Karleen C. Chinen


Welcome to 2016! It’s hard to believe that nearly half of January is already gone. Even harder to believe is that we just sent our New Year’s edition to press last week . . . and here we are again.

I was almost halfway home last week Tuesday night when it suddenly hit me like a lightning bolt: Awww, shoot! I forgot to include the birth name of Onoe Kikunobu-Sensei in my write-up on the veteran Japanese classical dance teacher, who was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts last October. But it was too late to fix it. So, to Onoe Kikunobu-Sensei — who was born Gertrude Yukie Tsutsumi — my sincere apologies for the oversight, but our heartfelt congratulations on the honor that you so deserve.

The new year will bring some changes to the Herald.

Change #1: Beginning with the Feb. 5 edition of the Herald, delivery of the paper to most of our current Hawai‘i subscribers will be handled by the circulation department of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Our over-400 Mainland subscribers will continue to receive their Herald by mail.

Why the change?

In the nearly one year since Taro Yoshida was appointed president of Hawaii Hochi, Ltd., he has been working on developing partnerships with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and its parent company, Oahu Publications. Most of the partnerships have involved our Japanese-language sister publication, the Hawaii Hochi. The most visible one has been the translation of several local stories from the morning’s Star-Advertiser into Japanese for publication in the Hochi. The Star-Advertiser is also sharing its local photos with the Hochi.

Taro-san’s goal from Day One has been to beef up local news in the Hochi in an effort to keep local elderly Japanese and Japanese nationals informed of what is happening in Hawai‘i. This working relationship between the Hochi and the Star-Advertiser began last spring, and so far, it’s been a positive for the Hochi.

Another problem Taro-san wanted to tackle was delivery issues, mainly for the Hawaii Hochi, which is mailed five days a week to its subscribers. They have had problems, mainly with the non-arrival of the paper. For someone whose main language — spoken and written — is Japanese, the Hochi is a link to the outside world. Receiving the paper in a timely manner is important to them.

After hearing the complaints and seeing the Hochi’s subscriber numbers drop, Taro-san met with Aaron Kotarek, the Star-Advertiser’s vice president for circulation, to see if they could help solve this problem. What they came up with is somewhat of a “back to the future” solution. Up until the 1990s, the Hochi used to have independent carriers who delivered the daily Hawaii Hochi to homes in the Honolulu area. The carriers would wait for the Hochi to come off the press and then deliver them to the subscribers on their assigned route.

Well, both the Hochi and the Herald are returning to a home delivery system. It will be done by the circulation department of the Star-Advertiser, which already has a system in place.

Herald subscribers will have their issue delivered to their home on the first and third Friday of each month. If you are also a Star-Advertiser subscriber, the two publications will be in your delivery bag. If you are not a Star-Advertiser subscriber, it will be bagged and delivered to your home on Herald Friday mornings. Information for those whose subscription goes to a post office box will be mailed to you soon.

As with all new things, there are likely to be some bugs in the system. However, rest assured that they will be worked out.

And now Change #2: Effective March 1, the Herald subscription rate is going up — to $54 for a one year subscription (24 issues), and $3.25 for single copies purchased at retail stands. As Taro-san reminded me when he saw the not-too-happy look on my face, the last time the Herald raised its subscription rate was 2011, and, he pointed out, March will mark two years since the Herald began printing color on every page of every issue. And the ink for the JETLEADER press isn’t cheap, he reminded me. The price of everything has gone up — a plate lunch, a sandwich, a burger, a salad, Starbucks coffee, bentö, groceries, even parking fees. Other people have reminded me that the $6 hike in the Herald subscription rate is cheaper than a plate lunch. Our Herald advertising and promotions manager Grant “Sandaa” Murata put it more bluntly: “What?! You don’t think the stories in the Herald are worth $54?! I think even $60 is worth it.” OK! OK! . . . we’ll settle on $54 and $3.25.

Whether your budget can accommodate the increase or not, please know that we appreciate your support of the Herald for all these many years. Okagesama de . . . We have succeeded thus far because of you.


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