Civil Beat Staff

Brittany Lyte

Brittany Lyte is a general assignment reporter for Civil Beat who specializes in watchdog reporting, narrative storytelling and coverage of neighbor island and social issues. Prior to joining the Honolulu newsroom in March 2018, Brittany lived on the north shore of Kaua’i, where she juggled a freelance writing career while learning to surf, scuba dive, hunt wild pigs, prepare delicious ulu pancakes and perfect the soursop cocktail. Her writing during this period appeared in publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Atlantic and Hana Hou! magazine. Previously, she worked for Hearst Newspapers in Connecticut. An Upstate New York native, she has a degree in journalism from Boston University.

In a decade of reporting, Brittany has traveled to Russia, Poland and across the U.S., interviewing subjects ranging from the Dalai Lama to Ghostface Killah of the Wu-Tang Clan. Her writing has explored a similarly vast range of topics, from the plight of an accused cannibal on the run from police to an investigation into undocumented toxic waste buried beneath suburban Connecticut homes. Her series on the latter subject earned national accolades and inspired the state legislature to adopt a new real estate disclosure law to better protect homebuyers.

In pursuit of a good story, Brittany has learned to fly an M-26 Air Wolf and chased down a suspected killer while wearing heels and a silk dress.

Workers Scramble To Seal Wells At Geothermal Plant Threatened By Lava Courtesy of Puna Geothermal Venture

Workers Scramble To Seal Wells At Geothermal Plant Threatened By Lava

“There are many unpredictable things that could happen,” says the head of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.

Big Island Lava Flows Reach Site Of Geothermal Plant USGS

Big Island Lava Flows Reach Site Of Geothermal Plant

A naturally occurring berm has so far halted the flow’s advance, but officials warn if the lava does hit the plant’s underground wells it could trigger the release of poisonous gases.

The Quest To Rebuild An Old Russian Fort On Kauai — And Meet Putin Mike Coots/Civil Beat

The Quest To Rebuild An Old Russian Fort On Kauai — And Meet Putin

But a UH archaeologist says the Russian presence was minimal — and any plan should focus on the fort’s place in Native Hawaiian history.

More Victims Of The Kauai Flood — Tourist Vacation Rentals Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

More Victims Of The Kauai Flood — Tourist Vacation Rentals

Kauai County had already cracked down on hundreds of remote visitor rentals. The flood might have doomed many more.

Experts: Think Twice Before Rebuilding In Kauai’s Flood Zone Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Experts: Think Twice Before Rebuilding In Kauai’s Flood Zone

Kauai has historically allowed development along rivers and in coastal areas vulnerable to flooding.

Hawaii Seeks Federal Disaster Assistance For Flood-Ravaged Kauai Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Hawaii Seeks Federal Disaster Assistance For Flood-Ravaged Kauai

The state’s detailed assessment of damage includes destroyed homes and roads, lost tourism dollars and PTSD among residents.

Floods Have Left Behind ‘A Different World’ On Kauai’s North Shore Matt Feeser/Civil Beat

Floods Have Left Behind ‘A Different World’ On Kauai’s North Shore

The storm’s toll in Hanalei and more remote areas includes destroyed homes, lost jobs and vanished tourist dollars.

Lifeline To Kauai’s North Shore Must Be Rebuilt Now, Relocated Later DLNR

Lifeline To Kauai’s North Shore Must Be Rebuilt Now, Relocated Later

UPDATED: Officials expect to reopen one lane for emergency access on the damaged Kuhio Highway by May 7.

Reality Sets In For Kauai’s Flooded-Out Residents Courtesy of Courtney McLaughlin

Reality Sets In For Kauai’s Flooded-Out Residents

“It’s so surreal that everything that we had is now just part of the land,” said an Anahola resident surveying her ruined homestead.

Hawaii Supreme Court Rules Some Extra-Long Sentences Unconstitutional Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii Supreme Court Rules Some Extra-Long Sentences Unconstitutional

Several offenders who were given extended sentences for their crimes by a judge, rather than a jury, may have to be resentenced.

Kanaka Rangers: It’s Time To Move Forward With Hawaiian Homesteads Courtesy: Big Island Beneficiary Trust Council

Kanaka Rangers: It’s Time To Move Forward With Hawaiian Homesteads

The state is decades behind in awarding land to Native Hawaiians on Mauna Kea and elsewhere under the state homestead act.

New Molokai Ranch Plans Pitched To A Development-Wary Island ©PF Bentley/Civil Beat

New Molokai Ranch Plans Pitched To A Development-Wary Island

An energy company has proposed buying the 55,000 acre ranch, which has been idle since 2008, to farm organic biofuels.

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