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Wednesday, January 10, 2001


End of an era at Top of the Boulevard

We ate dinner at the Columbia Inn last Friday night. I suppose it was about the 4,000th or 5,000th time we'd done that in the past several decades. Gene Kaneshiro joined us for dinner, just like he had done many years ago. He treated.

We had a chance to chat with his brother, Norman, who was home from California, and with their mom, Bea, who has been our friend ever since we moved here from Maui in 1970. We found out that Norman has never eaten the famous omelette that bore his name. He didn't like all the ingredients.

We looked at our picture on the famous wall of "celebrities," a photo taken by Chris Skapik during a performance on the Danny Kaleikini Theatre TV show more than 25 years ago. And we laughed at how "little" we'd changed.

We thought about the many Sunday brunches with our children and grandchildren at the Top of the Boulevard. We left early, making room for a long line of hungry patrons waiting for our table -- and perhaps some time to reminisce.

We drove home quietly, talking about the meal, the Kaneshiros, Columbia Inn, and joked about the many years when I worked next door at the Star-Bulletin and we ate at the restaurant almost every day.

We joked about many beers and many songs at the Round Table and how Gene (and his dad, Tosh, before him) used to bring out his custom-made guitar and matching ukulele so we could sing to the guests.

I remember the great mulligatawny soup and how Chef George used to tell us how you can tell a good restaurant by its soup. If the soup's not good, don't order anything else, he said.

Tosh Kaneshiro was missed. Now, so is Columbia Inn.

Keith and Carmen Haugen


"I'm not really for it at all. For the kind of money we have to put into it, I don't think it's worth it."
John Waihee IV
Balking at whether OHA should buy the old downtown post office for use as its new headquarters when renovation could cost up to $100 million

"I tell them, if you make a mistake in hula, you don't want to keep doing it. You want to change. The same thing in life."
Vanessa Helsham
On how prison inmates at the Halawa Medium Security Facility are learning lessons about hula and life through the discipline of the ancient Hawaiian art

Let people play with fireworks

Banning fireworks is not the answer. Prohibition did not stop people from consuming alcohol. Banning fireworks won't either.

This is the United States of America. If people want to blow themselves up, let them. Stupid people do stupid things. Let the stupid people remove themselves from the gene pool.

George W. Kelly

Lawmakers must be held accountable

I thank Kerry A. Krenzke for his Jan. 4 letter and concur 110 percent with his eloquent thoughts and philosophy on the foolishness of uncontrolled fireworks permitted in crowded communities like Honolulu.

Nowhere else in the sensible world would this be allowed to happen -- not in Hong Kong or mainland China, where they manufacture these fireworks. Tradition or not, they know better and are sensible enough to disallow them in urban areas.

We need to make our lawmakers accountable for the unnecessary loss of lives and properties by impeachment and/or legal action for incompetence and dereliction of duty. They are supposed to protect the health and welfare of law-abiding citizens.

I am also in favor of controlled professional fireworks displays for all to enjoy.

Chester Lau

Cemetery doesn't belong in East Honolulu

Anyone proposing to put a cemetery in East Honolulu should know better.

The people of Aina Haina knew exactly why it was an unwise land use option and fought it tooth and nail. Mariner's Ridge residents are now leading the same charge.

It would be more honorable for the developer to surrender now than try to sell the good people of this area with the same bad idea.

This should be a dead issue for East Honolulu.

Gene Ward
Former State Representative from Hawaii Kai McLean, Va.

Thunderbirds pilots aren't daredevils

As a former support pilot for the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, I resent the tag of "air show daredevils" that was used in your Jan. 8 article. I am also sure that current and all past members of the Thunderbirds would agree with me.

The Thunderbirds are NOT daredevils. They are a precision flying demonstration team. They don't risk their lives in an attempt to stimulate public awe. They fly to demonstrate the abilities of Air Force pilots, and to show the public a bit of what their taxes go for.

The same can be said for the Navy Blue Angels demonstration team, and similar teams from Canada and other countries. Essentially, they are professionals, NOT daredevils.

William G. Burlingame Sr.

Washington Place shouldn't be museum

Turning the governor's mansion into a museum is a terrible idea. It would be like moving the president of the United States to another place and making the White House a museum. It just doesn't make sense.

The tradition should continue to have the governors live at Washington Place. The Cayetanos can use the private money raised ($2 million) for renovations and preservation of the mansion, and use the Legislature's $1 million appropriation to keep the promises of pay raises for teachers or for the Department of Education.

Amy Wong

Hike hotel room tax to fund long-term care

House Speaker Calvin Say has suggested the legalization of gambling in Hawaii to fund long-term care. He has overlooked the social evils of gambling.

Since Hawaii's economy is projected to improve, and hotel occupancy and hotel room rates have steadily been increasing, it is time for the state Legislature to consider and pass at least a 3 percent increase in the room tax.

This tax would bring in tens of millions of dollars to the state treasury. Use this money to fund long-term care in Hawaii.

How Tim Chang

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