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Thursday, June 16, 2005

Inmates got personal message from Cabang

A special event was held during the Kamehameha Day holiday weekend that the public never knew about. Comedian Mel Cabang gave a free performance inside the Oahu Correctional Community Center, and the 1,000 inmates sitting in the recreation yard sun heard a very personal message. Mel, as many know, spent three years in a federal prison for a gambling conviction. So he told the appreciative audience that he knows how much it means when an entertainer comes in to do a show. He also told them that he hopes they straighten out their lives and rejoin their families and the community.

My oldies band, Flashback, opened the show with classic island tunes that many were singing and clapping along to. But it was Mel whom the inmates cheered, for giving them a reason to laugh and to hope.

Dalton Tanonaka

Filthy riders make bus commute intolerable

I recently moved to Makaha and decided to try public transportation (TheBus) for commuting purposes. This morning, I had the "pleasure" of having a mentally ill homeless person, filthy and reeking of urine and feces, screaming at the top of her lungs, take the seat next to me. This person ranted and raved until she got off at the Kapolei Transit Center, where another urine-soaked homeless person boarded. The odor was horrific. While I certainly do not consider myself to be above anyone, perhaps someone can explain to me what person in their right frame of mind wants to get up for work, shower, put on clean clothes, get on the bus, pay $2 and have to tolerate this. I called Oahu Transit to complain; I was bluntly informed that "there is nothing we can do; we do not discriminate; anyone can ride the bus."

Well, there is something I can do: I can get back into my car, where the air conditioning always works and I am guaranteed a clean seat. Perhaps these same urine- and feces-soaked bums can support the bus system, because I certainly won't, and I am sure there are other commuters who feel the same way.

Anita Diaz

Bush's domestic policy makes Nixon look OK

A front-page story in the June 8 Star-Bulletin discussed President Bush's plan to eliminate grants that help the poor. For the casual well-to-do observer, it appears that Bush has fair and balanced policies, with tax cuts for the rich and for the poor, funding cuts.

Many Americans don't realize that if tax cuts (welfare) for the rich were eliminated and the wealthy didn't have so many other tax loopholes, Social Security wouldn't be in trouble. If you look closely, you will notice that George WMD Bush is making Richard Nixon look more like a candidate for canonization.

Smoky Guerrero

It's a little late to gripe about movie frame

If a metal structure, which holds up the screen for movies at Sunset on the Beach enjoyed by many at weekends, has stood on Kuhio Beach for four years, and suddenly those nagging residents are concerned about its legality on city property (Star-Bulletin, June 6), one has to wonder when they're going to complain about the pigeons invading their airspace.

And whilst they are sitting on their lanais, planning the next episode, they might consider making an appointment with an optician.

John L. Werrill

Who can relax with all that noise in Waikiki?

My wife and I just returned home from a week in Waikiki. What happened to the peace and tranquility of Hawaii? Why do garbage trucks start their collections at 5:20 in the morning? If that is not absurd in itself, the constant "beep, beep, beep" of the warning beepers is enough to drive you back to wherever you came from. I know they are there for safety reasons, but are they necessary at 5:20 a.m., and do they have to be loud enough to hear from four blocks away? Unbelievable!

How about the minivans and buses? Again, the constant "beep, beep, beep" would drive a man to drink, and I'm not talking mai tais. There was also some construction equipment in use at the Catholic church across the street from the hotel. During most of the daylight hours, the "beep, beep, beep" was a constant din. And finally the sirens ... How many emergencies can there be in one day?

It would be a great idea to have the mayor and the City Council spend a night or two in Waikiki. It would be an eye-opening experience. They certainly would not be able to keep their eyes closed very long.

Dave Marzane
San Francisco

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