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Mindy Pennybacker

Mindy Pennybacker has retired as a staff writer at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.


Born and raised in Honolulu, Pennybacker graduated from Stanford University, University of Iowa Writers Workshop and UC Davis School of Law.


In New York City, she worked for the Trust for Public Land, Natural Resources Defense Council, Glamour and This Old House magazines, and as editor for The Green Guide, an award-winning national, green-lifestyle print and online publication. In Honolulu, served as editor for Honolulu Weekly before joining the Honolulu Star-Advertiser in 2015.


She is the author of "Do One Green Thing," (Harper, 2010).
Contact Mindy Pennybacker



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                                An overhead view of the Ala Wai Canal in Honolulu.
Public weighs in on Ala Wai flood-control proposals

The streams of the Ala Wai watershed drain from its 3,000-foot summit in the Koolaus down to sea level. Its lower sub-basin includes Waikiki, the Ala Wai Canal and several schools, and will bear the brunt of a catastro­phic flood if upstream flood management measures fail, Eric Merriam, a planner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said Friday in a public meeting. Read more

                                Maui’s Skylar Lickle won the second Red Bull Magnitude, winning the Overall Performer Award and a $35,000 prize. Above, she surfed Jaws in January.
Mindy Pennybacker: Hawaii female surfers continue breakout run

Hawaiian spring surf has arrived with brisk easterly trades scouring the seas, and after a long, above- average North Shore big-wave season, fresh wave energy is pulsing into Oahu’s South Shore and surfers are sifting through town breaks for nuggets — those shiny little, pop-up rides — while hoping for big, outside bombs. Read more

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Waikiki Aquarium, city work together on Earth Month events

Virtual and in-person events will be offered starting today, with one of many community cleanups organized by the stormwater division, this one to be hosted by the Ala Wai watershed science education group Na Wai ‘Ekolu at Ala Wai Elementary School. Read more

                                An aerial view of Kalaupapa National Historic Park in 2008.
Kalaupapa memorial bill advances after heartfelt hearing

A bill appropriating funds for a memorial to the 8,000 Hawaii residents who were exiled to Kalaupapa on Molokai from 1866 to 1969 after being diagnosed with leprosy is advancing through the state Legislature. Read more

                                A humpback whale Saturday breached off Turtle Bay on Oahu’s North Shore during the National Marine Sanctuary Ocean Count.
Citizen whale counts wrap up for 2022 season

A one-day humpback whale count was conducted by volunteers Saturday on the shores of the main Hawaiian Islands, with 136 whales sighted between 10 and 10:15 a.m., the most of any 15-minute period throughout the day, according to a news release from the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and the Pacific Whale Foundation. Read more

                                State lawmakers are weighing a resolution seeking to change the name of Captain Cook on Hawaii island back to Kaawaloa. The U.S. Census Bureau renamed the census-designated place in the 1920s because its post office was located on Captain Cook Coffee Co. property.
Resolution urges name change for Captain Cook

Kaawaloa is a storied place that includes Keala­kekua Bay, where British explorer Capt. James Cook was killed in 1779 during a skirmish between his crew and the subjects of Kalaniopuu, alii nui of Hawaii island. Read more

                                Duane DeSoto plays Duke Kahanamoku in the film “Waterman.”
Biopic ‘Waterman’ celebrates the life of Duke Kahanamoku

From the proud statue of Duke Paoa Kahanamoku on the shores of his beloved Waikiki, to photographs of his winning smile, most portrayals of Hawaii’s greatest waterman have focused on the sunny side of his life. Read more

                                Senate Concurrent Resolution 20 was created to honor surfing champion Carissa Moore.
Legislation on license plates for noted Hawaii surfers advances

A resolution encouraging all Hawaii counties to create a special motor vehicle license plate to commemorate surfing champion Carissa Kainani Moore, 29, was heard and passed Thursday by the Senate Committee on Government Operations. Read more

                                An animal trainer works with a dolphin at Sea Life Park. Animal care and training jobs are among the 30-40 positions the park is looking to fill.
Sea Life Park to host job fairs before full reopening

Sea Life Park in Waima­nalo is now hiring as it seeks to staff up before June 1, when it will return to its full opening schedule of seven days a week for the first time since February 2020, the entertainment park said in a statement. Read more

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