Department of Public Works Spokesperson Noelani Whittington’s INFAMOUS Memo(s) BLACKBALLING Me, Aaron and Dave

Kudos to Aaron for posting the following memo’s from Noelani Whittington at the Department of Public Works regarding the Blackballing of Aaron, Dave and Myself.

There are three separate documents.  I separated each of them by lines.

And once again, before reading this… REMEMBER… I HAVE NEVER CONTACTED THE DPW FOR ANYTHING IN MY LIFE!  If there is a public record of me Emailing them as Noelani Claims… I’d really love to see this.  Just another fabrication as I have never called or emailed that office!

And by the way Noelani… My blog is called “Damon Tucker’s Weblog”.  The “Hawaii Blog” is another blog on another island.  Get your blogs straight before you start Blackballing them at least!


Policy for procedures for Citizen Journalists

Avoid a citizen journalist?

Citizen journalists are a new breed of bloggers who use the internet to express their opinions about DPW projects.  They are not journalists.  They write what they think

Blogging reaches 120 million viewers daily.

These individuals are Aaron Stene and Damon Tucker. Their e-mail addresses are or

Their blogs are: Kona blog, Poinography, Puna Web, and Hawaii Blog

How do we identify them?

They contact us by e-mail using their e-mail addresses. Rarely do they call us.

They never identify or consider themselves as a “citizen journalist.”

Procedure to handle a Citizen Journalist

1. Stop. Do not give out information.

2.      Refer their e-mail inquiries to the Public Information office.

3.      Insert this message, “please contact our public information office at 557-6437 or by e-mail at”

They will ask for information about:

  • Palani Road-why the delays? Mamalahoa by-pass-the Coupe case, opening the entire by-pass, Grace Church moving the utility poles and why the delay?
  • Traffic in Puna, anything about Puna and DPW

Issued: November 16, 2008


Policy and Procedure for Photographers or Videographers on County property

Procedure for filming at base yards and at road projects

1)     Stop them.

2)     Ask them to follow you to your office, or to your car

3)     Call 557-6437.  Public Information will take over from here.

Who should know about this procedure? Supervisors and front desk staff,


1)     Photographers or Videographers must be accompanied by someone from the Public Information office.

2)     Public Information will check their credentials and verify their assignment with their respective boss.

3)     Public Information limits their access to a specific area and respects the privacy of the staff not to be filmed

4)     The photographers are: Baron Sekiya for West Hawaii Today; Will from the Tribune Herald-, Daryl Lee, free-lancer for KITV, KGMB, KHNL, KHON, and The Honolulu Advertiser.  Daryl also films for DPW on assignment.

5) NOT PERMITTED is Dave Corrigan for Big Island Video

Internal procedure:

Public Information will:

1)     ask the photographer to stop because of privacy issues with staff

2)      that prior arrangements are made

3)     Inform the division chief of the situation then the DPW director

Issued November 16, 2008

Videographers have a new blog, big island video  Dave Corrigan is the principal behind this operation.


Remember that media lives for a crisis. They will want to keep it going. Try to make it a one-day story. A crisis throws Public Works into an arena of public opinion, where bloggers, citizen journalists, (referred as social media) and traditional media are the judge and the jury, influencing the readers to form opinions.

Procedure to maintain the crisis:

1.       If you or a staff receives the call.

a.       Take the information; name affiliation, (who are you with?) best number to call you.

b.       What is your deadline?

c.       Citizen journalists will not identify themselves.  In this case, take their name and e-mail address.

2.       Staff refers the message immediately to their division chief.

3.       Division chief calls the Director and Public Information Officer (PIO) and provides details of the situation.

4.       Division chiefs, (if more than one division is involved) the DPW director, or other department directors, PIO and individuals involved meet to get the facts, discuss situation and agree on the best course of action.

a. Anyone implicated in the situation are not to speak to the media.

5.       PIO prepares a statement for the media.

6.       A memo may be generated to the staff to inform them of the situation

What’s at stake? Jobs and the reputations of good people are at stake and at the very worst if the situation continues to fester, public opinion could ask for them to step down from their positions.  It is humiliating for anyone to read in the paper, that punishment should include firing the individuals. We can at least try to minimize some of the damage by acting swiftly.

Negative behaviors that won’t help Public Works — Arrogance, no concern. ●Blame shifting ●Inconsistency ●Little or no preparation ● minimize the impact. ●No admission of responsibility

Establish trust

  • Provide advance information.
  • Ask for input from staff and those involved
  • Listen carefully.
  • Demonstrate that you’ve heard, i.e., change your plans.
  • Stay in touch.
  • Speak in plain language.
  • Bring involuntary participants into the decision-making process.
    • Make public acknowledgement and take responsibility.

Illustrate your credibility:

1.       Prepare to talk openly.

2.       Reveal what the public should know, even if they don’t ask.

3.       Explain problems and changes quickly.

4.       Answer all questions, even those that victims wouldn’t think to ask.

5.       Cooperate with the traditional and social media, recognizing that employees and the general public have a higher priority.

6.       Respect and seek to work with employees and opponents.

  1. The Bottom Line: Act Fast

It is often better to act quickly and make mistakes than to fail to act until it’s too late or the action becomes a meaningless gesture. In fact, solving problems and “winning” in crisis situations is a function of speed, of decision making, of action, of reaction, of collaboration, of swiftly applied common sense. Timidity and hesitation are the parents of defeat.

  • Far more is lost by refusing to speak to the media than is risked by doing so.
  • A vacuum of information breeds media hostility and public loss of confidence.
  • The public trust is affected; and something must be done to remediate the situation.
  • Communicate in ways that meet community standards
  • Don’t discuss cause or fault.

4 Responses

  1. How ironic it would be if
    It’s her position we end up reading about.

  2. ………wow.

    Now I can understand why Aaron told her to “kiss his ass” in whatever many words he did. (per Noelani)

  3. This “lady” should be fired. Now.

  4. Wow….unreal. Mahalo guys.

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