Question: Auwe to TheBus. Ala Moana Center encouraged people to take TheBus to watch the fireworks on the Fourth of July. But there weren't enough buses to take people home afterward. Why didn't TheBus have the foresight to put more buses on that night?
TheBus was surprised
by free parking
Answer: "We were caught off-guard by an announcement on Friday (July 2) that the parking area at the Blaisdell Center would be made available to fireworks watchers free of charge," said J. Roger Morton, Oahu Transit Services' vice president of operations.
As it is, there is little service from Ala Moana Center's makai bus stop -- where most people waited for buses -- to the Blaisdell.
Apparently, a large number of people who parked at Blaisdell packed country-bound buses, causing others to miss their buses to outlying communities, Morton said. These buses had space after leaving the Blaisdell.
That night, supervisors were stationed on both sides of the shopping center to direct buses, Morton said. Immediately after the fireworks ended at 8:52 p.m., all buses along Ala Moana were filled.
By 9:45 p.m., space was available on buses leaving the mauka stop, heading eastbound into Waikiki. Four bus trips had been added to Route 8 to Kapiolani Park.
Extra bus service also was added to Salt Lake, Makaha, Ewa Beach, Wahiawa and Kaneohe. Between 9 and 10 p.m., more than 1,000 people boarded buses at Ala Moana Center's makai bus stop "and bus stop congestion was very great."
Supervisors reported that westbound passengers had been accommodated by 10:30 p.m., although at 10:45 p.m., about 30 people were observed at the State Capitol bus stop on Beretania Street.
"Our supervisors provided several riders with special auto rides to their homes in Red Hill and Salt Lake," Morton said.
Next July 4, if the Blaisdell and other Kapiolani area parking lots are made available to the public, TheBus will consider running a special shuttle, Morton said.
Q: There is a large retaining wall with machinery around it being built behind the archery range at Kapiolani Park. What is the reason for it and who is paying for it?
A: It's being paid for by the La Pietra Condominium Association. "We had some cave-ins along there" so the wall is being built to prevent any future cave-ins, said manager Bill Morgan.
AuweI had a big laugh when I read about Gov. Ben Cayetano's adult children living at Washington Place because it's considered a personal residence. In 1994, he said he would live in his own home as a way to cut expenses if he were governor. The minute he got elected, that went by the wayside.
I'm sick of supporting all our governors in this imperial lifestyle. Welfare benefits have been cut for deserving disabled people, yet the Cayetanos and other first families have been supported to the tune of more than $200,000 a year. -- No name
(Actually, Cayetano's campaign pledge was that he would return Washington Place to the Hawaiian people, "its rightful owners," as "a symbolic first step" toward sovereignty.
After he was elected, he said former first ladies Jean Ariyoshi and Lynne Waihee convinced him otherwise and that he learned the federal government would tax him for drawing a stipend to live outside an official governor's residence.)
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