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Passing the FBI Background Check… How the “FBI Blogs” Came About

James Madison, chief author of the Bill of Rights

James Madison, chief author of the Bill of Rights

The other night at dinner with the So Much More Hawaii bloggers from the mainland they all talked about different things that were going on in their lives and what they had seen so far here in Hawaii.

They didn’t really talk much about their own blogs that much, as we all pretty much know what each other does.

Christine Lu, the coordinator of this trip asked me how I select blogs to be chosen for the FBI Blogs site and how it came about.

The Big Islands Best Blogs - New Button designed by Macario

The Big Islands Best Blogs - New Button designed by Macario

I told her that I started the site was a way to showcase other bloggers and I really didn’t think that the Big Island residents were getting news in a very timely or effective manner, basically blasting our local papers The Hawaii Tribune Herald and The West Hawaii Today.

On March 12th I sent out the following message to about 20 bloggers on this island:

Aloha Big Island Bloggers

Would anyone be interested in starting our own little “FBI” Blogger “Buttons for the Blogs” for blogs just from the Big Island.

For those of you not familiar with the Button term… what I mean is we could create or own little site that the button links all of the Big Island Bloggers to one another…. like a blogroll but it would only be a button that links many Big Island Bloggers?

And we mandate that ANY BLOGGER CAN JOIN…. JUST AS LONG AS THEY ARE FROM THE BIG ISLAND.  (as long as it’s not some hate blog… you know what I mean… but I think content should not be critiqued so much as WHERE we are from)

There would be no fees or anything like that… just more exposure for all of us on the Big Island.

Of course… you might be mandated to come and party once a year or something…. lol.

Let me know if you might be interested, and if there is interest in at least 5 of you folks… I’ll work with someone on setting this up.

I can only think of one good phrase that we would have to use… The FBI Bloggers (as long as we had the From Big Island on there)

Was also thinking of an outline of the island as the tag with the FBI in the middle or something…. Always open to ideas.

And if you know of other Big Island Bloggers that might be interested… please forward this to them. Mahalo Damon

I was stoked that so many of them were immediately interested in something like this and I got to thinking what I wanted the site to be like. I wasn’t sure what type of template I was going to use and I was having troubles figuring out how I could showcase these blogs to the world.

I quickly grabbed an outline of the Big Island and typed in “FBI Bloggers” and then filled in the rest with some filler to come up with this button:

First Draft still is seen on blogs around the Big Island today

First Draft still is seen on blogs around the Big Island today

Well slowly but surely things started coming together to the point where it is now. I know it has a lot to grow and I wish I could figure out how to do a few things on it in particular. I have a programmer working on a possible solution for it, but he’s on Oahu this week.

Christine also asked how do I choose what blogs to feature on the site.

I let her know that I was VERY lucky here on the Big Island because I think that almost ALL of the Blogs that we have here on this island are great. We have an interesting island and lots to blog about and all of us have different ways of seeing things.

I often get leads to blogs by bloggers on this site, readers of this site and by the bloggers themselves. I will typically look at their blog to see if they are a fairly active blogger and that they aren’t some person that is going to cloud the world with hate or other strange stuff.

I’ll follow their blogs for a while checking out different analytical programs and if I like them enough, I’ll shoot them an email asking if they’d like to join the site.

Now the question that was the stumper… How do I feature the blogs on the top of the FBI Site?

I try and feature as many blogs as I can as they are updated. The people that post pictures get priority.

All blogs are rotated at least once in a day if they have blogged on a day… but rarely more then twice in a day unless there is a big need for it.

How do you make money off this? (Not asked by any of the bloggers)

Huh? That’s pretty funny. I don’t know any bloggers personally that make as much as they put in.

I don’t make a penny off the FBI Site as I would feel that is unfair to the other bloggers as we all contribute to it. I just simply maintain the site when I have time.

I’m still making twists with the site and trying different things with it. I’d like to try and keep it as bare boned as possible. This past week I’ve been running the Twitter feeds from the So Much More Hawaii tour on the site.

A few days before March 16th I rolled out the first trial of the site and just played with it for a while.

Then on March 15th I posted the following introduction to the FBI Blogs:

Here you will find a compilation of some of the best blogs on the Big Island.

From Kona to Kohala, Waimea to Hamakua, and Hilo to Puna… You will also be able to link to Big Island Video News as well as see Big Island headline news fed to the site provided by Hawaii 24/7

Take off your shoes and stay for awhile. Thanks for stopping by and make sure you take home a plate with you.

Who needs the local papers anyways?

March 16th was the official date that I launched it and coincidentally,

March 16 is Freedom of Information Day, to celebrate the birthday of James Madison, chief author of the Bill of Rights.

The Honolulu Agonizer – Burl Burlingame

For those of you who know the scoops… you know the scoops on the Newspaper War that happened and is still pretty much happening on Oahu.

For those of you don’t… well I’m not gonna go into it too much because it’s not really my story to tell.

But needless to say long time reporter and writer Burl Burlingame does not like the Honolulu Advertiser.

So much that he dislikes the advertiser, that he now has his own site that parodies the name “The Honolulu Agonizer

agonizer

I’ve added his “Blog” or to the Oahu section of my blogroll.

He’s got access to much of the pictures that the Star-Bulletin has covered over the years.  Well he had access until Gannett snatched up the majority of the collection, but that’s a whole nother story for him to tell you.

Here’s a picture he posted of Star-Bulletin from 1920’s:

Here’s a promotional ad for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin when the paper was riding high in the 1920s. The irony is that the circulation was far, far less then than it is now… Burl Burlingame on “Better Days at the Star-Bulletin“.

starbulletinad

Grandpa’s (1932) Bike Ride Around the Big Island

I posted a couple other stories by the late Gabriel Manning before.  One on his Survival Story of the 1946 Tsunami and the other was his Memories of the Hilo Massacre of 1938.

Gabriel Manning

Gabriel Manning

I got an email the other day from his grandson, Lance, telling me that the newspapers weren’t interested in his grandfathers story of his 1932 bike ride around the islands so I thought I would post it for you folks.

Lance and Grandpa Manning the night before the race

Lance and Grandpa Manning the night before the race

This was written by Lance Manning (Gabriel’s grandson).

Grandpa’s Bike Ride around the Big Island

During spring break in March 1932, Grandpa Manning, a native of Hilo, Hawaii,  embarked on a memorable bike ride. In preparation for a 1 mile and 3 mile community bike race on the 4th of July, he, just 16 years old, and a friend decided the best way to train was to ride around the Big Island.

Apparently, his daily 300-customer paper route was not enough cycling for him to feel confident about winning on race day. Today, at 92 years old, he looks back and describes himself as, very competitive.

So, on day one of the practice ride, he and Tommy Jewett started along the old road and headed north from Hilo. They dressed in the best biking attire of the day: shorts, t-shirt, and since biking shoes weren’t invented yet, they rode barefoot. In fact, at 14 years old, it was the first time he wore shoes though only to church.

The bike he rode had only one speed, so that required walking uphill in tough spots. Just in case of a flat, he carried a spare tire and pump. Knowing how to fix his bike brought necessary confidence to the journey.

Sufficient hydration did not come from a triathlon, aerobar water bottle. They found water wherever they could. Coming through Lapahuehue, spring water from the side of a cliff provided cooling sustenance. Staying fueled came by way of buying food when riding through towns.

Later that evening, friends in Honokaa welcomed the riders from a long day on the road. They slept well and, after an early 5 a.m. breakfast, continued westward toward Kona. The 320 mile loop became easier when, in Waimea, a tailwind pushed at their backs allowing them to coast for 10 miles. That came at a price though, as temperatures dipped into the 60s and the absence of raincoats left them soaked from the precipitation.

Having made good progress through Kona, day two’s stopping point was in the Kealakekua area. Grandpa knew a minister who lived here. So invoking the Hawaiian way of ìdropping inî, they just showed up at the doorstep. The Reverend Moses Moku happily welcomed his visitors for the evening. He killed a chicken, fixed dinner, and made them feel at home. They later bathed, slept, and after being treated like kings headed south to begin day 3 on the road. Reverend Moku would later officiate Grandpaís wedding to Grandma.

On the volcano side, the heat of the lava fields proved unforgiving. A 3 mile uphill climb walking the bikes pushed their limits. That night, they rested at the Kilauea military camp.

Then it was all downhill through Mountain View, followed by a quick 15 miles to Hilo.  3 days it took from start to finish: leg muscles worn out, lungs burning, and a multitude of views to remember for a lifetime.

The 80 hour workout certainly required some recovery time, but not until the paper route was done on the day of return. In reminiscing to tell this story, Grandpa proclaims that he was in top shape and recovered right away. Basketball, football, rowing, plus biking everywhere made him feel like he was made of iron.

But, was the workout worth it? Only race day results could justify. The 3 mile race amongst teens, Grandpa won by 15 lengths. He also took 1st in the 1 mile race. The medals placed around his neck were the first he ever won.

Seventy-six years later, with a smile on his face and still feeling the pride of victory, he proclaims the grandfatherly advice, “remember, you fight like you train!” Before the Big Island welcomed multi-speed bikes and Ironman World Championships, Grandpa conquered the roads of Hawaii.

I’m a Parasite… See The Kohala Blog

A lot of us know that the media fears bloggers in general… Well the GOVERNMENT REALLY FEARS US:

…On May 6th a US Senate subcommittee held a hearing entitled “The Future of Journalism”. At that hearing MSM’s representatives described bloggers as “parasites” who “contribute little more than repetition, commentary, and froth” and described the current problem as bloggers and other internet alternative entities “siphoning off the lifeblood of the newspaper Industry…”

More here

The Damon Parasite who want’s to live in the UFO’s in the blog posted earlier:

Green_blob

Rupert Murdoch Wants to Start Charging for Newspaper Website Access

Hat tip to Larry Geller:

“Well, he must not think that ads will do the job. I don’t either, but who am I. He wants to charge for access to the newspaper websites in his vast newspaper empire….”

Taking questions on a conference call with reporters and analysts, he said that moves could begin “within the next 12 months‚” adding: “The current days of the internet will soon be over.” [Guardian,UK, News Corp will charge for newspaper websites, says Rupert Murdoch, 5/7/2009]…”

More Here

Reach Out and Touch Someone – Building Community with New Media

Bill Dorman

Bill Dorman

The Hawai`i Island Chamber of Commerce (HICC) was fortunate to present the Emmy Award-winning journalist Bill Dorman as the guest speaker at the Third General Membership Meeting luncheon on May 4th at the `Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai`i Sky Garden Restaurant. Dorman, who has covered stories from more than a dozen countries and has interviewed corporate and political leaders around the Asia Pacific region, spoke about how to get media attention in a recession.

Dorman offered his advice to HICC members on how to bring value to your business through positive stories to get attention from the media. Dorman suggested that businesses should be sincere and brief to get the “nugget” of the story across in 15 seconds or less. Dorman advised, “the more you are able to define your standpoint, the better off you are because the controversy will not go away,” when asked how to handle media if controversial issues arise.

Dorman worked as a reporter, producer and executive producer at CNN for more than 20 years and most recently was Managing Editor of Asia Pacific Broadcast for Bloomberg Television.  He has a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Dartmouth College.  He currently lives in Tokyo and teaches at Temple University, Japan.  He is married to Noriko Namiki, his former producer.

In addition to hearing Dorman’s presentation, Chamber members elected the following Officers and Board of Directors for 2009-2010:

Officers: Barbara Hastings (Immediate Past President), Mary Begier (President), Mike Gleason (President Elect), Jon Miyata (1st Vice President), Vaughn Cook (Treasurer). Two year Directors: Howard Ainsley, Charles Erskine, Judith Fox-Goldstein, Marco Mangelsdorf, Eugene Nishimura, Glen Santos, Margaret Shiba, Alice Sledge, Mele Spencer, Art Taniguchi, Ron Terry. One year Directors: Jeanine Atebara, Kurt Corbin, Charles Ensey, Stan Fortuna, Jr., Stewart Hussey, Randy Kurohara, Karina Leasure, Linda Levine, Spencer Oliver, Robert C. Porter, Marcia Sakai, Steve Ueda, Jere Usui. The Officers and Directors will be installed on Monday, June 29th at Hilo Hawaiian Hotel Moku`ola Room. The ceremony will begin at 5 p.m.

Established in 1898, the Hawai`i Island Chamber of Commerce is an organization comprised of businesses and professionals who work together to provide leadership via services and advocacy for the business community while promoting the economic well-being of Hawai`i Island as a whole. The HICC represents more than 700 members and 360 businesses.

Community Links Hawaii hosts First Tuesdays, downtown at HiSAM (Hawaii State Art Museum). May featured a panel discussion titled “Reach Out and Touch Someone: Building Community with New Media.” Panelists: Jared Kuroiwa, KGMB9’s Director of Interactive Strategy; Bill Dorman, international Emmy Award-winning journalist formerly with CNN and Bloomberg. Moderator: Barbra Pleadwell

Barbara Pleadwell: How Hawaii Non-Profits Use New Media:[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsLiixf98wU&hl=en&fs=1]

Jared Kuroiwa: Predicting the Future, Beyond New Media[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AjnXyjOKws&hl=en&fs=1]

KGMB9 TV New Media Fact Checking[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eB_anUAmJIU&hl=en&fs=1]

Bill Dorman – Correct New Media Errors Quickly[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btMfBHMRq8s&hl=en&fs=1]



Is Mayor Kenoi in Hot Water Over The Internet Scandal?

I’ve been mentioning on a lot of different blogs about some of the ramifications that this Internet Scandal that Councilman Yagong has pretty much triggered.

I believe Mayor Kenoi himself may be in a bit of hot water.

Aaron Stene follows the Hawaii Free Press and brought my attention to the following article about his domain that he used for his political race this year against Angel Pilago.

His Domain clearly states that it’s registered under a county email address as well as the mailing address for the Hawaii County Building:

Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc. (http://www.godaddy.com)
Domain Name: BILLYKENOI.COM
Created on: 16-Apr-07
Expires on: 16-Apr-09
Last Updated on: 16-Apr-08

Technical Contact:
Kenoi, William wkenoi@co.hawaii.hi.us
25 Aupuni St.

Hilo, Hawaii 96720
United States
(808) 961-8211

About 3 – 4 months later, County of Hawaii Office of the Corporation Counsel sent this memo to ALL COUNTY EMPLOYEES VIA EMAIL and it clearly states:

1 Candidate walk-throughs on County premises are strictly prohibited
2 County email accounts must not be used for campaign purposes
3 The distribution of campaign literature on County premises is strictly prohibited
4 The sale or distribution of fundraiser or other tickets even
complimentary ones on County premises is strictly prohibited

So do you think Mr. Kenoi will punish himself?  Is it also considered distribution from a county building if he registered the building as well?

Hawai’i County Mayor Billy Kenoi has acknowledged that his office is investigating “very serious” and possibly illegal abuse of Internet access on county computers.

Kenoi said the investigation goes back to January 2008 and includes the potentially illegal use of county computers for political activity, as well as other serious abuses.

From what I can tell… Last Updated April 16, 2008 would fall under that time period.

Wave Power Not Ready for Commercial Use

Technology for tapping ocean waves, tides and rivers for electricity is far from commercial viability and lagging well behind wind, solar and other fledgling power sectors, a panel of experts said last week during a forum here on climate change and marine ecosystems…

…”It’s basically not commercially financeable yet,” said Edwin Feo, a partner at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, during a conference at Stanford University. “They are still a long ways from getting access to the capital and being deployed, because they are simply immature technologies.”

…Roger Bedard, head of the Electric Power Research Institute’s wave power research unit, said the United States is at least five and maybe 10 years away from the first commercial project in marine waters. A buoy at a Marine Corps base in Hawaii is the only wave-powered device that has been connected to the power grid so far in the United States. The first pilot tidal project, in New York’s East River, took five years to get a permit from FERC…

More Here

Honolulu Advertiser on Census Work

…In Hawai’i, about 1,000 workers will be deployed statewide to verify every street, road building and address where people could be living. About half of them are already on the streets. You’ll recognize them by their ID badges, a canvas bag with a “U.S. Census” label, and a hand-held GPS-equipped computer. The computer, a new tool, will help the Census reach more people, making the count more accurate.

These are encouraging signs. After eight years of shameful mismanagement and underfunding, the Census Bureau is working on a comeback, and none too soon.

On Friday, the Bureau unveiled its plans to spend $1 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. A good chunk of that money will be used, rightfully, in renewed efforts to reach those traditionally undercounted — the poor, minorities, those in rural communities and group quarters…

More Here

April 13th – A New Era: The Honolulu Star-Bulletin’s New Youtube Ad… And They Still Can’t Spell Their Own Ericka Engles Name Correctly!

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin will begin publishing its new morning edition on April 13, 2009.

Looks like they are already taking to youtube… But who is Erica Engle? ;)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pr6WoKIF74Q&hl=en&fs=1]

Does anyone find it strange that the Starbulletin is now running the Honolulu Advertisers news via RSS feed?


Ward Churchill Exonerated

Remember the 911 Speaker that came to speak at UH and everyone and their mother through a hissy fit?

ward

On April 2 Ward Churchill, professor of ethnic studies at University of Colorado at Boulder (CU), was found exonerated from an unlawful firing over academic freedom.

Sept. 11, 2001 Churchill wrote “Some people push back: on the justice of roosting chickens” as an editorial piece for the online journal Dark Night field notes. As a direct reaction to the World Trade Center in New York being hit by Islamic terrorists in the eyes of an ethnic studies professor, the editorial was far from removing the United States from an implication of wrongdoing…

Marines in Hawaii Attempted to Sell Stolen Night-Vision Scopes in Hawaii

The federal police raid of a house here (Tennessee) Wednesday morning might be connected to alleged attempts by active duty Marines to sell stolen military night-vision scopes in Hawaii.

Linked to the home at 288 Jonesboro Drive is Lance Cpl. Ronald William Abram, 20, who faces federal charges of conspiring to sell eight scopes to a Hong Kong buyer for $20,000. His father, Ronnie Abram, lives at the house, according to directory listings…

…Last July, he again landed on authorities’ radar when ICE agents uncovered a scheme to sell stolen night vision scopes on the Internet auction site eBay, according to federal indictments filed at the U.S. District Court in Honolulu. The eBay ad eventually led them to Hawaii and six Marines stationed there. By September 2008, undercover agents bought eight scopes in a sting that indictments state netted the arrests of Ronald Abram and five others, including Abingdon, Va., native Cpl. Mark Allen Vaught. Agents traced the scopes, which had the serial numbers filed off, to a Marine base.

Honolulu-based Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris A. Thomas said by telephone that Ronald William Abram and two others have decided to fight the charges in civilian federal court. Vaught and three others will allow a military court to hear their cases, he said.

Full Article Here

Bloggers vs. Journalist

In follow up to my post on Code of Ethics for Bloggers. I just got an interesting comment from reader Gary that showed me a few links about some other peoples thoughts on Bloggers vs. Journalists and I just thought I’d share them here.

…For what it’s worth, I think journalists are unnerved and defensive because one of the mediums that they’re published on now is open to anyone to publish.  They seem to feel that this is unfair. Because their access to the web is controlled, they seem to feel everyone’s should be.

Mr. Schorr, on that same NPR show, said that the internet was like a market or bazaar where anyone can come and shout anything they want and be heard by anyone who cares to listen. This is a particularly apt analogy. If we apply it to journalists on the internet, we see that it’s like making them stand on a milk crate and announce the news on the street corner just like everyone else, whereas before they had special arrangements. They spoke from a balcony with a loudspeaker.

And that’s the inversion that I think not everyone appreciates. It’s not so much that we, the bloggers have invaded the journalists’ turf, it’s rather that they’re now forced to operate on ours. A medium used to come with a certain implied or built-in credibility and certainly privilege. If you got to speak, it was sort of assumed that at least you had your facts more or less straight.

But access to a medium does not necessarily equate to credibility and really, it never has. Anyone with sufficient money can print their own newspaper. But just because something is printed on sheets of paper that look like a newspaper doesn’t mean it’s true. Trustworthy journalists and news institutions earned their stripes over the years by doing their jobs well and being proven out by facts and people’s real-world experiences… “Read at Joe’s

Another quote:

…That’s why journalism is a craft, not a profession. There is no licensing or board testing required for journalists, and that’s just the way reporters and editors want it.

The practical outcome is that anyone can be a journalist. As part of a story we are researching for State Legislatures magazine, we’ve found nearly 60 percent of statehouse reporters for print outlets also blog, and a larger percentage say blogs have increased the amount of information about their legislature available to readers… The Thicket at State Legislatures

Code of Ethics For Bloggers… Ah Bull $#!T… What About Current Journalist Who Blog?

There has been discussion over the years about what makes a good blog and what doesn’t make a good blog.  A lot of talk has been thrown around about “Ethical Blogging”.

I think many people are still mixing up Blogs for other forms of media and Blog writers as Journalist who subscribe to the Code of Ethics formulated by the Society for Professional Journalist.

…Members of the Society share a dedication to ethical behavior and adopt this code to declare the Society’s principles and standards of practice.

There are some strict rules to this code and the wording is not very forgiving on some of the code:

  • Deliberate distortion is never permissible.
  • Always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity.
  • Make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context.
  • Tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience boldly, even when it is unpopular to do so.
  • Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy.
  • Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity (Me pander to curiosity… never)

The list goes on and on… about what members of this Society have pledged to adhere to.

My question… Is someone who is a member of this society… of which I am not… Also held to these same code of ethics on a Personal Blog?

If I were to become a member of the Big Island Press Club… Do they expect these same ethics to hold true to a blogger who never wanted to be a “journalist”.

FBI Blogs

The FBI Blogs site had a soft launch last week and I’ll be pushing it a bit more in the next week.

I have had my hands full the last few days trying out new things with the site.  It’s been an interesting few days working out kinks and tweaks with the site.

I wish I was more talented at things like this, and it’s a big learning process for me to get this thing started up.

I’ve decided to limit the amount of bloggers to 25 for now, which means I have room for about 3 more spots.

I’ve opened up the RSS feeds to 2 posts per blogger so that people won’t feel as though they might be missing something.

I’m still waiting for the PROFILE PICTURE OF MR. TIM SULLIVAN!… He might get stuck with some toes if he doesn’t send me his profile picture soon… (personal joke).

I’ll be adding a few new features to the site as the weeks progress and see what direction things go.  Once the site is up and running, it should be very little to no maintenance at all.  I wish I could figure out a script to move my widgets automatically.

Larry … you know how to do that by any chance?

I’d like to thank Macario for posting the first Header image for the site.  Still looking for other submissions, and I don’t see why the header can’t change every once in awhile.

I’m beta testing a chat feature where people could chat amongst other people on the site while they are visiting.  Currently looking at Gabbly, but I don’t like the ads that pop-up on it.  If anyone knows of a good “Free” chat client that allows people to chat over a site w/out all the ads… please let me know.

As soon as I get that site going… I can go back to blogging like a normal blogger… or do I mean abnormal?

I’m also looking at different ways to possibly feed the site directly so there isn’t that initial lag when accessing the site.

So come check out some of the best blogs on the Big Island:

FBI Big Island Blogs

Public Works PUBLIC Information Officer Noelani Whittington 2009 LAVA Tube Award Winner

It’s official… I read the newspaper today at work and low and behold… there it was.

Of course I appreciate Peter for filling me in on the scoops on the corrected Press Release that went out… and of course I appreciate my little birds that drop by now and then with their little tid bits of information.

Here is the article in full from the Hawaii Tribune Herald.  I’m posting it in full because I know that soon enough… people will be charged to read this again…  I hate that model of information… Give it free now… but then charge for it later.

Public Works PIO criticized

By Tribune-Herald
Published: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 9:06 AM HST

The Big Island Press Club has selected Noelani Whittington, public information officer for the Hawaii County Department of Public Works, as the unfavorable recipient of the Big Island Press Club’s Lava Tube Award, given annually to highlight the worst violation of government openness in the state.

The Torch of Light Award, awarded for the best example of open government, goes to Gov. Linda Lingle and the Hawaii State Legislature for passing a law to protect newsgatherers from revealing confidential sources.

Whittington “wins” this year for a memo she wrote in mid-November directing employees how to handle media requests. The memo directed employees not to speak to the media, not to discuss the causes of problems and how to stop the photographing or videotaping of baseyards and road projects.

The since-rescinded memo named several individuals — video producer Dave Corrigan, and bloggers Aaron Stene and Damon Tucker — who are not to receive any information from the department. This is despite the Hawaii County Charter requirement that “all persons shall be treated in a courteous, fair and impartial manner.” Whittington ignored the Charter when she wrote, “They are not journalists. They write what they think.”

“We hope that all the ex-journalists now working in the Kenoi administration will encourage a new standard for openness and access to information in county government,” said BIPC President Peter Serafin. “Today, every presidential press release is available to anyone with a computer and a modem — news professional or not. How can any local government justify being less open?”

In 2008 Reps. Blake Oshiro, Kirk Caldwell, Glenn Wakai, Gene Ward and Tommy Waters introduced a journalism shield bill, which the Legislature passed with no “nay” votes, and which Gov. Linda Lingle signed into law.

The Lava Tube and Torch of Light awards are announced each year on March 16, which is celebrated nationwide as Freedom of Information Day on the birthday of James Madison, the foremost champion of openness in government among the nation’s founding fathers.

The Big Island Press Club was founded in Hilo, in 1967.

The Lava Tube and Torch of Light awards have been presented annually since being established on the occasion of the Club’s 30th anniversary in 1997.

*UPDATE* Big Island Press Club Selects Noelani Whittington from the Hawaii County Department of Public Works as the Recipient of its 2008 Lava Tube Award… Re: Bloggers Are People Too

*UPDATE*

My apologies for throwing the entire Hawaii County Department of Public Works under the bus for the following post.  Please see the above post or click here for the correction as Ms. Noelani Whittington, from the DPW, is the sole recipient of this award.

The Big Island Press Club has selected the Hawaii County Department of
Public Works as the recipient of its Lava Tube Award for 2008. The dubious
honor highlights the worst violation of government openness in the state.
In an unexpected twist, the Torch of Light Award goes to Gov. Linda Lingle
and the Hawaii State Legislature for passing a journalism shield law.

Public Works “wins” this year for a memo that Public Information Officer
Noelani Whittington
wrote in mid-November directing employees on how to
handle media requests. Whittington’s job is to improve the flow of
information between the government and the public, who has every right to
know what is going on. Instead, she instructed employees not to speak to
the media, not to discuss the causes of problems and how to stop the
photographing or videotaping of baseyards and road projects.

More egregiously, the since-rescinded memo names several individuals –
Dave Corrigan, Aaron Stene and Damon Tucker – who were not to receive any information from the department. That directive flies in the face of the
County Charter requirement that “all persons shall be treated in a
courteous, fair and impartial manner.” It appears the exception to “all
persons” is bloggers, because as the memo stated, “They are not
journalists. They write what they think.” The freedom to write what we
think is a basic human right, not a reason to withhold information.

Every year since 1997, the BIPC has given a Lava Tube dishonorable mention to the Hawaii State Legislature for its self-exemption from the Sunshine Law. While the BIPC continues to support closing that loophole, this year the club’s Board of Directors chose to recognize the lawmakers for
something they did right.

In 2008. Reps. Blake Oshiro, Kirk Caldwell, Glenn Wakai, Gene Ward and
Tommy Waters introduced a journalism shield bill, which the Legislature
passed with no “nay” votes, and which Gov. Linda Lingle signed into law.

The law is not perfect. The BIPC supports a strengthening of its
provisions in the future and is concerned about the repeal date of June
30, 2011. Yet a weakened shield law is better than nothing, and helps to
ensure the free flow of information to the public.

The Lava Tube and Torch of Light awards are announced each year on March 16, which is celebrated nationwide as Freedom of Information Day on the birthday of James Madison, the foremost champion of openness in government among the nation’s founding fathers. Madison was born in 1751.

The Big Island Press Club was founded in Hilo in 1967. The Lava Tube and
Torch of Light awards have been presented annually since being established
on the occasion of the Club’s 30th anniversary in 1997.

PREVIOUS LAVA TUBE WINNERS:

2007 Board of Education

2006 Kauai County Council, Honolulu City and County Council

2005 Third Circuit District Court Judge Matthew Pyun

2004 State Land Board Chairman Peter Young

2003 State Sen. Calvin Kawamoto

2002 University of Hawaii Board of Regents

2001 University of Hawaii Board of Regents

2000 State Rep. Eric Hamakawa, Hawaii County Councilman James Arakaki

1999 Hawaii County Council

1998 Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano

1997 Hawaii County Councilman Elroy Osorio


Tribune Herald Stories Delayed Today and Just Copying Gannett Articles Now

I had to laugh when I went to the Tribune Herald Website to try and find the article that was in Today’s Paper about Yale giving $12 Million for use of the Keck Observatories.

I was going to say… It’s about time the Tribune Herald caught up with this story… since I first reported it on February 19th of last month.

But then I came across the following message… so I can’t even give them credit for catching up yet.

Due to system upgrades, March 15th’s Hawaii Tribune-Herald stories will be delayed until Monday, March 16th. Mahalo for your patience.

So if your really interested in last months news today… you can either go to the store and pick up a newspaper for $1.00… You can wait another day for it to come online at their site….

Or you can check my blog from about 20 some days ago:

Yale University to Invest $12 Million in Keck Observatories

It’s funny that they printed the article in this mornings paper as if it was yesterday’s news too!

The worst part about it… it’s hard to come down on the Tribune… cause they just simply reprinted the Honolulu Advertisers article on the subject.

How much more local can you get??? It’s fricking sitting on top of this island and the news about this is more then 3 weeks old already…

GEEZ!

Don’t you just love our newspapers?

They should get a new slogan… Yesterdays Last Months News When We Find Out About it From Someone Else

Tiffany Edwards-Hunt Fires Off at Her Former Supervisors: Reed Flickinger – “…his mental, emotional and verbal abuse” Publisher Rick Asbach: “It’s like he is in La-La land or something”

Kudos to Big Island Chronicle Blogger Tiffany Edwards-Hunt for telling off her former boss West Hawaii Today Editor, Reed Flickinger, in her blog today!

Edwards-Hunt blogs:

…Looks like West Hawaii Today editor Reed Flickinger has chased off yet another talented reporter with — It’s about time someone said this publicly —  his mental, emotional and verbal abuse…
… (Flickinger) is mentally trying and, yes, abusive…

She also fires away at Publisher Rick Asbach:

…It’s like he is in La-La land or something…

Damn.. She even continued on in her blog saying “shit”… which I thought she reserved the swear words for me… but obviously she is pissed still at her former employers and I don’t blame her one bit if the workplace environment described in her blog is the way it is.

More Here

My Interview With ESPN Talk Radio About the Blackballing Incident

espn2

@joshontheradio was kind enough to allow me a few minutes on ESPN Talk Radio the other day on his sports show that is broadcast throughout the Big Island.

On today’s episode, we talk about the USA Amateur Boxing event with Anthony Pagan and his boxers, the DPW/Bis Island Blog controversy with Damon Tucker of Damon Tuckers Blog, our Sport Up! Spotlight with Lyle Crozier, including questions on the future of the BIIF, and we go Running with the Big Dog, Wayne Joseph!

“Never Doubt That A Small Group of Thoughtful, Committed Citizens Can Change The World” by Margaret Mead

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTPteuX0jxQ&hl=en&fs=1]

Aaron Stene, of the Kona Blog,  had a pre-recorded interview that was on the following day that you can listen to here 3/12/09.