Civil Beat Staff

Sophie Cocke

Sophie Cocke is a reporter for Civil Beat. You can reach her by email at or follow her on twitter at @sophiecocke.
PF Bentley/Civil Beat

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell endorsed Gov. Neil Abercrombie for re-election on Monday morning, stressing their good working relationship.

In a staged photo-op, the governor and mayor greeted each other in the middle of a crosswalk on Punchbowl Street, perhaps symbolizing their ability to reach “middle ground” on issues.

Civil Beat photographer PF Bentley was there to get the shots:

Gov. Abercrombie and Mayor Caldwell hug on the Hawaii State Capitol grounds after the Mayor endorsed Abercrombie for re-election as governor on July 21, 2014.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat



It’s a sad day for zookeepers and the Honolulu Zoo’s sole remaining hippopotamus.

On Friday morning, Rosey, one of two female hippos, was found dead of unknown causes, according to a press release from Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s office.

A necropsy is scheduled for the hippo next week.

The hippo exhibit is closed indefinitely as Rosey’s body is removed.

Meanwhile, “zoologists will be monitoring and comforting the remaining hippopotamus during this traumatic time,” according to the press releasee.

Rosey was 3,000 pounds and 25-years old.

Hippo at the Honolulu Zoo.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat

The city of Honolulu is letting people off easy for violating laws that ban commercial activity in residential areas, such as renting out homes for weddings, according to Honolulu City Council members.

Indeed, past media reports show that the city often reduces fines for such activities. For instance, an illegal wedding business owned by supermodel Kathy Ireland in Kahala was only required to pay 5 percent of city fines, KHON reported last year.

But that could change.

Honolulu Councilmembers Stanley Chang and Ann Kobayashi have introduced a bill that would require council approval if the


Honolulu transportation officials will hold a public meeting Tuesday, July 15, to discuss the city’s “complete streets” ordinance, which requires the city to take into account not just motorists when making street improvements, but also bikers and pedestrians.

The meeting will be held at the Neal Blaisedell Center in the Pikake Room, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

“The meeting is being held to highlight the work being done by the City and County of Honolulu to make our streets safer, more convenient and more accessible for all users, including motorists, transit riders, pedestrians