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.

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?