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POSTED: Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Classes focus on ocean safety

Summer classes in beach and ocean safety, rescue techniques and first aid will be offered at five Oahu beaches in the city Junior Lifeguard Program.

Registration will open Saturday for the free five-day course taught by the Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services Division. Parents may sign up children between 13 and 17 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.:

Saturday: Quiksilver Boardriders, 1714 Kapiolani Blvd., for Ala Moana Beach Park classes.

Saturday: Hale Nalu Surf Shop, 85-876 Farrington Highway, for Pokai Bay classes.

May 23: Kalama Beach Park, 248 N. Kalaheo Ave., for Kailua Beach classes.

May 23: Waimanalo Beach Park, 41-741 Kalanianaole Highway, for Waimanalo Beach classes.

May 30: Pupukea Foodland parking lot, 59-720 Kamehameha Highway, for Ehukai beach classes.

Brigadier general gains new post

Army Brig. Gen. Charles W. Hooper, currently serving as defense attache in Beijing, will become the deputy director for strategic planning and policy at the U.S. Pacific Command at Camp Smith. He is a 1979 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and holds a master's degree in public administration from Harvard University.

Hooper served with the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks from 1981 to '83.

Fluent in Chinese and Mandarin, Hooper has served several tours in China.

The Pentagon also announced that Army Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, Pacific Command's director for logistics, engineering and security assistance, will be the next commander of Defense Supply Center at Columbus, Ohio.

BOE hires former Star-Bulletin writer

Alexandre Da Silva, a former education reporter for the Star-Bulletin, has been hired as the public affairs officer for the state Board of Education.

“;Mr. Da Silva's main responsibility will be to report on policy issues affecting our schools and libraries,”; said Board Chairman Garrett Toguchi. “;He will also play a critical role in the board's ongoing effort to increase transparency and accountability in public education.”;

A University of Hawaii graduate, Da Silva worked for the Associated Press before joining the Star-Bulletin in 2006. He started his new job May 1.

In addition to handling communications for the board, he is charged with boosting community engagement in Hawaii's public schools and libraries.

Neighbor island watch

PUHI » Kauai Community College Chancellor Helen Cox will deliver the keynote address at commencement exercises at the school's Performing Arts Center on Friday. The student speaker is Seluvaia Taulanga, one of 223 to receive a diploma. The ceremony starts at 6:15 p.m.

KAU » Gov. Linda Lingle released $1 million for improvements at Manuka State Wayside in Kau on the Big Island. The area serves as a rest stop for motorists commuting between East and West Hawaii on Highway 11. The project is scheduled for completion in October 2011.

KAHULUI » Former Gov. Ben Cayetano will be the main speaker at Maui Community College's graduation ceremony Sunday at Castle Theater in the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Diplomas will be given to 408 students, including student speaker James Lockhard. The ceremony starts at 1 p.m.