Brief asides


POSTED: Thursday, June 11, 2009


Keep an eye out for brush fires

Summer's hot, dry weather is perfect for outdoor recreation, but also raises the risk of brush fires — especially when the wind picks up.

The Honolulu Fire Department, whose crews extinguished a small brush fire in Waianae this week, continually stresses that preventing fires is easier than putting them out. Part of that effort includes urging people to report suspicious activity, as some brush fires are maliciously set.



Will vehicle owners vie for vouchers?

Cold hard cash could be coming your crusty clunker's way under a bill passed by the U.S. House this week.

Of course, there's the usual red tape and fine print, but if you own a gas-sucking Hummer, you might be eligible to get up to $4,500 to send it to the scrapper.

The question remains whether people will flock to dealerships opting for fuel economy (and the specter of new car payments), or if they'll just keep on guzzling along in their behemoths.



Don't forget the fine print

One thing about gadgets: If you aren't obsessed with being the first, and wait a while, bargains abound.

Case in point is Apple's iPhone, which is still pretty nifty and dropping in price. The company's 8-gigabyte iPhone 3G is $99 instead of $199; when it debuted two years ago, fans shelled out $499 for a 4-gigabyte version and $599 for 8 gigs.

One caveat (and consumers know there's always one): A two-year required wireless service contract with AT&T would still cost at least $499. Hmmm, factor that into the bargain price.