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Brief asides


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POSTED: Thursday, December 24, 2009

CLEAN ENERGY

Wave hello to Christmas

Surf's up!

It's a rockin' Christmas gift for wave riders as 15- to 20-foot faces are expected to hit the north shores of Oahu, Molokai and Maui, today through tomorrow night.

Maybe homegrown President Barack Obama, a fan of bodysurfing on Oahu's South Shore, will be able to catch some big-wave action while he's here. If so, it'll undoubtedly be as a spectator from shore, safely ensconced within the Secret Service cocoon.

 

TAX TIPS

Take every break you can

Savvy taxpayers won't let 2009 wind down without considering every potential tax break, and there are quite a few available this year, beyond the perennial last-minute charitable donations and college fund investments. For example, most people who buy a new car or truck by Dec. 31 will be able to deduct state and local sales and excise taxes on their 2009 tax returns. For details on this and other tax breaks, check http://www.irs.gov and click on “;Year-End Tax Tips.”;

 

NOT COOL

Huge snakes are fine — so long as they're not in Hawaii

Hawaii folks come in contact with all sorts of colorful critters. Plump geckos? No problem. Centipedes? Yuck, but OK. Dive-bombing “;B-52”; cockroaches? Ugh, but can handle.

But a 6-foot boa constrictor? Get out.

That's what one Keaau resident found in his garage the other day. Six feet. The man quickly called the police, and in short order, the long, nonnative reptile was captured, got a nice plane ride, and is now heading for the Honolulu Zoo.

State Agriculture Department officials took the opportunity to urge people with illegal animals to turn them in under an amnesty program, no questions asked. Do it. Little boa constrictors grow into 12-foot boa constrictors.