Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2007

Media, CD Adjust Tactics for Emergencies; KSSK’s Ratings Touted To Counter Criticism; State CD’s Absence Leaves an “Empty Chair”

Continuing our report on Tuesday’s Honolulu Community Media Council panel discussion on “Media and Emergency Response”….. Oahu DEM Wants To Be Quicker John Cummings of Honolulu County’s Department of Emergency Management (DEM) led off the panel by noting what worked well on October 15th after the two Big Island earthquakes. DEM’s Emergency Operations Center was activated in 17 minutes, and communications among first responders was established quickly. What needs attention is faster communications to the public. DEM’s first broadcast over radio stations didn’t occur until 50 minutes after the quakes. The agency had anticipated using land lines to contact stations, and that was a major problem, as the stations’ phone lines were clogged with calls from the public. DEM’s personnel had not been trained in using the Emergency Alert System for two years, but State Civil Defense has conducted trainings since October. Cummings said DEM is developing plans to use the County’s Traffic I

Panel Reveals Better Media Response Abilities While Leaving Room for More Improvement

Today’s Honolulu Community Media Council luncheon revealed improvements in how Oahu’s Department of Emergency Management (formerly Oahu Civil Defense) and the local media are preparing to respond to future emergencies. We’ll detail those improvements in posts to CHORE in the next couple days while also focusing on issues revealed in the discussion that seemingly could stand more work. The remarks of panelists Chuck Cotton, Mark Platte, Michael Titterton, John Cummings and CHORE’s writer were complemented by audience comments from the floor. All in all, it was an exceptionally successful beginning to the “new” Media Council's year, with many more compelling programs to come. And “to come” is our slug to end this post. Mahalo for all who attended and filled the room today. Be sure to come back tomorrow for more.

Media Council Panel on Crisis Response To Have No Representative from State Administration

Tuesday’s lunch meeting of the Honolulu Community Media Council will be a long-awaited public discussion on the communications failures experienced on Earthquake Sunday, October 15th, 2006, and what’s being done to improve emergency communications to the public. A panel of community volunteers, the media and a representative of the Oahu Department of Emergency Management (formerly Oahu Civil Defense) will explore “Media and Emergency Response.” But we won’t see a representative of the State Administration there. As noted previously here at CHORE, State Civil Defense had declined to participate on the panel for unknown reasons, but one did emerge on KIPO's "Town Square" program last Thursday (see below). And now we’ve learned that Marsha Weinert, the State’s liaison to the visitor industry, won’t be there either. Weinart said earlier today she’s opting out due to a conflict at the State Legislature. No alternate representative has been volunteered to replace her. Re

Today Is RSVP Deadline for Media Council Meeting; Count Is Already Approaching 70

The “Media and Emergency Response” theme of next Tuesday’s Honolulu Community Media Council’s meeting seems to have struck a chord with the public. Nearly 70 people already have reserved a seat at the Ala Moana Hotel luncheon, which will feature a panel discussion among representatives of the media, government and the public. Reservations for the $20 lunch can still be made today by calling 596-2121. Registration on Tuesday will begin at 11:30, and the program will end at 1:30. This will be the first opportunity for the public to question media and civil defense officials about their response to the communications failures that followed the October 15th earthquakes. Those failures included the temporary shutdown of 80 percent of the state’s broadcast stations, with some of them knocked off the air for more than 24 hours. Those that did continue broadcasting had difficulty accessing reliable information in the early hours of the emergency. Scroll down to CHORE's recent posts f

Newspaper Commentary Touts Feb. 27 Panel; Oahu Civil Defense Agrees To Participate

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin published CHORE's commentary yesterday on next week's panel discussion sponsored by the Honolulu Community Media Council. Not mentioned in the piece was the equallly quick decision by Oahu Civil Defense to join the panel discussion on "Media and Emergency Response." State Civil Defense, which has taken the brunt of critical comment about the October 15th Earthquake Sunday communications failures, has yet to accept a similar invitation to participate. It should be emphasized that the Media Council meeting won't be a game of Gotcha. Its sponsor is a highly respected organization of volunteers -- the oldest of the three volunteer media councils that exist in the United States. The Council is composed of individuals from the community and media and is a non- partisan, non-profit, non-governmental independent group that seeks to improve public access to information, strengthen public support for First Amendment rights and freedoms, bro

Media Council’s Public Meeting Will Give Citizens Their First Insights on Disaster Communications

If you want to know how or whether Hawaii’s news media are working to improve their disaster response capabilities, be sure you have lunch with the Honolulu Community Media Council on February 27. Information on the “Media and Emergency Response” panel discussion and lunch can be found in an earlier CHORE post . This will be the public’s only opportunity to participate in emergency response discussions since the communications fiasco on Earthquake Sunday, October 15, 2006. Average citizens weren’t represented on the Comprehensive Communications Review Committee and therefore had no opportunity for input to this group’s official recommendations to improve emergency communications. Despite calls here and elsewhere for public participation, the Governor and State Civil Defense have made it clear they want no part of an open meeting at which citizens could get answers and be heard. Legislative hearings have not adequately served that purpose, and although we thought legislators might as

“Media and Emergency Response” To Be Focus Of Honolulu Community Media Council Panel

The Honolulu Community Media Council has scheduled a lunch meeting on February 27 open to the public that will feature a panel discussion on “Media and Emergency Response.” The event will begin at 11:30 in the hotel’s Carnation Room, followed by lunch and the program, which will conclude at 1:30. The lunch’s cost is $20; reservations can be made until February 23 by calling Veronica at 596-2121. (Tell her you read about the luncheon here at CHORE.) HCMC president Chris Conybeare said the panel will examine the difficulties experienced by government and the media on October 15th after two strong earthquakes rattled the state and prompted a major power outage on Oahu. At one point, 70 percent of the state’s broadcast stations were off the air, which restricted the flow of emergency information to the public. Conybeare said the panel also will discuss measures taken since Earthquake Sunday to strengthen media operations and improve the chain of emergency communications from State Ci

One Door Closes and Another One Opens: Citizens Turn to Legislature for Answers

The Governor has made it clear the public will not have a chance to question State Civil Defense officials about the communication failures of Earthquake Sunday, October 15, 2006. She says it’s all about the future now, not the past: “We are now focused on a statewide education program to better prepare for the future,” she wrote in her on-line chat on Wednesday. Translation: “Forget about what went wrong on October 15th. We’ve done our in-house review and have everything handled. Trust us to do what’s best.” Just last Sunday, the Governor’s senior communications advisor wrote a long column for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin that touted the Administration’s restoration of “trust and confidence in government through greater transparency and accountability.” You’re heard the phrase, “Don’t pay attention to what politicians say. Pay attention to what politicians do.” Here’s something State Civil Defense – and therefore, the politicians to whom they report -- did that we need to pay