Hawaii's Instaweek: A Shark, Wayne's World and Gay Marriage Vote Preps


It was a whale of a week, both for Civil Beat and for the people who spotted a floating whale carcass.

Our reporter Alia Wong delivered an eyebrow-raising report on New Hope Church's founding pastor, Wayne Cordeiro. The investigative piece delves into the prominent religious figure's markedly high salary and family real estate dealings even as the churches are embroiled in a lawsuit alleging they underpaid the state for their use of public school facilities and utilities.

The story sparked a lively — and, unfortunately, not always civil — debate with hundreds of comments on the article and our Facebook page. The article drew impassioned supporters and detractors, with some of the latter highlighting the timing just before the Legislature's special session on marriage equality next week. While Cordeiro has been particularly outspoken against legalizing same-sex marriage, Alia's article was actually a natural in-depth follow-up to her previous reporting on a lawsuit that was filed earlier this summer. And the same-sex issue is not addressed in Alia's deeper dive into the pastor's finances.

Speaking of same-sex marriage, we published our fresh polling on the issue. We found that support for gay marriage has grown since the last time we checked, and that voters are increasingly frustrated with Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

And then there was the rest of the colorful news of the week.

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