About | Wooden Planes Newsletter | Plane Talk

Awards and Clips


  • Explanatory Reporting, Small Newsroom: Finalist, 2014 ONA Awards
  • Magazine of the Year (circ. under 80,000): Honorable Mention, 2009, Oregon Business magazine, American Society of Business Publication Editors. "A solid, consistent regional package. Compelling headlines, smart graphics. Everything a regional publication should be. Local coverage without boosterism and in the context of national economic concerns."
  • Reporting of Government: First place for "State of Addiction," 2009, Society of Professional Journalists, Oregon/SW Washington
  • Best Feature, Silver for "Tribes 2.0," 2008, Alliance of Area Business Publications
  • Best body of Work, Single Writer: Bronze, 2008, Alliance of Area Business Publications. "Great writing is more than prose -- it's the idea. Hyatt serves up stories with an unusual twist."
  • Business News: First place for "Trouble at sea," 2008, Society of Professional Journalists, Oregon/ SW Washington
  • Business Feature: Second place for "Tribes 2.0," 2008, Society of Professional Journalists, Oregon/SW Washington


Oregon Business Magazine - Oakland Police Beat - The Tribune - New Times

Oregon Business Magazine

While at Oregon Business, I was known for writing engaging, narrative-driven stories on topics that would typically be considered dry or boring: land use issues, company profiles, technology transfer programs, transportation legislation.

Tribes 2.0: As the next decade unfolds, the nine federally recognized tribes in Oregon will have a major role in how the economy of the state develops. It's not just about casinos anymore.

Oregon Business, October 2007

    "It's a summer day in Canyonville about a half hour south of Roseburg, and the Cow Creek Tribe is pretending their new dam is about to collapse.

    It's one of the biggest dams in Douglas County: 1,000 feet long, 95 feet high and capable of holding back 119 million gallons of water. It spreads across the mouth of a canyon that sits above I-5 and several million dollars worth of tribal enterprises...

    While the casino will remain its crown jewel for years to come, Cow Creek — like many tribes around Oregon and the nation — is rapidly moving beyond a gaming-based economy. It’s a transition that requires quick learning. Fifteen years ago, Cow Creek was the only tribe in Oregon with a gaming facility. Now the tribe owns and operates 12 separate companies and is the second-largest employer in the county. Its members are learning the intricacies of running a municipality-sized utility. And the tribe is learning that its successes can draw political ire from the local community."

(Winner: Best Feature, Silver, Alliance of Area Business Publications, 2008; Business Feature: Second Place, Society of Professional Journalists, Oregon/SW Washington, 2008; Best body of Work, Single Writer, Bronze, Alliance of Area Business Publications, 2008)

Down the line: The future of the seafood industry rests with leaders such as Pacific Seafood's Frank Dulcich, and his ability to balance strong-willed business tactics with collaboration.

Oregon Business, December 2008

    "Frank Dulcich is traveling 330 miles per hour, 10,800 feet above northwestern Oregon, his Blackberry and earpiece silent in a cup holder by his side, his hands clasped together in his lap, and his attention on the Pacific Ocean, a gray line on the horizon. It's a warm, early fall afternoon and the Pacific Seafood Group's Learjet is flying from Portland to a processing plant in Warrenton. As he talks, Dulcich's words are tempered by his outwardly charming personality, prom-king good looks and genial disposition. But his apparent warmth belies an aggressive, no-holds-barred personality. [...]

    That hard-edged personality has been the driving force behind a string of acquisitions that grew Pacific Seafood from a tiny Portland company to one of the largest seafood companies in North America. Along the way, the 52-year-old Dulcich has left a string of coups, failed bids, near failures and newly created enemies in his wake...."

State of addiction: Oregon increasingly relies on its lottery to fund crucial programs. When, not if, the lottery maxes out, what will it mean for the state's future?

Oregon Business, November 2008

    "...Since its creation in 1985, the Oregon Lottery and the revenue it generates have become a singular fiscal thread that weaves through every corner of the state. It winds through bars and convenience stores, economic development and gambling-addiction programs, schools and rehabilitated waterways, and eventually ends in Salem, binding the wrists of legislators. [...] But there appears to be little thought -- including from critics of the lottery and those that sit on the Legislative revenue restructuring task force -- of what will happen if lottery funds level off or even decrease. That's not just a hypothetical scenario."

(Winner: First place, Reporting of Government, Society of Professional Journalists, Oregon/SW Washington, 2009)

Oakland Police Beat

Oakland Police Beat (2013-2014) was a data-driven police accountability project funded by The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation and The Fund for Investigative Journalism. Following a high-profile scandal in the early 2000s where more than 100 plaintiffs accused Oakland Police Department officers of beating, kidnapping and planting evidence on suspects, a federal judge mandated the agency make sweeping reforms. The reforms were never made, and in the ensuing years the OPD developed a reputation for internal dysfunction, a high number of officer involved shootings and thousands of allegations that its officers regularly used excessive force. In late 2012 the judge took control of the OPD away from the city.

The following year, we founded Oakland Police Beat and began compiling and analyzing two decades of court, city and police department records. The final result was a one-of-a-kind, publicly accessible database of civil rights-related lawsuits, officer involved shootings and officer awards. We made the database and the accompanying data sets and investigative stories available via a Creative Commons license, and they were used by news organizations, activists and lawyers. The database is no longer available (you can watch a tour of it), but the original site is archived. More information can be found in How We Analyzed Our Police Officer Data and the FAQ. Oakland Police Beat was a finalist in the Explanatory Reporting, Small Newsroom category at the 2014 ONA Awards

As part of the project I created the CopsCases Twitter bot that tweeted when police, sheriff or state police/trooper/patrol agencies were sued in U.S. District courts.

Oakland's Most Decorated Officers Responsible for High Number of Brutality Lawsuits, Shootings

Oakland Police Beat, April 2, 2014

    "It was almost noon on an overcast day in East Oakland, home to much of the city's violent crime, when the three officers spotted the teenage boy. Dark hair, short, sweatpants, and, as they drove by in their unmarked car, something big that the boy was trying to conceal in the waistband of his pants: a gun. The three officers were part of an elite six-man unit that investigated and combated gang activity. By the end of the year, 2008, the unit members would individually make five times as many felony arrests and confiscate 13 times as many firearms as officers in quieter parts of the city.

    They were also, based on their own reports, seven times as likely to use force when making an arrest. Over the course of their careers, Sgt. Randolph Brandwood, Eric Milina and Robert Roche were involved in a total of five police shootings, all of which had killed or injured someone. All three officers had also been named in lawsuits accusing them of brutality.

    What happened after they backed up and stopped next to the teenager on that spring day is debated."

Oakland Spent $74 Million Settling 417 Police Brutality Lawsuits

Oakland Police Beat, April 9, 2014

    "A Catholic priest who said an officer put him in a chokehold and slammed his head into a glass door. A woman who said she shouldn't have been handcuffed when officers arrested her.

    A father who claimed officers beat him in the hallway outside of his child's hospital room until his head was bloody. A bank robber who was shot by officers after a high-speed chase. A man whose head was slammed into something so hard that the bones in his face broke.

    In each situation the Oakland Police Department was sued. And in each one, the City of Oakland chose to settle out of court rather than take the case to trial.

    A review of Oakland City Attorney lawsuit data and hundreds of federal and state court cases has found that since 1990, Oakland has spent $74 million dollars to settle at least 417 lawsuits accusing its police officers of brutality, misconduct and other civil rights violations."

The (San Luis Obispo) Tribune

Between 2005 and 2006 I covered the lead-up to the largest special district municipal bankruptcy in California history. I wrote more than 160 stories on the Los Osos CSD and its political infighting, legal battles and bumbling attempts to fight state agencies and regulators, all the while racking up tens of millions of dollars in debt. There are too many stories to cite, but several A1 investigations include the agency's lack of transparency, its administrative spending and the bombshell legal strategy that it mistakenly disclosed to me.

San Luis Obispo New Times

Investigative stories included: an ADA litigant running a "scheme of systematic extortion;" a psychiatrist who leveraged more than $500,000 in "gifts" from patients; a four-time rapist living on the streets of San Luis Obispo; the large number of weapons seized at a regional airport; a state senator's industry-funded trips to Australia, Africa, and Europe.



Guest Lecturer, Journalism

  • Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, Calif.: December 2002, April 2003, Oct. 2004, April 2005
  • California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, Calif.: January, May 2006
  • University of California at Santa Cruz: April 2006