Civil Beat Staff

Patti Epler

Patti Epler is the Editor and General Manager of Civil Beat.

Patti has been a reporter and editor since 1976. She began her career in Anchorage, Alaska, writing a column for The Anchorage Times and covering cops and courts in the frontier state at a time construction of the massive trans-Alaska pipeline was drawing thousands of young people north and opening up a new energy source for the country.

Patti moved to Hawaii in 1982 where she lived on a 41-foot sailboat in Keehi Lagoon and worked for Honolulu Magazine. She returned to Alaska in 1984 to a job covering the state’s booming oil and gas business, utilities, mining and environmental issues. In 1989, she was one of the lead reporters on the Exxon Valdez oil spill. She was also a member of the Anchorage Daily News team that won the 1989 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal For Public Service for a series on alcoholism and self-destructive behavior among Alaska Natives.

In 1990, she and her family, including a young daughter, moved to Olympia, Washington, where Patti covered politics and the Legislature for the Tacoma News Tribune. In 1997, she moved to Phoenix, Arizona, and an editor’s job at the alt-weekly, Phoenix New Times. In 2004, she became projects editor and city editor at the East Valley Tribune, at the time the Phoenix metro area’s second largest daily paper. In 2008, Patti edited and directed that paper’s series on the immigration enforcement practices of a colorful local sheriff, an effort that was awarded the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting.

She moved to the online news world in 2009, joining with other journalists to found the Arizona Guardian, a short-lived news site covering politics and government. In 2010, she returned to Alaska to work on another reporter-founded website, the Alaska Dispatch.

She was hired as Civil Beat’s deputy editor in September 2011 and was named Editor when former Editor John Temple left to take a job as managing editor of the Washington Post in April 2012.

Patti is an old-school investigative journalist in a new media world. She still values solid relationships with news sources and strong journalistic ethics. Like many of her colleagues, she’s been laid off (more than once) from what were once vibrant and thriving newspapers. She is now a true believer in online journalism and all that the internet has to offer news operations that embrace meaningful reporting and investigative and watchdog journalism to encourage community discussion of important civic and political issues. Those concepts are at the core of Civil Beat.

She’s always available to grab a cup of coffee and talk about Hawaii and story ideas.

You can follow Patti on twitter @PattiEpler. You can also email her at patti@civilbeat.org. Direct line is 808-377-0561.

October 2017

Tuesday, October 31

On Campus: A New Charter School Scrambles To Open Its Doors

Sunday, October 29

We Have A New System For Reader Comments

September 2017

Thursday, September 14

Say Aloha To Our New Civil Beat Interns

June 2017

Wednesday, June 14

New Members Bring Fresh Perspectives To Civil Beat’s Editorial Board

April 2017

Monday, April 10

Meet Civil Beat’s New Managing Editor

March 2017

Wednesday, March 22

Civil Beat Wins Award For Series On Tourist Deaths

Thursday, March 9

Our ‘Offshore’ Podcast Continues With Season 2 — ‘The Sacred Mountain’

Wednesday, March 8

Civil Beat: The Morning Beat Gets A Makeover

January 2017

Wednesday, January 18

Civil Beat: Beefing Up And Drilling Down In 2017

December 2016

Monday, December 19

Covering The Trump Administration, Civil Beat-Style

Thursday, December 1

The Sex Lives Of Bees

November 2016

Tuesday, November 1

VIDEO: 3 Civil Questions For Kirk Caldwell And Charles Djou

October 2016

Friday, October 21

Civil Beat’s Work Is Honored By Local Groups

Thursday, October 13

Our New ‘Offshore’ Podcast: Hawaii’s Not Always Paradise

September 2016

Monday, September 19

Civil Beat’s Newest Intern Is Already Retired

Saturday, September 17

‘The Harbor’ Homeless Series Wins National Award

Tuesday, September 13

Edward Snowden Wants A Pardon

August 2016

Monday, August 29

New Civil Beat Initiative: Meet 3 Aspiring Young Hawaii Journalists

Monday, August 1

A Monk Seal Needs Help

July 2016

Friday, July 29

NextEra Buying Texas Utility

Monday, July 25

Here’s Your Chance To Comment On Our Commenting System

Thursday, July 14

What To Do When There Are Too Many Candidates In A Race

Monday, July 11

We’re Taking Election Coverage To The Town Square — Literally

Friday, July 1

Coming Tuesday: The History Of The Hawaiian Electric Co.

June 2016

Monday, June 27

Ben Nishimoto Is Our New Director Of Philanthropy

Saturday, June 25

Civil Beat Named Best Hawaii News Site For The 6th Year In A Row

Wednesday, June 8

Civil Beat: Finding Our Place In Hawaii’s Media Landscape

May 2016

Wednesday, May 18

Trolls Beware: Civil Beat Has A New Commenting System

March 2016

Monday, March 21

Patti Epler: Goodbye, Zuri Aki, We’ll Miss You

Monday, March 7

Patti Epler: ‘Spotlight’ Reminds Us Of What We Need To Be

February 2016

Friday, February 12

Pistol-Packing Solar Advocates?

Thursday, February 4

HPD’s New Assistant Chief Has A History Of Domestic Violence

January 2016

Friday, January 29

Gabbard To Gov: Declare Dengue Emergency

Thursday, January 28

Copter Cmdr Fired Days Before Crash

Monday, January 25

Patti Epler: Our Beef With The Donald Trump Campaign

December 2015

Thursday, December 31

Patti Epler: In 2015, We Pushed Harder To Make A Difference

Friday, December 11

TMT’s Place In History Of Telescope Battles

Thursday, December 3

Flare Ups In The Solar Industry

November 2015

Wednesday, November 25

CDC Checks Out Dengue Fever Outbreak

Tuesday, November 24

Hawaii, A Model For Gun Control?

Monday, November 23

‘Trumpeting Racism’ Is About Donald Trump

Thursday, November 12

‘The Harbor’: Special Report Will Explore Misconceptions About The Homeless

Podcast Transcript: ‘That’s JoJo — He’s Different’

Monday, November 2

Help For Micronesia ‘Atomic Veterans’

October 2015

Wednesday, October 14

The Story Behind ‘The Micronesians’

Monday, October 12

‘The Micronesians’: A Civil Beat Special Report Coming Wednesday

Wednesday, October 7

Tsunami Warning System Gets A Boost

Civil Beat Beefs Up Its Editing Team

Friday, October 2

Did Hawaii Lead to Pro Golfer’s Undoing?

Thursday, October 1

You Don’t Want To Find This on an Airplane

September 2015

Friday, September 11

Civil Beat: It’s Makeover Time!

July 2015

Tuesday, July 21

Denby Fawcett Tapped To Discuss Vietnam Reporting at DC Forum

June 2015

Saturday, June 27

Civil Beat Named Best News Site in Hawaii By Journalism Group

Wednesday, June 10

Hawaiian Electric Shareholders Approve Takeover By NextEra

Saturday, June 6

Nestor Garcia Resigns From KHON2 News

Tuesday, June 2

Why Did That Swordfish Stab the Big Island Fisherman?

May 2015

Thursday, May 21

Auditor: School Bus Issues Still Need Work

Sunday, May 17

Marine Helicopter Crashes At Bellows Air Force Base

Saturday, May 2

New York Times Ed Board Chides Hawaii Gov. David Ige Over Mauna Kea

April 2015

Friday, April 24

Did Bullying By a Supervisor Cause an HPD Officer to Take His Own Life?

Wednesday, April 22

Case Dismissed: A Win for the Kailua Kite Surfer

Wednesday, April 1

Robbie Alm: ‘Father of Hawaii’s Public Records Law’

March 2015

Tuesday, March 31

Navy War Games in the Pacific Violate Law Protecting Marine Mammals

Monday, March 2

Civil Beat Expands Editorial Staff With Eye Toward ‘Impact Journalism’

February 2015

Thursday, February 26

Tsunami Warning Improvements Pass U.S. Senate Commerce Committee

Tuesday, February 24

Who Doesn’t Love a Good Tsunami Warning System?

Wednesday, February 4

Omidyar in Hawaii: The Billionaire in the Corner

January 2015

Monday, January 26

Who’s the Best Political Reporter in Hawaii?

Thursday, January 15

Hawaii Congressional Delegation Getting It Back Together?

Wednesday, January 14

Saving Coral Reefs — and Which Ones — Subject of New Study

Tuesday, January 13

New Tracking System Keeps an Eye on Commercial Fishing Fleets

Monday, January 12

Editor’s Desk: Hawaii Reporter’s Malia Zimmerman Bids Aloha

Friday, January 9

Top Abercrombie Aide Bruce Coppa Joins Big Lobbying Firm

Tuesday, January 6

Former Bank of Hawaii CEO Headed to Fed Board

Monday, January 5

LA Times: What’s Obama’s Rightful Place in Hawaii?

December 2014

Monday, December 8

Tulsi Gabbard Stalker Gets Nearly 3 Years in Prison

Saturday, December 6

Kauai Newspaper Offers $10k Reward for Info About Monk Seal Killing

Monday, December 1

Longtime Hanabusa Aide Goes to Work for HPU

November 2014

Monday, November 24

Honolulu Deputy Prosecutor Suspended in Negligent Homicide Case

Monday, November 10

J.N. Musto Is Retiring From UHPA

October 2014

Wednesday, October 29

Hawaii Volcano Lava Flow: ‘Feel the Heat’

Sunday, October 26

Linda Lingle, Optimist: ‘After All, I’m a Republican in Hawaii’

Friday, October 17

Private Donors Supply Spy Gear to Cops

Saturday, October 11

‘Seized Assets’ Prove Lucrative for Hawaii Cops

Wednesday, October 8

The Weather Channel’s History of Kilauea’s Lava Flow

Missing the Point on Tulsi Gabbard’s Surf Video

Pew Survey: People Just Don’t Care About the 2014 Elections

Company That Sues Soldiers Pledges Reform, Changes Name

Monday, October 6

Aikea Movement: Knocking on Doors

Head of Flawed Effort to ID Missing Soldiers Loses Job

Thursday, October 2

Is 2014 the Year of the GMO?

Developer to Court: Make Homeowners Stop Leaking Documents

September 2014

Saturday, September 27

Honolulu Ethics Commission Fines Romy Cachola $50K

Thursday, September 4

Editor’s Desk: Leading the Discussion on Key Hawaii Issues

August 2014

Friday, August 15

800 Uncounted Ballots Found on Maui

Puna Power: More Homes Restored But Thousands Still in the Dark

Puna Primary: Turnout Is Picking Up

July 2014

Wednesday, July 30

National Pundits Buzzing About Hawaii Gov Race

Wednesday, July 2

Judge Says No to Groups on Both Sides of GMO Lawsuit

June 2014

Monday, June 9

Pension Promises: Here’s How — and Why — We Did This Project

Tuesday, June 3

Hawaii Elections Guide 2014

Hawaii Elections 2014: Voter Registration and Turnout

May 2014

Friday, May 30

Eric Shinseki Resigns as VA Secretary

Thursday, May 29

Abercrombie: ‘This State Has Never Been Run Better’

Wednesday, May 21

Civil Beat Four Years Later: We’re Getting a Facelift and New Faces

Thursday, May 15

Will Lawmakers Ever Do Anything About Lobbyists?

March 2014

Monday, March 31

Editor’s Desk: Will Our U.S. Senate Candidates Do the Right Thing?

Sunday, March 23

Civil Beat Presents: The Return of John Temple

Monday, March 3

Editor’s Desk: Why Is There No Record of Many Legislative Hearings?

February 2014

Wednesday, February 26

Deedy Transcripts Revealed: ‘Not Something We See Every Day’

January 2014

Monday, January 20

Editor’s Desk: Time for the Legislature To Reform Public Records Practices

November 2013

Wednesday, November 27

Lowell Kalapa: Debate over ‘Minimum Wage’ Shows Ignorance

Sunday, November 24

Editor’s Desk: Honolulu TV News Falls Short in Study of Political Coverage

October 2013

Friday, October 25

Editor’s Desk: Through the Lens, We’re Looking at Hawaii With a Fresh Eye

Sunday, October 20

Civil Beat Wins Two National Awards

Saturday, October 19

Editor’s Desk: Hawaii’s Growth Prompts Our Own

Friday, October 18

Hawaii’s Public Records: Can We Talk About This?

Saturday, October 5

News Media Seek Court Ruling on Open Trials

September 2013

Wednesday, September 18

Editor’s Desk: Back to the Future — Hawaii Style

Saturday, September 14

Questionable Paradox for Affordable Housing?

Sunday, September 8

Editor’s Desk: Was Caldwell’s Election Really a Thumbs Up for Rail?

‘Pressure’ From Nonprofits Puts State in a Tax Quandary

August 2013

Sunday, August 25

Tax Check-Off Program an ‘Insult’ to All Taxpayers

Wednesday, August 21

Aloha @GenePark! Welcome to @CivilBeat — Let’s Get #Social

Tuesday, August 20

Civil Beat Law Center Aims To Bring More Firepower to Public Issues

Friday, August 16

Deedy Trial: What’s a Murderer Look Like?

Saturday, August 10

Home-Grown Legislation? Tax Exemption for Local Produce ‘Ignorant’

Wednesday, August 7

Christopher Deedy: ‘My Brain Was Going in a Thousand Directions’

July 2013

Saturday, July 27

10 Must Read Stories From the Week of July 22 – 26

Tuesday, July 23

Who’s Backing Who for Hawaii’s U.S. Senate Seat?

June 2013

Saturday, June 15

10 Must Read Stories From the Week of June 10 – 14

Saturday, June 8

10 Must Read Stories From the Week of June 3 -7

Friday, June 7

Cut Back the Number of Hawaii Special Funds

Tuesday, June 4

New Deputy Editor Joins The Civil Beat Team

Sunday, June 2

No Good Intention Goes Without Consequences

Saturday, June 1

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of May 28 – 31

May 2013

Wednesday, May 29

HuffPost Hawaii Will Allow Civil Beat To Expand Watchdog Effort

Saturday, May 11

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of May 6 – 10

Saturday, May 4

10 Must-Read Stories From the Week of April 29-May 3

April 2013

Saturday, April 20

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of April 15 – 19

Saturday, April 13

Two Churches: One Music

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of April 8 – 12

Tuesday, April 9

Who Or What Is A Journalist These Days?

Saturday, April 6

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of April 1 – 5

March 2013

Saturday, March 30

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of March 25 – 29

Sunday, March 24

Sam Slom: Lessons In Cultural Anthropology

Saturday, March 23

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of March 18 – 22

Wednesday, March 20

Whiners, Take Note: Gov Agencies Don’t Need Any More Money

Sunday, March 17

A Pope From Hawaii?

Saturday, March 16

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of March 11 – 16

Thursday, March 14

Loosen Regulatory Stranglehold And Support Hawaii Business

Saturday, March 9

VAWA: Calling Bishops to Live in the Present

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of March 4 – 10

Saturday, March 2

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of Feb. 25 – March 1

Friday, March 1

Hawaii Lags Behind Other States In Misconduct Disclosure

VIDEO: Hawaii Lawmakers Set To Revisit Police Misconduct

February 2013

Monday, February 25

In the Name of the Law: What the Public Isn’t Being Told About Police Misconduct

Saturday, February 16

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of Feb. 11-15

Tuesday, February 12

Disenchanted, But Not Yet Gone

Friday, February 8

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of Feb. 4 – 9

Civil Beat Has A New Face In Washington, D.C.

Saturday, February 2

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of Jan. 28 – Feb. 1

January 2013

Friday, January 25

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of Jan. 21 – 28

Saturday, January 19

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of Jan. 14 – 18

Friday, January 18

Editor’s Note: What We Should Learn From The Manti Te’o Affair

Wednesday, January 16

Instill Priorities For Precious Tax Dollars

Monday, January 14

Civil Beat Poll – Cell Phones Have Been Added To The Mix

Sunday, January 13

Civil Beat Poll – Young People Tipping The Scales Toward Gay Marriage

Civil Beat Poll – Did Abercrombie Make The Right Choice For Senator?

Friday, January 11

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of Jan. 7 – 11

Saturday, January 5

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of Dec. 31 – Jan. 4

Friday, January 4

Dan Inouye’s Leftover Campaign Cash: Now Where Will It Go?

December 2012

Saturday, December 15

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of Dec. 10 – 14

Saturday, December 8

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of Dec. 3 – 7

Sunday, December 2

Health Care Cost To Rise With Federal Mandate

Saturday, December 1

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of Nov. 26 – 30

November 2012

Saturday, November 17

10 Must Read Stories From the Week Of Nov. 12 – 16

Saturday, November 10

10 Must Read Stories From the Week Of Nov. 5 – 9

Friday, November 9

Obama-Biden 2012: Affirmation and Argument

Saturday, November 3

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of Oct. 29 – Nov. 3

October 2012

Sunday, October 28

Hawaii Tsunami Barely Noticeable, No Significant Damage Reported

Saturday, October 27

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of Oct. 22 – 26

Saturday, October 20

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of Oct. 15 – 19

Tuesday, October 16

There’s No Excuse For Hawaii Ed Department’s Really Bad Management

Saturday, October 13

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of Oct. 8 – 12

Friday, October 12

Flexibility Lost, Tax Increases Guaranteed With Earmarking

Saturday, October 6

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of Oct. 1 – 5

September 2012

Saturday, September 29

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of Sept. 24 – 28

Friday, September 21

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of Sept. 17 – 21

Wednesday, September 19

Embracing Our Inner Webbyness: Civil Beat Grows In A New Direction

Saturday, September 8

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of Sept. 3 – Sept. 7

Thursday, September 6

Tax Commission Looking To Raise Taxes

Saturday, September 1

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of Aug. 27 – Aug. 31

August 2012

Tuesday, August 28

The Story Of Us: Civil Beat Is Growing

Saturday, August 25

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of Aug. 20 – 24

Saturday, August 18

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of Aug. 13 – 17

Friday, August 10

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of Aug. 6 – Aug. 10

Friday, August 3

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of July 30 – August 3

Dependency Creates Apathy, the Beginning of the Downward Spiral

July 2012

Sunday, July 29

Our Fact Checks Get A Fact Check

Saturday, July 28

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of July 23 – 27

Saturday, July 21

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of July 16 – 20

Friday, July 20

Hirono’s War Chest Keeps Pace With Lingle’s

Thursday, July 19

Hawaii Legislative Candidates Answer Surveys

Monday, July 16

Hannemann and Gabbard Race For The Cash

Saturday, July 14

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of July 9 – 13

June 2012

Saturday, June 23

10 Must Read Stories From The Week of June 18 – 22

Saturday, June 16

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of June 11 – June 15

Saturday, June 9

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of June 4 – June 8

Friday, June 8

Our Hawaiian Spring: New Facebook Voting Game Aims To Boost Turnout

Saturday, June 2

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of May 28 – June 1

May 2012

Tuesday, May 29

Wisconsin’s Gov. Walker: Pants on Fire

Sunday, May 27

Another Attempt to Re-establish Estate Tax Awaits Approval

Saturday, May 26

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of May 21 – 25

Saturday, May 19

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of May 14 – May 18

Monday, May 14

Senator Inouye is ‘In Touch’ with Public Safety

Saturday, May 12

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of May 7 – 11

Friday, May 11

Last Chance To Take Our Political Survey!

Saturday, May 5

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of April 30 – May 4

Tuesday, May 1

A Letter From Civil Beat

April 2012

Sunday, April 29

Zero In On Details To Figure Out True Story Behind Bills

Saturday, April 28

10 Must Read Stories From The Week of April 23 – 27

Saturday, April 21

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of April 14 – 20

Hawaii’s U.S. Senate Candidates Raise Big Bucks But Are Spending Frugally

Thursday, April 19

Hanabusa, Djou Cruising With Campaign Cash

Tuesday, April 17

Hannemann, Gabbard Pull Away from Pack in CD2 Money Race

Saturday, April 14

Zenith Reached in Earmarking of Unrelated Fund Sources

Monday, April 9

Human Trafficking Bills Break New Ground

Wednesday, April 4

Zero Confidence in Lawmakers Revealed

March 2012

Saturday, March 24

10 Must Read Stories From The Week Of March 19 – 23

Tuesday, March 13

Civil Beat Will Live Blog Hawaii GOP Caucuses

Friday, March 9

Yes, Houston, Hawaii Has a Problem

February 2012

Saturday, February 25

Windfall Of Tax Revenue To Be Had Without Tax Increase

Saturday, February 18

Not So Public: Auditor Stonewalled On Prison Job

Thursday, February 9

Hirono Gets 28% of Individual Contributions From Small Donors

Sunday, February 5

Hanabusa, Djou Each Start 2012 With $300K In Bank

Wednesday, February 1

Hannemann Ahead in CD2 Race For Cash

January 2012

Tuesday, January 31

Lingle Rakes in Cash From Mainland PACs

Wednesday, January 25

Civil Beat’s Guide To The 2012 Elections

Friday, January 20

Using The Tax System To Hide Spending And Shift Burden

Saturday, January 14

Using Exemptions to Shift the Burden of Taxes

Thursday, January 12

Open Records Agency Proposes Changes To Hawaii Sunshine Law

December 2011

Friday, December 30

When Can Taxpayers Believe What They Hear?

Thursday, December 29

Taken For A Ride: Roberts Hawaii’s Very Own Race to the Top of School Bus Biz