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StarBulletin.com

Brief asides


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POSTED: Wednesday, November 11, 2009

UNSAFE RIDE

Building a better stroller—and trust

Parents are understandably outraged that it took 12 children getting their fingertips amputated before Maclaren recalled the type of stroller that did the damage. About 1 million folding Maclaren strollers sold in the past decade have been recalled, and the company is offering free hinge shields to cover the dangerous mechanism.

But much damage has been done, not only to the injured children but to the sense of loyalty customers had developed with the company. Judging by the flood of complaints from parents, it will take a lot to rebuild that trust.

STORM CLOUDS

Stay dry and safe

Keep that umbrella handy. Or better yet, stay indoors.

The forecast calls for heavy showers and thunderstorms today through late tomorrow, as well as possible flooding.

A winter storm watch also has been issued for Hawaii's summits, which could bring snow—yes, snow!—to the Big Island's Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea.

From pavements to peaks, proceed cautiously.

OH BOY, NO TOY

Ho, ho, ho already turning into gone, gone, gone

Time to come up with a Plan B.

Robotic toy hamsters and other “;must have”; holiday gifts already are disappearing from store shelves because they were barely there to begin with. Retailers didn't want a repeat of last Christmas, when an overflowing inventory forced them to slash prices. So they ordered less this year, much less.

Knowing that, there's little impetus for parents to embark on that insane annual quest for the “;hot”; toy. Accept that pickings are especially slim this year, and substitute something that's equally fun and easier to come by. There's some consolation in the fact that your kid won't be the only one left wanting on Christmas morning.