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About Town 3-9-13

Chamber luncheon features county update

The public is invited to hear what Mayor Billy Kenoi and his cabinet have to say on the county’s economy and outlook for 2013 at a Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce Focus Luncheon on April 2. Sponsored by Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, the event is from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel in Kailua-Kona.

Reservations, which include lunch, are $40 for chamber members and $50 for nonmembers; tables of eight are available. The registration deadline is 5 p.m. March 27. Register online at kona-kohala.com or by phoning the chamber office at 329-1758. No refunds or cancellations will be taken after March 27.

The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce provides leadership and advocacy for a successful business environment in West Hawaii. For more information, call 329-1758 or visit kona-kohala.com.

Avian conservation talk Monday at Lyman

Rosanna Leighton, research coordinator for Keauhou Bird Conservation Center, will talk about Hawaii’s unique avian species, the threats facing them and their ongoing conservation at 7 p.m. Monday at the Lyman Museum in Hilo.

Leighton and a team of Hawaii Endangered Bird Conservation Program staff clean and plant aviary environments, manage breeding activities and provide dietary support and veterinary care for endangered birds. The program’s mission is to aid the recovery and prevent the extinction of Hawaii’s most threatened native birds, such as the alala and puaiohi.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $3; free to museum members.

For more information, visit lymanmuseum.org.

Book clubs meeting in Keauhou

Kona Stories in Keauhou Shopping Center hosts book clubs from 6 to 8 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. Led by Brenda Eng or Joy Vogelgesang, these groups are free and open to everyone. Attendees are asked to read the book in advance of the meeting and come prepared for a discussion. Bring a pupu or beverage to share. For more information, call 324-0350.

The Second Tuesday Fiction Group meets Tuesday to discuss “Cat’s Table,” by Michael Ondaatje. It tells a story about the magical, often forbidden discoveries of childhood and a lifelong journey that begins unexpectedly with a spectacular sea voyage.

The Just the Facts Group meets March 26 to discuss “Turn Right at Machu Picchu,” by Mark Adams. Adams gives a fascinating and funny account of his journey through some of the world’s most majestic, historic and remote landscapes guided by an Australian survivalist.

IRS: Some incomes are not taxable

Most types of income are taxable, but some are not. Income can include money, property or services that you receive.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, these income sources are not usually taxable:

c Child support payments

c Gifts, bequests and inheritances

c Welfare benefits

c Damage awards for injury or sickness

c Cash rebates

c Reimbursements for qualified adoption expenses

Examples of income taxable under certain conditions include:

c Life insurance policies redeemed for cash and not paid upon the death of the insurance holder; any amount more than the cost of the policy is taxable.

c Income from a qualified scholarship used for tuition and course books is not taxable; scholarship income used for room and board is taxable.

All wages and tips are taxable unless excluded by law. This includes noncash income from bartering; parties must both report the fair market value of goods or services received as income on their tax returns.

A refund, credit or offset of state or local income taxes in 2012 may be required to be reported. Such taxpayers should receive a 2012 Form 1099-G. If not, they should check with the government agency that made the payments. The form may be available electronically. Taxpayers should report all taxable refunds, even if they do not receive 1099-G forms.

For more information and examples, see “Publication 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income,” online at IRS.gov or call (800) 829-3676 for a copy.

Begier, chamber honored for invasive species work

Sen. Malama Solomon presented Mary Begier and the Hawaii Island of Chamber of Commerce with the 2013 Community Hero Award at the inaugural Hawaii Invasive Species Council Awards ceremony recently.

The award recognizes a community member or group dedicated to the prevention or management of invasive species. Through more than 110 volunteer days and more than 800 volunteer hours, Begier and the chamber helped the Office of Mauna Kea Management reach segments of the community that had not previously been engaged in invasive species control and provided feedback for designing a community volunteer program.

“Invasive species control programs rely on community volunteers and organizations like Mary and the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce. Their work is very important to our environment and ecosystem,” said Solomon.

Codependent women meeting Monday

A Codependents Anonymous women’s meeting is held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. every Monday at the Kona Center, Unity Community Church pavilion at the corner of Kuakini Highway and Hanama Place in Kailua-Kona.

For more information, call Carol at 937- 9150.