Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Olney Returns to Swim at UOP Alumni Meet


Waiting 45 years to once again compete in a swimming race may just have been a little too long! I attended then College of the Pacific from 1961-1964, now a college of the University of the Pacific, on a full ride for swimming and water polo.

I had not returned to the campus for an alumni event until October 24, 2009. On this date, the UOP swimming program held a three-way swim meet consisting of the current varsity men’s and women’s teams divided into black and orange teams, and UOP graduates being the alumni team. Click here for the Pacific Swim Program write-up of the event:

Pictured here are the oldest of the alumni participants . From left to right are )Bob Hayes (class of '73), Joe Dietrich ('74), ), Rick Ingraham ('73) and John "Kip" Olney ('64),

Head swimming coach, Adam Kennedy,, organized and coordinated the fun day event. Earlier in the morning I had a chance to talk to him about his program. He indicated that he has 43 swimmers between the men’s and women’s teams with five full athletic aid rides for men and ten for women. Compare this to the team size in 1964 at 13 men only with something like three full and five half and quarter rides dished out.

I broke out my 1964 Senior yearbook which listed some times that John Ostrom and I established as records. I compared them to the times listed on the UOP web site . John Ostrom, who I learned from my old polo/swim team mate, Clay Clement (dropped by but didn‘t swim), sadly passed away in the early 1980’s,. Back in 1964 he established the NCAA 100 yard butterfly record at 53.3 The record today at UOP is 47..84 set in 2005, while the 2009 NCAA winning time was 44.18.

Olstrom won just about every event he swam and along with winning the 1964 NCAA 100 yard butterfly while establishing the NCAA record time and taking 3rd in the 200 yard butterfly, I hope the Athletic Department nominates and elects him to the Pacific Athletes Hall of Fame at UOP.
1964 was my senior year and I had met qualifying times to compete at the NCAA’s, but then it was discovered that there was an error in the male student body enrollment count when I swam varsity as a Freshmen which meant I wasn’t red shirted and thus was not eligible to swim in the NCAA’s my Senior year. Oh well, I loved my four years at COP and wouldn’t have changed a thing!
My records, were established between 1961 and 1964 and which still stood when I finished that senior year, were in the 200 yd butterfly (205.9), 500 free (5:24.3), 1650 (19:58.3) and 400 individual medley (5.04.2). That year, I was also President of the Block P Letterman’s Society and was awarded the Kris Kjeldsen Trophy.

Oh by the way, our '64 water polo team finished the year ranked #7 in the nation.

The 2009 NCAA finals listed winning time was 1:40.75 almost 25 seconds better than my time for the butterfly and 4:08.92 for the 500 free, or a minute and 16 seconds better. Darn, these kids have gotten good!
But, for the 1650 free, the 2009 winning time was 14:30.91 or almost 5 and a half minutes better than my time. Heck, everybody could have gotten out of the pool after they finished, had a cup of coffee or soda and then come back to see me finally finish!
My 400 IM was almost a minute and a half slower than the 2009 winning time at the NCAA’s (3:35.98).

At the UOP alumni swim meet I swam only the 50 yard free -- and I wasn’t even sure that I could complete just two laps without getting sick! It did take me a long time 42.13 seconds ! Please notice that all the others are relaxed and rested while I’m dying to get air!

Then those other “old alumni” talked me into being on the relay team swimming the same distance as part of the 200 freestyle relay. My best time was during the first leg of the relay when I hit 38 seconds flat. My best time when I was at Pacific was about 27.5. I was never a sprinter; all long distance.

I have an excuse or two. I am now 67 and 40 plus size pounds heavier!

Now, I'm going back next year tp redeem myself with much better 50 yard times. Who knows, if I get in shape, I might try eight laps---the feared 200 yard freestyle!!!

Thanks Mr. Kennedy and all you young swimmers for letting me have so much fun with you all.

Good luck this coming year.

And thanks for all the encouraging yells-I heard you pushing me on along the sidelines!


Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Territory of American Samoa Revisited by Internet


I have started to add pix from the late 1970's/early 1980's when we were
contracted to manage the implmentation of the grant. Just scroll on down.

Back in the mid-1970’s, along with two partners, I formed Action Resources, Inc.,(ARI) based in Honolulu, Hawaii . I was President, CEO and Chairman of the Board and my partners were the VP’s.

All three partners had been formerly employed at Pacific Analysis Corporation, also of Honolulu, where I was Executive Vice President and my partners were Senior Analysts conducting operation and systems analysis on Naval contracts. All three of us wanted to expand into private enterprise commercial work and local government consulting while the owners of PAC wished to focus only on military work and thus we pulled away and formed our own entity.

The U.S. Congress enacted the National Energy Conservation Policy Act of 1978, which in part, created grants for each state and all the territorial possessions of the U.S. to form a continuing program to implement conservation techniques through public awareness campaigns. As this was new field, almost none of the state and territorial governments possessed on-board talent to draft the grant application required to be completed in order to receive the grants. At ARI we had sufficient expertise to bid for the grant writing of the State of Hawaii’s application for the funding of Energy Conservation and Public Awareness grant unde the above cited act.. We won request for proposals issued by the state and subsequently were successful in writing the grant which was awarded to Hawaii in the sum of approximately $2 million (1979 dollars). ARI was subsequently contracted to implement the grant while searching for candidates to fill state governmental positions to continue the implementation of the grant.

The Territory of American Samoa also qualified for grant funds under this act if they could produce an acceptable grant application to Washington D.C. They had used two different consulting firms who attempted to draft the grant application but each failed to produce an acceptable product. The deadline to submit a successful grant application was approaching the expiration date when they leaned that we had been successful in drafting Hawaii’s grant and thus they contacted us to see if we could help them. We responded that we thought we could and advised the Governor’s office that we could send our team down for an estimated initial cost of about $6,000 (1979 dollars) to commence the initial draft. They replied saying they did not have that kind of money on hand but they would find it later to reimburse our expenses. We negotiated over a couple of days with the Governor’s office but upfront money for us would not be available. If we wanted to attempt the grant application using our own money they promised to find a way to reimburse us at a later date. My partners and I agreed that we would take the risk of completing the grant application on their terms.

The Rainmaker Hotel is set alongside a small beach overlooking Pago Pago Harbor. The hotel offered standard rooms and bungalows for guests, had a restaurant with full bar, a neat swim pool and deck and fabulous small beach area looking out at the mouth of the bay. It was built in the 1960's; The hotel had a long wing of standard hotel rooms running west from the main lobby area and towards the stairwell across the road that lead up to the Governor’s mansion. It is here in nthis wing of the hotel that we established the first Territory Energy Office (TEO). Pictured below from left to right are AS Gov't rep High Chief Brownie Tuiasosopo,and then ARI exec's Jim Merrill and John Olney.

In the photo's below you will see how thr Rainmaker looked when were routinely visiting and working on the Energy projects in Pago Pago.

Today, photographs show that the hotel in a complete state of degredation caused by the decision to not repair the facility. Scavangers have had their way with the rooms. There are doors hanging off hinges, broken roof slates sliding off the roof and laying broken on the ground and pool formerly green from algae is cracked and chipped.

Below are the principal facts about the complex which the government hopes to lease to entrepreneurs.

(Extracted from the government’s Web site info is couple years old)

Subject Property: The Rainmaker
Hotel, Utulei Village, Island of Tutuila, U.S. Territory of American Samoa.
Geographic Location: In the South Pacific, 14 deg. South, 170 deg. West approximately 2,300 miles SW of Hawaii and 1,800 miles NE of New Zealand
Land Area: 5.03 acres
Improvements: Rainmaker Hotel including 140 guest
rooms in two attached buildings plus detached fale
(cottages) as well as
related improvements.
Age: Thirty to forty (30-40) years
Unfurnished, unoccupied, and in disrepair; requires major renovation or to be
razed and rebuilt
Utilities: All major public utilities serve the property
Fee Owner: American Samoa Government
Leasehold Owner: American Samoa
Development Corporation
Zoning: H, Hotel
Offering Price
The American Samoa Development Corporation (ASDC) wishes to lease the Rainmaker Hotel property at a minimum lease rate of twenty five thousand dollars ($25,000.00) and 2.5% of gross revenues per month up to year 2050 on an “as is” basis. The investors can utilize the property for hotel or any other suitable commercial purpose with prior concurrence from ASDC.