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Kokua Line

By Gregg K. Kakesako

Wednesday, August 9, 2000


Air cleared over
Weather Channel

Question: Hurricane season runs from June to December. Is it possible to have Oceanic Cable make "The Weather Channel" available without any charge during hurricane season? It would be a very timely and valuable public service. That way you could see continuous updates on the weather situation.

Answer: This question comes up every time there is a hurricane threat to the islands, says Kit Beuret, Oceanic Cable's director of public relations.

"For the most part the weather in Hawaii is fairly constant and so usually the weather information we need, we can generally get from the radio or television in the morning or even now online."

However, during Hurricane/Tropical Storm Daniel, weather information from the weather service was broadcast on Olelo's community access channels.

The last time there was a serious hurricane threat with Iniki in 1992, Oceanic did make "The Weather Channel" available. However, since then, the channel is only available now in digital format - and because Oceanic mainly broadcasts in analog, it would have to take a current channel off the air to make room for it.

"When the Weather Channel becomes digital, we will probably make it available," Beuret added. "Weather is interesting to some people no matter where they live - here or on the mainland - and they would like to see it."

"The Weather Channel" can be accessed on the internet at http://www.weather.com.

Q: I am a displaced Kaneohe girl who is temporarily living in northern Virginia and who was very interested in reading about the high school rodeo competitions (in the Star-Bulletin's online paper).

How can I get in touch with the Hawaiian team to find out where they may be competing in the future on the mainland? I'd be willing to fly or drive there to support them. This is wonderful stuff.

A: Contact JC Cabral of the Hawaii High School Rodeo Association; 591 Alawaena Road; Hilo, HI 96720. Email: jccabral@daylum.com.

Q: I noticed signs at Kaiser Hospitals saying the charge for returning a check will be $25. State law says that the maximum amount allowed to be charged is $20. Why is Kaiser charging $25?

A: Kaiser Permanente spokeswoman Jan Kagehiro apologizes for the mix-up and confusion. "It was human error," she said.

About a month ago, Kaiser decided to increase the fee to $25 from $20 because it was having problems with bounced checks, Kagehiro said. "However, once it was brought to our attention, the signs were switched."

No one was ever charged the $25 fee. The signs were up for only a month.

Kagehiro added that Kaiser Permanente tries to cash a member's check twice before charging a service fee, even though the bank does charge the company on both occasions. "Only if the member's check bounces twice do we charge the fee since the first time could have been an oversight," she said.

EASTER SEALS FOLLOW UP

To the caller who was overwhelmed by mail appeals from the Easter Seals and other agencies, a representative from the Easter Seals apologizes for any distress its mail appeal may have caused. Call Easter Seals at 536-1015. A quick telephone call is what's needed to remove your name from its mailing list.





Need help with problems? Call Kokua Line at 525-8686,
fax 525-6711, or write to P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
Email to kokualine@starbulletin.com




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