POSTED: Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Temperatures on Oahu dip into 60s

It wasn't your imagination. Yesterday's chilly daytime weather dipped down to the 60s, substantially lower than the typical 80-degree average January daytime temperature.

But it could be warming up tomorrow.

A combination of a cold front stalling over Maui, with the back edge sitting over Oahu, and a lot of cloud cover prohibiting the sun from warming the island caused the rather cool temperatures, said National Weather Service lead forecaster Derek Wroe.

Oahu had temps in the upper 60s for much of the day, with a low of 66 degrees in Honolulu as of 4 p.m. Honolulu's record low for Jan. 27 is 57 degrees. The lowest maximum temperature for yesterday was 69 degrees, and Honolulu got up to 71 yesterday, so no record there either.

Lihue tied its low maximum of 72. Kahului broke its low max of 71 by one at 70 degrees.

Hilo tied its record low Tuesday night at 58 degrees.

Oahu can expect the cold front to stick around with clouds and showers today, but it should break up tonight.

Tomorrow will be a return to tradewind weather with warmer temperatures.


Towing company's actions spur suit

The state Office of Consumer Protection is suing a local towing company for allegedly overcharging vehicle owners by padding mileage.

The lawsuit, filed in state court yesterday, accuses Hook-Up Towing Inc. of inflating mileage charges by taking routes longer than the most direct to its tow yard. The lawsuit also accuses Hook-Up with failing to provide the consumer information telephone number of the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs on its receipts as required by state law.

Hook-Up has private contracts to tow vehicles from parking stalls in the Ala Moana area and from a parking lot on Nuuanu Avenue near Chinatown, according to the lawsuit.

The Office of Consumer Protection is asking for a court order prohibiting Hook-Up from towing any vehicles until it stops overcharging for mileage, fixes its receipts, and pays restitution and civil penalties.


$863,000 for State Hospital repairs

The state will be spending more than $863,000 on two repair projects at Hawaii State Hospital in Kaneohe.

Gov. Linda Lingle said yesterday that the projects are part of the $1.8 billion public infrastructure construction plan unveiled in December to stimulate the economy and create jobs.

Some $561,000 will be used to upgrade and/or replace ventilation and air-conditioning equipment in eight buildings at the hospital, which provides mental health care services.

An additional $302,400 will cover the construction of improvements to the hospital's hot-water system in four buildings. Both projects are scheduled to begin this month and be completed in July.


Community colleges get $1.4 million

University of Hawaii community colleges are getting about $1.49 million to train low-income students and students from underserved areas for health-care careers.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Labor is part of nearly $123 million awarded last week under the President's Community-Based Job Training Grants Initiative. Awardees were chosen from among 274 applications.

The grants are designed to improve the ability of community colleges to provide workers with the skills needed to enter growing industries.