POSTED: Thursday, April 23, 2009

Entire state under flash-flood watch

All Hawaiian islands will be under a flash-flood watch from noon today to 6 p.m. tomorrow, the National Weather Service said.

A low pressure system along with low-level moisture will bring a threat of widespread rainfall.

A flash flood watch means conditions may lead to flash flooding.

The threat of heavy rainfall will diminish over the weekend but may return next week.


Duckworth nomination confirmed

The U.S. Senate yesterday unanimously confirmed the nomination of L. Tammy Duckworth, a McKinley High School and University of Hawaii graduate, as assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, said, “;More than three months after taking office, Secretary (Eric) Shinseki now has his first confirmed assistant secretary. As VA's new public face and intergovernmental liaison, Tammy can begin the long and hard work of improving the department's reputation and relations across the country.”;

Prior to being nominated by President Obama, Duckworth was the director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs. Duckworth was deployed to Iraq as a member of the Illinois State National Guard in 2004, where she was injured when her Black Hawk helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.


Families unite to help UH students

Three families related by blood and marriage have established scholarship funds at the University of Hawaii to help community college students who transfer to UH-Manoa, the University of Hawaii Foundation announced in a news release.

The Toyamasaki Scholarship was established with a $35,000 donation from Hideko and Harry Masaki in October.

Hideko Masaki died in a car accident shortly after making the donation.

Masaki was the sister-in-law of Jean Yamasaki Toyama, a former UH professor. Toyama and her husband have now set up a charitable trust which will go to the Toyamasaki Scholarship fund and the Tsutomu Yamasaki and Fumie Yoshimori Yamasaki Educational Scholarship Fund.

The Yamasaki fund provides scholarships to students at Kauai Community College in financial need and was set up by Toyama and her sisters, former Kauai Community College Chancellor Peggy Cha and Bette Uyeda, a retired financial aid and student adviser at UH-Manoa.

“;We all got a kick out of the name To-Ya-Masaki,”; Masaki said in the news release. “;It combined all three families in a very economical way.”;


Neighbor Islands

Hanamaulu, Kauai » Families started moving into the fourth and final phase of Kalepa Village affordable rental complex last weekend. The 40 new units were dedicated Friday. Kauai County owns the 180-unit complex that sits on 12 acres of land purchased in 1994 for $1.4 million.

Wailuku, Maui » The three finalists for Maui County police chief are Deputy Chief Gary Yabuta, traffic Lt. Bobby Hill and former police Capt. Paul Winters, according to Maui Police Commission Chairwoman Doreen Gomes. The commission will decide next month on a replacement for Chief Tom Philips, who is retiring June 1 after 30 years on the force.

Kapaau, Hawaii » The Bond Memorial Public Library in North Kohala will be closed tomorrow so the staff can participate in groundbreaking for a new library. The 6,000-foot North Kohala Public Library will be built on 3.8 acres of land donated by Surety Kohala Corp. near Kohala Elementary and High School. Grand opening is tentatively set for next year.