clean diesel program receives $1.7M

Hawaii's clean diesel program will get about $1.7 million from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The money comes from the recently enacted federal economic stimulus law, which appropriated a bit more than $88 million for state clean diesel programs.

Hawaii's share will go to the state Environmental Health Administration. That agency plans to use the money for its clean school bus project, which aims to replace many older diesel buses now in operation and retrofit up to 400 others.

The program will create an unknown number of jobs, and the cleaner buses will reduce particulate and other pollution. That, in turn, could help reduce the incidence of asthma and other respiratory ailments.


Can of food gains entry to swap meet

Get free entry to the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet and Marketplace on Saturday and Sunday with a can of food to feed the hungry.

The swap meet is helping the Hawaii Foodbank by giving free admission to every person who brings in at least one canned item. Admission is usually $1 a person, free for children 11 years and under.

The food bank distributes about 9 million pounds of food a year to more than 250 member agencies on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island, officials say.

Located in the parking lot of Aloha Stadium, the swap meet offers clothing, jewelry, artwork, housewares and other items from hundreds of vendors. Call 486-6704 or visit http://www.alohastadiumswapmeet.net.

The swap meet is open on Wednesday and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Curb drop-off for tax filers dropped

Curbside drop-off for last-minute state tax filers is no longer available this year, but residents can still deliver last-minute returns at the state tax office.

A drop box will be available near the front entrance of the tax office at 830 Punchbowl St. or on Halekauwila Street.

The deadline for state taxes is next Monday. Tax returns dropped into the box by midnight will be considered on time.

Curbside drop-off was discontinued because of an increase in residents filing their taxes online.

The state urges taxpayers using the N-13 form to use the free “;E-file”; for their 2008 tax returns or go to http://www.ehawaii.gov/efile to file online. N-11 and N-15 forms can also be filed through the Joint Federal/State E-filing program. A list of approved vendors that offer the program can be found at http://www.state.hi.us/tax/b2_3software.htm.

For assistance with tax questions or filing a state tax return, call 587-4242 or toll-free (800) 222-3229.



Lingle grants loan to hospital

Wailuku » Gov. Linda Lingle has agreed to grant a $10 million loan to the Maui Memorial Medical Center, the island's only acute-care hospital. The facility needs the money to help pay vendor bills, some of which are delinquent more than three months. The loan also will allow the hospital address a cash-flow deficit that averages $2.5 million a month. The hospital had requested a $20 million loan.



Hearing on fees

Kailua-kona » The state Department of Education will hold a public hearing on collecting school impact fees for West Hawaii public schools at 4 p.m. today at Kealakehe High School Library. The fees, paid by developers of residential housing in high-growth areas, can be collected only in designated districts.


Federal buildings get energy upgrades

Hilo » Two federal buildings in Hawaii will receive $136.7 million from the U.S. General Services Administration for energy improvements. The Prince Kuhio Kalanianaole Federal Building will receive $121 million, while the Federal Building in Hilo will receive $15.7 million.



Cops urge caution after burglaries

Lihue » Kauai police are urging businesses to take crime prevention measures after several burglaries and attempted burglaries involving company safes. Police say businesses should limit the cash they have on hand, make nightly bank deposits and install video surveillance equipment. Businesses in secluded areas should consider hiring a security guard, police said.


Star-Bulletin staff and Associated Press