One Ton of Kona Coffee for our Troops
I would like to report that, this week Operation Warrior Wakeup and Operation Jarhead Java will be crossing the 1 TON mark in Kona coffee shipped to Iraq since this effort began last February. Over 300 lbs in the 2008 Thanksgiving thru Christmas season alone--along with numerous other coffee accouterments.
This is a historic effort. Never before in the history of the Kona coffee industry has so much fine gourmet coffee been freely donated by the citizens and farmers of Kona to our Armed Forces deployed and at war overseas.
And yet, only a little local media mention. Only one brief mention back in May in the Honolulu media. We had sent only a few 100 lbs, back then at most.
The Kona coffee farmers that have given so much and for so long , to so many, deserve all the credit for this outstanding effort. Their generosity and Aloha is a credit to what Hawaii is truly all about.
The Greenwell Farms team and Tommy Greenwell particularly Tommy’s help made this happen time & again when I was ready to quit. The Kona Mountain Coffee team and Bill Dwyer particularly Lehuula Farms, Heavenly Hawaiian Coffee Farm, Moki’s Farm Coffee, the Perry Estate Farm, Kena Coffee, GetReal Kona Coffee Farm, The Bayview Farms team and Andy & Roz Roy particularly, Brazen Hazen Coffee, Makahiki Farms Coffee, Arianna Farms Coffee, Hokulani Farms Coffee, Jim Kerver and the Coffee Shack, Paradise Found Coffee, Mr. Wally Tamaye, Kona Rain Forest Coffee, Capt. Cook Coffee Co. and Mr. Steve McLaughlin Sr particularly. Also a heartfelt Mahalo to Paulette Frerichs, who donated so much assistance with postage! This simply could not have happened without her. God Bless you Paulette!
You are true patriots, in every sense of the term, one and all!
All my 2nd Stryker Brigade soldiers and 3d Marines and Lucky Red Lions will be coming home soon. When I started this effort I basically promised them “I will keep this up until you come home.”
My intention for the future, Lord willing, is to just send smaller amounts to various Chaplains in Iraq and Afghanistan that I can find and begin to support. It is in my heart to support our soldiers & Marines in Afghanistan. They need our support! God bless them, one & all.
Robert Gowan, Captain Cook, Hawai`i
Cut bureaucracy, not schools
In commending the state Department of Education for offering what it calls a “logical plan for school closure review” (Dec. 1), The Honolulu Advertiser opined “There is no longer a student base large enough to justify the money spent to keep a school open ... [and that DOE] officials now confront the harshest budgetary constraints they’ve faced in decades .”
Before rushing to praise the beleaguered DOE however, it might be well to reflect on the fact that while student enrollment has fallen and academic proficiency assessment target achievement scores have not been met by increasing numbers of DOE schools over the last dozen years, the DOE “budget” has tripled.
Where, one might wonder, has all the money gone? Repeated attempts have been made to audit the DOE to determine the answer to this question, but the dismal results never change: there are always “insufficient management controls in place” to discover where the money has gone. There is zero accountability for anything.
Instead of closing schools, maybe it is time to cut loose some of the non teaching, desk driving, upwardly mobile careerists who populate the vast reaches of the gargantuan DOE bureaucracy in ever increasing numbers. Or perhaps cut back a bit on the legions of well heeled DOE contractors.
Based on first hand experience gained in fourteen years teaching at three different public schools in this state I can say with confidence this is an idea that will never gain any traction in the remote, indifferent, utterly corrupt, and obscenely over-funded DOE bureaucracy that cares only for its own self-perpetuation. Their attitude? Career first, business as usual, CYA and to hell with the kids.
Thomas E. Stuart, Kapa`au, Hawai`i
Telescopes continue Polynesian tradition
Several thousand years ago, and long before Europeans dared to sail beyond the sight of land, the “Vikings of the Sunrise” began their great voyages across the Pacific Ocean.
Because their ancestral home is scattered across this great ocean, the Polynesians had to learn to depend on their ability to navigate accurately between these islands. They learned to read the signs of the sea and to know the stars and their seasonal journey across the night sky. They were truly the first great navigators.
Some 1500 years ago, a number of Polynesians probably left the Marquesas and turned their voyaging canoes toward the stars that traditionally travelled only a short distance across the northern sky and for the first time observed a star that did not move at all. A month or so later, the world’s most massive mountain and an unusual huge white mountain appeared in the direction of that unmoving star.
The most revered of the ancient Polynesians included their great navigators. Today many of our highly educated professionals and well trained technicians living on the Big Island operate and maintain the world-class observatories on the summit of that unusual white mountain, Mauna Kea.
The voyaging canoe Hokulea was created to remind us of the exceptional accomplishments of these early Polynesian navigators and their understanding of the stars.
Hawai`i has always had this special connection with the stars and it is in that tradition that our great white mountain has proved to be the best location on earth to maintain that historic relationship.
Accordingly, the new thirty meter telescope proposes to continue this historical relationship between the Big Island’s white mountain and the start of the ancient navigators.
Finally, this new telescope will provide rewarding careers in an exceptionally clean, high-tech industry for young people on the Big Island.
Alan S Lloyd, Kailua, O`ahu
Listening to Obama?
The only way I can fathom the majority of our American citizens voting for Barack Obama is they were not listening to a word he said…or didn’t say. They were just caught up in the historical, or better hysterical, moment of it all and voted for two ambiguous words: “hope” (w/o an object) and “change” (w/o definition).
I heard Obama say a lot of things that precluded him from getting my vote. He said he didn’t believe in the letter of the US Constitution. (How will he swear to uphold it?) He voted three times against an Illinois bill to protect an aborted live baby because that would mean the mother who came to get an abortion didn’t get her aborted (dead) baby.
He said he would be GLAD’s best friend; he would change military “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy (to “Do Ask and Do Tell”) and opposes any marriage amendment. He said he believes in a global warming that isn’t happening and a cap and trade CO2 policy that will cause the price of fuel and electricity to “skyrocket,” coal companies to bankrupt, people to have to stop driving big cars, a big levy “price signal” (punitive tax) on gas, turning thermostats to colder in winter and hotter in summer and Jimmy Carter’s austerity to return.
He said drilling for oil is not a solution. He said he would raise the capital gains tax and believes in forcing us to give our money to spread the wealth and level the playing field (egalitarianism). He wants to give UN about a trillion for “Global Poverty Act.” He said he’d negotiate with terrorists; set date-certain for troop withdrawal from Iraq; move POWs to USA and try as criminals and cut our military. He said he is the one with big visions of change for America (just who/what does he think he is?).
But what Obama didn’t say is equally, if not more, disturbing. I didn’t hear him praising America for liberating millions all over the world. I didn’t hear him tell us about how his military experience is greater than George W’s. I didn’t hear him praising all the great things America is doing all over the world.
I didn’t hear him extolling our good personal freedoms, our right to pursue happiness without stifling and oppressive gov’t regulations to “ensure” a package of happiness for non-workers. I didn’t hear him tell people to “get to work” and create jobs to become less dependent upon Big Gov’t.
I didn’t hear him say our energy independence is secure for a hundred years because we are blessed with more oil just in Colorado and Idaho -- trillions of barrels – than all the Middle East. I didn’t hear him say “God Bless America” very much, either—until he won the election.
Gerald Wright, Pahoa, Hawai`i