Food and politics. Technology and education.

The Civil Beat staff covered a lot of ground this week, with a big part of our coverage focused on learning.

We hear a lot about private schools in Hawaii. Katherine Poythress started us off this week with a detailed report on what it really means when one out of every five kids attend private school, and what that does to the public school system:

We also did a seven-part series about online testing in public schools. The new method saves time, saves money and yields quicker, more accurate results — overall, a boon. Here’s the first installment:

This week was about learning how to feed ourselves, too.

Michael Levine followed up last week’s “Eat Local” diary with a three-part series about food production in Hawaii:

Here are a few more highlights from the week:

We’ve spent a lot of hours in government offices this week examining public documents — part of our commitment to using public records in our reporting in the interest of transparency. So it’s worth noting that we responded this week to the city of Honolulu’s denial of our public records’ request, specifically the Honolulu Police Department’s contention that Hawaii’s open records law shouldn’t apply to them:

The Nov. 2 election is less than four weeks away and the cycle of candidate debates is starting up again. First up: gubernatorial candidates Neil Abercrombie and James “Duke” Aiona squaring off in their first broadcast debate, put on by Hawaii Public Radio on Maui. There weren’t a lot of fireworks and the candidates tended to cover a lot of the same ground, but Chad Blair brought a fresh perspective to characters we’re already familiar with by listening — instead of watching — the debate:

All is not fair when it comes to television ads — especially in Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District it seems. As Republican Congressman Charles Djou and his Democratic challenger Colleen Hanabusa argued over the latest set of TV ads, Michael Levine used the opportunity to spell out what the candidates really think about two big issues:

And on a more positive note, Adrienne LaFrance‘s search for Honolulu’s mayor-elect Peter Carlisle turned up an exciting sighting this week: Carlisle near a karaoke machine!

Next week, all eyes — including ours — will be on Honolulu Hale.

On Monday, Carlisle takes office as mayor. On Wednesday, Honolulu City Council members will bid aloha to the majority of its members. And at Civil Beat, we’ll be publishing our series on the city’s rail transit project and fact checking both sides’ claims about rail. There’ll be other goodies too, so keep your eyes peeled!

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