Question: There is a white structure being built at Nimitz and Kamehameha highways. What is it?
Answer: That white canopy overhangs the city’s Bus Transit Center platforms and is part of the $8.2 million Middle Street Intermodal Center.
The center is being built in phases and already features the Handi-Van administration and maintenance facility, Handi-Van parking, the Bus Transit Center and transit center parking, said Wayne Yoshioka, acting director of the Department of Transportation Services.
Handi-Van administration and operations staff have relocated to the new building, which was completed in 2008, while maintenance operations will move there soon, he said.
Work on the Bus Transit Center, targeted for completion last October, was delayed because of difficulties in relocating power lines, Yoshioka said. The anticipated completion date now is this summer.
The center parking lot, also expected to be completed this summer, is the initial phase of what eventually will be a parking garage developed as part of a public-private partnership, Yoshioka said.
Although the headquarters for Oahu Transit Services, which operates TheBus, will remain at 811 Middle St., its information office and the Kalihi Transit Center will relocate to the new transit center once it’s completed.
Regarding the person awaiting a decision on his Hawaiian Electric Co. outage claim (www.staradvertiser.com/columnists/kokualine/20110115_power_failure_damage_claim_awaits_puc_decision_for_years.html): Basic utility rules require the customer to install appropriate protective equipment. For example, in the case of a laptop computer, I would never connect it to a wall plug except through a power strip that included a surge protector. The only time the electric utility is obligated to pay for damage to customer-owned equipment is when the utility has failed to do a good engineering job, so to speak. In other words, if the utility does something that violates its own rules in such a manner that a customer’s equipment is damaged, then the utility does have an obligation. — Former HECO manager
The Public Utilities Commission has ruled that customers have a responsibility to protect their electronic equipment, HECO spokesman Peter Rosegg confirmed.
"If the utility is at fault in causing the outage which damaged the customer’s equipment, the claim will be paid," he said. "We inform customers of their responsibility to protect their equipment in many ways, including on heco.com and several times a year in Consumer Lines, the customer newsletter."
Last December, Rosegg said, HECO suggested ways to do so, such as by unplugging sensitive equipment during rain and lightning storms; by properly grounding cable TV, telephone and utility service lines; and by installing protective devices, such as a surge suppresser or an uninterruptible power supply.
To the young couple who quietly paid our lunch tab at Tsukiji’s on Monday, Jan. 31, and slipped out before we could even thank them. They were perfect strangers sitting at the table next to ours. Imagine our surprise (we are lifelong friends and grandmas). We would like them to know their kind deed and the warm, wonderful feeling will stay with us a long, long time and their generosity and loving spirit will be paid forward many folds. Thank you and God bless. — Nancy Taba and Jackie Chinn
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 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.