The Generosity Of MidWeek Readers

Don Chapman
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June 30, 2010
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Most of us who get into this crazy business of journalism do so with a sense of wanting to serve our society’s greater good. Although it’s hard to quantify, I do believe that by bringing people both news and opinions that cover a broad spectrum newspapers do serve the greater good and help promote a stronger, more informed democracy.

Sometimes the results of what we do are easier to measure. Such as the fallout from Carol Chang’s June 16 cover story, “Hawaii Schools’ Best Friend,” on Kathie Wells and Community Helping Schools. In case you missed that one, Kathie started CHS to fulfill specific requests for equipment and supplies from public school teachers because the DOE budget doesn’t come close to covering everything they need.


According to her, as a result of our story an amazing list of goods and services have been offered. “Because MidWeek reaches everybody, we’ve gotten so many calls,” Kathie says. “We’re starting to get partnerships, which is what we really need. I’m meeting with a Rotary club, a boutique, a loan office.” They’ve also received a radial saw, piano and teak desk, and a group of UH ROTC students who are majoring in engineering and science have offered to write grant proposals and tutor kids in science and math at schools.

We’ll take credit for publishing the story, but the real credit goes to Wells and her team of volunteers, and to MidWeek readers who responded to the story with overwhelming generosity.

The response of our civic-minded readers also made possible an award MidWeek received recently. At the CrimeStoppers annual luncheon on June 16, we received the print media award for the Most Wanted cover story that was published March 3, as well as for the weekly CrimeStoppers feature that began in the following issue. HPD Sgt. Kim Buffett mentioned that nine of the 12 crooks pictured on the cover - each involved in identity theft - have been captured, and that the other three are known to be on the Mainland. Combined with fugitives pictured in the weekly feature, MidWeek and our readers are responsible for putting 35 bad guys and gals behind bars in the past four months.

“It’s amazing,” Sgt. Buffett says, “as soon as people start getting their MidWeeks, the calls to our hotline start coming in.”

I wish our readers could have been at the luncheon to share in the genuine warmth and gratitude expressed by a number of officers, including HPD Chief Louis “Call me Louie” Kealoha.

(Kudos also to Marisa Yamane from KHON and the 98.5-FM morning crew of Rory Wilde, Gregg Hammer and Crystal Akana, who received TV and radio awards from CrimeStoppers.)

And then there are times we contribute to the general good by publishing good stories about good people doing good things. No, in this case, make that great things. Former state Chief Justice William Richardson was such a person. The man for whom the UH law school is named graced our cover on Feb. 10, and last week he passed away at age 90. I’m glad we were able to tell the story of one of the people who literally helped shape modern Hawaii for the better. We join all of Hawaii in offering condolences to his family. The cover headline on that issue bears repeating now: “Well Done, Sir.”

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