Back when Honolulu had competing daily newspapers and television stations, stories bubbled up through what I call the news food chain, eventually getting delivered to the public through the mainstream media.
Reporters for the daily media, at the top of the food chain, pored over sources lower down the food chain for breaking stories and emerging issues. Niche publications like Pacific Business News, magazines like Hawaii Business, newsletters like Environment Hawaii, and blogs like this one, provide a steady source of items to feed the hungry reporter, eventually appearing in the daily news.
So I’m puzzled by the absence of any mainstream folo of two issues reported here recently.
UH West Oahu Chancellor Gene Awakuni was in the news a lot this week after he announced plans to retire at the end of this school year.
But I found only one backhanded mention of the charge by the State Ethics Commission that he violated the state ethics over a period of years by failing to fully disclose numerous financial interests as required by law, as I reported on Tuesday (“UH West Oahu Chancellor admits ethics violation“).
So far, the only other mention of Awakuni’s ethics problem was an aside in a Star-Advertiser editorial yesterday.
Awakuni said this week that some of the concerns had been answered by the time the new campus opened some months after the site visit, and that he expects WASC will be satisfied with progress at the next visit set for 2014.
Beyond that, there have been concerns that construction change orders drove the $170 million project about $14 million over budget, and reports that Awakuni faced an inquiry from the state Ethics Commission about his financial disclosure records.
Awakuni has acknowledged the overruns. But the ethics angle, he said, was no longer an issue. He said he had been alerted that the commission found his required disclosure forms lacking in key required information but supplied the data and considered the problem resolved.
Apart from that, the silence has been deafening.
Then there were the guilty pleas entered by two defendants in a Maui fraud case tied to members of a Hawaiian sovereignty group which were reported here two weeks ago (“Two sovereignty activists plead guilty to fraud and conspiracy in Maui bond scam“).
But the admission by two defendants that their whole debt relief scheme was a scam has so far not been reported elsewhere. I’ve searched the Star-Advertiser archives, as well as Google and Bing, and failed to turn up anything.