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Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Wednesday, December 20, 2000

City Lights Christmas
ornaments not

Question: I bought a commemorative ornament from the Friends of Honolulu City Lights. The brochure says it's a nonprofit organization. I understand selling the ornaments is a fund-raiser, and know I can't deduct the entire $15 cost per ornament. But how much of the donation can I deduct?

Answer: Actually, none.

"If it were tax-deductible, we would have said it was tax-deductible," said Carol Costa, head of the city Department of Customer Services, speaking for the Friends.

"Every cent goes back into the program," she said. However, exactly how much she wouldn't say.

Costa said she didn't want to give any figures because not all of the 3,500 First Edition commemorative ornaments have been sold. At last check last week, a few were left at Borders Books, at the Honolulu City Store in Ala Moana Center, and at some Liberty House branches, she said.

The ornaments, selling for $15 each, feature only one design: a rendering of Honolulu Hale, Shaka Santa, a Christmas tree and poinsettias. It also says "Mele Kalikimaka."

Q: Why is it that there is no law that states that a minor is required to have a signed consent by both parents to receive any type of body piercing? Does the Board of Health certify that the business and conditions are clean and sterile? These procedures are invasive. There are laws for minors regarding alcohol and tobacco use and even for driver licensing. Why not this? Is the state Legislature even considering the issue?

A: Because some parents expressed concern about this practice, state Sen. Suzanne Chun-Oakland introduced a bill this past legislative session to require minors to obtain parental consent before having their bodies pierced.

However, "there was not very much response in terms of testimony," she said, recalling only two people testifying -- one for and one against.

"So, I don't know if it's a really big concern," Chun-Oakland said. However, she said there may be concern that requiring parental consent for this might open a can of worms.

"I guess it may have implications if you get parental consent for this, what other things would we get parental guidance for," she said.

The bill was shelved.

Chun-Oakland said the issue can be brought up again, but "there needs to be a community interest in this area."

Meanwhile, the state Department of Health does not certify conditions of body-piercing businesses because "we don't have the expertise to regulate something like this," said Brian Choy, chief of the sanitation branch.


To the Kailua police station for their rapid and efficient response to my complaint about the loud party, noisy outside band and vulgar language mid-evening Saturday night, Nov. 25. A splendid performance by HPD when they were probably swamped with other Saturday night calls. Conversely, a resounding "auwe" to the offending merrymakers. They were a public nuisance with their rudeness, lack of concern for the rights of other residents and their generally uncouth conduct. -- No name


Four flat tires to the woman driving a light green hatchback with a personalized license plate, who cut in and out of traffic on King Street at 7:10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 4. She was going so fast she almost hit two pedestrians halfway across a crosswalk at Peterson Lane. -- No name

Need help with problems? Call Kokua Line at 525-8686,
fax 525-6711, or write to P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
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