POSTED: Thursday, December 03, 2009

HSTA to continue talks on Furlough Fridays

The Hawaii State Teachers Association says it will continue today to discuss the issue of Furlough Fridays with representatives of the public schools, the Board of Education and the state administration.

The parties met all morning yesterday.

Gov. Linda Lingle has proposed a compromise that calls for the expenditure of $50 million in rainy day funds. The teachers, for their part, would use 15 days where they are working but not teaching as instructional days.

The union has resisted the plan, but remains in discussions with the state.

During her morning talk radio appearance on KHVH yesterday, Lingle said the plan “;will get the kids back in the classroom,”; adding, “;Now the union needs to get serious about the kids and about teaching.”;

Asked why she was emphasizing the teachers' role, Lingle said she wants the union to agree with the state's position.

“;I am pointing my finger directly at the union,”; Lingle said. “;Through their actions they are going to speak louder than any words when they talk about the priority of the children.”;

The HSTA did not comment.


Woman pleads guilty to tax counts for rentals

An Oahu resident who used her residence for short-term rentals was charged with failing to file her general excise and transient accommodations tax returns from 2003 to 2005, the Department of Taxation announced in a news release.

Marlene Roth pleaded guilty Sept. 18 in District Court to six counts of failing to file her tax returns.

She was sentenced Nov. 18. The judge deferred her guilty plea for one year.

She was also ordered to make restitution payments toward a full amount of $11,479 at the rate of $120 a month.

She must perform 600 hours of community service in lieu of a fine.

Willful failure to file a return is a misdemeanor that carries a $25,000 fine for individuals and a $100,000 fine for corporations, with a period of incarceration not to exceed one year or probation.


2 westbound lanes on H-1 close tonight

Two Waianae-bound lanes of the H-1 freeway near the Ward Avenue overpass will be closed from 10 p.m. tonight until 3 a.m. tomorrow so crews can repair the electronic message board overhead, according to a news release from the state Department of Transportation.

Motorists are advised to use caution when driving through the area.



Keanae School cost at $1.34M

Reopening Keanae School could cost up to $1.34 million in repairs and renovations, according to a task force report quoted yesterday by the Maui News.

The school would need two teachers to cover 21 students in kindergarten through grade 5, according to the task force charged with studying the consolidation of Keanae and Hana High and Elementary schools.

The school would also need $22,000 for furniture and equipment in two classrooms, the report said.

The costs plus the advantages and disadvantages for the community are outlined in what's now the fifth draft of a report written by the Task Force to Study Consolidation of Keanae and Hana Schools, the newspaper reported.

At 6 tonight at Keanae School, the task force will hold its last public hearing to solicit comments about its current draft report, which can be downloaded from the Department of Education Web site.