Salt Lake tower is part of first-responder system


POSTED: Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Question: I live in Salt Lake and notice that a new metal tower has gone up next to a water tank on a mountain that overlooks Salt Lake Elementary School. What is the purpose of that tower?

Answer: The radio tower next to the Board of Water Supply's Aliamanu 385 reservoir replaces “;an older, dilapidated tower”; that's part of the city's first-responder communications system.

The nearly $3.8 million Aliamanu project also involves upgrading the tower facility, including improvements to air conditioning, generators, fuel storage and security. When completed, the new tower will be able to survive a Category 4 hurricane, said Gordon Bruce, director of the city Department of Information Technology.

More than 31 percent of the cost, or $1.27 million, is being paid for by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, he said.

The facility houses an 800 MHz radio system, connecting first responders from different agencies, that covers the general Honolulu town area, Bruce said.

The Aliamanu project, expected to be completed by August, is part of the city's continuing efforts to upgrade its deteriorating communications tower facilities islandwide.

That effort started in 2005, when Mayor Mufi Hannemann directed that all the tower facilities be evaluated, Bruce said.

“;From that we developed a master plan to rehabilitate and rebuild facilities for the first-responder communications system,”; he said.

“;The beauty of all the work we've been doing over the past several years is all of them are now integrated and interoperable,”; he said. That means the different agencies that respond to emergencies are now able to communicate directly with each other.

“;We're now recognized nationally as one of the most progressive interoperable communications cities for first responders in the country,”; Bruce said.

Question: Could you tell me the latest status of the U.S. District Court settlement against charge card companies? I sent my request for a $25 refund on Dec. 15, 2007, and haven't gotten the refund or any information.

Answer: Final approval of the settlement is still pending before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The settlement administrator is currently auditing and validating claims and will determine the refund amounts of valid claims.

No refunds will be sent until the court grants final approval of the settlement, all appeals are resolved and the settlement administrator has validated the claims.

The class-action lawsuit involves what holders of Visa, MasterCard or Diners Club cards were charged to make transactions in a foreign currency between Feb. 1, 1996, and Nov. 8, 2006. The plaintiffs allege that Visa and MasterCard and their member banks, and Diners Club conspired to set and conceal fees, and that Visa and MasterCard inflated their base exchange rates before applying the fees.

The defendants denied the charges and said they did nothing unlawful or wrong.

The deadline for filing claims was May 30, 2008.

You are advised to check the Web site www.ccfsettlement.com for updates.

If you have a question, go to the “;Contact Us”; page of the Web site or write to the Settlement Administrator at P.O. Box 290, Philadelphia, PA 19105-0290.

Write to “;Kokua Line”; at Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).