Richard Wiens – Honolulu Civil Beat https://www.civilbeat.org Honolulu Civil Beat - Investigative Reporting Tue, 26 Mar 2019 18:39:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.3 Names, Ranks And Salaries Of Honolulu Cops Are Still Secret https://www.civilbeat.org/2019/03/names-ranks-and-salaries-of-honolulu-cops-are-still-secret/ Thu, 14 Mar 2019 10:01:32 +0000 https://www.civilbeat.org/?p=1323512 When it comes to timely release of public records in Hawaii, sometimes even winning is losing. Last October, District Court Judge Virginia Crandall ruled in favor of Civil Beat and the city, and against the state police union, in a records dispute. It appeared to settle a case that had already dragged on for well over […]

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When it comes to timely release of public records in Hawaii, sometimes even winning is losing.

Last October, District Court Judge Virginia Crandall ruled in favor of Civil Beat and the city, and against the state police union, in a records dispute. It appeared to settle a case that had already dragged on for well over a year, but then Crandall granted a union motion to keep the records sealed pending an appeal.

As a result, a seemingly simple request made by Civil Beat for the names, ranks and salaries of about 2,000 sworn officers in the Honolulu Police Department still has not been fulfilled — and won’t be for many months to come.

By then, Civil Beat will have made a new round of requests to all levels of Hawaii government for information it publishes in its biennial public employee salary database on the premise that the public has a right to know who and what it pays to run things in the islands.

The requests are made at the beginning of every odd-numbered fiscal year in July. Almost every other department in the state and county governments responded quickly last time around, and as a result tens of thousands of public employees are listed in our current database.

Here’s the portal to the information as it stood as of the beginning of the 2018 fiscal year on July 1, 2017 — minus Honolulu cops:

Click here to load this Caspio Online Database.

The HPD tried to respond to Civil Beat in a timely fashion as well, but was blocked by a legal challenge from the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers filed in September 2017.

While everyone agrees that current undercover officers should be exempted from the database disclosure, SHOPO argued that the department should withhold the names of all officers who had ever worked undercover, even if they were now openly serving as uniformed or plainclothes cops. HPD said it planned to withhold only the names of current undercover officers.

In her October ruling, Crandall noted the HPD said it “conducted a case-by-case assessment to assure that each police officer that is identified on the roster is performing normal or regular police duties.”

“The plaintiff did not meet its burden of proof to show irreparable harm or that the disclosure of the roster would constitute clearly unwarranted invasion of the personal privacy of the police officer,” Crandall said.

The judge added that SHOPO “has not made a showing that disclosure of the roster would place any officer on the roster in jeopardy,” and she rejected the idea that former undercover cops now working openly for HPD should not be identified publicly as cops.

The police union has delayed release of information on about 2,000 sworn officers on Oahu for more than 20 months.

Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

“The privacy right of not being identified as a police officer sort of diminishes when a police officer gets back on duty, appears in court, testifies — testifies in open court, appears in public forums,” Corporation Counsel attorney Duane Pang argued for the city in court.

In its motion seeking a stay of the judgment pending its appeal, SHOPO said the city had done an inadequate job of considering which officers should not be identified. It even contended that it would be reasonable for the city not to publicly identify any of its officers by name, since it could still supply their ranks and salaries to Civil Beat.

Pang argued that citizens have the right to know who their police officers are, as well as what they’re paid.

“The public’s right to know what type of individual is wearing a uniform, has this awesome power, clearly outweighs the privacy interest,” Pang said.

Mostly the dispute centers on the definition of “undercover.” For instance, in support of the union’s motion to stay Crandall’s decision pending appeal, SHOPO attorney Keani Alapa claimed during a Nov. 28 hearing that the roster the city intended to release to Civil Beat included nine officers “who are currently working in the undercover capacity.”

“This undercover work includes using fictitious names on driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations,” Alapa said.

“Those nine may perform duties not in uniform, but they do regular police duties,” responded Pang for the city. “They are issued badges. They are issued police identities. They testify in court. They are not restricted in their use of Facebook and internet pages whereby they may identify themselves as police officers.”

In fact, Pang said, the identities of true undercover officers should be unknown even to SHOPO.

“We, HPD, can’t provide undercover officers’ identities to SHOPO or anybody,” Pang said.

Attorney Brian Black, representing Civil Beat, reiterated the point: “If SHOPO knows who these individuals are then they’re not undercover.”

Alapa responded: “SHOPO consists of all police officers from the lowest ranks up to lieutenant, and that includes undercover officers.”

At the November hearing’s conclusion, Crandall said that “the public interest in protecting the safety and well-being of the police officers, Honolulu’s finest, outweighs the public interest in the disclosure of the specific names while the case is on appeal.”

Crandall, who has since retired, added that until the appeal is resolved the entire roster of HPD police officers must remain sealed.

Now all sides are preparing written briefs for the Intermediate Court of Appeals. It’s also possible one of the parties could move to transfer the case directly to the Hawaii Supreme Court.

Either way, Black estimated it’ll be another six months or more before the appeal is resolved.

Whatever court gets the case next will also consider Civil Beat’s appeal of Crandall’s ruling that SHOPO had legal standing to challenge the release of the officers’ names in the first place.

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IMAGES OF 2018: A Year Of Alarms, Elections, Lava And A Notable Passing https://www.civilbeat.org/2018/12/images-of-2018-a-year-of-alarms-elections-lava-and-a-notable-passing/ Wed, 26 Dec 2018 10:01:07 +0000 https://www.civilbeat.org/?p=1312216 The post IMAGES OF 2018: A Year Of Alarms, Elections, Lava And A Notable Passing appeared first on Honolulu Civil Beat.

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ConCon Is Gone Gone — Voters Reject State Constitutional Convention https://www.civilbeat.org/2018/11/concon-is-gone-gone-voters-reject-state-constitutional-convention/ Wed, 07 Nov 2018 05:22:25 +0000 https://www.civilbeat.org/?p=1307529 Ten more years. That’s likely how long it’ll be before Hawaii voters get another chance to call a state constitutional convention. The ConCon ballot measure was way behind as returns rolled in Tuesday night with 69.1 percent “no” votes to 23.7 percent “yes votes. Blank ballots (7.2 percent) also count as “no” votes. A ConCon […]

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Ten more years.

That’s likely how long it’ll be before Hawaii voters get another chance to call a state constitutional convention.

The ConCon ballot measure was way behind as returns rolled in Tuesday night with 69.1 percent “no” votes to 23.7 percent “yes votes. Blank ballots (7.2 percent) also count as “no” votes.

A ConCon would have provided a chance for elected delegates to do something that usually only state legislators can do: propose amendments to the Hawaii constitution that voters would then decide on.

Supporters said a ConCon offered a rare opportunity to achieve reforms that the Legislature has been unwilling to make, such as establishing a statewide citizen initiative process and term limits for legislators.

Opponents said it could imperil reforms made at previous ConCons, such as the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions and establishment of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Lei bedecked bronze hand of Queen Liliuokalani on the makai side of the Hawaii State Capitol building.

A constitutional convention would have given elected delegates power that is otherwise exercised only inside the State Capitol.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

All the campaign money spent on the measure — $665,000 as of last week — was in opposition, according to reports submitted to the state Campaign Spending Commission. Most of that money came from public employee unions.

A recent Civil Beat poll found support for the concept of a ConCon, even though a majority of respondents said they planned to vote “no” on the actual measure.

About That ConAm

The poll also found support for proposals that could emerge from a ConCon, such as term limits for legislators, a state lottery, and establishment of a statewide citizen initiative, referendum and recall process.

In essence, a ConCon allows elected convention delegates to go over the heads of the Legislature, even though state lawmakers get to decide when and how many delegates are elected, where the event is held and its budget.

The current constitution requires that voters be given the option of calling a ConCon at least once every 10 years. The Legislature has the power to call one sooner, but is unlikely to do so.

The last ConCon was held in 1978.

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Questions About The ConCon? We’ve Got Your Answers https://www.civilbeat.org/2018/10/questions-about-the-concon-weve-got-your-answers/ Mon, 22 Oct 2018 10:01:13 +0000 https://www.civilbeat.org/?p=1305517 “ConCon” and “ConAm” references have been tossed around so much this election season that you might be confused even if you follow Hawaii politics regularly. We’re here for you. And for those of you who are just getting familiar with the general election ballot, we’re especially here for you with this question-and-answer session about all […]

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“ConCon” and “ConAm” references have been tossed around so much this election season that you might be confused even if you follow Hawaii politics regularly.

We’re here for you.

And for those of you who are just getting familiar with the general election ballot, we’re especially here for you with this question-and-answer session about all things constitutional that you’re voting on.

First let’s dispense with the ConAm, because that’s what the Hawaii Supreme Court did Friday when it invalidated the proposed constitutional amendment allowing the state to levy property taxes for public education.

So, while the ConAm is still on the ballot, the result has been rendered moot.

But the ConCon is very much alive and deserving of voters’ attention, because leaving that question blank is like voting “no.”

Voters have an opportunity this year to decide whether Hawaii should hold a constitutional convention.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Here’s some answers to key questions:

What is a constitutional convention, or ConCon?

It’s a chance for elected delegates to do something that usually only state legislators can do: propose amendments to the Hawaii constitution. And by the way, it has nothing to do with the U.S. Constitution.

What types of constitutional amendments might emerge?

Anything a majority of delegates support. But the proposals must go to the voters for final approval, and the wording of any ballot measure must pass muster with the Office of Elections. Proposed amendments must deal with a single subject and be stated clearly.

Supporters say a ConCon offers a rare opportunity to achieve reforms that the Legislature has been unwilling to make, such as establishing a statewide citizen initiative process. Opponents say it could imperil reforms made at previous ConCons, such as the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions.

Why is this on the ballot now?

The state constitution requires that voters be asked at least once a decade if a ConCon should be held, and the last such election was in 2008. The Legislature can put the question on the ballot sooner than 10 years after the last time, but not later.

What are blank votes and over-votes, and why do they have the same effect as “no” votes on the ConCon?

If you cast a ballot, but don’t vote on a particular race or measure, that’s considered a blank vote on that item. If you accidentally mark two boxes, such as “yes” and “no,” when you should just check one, that’s an over-vote.

In a two-candidate race, this doesn’t matter because the top vote-getter wins. But the Supreme Court ruled in 1997 that for the ConCon question and proposed constitutional amendments to be approved, “yes” votes must exceed the total of all “no” votes, blank votes and over-votes.

What happens if the ConCon is approved?

The Legislature would make the next decisions, including:

• When the delegate election would occur. Based on the timing of the last two ConCons in 1968 and 1978, a special election would likely be held in the spring of 2020.

• How many delegates would be elected and what geographic area they would represent.

• Where the convention would be held and when it would begin.

• How much money to budget for the ConCon process.

Who could run for delegate seats?

Any eligible voter within the designated district, including current and former elective officeholders. In 1978, only seven of 102 delegates had ever held elective office. In 1968, 42 of the 82 delegates were incumbent or ex-legislators.

After a ConCon convenes, the delegates are authorized to organize and develop their procedural rules; judge the delegate election returns and qualifications of members; and suspend or remove members for cause.

What would a ConCon cost?

No one knows. Ten years ago a state Legislative Reference Bureau study said a ConCon at that time might have cost from $6.4 million to $42 million. The LRB referred to that report’s high-end estimate earlier this year when it testified that a ConCon in 2022 could cost $55.6 million, and that is the figure opponents have cited in a TV ad saying it would be too expensive.

But that figure is based on the assumption that the Legislature would take the unprecedented step of approving full public financing for 300-600 delegate candidates.

The 1978 ConCon cost $2.6 million.

When would any proposed constitutional amendments from the ConCon come before voters?

If a delegate election was held in the spring of 2020 and the convention that summer, the amendments would presumably be on the 2020 general election ballot. The ConCon must adjourn at least 30 days before the election, but probably would not cut it that close. The 1978 ConCon lasted 65 days; the 1968 event lasted 58 days.

How have constitutional amendments proposed at ConCons fared with voters in the past?

Very well. In 1978 all 34 proposed amendments were approved. In 1968, 22 of 23 amendments were approved.

Besides 1968 and 1978, have there been any other ConCons?

Only the original one in 1950, nine years before statehood. The convention proposed a Hawaii constitution that voters then ratified.

Thoughts on this or any other story? Write a Letter to the Editor. Send to news@civilbeat.org and put Letter in the subject line. 200 words max. You need to use your name and city and include a contact phone for verification purposes.

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We May Finally Get To See Honolulu Police Salary Information https://www.civilbeat.org/2018/10/we-may-finally-get-to-see-honolulu-police-salary-information/ Sat, 13 Oct 2018 03:01:22 +0000 https://www.civilbeat.org/?p=1304319 More than a year after the statewide police union sued to stop the Honolulu Police Department from releasing the names, ranks and salaries of most officers, a judge has ruled in favor of the city — and Civil Beat. The dispute began when we made our biennial request last summer for the names and salaries […]

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More than a year after the statewide police union sued to stop the Honolulu Police Department from releasing the names, ranks and salaries of most officers, a judge has ruled in favor of the city — and Civil Beat.

The dispute began when we made our biennial request last summer for the names and salaries of all public employees in Hawaii — something we do because taxpayers have an inherent right to know who works for them and how much they cost.

Most agencies responded in a timely fashion and the information has long since been published in our public employees salary database.

HPD police officers line up to congratulate promoted officers after promotions ceremony held at McCoy Pavillion, Ala Moana Beach Park.

There are about 2,000 sworn officers in the Honolulu Police Department. Their salary information has been withheld pending resolution of a union lawsuit.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

The HPD also was on the verge of a quick release of the information until the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers filed suit in September 2017. SHOPO argued that the department should withhold the names of all officers who had ever worked undercover. HPD said it planned to withhold only the names of current undercover officers.

Circuit Court Judge Virginia Crandall held a hearing on the matter in May and issued her ruling Wednesday. In it she noted the HPD said it “conducted a case-by-case assessment to assure that each police officer that is identified on the roster is performing normal or regular police duties.”

The ruling stated:

“The plaintiff did not meet its burden of proof to show irreparable harm or that the disclosure of the roster would constitute clearly unwarranted invasion of the personal privacy of the police officer.”

Crandall added that SHOPO “has not made a showing that disclosure of the roster would place any officer on the roster in jeopardy.”

Civil Beat had intervened on the side of the HPD, and our attorney in the case, Brian Black of the Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest, praised Wednesday’s ruling.

“There was no good reason for withholding the information,” Black said Friday. “The city recognized that and ultimately Judge Crandall recognized that.”

The union was vague in its positions, sometimes seeming to imply that the undercover exemption should apply to all plainclothes officers instead of just those truly working undercover.

“They never came forward with any evidence that justified their position,” Black said.

Does this mean the current edition of our salary database will soon include most of the 2,000 or so sworn officers of the Honolulu Police Department?

Maybe.

Black said SHOPO’s legal action was all about “delaying the process.”

And the union could continue to do so by appealing Crandall’s ruling.

SHOPO President Malcom Lutu said Friday he had not seen the judge’s decision, and couldn’t comment on what might come next.

Thoughts on this or any other story? Write a Letter to the Editor. Send to news@civilbeat.org and put Letter in the subject line. 200 words max. You need to use your name and city and include a contact phone for verification purposes.

You can also comment directly on this story by scrolling down a little further. Comments are subject to approval and we may not publish every one.

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Our Salary Database Now Includes Hundreds Of Hawaii County Employees https://www.civilbeat.org/2018/09/our-salary-database-now-includes-hundreds-of-hawaii-county-employees/ Fri, 21 Sep 2018 10:01:54 +0000 https://www.civilbeat.org/?p=1300833 Editor’s note: Civil Beat is again updating our popular public employees salary database, which reflects salaries as of July 1, 2017. It’s still not the full story, as you’ll see below. From pipefitters to electricians, hundreds of Hawaii County employees have been added to Civil Beat’s public employee salary database after an opinion by the state […]

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Editor’s note: Civil Beat is again updating our popular public employees salary database, which reflects salaries as of July 1, 2017. It’s still not the full story, as you’ll see below.

From pipefitters to electricians, hundreds of Hawaii County employees have been added to Civil Beat’s public employee salary database after an opinion by the state Office of Information Practices that their identities should be disclosed.

The workers’ positions and salaries were already in the database, but Hawaii County had refused to release their names.

The county based that decision on the fact these 96 job titles pay a specific amount instead of a salary range.

Click here to load this Caspio Online Database.

“Disclosure of name and the exact salary would constitute clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy,” the county said in denying Civil Beat’s records request in December.

Civil Beat appealed that decision to the Office of Information Practices, which said in an Aug. 31 opinion that, under state law, the county could withhold neither the employees’ names nor their salaries.

“The names of the employees filling the 96 positions listed by Requester are mandatorily public … even if the exact salary of a covered employee has been previously disclosed without that person’s name,” the OIP said.

County of Hawaii State of Hawaii seal

The Hawaii County listings include 2,538 employees.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

While the county had previously provided the names and specific salaries of a few top employees, for the most part it only identified workers for whom a pay range could be reported rather than a specific salary.

And those ranges are sometimes vast.

For instance, 24 Hawaii County employees are listed as earning from $69,084 to $127,284. Another 14 employees are listed as earning from $74,724 to $137,652.

For hundreds of other employees, the database has read “No name provided.” Until now.

A total of 2,538 Hawaii County employee positions are listed in the database, along with tens of thousands of other public employees throughout the islands.

Civil Beat initially requested the information shortly after the 2018 fiscal year began July 1, 2017. Most counties and state agencies responded in a timely fashion. All of the salaries in the database are as of that date, so they don’t reflect, for instance, the raises of 15.4 percent to 34.6 percent that top Hawaii County officials received earlier this year.

But even with the addition of the information from the Big Island, the database is not complete.

That’s because the statewide police union has filed a legal challenge against the Honolulu Police Department to prevent it from releasing the names, ranks and salaries of most officers.

City attorneys had determined that police officers’ names — except for those in “deep” undercover capacities — should be released along with their salary information, as is the case under state law for all public employees.

The statewide police union is suing to halt the city’s plan for releasing information for Civil Beat’s database.

Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers believes the names of any officer who is or has ever been in any undercover assignment should be protected from disclosure, not just those currently in deep undercover roles.

When the city rejected SHOPO’s argument, the union filed suit to block the release. Civil Beat intervened in the case on the side of the city, and a hearing was held before Circuit Court Judge Virginia Crandall in May. Crandall has not yet issued a ruling.

Thoughts on this or any other story? Write a Letter to the Editor. Send to news@civilbeat.org and put Letter in the subject line. 200 words max. You need to use your name and city and include a contact phone for verification purposes.

Or you can comment directly on this story by scrolling down a little further. We are enabling comments on some stories in the spirit of robust community conversation.

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Tropical Storm Warning Issued For Oahu https://www.civilbeat.org/2018/09/tropical-storm-watch-issued-for-most-islands/ Mon, 10 Sep 2018 03:23:24 +0000 https://www.civilbeat.org/?p=1299167 Oahu has joined Maui County and the Big Island under a tropical storm warning as Olivia continues to march west packing maximum sustained winds of 70 mph. Kauai County is now under a tropical storm watch. As of 5 p.m. Monday, the National Weather Service advised that Olivia was about 530 miles east of Honolulu […]

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Oahu has joined Maui County and the Big Island under a tropical storm warning as Olivia continues to march west packing maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.

Kauai County is now under a tropical storm watch.

As of 5 p.m. Monday, the National Weather Service advised that Olivia was about 530 miles east of Honolulu and about 380 miles east-northeast of Hilo.

A tropical storm warning means storm conditions are expected within 36 hours, while a watch means they are expected within 48 hours..

“On this forecast track, tropical storm conditions are expected over parts of Hawaii starting late Tuesday,” the NWS said. “Little change in strength is forecast today, with slight weakening starting tonight and continuing through Tuesday. However, Olivia is forecast to be a strong tropical storm when it reaches the Hawaiian Islands.”

The probable path of Olivia.

NOAA

The advisory continued:

• Rainfall: Olivia is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 10 to 15 inches. Isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches are possible, especially over windward sections of Maui County and the Big Island. This rainfall may produce life-threatening flash flooding.

• Surf: Large swells generated by Olivia will spread from east to west across the Hawaiian Islands early this week. This will cause surf to build along exposed east facing shorelines as Olivia approaches. This surf may become damaging across parts of the state.

Thoughts on this or any other story? Write a Letter to the Editor. Send to news@civilbeat.org and put Letter in the subject line. 200 words max. You need to use your name and city and include a contact phone for verification purposes. And you can still comment on stories on our Facebook page.

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Candidate Surveys Are Rolling In But We Want Even More https://www.civilbeat.org/2018/07/candidate-surveys-are-rolling-in-but-we-want-even-more/ Mon, 16 Jul 2018 10:01:43 +0000 https://www.civilbeat.org/?p=1290129 About 320 people are running for offices ranging from governor to county councils in Hawaii this year, and Civil Beat is offering all of them a chance to tell voters where they stand on important public policy issues. In early June, we emailed our Civil Beat Candidate Q&A to everyone who’s running in the primary. […]

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About 320 people are running for offices ranging from governor to county councils in Hawaii this year, and Civil Beat is offering all of them a chance to tell voters where they stand on important public policy issues.

In early June, we emailed our Civil Beat Candidate Q&A to everyone who’s running in the primary. So far we’ve received 140 responses — that’s a lot more than the 104 candidates who sent back the surveys before the 2016 primary. But that’s still well under half of the total.

We’ve published 106 so far. The easiest way for voters to find them is to follow the links on our Hawaii Elections 2018 Primary Ballot.

Voting by mail begins soon, which means candidates who haven’t emailed their survey responses to Civil Beat are running out of time.

Flickr.com

We’re preparing a lot more for publication this week. There’s a growing sense of urgency, because mail ballots will be in a lot of voters’ hands soon, likely going out in the mail at the end of this week.

There’s still time for candidates to take advantage of this opportunity by emailing your completed survey to candidate@civilbeat.org. That’s also where you can send us a note if you haven’t received a survey or need another one. If you already sent your Q&A in but haven’t seen it published yet, please let us know; we still have about 30 in hand that we are working to publish but we’re happy to check.

This year, we’ve heard from some of you who are concerned about the process and the timeline for publishing the surveys.

Here’s how it’s worked so far:

• All the surveys were emailed out at the same time. We received a glut of responses early on.

• It takes a bit of time to process and build these into our system, including adding the photo and the links to other candidates in the same race. Whenever possible, we give priority to contested races and to the responses of candidates whose primary opponents have already been published. We try to pair candidates in the same race when possible.

• This being Hawaii, most of the candidates are Democrats, but we don’t give preference to any political party. We’ve also published the response of Republicans, Libertarians, Green Party members and dozens of nonpartisan candidates.

• Survey responses are initially published on our home page, and they live on in our Elections 2018 section along with other political coverage. But again, the easiest way to find a particular candidate or office is to follow the links at Hawaii Elections 2018 Primary Ballot.

Find more information about the upcoming primary in Civil Beat’s Hawaii Elections Guide 2018.

Thoughts on this or any other story? Write a Letter to the Editor. Send to news@civilbeat.org and put Letter in the subject line. 200 words max. You need to use your name and city and include a contact phone for verification purposes. And you can still comment on stories on our Facebook page.

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We’re Giving All Hawaii Candidates The Chance To Make Their Case https://www.civilbeat.org/2018/06/were-giving-all-hawaii-candidates-the-chance-to-make-their-case/ Mon, 18 Jun 2018 10:01:01 +0000 http://www.civilbeat.org/?p=1285684 Consider it a marketplace of ideas. On Monday, Civil Beat renews an election year tradition as it begins to publish the responses of candidates to our question-and-answer surveys. You won’t just find the frontrunners here. We’ve attempted to email the surveys to everyone on the ballot in the islands this year, from U.S. Senate to […]

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Consider it a marketplace of ideas.

On Monday, Civil Beat renews an election year tradition as it begins to publish the responses of candidates to our question-and-answer surveys.

You won’t just find the frontrunners here. We’ve attempted to email the surveys to everyone on the ballot in the islands this year, from U.S. Senate to county council candidates. As long as they return them with a reasonably serious attempt at answering the questions, we’ll publish them.

Chad Blair gestures during Civil Cafe Election Trivia held at the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus. 3 nov 2016

Civil Beat Politics and Opinion Editor Chad Blair at a Civil Cafe Election Trivia event in 2016. If you’re a candidate for office anywhere in the islands, we have some questions for you.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Candidates who think they haven’t received a survey yet should contact us by email at candidate@civilbeat.org. After all, this is a free opportunity to explain in their own words why they’re running and why you should vote for them.

That doesn’t mean they all will take that opportunity, unfortunately. In 2016, we sent surveys to over 300 candidates, but only 104 completed surveys in time for publication before the primary. We’re hoping for a considerably better response this election season, and so far they seem to be arriving at a brisk pace.

Our questions were tailored to the office sought, including Congress, governor and lieutenant governor, the Legislature, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees, the Honolulu City Council and neighbor island races.

But everyone is asked to provide a little biographical information, including their background in community service. And everyone also gets a chance in the final question to bring up any issue they want.

As decision time nears, our records show that in past elections these question-and-answer surveys are among Civil Beat’s most popular content.

We hope even prohibitive favorites or unopposed candidates will care enough to share their thoughts — in their own words — with the voters.

The survey responses will appear first on our home page and in the Elections 2018 section. In addition, after it’s published each survey will be linked to the candidate’s name in our Primary Election Ballot.

Thoughts on this or any other story? Write a Letter to the Editor. Send to news@civilbeat.org and put Letter in the subject line. 200 words max. You need to use your name and city and include a contact phone for verification purposes. And you can still comment on stories on our Facebook page.

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Say Aloha To Civil Beat’s 3 New Interns https://www.civilbeat.org/2018/06/say-aloha-to-civil-beats-3-new-interns/ Mon, 11 Jun 2018 10:01:04 +0000 http://www.civilbeat.org/?p=1284545 When it started looking for this year’s summer interns, Civil Beat didn’t focus exclusively on former Moanalua High School students. It just seems that way. Agatha Danglapin, Madison Choi and Mark Ladao all graduated from Moanalua before moving on to college — Danglapin and Ladao at the University of Hawaii Manoa and Choi at Chaminade […]

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When it started looking for this year’s summer interns, Civil Beat didn’t focus exclusively on former Moanalua High School students.

It just seems that way.

Agatha Danglapin, Madison Choi and Mark Ladao all graduated from Moanalua before moving on to college — Danglapin and Ladao at the University of Hawaii Manoa and Choi at Chaminade University of Honolulu.

The three began their summer internships at Civil Beat last week.

Civil Beat’s summer interns include, from left, Mark Ladao, Agatha Danglapin and Madison Choi.

Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Danglapin is our first-ever video production intern, shooting and editing video content for our online platforms.

She just completed her junior year at UH, where she is co-managing editor of Ka Leo, the student newspaper. She is pursuing degrees in communications and English.

Danglapin was born and raised in Honolulu. She can be reached at adanglapin@civilbeat.org.

Choi’s internship is in partnership with the Hawaii chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, a program the organization has been offering for years to Hawaii journalists. (It’s what your Gridiron ticket purchases help pay for.) She’ll writing general assignment news stories.

Choi just graduated from Chaminade, where she wrote for the student newspaper, the Silversword. She earned bachelor’s degrees in English and communications.

Prior to her internship at Civil Beat, Choi was an intern on the executive and internal communications team at Hawaii Permanente Medical Group, where she was a contributing writer for the organization’s internal magazine.

She was born and raised in Mililani Mauka. She can be reached at mlchoi@civilbeat.org.

Both Danglapin and Choi will be working full-time during their 10-week internships.

Ladao will be working two days a a week assisting with Civil Beat’s question-and-answer surveys that are being sent out to all candidates for office in the islands this year.

He has lived in Hawaii since 2009 and earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from UH in 2010. He returned to the Manoa campus last spring to pursue a bachelor’s degree in journalism and writes for Ka Leo.

He can be reached at masladao@civilbeat.org.

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The post Say Aloha To Civil Beat’s 3 New Interns appeared first on Honolulu Civil Beat.

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