Honolulu Star-Bulletin - Kokua Line

Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Wednesday, September 29, 1999

Trash bins too
unwieldy for elderly

Question: The trash bins that were issued in Nuuanu are great, but there are senior citizens in the neighborhood who live alone with steep driveways. They cannot manipulate the heavy bins up and down the driveway. Is there any solution or recommendation?

Q: I am visiting my elderly parents who live on a hill. The one-size trash container makes it very difficult for my 80-year-old mother to get down the driveway without falling. Is it possible for the city to make exemptions to allow people like my parents to use smaller-sized trash containers? In Seattle, we have different-sized garbage cans.

Answer: There is both a recommendation and a possible solution.

First, do not try to move those containers up and down steep hills, said David Shiraishi, the city's refuse collection administrator. Instead, leave them at the bottom of the hill -- moved to the curb or edge of the pavement when empty, he recommended.

As for getting a smaller-sized container, Shiraishi said the city will consider providing a smaller one "on a limited basis." Call the Refuse Division at 527-5358.

Only about a half dozen households have gotten smaller carts, Shiraishi said.

Q: I have a charge on my phone bill of 75 cents for a three-way calling. I didn't make the charge, so I called GTE Hawaiian Tel, which was so kind to reverse the charges and put on a block so I won't get charged for this again. The explanation the customer service operator gave for this was that it was not uncommon for this charge to appear on the bill and that I might have made two calls in a row and that the previous call didn't fully disconnect. Could this be right? I believe that there's a glitch with their computer and that the charge showed up on the wrong phone bill, because I don't know how to make one of these calls. Who is right?

A: The operator's response was correct -- it was not a computer glitch, said GTE spokesman Keith Kamisugi.

However, your experience pointed out a potential problem, which the company is working to resolve, he said.

Here's the situation: GTE has a special three-way calling feature that allows three different people at different numbers to talk together at the same time. The service is available on a per use basis or for a small monthly fee.

"The reader may have hung up on a call, then quickly dialed another number," Kamisugi said. That would have activated the three-way calling feature, he said.

However, GTE did not intend the per use charge to be activated without the customer's knowledge. That's why, in your case, "We were happy to refund the charge and block any future use of the service," Kamisugi said.

"We are currently testing and evaluating our systems to ensure that we address the problem of customers inadvertently activating the service," he said.


To the people who stopped and helped me on Aug. 29 when I got into a bike accident on Kalanianaole Highway between Makapuu Point and Sandy Beach. I am getting better now. -- S.N.


Has there been a change in the law requiring signals when making a turn? A lot of drivers are turning left or right and they never seem to use their turn signals. -- Frustrated motorist.

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

E-mail to City Desk

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