Carlino Giampolo

Carlino Giampolo

Carlino Giampolo

Carlino Giampolo was born and raised in Panther Hollow, one of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s first Italian neighborhoods. He was among the neighborhood’s approximately 250 Italians, most of whose ancestors come from the small towns of Gamberale and Pizzoferrato in Italy’s Abruzzi Region. In 2007, Carlino began to compile the history of his iconic neighborhood on the website www.PantherHollow.us. In 2015, when the city of Pittsburgh and its partners proposed a plan to build a roadway through Panther Hollow, he began a grassroots movement to protect and preserve the neighborhood from the development. Those continuous efforts are on the website www.SavePantherHollow.com.

He graduated from Duquesne University in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. In 1977, he journeyed solo around the world, visiting 37 countries in nine months. In 2004, he travelled through all 50 states in 80 days, taking time to dance in each state.

In May 1980, he started his own business and published Paradise News, the first visitor newspaper in Waikiki on Oahu, Hawaii to focus on Hawaiian culture. The newspaper, many of whose articles were written by Hawaii’s most prominent historians, was published until June 2015, making the 35-year newspaper Hawaii’s longest-running visitor publication owned by a sole proprietor. He created Mano the Menehune, the first continuous cartoon in a visitor publication. The newspaper also had a monthly feature called “Living Legends of Hawaii.” Those interviewed for the feature were in his Living Legends of Hawaii calendar that was sold in bookstores and gift shops, and given as Christmas gifts to passengers of a local inter-island airline. In 1983, numerous articles printed in the newspaper were compiled and published in his book, The Land of Aloha. The book was given as a welcoming gift for attendees of Kauai Hilton Hotel’s grand opening. The Navy and Army in Hawaii also purchased the book for their newly arrived soldiers.

Carlino’s respect for Hawaiians and their culture continued in 1988 when he started a grassroots movement that helped to change the course of Hawaiian history in Waikiki. The movement eventually led to a new city law in 2001 declaring that any new construction in Waikiki must be done with a Hawaiian Sense of Place. The actions leading up to the new law are chronicled in his book, Lights Out. A decade after the grassroots movement began, he persuaded Northwest Airlines executives to remove from all of their flights to Hawaii an agricultural inspection video that he believed had a segment that was offensive and insensitive to Hawaiian women. Other airlines followed suit. The State of Hawaii then created a new agricultural inspection video for incoming visitors to Hawaii.

He has written and published several self-help books. His first, The Art of Letting Go, was published in paperback by Bantam Books and distributed throughout the United States and Canada. In 1996, he created the Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl Teams poster. Over 60,000 posters were printed and distributed as gifts to Fan Appreciation Day game attendees in October that year.

From 2007 to 2015, he travelled from Honolulu to Pittsburgh every other month to help as a caregiver for his parents. During that time, he began another grassroots movement because of what he felt was injustice from University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University administrators toward their host community of Oakland—where Panther Hollow, his home neighborhood, is located. The movement’s ongoing efforts are on the website www.OaklandDignity.com.

Boundary Street, Panther Hollow, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Boundary Street, Panther Hollow, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

His recent volunteer efforts include improving the Diamond Head Lookout, one of the most scenic locations on Oahu, where he was involved in painting the wall surrounding the lookout, the planting of grass, and the refurbishing of the Amelia Earhart stone monument site. This work was made possible by strong support from the City and County of Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation, and generous donations from The Sherwin-Williams Company, Home Depot, Flags Flying, and private individuals.

National flags at Diamond Head Lookout

National flags at Diamond Head Lookout, Honolulu, Hawaii.

He also began a beautification project of Panther Hollow’s Joncaire Street, the main street leading into the neighborhood. These volunteer efforts further his commitment to protect and preserve, as well as enhance the beauty of his communities.

In keeping with his actions to protect and preserve Panther Hollow, and his beautification efforts, the following are just a few of his letters to the editor that have been published:

Honolulu Star-Advertiser on January 15, 2021

See beyond the labels to understand one another

Our country has a polarization problem. One root cause is that people adhere to the practice of labeling someone, and then love or hate that label.

The founder of Proud Boys Hawaii, a far-right extremist group, ran for the state House District 22 seat in 2020, and received nearly 30% of the vote. Did those in Waikiki and Ala Moana who voted for him do so because they believed in his extremist views, or simply because he was labeled a Republican?

There are two pathways toward change: the Path of Dignity or the Path of Tragedy. If we are to create a new world in which the dignity of each person is continuously respected, then the practice of labeling one another must be replaced with understanding one other. That concept requires a comprehensive gathering of information, interpretation, discernment, assessment, inference, appreciation, and valuation.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on December 3, 2020

Expansions are a detriment to communities

The Nov. 30 editorial “Invest in Innovation” was most regrettable. It fully supported the Mon-Oakland Mobility Project, which will build a roadway from Hazelwood Green, through Four Mile Run and Panther Hollow, to the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. That roadway will destroy Four Mile Run and Panther Hollow, one of Pittsburgh’s first Italian neighborhoods.

The elite hypocrites who wrote this editorial, like the university administrators, city leaders and Hazelwood Green leaders who support this project, neither live in these neighborhoods nor want to. However, they support the cancerous, uncontrolled expansion of these universities, to the detriment of our communities.

It is incongruent that the city wants to be the innovation capital of the world, while destroying two beloved neighborhoods to complete this project. Our communities will continue to fight to protect and preserve our heritage and culture.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser on July 15, 2017.

Kahala Beach needs to be replenished

One of the supreme pleasures of living in Hawaii is being able to walk along the beach and enjoy the majestic splendor of our mountains and ocean. It is a soothing balm for the soul and spirit.

Why, then, is Honolulu’s wealthiest neighborhood the location of one of the worst beaches for walking?

The beach fronting the Waialae Country Club, Kahala Beach Apartments, and the westerly end of the The Kahala Hotel & Resort is a dearth of sand and an overabundance of dead coral. Are the owners of these properties unable to persuade state officials to properly maintain and protect this stretch of beach? Or would the state prefer to keep the beach as is?

Funding beach maintenance should not be an obstacle for the state. If lawmakers are able to find billions of dollars for a rail project that is the antithesis of a beautification project, then they should be able to find funds to beautify our once-magnificent beaches, which would benefit not only property owners but everyone living in Hawaii.

Carlino Giampolo