Civil Beat Staff

Lee Cataluna

Lee Cataluna has been telling Hawaii stories for 25 years and has worked in local radio, television and newspapers.

She was born on Maui and raised on the neighbor islands as her family moved frequently for her father’s job in sugar. She went to nine different schools before graduating from Baldwin High School, so if you think she was your classmate, you might be right.

She received an undergraduate degree from the University of the Pacific and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California-Riverside.

Her writing outside of journalism includes Folks You Meet in Longs, which has been in print since 2005 and was named one of the 50 Essential Books About Hawaii by Honolulu Magazine. She has been writing for the stage for more than 20 years and her plays have been produced and workshopped around Hawaii, in California and New York. Her recent work includes “Home of the Brave,” a play about the lives of children from military families, which she wrote after interviewing hundreds of kids, teachers, parents, principals, active duty and veterans from all branches of the military.

Lee Cataluna:  Kalaupapa’s Surprising Cache — Mounds Of Loose Stamps Courtesy: Hawaiian Philatelic Society

Lee Cataluna: Kalaupapa’s Surprising Cache — Mounds Of Loose Stamps

For close to 30 years, residents of the Hansen’s disease colony on Molokai had a stamp club that amassed a huge number of postal stamps.

Lee Cataluna: The Strange Ploy To Incentivize A Life-Saving Vaccine Tim Wright/Civil Beat

Lee Cataluna: The Strange Ploy To Incentivize A Life-Saving Vaccine

Not long ago, people were desperate to get a vaccine. Now, the state is having to come up with gifts to get the last hold-outs to do their part.

Lee Cataluna: Rightsizing Hawaii Is A Better Goal Than Constant Growth Anita Hofschneider/Civil Beat

Lee Cataluna: Rightsizing Hawaii Is A Better Goal Than Constant Growth

Instead of regrowing the economy, Hawaii should focus on restoring quality of life.

Lee Cataluna: Gov. Ige’s Stubborn Mask Mandate Makes Sense Denby Fawcett/Civil Beat/2020

Lee Cataluna: Gov. Ige’s Stubborn Mask Mandate Makes Sense

The governor even stared down CNN’s Jake Tapper to convincingly defend his decision.

Lee Cataluna: The Curious Incident Of Colleen Hanabusa And HART Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

Lee Cataluna: The Curious Incident Of Colleen Hanabusa And HART

The good news is the hard-charging politician is willing to help HART. The weird thing is how it happened.

Lee Cataluna: The Local-Versus-Outsider Leadership Debate Continues Getty Images/iStockphoto

Lee Cataluna: The Local-Versus-Outsider Leadership Debate Continues

There are pros and cons in promoting from within or doing a wider executive search; but is that really the most important thing when finding a new leader?

Lee Cataluna: Police Body Cam Footage Should Be A Tool For Justice Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Lee Cataluna: Police Body Cam Footage Should Be A Tool For Justice

Police body cams were meant to protect police as well as guard against abuse of force.

Lee Cataluna: Finally, Hawaii Residents Can Travel, Too Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Lee Cataluna: Finally, Hawaii Residents Can Travel, Too

Gov. David Ige’s plan to allow residents who are fully vaccinated to travel interisland is a big step among all the little steps to restore normalcy.

Lee Cataluna: What Slow Recovery To Tourism? Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

Lee Cataluna: What Slow Recovery To Tourism?

No marketing campaign was needed. Tourists are practically beating down the door to get here.