White House 'swamped' with birthday requests


POSTED: Wednesday, September 30, 2009

QUESTION: In your June 12 column about the White House sending birthday greetings: I sent a request in June for a card to be sent to my mom for her 93rd birthday on July 22. I sent two requests and am sending a third request. Do they really send birthday greetings?

Q: I sent a written request to the White House for 89th-birthday greetings to be sent both to my mother on Aug. 31 and my father on Dec. 17. I sent the request on June 15, way in advance of the six weeks required. Aug. 31 has come and gone, and my mother still hasn't gotten anything from the White House. Did I do something wrong?

ANSWER: It turns out the White House Greetings Office has been “;swamped”; with requests for greeting cards.

According to a White House staffer, the White House receives “;a tremendous amount of correspondence, including many thousands of greeting requests.”;

“;The presidential office correspondence staff is doing all they can to respond as quickly as possible.”;

No figures were available as to how many requests the Greetings Office was dealing with or whether the number had increased from past years.

As to when your parents can expect to get a greeting, we were told that question really couldn't be answered.

One unofficial Web site, however, says, “;While the Greetings Office was unable to guarantee on-time arrival of greeting cards, they promise it will arrive eventually.”;

”;Moiliili Matters”;

Moiliili resident Derek Kauanoe was most interested in our Sept. 18 column, in which we explained how the city has targeted certain neighborhoods—McCully/Moiliili among them—as bulky-item pickup problem areas.

Kauanoe is the founder of MoiliiliMatters.com, described as “;a community-based online social network,”; which has been spotlighting the problem of illegal dumping in the community.

He recently announced that MoiliiliMatters.com had partnered with Kamehameha Schools to address illegal dumping in the Moiliili/McCully neighborhood.

“;Web site members have not only expressed their concerns by writing comments, but they have also posted numerous photographs of dumping,”; Kauanoe said.

The collaborative effort with Kamehameha Schools, which owns the site of the demolished Varsity Theatre, Puck's Alley and other parcels in the district, is pri- marily focused on informing the community about bulky-item pickup guidelines, he said.

“;When I approached Kamehameha in July, they immediately agreed to help out,”; Kauanoe said.

Among the efforts to stem illegal dumping: Postcards with information about bulky-item guidelines were mailed to area residents.

Kauanoe said he started MoiliiliMatters.com as a way of allowing neighbors and the community “;to communicate, get to know each other better, and to address important neighborhood issues, like illegal garbage dumping.”;

“;I've met people I probably would not have met without the site, such as members and officers of the Old Town Moiliili Business Association,”; he said.

Kauanoe currently is working on a fellowship with Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law at the William S. Richardson School of Law.