Red Hill Administrative Order #opendata


July 20th was the deadline for public comment on the Red Hill Fuel Tank Administrative Order. The EPA and State Dept of Health sought feedback from the public regarding the fuel tank storage tanks and plans to minimize the fuel leaks from the tanks. It is now up to the EPA and DOH to decide whether or not to sign the Administrative Order on Consent with the U.S. Navy to make it effective or to modify it base on information received during the public comment period.

The Board of Water Supply released the following comments and a summary of the comments on July 20, 2015:

Here is testimony from Ernest Lau, Manager and Chief Engineer at the Board of Water Supply at the June 18, 2015 public meeting.

Hawaii Open Data, helped to make many of the documents relating to the Red Hill Fuel Tank project, accessible to the public. This is important in that the bulk of these documents were not going to be make electronically available and only physically accessible to the public.

The document repository contains more that 400 documents that are text searchable. The original files were pdf scans which we were able to OCR and make text searches available. This historical archive provides easy access to the large body of work that reveals the fuel tanks leaks and the potential effects on the Moanalua-Waimalu aquifer affecting 25% of Oahu’s population.

The next step is to see if the EPA and DOH sign the agreement (AOC) with the U.S. Navy. More to come.

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Open Data 2015

Presented at the 2014 Hawaii Digital Government Summit. The audience consisted primarily of State government employees and the presentation highlighted the global open data movement and key considerations when publishing open government data.

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What can open data do for you?

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Screening & Workshop: ‘The Internet’s Own Boy’

Aaron Swartz

The Internet’s Own Boy‘ follows the story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz. From Swartz’s help in the development of the basic internet protocol RSS to his co-founding of Reddit, his fingerprints are all over the internet. But it was Swartz’s groundbreaking work in social justice and political organizing combined with his aggressive approach to information access that ensnared him in a two-year legal nightmare. It was a battle that ended with the taking of his own life at the age of 26. Aaron’s story touched a nerve with people far beyond the online communities in which he was a celebrity. This film is a personal story about what we lose when we are tone deaf about technology and its relationship to our civil liberties.

Join us on Friday, Sept. 5 at 6 p.m. at Kakaako Agora for a screening of ‘The Internet’s Own Boy,’ then come back on Saturday, Sept. 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a discussion of the film and a workshop on open data and open knowledge.

RSVP on MeetupFacebook, or Google+.

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Civic*Celerator Apps

For more information on the Civic*Celerator apps go to

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Open Data and Campaign Spending


Join us on Saturday, April 19, 2014 at the Iolani School, Sullivan Center for Civic*Celerator Demo Day, where we unveil each team’s projects and get feedback from the judges. We’ll learn about campaign finance and be a part of this transformation from open data to open knowledge.

We are in a campaign year and the candidates are gearing up for a crowded primary. At Civic*Celerator we try to help make sense of where the money comes from to fuel the Hawaii races. The Campaign Spending Commission collects data from each of the candidates as required by State law. This data is then published to the State’s open data portal: Data.Hawaii.Gov

Civic*Celerator brings together the talents of our civically engaged citizens and coding community to create applications, visualizations and tools to better understand this data.

We thank our good friends at Voqal, Common Cause Hawaii, HTDC along with Code for America, Campaign Spending Commission and Hawaii Open Data for making this possible.

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Bhagowalia: “It Belongs to the People of Hawaii”

Bytemarks CafeThe state Office of Information Management & Technology was featured last night on Bytemarks Cafe on Hawaii Public Radio. The accomplishments, challenges, and future vision of the OIMT were explored with Sonny Bhagowalia, the governor’s new Chief Advisor for Technology and Cyber-Security, and Keone Kali, who is succeeding Bhagowalia as the state’s Chief Information Officer.

Open data was among the many topics covered, and Luke Fretwell of GovFresh submitted a question via Twitter about NIC and the practice of governments selling public data.

Burt Lum: “Normally ‘open data’ is freely accessible to the public, but there are cases where, in Hawaii, the government is actually selling data via the Hawaii Information Consortium. So there are some datasets [like business registrations] that aren’t accessible. Is this something that will continue, and is it still open and accessible in this format?”

Sonny Bhagowalia: “As you know, my background in federal government was with the open data initiative that was started with the White House. It’s a tremendous thing that has changed the world, in my view. We encountered the same issue there. I think, first of all, there’s a lot of data to be let out — we only hit five percent, there’s 95 percent that can be brought out.

“I think there’s a lot of data that inherently, when it’s governmental. it should come out as governmental — it’s available to the public, and there you go. it has its provenance, and then you use it, and you can mash it up, analyze it, visualize it, socialize it, and mobilize it. There are some where you can add value to it and sell that, so I’m okay with that aspect of it. But I feel like eventually that all the data that’s inherently within government belongs to the people so that’s where it should be.

“I really think first of all we need to address that problem. When I said 1,144 [data sets online], it sounds impressive, but really. there’s a lot more data should come out and that should be available. It should also be lined up to some sort of business problem — look at certain things you can solve. We don’t want to do apps and innovation for that sake, it has to be innovation that helps people in their daily lives, where they can actually conduct business online or get services anywhere anytime on any device.

“I think there’s plenty of room for everybody to play in this equation but my inherent belief is government data is open, and it belongs to the people of Hawaii.”

Listen to the whole conversation here.

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ODI Hawaii

From Seoul to Osaka – Asia Pacific opens arms to open data as ODI announces five new international Nodes

2014-02-17 by The ODI

The ODI has announced five new international Nodes including the first two from the Asia Pacific region: Osaka, Seoul, Sheffield, Philadelphia and Hawaii. They will join the first raft of Nodes announced at the ODI Summit in October last year. The Nodes bring together companies, universities, and NGOs that support open data projects and communities.


The launch of ODI Seoul builds on the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) between the ODI and the National Information Society Agency (NIA) of the Republic of Korea in November 2013. The MOU marked a commitment to promote closer cooperation in the area of open data.

Since the ODI Summit where the Nodes programme was announced, the ODI has had interest from across the world from organisations wanting to become a Node.

This announcement of the new Nodes coincides with a gathering of all the current ODI Nodes in London.

Richard Stirling, International Director at the ODI said:

“The open data movement continues to gain momentum across the globe – our five new Nodes are testament to this. We look forward to working alongside these new Nodes as they explore how open data can drive innovation, boost transparency and bring about social, economic and environmental benefits to their communities.”

Each Node has agreed to adopt the ODI Charter, which is a open source codification of the ODI itself, and embodies principles of open data business, publishing, communication, and collaboration.

The creation of ODI Nodes around the world highlights how people are using the power of open to combine expertise and resources. Each Node will catalyse open data culture within their own communities and communicate open data success stories globally. City and regional Nodes will identify open data collaboration projects, and publish data relating to themselves and their work using open standards such as the ODI Open Data Certificate.

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Mayor Kirk Caldwell signs Bill 53, CD2, FD1

On November 27, 2013, Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed Bill 53, CD2, FD1 – Relating to Open Data in law. It now becomes Ordinance 13-39 going into effect immediately. This process that started in August was quite different from what happens in the State Legislature. In some ways it is much simpler although monitoring the status of your bill and testimony on the City Council site could use much improvement.

Bill 53 went from it’s first reading in the full Council meeting in August, then was heard in the Public Safety & Economic Development Committee, Chaired by CM Carol Fukunaga, the Bill’s sponsor. It then went to a second full Council hearing, back to the PSED committee and then to a final hearing at the third full Council. After passing the full Council with 9 ayes and 0 nays, the bill goes to the Mayor’s desk for approval or disapproval. He has 10 business days to complete this process.

Now the work to liberate data starts. I was encouraged to see Mark Wong, CIO of the City, support the passage of Bill 53. When I spoke to him this week he asked, now that the bill is signed, what datasets does the community want to see? So the call is out but how do we place our requests? I looked at and the Suggest a Dataset tab is now missing. You can backdoor it by going to this link.

Another opportunity will come on Monday, Dec 9th when Mayor Caldwell holds his Twitter Townhall. On that date the Mayor’s public schedule has:

  • Noon to 1 p.m. – Twitter Town Hall.  Participants can tweet questions to @MayorKirkHNL and Mayor Caldwell and his Cabinet members will answer as many as possible.

If you are interested I will send out a reminder on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. You can also sign up for the HOD newsletter. Now with both the State and the City with their respective laws in place, Act 263 and Ordinance 13-39, 2014 is looking to be a very busy year.

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Bill 53: Relating to Open Data – City & County of Honolulu


Back on August 7, 2013 Bill 53 (2013): Relating to Open Data, got introduced by CM Carol Fukunaga at a full Council meeting. It got subsequently heard on August 20th in the Public Safety and Economic Development Committee.

Bill 53 CD1 then moved on to a second reading in the full Council on Sept. 11, 2013 and successfully passed. The amended change brought the establishment of procedures in from 2 years to one year.

On Oct. 29, 2013, CD2 passed through the PSED committee. The CD2 amendment had introduced a timeframe of 180 days for policies to be completed. it also introduced a Chief Information Officer in the Legislative Branch of the City Council. At this latest hearing, I was able to suggest amendments to the bill to 1) remove “of minimal public interest” and 2) rename the legislative branch lead to be called the Chief Data Officer. These changes should appear in Bill 53 CD3. At the time of this writing there was no online version of CD2. In an odd timing of publishing bill information, the CD2 modifications did not make it into the agenda for Oct. 29th. The agenda shows CD1. But at the PSED Committee reading they handed out hardcopies.

The next full Council meeting is on Nov 13th where CD3 is planned to be heard. Once Bill 53 passes through this final reading it then goes to the Mayor for signing. As soon as CD3 gets posted I will share the link. Thanks to all who have submitted testimony. We are almost there.