Friday, November 27, 2015         


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Damaged gear causes delay in fixing Nimitz Highway lights

By June Watanabe


Question: Is there any news on when the lights will be repaired on Nimitz Highway?

Answer: Nimitz Highway has been in the dark since November between Paiwa and Aolele streets because of a broken transformer, and it went even darker when a second transformer failed in May, blacking out Aolele to Valkenburgh streets.

In February we were told the lights between Paiwa and Aolele streets would not be repaired until May or June because a replacement transformer had to be ordered and sent from the mainland (see

But now it's going to take a little while longer for the lights to come back on, because a $13,000 replacement electrical transformer the state Department of Transportation had been waiting for arrived with damage to its outer steel casing. The shipping company is responsible for repairs.

The transformer was to be installed Thursday, a DOT spokesman said. Now a schedule for the casing repair will be determined next week, and "we're hoping that this delay won't be too significant."

Once repairs are made, it will take about one day to install the transformer, "and the lights will be back to normal after the system is tested."

Meanwhile, the second replacement transformer won't be arriving for five or six months.

Both broken transformers were originally installed during construction of the H-1 airport viaduct in the 1970s.

"Due to the necessary electrical requirements, no off-the-shelf models could be used, requiring custom-manufactured replacements to be constructed from scratch," the spokesman said.

Q: My daughter went to take her driver's license exam in Kapolei with a newly purchased car. After waiting in line since 3 a.m., she was told she could not take the test driving a car that only had a temporary registration certificate issued by the dealer. The examiner would only cite the rule, not any justification for an illogical policy. If a temporary certificate is valid for driving on public streets, why is it not valid for a driver's test?

A: Because your newly purchased car was a used vehicle.

There is no "legal authority" for used motor vehicle dealers to issue "temporary registration certificates," said Dennis Kamimura, administrator of the city Motor Vehicles and Licensing Division.

The law allows temporary dealer license plates to be issued only for new vehicles sold by a properly licensed new-vehicle dealer, he said.

New vehicles with unexpired temporary dealer license plates are considered validly registered and would have been accepted as a road test vehicle, if there also was a current safety inspection certificate and a valid liability insurance ID card, Kamimura said.

(Temporary dealer plates are paper plates valid for 30 days after issuance.)

Driver's license applicants using previously registered vehicles must provide the vehicle's current certificate of registration, current safety inspection certificate and current liability insurance ID card.


To Susie Hipolito of Kaneohe, who helped me when I fell on the bus Tuesday, May 24, and also to the police officer and bus driver, who lifted me to my feet. But special thanks to Susie, for walking me all the way up Alapai Street from Beretania Street, right to my apartment door, carrying my backpack full of groceries. God bless you, Susie. You were a real angel in disguise. -- Judy N. Orlando

Write to "Kokua Line" at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email

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