By Karleen C. Chinen

At this time of the year, I am filled with feelings of thanksgiving, but it’s not because of the holidays. As I type “Issue 24” on our issue work plan, a feeling of relief comes over me, knowing that we made it through another year. Reaching “Issue 24” is an annual milestone — it’s like crossing the finish line of a marathon.

But we cross the finish line every deadline-Tuesday, basically every other week, only because of the people standing behind us, issue after issue, month after month. I’m talking about our core group of contributing writers, columnists and cartoonists — people like Shara Enay Birbirsa, Carolyn Morinishi and Marian Kubota, Frances Kakugawa, Kevin Kawamoto, Louis Wai, Dr. Michael Okihiro; Michael Malaghan, Ethan Okura, Jane Yamamoto-Burigsay, Jon J. Murakami and Dennis Fujitake. Given our staffing situation, they, along with other contributing writers make the Herald possible. Add to them our advertisers; our retail supporters — especially, KTA Super Stores on the Big Island; and you, our subscribers.

All of you . . . are the reason the Herald endures. Your encouraging emails and notes — sometimes with a monetary donation enclosed — never fail to put a smile on our faces. The Herald isn’t a nonprofit, so the donation isn’t tax-deductible. But we know it comes from the heart and with no strings attached and we thank you sincerely.

In his inaugural address, Gov. David Ige spoke of the Japanese concept of “Okage sama de,” explaining it as “All that I am, I am because of you.” It is also a fitting thought to share with you as we close 2014. “Okage sama de . . .” All that we are, we are because of your support. With heartfelt gratitude, we wish you  a happy, safe and meaningful holiday season.


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