POSTED: Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Register by April 22 for House election

The state Office of Elections says 1st Congressional District voters on Oahu will have a deadline of 6 p.m. May 22 to return mail-in ballots in the special election to fill the seat of former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie.

Chief Election Officer Scott Nago issued an official proclamation yesterday.

People have until April 22 to register to vote, and voters will receive ballots by early May. No polling places will be open on Election Day, but the city will set up a walk-in absentee polling place at Honolulu Hale from May 10 to 20.

Candidates can pick up and file papers to run beginning today. The deadline for candidacy documents is March 17.

Expected to vie for the seat are Republican City Councilman Charles Djou and Democrats Colleen Hanabusa, president of the state Senate, and Ed Case, a former congressman.

Abercrombie resigned Sunday to devote his attention to running for governor.


Kenoi proposes 3% smaller budget

; HILO » Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi's budget proposal of $375 million is 3 percent lower than the current budget, which expires June 30.

But Kenoi told the Hawaii County Council on Monday that property tax rates must be raised, positions must be cut and workers must be furloughed to make ends meet.

Kenoi says although his proposed budget is $11.7 million less than the current budget, the figure does not begin to reflect “;the painful effects of the budget cuts.”;

The biggest casualties will be the Hilo-based Hawaii County Band and the West Hawaii Band. Both would be eliminated under Kenoi's plan. The move would save $347,000 by eliminating 34 positions in Hilo and 11 more in Kona.


Comedian to pay $14,700 for tax crime

A local comedian who pleaded no contest to 10 tax violations from 2002 to 2006 was ordered to pay the state $14,706 for restitution of his income and general excise taxes.

Rodney Villanueva was also ordered to perform 200 hours of community service over two years.

He pleaded no contest to four counts of failure to file his individual income tax returns for 2002 to 2005, five counts of failure to file his general excise tax returns for 2002 through 2006, and one count of filing a false and fraudulent statement for 2006 individual income tax return.

Judge Randal Lee granted Villanueva his request for deferred acceptance of his no-contest pleas.

Villanueva was also ordered to pay a crime victim compensation fee of $600 and a contribution of $5,500. Villanueva must make payments at a minimum monthly rate of $200.


Donate canned goods to food bank

Families left with extra nonperishable food after Saturday's tsunami scare can donate it to the Hawaii Foodbank.

The public can drop off nonperishable food at the following donation sites:

» Oahu: Pflueger Honda, Tony Honda and Honda Windward

» Maui: Island Honda in Kahului

» Kauai: King Honda (Lihue)

» Big Island: Honda in Kona and Hilo

» Ruby Tuesday restaurants

» Napa Auto Parts stores

» Hard Rock Cafe

The food donations help feed 183,500 people in the state annually, 55,000 of whom are children.



$1.2M to help fight drinking by minors

LIHUE » Kauai County's Anti-Drug Office has been awarded a $1.2 million federal grant to help fund underage drinking prevention programs.

The funding is part of a 2006 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant. It is administered by the state Department of Health's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. says research shows young people are starting to consume alcohol at a younger age, so more needs to be done.

Anti-Drug Coordinator Theresa Koki says the grant will allow financial support for programs working to resolve the problem of underage drinking.

Koki says program providers will be able to apply for grant money soon.