When I was given the Honolulu Beat at Peer News, I assumed that years of experience covering local government would be an advantage. Well, you know what they say about assumptions. As it turns out, I was even wrong about the name of the organization I would be writing for. Welcome to Civil Beat!
Here, covering Honolulu means looking beyond what’s happening at Honolulu Hale and the municipal building (and, yes, beyond Kapolei Hale, too). The city’s history has been shaped by important decisions made at City Hall, as well as the state Capitol, in Washington, D.C., and board rooms, not to mention in the voting booth.
The city’s $5.3 billion rail project is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. Mayor Mufi Hannemann may be the driving force behind the plan, but seeing it through requires buy-in from the City Council, state Legislature, governor, Federal Transit Administration and, in this case, the voters, who approved the use of steel-on-steel technology in 2008. And it doesn’t stop there.
I’ll try to answer your questions about the project. My other focus as we begin will be Honolulu Planning. Of course the two issues are related. As the mom of two kids, the question I keep asking when I’m doing this work is what kind of future are we giving them? Now that Civil Beat is live, I hope you’ll let me know your thoughts on important Honolulu issues — including what you would like to see me cover. …
About the Author
Report: Police Chief Sues City
Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha is suing the city Ethics Commission to stop an investigation targeting him and his wife, Hawaii News Now is reporting.
Website: Ige Is So-So So Far
Hawaii Gov. David Ige gets mixed reviews in an assessment of the nation’s rookie governors on the website Governing.
North Korea’s Miniature Nukes
A top American military official contends North Korea has the ability to place miniature nuclear weapons on rockets that could reach the U.S.
A local coalition currently receives $9.8 million in federal funding, but a new rule penalizes areas seen as criminalizing homelessness.
· By Patti Epler
· By Chad Blair
A former employee of Ansaldo Honolulu JV claims a lack of safety oversight could result in hazardous conditions and liability.
The state wants soil testing done, and it’s also asking a federal agency to help determine if there are health risks at the base in Kaneohe.
For years, county liquor commissions have controlled dancing in bars and restaurants where alcohol is served. Now they have to define what it is.
Members whose terms expired in June stay on to keep the council running as they wait — and wait — for Gov. David Ige to make new appointments.
The head of Hawaiian Electric Co. talks about Hawaii’s 2045 renewable energy goals and how unique conditions help keep the islands’ power bills so high.
When belongings are confiscated instead of trashed, Honolulu’s retrieval process is too expensive and cumbersome for many.
The Center for Food Safety sought emails between legislators and seed companies. It’s appealing the denials to the Office of Information Practices.
If the sign isn’t removed, a group demands more signs, including one saying, “There is no god … We have each other.”
A legal clinic trying to exonerate those who have been wrongfully convicted has new leadership that’s hoping to free more innocent people.
As the sun finally overpowered the clouds, some visitors couldn’t resist venturing a little farther out on Oahu’s southeast shores than safety officials would prefer.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige and the EPA praise a new agreement to fix the underground storage tanks, but critics say it’s not enough.
The Public Utilities Commission hears a lot about alternative utility ownership models, but little about a proposed sale of Hawaiian Electric Industries.
Candidates include Walter Ritte, Rowena Akana, Bumpy Kanahele, Dante Carpenter, Lilikala Kameeleihiwa and Faye Hanohano.
The state Land Use Commission often lacks the power to enforce the conditions that developers agree to.
Keith Davis was in an unusual and sometimes dangerous line of work, often spending weeks at sea to make sure fishermen abide by the rules.
Of the state program’s 800-plus “graduates,” only 20 have returned to prison after committing a new sex crime, a recidivism rate of slightly more than 2 percent.
The Navy says the plume is stable, but it is nearly half the volume of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill.
As the ACLU launches a legal battle against Honolulu’s sweeps of homeless encampments, it points to a Los Angeles case in which that city’s sweeps were ruled unconstitutional.
An assessment of the controversial Honolulu Police Commission is up next for the panel looking at improving the structure of Oahu’s government.
The justices consider a change after nearly two dozen attorneys requested the ability to help clients who want to establish dispensaries.
Hawaii is underserving its 12,000 youths who suffer from mental illness, and the problem is getting worse.