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 development. Those efforts are on the website www.SavePantherHollow.us.
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 traveled 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 to focus on Hawaiian culture. The newspaper, many of whose articles were written by Hawaii’s most prominent historians, was published for 35 years until June 2015, making it Hawaii’s longest-running visitor publication owned by a sole proprietor.
He created Mano the Menehune, the first regularly appearing cartoon in a visitor publication. The newspaper also had a monthly feature called “Living Legends of Hawaii.” Those interviewed for the feature were included 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 Paradise News were compiled and published in his book, The Land of Aloha.The book was given as a welcome gift to 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 Hawaiian people and 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, on May 10, 1999, to a new city law that outlined objectives for the Waikiki Special District. It contained language that would “promote a sense of Hawaiianness within the district.” It further stated, “The design of buildings and structures in the Waikiki Special District should always reflect 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 of that year.
From 2007 to 2015, he traveled 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.
His most recent volunteer efforts include improving the Diamond Head Lookout, one of the most scenic locations on Oahu. He painted the wall surrounding the lookout, and engaged in planting grass and refurbishing the Amelia Earhart stone monument site.
National flags at Diamond Head Lookout, Honolulu, Hawaii.
In Panther Hollow, he also began a beautification project of Joncaire Street, the main street leading into the neighborhood. These volunteer efforts further his commitment to protect, preserve, and enhance the beauty of his communities.
Letters to the Editor
In keeping with his actions to protect and preserve Panther Hollow, end social injustice, and his beautification efforts, the following are just a few of his letters to the editor that have been published.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser on March 12, 2022
Refuse companies keep Waikiki residents awake
I write this letter after being awakened unnecessarily in the early morning hours by the banging and clanging of dumpsters being emptied into refuse trucks.
The Bible states: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
No individuals of private refuse companies would willingly share their loved ones’ phone numbers in order that they would all receive a wake-up call at 3:15 a.m., 3:31 a.m., 3:56 a.m., 4:12 a.m., or whatever time in the early morning they disturb others with their actions.
Residents are caught in the middle between private refuse companies who don’t respect the dignity of others, and those who could pass laws to protect residents but choose not to do so.
It is time for Honolulu City Council members to strengthen their beliefs, imagination, desire and compassion to pass a law protecting residents by stating: no trash pickup by private refuse companies before 6 a.m.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on March 3, 2022
Thank you for canceling Mon-Oakland project
Panther Hollow residents extend their deepest gratitude to Mayor Ed Gainey for his decision to abandon the Mon-Oakland Connector project to construct a roadway through Panther Hollow and Four Mile Run to connect Hazelwood Green to the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. Truth and justice have prevailed.
That important decision signifies a new consciousness at City Hall upholding residents’ dignity. Should Mayor Gainey continue on this Pathway of Dignity, he will be revered as one of Pittsburgh’s great mayors.
We extend our deepest gratitude to all who saw this project’s injustice from the beginning. They helped us move forward when the outlook seemed insurmountable.
We are most grateful to the Four Mile Run residents, who stood in solidarity, and organizations like Pittsburghers for Public Transit. Their fearless actions were vital to this triumph.
We are also grateful to those who opposed us. They only strengthened our resolve.
The means to an end is more important than the end itself. When individuals are confident in their abilities to succeed, they proceed with harm to none. Words were the primary means to this end; thousands of words have been used since we first heard of this project in 2015.
The next step is for Oakland organizations, the mayor and his administrators to unite in demanding hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation from the universities for their severe impact on their host community.
The monies will be used to realize the shared vision for a new beginning for Oakland’s community.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser on December 10, 2021
Money wasted on rail could help homeless
Imagine the islands where every homeless person would be provided with a place to live, and state-of-the-art hospitals would provide them with mental and physical health care. Imagine the islands where all decrepit streets would be repaired and paved with the highest quality asphalt.
These visions could be reality if taxes collected were used for those purposes instead of the boondoggle Honolulu rail transit project.
Stop this eyesore project at Middle Street. Instead, create a first-class bus system to take passengers on a 15-minute ride to Ala Moana Center, and from there, an eight-minute ride to Waikiki. This action requires politicians to believe that respect for human dignity must be their highest priority.
With this belief, all future taxes would be diverted from the rail project and used to implement the above visions, and other needs that elevate the quality of life for all the people of Hawaii.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser on July 27, 2021
Expand tax credit to help kupuna, too
If the main purpose of the child tax credit payments is to reduce poverty and close the income gap between the proverbial haves and have-nots, to which some politicians have alluded, then the program needs to be changed (“Tax credit could lift Hawaii families out of poverty,” Star-Advertiser, July 16).
The 2021 poverty line is $26,500 with a family of four. Why, then, under this program, do couples earning up to $150,000 a year receive a full credit of $300 per child, up to $3,600 a year? Also, why does a single parent earning up to $112,500 receive that same amount per child?
On the other hand, many kupuna in our society need the same kind of assistance that the child tax credit provides. This program could be renamed and expanded for our kupuna without changing the payment amount.
The income cutoff to receive full credit would be restructured to $50,000, not $150,000. The program would expand so that each kupuna whose income is less than $50,000 also would receive $300 per month, up to $3,600 a year.
Such changes would surely bring about a more equitable distribution of wealth in our society.
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.