to the Editor

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Friday, December 28, 2001

'General' was a great man in many ways

I can't stop thinking about John Rogers, the man we know as "General." He gave to everyone more than money, he touched you with a piece of his heart and was a philanthropist to your soul.

With the roar of Tony the Tiger and the charisma of Billy Graham, the General would make your day. When asking the General, "How's everything?" his animated signature reply was "Grrrrreeeeaaaaat!" When feeding the homeless every Sunday at Fort DeRussy beach park, he would always say, "I'll put a smile on your face and a stain on your shirt." He had the perfect words for whomever he was talking to, he knew what you needed to hear and you always felt a breath of fresh air in his presence.

I miss him so. To quote my friend, "A hui hou, aloha dakou, malama pono and God bless America, the red, white and blue."

Jim Rosen

Rogers was a star who will be sorely missed

Many of us just dream of stars or dream of being one, but "General" John Rogers was a star. He stood across the street from the Hard Rock Cafe, rain or shine, and let everyone passing by know where he stood, which was firmly under the flag he waved so proudly.

Although it is considered gross or rude to honk your horn or even downright dangerous, one had to toot to the "General" and wave to let him know that he did not stand alone. He added a smile to most everyone's face. His television show provided us a glance at a self-assured, caring man.

His passing leaves a void. Someone else may take his place, but it won't be the "General" and it won't be the same.

Thank you, John Rogers, for your caring. I hope somewhere, someone adds a sixth star to your hat. You deserve it. Aloha. I shall miss you.

Arnold Van Fossen


"I was talking to my daughter in Oregon, and I said, 'Honey, I gotta go, they're evacuating the building because it's on fire.' She said, 'OK, Dad, Merry Christmas.'"

Hugo Okonogi

Resident of a third-floor apartment above Eggs 'n Things restaurant in Waikiki, where a kitchen fire Wednesday evening forced the evacuation of dozens of people who live in the six-story building. Okonogi managed to save his five lovebirds from the thick smoke that spread through the building.

"I'd rather see things sparkle than things that make a lot of noise."

Susan Trite

Fireworks shopper, on her plans for New Year's Eve. Trite says she used to buy firecrackers, but now prefers to forego the noisemakers in favor of sparklers and fountains.

Airline monopoly will hurt Hawaii

September through November is Hawaii's slowest economic season. With the disaster of Sept. 11, the result has been an economic shock not experienced in decades. Hawaii's airlines are calling for a merger. Hawaiian and Aloha airlines have a serious problem to be sure, but both had profits before Sept. 11, and will again.

As surely as winter comes, Hawaii shall prosper, and so shall its airline industry. The snowbirds will come again, because only Hawaii is the paradise of America.

Without fair competition, there is a risk of unfair pricing and substandard service. Our state and federal government officials should keep monopoly out of Hawaii's travel services. They should either resist the merger of these two airlines or encourage other airlines to enter Hawaii's interisland service.

Dennis W. Noe

Airlines merger needs more investigation

I've been disappointed in the news coverage of the Aloha-Hawaiian airlines merger. The news media have liberally quoted from the companies' press releases, but done little investigative reporting on the following points:

>> Guaranteed monopoly: In 1991, when United Airlines proposed to provide interisland service, Sen. Daniel Inouye sponsored an amendment to Public Law 101-58. His amendment allows Hawaiian and Aloha Airlines to continue flying noisy stage 2 aircraft interisland. All other airlines must use more expensive stage 3 aircraft. Inouye's legislation gives the monopoly a huge competitive advantage.

>> Locked-in high prices: When oil prices increased a year ago, the price of interisland air coupons rose as well. The airlines justified the hike in prices to pay for the increased price of jet fuel. Since September, however, oil prices have plunged. Aloha and Hawaiian did not drop their prices to reflect the cheaper cost of jet fuel. So while the monopoly announces that it will freeze prices for two years, it fails to acknowledge that prices now are artificially high.

David Kimo Frankel

Who will be immune from traffic cameras?

I agree completely with state Rep. Cynthia Thielen (Letters, Dec. 20) and Star-Bulletin columnist Charles Memminger (Honolulu Lite, Dec. 19) that the traffic camera deployment seems to be the result of some smooth talking from the company that runs it.

More important to me is that this camera ticketing system must rely on computers. Are the license plates of those who administer and manage the system in the computer such that, if their license plates pop up in the thousands of clip-shots, their tickets conveniently get "lost"? Will the tickets of the state Department of Transportation officials who asked this company here be paid by themselves, or by us, or will they also be "lost"? Is Gov. Cayetano going to be paying tickets or is he immune? Are legislators and diplomats immune?

Are the only people ending up making this company and the government rich going to be the people with no voice in the matter?

Bruce Robinson

UH should be free of alcoholic beverages

A ban of alcohol as a written policy at University of Hawaii dorms is better than none at all, for it states in black and white the limits of activity that will be tolerated at those facilities. The lack of a written policy gives students the ability to drink without retribution.

Alcohol consumption at any government facility should never be tolerated. Most businesses have written policies about the consumption of alcoholic beverages while on their premises. Remember, any actions conducted on the premises or during an activity of the university, including UH sporting events, fall under its liability and should fall under the jurisdiction of the state of Hawaii and all of its governing policies.

The bottom line is that UH is a public school and should be treated like one, with no alcoholic beverages allowed on school grounds.

Craig Watanabe

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