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Colorful Christmas gifts for home and garden

Christmas is a perfect time to fill your houme and lanai with flowering plants. It’s also a great time to give a “natural, living gift” to those you love. Many nurseries and garden shops are now bright with potted poinsettias, bougainvillea, hibiscus, bromeliads and orchids. If you still have a list of friends and relatives for whom you haven’t found just the right gift, then stop by a few local nurseries, garden and flower shops to complete your holiday shopping. You would be surprised at how many different plants make Christmas gifts.

A cliff in Hawaii income tax, too

A couple of months ago we were talking about “tax cliffs.” These apply where a taxpayer makes a dollar more of income, or value, then the tax amount jumps far more than that $1. We looked at the City and County of Honolulu’s “Residential A” classification, where a property assessed $1 shy of $1 million would pay just under $3,500 in real property tax, but property worth $1 more attracts a tax bill of $6,000. That’s a marginal rate of 250,000 percemt on that millionth dollar.

Revisiting Kalapana amidst current flow activity

As lava once again wends its way downslope toward populated areas of lower Puna, we are reminded of the stop-and-start advancement of flows into the Kalapana community in 1990, when it took 10 months of often agonizingly slow activity to cover the Kalapana area with an average thickness of 33 feet of lava and destroy more than 100 residences.