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

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

From the Pacific Media Workers Guild

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On June 6, 2010 I wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Goodbye Hunter Bishop Dot Com Forever! URL: http://HunterBishop.Com For Sale

Well we all knew a long time ago that when Hunter Bishop took a job with the Mayor’s Office that he announced that he would be ending his very popular blog.

I think many of us were hoping that someday he would return to blogging on his own site.  I was clearing out some of my old bookmarks and clicked on Hunter’s old site (http://hunterbishop.com/) and noticed that his domain is for sale.

I’m sure that Hunter himself has nothing to do with his old URL being for sale and I doubt he will receive any money if the site is purchased.  If you ask me… it almost seems kind of a sleazy thing to do already “Chucker”.

I’m sure Hunter would have no time getting his site back on legal grounds from anyone that did purchase his domain name from Chucker.

There aren’t too many “Hunter Bishop’s” in this world… I think Hunter should be able to own his own domain w/out having to freaking purchase it from Chucker!  There is something called cyber-squatting you know!

A Big Screen TV, A Barbeque Grill, and a Pig… Sounds Like Fun!

Deputy Environmental Management Director Hunter Bishop, Executive Assistant to the Mayor Kevin Dayton

Deputy Environmental Management Director Hunter Bishop, Executive Assistant to the Mayor Kevin Dayton and I remove a huge television from a pull-off on the Puaianako Extension (Photo Courtesy of Starsha Young)

As I mentioned yesterday, today was the first Opala in Paradise clean up and it was quite successful!  About 10 folks showed up to participate in this clean up..

Kevin Dayton,  an Executive Assistant to the Mayor’s Office suggested that the first site that we tackle as a group was a corridor along the Puainako extension that he and his son often work to clean up on… but recently it’s just gotten out of control.

The first site we tackled was about 3 or 4 miles up Puainako where Kevin knew there was a big screen TV and some glass that needed to be cleared out.

I was pleased to see Hunter Bishop from the Department of Environmental Management show up on his own time using his own truck… but what was even more hilarious… was watching both Kevin Dayton and Hunter Bishop getting down and straight up nasty with a dead pig carcass that needed to be removed.

You can just look at the expression on their faces as to how stink this dead pig carcass was!

After the pig was moved to a place where it would rot away without stinking up site too much, we then were able to pick up about a half a barrel of broken glass.

We drove down Puainako a bit and at the next pull off we tackled, we found all sorts of stuff including a barbecue grill that looked like with a little fixing up… it might still be usable.

We were fortunate to have folks like Ed Miner from Kolohe Auto Repair come out and volunteer his truck and time for this project.

I was pretty amazed at some of the stuff that was just dumped on the side of the road.  Everything from a set of tires to condoms to dead animal parts.  My mom found this skull.

All together we cleaned up about four pull offs and the area right next to Puainako and Komohana Street in about two hours of time.

I’d like to thank the following folks for showing up.  From the County, Kevin Dayton, Hunter Bishop and Bobby Jean Leithead Todd.  Individuals Starsha Young, Larry and Diane Czerwonka,  Ed Miner, Kevin Dayton’s son and his friends as well as my mom Su Tucker.

Need tires? Kevin Dayton sits on a pile of four tires pulled out at the corner of Komohana and Puainako Street (Photo Courtesy of Starsha Young)

Mayor Kenoi Names Deputies in Three Departments

From the Mayor’s Office:

County of Hawai‘i Mayor Billy Kenoi has announced the appointments of three deputies to key posts in the Department of Public Works, Department of Environmental Management and the Office of Housing and Community Development.

Former Deputy Corporation Counsel Brandon Gonzalez has been appointed deputy director of the County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works, Mayor Kenoi announced.

Gonzalez, 36, will work on strategic planning, formulation of the fiscal year 2011-12 budget and implementation of recommendations of recent audits.

Gonzalez worked as deputy corporation counsel from 2003 until this year. His responsibilities included defending the county in civil lawsuits; advising the Windward and Leeward Planning Commissions on legal matters; and assisting with collective bargaining. Gonzalez previously worked as a deputy prosecutor for the City & County of Honolulu.

“Brandon is an important addition to the Public Works team,” said Public Works Director Warren Lee. “His legal background and his experience in planning and collective bargaining issues will help the department more quickly reach its key goals.”

Gonzalez is also vice president of the East Hawai‘i Bar Association, and is a member of the board of the Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of East Hawai‘i.

Mayor Kenoi also announced the appointment of Hunter Bishop, 59, as deputy director of the County Department of Environmental Management.

Hunter Bishop and Mayor Kenoi

Bishop was formerly executive assistant to the mayor, and has worked on projects that include planning and coordinating anti-dumping education and enforcement efforts that involve community groups, the Department of Environmental Management, police and prosecutors.

“Our county Department of Environmental Management faces many challenges in keeping Hawai‘i Island clean and healthy at a time of limited funding,” said Mayor Kenoi. “One of the department’s most important tasks is finding ways to reach out to residents to remind them of the importance of waste reduction, conservation and recycling. Hunter has many years of experience in communications and a passion for environmental protection, and I am pleased he is joining DEM Director Frank DeMarco and his staff in managing our island’s wastewater and solid waste disposal operations.”

Bishop has a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Temple University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1970. He also has 27 years experience in journalism.

Mayor Kenoi also announced the appointment of Niniau Simmons as assistant Housing Administrator in the Office of Housing and Community Development.

Simmons is the former chief operations and finance officer for Hui Malama Ola Na ‘Oiwi, a health care system with offices across the island. Most recently she served as executive director of the state King Kamehameha Day Celebration Commission, and was assistant director of Hale Kuamo‘o, which is the Hawaiian language center within Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikolani, the College of Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

She is a Harry S. Truman Scholar (2000), and has a bachelor’s degree in political science from University of Hawai‘i at Hilo.

“I am very pleased Niniau has agreed to join our team at the Office of Housing and Community Development,” Mayor Kenoi said. “Her leadership skills and experience in both the government and non-profit sectors will be important assets for the department.”

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

Media Release:

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

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

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

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

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

The judge found that the company fired the union leaders because they were engaged in legally protected union activity, not because of any job-related violations. He ordered both Bishop and Smith reinstated to their jobs with full back pay and benefits. The judge also found the company guilty of illegally disciplining employees for participation in union activities and several other violations of employee rights.

Rather than implementing the judge’s order, the company has appealed to the NLRB in Washington, D.C. The appeal is pending.

Guild spokesperson for the talks and former Hawaii Newspaper Guild administrative officer Wayne Cahill said it was his belief the company had no intention of ever reaching an agreement, but that it had second thoughts because of the strong will of the employees, who were planning an island-wide consumer boycott against the newspaper if agreement could not be achieved.

Cahill said, “The employees and the full Big Island Labor Alliance made a strong statement at a rally in front of the newspaper on March 17. It had to be apparent to the company that it would have a hard time doing business in Hilo unless it treated its employees fairly.”

Cahill took over the talks in September 2009 after Guild sector representative Mike Burrell retired. Burrell had led the talks for the Guild for the first five years of bargaining. Cahill retired at the conclusion of the talks.

The Hawaii Newspaper Guild is a local of The Newspaper Guild, a sector of the Communication Workers of America. The Hawaii local also represents employees at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the Maui News and the Maui Bulletin.

One Year Ago Today… The Day We Lost a Hunter to Our Mayor

One of the persons that inspired me to start my blog was former Hawaii Tribune Journalist turned blogger Hunter Bishop.

Public Information Specialist Hunter Bishop and the Mayor at the Puna Geothermal 15 Year Anniversary Celebration

A year ago today, he announced on his blog that he would no longer be blogging and would be accepting a job as Mayor Kenoi’s Public Information Specialist.

Many folks were suspicious of Mayor Kenoi’s choices initially at who he brought in on his Mayoral “Team” as many of his closest aides were former journalists.

I openly supported Angel Pilago in his Mayoral race against Mr. Kenoi and some folks often said that Mr. Bishop was an adamant supporter of Mr. Kenoi.  I never saw it that  way.

Mr. Bishop always used his blog to tell the story as he saw it and he based his blog with facts and investigative research, something that many of us bloggers no longer seem to think is important.

Within a week or so after Mayor Kenoi took office and Mr. Bishop assumed his duties, I started receiving Press Releases directly from their office as well as other folks throughout the State that I guess Mayor Kenoi and his cabinet felt would do a decent job of getting the news out.

This surprised me, as I was a supporter of Mayor Kenoi’s opponent but I knew from that point on… that the selection of Hunter Bishop as the Public Information Specialist was one of the smartest decisions that Mayor Kenoi made.

I said the following a year ago and I will still say the same today:

Congrats Hunter!

The Blogging worlds loss is the islands gain!

Hawaii County Newsletter… Online or is It?

Public Information Specialist Hunter Bishop and Mayor Kenoi

Public Information Specialist Hunter Bishop and Mayor Kenoi

According the Mayors Office website:

New mayor’s newsletter available online

Well, I see the mayor still has a lot to learn as it actually isn’t available “Online”.

It still needs to be downloaded from the Counties site in a .PDF format which can be found here:

Let’s Get it Done

Now for the real question… why is the Mayor’s office still wasting so much time creating and developing .PDF files so that they can be disseminated in a paper format?

Paper waste is nothing but a waste of taxpayer dollars and I see no reason why this Newsletter can’t just be done online to save a heck of a lot of money.

I could have created that Newsletter and had it published and sent out to millions using my blog and Twitter all within about 2 hours.

Are they planning on also spending money mailing these out to folks?

I just don’t get it sometimes.

We have a Mayor that has a college degree and is open to social media I assume yet they don’t take the time to learn the tools to use it effectively.

When will our county government get it?

I’d like to point out something from the Hilo Living Blog today “Report on Waikiki and Hawaii Writers Conference“:

Many of the sessions at the Writers conference discussed the transition the book publishing industry is in today. In the past, publishers have relied on newspapers to channel their books to market…

The internet is the becoming a new avenue for publishers and authors to gain access to readers and let them know about newly published books. The result is that an author’s blog readership, web site hits and even twitter followers are becoming new metrics for the publishing world to define the potential audience size for a book that could translate into sales. If an author has a platform or potential audience of book buyers that is big enough, a publisher is more likely to sign book deal…

newsletter

Open Challenge to Mayor Kenoi

Dear Mayor Kenoi,

You just got back from a trip to California with some of the other mayors from the neighbor islands and I think you may be learning the importance of Social Media and the Internet.

I challenge you, Mayor Kenoi,  to get with the times and join Twitter.

Mayor Carvalho from Kauai is on Twitter:

MayorCarvalho

  1. http://twitpic.com/gzy5y view from my office!about 5 hours ago from TweetDeck
  2. @ronwileykong good morning Ron! Mahalo for all that you do! Look forward To seeing you on the marathon course in 2010!about 5 hours ago from TweetDeck in reply to ronwileykong
  3. @PhilConsulate got your Tweet! Aloha from Kauai!about 5 hours ago from TweetDeck in reply to PhilConsulate
  4. I finished the half Kauai Marathon @ 13.1 miles in 3hrs. 39 min. My goal was 4hrs. or less. Still sore but happy to be back @ work!about 6 hours ago from TweetDeck
  5. Just received my new I Phone… Not too familiar with the menu of options8:38 AM Sep 2nd from Twitterrific
  6. Looking forward to going to the Kauai County Farm Burau Fair! Hope to see you there!6:40 PM Aug 28th from web

I do see that Public Information Specialist Hunter Bishop has signed up for twitter, but apparently has found no use for it yet.

There is a fairly large growing community of Big Island users now using Twitter…

It’s free, easy to use, and available anywhere you may be located.

Mayor Kenoi on the 2% Land Fund… Hunter Bishop’s Viddler Account

[viddler id=8be507a7&w=437&h=288]

Taken from the Hawaii County Website.

However, I just noticed that you can go directly to Hunter Bishop’s Viddler Account and view all of his recently uploaded videos there as well.

They have all been posted on the counties site so there is no big surprises… It’s just sometimes people miss things when it’s just a link and not something they can actually click to make a movie play… So I’m kind of suprised that he just didn’t embed them directly into the blog for easier viewing for people that aren’t as “Akamai” when it comes to going to links.

New County Website Being Developed Says Bishop

I spoke with Hunter Bishop tonight at the Highway 130 meeting, and I asked him how the website was coming along.  He mentioned that they are still working on it and it should be coming along soon.

He did mention that it would feature RSS feeds so that media outlets could just have the information fed directly to their sites.

Still waiting though.

I forgot to ask a few things I guess I should have asked… like how about a county blog?