Your Views for December 17

The right to rock

I’m writing in response to Jonathan Cook’s letter to the editor (Your Views, Tribune-Herald, Dec. 15) regarding the University of Hawaii at Hilo jazz orchestra’s performance with Dweezil Zappa.


I just want to clarify: At which point does a musician become a “rocker” and their First Amendment rights valid?

There must be a difference between Dweezil Zappa, who can acceptably express his feelings about religion, and the musicians in the jazz orchestra, who should feel they are being offensive and distasteful?

Dweezil Zappa apparently has earned a lot of respect in carrying on his father’s name and musical legacy. After all, Frank Zappa, composer of timeless classics such as “Why Does it Hurt When I Pee?” clearly took himself very seriously. However, our local musicians, who work for love and hard-earned donations to bring such talent to Hilo, must meet a certain delicate criteria in not offending anyone while performing alongside said controversial celebrities.

I am not sure how you propose they accomplish this! Maybe they should have told Dweezil to tone it down? Censoring rockers is known to be such an easy task. I’m not sure why they didn’t consider it.

That’s the thing about our rights, Mr. Cook: They apply to everyone, at all times. Especially at institutions of higher learning, where open-mindedness and acceptance are paramount.

And especially at jazz concerts.

Kendra Tidwell


Shady characters

For after-dark joggers and walkers, especially before sunrise in the Bayfront highway area, be aware of your surroundings, mainly in the way of a few shady, suspicious-looking characters cruising this location.

This is especially true of certain males in very dark clothing hanging around the bus shelter area, located in front of the old Uncle Billy’s hotel.

The Bayfront area needs better lighting, not just for pedestrians but for drivers as well. And for the ladies, please be extra cautious, especially when walking alone in these areas during the hours of darkness.


Rick LaMontagne