Van­pool Hawaii has new van for Hawaii Kai rideshare group

MidWeek Islander (East Oahu) - - FRONT PAGE -

Hawaii Kai com­muters Dar­rell Bac­tad and Sonja Ka­hawaii were sur­prised with the keys to a new Toy­ota Si­enna CE re­cently, and all they had did was sign up with Van­pool Hawaii.

To mark the state agency’s 15th year of com­muter sav­ings, it awarded its 300th rideshare group the first new van in its fleet. Bac­tad and Ka­hawaii, who is the pri­mary driver, com­mute daily be­tween Hawaii Kai and Hickam Air Force Base to their jobs with Hawaii Air Na­tional Guard.

“Many com­muters don’t re­al­ize they’re pay­ing nearly $1,000 a month on gas, in­sur­ance, main­te­nance fees, de­pre­ci­a­tion, in­ter­est and wear and tear on their per­sonal ve­hi­cle,” said Vicki Har­ris, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the statewide pro­gram that claims to re­move about 1,700 sin­gleoc­cu­pancy cars from the road each year.

Like other Van­pool driv­ers, Ka­hawaii drives a seven-passenger van and de­signs her own route to col­lect neigh­bors who pay $65 per month plus fuel and park­ing fees to share the trip. She also gets the van for per­sonal use af­ter com­muter hours and on week­ends. Mil­i­tary and Depart­ment of De­fense civil­ian work­ers also get their Van­pool fees and other ex­penses paid for.

New Van­pool groups that sign up be­fore 2010 will re­ceive a $100 fuel card with their brand-new Van­pool ve­hi­cle. For more in­for­ma­tion, call 596-8267 or go to www.van­pool­

Cham­i­nade Uni­ver­sity re­cently re­ceived $6 mil­lion in en­dow­ments from two wid­ow­ers that, pend­ing ap­proval by the state nurs­ing board, will al­low it to open an un­der­grad­u­ate nurs­ing pro­gram next fall.

Den­tist Lawrence Tseu, a CU re­gent, pledged a cap­i­tal gift of $1 mil­lion in honor of his late wife and the nurses who cared for her in her fi­nal days. Tseu’s do­na­tion will help ren­o­vate the nurs­ing ed­u­ca­tion cen­ter, soon to be named the Dr. Lawrence and BoHing Chan Tseu Cen­ter for Nurse Ed­u­ca­tion. As­so­ciate nurs­ing dean Stephanie Genz said this gift will en­sure that the cen­ter is a sta­teof-the-art fa­cil­ity with an ex­cel­lent learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

Dr. Edi­son Miyawaki, also a Cham­i­nade re­gent, pledged $5 mil­lion to­ward the Sallie Y. Miyawaki School of Nurs­ing in honor of his late wife, who was an RN. Miyawaki’s gift is the sec­ond largest gift the uni­ver­sity has ever re­ceived from an in­di­vid­ual and the first to en­dow a pro­gram.

“We were very ex­cited to hear about th­ese gen­er­ous gifts,” said Genz.“My ini­tial re­sponse

DOT’s Bren­nan Mo­rioka (left) and Van­pool’s Vicki Har­ris (right) present Dar­rell Bac­tad and Sonja Ka­hawaii with keys to a new Toy­ota Si­enna CE for their com­mute from Hawaii Kai. Photo from Keith DeMello.

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