Voice of Iz carries tune worldwide
Can you please find out if that nationally televised Kelloggs Rice Krispies commercial is playing Israel Kamakawiwoole's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"
in the background? We keep missing the beginning of that commercial.
Answer: Yes, it is.
It is just one of numerous films, television shows and advertising venues that have carried Kamakawiwoole's enchanting rendition of the song from "Wizard of Oz," made famous by Judy Garland, which he combined with Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World."
The Mountain Apple Co. and producer Jon de Mello "are the exclusive" worldwide licensers of the song, de Mello said.
Not only has the song been featured in such movies as "Meet Joe Black," "Finding Forrester" and "50 First Dates," it also was played on "ER" and "Party of Five" on television, and in national TV ads for companies including eToys, AT&T and Sony.
Kamakawiwoole's voice is "all over the planet" now, selling sugar in Austria, paint in New Zealand and "doing things" in Italy and Great Britain, de Mello said.
According to a Mountain Apple news release, Kamakawiwoole's music "is the most requested music by a Hawaiian artist for licensing in film and television. His popularity is unrivaled in the history of music from Hawaii, and ranks him among the most popular and best-selling artists around the world."
Q: My federal tax forms were mailed out in the middle of March. As of today I have yet to receive my tax return. Whom do I need to contact, and what do you think could be the cause of the delay?
A: There has been no general tie-up in sending refunds, according to Internal Revenue Service spokeswoman Judy Monahan, so it would be difficult to say why you haven't received yours yet.
But it's easy to check the status of refunds, either by calling the IRS Refund Hotline at 800-829-1954 or by going to the IRS Web site, www.irs.gov, and clicking on "Where's My Refund."
Either way, be sure you have your Social Security Number (or IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number), filing status (single, married filing joint return, married filing separate return, head of household or qualifying widow(er)) and the exact refund amount as shown on your return.
Q: Did the Department of Human Services recently raise its maximum assets per person to $3,000 from $2,000 for medical benefits? I thought they sent a letter saying those who are receiving medical benefits are still at the $2,000 maximum limit. I misplaced the letter. Is there a chance that I can get another one?
A: No, the department did not raise its assets ceiling from $2,000, said spokesman Derick Dahilig.
If you want a copy of the letter verifying the assets level, he suggested contacting your eligibility worker.
If you don't remember who your eligibility worker is, Dahilig said you can call 587-3540 or, for the Leeward Oahu area, 692-7364.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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