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For Friday, July 22, 2011

By Star-Advertiser staff and Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 2:31 a.m. HST, Jul 22, 2011

Rail transit excise tax raises more revenue than predicted

Revenue from the general excise tax surcharge for the $5.3 billion rail transit project has exceeded the city’s recent projections, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation announced Thursday in a news release.

The state collected $49.8 million in revenue from the 0.5 percent general excise surcharge for the last quarter of the 2011

fiscal year, totaling $179.1 million for the fiscal year. That’s 9 percent more than the $163.9 million HART officials projected, said HART spokeswoman Jeanne Belding.

The surcharge collections to date total $715 million, $15 million more than the city projected.

Army destroying munitions recovered off Waianae Coast

The Army has recovered 32 munitions from the ocean floor off the Waianae Coast this month during a project to clear away most of the weapons the military dumped there decades ago.

The Army is nearly halfway through a three-week experimental project using a remote-controlled robot to remove the weapons.

U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii said in a statement Thursday the Army has processed 12 of the munitions and treated and destroyed 73 pounds of explosives.


Councilman Kualii cleared in conflict rules complaint

The Kauai County Board of Ethics has dismissed a complaint against Councilman KipuKai Kualii that claimed he violated conflict-of-interest rules.

The Garden Island newspaper reported Kualii participated in a budget discussion in April involving funding for the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, which distributes federal money to the YWCA where Kualii serves as the director of operations. The money comes in the form of crime victim assistance grants.

Board of Ethics Chairman Paul Weil said in a July 12 letter the board reviewed the complaint and rejected it after finding there wasn’t any basis for further action.

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