POSTED: Sunday, May 10, 2009

Telephone scam lures victims with tax refunds

The state Tax Department warns that there is a new telephone scam targeting island taxpayers.

The scam starts with a recorded telephone message telling people that they are eligible for a lifetime tax refund because they have paid taxes every year. The recording repeats the taxpayer's name and address and asks for confirmation of the address.

The tax department says its does not make automated telephone calls nor does it have a “;lifetime tax refund”; program.

To report receiving such a message, call the tax department at 587-1540.


HECO warns balloons put power supply at risk

As graduation season approaches, Hawaiian Electric Co. is reminding the public that metallic balloons cause power outages.

Officials recommend balloons be tied to a weighted object such as a mug, toy or bag of candy. Balloons should also not be tied together. A cluster of balloons has a greater risk of becoming entangled in power lines.

Officials also recommend not using metallic ribbons and deflating the balloon before discarding it. Call Hawaiian Electric at 548-7961 if a balloon is caught in the power line and don't attempt to remove it.

Sand Island repairs to close roads and parking areas

Construction on improvements to Sand Island State Park will require temporary closures of sections of roads and parking lots starting tomorrow, the Department of Land and Natural Resources said in a news release.

Sand Island State Recreation Area will remain open and the state will provide notice if the entire park needs to close for the paving repairs.

The construction work is scheduled to be completed by November 2009.


Hannemann to give speech at American Samoa college

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa » Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann will be the keynote speaker at American Samoa Community College's commencement ceremony Saturday.

Hannemann is the first person of Samoan descent to be elected Honolulu mayor.


Neighborhood Islands

Northwestern Kauai » The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is asking for public comment on draft management plans for the Na Pali-Kona and Pu'u ka Pele state forest reserves in northwestern Kauai. The plans are available at the forestry division Web site, www.dofaw.net. Comments should be received by May 26.

Haleakala » Haleakala National Park will get $1.3 million in federal stimulus funds to repair and replace fences, repair flood damage and remove debris on the Pipiwai Trail, U.S. Sens. Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye announced in a news release.

Kona » The state found there would be no significant environmental impact if Kona Blue Water Farms expanded its amberjack fish farming operation off the Big Island. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is in the process of deciding whether to allow the company to increase the number and size of its fish pens.