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Lifestyle // Old Friends
Nicole Kato

Patricia Tummons

Patricia Tummons is loving life and loving her job. As the founder of Environment Hawaii, started in 1990, she is able to provide interested readers with information on environmental issues. The organization is said to be the single most important source of news on environmental issues in the 50th state.

“I’m doing more of the same. We moved to Hilo in ’93, and we’ve been based in Hilo ever since then,” says Tummons, who was featured on MidWeek‘s cover July 8, 1992. “It was economics mainly, why we decided to relocate the business.

“You don’t have to pay to park,” she continues with a laugh. “The idea was that we could more than pay for the inter-island travel required, and that would be offset by the lower cost of operation in Hilo.”

The move did not hinder the organization’s ability to conduct its business.

“So much more is available online,”

Tummons says. “We can get documents through email, and a lot of agencies have online records that simply were not doable back then.”

Environment Hawaii is a non-advocacy organization that benefits university libraries, governmental agencies, natural resource agencies, the office of the attorney general and more.

“It’s a great source for any study looking into environmental issues or the history of environmental problems,” Tummons explains, also noting that the organization now is online, as well.

She says Environment Hawaii, which puts out a print edition each month in addition to the online content free for subscribers, practices investigative journalism on issues important to the future of Hawaii’s environment.

“I’m really proud that we continue to do that … given that we only have two writers (herself and Teresa Dawson, located on Oahu),” she says, adding that Environment Hawaii hasn’t skipped a beat since the relocation.

When she’s not hard at work at the office, Tummons enjoys spending time with her two Labrador retrievers, Opal (like the gem) and Seamus (who has the same name as Mitt Romney’s dog).

“But we didn’t know it at the time,” she says.

Tummons started taking her pups to obedience training, but soon found that agility lessons were much more fun for all involved. She is pictured (top) running an agility course with Opal.

“They’re running through tires, running through tunnels – they just love it,” she says. “It’s not the same as obedience training, where you’re there with a stern look on your face saying, ‘Stay still!’

“So for our dogs, it’s just a whole lot more fun.”

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