Category Archives: History

Surprised by an SPJ Award

When I saw a Facebook post by another journalist commenting on awards from the Society of Professional Journalists annual contest, I went looking for the results posted on the SPJ Hawaii website. And I was surprised to see this:

2015 Excellence in Journalism Awards
June 24, 2016
Manoa Grand Ballroom


The 2015 Excellence in Journalism contest was judged, for the most part, by the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, with the exception of the Overall Magazine Layout, which was judged by Star-Advertiser managing editors Betty Shimabuuro and Mike Rovner.

All Media A101 Column Writing or Blog/News

First Place: Ian Lind “Ian Lind” Civil Beat Category Comment: “The winning entries all share the commonality of readability, and interesting insights into the history and culture of Hawaii, it’s people and its politics.”

Finalist: Ben Lowenthal “The State of Aloha” Maui News

Finalist: Neal Milner “Neal Milner” Civil Beat

After digesting the news, aided by a glass of wine or two, I checked in with Civil Beat Editor Patti Epler and got a list of my columns that were submitted.

It’s a pretty good selection, I have to say.

So here they are, the winning columns. And remember that the paywall has come down, so they are free for the reading.

Ian Lind: War Crimes on Kauai?
Since when did collecting taxes become pillaging and a war crime?

Ian Lind: Will Ruling In Council Case Derail Honolulu Ethics Enforcement?
The city Ethics Commission has released few details about why it dismissed charges against current and former council members, but the decisions could set dangerous precedents.

Ian Lind: Has UH Adequately Addressed Cancer Center’s Sticky Issues?
Former director Michele Carbone was often an expert defense witness in asbestos cases and sought UH grants from a frequently sued company. Conflict of interest?

Ian Lind: Dear Joe, If You’re Concerned About Ethics Problems Look in the Mirror
The Hawaii House Speaker is off-target in his criticism of the Ethics Commission for doing its job.

Ian Lind: Kahoolawe 40 Years Later
Protests over using the island as a military bombing range galvanized the modern Hawaiian movement.

Throwback Thursday: Sometime around 1971

Rob Corbin and I were been friends at University High School in Manoa. His dad was a UH professor, and lived in Kailua. Rob graduated from high school a year ahead of me, and we stayed in touch, ran with the same crowd from school, partied from time to time, etc. When Meda and I got married and moved back to Hawaii, Rob shared an apartment in Kaimuki with us during our first year in graduate school. By June of that first academic year, he moved out, and we moved into a slightly more affordable apartment.

Rob and Marty got married a couple of years later (as I recall), and moved to the mainland. The last time I heard news of Rob, he was living in the Seattle area.

And, yes, that’s me lurking in the background of this photo.

With Rob and Marty Corbin

Reporting catches up with The Donald

Reporting is finally catching up with Donald Trump.

It’s taken a while to do the digging into his long paper trail, but the results are most interesting.

The New York Times dropped a blockbuster today (“How Donald Trump Bankrupted His Atlantic City Casinos, but Still Earned Millions“).

It details how Trump loaded up his Atlantic City casinos with mountains of debt that doomed them to financial collapse, while in the process shoveling millions to himself. Lots of those involved–Trump’s investors, bondholders, vendors, contractors, employees–they lost money, while Trumped brags about how well he did there.

Patch.com summarized with “10 Takeaways From NYT’s Blockbuster Report On Donald Trump’s Atlantic City Casinos.”

The Washington Post presented their own reporting on the same bit of wheeling and dealing (“As its stock collapsed, Trump’s firm gave him huge bonuses and paid for his jet“).

USA Today also weighed in with a slightly different set of facts (“Hundreds allege Donald Trump doesn’t pay his bills“).

Donald Trump often portrays himself as a savior of the working class who will “protect your job.” But a USA TODAY NETWORK analysis found he has been involved in more than 3,500 lawsuits over the past three decades — and a large number of those involve ordinary Americans…who say Trump or his companies have refused to pay them.

The Atlantic chimed in with their own road map to a laundry list of past controversies (“The Many Scandals of Donald Trump: A Cheat Sheet“).

As you can see, it’s a great week for reading!

Throwback Thursday: When there were 5

Meal time in February 1997. We were in our kitchen in Kaaawa. It looks like I was serving up boiled fish that I had just cooked up.

There were five cats living with us at that time, and they’re all visible here.

The black cat on the counter in the foreground is Hiwahiwa. On the floor, our calico generation, Miki and Kua. The Cream Point Siamese looking down onto them from the the counter is Mr. Buster. And Mr. Lindsey is on the counter in the background.

For a better version, click on the photo to see a larger version of the photo.

It may have been the last time we had fewer than six cats until Wally died last summer, which brought us down to five again.

And now we’re down to four. I can’t remember when we last had just four cats.

Cats in 1997

106-year old letter is quite a treasure

On this date 106 years ago, the man who would become my paternal grandfather sat in his room on Geary Street in San Francisco and penned a letter to the woman he intended to marry.

1910 letterI found a copy of the century-old handwritten letter in the bottom of a box while sorting through my dad’s assorted photos and papers after he was moved to the nursing home at the end of 2008.

William G. “Willie” Lind and Jane Galt “Jeanie” Montgomery were born in Scotland, later worked in England, and then migrated to the U.S.

Willie arrived in the U.S. first, later asking Jeanie to marry and join him in America.

Click on the letter and you can read the original copy. But I also did a quick transcript of the letter in which Willie gives Jeanie instructions on how to get from New York, where her ship would land, to San Francisco on trains connecting through Chicago.

There are a couple of things to note. The letter was largely devoid of periods to separate sentences, although a few do appear. I’ve added some in where it seemed appropriate. And there were a few words that I couldn’t make out, marked with a (?).

1101 Geary Street
San Francisco
California
June 7, 1910

My Darling Jeanie,

I feel as if I must write a few lines to night. I am up in my room and I have just been looking at, and admiring your picture, and I just wish you were here with me.

I am looking forward with great pleasure for the time when we shall be together. Dear Jeanie, I hope you will not be disappointed in me. Of course I have changed a little since that night I met you 10 years ago.

But I expect you will have changed a little also. But I can assure you Darling that I will try my very utmost to make you feel happy and comfortable when we get settled down together.

I do hope you will like San Francisco and that the climate will agree with you. I am just longing for the time when we shall be together.

Dear I am not going to settle on a house till you get here, and you can have a chance to look around and see the City and then we will settle down in a place that will be suitable to us both. Now Dear just a few lines about the trains.

Their are a great number of trains leaves the Grand Central Station in New York for Chicago every day via the Lake Shore and Mic. Central these trains will land you at La. Salle Street Station in Chicago and from that station in Chicago you can get the train for San Francisco on the Rock Island Route in connection with the Denver and Rio Grand (D.R.G.) and the Southern Pacific (So. Pac) the scenery on the above route is grand.

There are also a great number of trains leave the Pennsylvania Station in New York for Chicago. They would land you at the Union Passenger Station on Chicago and leave from that station in Chicago. You can get the train for San Francisco by the Burlington Route in connection with the Denver and Rio Grand and the Southern Pacific.

Jeanie be sure you buy a first class railway ticket and a first class pullman berth ticket right through from New York to San Francisco, and make sure that you get into the through car from New York to Chicago and then the through car from Chicago to San Francisco. I have sent on a few maps that will (?) you a little on the route, of course you will likely meet some people that are coming through and you could buy your ticket on the route they are coming with. A little about your baggage Jeanie after the Customs people have passed it at New York you will see plenty of express baggage couriers at the ship when you land I think you will have to give your baggage to one of them and he gives you a check for each piece and he takes it to the station wherever you are going to get your train, then after you have bought your ticket for San Francisco you go to the baggage room at the station and produce the checks you got from the express man and the party in the baggage room finds your trunks and then he checks them and punches your railway ticket. Be sure and have them checked right through from New York to 16th Street Station Oakland or San Francisco then you will not require to think any more about them. Just keep ahold of the checks you get from the man that checks your baggage at the railway station till you see me and I will get your baggage for you. Now Jeanie I think I will conclude hoping this will find you well and happy with fond love and very best of wishes and lots of (?). Ever yours, affectionately, Willie.

My dad, John Montgomery Lind, was born three years later, in December 1913.

Back in 2009, my sister told the story of how Willie and Jeanie came to meet, all lodged in our family history. You can read the tale here.