Category: Government

Governor pushes for increased access, transparency

Hawaii Gov. David Ige has urged all state department heads to “strengthen efforts to increase access to public information, ensure that government business is conducted as openly as possible, and enhance government accountability.” The executive memo, issued without fanfare on Aug. 25, reiterates Gov. Ige’s push for more openness and public...

Videos: Freeway, Rail Construction Continues

Some Sunday errands gave me an opportunity to capture more video snapshots of some of the major construction projects unfolding in Leeward Oahu. First, after months of sometimes paralyzing traffic jams, we are days away from having a full six lanes of freeway between Pearl City and the H-1/H-2 interchange. Meanwhile,...

Hawaii Film Industry Gets New Link to Hollywood

At one end, a group of state government officials, film industry leaders, and creative professionals were gathered at Honua Studios in Kona. At the other, a hundred of their Hollywood counterparts were assembled in Screening Room #5 at Warner Brothers Studios in California. Between them, a new multi-gigabit high-speed connection over a private...

Conference Helps Companies “Make Stuff, Get Funded”

When people are asked to name the largest industries in Hawaii, the list usually stops after tourism and the military. But manufacturing is in the top five, producing over $4.5 billion in goods in 2014, and employing more than 14,000 people. Of course, when many people hear the word “manufacturing,”...

Free Workshops to Explore Kakaako Development

A series of free, weekly workshops beginning this week will explore the many different faces of Kakaako. In the eyes of its majority landowners and deep-pocketed investors, Kakaako is Hawaii’s next great urban paradise, a new gleaming gem in the heart of Honolulu that’s thoughtfully designed to be a “livable,” mixed-use,...

State Technology Office Gets New Name

The State Office of Information Management and Technology, created in 2011 in a public-private partnership funded largely by the Omidyar Ohana Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation, quietly became the Office of Enterprise Technology this week. I say quietly because the change wasn’t announced, and had to be pointed out to...

Parking Spaces to Become Tiny Parks on Friday

On Friday, about a dozen coveted parking spaces in urban Honolulu will be converted into tiny parks. The temporary takeover is part of PARK(ing) Day, designed to encourage communities to think differently about public spaces. If you were someone who worshipped at the once unassailable American temple of automobile ownership, the last few...

Group Urges Boosting Bikes in Rail Planning

The state’s most expensive transportation system can be improved a great deal by integrating simple, human-powered technology that’s nearly 200 years old. The $6 billion Honolulu rail transit project easily dominates any conversation about the evolution of transportation on Oahu. With the first four miles of the 20-mile route piercing into Waipahu...

Hawaii Drone Operators Seek, Secure FAA Approval

While the media fans the flames of outrage prompted by drone pilots who are certainly behaving badly, there is some encouraging news this week for UAV enthusiasts committed to doing the right thing. Drone Services Hawaii has received its coveted Section 333 Exception from the FAA, allowing it to operate commercially. Meanwhile, the...

Sweeping California Drone Law Has Hawaii Roots

If California enacts one of the nation’s strictest regulations on drones, you can thank a quadcopter pilot in Hawaii. Both advocates and critics of drones across the country are watching a bill now sitting on the desk of California Gov. Jerry Brown, which would create a “no-fly zone” over private...

Honolulu Expands Options for Bicycle Riders

I was once an avid bicyclist. With my best friend Nate, we would regularly ride from Mililani to town and back. I wore a bicycle chain as a bracelet for years, airport security scanners be damned. We even rode the Century Ride… although we rode mountain bikes, and the 100-mile...

Civic Hackers Chat with Open Government Guru

Civic hackers in Honolulu will have a chance to talk with and learn from a fellow open government advocate in California. Steve “Spike” Spiker, founder and executive director of Open Oakland, will share his story with Code for Hawaii on Wednesday and talk about his organization’s work as an official “Brigade” for Code for...

Video: Rail Guideway Reaches Waipahu

In the abstract, knowing that Honolulu’s rail transit line won’t be completed until 2019 makes the whole thing seem far off in the future. But with construction of the first three miles of elevated guideway now completed, the massive project looms very, very near for a lot of people. I wrote in June...

Hurricane Plan Updated in Midst of Storm Season

State and federal emergency management officials yesterday signed an updated Catastrophic Hurricane Plan for Hawaii, as Hurricane Hilda churns slowly toward the islands. Emergency preparedness is a common summer theme in Hawaii, with hurricane season running from June through November every year. Less than two weeks ago, the City & County...

New Maps, App Prepare Hawaii for Extreme Tsunami

Tsunami have crossed the ocean and hit Hawaii many times in the last century: in 1946, 1952, 1957, 1960, and 1964. But it was the Japan tsunami in 2011 that shook local emergency planners to the core. Not because of what happened to the state, but because of what could have happened. “The...

Bikeshare Hawaii Pedaling Toward Reality

Plans to launch a bike sharing system in urban Honolulu took another step forward last week when both the city and state each committed $1 million in seed funding to Bikeshare Hawaii. Bikeshare Hawaii is a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to making bikesharing a reality, led by friend and brilliant designer Ben...

State Gets First Chief Innovation Officer

The man appointed by Gov. David Ige to upgrade the state’s technology infrastructure is apparently taking on a broader role, with a title change from Chief Information Officer to Chief Innovation Officer. Nacapuy heads the Office of Information Management and Technology (OIMT), which was created in 2011 thanks to a $3 million grant from...

Video: Rail Guideway over H-1

A 30-second video I put together on a whim and shared on Facebook last night has been viewed over 8,000 times, and shared by over 140 people. While not exactly viral content, it did affirm that I wasn’t the only person who is fascinated by big construction projects. Two major transportation...

Hawaii Joins National Civic Hacking Day

Hawaii’s civic hacking movement is finding its second wind, with local community-minded developers, designers, organizers and activists coming together on Saturday to participate in the National Day of Civic Hacking. Leading the charge is Code for Hawaii, the local “brigade,” or chapter, of Code for America. The grassroots group was rebooted...

Dwindling Public Spaces Spark Forum

Public spaces, areas dedicated to the public where people can gather, relax, interact, organize, and protest –are an important part of any community. But in Honolulu, where real estate is in such great demand, public spaces seem to be harder and harder to come by. “Development pressures are always going to be...