Rail Problems, Tiger And Jimmy B.

Rick Hamada
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Wednesday - June 25, 2008

I am hosting a weekly segment on my radio program called “Both Sides of the Rail.” It is, as the name implies, where representatives on both sides of the rail issue debate the merits and demerits of their opponent’s position. I know this appears to be a shameless plug, but (to my knowledge) this is the only consistent presentation of, well, both sides appearing on a regular basis via any media outlet. I mention this as the frequency and tone of various PR messages promoting rail are hitting the airwaves. The proponents of Stop Rail Now also have a TV spot. At least with both sides present taking listener questions, you can hear, as Paul Harvey says, “The rest of the story.” Why be interested? Sen. Dan Inouye commented recently that if the City and County of Honoulu were required to upgrade its secondary waste water treatment facilities to the tune of $1 billion, it would bankrupt us. Consider the approximate $5 billion price tag for the rail project. We may want to pay closer attention.


* Tiger Woods is known to wear a red shirt when he plays the final round of a golf tournament. After his legendary performance in the U.S. Open, he should put a big “S” on the front and a fluttering cape in the back. Hobbled by recent knee surgery (his third), Woods miraculously fought his way through four painful rounds and extended his tournament life by draining a dramatic 12 foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to force a playoff. His opponent, tour journeyman Rocco Mediate, proved to be the ideal foil. At 45-years-young, Mediate is a fan and player favorite. He may not have a stellar record, but there are few who are as well liked or admired among his peers. Battling his own physical demons (a back injury dating back over a decade), Mediate seemed to be the carcass to Tiger’s buzzard. The only problem is someone forgot to tell Rocco.

The U.S. Open demands an 18-hole playoff. Mediate did not collapse and played a wonderful round of golf. Woods, grimacing from pain, manned up and did exactly what defines him - he found a way to win. It took 19 extra holes to do it, but at the end he acknowledged this was his best tournament ever. It was for the rest of us, too.


* I met Jimmy Borges at the Ala Wai golf course driving range and had no idea who he was. As a malihini, the only thing I knew was that Jimmy was a very cool guy. As years passed, I grew to love and admire the man who could sing and take the breath away from an angel. We would see each other here and there, play some golf and chat on the air. He is a great interview. But, about 10 years ago, Jimmy presented my wife and I a gift we will never forget. Jimmy graciously consented to sing the first dance song at our wedding reception. Jimmy’s voice, Betty Loo Taylor’s accompaniment and his rendition of Satin Doll will never be forgotten. He continues to be the most remarkably generous and talented man in town and his recent Lifetime Award at the Na Hoku Hanohano fete couldn’t have been a better choice.

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