Kokua Line

Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Tuesday, February 23, 1999

Runners’ special service
at Pro Bowl irks a fan

At the Pro Bowl game, the Stardust Hotel had "runners," females wearing Stardust shirts and carrying trays, catering to guests by getting them refreshments. Some out-of-town visitors mistook a runner as being available for general service and one of the VIP guests took it the wrong way. It could have escalated into a fight. I don't think it's fair that only a select few get special treatment. Why is this allowed?

The activity was news to Aloha Stadium management until you complained.

However, stadium officials say there is no reason to prohibit the practice simply because someone thinks it's unfair, especially since the runners all have tickets.

"If a paying customer wants to buy a ticket for another person and use that person to purchase items for him, we cannot stop them," said events manager Eugene Tokuhama. "But if they become a nuisance to other spectators (such as obstructing views), we can get involved. Or if they get preferential treatment from our concessionaire, we would get involved and inform the concessionaire that that's not proper."

Any action would be taken on a case-by-case, event-by-event, basis.

Stardust has been offering Hawaii customers free tickets to the Pro Bowl for the past seven or eight years, said Jim Seagrave, vice president of marketing/advertising. It doesn't do so for any other athletic event here, he said.

The guests are first treated to a reception, then transported to the stadium. Runners provide guests with free soft drinks and bottled water -- no food or alcohol -- as a courtesy and convenience, Seagrave said.

This year, there were seven runners and about 350 guests, he said.

"To my knowledge, this is the first complaint of this nature we have received," Seagrave said. Any complaint about runners being a nuisance or getting special treatment "would be a concern of ours because we would not allow this to happen."

Meanwhile, Kevin Haggerty, general manager of ARAMARK, which runs the stadium concession stands, said, "We'd love to have in-seat services" at Aloha Stadium, but the stadium is not equipped with a special bar or kitchen to allow this.

He said he was unaware of the Stardust group, although he does know groups like to come to the Pro Bowl, "where sometimes the sky's the limit." They are often accompanied by tour escorts, who "will try to be as accommodating as they can to their VIPs and say, 'Would you like me to get you a hot dog, would you like me to get you a a beer, would you like me to get you a T-shirt?' But we don't set up a special line for them."


Recently, several large trees along the medial of Ala Moana Boulevard, toward the Ewa end of Ala Moana Park, were cut. Who cut down the trees and why? They looked healthy.

The trees were removed as part of a city beautification project along Ala Moana Boulevard.

The project began last fall, with 23 monkeypod trees planted along Ala Moana, from Atkinson Drive to Piikoi Street, said city spokeswoman Carol Costa.

The second phase, from Piikoi to Kamakee streets, involved removing the nine trees you cited from the medial strip. The city Park Department's Beautification Section found that eight were unhealthy and deformed, so they were cut down, Costa said. The stumps were taken out last week. The ninth banyan was relocated.

Yesterday, workers began planting 20 monkeypod trees along Ala Moana from Piikoi to Kamakee, Costa said.



To Queen's Medical Center for sending me a check for an over-payment I was not aware of. -- Jim

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