Clara wowed them at the Princess
On Saturday nights before World War II, the old Princess Theater on Fort Street, just mauka of Beretania Street and the original Ritz Department Store, would have a "pot luck show" where budding artists displayed their skills hoping to hit the big time.
On such a night Clara Inter showed up, made an instant hit with her rendition of "The Cockeyed Mayor of Kaunakakai," singing and acting "He wore a malo and coconut hat, one was for this and the other for that," and wowed the crowd with her lively rendition of "Hilo Hattie Does the Hilo Hop," acting it out to the crowd's delight.
She returned a number of times for encore renditions; a star was born.
Drivers need license renewal notices
The city needs to change its policy of not sending out renewal notices when driver's licenses are about to expire. Right now, a regular driver's license is for six years and there is a grace period of a year after it expires to renew (with a written test). The theory behind not sending out a notice is that the one-year grace period is sufficient so that no one will fail to note that the license has expired. The theory, unfortunately, is wrong, as my wife and I can testify from bitter experience.
The problem is that because fewer and fewer people utilize the license for check writing or other identification (given new credit and debit card procedures), they do not have occasion to check on the status of the license, and, six years having passed without having any occasion to check the expiration, seven years can pass just as easily. In effect, the six-year period lulls one (and is also problematic to calendar), and without a renewal notice, there is nothing to prompt the licensee to check on it. Once that seventh year has passed, the driver has to take the full written examination and the driver's test which, even as a lawyer, I can say is not easy.
It would be of little cost and great benefit to the general public to require that the Department of Motor Vehicles send out a renewal notice 90 days before the license is to expire. I suspect that a number of drivers reading this letter will find to their dismay that they are in this situation or about to be. The mayor and the City Council should make this a priority immediately.
Use sugar cane fields to produce ethanol
With the price of fuel rising and the price of corn contributing to higher food prices, why doesn't Hawaii turn to making ethanol from sugar cane like the country of Brazil has done so successfully? Please read the following links:
We in Hawaii already have decades of sugar cane production expertise and can add to that the knowledge of Brazilian engineers about how to most effectively cultivate that resource and produce cost-effective fuels. No corn subsidies.
Let other countries continue to make sugar more cheaply for export to the world, what we should be doing here is growing sugar cane to produce enough fuel for the state, and if we should have a surplus, so be it. Sell it to mainland states or to foreign countries the way the Brazilian government does.
Drug czar overstates case against marijuana
I agree with drug czar John P. Walters' critics regarding the recent hogwash that marijuana may exacerbate depression. The drug czar is trying to scare people. The government has a long history of lies about marijuana. I take offense when government officials tell us that it will have the Internal Revenue Service put us in jail if we do not pay our taxes, and then wastes billion of tax dollars "stamping out marijuana." Is the drug czar trying to scare the young people like a boogeyman?
Vagrants will abandon redesigned benches
So now the homeless are utilizing Honolulu bus stops as their "home away from nowhere," and our City Council is pondering what to do (Star-Bulletin, May 14).
I have a solution.
Having recently returned from Los Angeles, I noticed while stopping outside the airport terminal to smoke a cigarette, the benches were of unusual design. They were quite narrow, yet with enough room to sit down. They were also raised in the middle and sloped down on each side, hence making it impossible to either lie down or sleep on them.
What a great idea. Maybe the City Council should look at this alternative rather than levying a $50 fine on someone who has nothing.
What happens if they don't pay? More taxpayer money to take them to court and perhaps to lock them up.
John L. Shupe