U Drive U Text U Pay – Big Island Police Increasing Enforcement of Distracted Drivers

Hawaiʻi Island police will increase enforcement of distracted driving as part of a national campaign called “U Drive U Text U Pay” which runs April 10 through April 15.

UDriveUTextUPayDistracted driving is a problem of national concern. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration finds that the task of driving requires a driver’s full attention in focusing on the roadway and driving maneuvers. Any distraction that diverts a driver’s attention from the primary tasks of maneuvering the vehicle and responding to critical events increases the driver’s risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash. A distraction is anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, mind off the road or hands off the wheel.

On July 1, 2013, the State of Hawaiʻi enacted law prohibiting the use of cellular phones and other mobile electronic devices while operating a vehicle (with certain exceptions) and to specifically prohibit activities such as texting, instant messaging, gaming and e-mailing, which take a driver’s eyes off the road, mind off the road and hands off the wheel.

Big Island Schools Join Forces to Host PBS Hawaii HIKI NŌ News Program

For the first time, students from four schools representing diverse, rural Hawaii Island communities will join forces to host an episode of PBS Hawaii’s student news program, HIKI NŌ:

  • Kau High School in Pahala
  • Kanu O Ka Aina Learning Ohana in Waimea
  • Kua o ka La Public Charter School – Milolii Hipuu Virtual Academy in Milolii
  • Volcano School of Arts & Sciences in Volcano

This will be the first HIKI NŌ appearance for all four schools. The episode is scheduled to premiere Thursday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. on PBS Hawaii.

Hiki No

From March 31 through April 4, HIKI NŌ Executive Producer Robert Pennybacker, Managing Editor Susan Yim and Editor/Assistant Producer Lawrence Pacheco will visit each school to train students and teachers on their responsibilities as “home-base,” or host, schools. Photos from these sessions will be available for publication after the training period.

Among the students’ host duties will be to present notable facts about their communities.

“One of the key goals of HIKI NŌ is to teach students the skills to tell visual stories about their communities, especially remote communities rarely covered by traditional media outlets,” Pennybacker said. “It’s important for the people of Hawaii to get a glimpse of unique communities across the state, and to give students in those communities a voice.”

Other Hawaii Island schools participating in HIKI NŌ:

  • Connections New Century Public Charter School
  • Hawaii Academy of Arts & Science Public Charter School
  • Hawaii Preparatory Academy
  • Hilo Intermediate School
  • Hilo High School
  • Kamehameha Schools Hawaii Middle School
  • Kamehameha Schools Hawaii High School
  • Keaau High School
  • Kealakehe High School
  • Konawaena High School
  • Waiakea High School
  • Waiakea Intermediate School
  • West Hawaii Explorations Academy

Big Island Press Club Offering Scholarships

The Big Island Press Club (BIPC) is pleased to announce the availability of scholarships for eligible students pursuing higher education in the field of journalism or a related field.

Big Island Press Club Image

BIPC annually offers: $1,000 Bill Arballo Scholarship, $500 Yukino Fukubori Memorial Scholarship, $500 Jack Markey Memorial Scholarship, $1,500 Robert C. Miller Memorial Scholarship and the $1,000 Marcia Reynolds Scholarship. Last year, BIPC awarded a total of $4,600 to five Hawaii Island students at the annual scholarship dinner in Hilo.

Awards are determined by the BIPC Scholarship Committee to qualified applicants.

To qualify, applicants must:

  • Have residential ties to the Big Island
  • Express a clear interest in and aptitude for a career in journalism or a related field
  • Be pursuing a degree in journalism or a related field and enrolled full time at an accredited college or university
  • Maintain a strong record of academic achievement.

Application forms and instructions are available at the BIPC website: www.BigIslandPressClub.org <http://www.BigIslandPressClub.org> and will be available from high school counselors at Big Island public and private high schools. The deadline to apply for the 2014 scholarships is April 15; applications must be postmarked by this date.

Senate Recognizes “Publisher of the Year” Dennis Francis of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser

The Hawaii State Senate today recognized Dennis Francis, president and publisher of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, who was recently named “Publisher of the Year” by Editor & Publisher Magazine, the leading journal of the newspaper industry.

Publisher of the Year

Publisher of the Year Dennis Francis

Francis merged Hawaii’s two daily papers, the Honolulu Advertiser and Honolulu Star-Bulletin in 2010 and turned two struggling newspapers into one prosperous one. Over the past three years, the Star-Advertiser has successfully introduced a breaking news app for smart devices, created an innovative digital pricing structure, and promoted open and transparent government by filing lawsuits requiring public agencies to release information on their proceedings. Additionally, Frances is actively involved in the community and serves on a number of organizations, including the Boy Scouts of America, American Red Cross, Aloha United Way and Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii.

Francis

“Francis is well-deserving of Publisher of the Year,” said Senate President Donna Mercado Kim. “His successes in professional achievements are more than matched by his charitable work. On behalf of the entire Senate body, I commend Dennis for his many contributions to our community, and wish him many more years of success and fulfillment in his professional and personal endeavors.”

False Report Investigation Initiated Against UH Student Who Reported Alleged Sexual Assault

Police have concluded their investigation of a reported sexual assault that reportedly occurred on Tuesday, November 19th, in a bathroom at a State Facility in Hilo.

The assault was alleged to have happened on the UH Hilo Campus

The assault was alleged to have happened on the UH Hilo Campus

The investigation revealed that the incident did not occur, and the case has been closed as being unfounded. A False Report investigation has been initiated.

In related news:

A town hall meeting will take place tonight at 7:00 pm at Hale `Alahonua Cafe, UH Hilo campus:

UH Hilo administrators will be on hand to debrief the events of the last several days, and also to hear feedback from students about their concerns related to campus safety. Actions for how we will move forward as a campus community will also be explored. Open to all current UH Hilo & HawCC students. Representatives of the media are kindly requested to respect students’ rights to have a “safe space” to share their thoughts/feelings/experiences.

According to UH Hilo Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Luoluo Hong,  the meeting will not be open to press officials in their capacity as press officials:

…I want to reiterate that it is intended for students. Representatives of the media need to be attending as private citizens/extended members of the UH Hilo community and not in their capacity as press officials.

Pierre Omidyar Comments on His New Venture and Hiring Former Guardian Journalist Glenn Greenwald

Pierre Omidyar and Arianna Huffington at Imiloa Astronomy Center announcing the beginning of HuffPost Hawaii.

Pierre Omidyar and Arianna Huffington at Imiloa Astronomy Center announcing the beginning of HuffPost Hawaii.

As many of you know, I’ve had an interest in journalism for some time now. I’ve been working on Civil Beat for three years and through my philanthropic work at Omidyar Network and Democracy Fund, we’ve supported many efforts around the world related to media, citizen engagement, and government transparency and accountability.

Separate from my work with Omidyar Network and Democracy Fund, and as part of my growing interest to preserve and strengthen the role journalism plays in society, I explored purchasing The Washington Post over the summer. That process got me thinking about what kind of social impact could be created if a similar investment was made in something entirely new, built from the ground up. Something that I would be personally and directly involved in outside of my other efforts as a philanthropist.

I developed an interest in supporting independent journalists in a way that leverages their work to the greatest extent possible, all in support of the public interest. And, I want to find ways to convert mainstream readers into engaged citizens. I think there’s more that can be done in this space, and I’m eager to explore the possibilities.

Right now, I’m in the very early stages of creating a new mass media organization. I don’t yet know how or when it will be rolled out, or what it will look like.

What I can tell you is that the endeavor will be independent of my other organizations, and that it will cover general interest news, with a core mission around supporting and empowering independent journalists across many sectors and beats. The team will build a media platform that elevates and supports these journalists and allows them to pursue the truth in their fields. This doesn’t just mean investigative reporting, but all news.

As part of my learning process, I recently reached out to Glenn Greenwald to find out what journalists like him need to do their jobs well. As it turns out, he and his colleagues Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill, were already on a path to create an online space to support independent journalists. We had a lot of overlap in terms of our ideas, and decided to join forces.

I believe that independent journalists like Glenn, Laura, and Jeremy play an important role in our society. We’ll be working with them and others, but we have a long way to go in terms of what the organization looks like, people’s roles and responsibilities — all of those things still need to be worked out.

I’ll be sure to update you along the way as the new organization progresses.

Pierre Omidyar

 

HuffPost Hawaii Looking for Big Island Bloggers

Yesterday, Thursday, Sept. 5 – Pierre Omidyar, publisher and CEO of Honolulu Civil Beat, alongside Arianna Huffington, chair, president and editor-in-chief of Huffington Post hosted a private Hawai‘i Island reception to celebrate the launch of HuffPost Hawaii. This all-new, vibrant online news site, which debuted on Sept. 4, aims to provide a high-quality, dynamic blend of real-time news, views and community discussion about Hawai‘i.

Arianna Huffington and Former Executive Director of the Big Island Visitors Bureau George Applegate

Arianna Huffington and Former Executive Director of the Big Island Visitors Bureau George Applegate

The Huffington Post, the Pulitzer Prize-winning source of news, opinion, entertainment, community and digital information, and Honolulu Civil Beat launched HuffPost Hawaii. The Huffington Post’s newest edition offers real-time local news and perspectives, along with national and international coverage, to both local and global audiences. To celebrate its launch, HuffPost Hawaii will host a series of events this week, including an industry talk with local media, receptions on O‘ahu, Maui and Hawai‘i Island, and a panel on “The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money and Power,” an editorial initiative that will feature prominently on HuffPost Hawaii.

“Beyond being a major tourist destination and home to more than one million people, Hawai‘i occupies a unique place in our collective imagination,” said Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group. “In addition to its history, diversity and unique culture, Hawai‘i’s natural beauty and Aloha spirit have made it a world capital of unplugging and recharging. As we focus on The Third Metric and redefining success beyond money and power to include well-being, wisdom and giving back, there is so much that Hawai‘i can teach the rest of the world. We are delighted to be partnering with Honolulu Civil Beat in order to tell the islands’ most important stories—and, just as important, to help the people of Hawai‘i tell their stories themselves—while at the same time bringing those stories to the rest of America and to our growing international audience.”

Arianna and Pierre visited the Nawahi

Arianna and Pierre visited the Nawahi Hawaiian Immersion School before meeting with business and community members. Photo HuffPost Hawaii

HuffPost Hawaii features a dynamic blend of high-quality content ranging from slideshows of Hawai‘i, guides to local attractions and the topics that matter most to Hawai‘i residents, such as the state’s education system and economic development. And of course, HuffPost Hawaii will showcase local bloggers sharing their voices and unique perspectives.

“The Huffington Post has enormous reach into communities around the world and now here at home in Hawai‘i. The partnership with Civil Beat is full of opportunity as we look to leverage that platform to share Hawai‘i’s unique assets as well as our challenges,” said Pierre Omidyar, co-founder, CEO & publisher of Honolulu Civil Beat. “ We’re eager to see what voices emerge from across the islands, and which stories people feel are important to share with others. I believe this partnership has the power to shape the world’s perception of Hawai‘i and there’s an open invitation to every resident to be a part of that.”

Those interested in becoming a community blogger for HuffPost Hawaii can email the editorial team at hawaiiblogs@huffingtonpost.com.

HuffPost Hawaii brings together the resources of The Huffington Post and Honolulu Civil Beat, Hawai‘i’s largest news organization dedicated exclusively to civic affairs journalism. Honolulu Civil Beat has hired a new editorial team to manage HuffPost Hawaii’s content, editorial direction and daily operations. Honolulu Civil Beat will continue to operate as a standalone local news site, serving as a vibrant platform for civic engagement and a reliable source for public affairs news and investigative reporting.

After meeting with community and business members, Arianna and Pierre visited Richard Ha's Farm Hamakua Springs.

After meeting with community and business members, Arianna and Pierre visited Richard Ha’s Farm Hamakua Springs Country Farms. Photo HuffPost Hawaii

HuffPost Hawaii’s debut follows the May launch of HuffPost Japan, a partnership between The Huffington Post and Asahi Shimbun, Japan’s second-largest newspaper. HuffPost Hawaii is uniquely positioned to be a journalistic platform for bridging Asia and the Pacific while sharing Hawai‘i’s aloha spirit with the rest of the world.

Stay connected to HuffPost Hawaii on Facebook (Facebook.com/HuffPostHawaii) and Twitter (@HuffPostHawaii). Launch events for Ke Ka’apuni: A Tour of Hawai‘i will be tracked via the hashtag #AlohaHuffPost.

 

Arianna Huffington and Pierre Omidyar Roll Out HuffPost Hawaii – Visit the Big Island

Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington and eBay Founder Pierre Omidyar (also founder of Civil Beat) are on the Big Island right now and just finished a luncheon with business and community leaders at the Imiloa Astronomy Center.

eBay Founder Pierre Omidyar and Huffington Post Founder Arianna Huffington are greeted at the Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo, Hawaii.

eBay Founder Pierre Omidyar and Huffington Post Founder Arianna Huffington are greeted at the Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo, Hawaii.

They were here to announce their new start-up “HuffPost Hawaii“.

Huffington states:

Aloha! I’m here for the launch of our newest edition, HuffPost Hawaii. We are delighted to be partnering with Honolulu Civil Beat, a beacon of journalism in Hawaii focusing on public affairs and investigative reporting, with deep roots in the local culture. In its three years, Civil Beat has committed itself to the mission of its founder, Pierre Omidyar — who also founded eBay — and has created a “a vibrant civic square.”

They arrived a little after 12:00 this afternoon and then were ushered into a private room where Huffington and Omidyar held a conference call with some folks on the mainland and talked about their trip so far.

They were very relaxed and only a few of us were allowed in the room

They were very relaxed and only a few of us were allowed in the room

Once the livestream began, we all had to be completely quiet in the room as the microphones were very sensitive.

I had never heard Arianna speak before and then all of a sudden she had this accent that I couldn't even tell where it was from!

I had never heard Arianna speak before and then all of a sudden she started speaking and she had this accent that I couldn’t even tell where it was from!

Here is a link to the Livestream that was posted on HuffingtonPost Live earlier today (folks in attendance did not even see this): Aloha, HuffPost Hawaii

After the Livestream, Arianna and Pierre got a short tour of the Imiloa Astronomy Center where they learned about what was going on at the place.

Touring the Imiloa Astronomy Center

Touring the Imiloa Astronomy Center

After the tour of the center, they moved into a ballroom where folks from the community were invited to a luncheon hosted by the two.

Honolulu Civil Beat Engagement Editor Gene Park (center on phone) hard at work.

Honolulu Civil Beat Engagement Editor Gene Park (center on phone) hard at work.

After the lunch, Arianna and Pierre talked to audience members about their new upstart and why they started it.  They also invited folks to contact the HuffPost Hawaii if they would like to blog for them.

Arianna and Pierre talk to community members.

Arianna and Pierre talk to community members.

After their short introduction and talk… they took time to mingle with community members.

Pierre and some blogger dude!

Pierre and some blogger dude!

Arianna and that same blogger dude!

Arianna and that same blogger dude!

Arianna writes:

…By bringing together Civil Beat’s local journalism expertise with the Huffington Post’s global platform, HuffPost Hawaii will be a powerful forum for storytelling and the exchange of ideas, a place to celebrate Hawaii’s way of life and to put the spotlight on what needs improving. It has been such a pleasure working with Pierre Omidyar, as well as Civil Beat’s general manager Jayson Harper and of course Civil Beat’s editor Patti Epler, who I’m thrilled will be HuffPost Hawaii’s editor-in-chief. Our team at HuffPost Hawaii will also include associate editors Gabriela Aoun and Chloe Fox, and social media editors Gene Park and Carla Herreria…

More here on Arianna’s opening post for the HuffPost Hawaii: Aloha! Introducing HuffPost Hawaii.

Big Island Newspapers Publishers Stephens Media Sued – End of a Two Newspaper Island?

Well I’m just going to copy and paste some of the pertinent information here and folks can read the rest at the link below.

To tie this in to the Big Island… Stephens Media own the Hawaii Tribune Herald, West Hawaii Today, Big Island Weekly and a few other publications on this island.

Sun Publisher and Editor Brian Greenspun today sued Stephens Media, owner of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, in an effort to derail Stephens’ proposal to dissolve a long-standing business agreement in which it prints and distributes the Sun and shares advertising revenues with the Sun.

Brian Greenspun

Brian Greenspun

The agreement, known as a Joint Operating Agreement, was sanctioned by the Justice Department in 1989 to ensure that Las Vegas would have two independent newspapers with differing editorial points of view… In a deal reached in recent weeks between Stephens Media and three of the four Greenspun siblings, the family would agree to terminate the JOA agreement — unburdening Stephens from printing and distributing the Sun — in exchange for Stephens giving the family ownership of the URL lasvegas.com, according to court papers filed in support of Brian Greenspun’s lawsuit…

More Here: Sun Publisher Greenspun Sues to Block R-J From Gaining Newspaper Monopoly.

My guess… is that soon enough we will have only one newspaper here on the island… slowly phased out by an online edition of the paper that folks will still have to pay for.

For what it’s worth (FWIW) I cut back on my cable services recently as well… I mean why pay for things we don’t need?

One Hawaii Senator Kills Media Shield Law – Senator Clayton Hee Goes on My Naughty Liar’s List

First amendment attorney Jeff Portnoy tells reporters that one Senator – Judiciary Chair Clayton Hee – killed Hawaii’s journalism shield law this 2013 legislative session even though it is considered one of the best in the country because of his distrust and disdain for the media.

 

Hawaii Bloggers and Journalists Go Down in Flames

Some of the legislators words:

Commentary: UH Professor Gerald Kato “The Endgame of the Shield Law…”

Some thoughts on today.

The endgame for the shield law played itself out in the state Senate and House today after efforts to extend the life of the law failed.

The Senate passed a draft bill authored by Sen. Clayton Hee by a vote of 16-9. But the House hours earlier amended that bill to eliminate changes and extend the life of the shield law by two years. The net result is that there are now two different bills, and that means the bill dies Thursday.

Without legislation extending its life or making it a permanent part of Hawaii statutes, the shield law will sunset June 30, 2013. It will die a victim of Hee’s visceral disdain for the media and the failure of political will in the state Senate.

House leaders Scott Saiki and Cynthia Thielen courageously worked to amend the bill in the House to extend the existing law for two years to give parties time to take a closer look at the issues. The Senate knew of the House action but ignored pleas from shield law supporters to consider an extension amendment to reconcile the bills and keep the existing shield law alive. Instead, Hee pushed through his bill to define journalists and journalism in a narrow way, eliminate protection for non-traditional journalists and digital media publications. Hee’s bill was nothing more than an effort to replace a good law with a zombie of his own creation.

Nine senators stood against Hee’s bill. They were: Laura Thielen, Michelle Kidani, Roslyn Baker, Sam Slom, Russell Ruderman, Les Ihara, Willie Espero, Josh Green, and Clarence Nishihara.

There was a lot of fingerpointing back and forth and scratching of heads by senators about why an amendment to extend the life of the shield law never came up on the floor of the Senate. A lot of unaccountability politics in the kabuki of the Senate.

While it’s true that nothing is ever dead at the Legislature until everyone leaves the building, and maybe not even then, it is unlikely that there will be an extension to the existing shield law.

We’ll have a lot more to say about this in the days to come. But it is a shame that Hee’s antics wins out, and he kills one of the best shield laws in the country. We will have no shield law, but we must continue to have the collective will and desire to defend the First Amendment.

Gerald Kato

Attorney Jeff Portnoy’s Response to Senator Hee’s Comments on Floor of Senate on April 17 – Re: Hawaii Shield Law

Click to read where the bill stands

Click to read where the bill stands

Dear President Kim and Members of the Senate:

As I said in my earlier letter to you, I do not wish to engage in a pointless debate with Sen. Clayton Hee on the merits of HB622 Regarding Evidence. However, Sen. Hee’s insistence on distorting the record requires a response.

The Judiciary Evidence Committee’s Report of December 2011 states that it recommends that “the sunset provision be eliminated and that Act 210 be integrated into H.R.S. Ch. 621.” The committee says the Legislature might, “were it so inclined,” look at sections of the law. Nowhere is there any indication of a minority report or dissenting vote on the committee. Committee discussions were confidential so if Deputy Attorney General Diedre Marie-Iha wishes to cast a public dissent, that is her right. However, in testimony submitted to the House Judiciary Committee on February 2, 2012, on a matter related to the shield law, Judge Glenn Kim, chair of the Evidence Committee, said this:

The Judiciary supports making the news media privilege permanent by repealing the scheduled sunset date of Act 210, Session Laws of Hawaii 2008, as amended by Act 113, Session Laws of Hawaii, as proposed in House Bill No. 2763, which is currently pending hearing by this committee.” (Underscore added)

Nothing Judge Kim said at that time would suggest that the committee was anything but supportive of the shield law.

I should note that during the senate judiciary committee hearing on HB622 on March 28, 2013, Deputy Attorney General Marie-Iha submitted her testimony late so it was not available to the committee or the public until moments before she testified. I did not have an opportunity to read it, much less comment at length about what she had to say.

Sen. Hee contends that at that hearing the news media were unable to provide examples of how the shield law has been used over the past five years. He bases this statement on the testimony of one testifier, whom Sen. Hee badgered during questioning. Sen. Hee gave no one else an opportunity to respond to his question. If he is interested, I can cite examples where the shield law has been used to ward off problems. There are the Ka Loko Dam breach case on Kauai and the Big Island voter fraud case. The shield law was invoked in these cases to head off major problems involving confidential sources used in news gathering. And having the law deters others from trying to force disclosure because they know the law prevents going on fishing expeditions for news sources and unpublished information.

If Sen. Hee is interested in more information on this matter, I would be happy to provide it in depth and detail when I return. I offer these comments now in the interest of a clear record for you to make rational decisions involving important matters of a free press in Hawaii.

Sincerely,

/s/ Jeffrey S. Portnoy, Esq.

And in other news today:

Blogger Law

Click for more information (Subscription based)

South Carolina Couple Heads to Hawai‘i Island to Make History Eating at All of USA Today’s “51 Great Burger Joints”

Village Burger in Waimea, was listed in USA Today’s “51 Great Burger Joints” across the country in 2010.

Village Burger

Since then, a lovely couple of retired doctors from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina have been to all but one – Village Burger!  We are working to welcome Joe and Doris Lindner (and their kids and grandchildren), on Friday, April 26th at 10:30 a.m., with a presentation by Kahu Danny Akaka & family, Senate and Mayoral proclamations, and hopefully some of the restaurant’s many local farmers, bakers, ranchers and other food providers – to show it ‘takes a village’ to make a great Village Burger.

Doris and Joe Lindner pose by the USA Today poster at the Char-Grill in Raleigh, N.C. During the past two years, the couple â€" retired doctors living on Hilton Head Island â€" have driven to all but one of America's “51 Great Burger Joint

Doris and Joe Lindner pose by the USA Today poster at the Char-Grill in Raleigh, N.C. During the past two years, the couple, retired doctors living on Hilton Head Island, have driven to all but one of America’s 51 Great Burger Joints

WHAT:  Epicurean history will be made when Joe and Doris Lindner of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, visit Village Burger Waimea on April 26 to complete their journey across America to eat at all of USA Today’s “51 Great Burger Joints.” Hawai‘i Island’s award-winning restaurant is the final stop on their delicious two-year quest.

WHO: Village Burger Waimea will welcome the Lindners with a special ceremony, including music and dance by Danny and Anna Akaka, proclamations from the offices of Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi and Senator Malama Solomon, and support from the Big Island Visitors Bureau.

Joe and Doris will be joined by their daughters and sons-in-law Karen and Tom Pappas, Laura and Kevin Sankey; and grandchildren, Logan, Nolan, Colton, Teddy and Charlotte as they make history.

WHEN:  FRIDAY, APRIL 26 – 10:30 A.M.

WHERE: VILLAGE BURGER WAIMEA

Waimea Village Burger

Parker Ranch Center, 67-1185 Hawai‘i Belt Road, Kamuela, HI 96743

WHY: In October 2010, Chef/Owner Edwin Goto’s popular eatery Village Burger Waimea was named one of USA Today’s “51 Great Burger Joints” as part of the national newspaper’s “Great American Bites” series. Hawai‘i food writer Joan Namkoong provided the recommendation noting the restaurant as
“A locavore’s delight, with a grass-fed, pasture-raised, ground-fresh-daily Big Island beef burger, thick and grilled to order, topped with just-picked, Waimea-grown veggies in a brioche bun from nearby Hawi town.”

The Lindners were visiting a daughter in Colorado when the list was published and paid a visit to Colorado’s top pick Park Burger in Denver. On their drive home to South Carolina, they visited three more burger joints on the list and that’s when Joe and Doris made the decision to set out to eat at all the restaurants on the list. Click here to read more about their journey.

NOTE:  The public is invited to attend this special ceremony and celebration.

WEBSITE: www.villageburgerwaimea.com

Hawaii Tribune Giving Out IP Address of Commenters on Their Website – Attorney Trying to Make Reporter Turn Over Notes

In an article written today by John Burnett of the Hawaii Tribune entitled, “Subpoena seeks names of people who wrote online,” Hilo Attorney Ted Hong has requested personal information regarding folks that commented on an article written on January 30th, 2012.

Subpoena

Click to read article

The newspaper complied with the demand and gave away the information of their readers, which they can legally do.

…Hilo attorney Ted Hong, who’s representing Elections Office Administrator Pat Nakamoto in her defamation lawsuit against former County Council Chairman Dominic Yagong and former County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi, filed the subpoena on Jan. 4 in 3rd Circuit Court. In it, he’s seeking the identities of individuals posting under the user-names “punatic,” “Taxedtodeath,” “punatic8,” “QQ,” “548991” and “rsjm.”

The document seeks “any and all account information, including but not limited to, name, birthdate, mailing address, telephone number(s), Internet protocol address, (and) name of Internet service provider … .” The deadline for providing the information is today.

A legal disclaimer on the Tribune-Herald’s website contains the statement: “IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.”

“We are complying with the subpoena requests,” said David Bock, Tribune-Herald editor and news director for Stephens Media Hawaii. “We are very protective of our news sources and reporters’ work, but we have no control over what members of the public write in our website’s comments section…”

Unfortunately, Ted Hong is also requesting that one of the paid journalists to turn over her notes in the case regarding this same case involving the fired election workers.

Hawaii has a shield law that protects both bloggers and journalists from turning over their sources.

“Hawaii allows anyone to claim protections under the shield law so long as they meet certain conditions, such as proving they write regular reports of substantial public interest.” (Civil Beat 8/31/12)

Burnett of the Tribune Herald writes:

“…West Hawaii Today also was subpoenaed by Hong, seeking the notes of Stephens Media reporter Nancy Cook Lauer regarding stories she wrote about the firing of Nakamoto and three other elections workers, and the flap that ensued.

Bock said Stephens Media is fighting that subpoena, noting that Hawaii has a “shield law” protecting journalists in most cases from having to turn over their notes or the identities of their sources…”

I hope that Nancy Cook Lauer and the folks at West Hawaii Today stick to their guns and do not allow their reporters notes to be turned over to investigators.  It would be a huge step back in journalism and folks would no longer feel comfortable talking to reporters about things they know about if they might get in trouble for it in the future.

I’ve noticed that Tiffany Edwards Hunt of the Big Island Chronicle and David Corrigan of Big Island Video News have been pretty quiet and not blogging as much of late.  I wonder if they also got served with these subpoenas?

Alan McNarie is One of the Best Freelance Writers on the Big Island

Alan McNarie is one of the best freelance writers on the Big Island.

Alan McNarie takes a moment to take things in.

Alan McNarie takes a moment to take things in.

If I was looking for someone to write something for me and I had a budget… he’s the guy I’d have write something up.

Mahalo for all you do for the Big Island!

Hawaii Resident Makes Forbes Magazine: Inside eBay Billionaire Pierre Omidyar’s Battle To End Human Trafficking

Hawaii residents, Pierre and Pam Omidyar are investing millions to end modern-day slavery with their organization Humanity United. Find out how in this issue of Forbes http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2012/11/08/inside-ebay-billionaire-pierre-omidyars-battle-to-end-human-trafficking/

Data from CAST shows how many enslaved people from various countries the LA-based group has helped free from the vicious trafficking cycle.

…When eBay went public in 1998, Pierre Omidyar “skipped ‘regular rich’ and went straight to ‘ridiculous rich,’ ” he says. He and Pam, a molecular scientist and his college sweetheart from Tufts, decided immediately that they’d give the vast majority of their wealth away within their lifetimes (they’ve since signed the Giving Pledge). Both just 31 then and worth more than $7 billion, it was a serious, overwhelming proposition. It took a few early years of earnest, scattershot check-writing across a handful of charities before they focused on trafficking as a target…”

More Here: Inside eBay Billionaire Pierre Omidyar’s Battle to End Human Trafficking

Mayoral and Prosecutor Debates to Headline UH Hilo Media Symposium

Hawaii County Mayoral and Prosecutor debates will headline the a media symposium slated for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, Sept. 21 at UH Hilo Campus Center.

From Left to Right at table – Ian Lind, Andy Parx and John Temple discuss blogging while Sherry Bracken moderates at the 2011 Media Symposium. Photo credit: Baron Sekiya | Hawaii247.com

The debates between Mayor Billy Kenoi and Harry Kim and Deputy Prosecutor Mitch Roth and Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida will take place at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively in the plaza area of campus center.

UH Hilo political science professor Todd Belt and Sherry Bracken, a reporter for Lava 105 and Hawaii Public Radio, will serve as moderators.

A panel discussion on the state of media in Hawaii will follow the candidates debates, and include a cross section of reporters from print, radio and new media.

Senator Les Ihara, Jr. talks about the Sunshine Law at the 2011 UH-Hilo Media Symposium as Cheryl Kakazu Park, Director of the Office of Information Practices looks on. Photo credit: Baron Sekiya | Hawaii247.com

The symposium will commence at 9 a.m. Friday in Campus Center Room 301, with a libel, defamation, and copyright workshop headed by Hilo attorney Steve Strauss.

Attorney Steven Strauss holds a Libel and Defamation workshop at the 2011 UH-Hilo Media Symposium. Photo credit: Baron Sekiya | Hawaii247.com

Marty Orlando, of Tropic Mac, will offer an iPad workshop, and Simon Kaliko Trapp, of Hale Kuamo’o, UH Hilo’s Hawaiian Language Center, will speak on technology and the Hawaiian language.  Patsy Iwasaki, of UH-Hilo’s communication department, will offer a workshop on reporting and news writing. Nancy Cook Lauer, a West Hawaii Today reporter and blogger, will give a presentation on ethics.  Steve Petranik, of Hawaii Business Magazine, will share details on global media trends.  Sen. Les Ihara will speak on the state’s Sunshine Law.

Lunch and refreshments will be served. $10 for students/$20 for general public. Call 974-7504 for more information or to register.

When Will Hawaii Save Taxpayer Money and Quit Putting Paid Public Notices in Newspapers?

I’d love to know how much Hawaii County is wasting on public and legal notices printed in the newspapers that are REQUIRED to be be posted in the newspapers.

There is an organization called Legal Notice Online that has been monitoring the policies of different states laws regarding legal and public notices and today they sent out the following.

Simply put… the State and the County could save lots of money by putting these notices online, they could reach a larger audience in a more timely basis, they could save a lot of paper waste, and they could control any changes in the notice if need be at any time?

Competition In The Legal Notice World? We Hope So.

A new non-profit trade group- The Local Independent Online News Publishers (LION) was formed this month, it has been reported. Over 100 of these publishers, according to CJR.org will gather at the Block by Block conference next month in Chicago.

How Does This Effect The World of Legal Notices?

We’ve discussed the emerging influence of the hyperlocal news sites when they’ve made noise in specific public notice legislative battles over the past year. In most instances, though the local publisher has acted on his or own. So far, better organized Press Associations have defeated the online publishers, often with professional lobbyists and legislative arm twisting. As a group, maybe LION will allow these hyperlocal sites to help each other in moving public opinion.

LION has stated neither on their Facebook page nor on their web site that they intend to try to be considered as newspapers of record for the lucrative publishing of legal notices in their local communities. We think it is a worthy endeavor and is consistent with several of their values and strategic goals. More than that, competition in that world would save all taxpayers money.

According to LION’s web site, The Patterson Foundation provided support for the initial organizational effort. Dylan Smith, publisher of the TucsonSentinel.com and former online editor of the Tucson Citizen is the organization’s chairman.

The emergence of this type of organization is a great story for all media. Smith sees this organization as the future and we hope he’s right. From the ashes of the burning of the unwieldy corporate, profit motivated journalistic behemoths rises grass roots journalism organizations that are in touch with their readers and are the watchdogs of their communities. 

To read how other states are addressing this issue Click HERE

Hawaii Tribune Herald to Shut Down Printing Press – Workers to Be Laid Off

I’ve been away on a small staycation to the Hilton Waikoloa the last few days and haven’t had a chance to comment about the recent announcement that the Hawaii Tribune Herald will be shutting down it’s printing press operations here on the Hilo side of the island.

From the Pacific Media Workers Guild

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald announced on Wednesday (June 27) that, starting in August, the Hilo newspaper will be printed by West Hawaii Today, a sister paper in Kailua-Kona, which will cause several layoffs.

The Aug. 18 edition of the newspaper will be the last printed in Hilo, according to the company. The Hawaii Tribune-Herald and West Hawaii Today are owned by Stephens Media, a Las Vegas, Nev., based chain that operates newspapers in 10 states.

The Hawaii Printing and Graphic Communications Union No. 413N was informed on Wednesday that members will be laid off.

The company explained that the decision to subcontract printing to West Hawaii Today was based on an assessment that the Hilo printing press is old and in need of repair. The company also cited the consolidation of printing operations as an industry trend nationally.

Workers at West Hawaii Today are not represented by labor unions. In a staff memo on Wednesday, West Hawaii Today said the Hawaii Tribune-Herald would be printed at its plant and then transported back to Hilo for packaging and delivery. West Hawaii Today said it did not expect to hire additional press employees.

At this time, the pressmens’ union said it is working out the details with Stephens Media and had no public comment.

The Pacific Media Workers Guild, which represents truck drivers and support staff at the Hawaii Tribune-Herald who could be impacted by the company’s decision to subcontract printing, is closely monitoring negotiations between the company and the pressmens’ union.

“We understand that our industry is facing financial pressure, but we believe the company owes its workers and the Hilo community a full explanation for this decision,” the guild said in a statement.

I feel sorry for the folks that will be losing their jobs, however I question the following statement:

“The company explained that the decision to subcontract printing to West Hawaii Today was based on an assessment that the Hilo printing press is old and in need of repair. The company also cited the consolidation of printing operations as an industry trend nationally….”

The timing of this closure is almost exactly two years to the date of when the employees most recently bargained for contract comes up.  On August 10th, 2010 I received the following media release:

The Hawaii Newspaper Guild and the Hawaii Tribune-Herald have signed a contract after nearly six years of negotiations.

The two-year agreement covers all employees at the Hilo newspaper except pressmen, who are covered by a separate contract, and managers. The pressmen’s negotiations lasted as long as the Guild’s. The contracts are similar.

Both unions have bargained with the newspaper jointly for years, but the negotiations were prolonged this time partly because the company refused joint negotiations.

The contract provides the first wage increases for employees at the newspaper since Jan. 1, 2002.

During the negotiations, the Tribune-Herald was found guilty of 12 unfair labor practice charges by an administrative law judge of the National Labor Relations Board. The charges included the illegal firing of veteran reporters Hunter Bishop and Dave Smith, both of whom were union leaders… 

More here: Hawaii Newspaper Guild and the Hawaii Tribune Sign Contract After Nearly Six Years of Negotiation

I have stated for years that I think the printed version of the paper was a thing of the past.  Even when the two Honolulu papers merged I just thought it would only be a matter of time before the Big Island went the same way.

On June 6, 2010 I wrote:

“Some folks are saying that the dynamics of the the whole digital era is what really killed off the Honolulu Advertiser… I’ve been saying that for the last 6-7 years now.

Big Island papers will probably consolidate soon.  I’ve already started thinking of names.  “Hawaii Tribune Today” was the newspaper name that I think would be most feasible combining Hawaii Tribune Herald with West Hawaii Today.

The funny thing… I don’t think there would be that many lay-offs as both papers seem to use articles at will from the pool of Stephens Media writers here on the island at their expense… Silent Sunday and the Death of the Advertiser… Big Island Newspapers Don’t Have Blogs!

There are some real issues that Hilo folks may have to think about when they decide whether or not they want to continue getting a Newspaper that is driven from nearly 120 miles away from where they live.

Is it local news if its being trucked over in vans every day?  I wonder how long they will be able to afford to send a fleet of vans over to this side of the island and back each day.  Would it even be profitable?   Will the cost of the paper rise as the price of gas fluctuates?

And the biggest question… Why hasn’t the Hawaii Tribune Herald themselves tell their readers what is going on?  It’s been nearly three days since the announcement has been made.  Yep…. I understand no one wants to write their own obituary… but at least tell your readers what is going to be happening and where there favorite local journalist(s) can be found.

I will offer any laid off person from the Hawaii Tribune an opportunity to start up and learn how to make a website/blog similar to something like my site is.  I am always discouraged when good journalists just quit writing simply because they don’t have a platform or audience.