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.

Judge Orders Release Of More Records In Case Of HPD Officer Who Beat Girlfriend Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Judge Orders Release Of More Records In Case Of HPD Officer Who Beat Girlfriend

But it’s unclear when the public will actually get to see the files. The police union has promised to appeal.

Judge: HPD Must Release Arbitration Report On Officer Who Beat Girlfriend Civil Beat

Judge: HPD Must Release Arbitration Report On Officer Who Beat Girlfriend

There is a “significant public interest” in how the Honolulu Police Department handles misconduct investigations of its officers, the judge says.

Journalism Grant Will Pump Up Our Health Care Coverage Report for America

Journalism Grant Will Pump Up Our Health Care Coverage

The program aims to provide stronger reporting on under-covered topics.

Lawsuit Filed Against Honolulu Police Over Beach Park Shooting Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Lawsuit Filed Against Honolulu Police Over Beach Park Shooting

Witnesses dispute the HPD’s version of a fatal shooting on the North Shore in 2017, the suit claims.

Super PAC Crackdown On The Agenda In 2019 Legislature Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Super PAC Crackdown On The Agenda In 2019 Legislature

Legislative leaders shared some of their ideas for the upcoming session at a Civil Beat forum Thursday.

Emerging Writers Contest: And The Winners Are … Caleb Hartsfield/Civil Beat

Emerging Writers Contest: And The Winners Are …

Our panel of judges chose three winners and three honorable mentions.

Civil Beat: Coming Soon To A Neighborhood Near You Alana Eagle/Civil Beat

Civil Beat: Coming Soon To A Neighborhood Near You

We’re unveiling The Wavemaker, our new mobile reporting platform.

They’re Back: The Return Of Civil Beat Comments Wall-to-Wall Studios

They’re Back: The Return Of Civil Beat Comments

We’re trying this again in the spirit of fostering robust public discussion on important issues.

Hawaii Supreme Court To Fine-Tune Open Meetings Law Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii Supreme Court To Fine-Tune Open Meetings Law

A court opinion in the Honolulu Police Commission’s Kealoha case would also affect the way public boards handle other high-profile staff departures.

 

Are Political Attack Ads A Waste Of Money This Year? Getty Images/iStockphoto

Are Political Attack Ads A Waste Of Money This Year?

Voters contacted by Civil Beat say the recent barrage of negative ads are mostly annoying — and haven’t changed their minds.

Civil Beat Named Best News Website In Hawaii Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Civil Beat Named Best News Website In Hawaii

Journalism awards for Hawaii media were announced at the annual SPJ banquet Friday night.

‘The Last Wild Place’ Wins National Honors Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

‘The Last Wild Place’ Wins National Honors

Civil Beat took readers on a visual journey through one of the most remote parts of the planet.