Kokua Line

June Watanabe

City bus pass refunds
are still in the works

Question: You mentioned the money the city is saving during the bus strike will be used to refund those people who bought bus passes (Kokua Line, Sept. 24). I have two school-aged sons for whom I had purchased youth bus passes for the month of August. How do I get a refund for the last week of August?

Answer: The city Department of Transportation Services is still working out details for giving refunds on bus passes that can't be used since the strike began Aug. 26, city spokeswoman Carol Costa said.

An announcement will be made as soon as a procedure is worked out, she said.

Refunds for August are expected to be about $300,000, with another $200,000 for September.

"We are not selling bus passes at the satellites, so that's helping, but people do use payroll deduction or have purchased annual passes," Costa said.

Q: There's a park on the corner of Cooke and Halekauwila streets that seems to have been turned into a parking lot. Is this a legal parking spot? Has one of the surrounding businesses acquired permission to have their employees park there or is this a result of the bus strike, where parks are being used for the driver overflow?

A: Mother Waldron Park is one of several sites where the city is allowing people to park for the duration of the bus strike.

It's first-come, first-served and free.

The other sites are at Waikiki Shell, Foster Botanical Garden, Keehi Lagoon Park, Ala Moana Park, Blaisdell Center and Alapai bus terminal. All except the Blaisdell Center (which charges $5) are free, said Carol Costa, director of the city Department of Customer Services.

(For more information and maps of parking sites, see Page A4.)

The city also initially said Kamamalu Park would be used as a parking area, but Costa said there apparently wasn't any interest by the public in parking there.

Q: It seems to me that the Col. Sanders signs on the KFC restaurant at Kapiolani Boulevard/ Keeaumoku Street are too large. They are certainly the largest signs in that area, even though they are pictures of the colonel and do not involve any lettering. Are they legal?

A: Yes, they are. The city Department of Planning and Permitting's Permit Issuance Division issued a permit allowing the signs on Sept. 16.

"It is big, but it is legal," a department official said. There's a complicated formula as to how big a sign can be, including taking into account the size of the frontage of the total establishment, he said.

Don't toss encyclopedias

Wait! Gail Gomes of Waianae says don't just toss your old, unwanted encyclopedias (Kokua Line, Sept. 17). Instead, she suggests donating them to your local Boys & Girls Club, elementary school, etc., "where children can always use them as backup to current encyclopedias or use them to cut and paste pictures/ charts for reports."

In the past, Kokua Line hasn't been able to find any organization that really wanted old encyclopedias, but this sounds like a good alternative to just tossing out the books. Contact clubs or schools in your neighborhood.


See the Columnists section for some past articles.

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Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered.
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