QUESTION: As did many loyal University of Hawaii fans, we showed up for the Louisiana Tech football game at Aloha Stadium at 11:30 a.m. only to be told the gate entry time had been changed to 12:30 p.m. The police officer told us that the authorities were concerned the line of cars was distracting and could pose problems. Why weren’t fans notified of the time change? Fans were nearly belligerent.
ANSWER: The time hadn’t changed.
But the earlier opening time was sent out erroneously by UH officials and reported by at least the Star-Advertiser.
Aloha Stadium officials said the times for all UH games were set long before the football season opened and were publicized in advance.
"We don’t arbitrarily make decisions" to change the time at the last minute, said stadium Manager Scott Chan.
Stadium officials had to scramble to deal with early-arrival fans at the LaTech game because "we didn’t have manpower to open it up at the times that were incorrectly stated in the paper" and which they were not aware of, Chan said. Consequently, employees on the front lines "took a lot of verbal abuse."
The confusion stemmed from the fact that gates opened at 11:30 a.m. for the first game, between UH and Southern California, on Sept. 2. But that was done only to accommodate fans because of the 5 p.m. game time and the fact that it was being played on a Thursday, Chan said.
The University of Hawaii athletic department admits it sent out the erroneous earlier time in a news release.
"It was unfortunate, and we apologize to our fans for the error," said Derek Inouchi, sports media relations director. "We have double-checked with Aloha Stadium the start times for our remaining home games to ensure that error is not repeated."
All that said, Chan did note that the opening time for the parking gates "has been modified somewhat" from last year — opening five hours before game time for the lower lot and four hours ahead of game time for the other areas, instead of 5 1/2 and 4 1/2 , respectively.
QUESTION: Why, for the UH-Nevada game on Oct. 16, were only cars with passes allowed to park in the Upper Halawa lot? I have been attending UH football games for 33 years, and the Upper and Lower Halawa lots have always been public parking. Only certain areas are passes only, and these passes were purchased prior to the season starting.
ANSWER: No parking passes/permits are issued for the Upper Level lot, said stadium Manager Scott Chan.
"All we did was to try to accommodate people who were coming in through the wrong gates because we didn’t want to back up traffic any more than it was backed up," he said.
Those cars were funneled through to the Upper Circle area, "where they were supposed to be," Chan said. "In order to do that, they had to go to the Upper Level lot."
Tomorrow: Why are there empty parking stalls in Aloha Stadium when people are told the lot is full?
QUESTION: The TV series "Hawaii Five-0" frequently shows the Judiciary building (Aliiolani Hale) directly behind the statue of King Kamehameha. The flags atop the building, both American and Hawaiian, are horribly tattered. Any chance of replacing them?
ANSWER: The state Judiciary thanks you for bringing the condition of the flags to its attention.
The old flags have been replaced and were to be given to a veterans organization for proper disposal.