NEWS & NOTES
Earth Day brings slew of ‘green’ announcements
- Kauai Island Utility Cooperative announced the last two of its four renewable energy contracts this week, one for a 4.5 megawatt biomass facility and another for 10.5 to 15 megawatt wind facility. If all goes according to plan, the four KIUC contracts should provide over one-third of the island’s energy needs by 2010.
On Thursday, Otsuka’s Furniture and Appliances announced a contract with Kauai Solar Power Designs to install the largest solar power system on the island at its Kapa‘a store. Owner Otsuka Chang said the 50-kilowatt system will provide almost half of the store’s electricity needs at a significant savings.
“Establishing alternative energy sources for Kaua‘i is a natural fit,” Kauai Solar Power president Peter Martin said in a press release. “The island has the highest electrical rates in the country as well as a highly sensitive environment.”
Kauai Solar Power is also donating electricity-monitoring software to local schools to assist in environmental education.
Finally, scientist, explorer and author Tim Flannery will speak on climate change at the National Tropical Botanical Garden at 6:30 p.m. Monday. Part of the Science in the Garden lecture series, Flannery will present “The Weather Makers: The History and Future Impact of Climate Change” at the Harrison Chandler Education Center in Kalaheo.
For more information, contact NTBG at 332-7324, ext. 250.
Kaua‘i agent wins statewide award
- Kaua‘i real estate agent Donna Rice was honored with a statewide Century 21 Quality Service Award this week. Rice is a member of the Centurion Honor Society and has also received the Platinum Producer Award.
Two Kauaians named to A3H board of directors
- Terry Donnelly and Preston Myers were named to the Activities & Attractions Association of Hawaii board of directors this week. The nine-person board has members from O‘ahu, Maui, the Big Island and Kaua‘i. As president of Blue Dolphin Charters, Donnelly runs snorkeling and whale-watching tours off the Na Pali Coast. Myers is the owner of Safari Helicopters, and was the first heli-tour to offer air-conditioned cockpits and two-way communication between the pilot and passengers.
Tax season brings annual reform suggestions
- FairTax.org is calling for an end to income taxes and the IRS. Putting its weight behind H.R. 25, sponsored by U.S. Rep. John Linder, R-Georgia, the 1-million member organization says it wants a broken system fixed.
“Along with their taxes, individuals and businesses endure compliance burdens amounting to $265 billion, or an additional 22 cents on every dollar collected,” said John Berthoud, president of the National Taxpayers Union.
With the baby boomers easing into retirement, 41 percent of U.S. population is expected to be outside the income tax system in 2006, Berthoud said, putting a heavier burden on those that drive the economy.
“Citizens seeking their peice of the American dream are especially vulnerable,” he said.
FairTax.org is instead calling for a national retail sales tax, which would bring money in from those without jobs as well, like retirees, illegal immigrants and tourists.
“Every person in the U.S., including those here illegally, would help to pay for government whenever they purchase goods and services,” Berthoud said.
It would also eliminate the need for the IRS.
go! extends $39 fares
- In a move becoming as predictable as a gas price hike on Monday, go! Airlines extended its interisland fare sale to the end of the month. Hawaiian made a similar announcement last week. Both airlines have been renewing their $39, one-way fare deadlines since go! announced its promotion in conjunction with its launch. The discounted fares were originally scheduled to end in April. The tickets are good for travel between June 9, when go! makes its inaugural flight, and Sept. 30.