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Volunteers replace flags to laud 'General'


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POSTED: Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Question: There's a flag on a pole by a parking lot at the corner of Kapiolani Boulevard and Kalakaua Avenue. I understand a gentleman used to wave a flag in support of our military there but died. Others then took over, but now there's only this flag, which is tattered and torn. Whose responsibility is it to take it down?

Answer: The tattered flag, attached to a fence on a Diamond Parking Services lot, was to be taken down yesterday because it hadn't been tended to in a while, according to an official with the company.

He told us he received a similar complaint last week and contacted the man who was responsible for the flag's upkeep. If the flag was not removed by yesterday, he said the company would do so.

He said he did not have the name of the man readily available.

An American flag has flown at that spot as part of a makeshift memorial for “;General”; John Rogers since shortly after his death more than seven years ago.

Rogers, an Army veteran and so-called “;general”; in BRAVO Hawaii, the Hawaii Chapter of the Brotherhood Rally of All Veterans Organizations, was a fixture at that intersection, waving American flags.

He died in December 2001, after spending a day waving the flag there.

According to a Star-Bulletin story in 2002 (see archives.starbulletin.com/2002/07/29/news/ index4.html), a group of volunteers maintained the site in Rogers' honor, replacing the flags as necessary.

Will Haynes, who currently hosts the BRAVO Hawaii show on 'Olelo that Rogers had started, said that no one person has been in charge of replacing the flags that have flown there since 2002.

People from the community or veterans helped by BRAVO Hawaii will “;just replace it”; if they see that the flag is tattered, he said.

If the flag is taken down, he expects it will be replaced again.

“;We were all touched by the 'General' and believe in the organization”; that helped get homeless veterans off the street, Haynes said. People also will put flowers at the makeshift memorial on Rogers' birthday and on the day he died: “;People just do that,”; he said.

Q: I noticed a vehicle parked by a supervisor for TheBus on the grassy area next to the sidewalk at the Honolulu Zoo. When I asked about it, he said, “;I always park here.”; Surely this is not the policy of TheBus. Who pays for the cleanup of leaking oil or care of the property the cars sit on?

A: Parking off the roadway is not the policy of Oahu Transit Services, which operates TheBus.

“;The road supervisor will be reminded that supervision vehicles are not to be taken off the roadway unless absolutely necessary,”; said Michelle Kennedy, spokeswoman for the company.

Comments and concerns like yours are welcome, she said.

Call Oahu Transit Services' Customer Service Office at 848-4500, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays except holidays. Or contact officials any time at www.thebus.org (click on the “;Customer Comments”; button and fill out the online comment form).

“;In addition to complaints, we also welcome hearing suggestions and commendations,”; Kennedy said.

 

Write to “;Kokua Line”; at Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).