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Oahu bus passenger summons his inner hero

Brian Ward had his own health in mind while he sat on a town-bound bus on Wednesday — he was on his way to a doctor’s appointment — but his steel nerves surely saved the lives of many other people.

Ward was the passenger who witnessed a falling tree shattering the bus windshield and seriously wounding the driver.

Barely missing a beat, he leaped up to steer the bus, still barreling along at 35 mph, across the median and lanes of oncoming traffic and off the road.

Who knows when lightning will strike or, in this case, unseen tree rot will send an old ironwood crashing down, when one of us will be called on to be a hero?

Luckily for many grateful people, Ward heard that call and acted on it.

Private grant to state is charity, but we’ll take it

Charities have taken a blow in the past two years by being denied state money to which they were accustomed.

Now it’s the state’s turn to go to the front of the line to accept grant money from the Hawaii Community Foundation, a philanthropy committed to building Hawaii’s charitable assets.

The foundation has agreed to pay for salaries and costs in assessing the state’s information technology system and develop a plan for improving it.

The $3 million grant from the foundation comes from the Omidyar Ohana Fund, established through the support of eBay founder and Honolulu resident Pierre Omidyar and his wife, Pam.

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