To Our Readers


Sunday, September 2, 2001

Water, water
everywhere, except in
taps and sinks

THERE'S A LARGE patch of fresh asphalt around the corner from my house. It covers a deep hole that suddenly opened up in the middle of the street last weekend.

This instant crater was preceded by a loss of water pressure, accompanied by a geyser and followed by hours of roaring from heavy equipment.

Broken water mains are disruptive and still big news. But they've been erupting so often it's time we consider streamlining how we report them. For example, reporters could just cut and paste the following, selecting the appropriate options and filling in the blanks:

Board of Water supply crews today finished repairing a broken (a. 6-inch; b. 12-inch; c. 24-inch; d. all the above) water main near ________ that cut off water to (a. dozens; b. hundreds; c. thousands; tens of thousands) homes and affected water pressure to the entire ____________.

"I have hardly any water. It kind of dribbles out," said area resident ____________, a who said he was going to (a. find a laundromat to wash his clothes; b. ride his surfboard down the street; c. build a dike around his house; d. vote for Linda Lingle).

The main broke at about _______ yesterday at _________ near __________ Street. The homes most affected by the break are located between __________ and __________.

"____________________," said _____________, describing the gushing water.

This is the (a. second; b. third; c. fourth; d. 10th) time in (a. two years; b. one year; c. six months; d. 48 hours) that the main has broken near this (a. neighborhood; b. hospital; c. theater; d. intersection).

Board of Water Supply spokeswoman Denise DeCosta said work to replace the main is scheduled to begin ________.

She said the cause of the break has not been determined, but was probably (a. corrosion; b. neglect; c. lack of planning; d. all the above).

(a. Water trucks; b. Bottled water; c. Life rafts; d. Porta-potties) were sent to the neighborhood yesterday and residents along the entire _________ Coast were asked to (a. conserve water; b. drink beer; c. be patient; d. just hold it).

Give us a break. Not.

John Flanagan is editor and publisher of the Star-Bulletin.
To reach him call 529-4748, fax to 529-4750, send
e-mail to or write to
500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-500, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813.

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