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House Speaker Say leads national peer conference

House Speaker Calvin Say has been elected president of the National Speakers Conference at the organization's meeting in Boston.

Say is the first speaker from Hawaii to head the national organization.

"I am honored that my colleagues from across the nation have given me this opportunity," said Say, who intends to work with his fellow speakers on economic issues facing states.

UH center taps Morita

The College of Social Sciences and Public Policy Center at the University of Hawaii has named state Rep. Hermina Morita (D, Kauai-East Maui) for the "legislature-in-residence" program, Morita announced.

"I am honored to have been selected," Morita said. "Using the think-tank abilities of the university faculty and its students, we can work together to identify important emerging issues, then discuss and debate various responses and methods to address those issues."

Morita said the inaugural curriculum will explore important policy issues and strengthen the link between the community, policy-makers and the college.

"The program is structured so students can explore topics of particular importance to Hawaii and to express their ideas, so I have no doubt that she has a lot to contribute to that process," said Kathy Ferguson, director of the women's studies department.

Private school picks

The Republican candidate for lieutenant governor said that like most parents, he wants the very best for his four children, and therefore they are not attending Hawaii's public schools.

James "Duke" Aiona was asked where his children go to school after he and running mate Linda Lingle pointed Wednesday to Hawaii's low reading test scores in public schools as part of the failure of current and past Democratic administrations.

Aiona said his oldest son and oldest daughter attend Kamehameha Schools, his second son goes to St. Louis School, his alma mater, and his youngest daughter goes to Maryknoll, also a family tradition.

"The stats speak for themselves, and that's a factor in our personal decision as to why my children go to the schools they do," he said.

The Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, state Sen. Matt Matsunaga, also sends his children to private school. Matsunaga's two daughters attend Punahou School.

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