By Rich Figel
First, thanks to the Star-Advertiser for putting featured bloggers on Page 2 of their print edition! Also, we should thank the advertisers. Without them, no newspaper, no S-A website. Without sponsors like Argosy University, I wouldn't be able to do the Career Changers TV show either.
Recently, Honolulu Weekly editor Ragnar Carlson wrote a blunt open letter about how they get complaints when that person's business is left out of the free event listings, or they're unhappy because they didn't get coverage. Yet those same people don't want to spend money on advertising in the Weekly. I hear you, Ragnar! Same thing happens with our show. Businesses want free publicity, but mention the word "advertising" and most look away as if I just farted.
Enough about that. To continue the Food Biz theme in my last post (link for topic highlighted in today's S-A print edition), here's a few more odds and ends related to the Kokua Market farm tour I did last Saturday...
• Kevin Vaccarello, co-owner of the Sweet Home Waimanalo cafe and Palaka Moon Farm, said they just bought a bio-diesel trolley, which they'll be using to give tours of his organic farm. It will also include a food stop at the cafe, where much of the produce will be supplied by that very same farm, and possibly incorporate a beach stop in 'Nalo.
• The trolley will run on used cooking oil from the cafe and Sam Choy's restaurant, where partner Dave Campbell is a brew master. (Wonder if the fuel will smell like french fries, beer or both?)
• Joanne Kapolulu, the third partner at the cafe who runs daily operations, was the original owner of Java Java in Kaimuki. She became a Starbucks regional manager, then lived on the Mainland for awhile before returning home to Hawaii. She acknowledges there are residents on the Windward side who resent tourists -- but without visitors, many of the small homegrown businesses wouldn't survive. The trick is finding the right balance that will fit places like Waimanalo without intruding on locals.
• During the farm tour, I ran into Kory Payne of Voter Owned Hawaii. Turns out he's now living in a trailer at Palaka Moon Farm and working with Kevin on sustainability projects. I met him about three years ago when I got involved with the public beach access movement in Kailua, and Kory was involved with the Surfrider Foundation, one of our big allies. Kory has not seen my show though because his trailer doesn't have TV. Talk about being off the grid!
Coincidentally, the next day I picked up the Sunday Star-Advertiser editorial section and Kory's op-ed piece on publicly financed election campaigns was on the front page. Worth reading if you missed it.
What's cool about all this is how so many different people from all walks of life and age groups can come together on certain things, such as the need to eat healthier and find ways to improve our environment. When I look at the divisiveness in politics and over social issues, sometimes I feel like crying... and then you meet folks like Kevin, Joanne, and Kory, and you're reminded there are reasons to be hopeful.
Have a great weekend!
Ainability website, which is another venture Kevin is involved with.
Our show listings and viewing times for Career Changers TV are now posted for the August episode, which begins airing Thurs., Aug. 5. Until then, you can still catch the current program that features Goodwill's new career training center in Kapolei.