Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Thursday, December 23, 1999

opala pickup
soon in Kalihi

Question: At this time last year, residents of Kalihi were told we would be receiving trash containers for automated pickup. We're still waiting. We seem to be the only community without them. When will we get the containers?

Answer: Be patient awhile longer.

"We are finalizing details of the agreement with (the United Public Workers) union to provide automated collection for Kalihi (and Alewa Heights) next year," said David Shiraishi, the city's Refuse Collection administrator.

So far, about 93 percent of the targeted households have been converted to the automated system, he said. Once the conversion is completed sometime next year, 136,000 of about 163,000 households on Oahu will be served by the automated refuse trucks, Shiraishi said.

The remainder, about 20 percent, of the households on Oahu cannot accommodate the system because the streets are too narrow.


To TheBus driver heading toward Ewa Beach near Daiei in Waipahu about 3:30 p.m. Nov. 16. You were driving very irresponsibly by slamming on your brakes whenever you needed to make a stop.

This caused my 4-year-old son and mother to fall. I understand the bus was crowded and that my mother and son were standing in the front -- that should have been more than enough reason for you to drive more safely.

It was totally unacceptable that you failed to stop the bus and provide assistance. My son received a head injury that could have been serious, and my mother was injured as well. My son was crying the whole time. Shame on you for being so uncaring. The city bus is supposed to be one of the safest modes of public transportation in Hawaii. I can't believe you had the nerve to tell my mother not to file a complaint. I have no problem with our bus system. I have been catching the bus for many years. But in your case, I hope some disciplinary action is taken. -- Very angry mother

(Records indicate your son was standing by the front seats of the crowded bus and holding on to a passenger stanchion bar, said J. Roger Morton, senior vice president/director of operations for Oahu Transit Services, who investigated your complaint.

(The driver said he took his foot off the accelerator and began to coast into the bus zone, which is on a slight downward slope. That action apparently caused your son to fall. Your mother fell to her knees, apparently trying to catch him. When the driver stopped the bus, he said he asked your mother if they were all right, Morton said. Your mother stated she was OK but was worried about your son, he said.

(She then moved to the rear of the bus, and the driver said he assumed they were both OK. However, when they got off the bus, your mother said she was going to take your son to the hospital. The driver then called for emergency and supervisory assistance. Medical assistance was offered but declined, Morton said.

(The driver denied he urged your mother not to make a complaint, he said. Other passengers on the bus at the time said the stop was not unusually sudden, Morton said.

(However, any fall on a bus "is a serious matter, and we take numerous steps to reduce the risk of fall or minimize any injury," Morton said. "It is a fact that buses often have standing passengers, and there is always a small risk of falling. We are truly sorry for your understandable anguish over your son.")

Need help with problems? Call Kokua Line at 525-8686,
fax 525-6711, or write to P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
Email to

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
[Stylebook] [Feedback]

© 1999 Honolulu Star-Bulletin