Category: Government

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...

Code for Hawaii

Code for Hawaii Ready for Reboot

I have a lot of respect for programmers, software engineers, designers, entrepreneurs, and other immensely talented and creative people. But I love it when they commit those valuable skills — which could also power startups, grow businesses, or transform industries — to helping their communities. I love civic hacking. Hawaii has seem some stellar...

Car2Go Cars - Photo by Richard Eriksson

Car Sharing Bill Goes Before Honolulu City Council

Honolulu consistently ranks among the nation’s worst cities for commuters, so it’s no surprise that there are many plans out there to bring relief. The biggest, most visible effort remains the city’s beleagured rail transit project, but down on the ground, the “sharing economy” is making progress. Case in point: the evolution...

Island Pulse

Data Dashboard Offers Real-Time Energy Stats

One of the beautiful things about the otherwise esoteric open data movement is that it lays the groundwork for data visualizations that are both pretty and informative. “Big data” in its raw form is incomprehensible, but with tables and charts and graphs and other tools, you can illustrate facts and trends in...

SBX

Pearl Harbor SBX Sea Sentry Under Fire

The Sea-Based X-Band Radar platform, or SBX, has towered over Ford Island in Pearl Harbor for years. It’s no Statue of Liberty, but it’s definitely become a landmark of sorts, perhaps the most visible single representation of the extensive military presence in the islands. A special report in today’s Los Angeles...

Hawaii Sunshine Law Needs an Update

Hawaii’s “Sunshine Law” turns 40 years old today, and is still a critical tool in keeping state government accessible and transparent. But a lot has changed over those four decades, and a pair of bills have been working their way through the legislature to update the law for the 21st century. After...

Alpha Wind Hawaii

Oahu Offshore Wind Farm Proposed

Hawaii is already a hotbed of renewable energy research, so perhaps it’s not unexpected to hear about a proposal to situate as many as one hundred 200-meter tall wind turbines off the coast of Oahu. But it’s where the proposal is coming from, and how it might come to fruition,...

NCO Website

Online Strides by Hawaii Government Lauded

Two government websites in Hawaii received national recognition this week, and one of them is in the running for even more acclaim. Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government recognized the City & County of Honolulu for its all-online neighborhood board elections. It was one of the 2015 Bright...

Hawaii Department of Land & Natural Resources

Seriously, Stay Away from Sacred Falls

Adventure seekers love to push boundaries and take risks. If they were invincible and immortal, this wouldn’t be a problem. But nobody is invincible and immortal, and too often in Hawaii, crossing the line is not a victimless crime. Just yesterday the Honolulu Board of Water Supply said it no longer wants...

Bill Would Limit Police Use of Drones

While the Federal Aviation Administration today took a big step forward in its regulation of unmanned aerial vehicles, Hawaii state lawmakers are still struggling to things out at the local level. A proposed Hawaii senate bill, SB579, would make it “unlawful for any law enforcement agency to use an unmanned...

Edward Snowden at ACLU Hawaii Event on Olelo

Snowden Speaks to Honolulu Conference

“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength,” Vincent Van Gogh is said to have said, and on this Valentine’s Day, there was a special gathering for people who love the First Amendment. The Davis Levin First Amendment Conference was held today, organized by the ACLU of...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/scobleizer/2279292514/

Bill Would Ban Bosses from Snooping on Social Media

Common sense says that you shouldn’t post anything to Facebook that you wouldn’t want your boss to see. But because common sense isn’t especially common, a bill before the Hawaii state legislature this session hopes to set some boundaries. The House committee on labor and public employment yesterday considered a bill...

The Year Ahead in Hawaii Tech

The year 2014 was a good one local geeks, with Hawaii electing a geeky governor (Gov. David Ige has an engineering and tech startup background) and the University of Hawaii naming a geeky president (David Lassner). So this week’s episode of Bytemarks Cafe was a fun one, as we looked back at the past...

State to Measure Internet Speeds with ‘Whiteboxes’

There are many ingredients needed to foster a thriving technology industry in Hawaii, but one of the most critical needs continues to be widely accessible, high-speed internet access. The “Measuring Broadband Hawaii” project, announced this week, will collect hard numbers on how well Hawaii’s internet service providers are serving this...

Hawaii TechWorks, HTDC to Partner

Hawaii TechWorks, HTDC to Partner

On Tuesday, a Big Island innovation lab and coworking space will officially become a part of a statewide family. Although I was born and raised on Oahu, I have a deep affection for Hilo. It’s where I met my wife, while studying (well, “studying”) at UH Hilo, and it’s a...

New Tools to Explore Campaign Finance Data

New Tools to Explore Campaign Finance Data

In an election year, the more citizens know about candidates and their campaigns the better. And while there’s a lot of information available from the Campaign Spending Commission, it can be a challenge to make sense of it all. That’s where the recent Civic*Celerator comes in, and its slate of online tools to help...

Hawaii Geek Beat

Drones Over Hawaii

This morning’s “Hawaii Geek Beat” segment on Hawaii News Now focused on the increasing popularity and promise of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones. While drones are frequently associated with military operations, the commercial applications of the technology are even more interesting. Over the holiday season, online retailer Amazon made headlines...

City Clears Homeless Camp in Iwilei

City Clears Homeless Camp in Iwilei

I work at Dole Cannery in Iwilei, an industrial neighborhood just outside downtown Honolulu. The area has seen more and more development over the years, with warehouses being replaced by business offices and high-rise apartment buildings. Along Iwilei Road, a block away from Aala Park (also known for homeless activity)...

Flashback: Police Union on Public Records Law

Flashback: Police Union on Public Records Law

UH journalism professor Gerald Kato recently dug up this old video that SHOPO, the Honolulu police officers’ union, made in 1995 during the fight over the Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA), or HRS 92F, which defined public records and codified the public’s right to access them in Hawaii. They argued...

Civic App Demo Day on Saturday

Civic App Demo Day on Saturday

Capping off a historic year of government transformation and grassroots innovation, the first HON*CELERATOR competition aims to inspire the best apps and online tools that use open data to improve the day-to-day lives of Honolulu residents. Local software developers, designers, and entrepreneurs are being encouraged to tap into a growing...