Thursday, May 31, 2007

Making Sense of Marker Bills, AFT's Farmcast, Join the Debate, and more

American Farmland Trust
Farm Policy Update May 31, 2007

Getting Down to Farm Bill BusinessElements of the Bill

Congress is awash in “marker bills”—typically bipartisan legislation outlining priorities for possible inclusion in the final farm bill. More than 250 legislators have signed on to bills with ideas to help move U.S. farm policy in the right direction: from expanding access to healthy food to providing incentives for biofuels to supporting beginning farmers. The Farm, Nutrition, and Community Investment Act (S. 1424/H.R. 2144) is the most comprehensive bill to date--including provisions for nutrition, healthy diets, conservation, dairy, new market development, along with renewable energy and local food systems. It also incorporates Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) reforms supported by AFT.

The House Agriculture Committee has begun formal work on the 2007 Farm Bill. Starting with Titles II and IV, the Conservation and Credit titles, the subcommittee completed its mark up of the proposed language last week. AFT issued a press statement on the subcommittee mark up. By the July 4th Congressional recess, all of the subcommittees plan to complete work on their respective titles and will hold a full committee mark up session and committee vote on the 2007 Farm Bill.

Hungry for Farm Policy?

AFT's FarmcastIf you’re hungry for farm policy, this week’s Farmcast will leave you full. Listen to Ralph Grossi, AFT’s president, and Congressman Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) as they discuss the Farm, Nutrition, and Community Investment Act and the priorities it lays out for the 2007 Farm Bill. Don’t go hungry—subscribe to AFT’s podcast series today!

AFT Honors Congressional Steward of the Land

Ralph Grossi and Richard Rominger & Senator Tom Harkin AFT board member Richard Rominger and AFT president Ralph Grossi presented an award to Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) for his lifelong support of conservation and America’s farms. Harkin chairs the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. In 2002, he helped create the Conservation Security Program (CSP), the nation’s first “green payments” program, which provides financial incentives to farmers and ranchers who adopt and maintain sound conservation practices on agricultural land. Harkin also established the first-ever renewable energy title, and he is working to expand and strengthen conservation initiatives in the 2007 Farm Bill.

AFT Action Network

Calling All Legislative Athletes!

As the Farm Bill legislative debate heats up this summer, we'll call on people like you to exercise your right to weigh in on issues that are important to you and your community—healthy and local food, supporting farmers, and protecting our air, water, land and wildlife. Already the AFT Action Network has sent thousands of e-mails and faxes to Congress to help secure 15 additional co-sponsors to the comprehensive Farm, Nutrition, and Community Investment Act. Ready to join the team as we sprint toward the 2007 Farm Bill finish line?

Than put your letter-signing sneakers on and get heard by signing up for AFT’s Action Network.

Congress Is Talking About Your Food…Join the Discussion

The new “Congress Is Talking About Your Food” brochure and Web site are designed to educate and engage consumers in the 2007 Farm Bill debate. “The farm bill is one of the most significant pieces of legislation that Congress will enact this year,” says AFT president Ralph Grossi. “It affects how taxpayers’ money will be spent on farm and food programs that influence everything from what’s available in grocery stores and who is eligible for food stamps to what farmers grow and how farmers take care of our environment.”

Media Update

Dole & Daschle Call for End to Farm Subsidies
Former Senate leaders Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Bob Dole (R-KS) have proposed eliminating direct subsidy payments to farmers. The new report suggests using the estimated $4.68 billion in taxpayer savings to fund conservation, disaster assistance and renewable energy and carbon markets—all ways to reform U.S. agriculture policy to better serve farmers and the public.

What’s the Fate of Direct Payments in the 2007 Farm Bill?
Agri-Pulse editor Sara Wyant says both chairs of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees are looking for ways to pay for programs under the new pay-go budget rules, and direct payments to commodity producers may be the cash that the committees are looking for.

Everything’s Coming up Rosa
She may not be a household name, but Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) is a powerful woman in agriculture. Successful Farming writes about her introduction of the Farm, Nutrition, and Community Investment Act and what it could mean for the 2007 Farm Bill.

Voices for Change
Illinois-based MidWeek News writes about the many “Voices for Change”— producers from across the United States who represent all types of American agriculture and are calling for a new direction in U.S. farm policy.

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Monday, May 28, 2007

I long for the Day!

I long for the day,
Is what I often say.
The day when life is easier.
The day when the thoughts
Of the needs of necessary things
are just something that is not needed.

Yes I say I long for that day
When I have all that I Need
But when the day comes when I have no needs
It may only be at life's end.

There are always needs material or not
Needs for friends and the love of others.

PayPerPost direct - Keep More Money!

PPP Direct is a great way to participate in the PayPerPost site and get more money. This method of advertising cuts out the massive overhead. There are competitors out there like ReviewMe charge 50-100% markup and keep up to half your money, PPP Direct only charges a 10% fee, 5% of which goes to transaction fees for PayPal and credit card processing.

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Watch the overview video: Video about PPP Direct

See it live in action:

This is a great new way for bloggers to keep the most amount of money possible and still have the safety and security of an escrow-like service through PayPerPost that will assure you get paid for your hard work.

It is all about how we can get paid to blog. We want to have the joy and fun of blogging and this let us get paid to blog but not worry about the details of getting paid.

This appears to be a great idea! Try it out.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Cherry Orchards Are Disappearing

American Farmland Trust
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Support Us Farm Header

Dear Agricultural,Cherry Pie

Only 37,000 acres of America's farmland produce tart cherries, a special variety used often in baked goods and fresh juices. This farmland has declined by 25 percent over the past two decades. At this rate, all the land that yields tart cherries could be gone in 60 years!

The farmland that produces America’s sweet and tart cherries—as well as native varieties of apples and pears and unique produce from artichokes to zucchini—is at risk of being lost to development.

For over 25 years, AFT has worked to stop the loss of productive farmland, to keep it healthy and to promote farm policies that serve all farmers, the environment and communities. AFT has helped protect millions of acres of working farm and ranch land that brings America’s favorite fruits and vegetables to our tables.

Help AFT save the farmland that yields America’s cherries and other fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy products.

Grossi sig transparent

Ralph Grossi
American Farmland Trust

P.S. If you have recently given a gift in support of AFT, thank you for your contribution.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Think About It!

A few things to think about while you are relaxing...

Can you cry under water?
How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?
Why does a round pizza come in a square box?
How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?
Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

Why do doctors leave the room while you change? They're going to see you naked anyway.
If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a stupid song about him?

If the professor on Gilligan's Island can make a radio out of a coconut, why can't he fix a hole in a boat?
Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?
Why did you just try singing the two songs above?


Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride; he sticks his head out the window?

You all hummed the alphabet and Twinkle, Twinkle...Admit it

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Burma Shave - a Roadside Tradition -More

More Burma Shave - highway signs in the 50's

Click for Previous Burma Shave Post

A guy Who drives
A car wide open
Is not thinkin'
He's just hopin'

To kissA mug
That's like a cactus
Takes more nerve
Than it does practice

The whale Put Jonah
Down the hatch
But coughed him up
Because he scratched
Burma-Shave Can Help

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Burma Shave - a Roadside Tradition

How many of you remember the day when you would travel roads like the legendary Route 66 and read the Burma Shave signs on the side of the road.

My family made the treck from the Panhandle of Texas to the Plains of Missouri about once or twice a year when I was growing up. (I am now 55). One of the fun things that I did with my brothers as we traveled was taking turns reading the Burma Shave signs.

These type of signs and Branding of America have changed or gone by the wayside but they are not forgotten. Below is a short history of Burma Shave.

If you are one of the few that read this blog, leave a comment if you have a memory about these signs, or if you are too young to remember, do a little research and leave a few Burma Shave jingles in the comments.

Burma-Shave was a United States brand of brushless shaving cream famous for its advertising gimmick of posting humorous poems on sequential highway billboard signs.
Burma Shave was introduced in 1925 by the Burma-Vita company, owned by Clinton Odell. At its peak, it was the second-highest selling shaving cream in the United States. But sales declined in the 1950s, and in 1963 the company was sold to Phillip Morris. The signs were removed at that time. The brand decreased in visibility and eventually became the property of the American Safety Razor Company. In 1997 the American Safety Razor Company reintroduced the Burma Shave brand as a nostalgic shaving soap and brush kit — ironically, the original Burma Shave was one of the first brushless shaving creams.

PayPerPost - Make Money and Enjoy Blogging!

Ok! My wife says I am goofing around on the computer again. She thinks I have become obsessed with this blogging thing. But about a month ago I asked her if she wanted me to transfer $100 to her checking account that was made from out in blog land. All of a sudden she says "Why aren't you in there blogging.

Yes it does not sound like much right now but through word of mouth marketing I heard about PayPerPost. Since that day on January 10, 2007 - only 4 months ago to this day - when I posted my first paid ad on my blog, my thoughts have changed. I still enjoy blogging as much as I did before and even more simply because I can now pay for the internet connections, and my time simply by doing something that I enjoy.

Unlike Colleen who is the PayPerPost queen, my earnings may sound trivial. She has made over $11,000. I have made only about $269. However, I have only been doing this about 4 months. This averages about $67 per month. Doesn't sound like much does it.

Well, I now have three eligible blogs that I can post on. Two of these just became eligible this last month. Right now my goal is to post an ad on each of these every couple of days. At the rate I am working now, I am on target to post ads this month that will return $300 next month.

With this rate, I can disburse the ads in among my regular blog activities and not have the blog act only as an earning mechanism. So far it appears to be working great. As I continue to work to increase the popularity of my blogs this will allow me to run ads with greater payouts.

Not bad for about an hour every couple of days to earn money to pay for my computer access and have money to transfer to the checking account.

I am glad that I heard through word of mouth marketing about PayPerPost.

Hope others can learn about this. I want to spread the love too!

Cities Need Farmers, Are Cherries Endangered, AFT's Farmcast and more

American Farmland Trust
E-News May 10, 2007
Take Action Today

Take Action Today

Send a message to your Legislators today! Urge them to sign on in support of the Farm, Nutrition, and Community Investment Act.

Think Farm Policy Will Never Change? Think Again.

On Capitol Hill, The Farm, Nutrition, and Community Investment Act (H.R. 2144) was introduced on the House side by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) and will soon be introduced on the Senate side by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY)the only marker bill introduced with comprehensive provisions that address farmland loss and protection. The act aligns farm policy with national priorities to improve access to healthy and local food; protect air, water, land and wildlife; increase production of renewable energy; support farmers and ranchers across all regions; and reduce hunger. Urge your legislators today to sign on for a better future in American farm and food policy.

Healthy Food For AllHelp Wanted: Cities Seeking Farmers

A growing appetite for fresh and locally produced food has caused the number of farmers’ markets in and near urban areas to double during the past decade. With city and suburban dwellers stepping up demand for “local harvests,” city leaders are finding that they need nearby farms. The city of Chicago recently pitched in to hire a "farm forager" to help recruit new suppliers and support sustainable farms that provide products for city markets. AFT has recommended policies to ensure the protection of important farm and ranch land near our urban areas, where products for farmers’ markets are grown.

AFT’s “Farmcast” AFT's Farmcast

AFT’s new podcast series, “Farmcast,” will frequently bring you Capitol Hill insights and insider attitudes on a new farm policy. Look for us “on the street” in D.C. and across the nation. This week, we’re “Calling on Congress to Fund Conservation.” Listen to comments from AFT President Ralph Grossi and others, including representatives from the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and Pheasants Forever, who appeared before Congress to speak about the importance of funding conservation programs in the 2007 Farm Bill. Subscribe to AFT’s “Farmcast,” by clicking on the subscribe link on the AFT Audio/Video Web page. You can also get the latest breaking news by subscribing to the AFT RSS feed—an online news update.

Sprawl Doesn’t Pay

A clear connection between sprawl, the loss of farmland and increases in state spending was revealed in the recent Capital Spending Analysis Report completed for the state of Delaware by AFT and the Delaware Department of Agriculture. Before 1984, the average new house in Delaware was built on less than half an acre of land. But as of 2002, the average new house consumed 1.23 acres—nearly three times as much land! AFT’s report found that trends in state spending mirror the increases in land consumption, with the state’s capital budget as well as school transportation spending both tripling. "This report now documents that Delaware's serious problems with infrastructure funding directly parallel the rapid land consumption marking the last twenty years of growth in our state," said Governor Minner. What does this all mean? Sprawl doesn’t pay.

Is Cherry Pie on the Endangered List?Cherry Pie

Only 37,000 acres of America’s farmland produce tart cherries, the special variety used in cherry pie and other baked goods and fresh juices. This farmland has declined by 25 percent over the past two decades. At this rate, all the land that yields tart cherries could be gone in 60 years! Support AFT and help save the farmland that yields America’s cherries and other fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy products.

Around the Country

Washington state has secured funding for the first-ever Office of Farmland Preservation.

With the California governor’s signing of the Global Warming Solutions Act, Arnold Schwarzenegger is now looking to “terminate” greenhouse gases in the golden state.

AFT sets the record straight on transfer of development rights in Ohio.

AFT is pleased to announce that Jim Baird is AFT’s new Mid-Atlantic States Director.

In New Jersey, legislators are being urged to protect farmland and open space.

Colorado’s Chaffee County is considering the addition of “Smart Codes” to existing regulations to help ranchers stay in business and prevent sprawl.

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Sunday, May 6, 2007 Article: Angus calf kicks up its heels _ all six of them

Angus calf kicks up its heels _ all six of them
The newborn black Angus calf romps about the central Nebraska farm just like the other calves. Only this one has six legs, organs for both sexes and a surgically supplied rectum.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Geocaching - A Fun Sport

In the past year I have become interested in Geocaching and now occassionally travel around the area with GPS in hand trying not to be to obvious.

For those not familar with the term "geocaching" It is simply a term that was created to describe what I call the sport of global scavenger hunting. Yes - it is a game of sorts! The game goes like this.

You log onto the Geocaching Website and put in an identifying locator such as a zip code of where you want to hunt or where you are located. This then brings up Caches that are geographically located close to you. These caches can take various forms from army cannisters to film cannisters. They may have a varied type of items in them or they may just have a visitors log.

Each cache gives the co-ordinates of the cache and the ability to download this into a GPS navigation system. I use a handheld Garmin Unit. Well, the next thing you do is tell the GPS unit to find the location. This is where you jump into the vehicle and drive as close as you can get and then sometimes a short hike or sometimes a great hike through nature brings you geographically close to the hidden cach. (Hidden by someone else and logged into the website.)

At this point you may stand around with the GPS unit in the air trying to get the best reading and get usually within about 10 feet of the prey. Now it is time to put your kid skills into play and look under rocks and around trees until the cache is found.

After finding the cache you can sign the log, return to your computer and log your visit. The website keeps track of all of the sites that you have found.

Another twist is to try to find a cache with a travel but in it. These are registered trinkets with the website that have a goal of trying to move across the country. You take the trinket and then the next cache that you find that will hold it - you place it there and then log it into the website.

These items are fun to watch and see where they travel.

An interesting Game. - Keeps you off the couch - keeps you active - and takes you to see sites that you may not have seen before.

AIMPromote - Great for Lead Management

I know it is hard to believe but there is great pressure every day in my job to have sales and sales leads that helps the company in making money. Sometimes these sales leads are hard to find. But recently I have found that it is better to have a good customer relationship management system than it is to use some of the older word of mouth type leads.. Even though someone might know everyone in three counties it can still be a problem having the information that a good lead management system can provide.

This is where I have checked out On-Demand Lead Management on the internet.
This site helps you streamline your sales process and exponentially improve your marketing effectiveness. This company -AIMpromote gives you real-time reports on how well each of your advertising campaigns is working, and how well each of your sales representatives are performing.

What more could you ask for from a lead management system.

This customer relationship management system claims that there is no other end-to end, closed-loop lead management software available at any price-point that is better.

I really believe that I may check this out and see if it works for my sales leads. Because I have discovered that other sales lead management applications start tracking at the point of lead generation, but AIMpromote provides you with the actual web site visitor or advertising campaign that generated the lead. This is the only way to know which of your marketing dollars is being used most effectively. And this is something that is good to know.

And as always I believe that even though a small promotional fee is given for mentioning this type of product, I wouldn't mention them if I didn't think it might be a good idea.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

All in a Days Work

Anyone of the few that read this blog, have seen me mention from time to time the fact that, although my job in lending causes me to sit behind a desk and push a pencil much of the time, I occassionally have a day or part of a day the is devoted to "inspections".

Well this afternoon was one of those afternoons. Under the guise of having to view a large cattle herd for an individual, I ended up spending about 3 hours driving over a 1200 acre ranch located in the Arkansas River bottoms. This along with great conversation with the owner made for a good time.

The entire place was not particularly awe inspiring, but there were several views from tops of hillsides that would "knock your socks off". This was very much the take on the view that looked across the river and the valley that surrounded it.

Then to hear the pride in the owners voice as he fondly described how the place looked about 15 years ago when he acquired the initial place. It was almost like a newly wed describing the beauty of his new bride.

"That was the original Pasture" he would say " and all of that has been cleared since that time."

And the little anectdotes about developing the place.

"Started on a Friday putting in new fences since all of the fences were pretty much non-existent when I bought the place." he quipped. "Had four guys helping me that afternoon. After about four hours we had driven about 30 posts. The guys again inquired as we quit that afternoon as to how much fence we were putting up. Only about six miles I told them."

He went on saying "I was pretty much concerned when we left that day who would show back up on Monday." Well, rains came through the weekend and on in to Monday and we couldn't work. But, come Tuesday the sun came out and to my surprise everyone came back." The rain softened ground made the posts drive easier and by the end of the day everyone was more encouraged that this job could be done. "Still took a long time" .

Well, again as I say, its all in a days work.

Guess Monday I'll pick back up the pencil. Maybe it won't be so heavy next week.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Elephants prefer crops to forest fodder

I spotted this article on and thought it was very interesting.
We forget what Agriculture may represent in other countries. This article brings to mind the different aspects of Agriculture-----------------------------------

To see this story with its photo and related links on the Gulf News website, go to

Great Investment Real Estate Ideas

Readers of this blog might note that many of my posts have to do with vacation, traveling or similar subjects or reviews. You might realize that this is because everyday I am gradually getting closer to an age that would yield retirement. This idea becomes ever more popular as the work environment seems to become more difficult.

This is why you might find me looking to expand my vacation and leisure time opportunities by visiting sites that review things like Investment Real Estate. This site - gives a lot of great opportunities to own real estate that provides a vacation source along with possible income.

As most times in retirement that is the goal, to have something like Investment Real Estate that will help you have an income that you desire to maintain your lifestyle, but to also have that extra place to spend some relaxing time.

I recommend looking at this site if you are in a position as I am. Its never to early to work toward a great retirement.
Investment Real Estate

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Panhandle Poetry and Other Thoughts: Perils of Progress

Panhandle Poetry and Other Thoughts: Perils of Progress

Kauai Condos

Summer is coming and it is time to start planning the ultimate vacation destination. The wife and I have discussed many locations, - Cruises - Mexico - Cayman. But for some reason we have never before discussed the Hawaii.

Well it cam up this time, and oddly enough it came about from an article that I was asked to read about how business and the ecosystem can co-exist in an environment that allows for the economy to thrive while nature is enhanced. This full press release is very interesting and can be found at the end of this post.

This gave me the idea for a trip based on that idea going somewhere that has an environmentally based tourism. That brought us to beautiful Hawaii.

Well, the internet research began. I found the site

This site is a wealth of knowledge on rental opportunities in the Islands. In researching all of the areas, the place I believe I would like to visit the most was the home of kauai condos. This brought me to the Kauai Paradise which appears to be a great secluded condo with all the expected amenities. This place even has its own private dock where you can paddle out on the beautiful Wainiha river and go toward the lush green interior of the area.

Sounds great doesn't it. You might want to use the technology and visit the site kauai'> and decide for your self if kauai condos is for you. You might find that their are other great rentals that would better fit your lifestyle.

But for me, the planning goes on. The vacation is coming in June or July and I want to get the plans made. Man, I hope Hawaii is in the winner.


Growing Ecotourism Industry In Hawaii Protects Environmental Assets While Increasing Profits. Ecotourism is nature and culture based tourism that is ecologically sustainable and supports the well being of local communities. Commercial entities have become a positive influence on the environment because they promote a tourism industry that is environmentally and culturally sensitive while increasing profits. The availability of vacation accommodations through online resources such as affords tourists the opportunity to plan a customized, environmentally-friendly vacation.

Maui, HI (PRWeb) December 30, 2006 -- According to the Hawaii Ecotourism Association (HEA), ecotourism is nature and culture based tourism that is ecologically sustainable and supports the well being of local communities. Commercial entities have become a positive influence on the environment because they promote a tourism industry that is environmentally and culturally sensitive while increasing profits. The availability of vacation accommodations through online resources such as affords tourists the opportunity to plan customized, environmentally-friendly Hawaii vacations.

Recent statistics published in dBusinessNews reveal that visitor expenditures in Maui totaled 3.1 billion dollars in 2005 and 2.9 billion dollars in 2004. Maui's tourism sector is sound and growing, as evidenced by the fact that hotel occupancy is well above average for the Hawaiian Islands. Since Maui's economy is tourism-based, practicing ecotourism protects valuable environmental assets while luring savvy travelers to experience the raw beauty of a Pacific Island. Visiting an online vacation site is the simplest way to plan a customized trip to Maui or Kauai based on the principles of ecotourism. Jeff Berzolla of Hawaiian Beach Rentals states that, "We have traditionally specialized in providing our customers with alternative trips to Hawaii allowing them to stay in unique places and helping them coordinate the details of their dream vacation, be it romantic, active or relaxation focused. Also, our staff enjoys living and playing in Hawaii. Time off is often spent visiting the units we rent to our customers, whether they're Maui vacation rentals or condos on Kauai, to better understand the Islands and the beautiful paradise we share with the world."

According to Wayne Nastri, the western regional administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, more than 95 million dollars has been committed to Hawaii within the past year to correct environmental violations while preventing future pollution. Clearly, capitalists and tree huggers are now teaming up as opposed to being at odds, finding it more progressive and profitable to protect the environment rather than exploit it. Environmentally responsible hotels known as "green hotels" use energy and natural resources in environmentally-friendly ways and give visitors a realistic Hawaiian experience without compromising the world around them. As a result, breathtaking natural wonders such as the majestic Na Pali coast can be found just steps away from many Kauai vacation rentals. Hawaiian vacations offer hiking, boating, snorkeling and whale watching in an unaffected, natural habitat. Since it is the incredible flora and fauna of Hawaii that lures vacationers, it is in the best interest of big business to protect the environment to keep the visitors coming back.

According to a recent poll of HEA members, to be considered as genuinely engaging in ecotourism, Hawaii travel operators need to minimize the negative impact on Hawaii's natural environment, cultural heritage and local communities, as well as maximize the positive impact on these factors. Additionally, rental operators must foster an appreciation of Hawaii's sense of place among staff and visitors. The spirit of the land is referred to as "aina" in Hawaii. Kauai condo rentals and hotels are sensitive to this "aina" because they are built with special care to have the least impact possible on the precious local land and wildlife. Securing such accommodations is easy with the online help of informed locals. Jeff Berzolla further says, "We like working with folks that have a passion for travel and want a customized experience that only a local person can help coordinate. Hawaiian Beach Rentals offers accommodations such as vacation homes, condos and hotels, as well as airfare and car rentals to customers wanting to travel to Hawaii. We want to help our customers have a unique experience in Hawaii so we can show them what Aloha is all about. Our services include the most up to date local information about Hawaii and the ability for customers to quickly and easily pay for their vacation online via a secure payment process."

A savvy traveler seeking information about ecotourism-based excursions to Maui and Kauai can visit for additional details. Take advantage of technology to plan the most unique, socially-conscious trip of a lifetime!