HDOT Statement on President Trump’s Motorcade Movements

Due to security protocols, the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) is not provided advance information regarding the President’s specific travel plans, times and routes. We will release any sharable information with the public as soon as possible. During previous presidential visits, the Secret Service has directed intermittent closures in both directions of the traveled roadway, in addition to closing onramps, overpasses and underpasses on the route.

Temporary Flight Restrictions are also in place.

Publicly available information suggests that presidential motorcade movements may result in delays on the following routes; however, motorists are encouraged to account for extra travel time Friday between 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.

  • 2-3 p.m. Eastbound closures from Pearl Harbor to Waikiki
  • 4-5 p.m. Westbound closures from Waikiki to Pearl Harbor
  • 7-8 p.m. Eastbound closures from Pearl Harbor to Waikiki

HDOT will extend Freeway Service Patrol (FSP) hours to 8 p.m. Friday to assist any motorists in their service area of the H-1 Freeway between Kunia to Ainakoa Avenue, the H-201 Moanalua Freeway, and the H-2 Freeway from the H-1/H-2 interchange to Ka Uka Boulevard. Motorists needing emergency roadside assistance should call 841-HELP (4357). More information on FSP is available at www.fsphawaii.com

As always, we strongly encourage drivers to use the many applications and resources available to check up to the minute traffic conditions. HDOT offers www.GoAkamai.org which is a website with current traffic conditions and incidents on the state freeways, 200 traffic cameras around Oahu, drive times and more. With the free MyGoAkamai feature drivers can receive customized alerts and information pertinent to their specific route, time and day they are on the road. Looking at traffic conditions in advance can help people decide which route is best or if they should adjust the time they start their trip. There are also a variety of other free traffic related applications and services available to help people with their planning. Drivers should feel free to use whichever resource they are comfortable with. People should look up the information on their devices prior to getting behind the wheel of their car. Remember to drive safely and obey traffic laws.

Hilo Fish Company Recall After Hepatitis A Found in Frozen Tuna

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are assisting state and local officials in assessing the risk of hepatitis A virus exposure from contaminated frozen tuna sourced from Sustainable Seafood Company, Vietnam, and Santa Cruz Seafood Inc., Philippines. If unvaccinated consumers have consumed the recalled product within the last two weeks, post-exposure prophylaxis may help prevent hepatitis A virus infection.

Fast Facts

  • On May 18, Hilo Fish Company began recalling tuna sourced from Sustainable Seafood Company and Santa Cruz Seafood, Inc. that tested positive for the hepatitis A virus.
  • While the CDC is not currently aware of any illnesses linked to these products, it is advising post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for unvaccinated persons who may have consumed the potentially contaminated tuna within the past two weeks.
  • The FDA is providing a list of establishments in TX, OK, and CA that may currently have potentially contaminated tuna in commerce to help alert consumers that may be at risk of the hepatitis A virus. Contact your health care professional if you believe you have been exposed to contaminated tuna.
  • The current recall resulted from follow-up after the Hawaii Department of Health notified the FDA of a frozen tuna sample, sourced from PT Deho Canning Co.,which tested positive for hepatitis A on May 1, 2017. The initially recalled product has been removed from circulation and the newly recalled frozen tuna lots were not shipped to Hawaii, but were shipped to the mainland U.S.

What was the Problem and What was Done About It?

Consumers may be at risk of contracting a hepatitis A infection due to the consumption of potentially contaminated frozen tuna distributed by Hilo Fish Company and sourced from Sustainable Seafood Company (Lots F5-6 Soui Dau Industrial Zone, Can Lam Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam) and Santa Cruz Seafood, Inc. (General Santos Fishport Complex Tambler, General Santos City, 9500, Philippines). The CDC reports no illnesses to date.

The FDA is collecting additional frozen tuna samples and increasing its screening measures and testing for imported seafood for these companies.

In addition, the agency has prepared a list of restaurants and other retail locations that received the recalled frozen tuna. The agency will continue to update this list as its investigation continues. To protect the health of consumers who may have eaten contaminated tuna and require post-exposure prophylaxis, the FDA has determined that it is necessary to make public the names of these businesses as part of the recall.

Background

On May 1, the Hawaii Department of Health notified the FDA that a sample of frozen tuna cubes from Indonesia tested positive for the hepatitis A virus. On May 2, the FDA contacted the Tropic Fish Hawaii LLC, a subsidiary distributor of Hilo Fish Company, to obtain additional information related to the positive tuna sample. Tropic Fish Hawaii LLC initiated a product recall because the affected product had been distributed to its customers in Oahu, Hawaii (U.S. mainland and other Hawaiian Islands were not affected by the recall). The state of Hawaii embargoed the lot that tested positive and the FDA confirmed the sample was positive.

On May 16, Hilo Fish Company notified the FDA that it had submitted samples of additional shipments held in its cold storage facility in Hawaii to a private laboratory for testing and received additional positive results for the hepatitis A virus. Imported tuna products from this facility were sourced from Sustainable Seafood Company and Santa Cruz Seafood and were distributed to restaurants and other retail locations in CA, NY, OK, and TX. The New York State Department of Health and the FDA verified that product shipped to New York was not sold to the public. The FDA’s investigation in connection with these firms is ongoing.

MORE:

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Votes to Pass Bipartisan Funding Bill to Keep Government Open – Hawaii Gets…

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) released the statement below after voting to pass a bipartisan funding bill to keep the government open through September 2017:

“Today we voted to keep the government open, avoiding a disastrous government shutdown, while also including funding for many Hawaiʻi priorities that I fought for. It included funding for the East-West Center, Native Hawaiian housing, healthcare, and education programs, critical environmental protections, and clean energy initiatives. As North Korea continues to increase its nuclear and ballistic missile activity and capabilities, this bill increases funding for missile defense for Hawaiʻi to keep our communities protected. In addition, it includes provisions to allow COFA migrants to be treated at Army medical facilities in Hawaiʻi, and help ensure the federal government delivers on its promise to provide care to our COFA communities.

“In my recent tour of criminal justice facilities across Hawaiʻi, I saw firsthand how prison overcrowding has strained our resources and communities. This bill includes funding for initiatives to reduce recidivism like veteran treatment courts and the HOPE program that has had high success rates in Hawaiʻi. It also increases funding for key local law enforcement hiring, training, and community programs in Hawaiʻi and nationwide.

“As Hawaiʻi continues the process to open medical marijuana dispensaries, this bill included important language that specifies no federal funds may be used to stop states like Hawaiʻi from ‘implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.’

“From Flint, to Standing Rock, to Red Hill, it’s clear our water infrastructure nationwide is in dire need of investment and updates.  This bill invests in our clean water infrastructure, and includes funding for critical Hawaiʻi resources like the Lower Hamakua Ditch, Upcountry Maui Watershed, Lāhainā Watershed, and Wailuku-Alenaio Watershed.

“Passing this bill with bipartisan support is a positive step, and shows what is possible when both parties come together to put the people of this country above partisan politics.”

Hawaiʻi will benefit from federal funding that includes:

  • $16.7 million for the East-West Center
  • $2 million for the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant Program
  • $14.4 million for the Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems program
  • $47.2 million for Native Hawaiian Education programs
  • $24.5 million for the Sea-based X-band (SBX) Radar at Pearl Harbor for the continued improvement of Hawaiʻi’s missile defense capabilities
  • $12 million for the Barking Sands Tactical Underwater Range (BARSTUR) on Kauaʻi
  • $3.194 million for agricultural education grants for Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Institutions
  • $222 million for the environmental restoration of formerly used defense sites, including the 117 sites in Hawaiʻi
  • $1.49 billion for community health centers nationwide, including 15 community health centers in Hawaiʻi
  • $6.5 million for the Grassroots Source Water Protection Program, which helps prevent pollution of groundwater in rural communities in Hawaiʻi and nationwide
  • $150 million for the Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations Program, which funds Hawaiʻi projects like the Lower Hamakua Ditch, Upcountry Maui Watershed, Lahaina Watershed, and Wailuku-Alenaio Watershed
  • $617 million in Department of Justice grants that support law enforcement hiring, training, and community programs in Hawaiʻi and nationwide
  • $4 million to expand Project HOPE programs to reduce recidivism in new sites nationwide
  • $7 million for Veteran Treatment Courts in Hawaiʻi and nationwide
  • Includes language allowing for funds to be used for humanitarian assistance to COFA nations, and for patients from COFA nations to receive treatment at Army medical facilities in Hawaiʻi
  • The bill also specifies that no federal funds may be used with respect to any of a number of listed States, including Hawaiʻi, to “prevent any of them from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

Commentary – Mayor’s Administration Has Taken Action Against Me

Mayor Harry Kim ran on a platform of transparency, and restoring trust in county government. Nonetheless,  his administration has taken action against me, which goes against those campaign promises.

The problems started on February 6th, 2017 when the Department of Public Works director Frank DeMarco sent me an official e-mail stating that I cannot communicate with anyone in the Department of Public Works going forward. Mr. DeMarco also states all further inquiries from me have to be sent to the mayor’s office through postal mail. This e-mail was disseminated to all DPW managerial staff, and to the mayor’s secretary.I was able to get  that  part rescinded, so I could go through DPW’s public information officer for any future inquiries. This somewhat addressed the issue at hand, but not completely. This directive made it impossible to provide feedback about future county highway projects.

In addition,  I still couldn’t communicate with front line engineers,  or division heads. I’ve established relationships with these individuals that  have lasted ten or more years in some cases. These individuals have always appreciated my efforts to report traffic signal and pothole issues, along with my assistance with getting various highway projects completed.

DPW Director DeMarco has painted a different picture of my efforts, which he stated in recent testimony to the Hawaii County Council Finance Committee on April 11th. He stated that I was making too many inquiries with DPW staff, which was causing issues for DPW and other county departments.

This statement doesn’t make any sense whatsoever based upon the positive feedback I’ve received from public works  staff over the years. This is why I believe  this directive is smokescreen for the real reason why I’ve been treated this way. Mayor Kim simply doesn’t welcome, or want, feedback from from community.

Aaron Stene
Kailua-Kona

Big Island Press Club Awards Lava Tube Award to Former Mayor Kenoi – Torch of Light Award to Nancy Cook Lauer

The Big Island Press Club awards its annual meritorious Torch of Light Award to West Hawaii Today reporter Nancy Cook Lauer and the Lava Tube dishonor award to former Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi. The Torch of Light award is given to an individual who brightens the public’s right to know, while the Lava Tube dishonor is given for a lack of communication and keeping the public in the dark.

Lava Tube Dishonor

The Lava Tube is awarded to Kenoi for his failure to disclose a number of personal expenditures relating to his use of a county-issued purchasing card, as well as a failure to disclose as required by law other financial matters such as real estate sales.

Kenoi’s admitted misuse of his pCard involved large alcohol and food expenses, including visits to Honolulu hostess bars. A surfboard and other purchases considered personal were also uncovered, including “meals at the Volcano House Restaurant and the Hilo Yacht Club,” for which Kenoi was accused of falsifying records. The mayor repaid taxpayers for the purchases, though some payments took years, and not until they were uncovered by journalists.

Kenoi was eventually indicted on theft and record-tampering felony charges, but was acquitted after state prosecutors were unable to convince a jury that he had intentionally planned to “permanently deprive” funds from the taxpayers of Hawaii County. Despite his acquittal, Kenoi admitted at the start that “Certainly, I could have used better judgment … I’ve used my pCard when I shouldn’t have.” He admitted to violating the county ethics code.

Further indiscretion uncovered during the mayor’s final year in office included Kenoi’s failure to disclose the sale of lands belonging to him, as required by county law. Between 2012 and 2014, Kenoi and his wife sold over two dozen acres of agricultural-zoned land worth nearly $400,000 and did not list these transactions on annual forms requiring the mayor to report “real property with a fair-market value of $5,000 or more sold during the disclosure period.”

Since its founding, the Big Island Press Club has protested any absence of transparency or accountability within the halls of state and county government in Hawaii. The BIPC’s officers believe that Kenoi’s lack of transparency regarding his personal assets and taxpayer-funded expenditures was a disservice to the citizens he was elected to represent. Big Island residents should be able to trust their chief executive to be forthcoming in his or her dealings as a public official and, with these acts, Kenoi failed to honor that trust.

Torch of Light

BIPC has selected Nancy Cook Lauer, a reporter for West Hawaii Today, for its Torch of Light award. Cook Lauer is honored for her work on breaking the story surrounding Kenoi’s use of a county-issued pCard.

As a column in Honolulu Civil Beat explains, “Lauer is the dogged reporter who uncovered Kenoi’s questionable use of a county credit card, including charging taxpayers for the $900 he spent in one day at a Honolulu ‘hostess’ bar.”

When covering the mayor, Cook Lauer had requested access to a number of financial disclosure reports concerning Mayor Kenoi’s travel expenses, only to be sidelined by the county. Cook Lauer was able to report on Kenoi’s alleged misdeeds with the help of an anonymous source, who provided Cook Lauer with the necessary documents implicating Kenoi in the ensuing scandal.

The allegations against Kenoi were serious enough for Cook Lauer and other journalists to further investigate the mayor’s pCard use. The ensuing due process of law would not have been possible without Cook Lauer’s initial reporting on the mayor.

The BIPC has always maintained that it is the role of the media to bear witness and be the eyes and ears of the public. Independent reporting is critical to providing the public necessary information so that they may infer informed conclusions about their government, especially concerning the people elected to represent them.

The Big Island Press Club, the state’s oldest press club, founded in 1967– has awarded the Lava Tube and the Torch of Light annually since 1997 on Freedom of Information Day, March 16. This day also marks the birthday of our nation’s fourth president, James Madison. Born in 1751, Madison was the principal architect of the U.S. Constitution, and one of the three authors of the Federalist Papers; he is recognized by historians as one of America’s earliest and foremost advocates for open, accountable governance.

Previous Lava Tube Dishonorees

  • 2015 State Land Board Chairwoman Suzanne Case
  • 2014 Chief Elections Officer Scott Nago
  • 2013 Democratic Party House District 5 Council
  • 2012 State Sen. Clayton Hee
  • 2011 Governor Neil Abercrombie
  • 2010 Hawaii County Council
  • 2009 Noelani Whittington, County Department of Public Works
  • 2008 Mayor Harry Kim and Hawaii County Council
  • 2007 State Board of Education
  • 2006 Honolulu, Kauai, and Hawaii County Councils
  • 2005 District Judge Matthew S.K. Pyun
  • 2004 State Land Board Chairman Peter Young
  • 2003 State Sen. Cal Kawamoto
  • 2002 University of Hawaii Board of Regents
  • 2001 University of Hawaii Board of Regents
  • 2000 State Rep. Eric Hamakawa and Hawaii County Councilman James Arakaki
  • 1999 Hawaii County Council
  • 1998 Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano
  • 1997 Hawaii County Councilman Elroy Osorio

Previous Torch of Light Honorees

  • 2015 State Sen. Lorraine Inouye
  • 2014 USGS HVO Scientists
  • 2013 Mayor Billy Kenoi
  • 2012 County Councilwoman and state Rep. Helene Hale (posthumously)
  • 2011 State Judicial Selection Commission
  • 2010 Hawaii County Civil Defense and other departments
  • 2009 Legislature, Gov. Linda Lingle
  • 2008 Les Kondo, Office of Information Practices
  • 2007 West Hawaii Today
  • 2006 Lillian Koller, State Department of Human Services
  • 2005 Retired Circuit Judge Paul de Silva
  • 2004 UH Manoa Journalism Professor Beverly Keever
  • 2003 U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink (posthumously)
  • 2002 Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim
  • 2001 Hawaii County Clerk Al Konishi
  • 2000 Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano
  • 1999 Jerry Rothstein and Judith Graham
  • 1998 Environment Hawaii and Common Cause
  • 1997 Society of Professional Journalists, Hawaii Chapter

Investigative Reporter Jim Dooley Slated for Hilo Talk

The Big Island Press Club is delighted to have Jim Dooley, author of Sunny Skies, Shady Characters: Cops, Killers and Corruption in the Aloha State, as our featured lunch speaker April 22. He’ll be signing books available for sale, and we’ll have a couple as door prizes as well.

Sunny Skies

Dooley is a take-no-prisoners kind of journalist. A longtime investigative reporter whose work led to the indictment of former Honolulu Mayor Frank Fasi on bribery charges, Dooley has focused his career on digging deep into Hawaii organized crime and yakuza, government contracting fraud, Teamsters Union movie driver violence, Bishop Estate/Kamehameha Schools, police corruption and secret land ownership huis in Hawaii whose members included political, judicial and criminal syndicate figures.

There are major Big Island connections to his latest saga, so you won’t want to miss it!

Event is scheduled for Friday, April 22, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at restaurant Kenichi, 684 Kilauea Ave. in Hilo, across from the Circuit Courthouse. Tickets are $20 for BIPC members, $25 for nonmembers. Buffet lunch includes chicken katsu, furikake panko salmon, yakisoba, salad, vegetable, beverage.

Register and pay online at http://jimdooley.eventbrite.com

Pay with a credit card or PayPal (small surcharge applies) or send a check to reach BIPC by Wednesday, April 20, to Big Island Press Club, P.O. Box 1920, Hilo, HI 96721.

2015 Big Island Press Club Torch of Light Award and Lava Tube Dishonor Named

The Big Island Press Club awards its annual meritorious Torch of Light Award to state Sen. Lorraine Inouye and the Lava Tube dishonor award to Department of Land and Natural Resources Chairwoman Suzanne Case.

bipc logo

The Torch of Light award is given to an individual who brightens the public’s right to know, while the Lava Tube dishonor is given for a lack of communication and keeping the public in the dark.

Lava Tube Dishonor

The Lava Tube is awarded to DLNR Chairwoman Suzanne Case, who hails from Hilo, for setting up roadblocks to the media who have tried to gather information and gain access on matters large and small.

In particular, Case is cited for trying to issue special restrictions to the media — but not the public– on access to Mauna Kea during protests over the Thirty Meter Telescope, and for creating special rules for the media– but not the public– to follow when contacting division chiefs.

A Hawaii Tribune-Herald news article describing these restrictions included this quote, “I respect the DLNR’s desire to keep everyone safe on Mauna Kea, but I would strongly urge the state to give our reporters and photographers the same access as any other members of the public, including the protesters,” said David Bock, Tribune-Herald editor and publisher. “The newspaper opposes any effort to confine its news gathering to a media staging area.”

The rules imposed by DLNR for the media include blocking access to division heads and other personnel who would know the answer to what are sometimes simple procedural questions on their areas of expertise. DLNR has also blocked journalists from asking questions at community meetings, while allowing non-journalists to ask similar questions.

“DLNR staff and management are instructed not to respond to direct news media calls,” states a DLNR media protocol emailed to the media. “Contacting staff directly will likely delay a response to your request.”

DLNR’s media protocol, hinder, rather than assist, journalists across Hawaii who are trying to meet their deadlines and provide the public with information in a timely manner.

Torch of Light

BIPC has selected Sen. Lorraine Inouye, a North Hawaii Island Democrat, for its Torch of Light award. Inouye is honored for assisting the Big Island Press Club and sponsoring a bill to allow a media exemption to Act 111, a recently enacted law that gives broad emergency powers to the government.

When the June 27 Kilauea lava flow threatened the town of Pahoa in 2015, Hawaii County officials blocked all media access to the flow and its impact zones. Big Island Press Club members met with county officials to try to work out a mutually agreeable solution regarding access and were willing to meet the demands made of them, including paying for increased insurance liability waivers, undergoing specialized safety training and other safety measures.  Instead, journalists in Hawaii and across the nation were unable to independently verify events and were provided government-sanctioned photos and updates.

It is the role of the media to bear witness and be the eyes and ears of the public. Independent reporting is critical to providing the public necessary information so that they may make informed decisions, rather than react based on misinformation or ignorance.

Recognizing that a free press is the cornerstone of democracy, Inouye has carried the torch for government openness. She workshopped with BIPC on the bill, steadfastly pushed forward in the face of opposition and persistently explained the bill while winning skeptics to her side.

Inouye will be honored with a special Torch of Light trophy later this year at BIPC’s annual Christmas party.

The Big Island Press Club — the state’s oldest press club, founded in 1967– has awarded the Lava Tube and the Torch of Light annually since 1997 on Freedom of Information Day, March 16, the birthday of James Madison. Born in 1751, Madison was an author of the U.S. Constitution and a “Federalist Papers” author and one of the nation’s foremost advocates for government openness.

Previous Lava Tube Dishonorees

  • 2014 Chief Elections Officer Scott Nago
  • 2013 Democratic Party House District 5 Council
  • 2012 State Sen. Clayton Hee
  • 2011 Governor Neil Abercrombie
  • 2010 Hawaii County Council
  • 2009 Noelani Whittington, County Department of Public Works
  • 2008 Mayor Harry Kim and Hawaii County Council
  • 2007 State Board of Education
  • 2006 Honolulu, Kauai, and Hawaii County Councils
  • 2005 District Judge Matthew S.K. Pyun
  • 2004 State Land Board Chairman Peter Young
  • 2003 State Sen. Cal Kawamoto
  • 2002 University of Hawaii Board of Regents
  • 2001 University of Hawaii Board of Regents
  • 2000 State Rep. Eric Hamakawa and Hawaii County Councilman James Arakaki
  • 1999 Hawaii County Council
  • 1998 Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano
  • 1997 Hawaii County Councilman Elroy Osorio

Previous Torch of Light Honorees

  • 2014 USGS HVO Scientists
  • 2013 Mayor Billy Kenoi
  • 2012 County Councilwoman and state Rep. Helene Hale (posthumously)
  • 2011 State Judicial Selection Commission
  • 2010 Hawaii County Civil Defense and other departments
  • 2009 Legislature, Gov. Linda Lingle
  • 2008 Les Kondo, Office of Information Practices
  • 2007 West Hawaii Today
  • 2006 Lillian Koller, State Department of Human Services
  • 2005 Retired Circuit Judge Paul de Silva
  • 2004 UH Manoa Journalism Professor Beverly Keever
  • 2003 U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink (posthumously)
  • 2002 Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim
  • 2001 Hawaii County Clerk Al Konishi
  • 2000 Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano
  • 1999 Jerry Rothstein and Judith Graham
  • 1998 Environment Hawaii and Common Cause
  • 1997 Society of Professional Journalists, Hawaii Chapter

Big Island Press Club Luncheon on Grassroot Institute’s Transparency Initiative

The Big Island Press Club invites the public to a luncheon talk on Thursday, June 18, from noon until 1:30 p.m. at Restaurant Kenichi to hear about The Grassroot Institute’s Transparency Initiative.

Keli'i Akina

Keli’i Akina

The Grassroot Institute’s transparency initiative has broken new ground in shedding a light on holding government in Hawaii accountable. Through a series of open records requests, and with the help of the Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest, and the Office of Information Practices, Grassroot President Keli’i Akina and policy analyst Joe Kent will review the work that Grassroot Institute has done for a better government, economy, and society in Hawaii.

Joe Kent

Joe Kent

Grassroot has been able to uncover amazing information, which will be uploaded for journalists and the public at OpenHawaii.org.

Among the findings:

  • The top ten highest state public pensions for retirees last year.
  • The average pension and base salary for every state department.
  • The salaries, overtime, and bonus pay, and other information for every county.

The Grassroot Institute also will share the struggles with attempting to advance transparency in Hawaii, especially with regard to Hawaii County, which has been one of the least transparent counties in terms of salary and overtime pay. In addition, the speakers will review their transparency work with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and the Employee Retirement System, among other agencies.

“A society built on democracy rests on an informed public. Now more than ever, it’s important that we say “E Hana Kakou let’s work together,” toward an open and transparent government.,” Akina said.

The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is a nonprofit 501(c)3 public policy think tank, dedicated to advancing individual liberty, the freemarket, and limited, accountable government.

Reservations are required. The cost of the buffet lunch (chicken katsu, furikake panko salmon, yakisoba, salad, vegetable, beverage) at Restaurant Kenichi, 684 Kilauea Ave., Hilo, is $20.

Register with a credit card at https://bipcgrassrootinstitute.eventbrite.com ($2.09 processing fee) or contact Robert Duerr surf77@mac.com or 808-937-9104.   Those interested may also send check to BIPC P. O. Box 1920, Hilo HI 96721, to arrive no later than June 16. Parking is available at Aupuni Center, across the street, for 25 cents per hour.

The Big Island Press Club has been dedicated to journalism and the public’s right to know about the workings of government, business and communities on Hawaii island since 1967.

Big Island Press Club Announces 2015 Scholarship Recipients

The Big Island Press Club honors five students with its annual 2015 scholarship program.BIPC Logo: Pele on a TypewriterThe $4,600, to support students striving toward careers in journalism or communications, was awarded to Kacie LaGuire, Alex Bitter, Cashman Aiu, Britni Schock and Eli Matola. The Big Island Press Club’s annual scholarship awards dinner will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 28 at Hilo’s Seaside Restaurant and feature award-winning comedian Augie T. as the guest speaker.

This year’s $1,500 dollar Robert C. Miller Memorial Scholarship is awarded to Kacie LaGuire. A 2015 graduate of Waiakea High School she will attend University of San Francisco in the fall majoring in media studies. LaGuire has been active at Waiakea as a videographer, producing segments on student life for the PBS Hawaii student television program, Hiki No.

The scholarship namesake, Robert Miller, was a Big Island newsman and UPI reporter. LaGuire says of her future: “I am enthusiastic about many aspects of media-mostly camera work and storytelling…I strongly value the importance of journalism and educating the public and I plan to get involved with journalism related to social justice issues.”

The $1,000 dollar Bill Arballo scholarship, given in honor of Bill Arballo a founder of Big island Press Club in 1967, is awarded to Alex Bitter. A 2012 graduate of Waiākea High School, Bitter attends the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa as a Regent’s Scholar, majoring in journalism and political science. At UH Mānoa, he served as editor and staff writer for the school newspaper Ka Leo O Hawaiʻi. Bitter has interned at Honolulu Magazine, Hawaii Business Magazine and this summer will work for the Dow Jones News Fund in New York City. “In the long run I hope to work one day as a reporter covering politics or business,” Bitter says of his writing future.

Marcia Reynolds was a former Hawaii Tribune-Herald reporter, BIPC president and community leader and her memorial $1,000 scholarship is awarded to Cashman Aiu. Cashman was a 2014 graduate of Kamehameha Hawaii Campus and attends New York University. She is a media, culture and communications major. She is the Oceania Editor for NYU’s travel magazine Baedeker and a contributing writer for Fashion Week for the Washington Square News. She is the co-captain of the school’s co-ed volleyball team and is a leader in the NYU Hawaii Club. Aiu says of her career path: “In my media and culture courses at New York University I have found, while indigenous cultural studies is a thriving academic major, native authors are not a common thread amongst the discourse…and as a future broadcast journalist I hope to represent a positive example of Native Hawaiians and minorities in media.”

This year’s $600 Yukino Fukabori Memorial Scholarship, given to honor one of Hawaii Island’s top woman news reporters, is bestowed on Britni Schock. Schock graduated from Canada’s Selkirk Secondary in 2008 and attends University of Hawaii Hilo where she is a communications major. She is a writer for the UHH student newspaper Ke Kalahea. She is also a student member of Big Island Press Club. “After graduation I hope to find a position as a writer somewhere on the Big Island and continue my passion for writing.”
This year’s Jack Markey Memorial Scholarship is awarded to Eli Matola.  Matola is a 2011 graduate of Kapaa High School on Kauai. He attends University of Hawaii Hilo where he is a philosophy and communications major. Next semester at UHH he will be an intern at the Applied Learning Experiences Program where he will be a staff writer. His favorite news site is Vice.com which often features investigative news in a narrative, documentary format.  Matola says “Ever since I was young, I have always had a very special interest in the news…this passion has followed me as a young adult.”

With poor vision, unable to drive a car, and a senior citizen Jack Markey was a visible streetside Hilo fixture. Hitchhiking around town to sell radio advertising, Markey also recruited new members for BIPC in the process. Since his death in 1990, BIPC has funded a yearly $500 Markey scholarship.

Since 1967 Big Island Press Club has been an organization of professional Hawaii communicators dedicated to skills improvement, open government, networking and education.

Complete List of Society of Professional Journalists Hawaii Chapter Awards

Here is the full list of the 2013 winners and finalists of the Hawaii Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists that were recognized Friday evening at the Manoa Grand Ballroom of the Japanese Culture Center over on Oahu.

Hawaii SPJ

The ceremony and banquet was emceed by Keoki Kerr and Robbie Dingeman.  The Colorado Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists judged the 2013 contest.

Every entrant had to pay $25.00 per category to have their entry judged.

ALL MEDIA

Column Writing or Blog/News

First Place – “Board Talk,” Teresa Dawson, Environment Hawai’i

Comments: “Exhaustive reporting clearly presented. sometimes excessive length, but comprehensive. Good public service reporting/writing.”

Finalists

“Patti Epler columns,” Patti Epler, Civil Beat

Comments: “Ms. Epler de-mystifies journalism for readers, writes about important topics like access to open records and strong shield laws. ”

“The State of Aloha,” Ben Lowenthal, Maui News

Comments: “Nice use of historical perspective. Clear writing style.”

Column Writing or Blog/Features or Sports— First Place:

“Sharing Mana’o,” Kathy Collins, Maui News

Finalists:

“Afterthoughts,” Michael Keany, Honolulu Magazine

“My Job: Greens Coordinator for Films, Jewelry Takes Her Underwater, ‘Eyes and Ears’ of the Store, Caring for Kahoolawe, Family Tradition of Feather Work,” Stacy Yuen, Catherine Toth, Paula Rath, Lehia Apana, Lee Ann Bowman – Hawaii Business

Overall comment: “This category has a broad variety of entries. I think the “”Modern Cowboys”” video might fit better in another place. Very strong column-writing entries. It was tough to decide between No. 1 and No. 2!”

Government Reporting

First Place -“Hawaii Prison Problems,” Keoki Kerr, Hawaii News Now

Comments: “Terrific series of reports, eye openers.”

Finalists

“The Agribusiness Development Corporation,” Teresa Dawson, Environment Hawai’i

Comments: “Impressive continuing coverage of a government body wielding a lot of money but with little oversight and media scrutiny. Great job.”

“Hawaii’s Public Records,” Nathan Eagle, Nick Grube – Civil Beat

Comments: “Great stuff. Journalists need to explain in laymen’s terms to readers about public records, and this package does a terrific and compelling job.”

Breaking News Reporting

First Place – “Tropical Storm Flossie,” Melissa Tanji, Eileen Chao, Chris Sugidono, Lila Fujimoto – Maui News

Comments: “Comprehensive deadline coverage of a storm, its impact on services, infrastructure, personal stories and emergency preparedness information for readers. Well done.”

Finalists

“Plane makes emergency landing,” Chris Sugidono, Brian Perry, Lee Imada – Maui News

Comments: “Excellent footwork in getting to the crash site, sticking with pursuit of survivors and capturing the aircraft’s final plunge into the ocean.”

“Shark attack,” Chris Sugidono, Melissa Tanji – Maui News

Comments: “Diligent pursuit of a rare rash of shark attacks and in getting firsthand accounts from a tourist’s rescuers.”

Health Reporting

First Place – “The Doctor Is Out, June 2013,” David Thompson, Honolulu Magazine

Comments: “A comprehensive and highly readable story about an issue with high public impact. The author explains well the reasons for critical doctor shortages, potential solutions and programs in play.”

Finalists

“Dis Enabled,” Rylan Suehisa, Hawaii Business

“Transformation at Rehab Hospital,” Stacy Yuen, Hawaii Business

Sports Reporting

First Place – “Go Bows–Will We Ever Win Again? September 2013,” David Thompson, Lance Tominaga, Dave Choo – Honolulu Magazine

Comments: “This was a great read, a thorough look at the athletic director’s efforts to improve a struggling program. The example of the replacement of the light bulbs was classic.”

Finalists

“Camacho conquers Kaiwi Channel,” J.R. De Groote, West Hawaii Today

Comments: Hats off to the writer for an in-depth look at the swimmer’s accomplishment — especially after very painful jellyfish stings.

“Farmers facing shortfall,” Robert Collias, Maui News

Comments: “The school sports teams on these islands face unique travel problems, and the writer did a great job telling us about them. ”

Arts/Entertainment Writing

First Place – “Na Kumu,” Maureen O’Connell, HAWAI‘I Magazine

Comments: “Wonderful work, fine tributes to artisans who deserve the media coverage. Great photos too. Elegant piece!”

Finalists

“Hula Lives: Fifty Years of Renaissance and Revival through the Merrie Monarch Festival,” Jade Eckardt, Ke‘opulaulani Reelitz – Mana Magazine

Comments: “Page design and photos strengthen this submission, which starts with solid writing.”

“The Extra, May 2013,” David Thompson, Honolulu Magazine

Comments: “Very nice story about one man’s dreams and his willingness to wait for his big break.”

Editorial Opinion

First Place – “After tough start, Rosenthal enters golden chapter of his life,” Walter Chihara, Lahaina News

Comments: “A simple but compelling account, plainly and powerfully expressed.”

Finalist

“History Repeated,” Ke‘oplaulani Reelitz, Mana Magazine

Editorial Cartoon/Illustration

First Place – “Favorite Perks,” Jon Murakami, Hawaii Business

Comments: “An amusing presentation that enlivens a familiar business ranking. Lots of content in a compact space.”

Finalists

“He Mana Ko Ka Leo,” Jessica Kamaka‘aina Siepp, Mana Magazine

Comments: “Haunting and well executed, complemented by clever page layout.”

“I Feel So Much Safer Now,” John Pritchett, Civil Beat

Informational Graphic

First Place – “Quality of Life”,” Kristin Lipman, Hawaii Business

Comments: “Pie charts, bar graphs, graphic tid-bits and color visuals that impart a lot of information.Graphics blend with the stories nicely to complete incredibly comprehensive package.”

Finalists

“Balancing Act,” Jen Tadaki Catanzariti, Hawaii Business

Comments: “Clean way to present a lot of info in an easy-to-digest fashion.”

“The Poop Scoop: What happens after you flush,” Vincent Meadows, Molokai Dispatch

Comments: “Colorful ‘Flow’ chart tells the story visually.”

News Photography/Videography

First Place – “Heavy rains ran like rivers,” Matthew Thayer, Maui News

Comments: “Life and death in the balance. It doesn’t get more newsworthy than this well-composed, dramatic photograph.”

Finalists

“10 years in fatal crash,” John Burnett, Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Comments: “Human tragedy and remorse compel viewers to lock onto this excellent photograph of a sentencing and to read the story behind it.”

“Same Sex Marriage Special Session – Jubilation,” PF Bentley, Civil Beat

Comments: “Foreground and background merge into one powerful photograph capturing one powerful issue in the news.”

Feature Photography/Videography

First Place – “One Last Look: Volcano,” Grant Kaye, HAWAI‘I Magazine

Comments: “Everything works in this photo of the continuing creation of the Earth: beauty, disfigurement, power, light and dark, detail, shape, form, tones, and ultimately, transformation.”

Finalists

“Hawaiian Language Immersion Program – Student with Book,” PF Bentley, Civil Beat

Comments: “The composition and great use of depth of field bring this simple photo into powerful three-dimensional life and visual immersion.”

“Fleetwood And Company,” Matthew Thayer, Maui News

Comments: “Lighting, composition, mood, depth of field and low noise make this a concert photo deserving of special recognition.”

Sports Photography/Videography

First Place – “Va’a Va’a Va’a Voom!” Kunio Hayashi, Sonny Ganaden, Elyse Butler, Leigh Morrison, Samuel Lee, Hana Hou!

Comments: “A striking composition with all the elements of a first-rate sports photo: action, people, dramatic lighting and rich warm tones.”

Finalists

“Lawai‘a,” Sterling Kaya, Mana Magazine

Comments: “A compelling photo in terms of angle, composition, tones and detail.”

“Safe Under The Tag,” Matthew Thayer        , Maui News

Comments: “Exactly what a good baseball photo should be: dramatic and human.”

Photo/Video Essay

First Place – “Women of the Water,” Johann Meya, Janelle Kalawe, Mary Alice Ka‘iulani Milham – Mana Magazine

Comments: “A great story told exceptionally well in high quality, compelling images.”

Finalists

“Hele on to Hamakua,” David Croxford, HAWAI’I Magazine

Comments: “A large variety of excellent images tell the story of an entire region.”

“Hooverball hits Hawaii,” Christine Cabalo, Hawaii Marine

Comments: “The slides deftly edited into a video and the accompanying narration bring visual life and interest to an unusual but entertaining topic.”

Headlines

First Place – “Va’a Va’a Va’a Voom!” Kunio Hayashi, Sonny Ganaden, Elyse Butler, Leigh Morrison, Samuel Lee—Hana Hou!

Comments: “Excellent play on Va’a, canoe, and the topic: Speed.”

Finalists

“I Want Candy”/“The Daytrippers”/“Get Baked”/“Big Shrimpin”/“Dry Idea,” Derek Paiva, HAWAI’I Magazine

Comments: “The Daytrippers”: Perfect headline for a travel story written for locals and visitors with only hours to spare.”

“Prime Example; A Spoonful of Noni; Lost in Translation; Morning Board Meeting; Hawaiian Enough,” Ke‘opulaulani Reelitz, Janelle Kalawe, Malia Ka‘aihue, Mana Magazine

Comments: “ ‘Lost in Translation’: Captures the controversy over a language immersion program, the goals behind testing, and the students themselves.”

Best Reporting Using Social Media

First Place – “Lucky We Live Hawaii: What Hawaii Can Teach Us About Seizing The Day,” Chloe Fox, HuffPost Hawaii

Comments: “Enjoyable way to cover the beauty of Hawaii, though I was left wondering: why only six photos?”

Special Section

First Place – “Quality of Life,” Steve Petranik, Stacy Yuen, Beverly Creamer, Kristin Lipman—Hawaii Business

Comments: “Stunning use of graphics, photos and well reported stories to create an outstanding public service package.”

Finalists

“Merrie Monarch Festival 50th anniversary,” Staff, Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Comments: “Wow. This package is very well designed and obviously comprehensive. While outsiders might not fully understand, they would after reading this special section. It’s the ‘spirit and the culture of the Hawaiian people.’”

“Accountable for Results,” Dennis Hollier, Stacy Yuen, Beverly Creamer—Hawaii Business

Comments: “The writing is descriptive: ‘bloated, inefficient and sometimes corrupt …’ Incredibly comprehensive report. Well-researched and clearly written.”

Investigative Reporting

First Place – “Living Hawaii: Why Is the Price of Paradise So High?” Kery Murakami, Nathan Eagle, Adrienne LaFrance— Civil Beat

Comments: “Amazing series. Good mix of facts, history/context and storytelling. Bonus points for the bar charts on the first story as a way of presenting big data points in a digestible format.”

Finalists

“State Hospital Investigation,” Keoki Kerr, Hawaii News Now

Comments: “Fine journalism!”

“GMO Hawaii: A war is waging in the islands,” Tom Callis, Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Comments: “Wide-ranging stories give a very good overview of GMO in the state, with perspective from both sides.”

Public Service Reporting

First Place – “In the Name of the Law,” Nick Grube, Patti Epler—Civil Beat

Comments: “A clear winner in a very competitive category. The depth and breadth of this series was impressive … an extraordinary and chilling investigation into law enforcement misconduct and its ability to operate beyond public scrutiny.”

Finalists

“GMOs and the Hawaiian Community,” Britt Yap, Ke‘opulaulani Reelitz—Mana Magazine

“Hawaiian Education in the DOE,” Kathryn Wagner, Alyssa Navares, Mary Alice Ka‘iulani Milham, Ke‘opulaulani Reelitz, Janelle Kalawe—Mana Magazine

DAILY NEWSPAPERS

Spot News Reporting

First Place – “10 years in fatal crash,” John Burnett, Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Comments: “Compelling narrative spot reporting of a painful sentencing hearing that deftly includes key elements of a tragic accident.”

Finalists

“Flossie strikes,” Eileen Chao, Melissa Tanji, Lila Fujimoto, Chris Sugidono—Maui News

Comments: “A comprehensive account of a storm and the damage it inflicted that provides nearly everything a citizen should know — all done in difficult conditions.”

“Priest-Crash kills health director,” Chris Sugidono, Maui News

Comments: “Excellent spot reporting on deadline that overcame logistical challenges while taking care to insist that the health director’s death had yet to be completely confirmed.”

General News/Enterprise Reporting

First Place – “Pop Warner embezzlement,” John Burnett, Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Finalists

“Food thrown out,”    Nancy Cook Lauer, West Hawaii Today

“Isle mortgage broker facing court hearing on bankruptcy,” Melissa Tanji, Nanea Kalani—Maui News

Feature Writing/Short Form

First Place – “Making it official,”    Colin Stewart, Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Comments: “Well written story on an issue of high interest.”

Finalists

“Fixing pools gone amuck,” Carolyn Lucas-Zenk, West Hawaii Today

Comments: “Story brings light to an environmental issue in a community in a compelling manner.”

“Ocean swim part of an active life,” Rich Van Scoy, Maui News

Comments: “Good human interest story on changing senior adult lifestyles.”

Feature Writing/Long Form

First Place – “’I was supposed to die’” Lila Fujimoto, Maui News

Finalist

“15 years later, man’s slaying still unsolved,” Brian Perry, Maui News

Feature Page Design

First Place – “Got rocks?” Brenda Jensen, West Hawaii Today

Finalists

“Google: Peering into social mindset,”           Nathan Christophel     , Hawaii Tribune-Herald

“GMO Hawaii: A war is waging in the islands,” Meg Scarbrough, Hawaii Tribune-Herald

INTERNET

Online News Reporting

First Place – “Diane Lee’s Reporting on the Same-Sex-Marriage Special Session,” Diane Lee, Honolulu Magazine

Comments: “I like the presentation as a package, sort of a non-linear way to tell the story. I wish the layout on the landing page had better use of headline font sizes so they’d stand out more. And in the “”man on the street”” interviews, I wish they could have been done in video instead of text, just to underscore this is online journalism. But those are quibbles. Great job done in a different way, on a big news story.”

Finalists

“Fo Teach Pidgin o Not Fo Teach Pidgin ? Das Da Question,” Alia Wong, Civil Beat

Comments: “Fascinating topic, though for an outsider, a little long of a package to absorb. But fascinating… and important. Also like the video support materials with the reporter’s voiceover, too.”

“Learning Hilo,” Alia Wong, PF Bentley—Civil Beat

Comments: “Nice writing, strong individual stories.”

Online Feature Reporting

First Place – “Waikiki’s Venetian Nightmare: Natural Disasters in Paradise?” Sophie Cocke, Civil Beat

Comments: “Like her Ala Wai Canal package, this is written with crisp prose, solid reporting and obvious depth of knowledge of the topic. She owns this beat. ”

Finalists

“Making Waves: Tommy Russo Is ‘Fighting for Change’ on Maui,” Nathan Eagle, Civil Beat

Comments: “Always good to read about a butt-kicking journalist who loves his community.”

“Bones in Purgatory: 660 Skeletal Remains Languish in Church Basement,” Sophie Cocke, Civil Beat

Comments: “Compelling story. Only nit is wish there could have been a photo of the bones in the basement, though I can guess the church turned it down.”

Category comments: “Some fine work! Sort of wish Civil Beat wasn’t so dominant, but the quality is there….”

Best Multimedia Presentation

First Place – “Ala Wai Canal: Hawaii’s Biggest Mistake?” Sophie Cocke, Joe Rubin, PF Bentley—Civil Beat

Comments: “Wow, comprehensive and incredibly well-done. Tackles a difficult, dense subject in digestible chunks and organizes the issues well. Also like that you’re including links to ‘Ongoing Coverage.’”

Finalist

“In the Name of the Law,” Staff, Civil Beat

Comments: “Solid reporting, interesting look at how law enforcement is working (or not working). Wish there were more ways to incorporate video, but the infographic is good, and the searchable database is very nice to have.”

Best Overall News Site

First Place – Honolulu Civil Beat, Staff, Civil Beat

Comments: “It’s hard to deny CB. Such great deep reporting nicely presented…”

Finalists

“HuffPost Hawaii” Chloe Fox, Gabriela Aoun, Carla Herreria—HuffPost Hawaii

Comments: General Interest Site. Good reporting though w/o bylines these read a bit anonymous…

“All Hawaii News – Top Hawaii government and political news from all the islands,” Nancy Cook Lauer, All Hawaii News

Best 1-Person Online News Site/1-Person News Blog

“All Hawaii News- Top Hawaii government and political news from all the islands,” Nancy Cook Lauer , All Hawaii News

Comments: “This site glows with the passion of its creator. The writing isn’t elegant, it’s straight-on journalism and unvarnished commentary, and it’s alive with the moment and depth of knowledge and love for the state. Awesome, and an example of one future for journalism.”

Best 1-Person Online Features Site/1-Person Features Blog

First Place – “Martin Luther King, Jr. Wearing a Lei in Selma, Alabama (and Other Blogs),” Ray Tsuchiyama, Pacific Visions and Memories

Comments: “Very strong, evocative writing steeped in history. As a reader, I get drawn in and taken to the past in each piece submitted. One nit is not a criticism of the writer, but of the site that publishes him: The photos are dreadfully presented. And in the case of “”Hawaiian Eye,”” someone — if not the writer, then a producer or even an editor at the paper, should have embedded the TV show’s theme, which is easily available on YouTube.”

Finalists

“Sugar + Shake: Sweets, Savories, Sips & More,” Dawn Sakamoto Paiva, Sugar + Shake

Comments: “Nice, very good foodie blog with a strong local base.”

“Social Encore,” Jermel-Lynn Quillopo, www.honolulupulse.com

Comments: “Her writing can be a little rough, but her passion and love for her home state is obvious. Like the photos too.”

MAGAZINES

Business Reporting

First Place – “Twins?” Dennis Hollier, Hawaii Business

Comments: “This crammed an easy-to-understand semester’s worth of information about how banks invest and make money into one story. Comparing the practices of these two banks was a public service.”

Finalists

“Million Dollar Microbes,” Dennis Hollier, Hawaii Business

Comments: “A terrific examination and clear explanation of how much a research center can mean to a college or university. Plus, the story provided many meaningful examples of how this all works.”

“Parking In Paradise,” Michael Keany, Matt Kain—Honolulu Magazine

Comments: “My kingdom for a parking space … a well-done examination of what’s behind the high prices and aggravation, plus interesting side notes, such as the Hall of Shame. ”

Category comments: “This was a tough category to judge. All six entries stood out: interesting topics, strong research and most of all, these subjects affect readers.”

Industry or Trade Reporting

First Place – “The Everything Guide to Ahi,” Martha Cheng, Mari Taketa, Tiffany Hill, Katrina Valcourt—Honolulu Magazine

Comments: “A lively, detailed, colorful biography of an iconic fish, bolstered by dazzling art and design. The best of a highly competitive category.”

Finalists

“Biofuel Industry on the Big Island,” Patricia Tummons, Environment Hawai’i

Comments: “Tales about things going wrong are hard to tell, but can be compelling when relayed with as much intelligence and detail as this entry.”

“GMOs and the Hawaiian Community,” Britt Yap, Mana Magazine

Comments: “An insightful examination of an important issue.”

Profile

First Place – “Flight Instructor,” Kunio Hayashi, Sonny Ganaden, Greg Vaughn, Leigh Morrison, Samuel Lee–Hana Hou!

Comments: “Great writing, pictures and layout! Love it!”

Finalists

“The Fighter,” Kunio Hayashi, Aaron Kandell, Dana Edmunds, Leigh Morrison, Samuel Lee—Hana Hou!

Comments: “Tightly written. Very nice package.”

“Can Ben Jay Save UH Sports?” David Thompson, Honolulu Magazine

Comments: “Very strong package. It was hard to choose between this and the other winners.”

Category comments: “Very impressive entries in this category. I’d like to give an honorable mention to CEO of the Year: Stanley Kuriyama. Lots of hard work went into that piece”

Feature Writing/Short Form

First Place – “Ode to Red Cinder Road,” Derek Paiva, HAWAI‘I Magazine

Finalists

“Into The Black,” Kunio Hayashi, Hunter Haskins, Leigh Morrison, Samuel Lee—Hana Hou!

“Field Notes: God Wants You to Be a Millionaire,” David Thompson, Honolulu Magazine

Feature Writing/Long Form

First Place – “From Souvenirs to Saks: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of the International Marketplace,” David Thompson, Honolulu Magazine

Comments: “Comprehensive, well researched, interesting sources and well written. A worthy tribute an icon of the past.”

Finalists

“Go Fish!” Kunio Hayashi, Michael Shapiro, Monte Costa, Leigh Morrison, Samuel Lee—Hana Hou!

Comments: “Intriguing slice of life in a remote and romantic place with unusual characters well described. Conveys sense of place and lostness.”

“Georgia & Ansel in Hawai‘i” Maureen O’Connell, HAWAI’I Magazine

Comments: “Elegant story benefits from tight focus and generous display of artwork, deep research, as well as local connection.”

Page Design

First Place – “75 Places to Eat Like A Local,” Cody Kawamoto, HAWAI‘I Magazine

Comments: “Clean, professional, clear. Something I’d want to keep on hand for reference. Nice use of complementary fonts and colors.”

Finalists

“Eddie Went,” Janelle Kalawe, Mana Magazine

Comments: “Very clever design. Good mix of design elements yet the package maintains a cohesive feel.”

“Boom!” Mary Pigao, Hawaii Business

Comments: “Layout really grabs the reader’s attention. Nice use of white space.”

Category comments: “Some excellent entries in this category.”

Magazine Cover

First Place – “HONOLULU Magazine, April 2013,” Erik Ries, Honolulu Magazine

Finalists

“Kaho‘olawe: Kanaloa Rising” Janelle Kalawe, Olivier Koning, Ke‘opulaulani Reelitz—Mana Magazine

“Huakai: Fall 2013” Cody Kawamoto, HAWAI’I Magazine

NEWSPAPERS

Business Reporting

First Place – “Isle mortgage broker facing court hearing on bankruptcy,” Nanea Kalani, Melissa Tanji—Maui News

Comments: “Nanea Kalani does a service by shedding light on the shady dealings of mortgage brokers.”

Finalists

“Out of its shell,” Colin Stewart, Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Comments: “A clearly-told look at a budding industry.”

“Kona Village laying off last workers,” Erin Miller, West Hawaii Today

News Page Design

First Place – “Design: Snow and Ironman preview,” Joseph Mountain, West Hawaii Today

Comments: “Nice use of photo with banner. Good headline with color splash ‘m’ in middle.”

Finalists

“Ka Molokai Makahiki 2013,” Laura Pilz, Molokai Dispatch

Comments: “Colorful page with a lot going on, but not too busy to confuse reader. Liked the text flow on top of photo cutout.”

“GMO Hawaii: A war is waging in the islands,” Meg Scarbrough, Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Comments: “Good blend of stories graphics and pictures. Layout pretty conventional, but effective.”

NONDAILY NEWSPAPERS

General News/Enterprise Reporting

First Place – “Energy on Molokai,” Catherine Cluett, Molokai Dispatch

Comments: “Nice job balancing the different perspectives on this story. Lots of potential impact on the local community.”

Finalist

“K-Bay Marine linguist named best in DoD,” Christine Cabalo, Hawaii Marine

Comments: “Many people may not know about this award; it is good to let locals know one of their own received it.”

Feature Writing

First Place -“K-Bay Marines reap benefits from acupuncture in pinpoint solution,” Christine Cabalo, Hawaii Marine

Comments: “Intriguing story on use of alternative medicine for soldiers.”

Finalist

“Island Legend: Paniolo Jimmy Duvauchelle,” Catherine Cluett, Molokai Dispatch

Community Reporting

First Place – “Does the state’s new $7 million seawall at Ukumehame work?” Louise Rockett, Lahaina News

Comments: “A terrific investigation into whether an expensive highway project is really working, or whether it’s creating a potential public safety hazard. Good local color and anecdotes.”

Finalists

“The Poop Scoop: What happens after you flush,” Jessica Ahles, Molokai Dispatch

“Ready to launch: Marine aids Kalaheo High School robotics team,” Christine Cabalo, Hawaii Marine

RADIO

General News/Enterprise Reporting

First Place – “’Linsanity’ Details Rise of Asian-American Basketball Star,”          Heidi Chang, Faith Lapidus— Voice of America

Comments: “An important story about the challenges Jeremy Lin has faced, told in a very conversational way.

Finalist

“Special Legislative Session (Marriage Equality)” Wayne Yoshioka, Hawaii Public Radio

Feature Reporting

First Place -“Plugged In on the Streets,” Molly Solomon, Hawaii Public Radio

Comments: “Compelling exploration of homelessness from a unique perspective.”

Finalists

“Growing a New Crop of Young Farmers,” Molly Solomon, Hawaii Public Radio

Comments: “Insightful exploration of evolution in agriculture.”

“’If It Swings’: An Asian-American Jazzman’s Pioneering Career,” Heidi Chang, National Public Radio

Comments: “Well-written story on intercultural jazz movement.”

Student

Student News Reporting in Any Media

First Place – “My Wish is to Create a Business,” Ashley Shaffer, Hawaii Business

Comments: “Strong, nice presentation too.”

Finalist

“Yelp Me,” Ashley Shaffer, Hawaii Business

Comments: “Pretty interesting story on a topic that young people would be interested in.”

Student Feature Reporting in Any Media

First Place – “How I Learned to Love to Weed,” Ava Rose Prince, Environment Hawai‘i

Comments: “Wow, a high school student! Very impressive…”

Finalists

“Startup in a Cup,” Ashley Shaffer, Hawaii Business

Comments: “Cool story, nice writing and layout.”

“Boom!” Ashley Shaffer , Hawaii Business

Comments: “Solid look at the gun issue in Hawai’i. Good photos too.”

TELEVISION

Government Reporting

First Place – “PRISON GUARD SICK DAYS”   Keoki Kerr, Darin Akita—Hawaii News Now

Comments: “An astonishing analysis of the high percentage — nearly 50% — of prison guards calling in sick on Super Bowl Sunday, during March madness and a parade day for a local football player. Great explanation of the impact on coworkers and why it’s so easy to call in sick.”

Finalist

“Empty City Parking Garage,” Keoki Kerr, Hawaii News Now

Business Reporting

First Place – “Business booming on Lanai with new billionaire owner,” Keoki Kerr, George Hurd, Mahealani Kahoano—Hawaii News Now

Comments: “A fine report on the changes that are coming to the traditionally closed, remote island of Lanai.”

Finalist

“HE>I” Marisa Yamane, Travis Nishida—KHON2

General News/Enterprise Reporting

First Place – “Empty New City Parking Garage,” Keoki Kerr, Hawaii News Now

Comments: “This story, about a new parking garage sitting nearly empty while city workers scramble for parking elsewhere, is perfect for television. Very nicely done.”

Feature Reporting

First Place – “Hawaii’s only elevator operator hopes to lift the spirit of others,” Olena Heu, KHON2

Comments: “Interesting human interest feature with vintage slant.”

Finalists

“Modern Cowboys,” Diane Ako, Tracy Arakaki—smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com

Comments: “Clever exploration of changing culture.”

“What a catch! Man reels in 759 lb. marlin off Kewalo Basin” Kristine Uyeno, KHON2

Comments: “Creative story on catching the big one.”

Spot News Reporting

First Place – “Haleiwa Fire,” Marisa Yamane, Taires Hiranaka, KHON2

Comments: “Vivid coverage of a wildfire threatening homes, seen through the eyes of worried residents. ”

Finalist

“Palolo Hikers Rescued,” Marisa Yamane, Taires Hiranaka—KHON2

Investigative Reporting

First Place – “State Hospital Investigation,” Keoki Kerr, Darin Akita, Mahealani Kahoano—Hawaii News Now

Comments: “This really is a terrific report.(Previous comments on the series from the other category.)”

Finalists

“Growing tab for UH head-hunts amid budget crunch,” Gina Mangieri, Greg Lau—KHON2

Comments: “Good story. A visual approach might be helpful — even a chart that shows actual revenue numbers instead of just saying the amounts swing wildly.”

“Careless disposal puts personal info at risk,” Gina Mangieri, Greg Lau—KHON2

Comments: “Good deeper research showing the cost of a variety of personnel searches at UH.”

Videography

First Place – “Modern Cowboys,” Tracy Arakaki, Diane Ako—smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com

Comments: “Strong, lively video work and narration, good storytelling. This story works better as a video package than text with stills.”

Series Reporting/Documentary/Special News

First Place -“Hokule’a: Her Farthest Journey,” Kathy Muneno, KHON2

Finalist

“Mysterious urn found on the beach,” Reid Shimizu, Tammy Mori, Ron Mizutani, KHON2

THANK YOU TO THE JUDGES OF THE TOP OF THE ROCKIES CONTEST. YOU HELPED MAKE THIS CONTEST POSSIBLE.

Board members:

  • Dave Briscoe
  • Teresa Dawson
  • Nancy Cook Lauer
  • Christy Strobel

Honolulu Star-Advertiser

  • Richard Borreca
  • Nanea Kalani
  • Stirling Morita
  • Curtis Murayama
  • Mary Poole
  • Dave Shapiro
  • Christie Wilson
  • Alan Yonan
  • Lucy Young-Oda

PacificBasin Communications

  • Jen Tadako Catanzariti
  • Dennis Hollier
  • Kristin Lipman
  • Lennie Omalza
  • Steve Petranik
  • Christi Young

Big Island Press Club Protests… Council Chair Apologizes

On April 7, 2014, Journalist Nancy Cook Lauer, President of the Big Island Press Club (BIPC), sent an email to the Chairman of the Hawaii County Council J. Yoshimoto formally protesting the treatment of three BIPC members and their equipment.

Council Members, County Clerk Stewart Maeda, and Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida also received copies of this email.

After the email was sent, Chair Yoshimoto apologized to Cook Lauer on behalf of all the parties involved in the incident.

Here is a copy of that email:

Dear Chairman Yoshimoto:

On behalf of the Big Island Press Club, we are writing to formally protest the treatment of three BIPC members and their equipment on April 1.

I understand from witnesses and partially from my own personal observation that Clerks Office staff removed thousands of dollars worth of laptops, bags, cameras and other equipment belonging to members of the media from the media area of council chambers and deposited them in the hallway.

This happened after the council had called an executive session and the media had cleared the chambers. The media had gone to the meeting room across the hall and were within calling distance of staff, had they wished to call us back to retrieve our belongings.

Instead, the gear was left in the hallway, risking the loss of equipment by theft in addition to damage by those not familiar with handling others’ equipment. A working journalist’s gear is worth more than its monetary value. It also holds irreplaceable photos, video, notes and articles.

If the rules have changed about whether equipment must be removed during executive session, it would be a professional practice to notify the media ahead of time. As it happened, journalists who have been covering the council for years were treated with disrespect and a lack of trust that they felt undeserved.

Sincerely,

Nancy Cook Lauer

President, Big Island Press Club

Hawaii Public Radio Wins Three Edward R. Murrow Awards

The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has announced its regional 2014 Edward R. Murrow Awards, and Hawaii Public Radio has won in three categories. The entire newsroom won for “Best News Series” for “Feeding Ourselves: Hawaii ’s Food Future,” which included contributions from reporters on Oahu , Hawaii Island and Molokai . Reporter Molly Solomon won for “Best Breaking News” for her coverage of the molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor . Solomon also won in the “Feature Reporting” category for her piece “ Hawaii ’s Brain Drain,” done as part of the HPR News series “Neighbors.”

Regional Winners

“We are honored to receive recognition in this prestigious competition,” said HPR News Director Bill Dorman. “The work of our local news team is part of what is made possible by the generous support of our station members.” HPR CEO and General Manager Michael Titterton added “The commitment to quality journalism is an important and continuing piece of what we are at Hawaii Public Radio, and this recognition of the team’s accomplishments is gratifying.”

The RTDNA website says “the awards recognize the best electronic journalism produced by radio, television and online news organizations around the world.” The organization also noted that there were a record number of entries for this year’s awards, “in what proved to be one of the most competitive Edward R. Murrow Awards seasons in RTDNA history.” They are named for the broadcast news pioneer and longtime CBS news correspondent, legendary for both his radio and television coverage.   “The Murrow Awards honor journalism at its finest,” added Mike Cavender, Executive Director of RTDNA. “Local newsrooms serve their communities 365 days a year, and we’re proud to recognize the great work they do.”

All regional winners automatically advance to the national Edward R. Murrow Awards competition, which will be judged in May and presented in October.

Hawaii Public Radio can be heard throughout the state.  On Hawaii Island, HPR 1 is over the air in West Hawaii at 90.7 f.m. in Waimea at 94.7 fm, and in East Hawaii at 91.1 fm, and on Oceanic Cablevision 864.  HPR 2 is over the air in West Hawaii at 88.7 fm and at 89.7 fm, in Pahala at 91.7 fm, and on Oceanic Cablevision 865.  HPR 2 should be available over the air in East Hawaii by the end of the year.  Both stations are also online at www.hawaiipublicradio.org

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.