Quantcast
  

Tuesday, April 22, 2014         

LEE CATALUNA


 Print   Email   Comment | View 0 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Kauai's 'coconut wireless' triggers run on gas stations

By Lee Cataluna

POSTED:



The rumors weren't true, but when you live on an island like Kauai and remember toilet paper shortages because of dock strikes or dangerous winter seas that kept fuel barges from their regular runs, you move first, ask questions later.

The rumor seems to have started from a story about a mechanical break at the Chevron refinery at Campbell Industrial Park. Chevron spokesman Albert Chee said the break shouldn't affect the gas supply because of the Chevron's reserves.

"But from there the story just went in a different direction," said Kauai County public information officer Mary Daubert.

The Kauai mayor's office launched into fact-finding mode and disseminated information to try to quell the rumors.

"There is a rumor going around like wildfire that there is a gas tanker which was on its way to Kauai and broke down in the middle of the ocean, so that Kauai faces a gas crisis," Beth Tokioka, director of communications, wrote in a mass e-mail. "I talked to Bob Crowell from DOT Harbors Division and he is unaware of any ships bound for Kauai that are experiencing problems."

Meanwhile, some people like Kauai County Council Member Mel Rapozo took to social media to track down the source of the story.

"What's with the story about a problem with the fuel barge? Coconut wireless going crazy. Can't find anything on the internet. Anybody care to share what's going on?" Rapozo posted to his Facebook page (www.facebook.com/mrapozo) Tuesday night.

His query was met with dozens of responses. Everyone else had heard that, too. One woman said she had been in the waiting room of a doctor's office in Lihue and heard another patient "burning up all her friends' cell phones telling them to fill up their cars."

Rapozo did some investigating on his own and reported his findings on Facebook: "Checked with Kauai Petroleum. Nothing to worry about ... If all else fails, EAT BEANS :)"

While officials worked to dispel the rumors, people started heading to the pumps. Social media only goes so far, and the folks who are most likely to panic and line up for gas are the ones who rely on old-fashioned social media, like gossip over the produce section at Sueoka's or phone calls from elderly neighbors. There were lines for gas at several Kauai stations on the West Side and in Princeville.

And the lines beget lines. Even when people hear there's no problem, they start thinking that those folks who panicked are going to drain the tanks, so they figure they ought to fill up, too.

But despite what you might have heard, the fuel barge is fine and Kauai has gas. Or as Rapozo's daughter posted on his page, "Dad, no more nothing. You just filled up the gas for nothing. HAHAHA"

Lee Cataluna can be reached at lcataluna@staradvertiser.com.

 






 Print   Email   Comment | View 0 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

COMMENTS
(0)
You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
IN OTHER NEWS
Latest News/Updates
Blogs
Political Radar
Reversal

Political Radar
Yield

Political Radar
`Plagued’

Political Radar
`Plagued’

Wassup Wit Dat!
Da Chicken Or Da Egg?

Warrior Beat
Depth perception

Political Radar
HB 1700 — Day 3