Kirstin Downey

A Kailua girl, Kirstin Downey is a special correspondent for Civil Beat. A longtime reporter for The Washington Post, she is the author of "The Woman Behind the New Deal," "Isabella the Warrior Queen" and an upcoming biography of King Kaumualii of Kauai. She can be reached at kdowney@civilbeat.org.
Loi Hou ʻIa Ke Kumukūʻai Pipiʻi No Kahi Lāʻau Hoʻopakele Ola No Nā Mimikō Courtesy: Shelsea Deng/2021

Loi Hou ʻIa Ke Kumukūʻai Pipiʻi No Kahi Lāʻau Hoʻopakele Ola No Nā Mimikō

ʻO kahi mea hoʻomaʻi i hoʻolaha nui ʻia ma Hawaiʻi, ke nānā pono ʻia nei ua mea hoʻomaʻi nei ma Wakinekona. 

Hawaii Avoids Port Backups But Some Goods Are Scarce Brittany Lyte/Civil Beat/2022

Hawaii Avoids Port Backups But Some Goods Are Scarce

Businesses from health care to restaurants have struggled to get some back-ordered items.

New Scrutiny On The High Price Of A Life-Saving Drug For Diabetics Courtesy: Shelsea Deng/2021

New Scrutiny On The High Price Of A Life-Saving Drug For Diabetics

A disease that has an outsized impact in Hawaii is getting top-level attention in Washington.

Military Families Who Sued Over Kaneohe Soil Contamination Get Another Day In Court Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2018

Military Families Who Sued Over Kaneohe Soil Contamination Get Another Day In Court

After a federal judge rejected most of their claims, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sent the case to state court.

Ke Kani Koʻele Nei Ka Uaki Ma Ko Ka Hawaiʻi Kali ʻAna I Ka Hoʻohuli Hoʻoili ʻĀina Kūʻonoʻono Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

Ke Kani Koʻele Nei Ka Uaki Ma Ko Ka Hawaiʻi Kali ʻAna I Ka Hoʻohuli Hoʻoili ʻĀina Kūʻonoʻono

Ua ālai ʻia ka hana ma Wakinekona e hiki ai i nā keiki a me nā moʻopuna Hawaiʻi a nā ʻona home ke ili i ko lākou mau ʻāina ponoʻī. 

‘Treading Water’ No More? Hawaii Public Service Workers See Hope In Student Debt Forgiveness Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat/2017

‘Treading Water’ No More? Hawaii Public Service Workers See Hope In Student Debt Forgiveness

The Biden administration is now also considering cancelling debt for all students, not just those in public service.

The Clock Is Ticking As Native Hawaiians Wait For Homeland Inheritance Reform Cory Lum/Civil /2021

The Clock Is Ticking As Native Hawaiians Wait For Homeland Inheritance Reform

An effort to allow more part-Hawaiian children and grandchildren of Hawaiian homeowners to inherit the properties has stalled in Washington.

A Key Part Of Hawaii’s Nursing Workforce Is Shrinking Fast Cory Lum/Civil Beat

A Key Part Of Hawaii’s Nursing Workforce Is Shrinking Fast

Even before the pandemic, licensed practical nurses, who do much of the work at long-term care facilities, were calling it quits.

Pandemic Hardships Have Made Hawaii’s Nursing Shortage Even Worse Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2020

Pandemic Hardships Have Made Hawaii’s Nursing Shortage Even Worse

As nurses left the profession, bottlenecks in education made it hard to replace them.