If you're visiting Hawaii, the best unpublished bargain is our state library. If you're a resident and you don't have a card -- what? Lolo? Go get one now. It's completely free for residents and just a nominal fee for non-residents.
There are two types of library cards available for those who are not residents of Hawaii. The $25.00 non-resident card is good for five years and may be renewed for an additional $25.00. The $10.00 non-resident card is good for 3 months and may be renewed for $10.
The only catch is that you need to apply in person.
If you're like me and you like reading magazines, you can't go wrong. There are nearly 200 titles, all available online through Zinio for reading on your iPad or Android and without charge if you use your library card. You can [browse] here.
or even more amazingly, borrow a Netbook loaded with the MS Office suite.
I don't understand why our taxpayer dollars go toward subsidizing non-residents, but maybe the library pays a flat rate and also receives federal dollars toward some services. Who knows? All I know is that I'm into promoting literacy regardless of the source.
I've told this story so many times, it seems it's finally time for me to put it to paper. Hawaii hoarders aren't really crazy, they're just shell-shocked.
By now, most of us are too young to remember the 1971 West Coast Dock Strike. I barely remember it. In the haze of youth, I recall it as being concurrent with the Oil Embargo of 1973, but it wasn't. The dock strike started in July 1971, had a cooling off period from October 1971 to January 1972 then resumed again until it was settled in February 1972.
Here's what you need to know. Hawaii ran out of toilet paper. It also ran out of paper towels and rice. To this day, many older kama'aina are determined to avoid the indignity and have dedicated an entire closet to paper goods. At the same time, they've also picked up the habit of hoarding other items -- just in case.
Just remember, Hawaii may be the land of Aloha, but that doesn't apply if you're taking the last package of toilet paper.
We're ready to apply for Costco's new Citibank VISA, but apparently Citibank isn't ready for us.
If you're one of Costco American Express' customers however, you won't have to reapply or wait. Your Costco VISA is automatically being sent to you in lieu of your current AMEX card. There are numerous benefits to the new VISA. First and foremost, the Citibank VISA has no annual fee. It also has other perks, such as higher cash back amounts. Specifically:
- 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases, including at Costco
- 3% cash back on restaurant and eligible travel
- 2% cash back on Costco purchases in-store and on-line
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
Other benefits include:
- Extended manufacturer's warranty for purchases made with the card
- Damage and theft purchase protection
- Worldwide car rental insurance
If I find out more about how to apply for a Citibank Signature Costco VISA card, I'll post it here. As of now though, it appears that only those converting from American Express are in the queue.
Twice this week I've been affected by new IATA battery shipping restrictions. First, I was unable to buy a camera on Amazon; then I was unable to buy replacement batteries for another camera. Beginning April 1, 2016 lithium batteries have been mostly prohibited from air shipment, except as accessories to a device or as hand-carry by passengers.
It's a problem for most of us, but clearly not for Amazon, which has probably been itching to limit the types of items that get shipped to Hawaii. To be sure, lately Amazon has restricted more and more items from Hawaii shipment. For instance, just yesterday I was unable to ship the dangerous -- yet incredibly useful -- Post-It flag.
Clearly, when one reads the IATA guidelines, shippers are able to send cameras as part of a package. Further, non-lithium batteries are still allowed air freight. Still that doesn't change that Amazon has blocked shipment of all cameras to Hawaii. That really changes the economic landscape here. Most certainly it affects product choice as well as product price, with the first going down as the second rises. I think this may just be the tip of the iceberg for rapid price increases in the isles.
Update: I was able to find that elusive camera battery at Battery Bill's. The price was reasonable and the customer service was fantastic. Check there first. Other likely sources such as Radio Shack and various camera stores either didn't have the battery or the price was astronomically high.
5/10/2016 - Hawaii Kai Park and Ride slated for City feral chicken control measures [Hawaii News Now]
5/9/2016 - Hawaii public schools struggle to provide athletes with top-rated helmets KHON interviewed Former Kaiser Coach Rich Miano. "Everything they [the private schools] have is so beautiful, and here I am at a public high school, Kaiser High School, and we look like the Bad News Bears. They look like the New York Giants,” Miano said. [KHON] Article also contains link to public high schools and their equipment inventory.
5/8/2016 - Kaiser High School wins KFive "It's Academic" quiz show over competitors Hawaii Baptist Academy and Iolani School. [Watch]
5/6/2016 - Avalon's 7000 Hawaii Kai Drive project nears completion [PBN]
May 3 2016 Hawaii Kai homeless encampment continues to grow [KITV]
May 2 2016 Kokua Line responds to reader inquiry on Medicare Certification at Koko Marina Dialysis Center [Star-Advertiser]
April 29, 2016 SOPHIE'S GOURMET HAWAIIAN PIZZERIA to open at Koko Marina Shopping Center in Hawaii Kai (next to Zippys). A new locally branded fast-casual pizzeria offering design-your-own custom pizzas and specialty gourmet pizzas using the freshest and finest ingredients. Our pizzas are baked in an Italian-made wood/gas fired oven that produces a rustic, flavorful, thin-crust gourmet pizza that is simply delicious. Opening date not yet announced, job hiring underway.
April 24, 2016 Friends of Niu Valley announces the grand opening of the long awaited playground - Saturday, June 4 [Facebook]