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September 2019 Chamber Connection Newsletter

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President's Message | May 2019

I recently attended the Pohakuloa Training Area “Experience PTA Day.” I’ve gone to PTA for various Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce events, but I really enjoyed this particular day. PTA invited many Hawai‘i Island Schools to experience the activities there. There must have been more than 500 students throughout the day, in addition to teachers and other guests. Although many of the displays were geared to students, they were valuable for adults as well.

The day started at the theater, where Mike Donnelly briefed attendees as to what they would experience and see that day. We also met briefly with Greg Fleming. Gail and I started by going to the USO where they had numerous displays such as the Canada France Hawaii Telescope, Hilo Veteran Center, National Guard Family Assistance, Civilian Personnel Advisory Center and the 25th ID Military Equipment, the most popular table was where they were making dog tags for students. A very important section was that of the US Army Corps of Engineers, where they promoted the 3Rs of explosive safety…Recognize, Retreat and Report…should you encounter a munition to reduce the risk of injury or death.

We next went to an area where Adam had a portion of his fabulous recycling program showing the process he created and the resulting compost. Another area was a makeshift tent simulating a cave environment showing the various programs PTA has implemented to protect Pohakuloa. Another interesting display was about Natural Resources where they showed some of the things they have implemented to protect the area such as eradicating certain animals, using drones to investigate areas instead of using time consuming personnel. There was also a display of invasive plants and those that need to be replenished. There were a couple telescopes from W.M Keck Observatory aimed directly at the sun where we could see sun spots and solar flares.

To help make the sunny cool day wonderful the Lorenzo Army Band performed throughout the day. If you were a student you had an opportunity to see the howitzer up close as well as a fire truck and ambulance, and even for an adult it was cool.

Should you have an opportunity to visit PTA either through the Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce or other means, I encourage you to do so. It really helps to understand how much PTA does and the contribution they provide to Hawai‘i Island, the State of Hawai‘i and our Nation. Our day at PTA ended after we met with PTA Commander JR Borce and to see how proud he is with the many activities going on at PTA.

It was a wonderful, enjoyable and informative day, indeed.

Aloha and Mahalo,
Gordon Takaki

May 2019 Chamber Connection Newsletter