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For Sunday, May 1, 2011

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services


More funds set aside for solar heaters

State officials are directing more federal funds toward a rebate program for homeowners who purchase solar water heaters.

Hawaii's energy office announced Friday that additional money from the U.S. Recovery Act would be allocated to rebates due to a large demand for the energy-efficient systems. Hawaii Energy, which administers the program, first announced the rebate in March to lift sagging sales of the units.

The company says more than 600 households have purchased the systems and 220 customers are on a waiting list.

The state has authorized more applications for a $1,000 rebate on a first-come, first-served basis. Officials did not say how much money was available for the program.

The systems are also eligible for a 35 percent and 30 percent tax credit on the state and federal level.

Pot-dispensary bill fails to advance

Medical marijuana dispensaries won't be coming to Hawaii anytime soon.

A conference committee of House and Senate lawmakers couldn't agree on how to start a dispensary test-run before a Friday deadline, killing the legislation for the year.

The measure would have started a five-year pilot program for a medical marijuana dispensary on an unspecified island. Senate Health Committee Chairman Josh Green wanted the pilot program to limit medical marijuana prescriptions to patients suffering from serious ailments including multiple sclerosis, cancer, HIV and AIDS.

Tram trail closed

The Koko Crater Tram Trail will be closed for maintenance from 5 a.m. tomorrow and will be reopened at 5 a.m. Friday, the city parks department announced. West Steel Inc. will remove a deteriorating 2,000-foot steel cable that runs the length of the tram’s track.


Maui Ocean Center offers 50% discounts

U.S. military men and women and kamaaina will receive a 50 percent discount on general admission to the Maui Ocean Center in May, the Maui News reports.

People presenting a Hawaii or U.S. military identification will be able to enter the center for $12.75 for adults, $11.25 for seniors and $7.25 for children, plus tax for all the rates.

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