Hard to let go of Don Ho
STAR-BULLETIN / 1972
Don Ho in his familiar spot -- behind a microphone -- in 1972. A memorial service for Hawaii's legendary entertainer, who died April 14, drew huge crowds to Waikiki yesterday. CLICK FOR LARGE
Don't rush decision on how to honor Ho
I believe it would be safe to say the majority of residents as well as visitors who knew of Don Ho would want him remembered and memorialized in some way, but it shouldn't be rushed.
While some people wanted the Beach Walk Triangle Park's name changed to honor Hawaii's greatest ambassador to the world so as to coincide with this weekend's public memorial service for Ho at Queen's Beach, there might be some remorse over making a quick decision. The City Council is right to hold off making any decision as to what locale will be named in Ho's honor.
City Council Chairwoman Barbara Marshall's concern about media criticism for not choosing a site quickly should not be a factor.
The reality is that regardless of what the Council's final decision is, it will have critics and supporters. It is sad to think that the city's resolve of bestowing such an honor is one of "damned if you do and damned if you don't."
City officials should take their time as they seek out a location befitting one of our greatest legends.
Kimo Kahoano could be our 'new Don'
The loss of the one and only Don Ho was tragic and ultimately unavoidable, however his legacy can continue in fine form by utilizing the stage talents of Kimo Kahoano, who can sing very well in his own right, but can "do Don" better than anyone alive.
Should the Ho family choose to continue the Don Ho show in some manner, there's no better way than having someone do it with the respect and love for Don that Kimo showed a loudly appreciative Waikiki audience recently with his terrific imitative tribute to the legend. It would be the perfect way to keep Don's spirit and style alive.
I'm sure Don would be proud to know he will be remembered in a manner fitting his deserved stature.
Blossoms could bring more gold to Hawaii
ON A VACATION trip to Japan early last month, my wife and I were very fortunate to see the cherry blossoms at their glorious peak. These past two weeks, back here in Honolulu, we have all been enjoying the peak blooming season of a tree that is, I think, even more spectacular than the sakura. It is the prima vera, or gold tree. (Many people refer to it as the golden shower tree, which is a different species also found all around the island.)
I believe that if groves of this tree were extensively and strategically planted -- along major streets, in large public parks, along the Ala Wai Canal, around major tourist attractions -- the blooming of these trees would eventually become a major visitor attraction for Hawaii, just as the cherry blossoms are in Japan and Washington, D.C. It might be especially attractive to Japanese visitors (a group whose numbers we would like to see return to their record levels), as the gold tree's peak blooming season fortuitously coincides with their "Golden Week" travel period.
Roy H. Tsumoto
Homeless need help relocating to mainland
One of the most disingenuous notions about so many of the problems facing Hawaii is that we are somehow totally isolated from the mainland. The reason there are no homeless villages on the beach in Laguna or Malibu is obviously that it's not allowed. At the same time, those who have the desire and ability not to be homeless have the option of seeking an area with more affordable housing and better opportunities.
This freedom of movement, which is so fundamental for personal betterment, is ignored and economically restricted in Hawaii, to the detriment of those who need it most. This results in an endless cycle of beach evictions, homeless shelters and lack of affordable housing.
Relocation assistance to the mainland along with help in obtaining affordable housing in areas of greater opportunity should be at least an option available to help Hawaii's homeless.
Druggie teachers created probable cause
Someone please tell me a valid reason why teachers are so opposed to random drug testing. What do they have to hide? It is hardly a violation of their Fourth Amendment rights. No one is coming into your house unwarranted or seizing any personal belongings. All you have to do is pee in a cup ... oh and don't do drugs. And as far as I can see the teachers who have recently been charged in drug cases provide probable cause. So if teachers opposed to the new random drug testing requirement are mad at anyone, they should be mad at the teachers who brought the scrutiny on the teaching community.
I have read that some teachers think drug testing will detour some people from becoming teachers or lower morale or cause some teachers in Hawaii to quit. If your conviction for teaching is that weak, then you shouldn't be a teacher.
Drug tests aren't just about the teachers
Hawaii leads the nation in crystal methamphetamine use. We have a serious drug problem that encompasses all facets of our community. The government and its public unions need to lead by example and have accountability to show professional standards that the rest of our community can embrace and make the necessary steps toward improving our society.
Drug testing teachers is not about testing your constitutional rights or that only six people were brought to justice in the teachers union. The drug problem is about all of us who live in this state. We can all make a difference, but those in government need to show that they are not naive or just have a laissez faire attitude.
SB 1063 isn't in isles' best interests
It is disappointing to see that the governor's veto of Senate Bill 1063, relating to legislative vacancies, was overridden by the Legislature on May 1. With this bill, the governor is forced to fill vacancies in the U.S. Senate and the state House and Senate from a list of candidates who were not elected by the people, and it becomes debatable whether these individuals have the best interest of the public at hand. The bill is practically the same as House Bill 2454, which was vetoed last year.
When we look back, we can see that the process for filling vacancies in the U.S. Senate and the Hawaii Legislature has remained the same and worked efficiently since 1970. However, with this bill, the governor is forced to fill vacancies within a time limit and from a constricted list of people who might not necessarily be qualified for the job.
The fact that the bill requires potential candidates to be registered members of the incumbent party for at least six months prior to the appointment further restricts the governor's choice to select a qualified candidate.
If the goal of the bill is to fill vacancies in a timely and appropriate manner with the most qualified individuals, the bill itself becomes a contradiction to its own principle, and it does not hurt only the selection process but also the future of the state and the people of Hawaii.
Don't block Kalakaua for special events
Why does the city continue to allow Kalakaua Avenue to be used for meaningless festivals and events that cater primarily to tourists? Horrendous traffic jams occur and disrupt the avenue and surrounding area. It is long overdue to initiate a policy that balances the legitimacy of events or provides alternative venues that are not as disruptive. City politicians should be reminded that it is the residents who vote, not the visitors.
Noise generators roam isle streets
About a year ago we had one moped and the occasional visitor to the neighborhood, usually in the dead of night, with modified mufflers. Now we have dozens of vehicles, not just with modified mufflers but with what can only be described as "noise generators" coming and going at all times of the day and night.
At this point, mopeds, motorcycles, cars and pickup trucks are competing as to who can make not only the loudest but also most abrasive and longest-lasting blast of noise. Our pleas to the Honolulu Police Department to enforce the law, which basically says a vehicle cannot have its muffler modified to make more noise then when it came off the factory assembly line, have gone, yes, unheard!
What's next? House shakers? Can't wait. Pass a muffler law with teeth, or ears, and with enforceable consequences.
Aloha Airlines lets young minds explore
My son had the opportunity to be a part of the Aloha Airlines Explorers Program this year, and I just want to say that we should be proud to have a local business that gives back to the community with a fabulous program like this. It was wonderful learning experience as well as a great teaching tool for my son. He was taught the basics of the airline business, all the way through the completion of the flight process.
They covered everything from the interviewing process, flight attendants, pilots, reservations, customer service agents, cargo, fire and rescue, air traffic control as well as a F-15 Hickman Base visit.
They finished up the program with a trip to Maui, a graduation ceremony and a lot of fond memories.
I would like to thank Aloha Airlines and all of its employees who have taken the time out of their busy lives to volunteer their time to help guide our children. Thanks for keeping our youth on the right track.
(I am not, nor is any person in my family, employed at Aloha Airlines.)
Lawmakers cater to unions, not voters
Why do we keep sending back legislators who consistently put their own re-election before the public good? Overriding the governor's veto of Senate Bill 1642 is nothing but catering to union leaders who promise lots of votes and big money. Every responsible public official lobbied hard against this bill that restricts their responsibility to move their personnel around for efficiency.
Make no mistake. All the hearings on the governor's selection of department heads was nothing more than kowtowing to the unions. Our state Constitution gives the right of the Senate to "advise and consent" not to harass nominees.
We heard big promises for real ethics reform, but that's all we got. We will never have clean government as long as legislators get to set their own rules. It's clearly time for another state Constitutional Convention to give the public the responsibility to clean up our politics.
S.F. highway collapse proves value of rail
I travel to the Bay Area frequently for work. The recent collapse of a section of highway in Emeryville linking Oakland, Calif., to San Francisco via the Bay Bridge points out the need for transportation alternatives. Bay Area officials noted that gridlock was avoided the day after the accident largely due to commuters taking the Bay Area Rapid Transit rail line, or using the ferries and buses.
The city of Honolulu is correct to pursue a multimodal approach to transportation via rail, ferry service, bus and automobiles. This incident in California points out the need to have our mobility options in more than one basket -- or riding on one highway.