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StarBulletin.com

Brief asides


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POSTED: Thursday, June 18, 2009

OFF THE HOOK

Keep on trucking

In an effort to keep traffic moving, tow trucks are now patrolling the freeways during rush hour. Seeking motorists stranded and in need of aid, they ply the most congested sections of the freeways, eager to lend a hand.

In a way, it's almost good P.R. for tow trucks who are often vilified for their other rush hour job — towing delinquent cars from no-parking zones.

ALTERNATE REALITY

It sounds good ... on virtual paper

Kamehameha Schools is launching a merit-based pay program for teachers and administrators, using “;virtual pay”; at first. This could give ideas to administrators in all sorts of ways during the current recession — virtual balanced budgets, virtual pay raises, virtual bonuses, virtual holidays. The number of opportunities is virtually endless. Of course, the tough part comes when “;virtual”; becomes “;actual.”;

PUMP JUMP

Gas prices on the rise again

A sure sign that gas prices are getting high: long lines at the Costco pump.

As on the mainland, petrol demand from Hawaii motorists has definitely slowed, as an average gallon of regular unleaded on Oahu edges to the brink of $3.

Gasoline prices nationwide rose for the 49th straight day yesterday, matching a record stretching back to at least the 1970s, the Associated Press reported.

Hawaii's highest-priced gas was in Wailuku at $3.25 a gallon; Hilo was at $3.10 a gallon; Honolulu was at $2.92.

Supposedly, prices could be peaking in the next couple of days, say mainland reports. But wait, this is Hawaii, where things happen differently.

Here, prices statewide are expected to jump by about 10 cents a gallon come July 1, after a general excise tax exemption on ethanol-blended fuel expires. Expect even longer lines at Costco.