POSTED: Friday, December 04, 2009

84 more schools to use up prep days

The state Board of Education approved requests by 84 public schools yesterday to replace noninstructional planning time with class time, to make up instruction time lost due to Furlough Fridays.

So far, the board has approved requests from 184 schools that sought the changes to reduce the impact of 34 furlough days at state public schools over two school years because of budget reductions. The department has about 260 regular schools.

“;Once again, schools have stepped up to the plate to do everything in their power to ensure students receive as much class time as possible in the absence of adequate funding,”; board Chairman Garrett Toguchi said in a department release.

Changes at each school can be seen on the board's Web site at, by clicking “;meeting notices”; and the Dec. 3 meeting link.

At the same meeting yesterday, the board re-elected Toguchi to a second one-year term as chairman. He was first elected to the board as an at-large member in 1996.

Lei Ahu Isa was elected first vice chairwoman, and Karen Knudsen was voted in as second vice chairwoman.

The 14-member board sets policy for the state's public schools and libraries.


City Auditor Tanaka to end career

The first Honolulu city auditor will retire at the end of the year.

Leslie Tanaka will not seek reappointment to a second six-year term, ending his nearly 39-year government career.

He was appointed July 1, 2003, after voters approved a charter amendment in the 2002 general election requiring the position of an independent city auditor be created.

Tanaka, a certified public accountant, had worked in the state Auditor's Office and at Kapiolani Community College before his appointment.

Over the past six years, the city auditor's office has completed 24 performance audits, overseen the city's annual financial audit, completed more than 77 percent of Council-requested audits, passed required independent peer reviews of its operations in 2006 and 2009, won a national award for its road maintenance audit in 2006 and maintained a stable office work force with no turnovers.

The city auditor credits his success to a great staff and mentors and a supportive family.

Tanaka said he is looking forward to traveling more with his wife and to help care for his 91-year-old father.


More rain is possible this morning

There is potential for more rain with a slight chance of thundershowers this morning because of a front moving in, according to the National Weather Service. But the front will likely be weaker that the pre-frontal band that dumped about an inch of rain on parts of Oahu in the three-hour period that ended at 9 last night, forecasters said.

Hawaiian Electric Co. spokesman Darren Pai said a power failure in Hawaii Kai and Kuliouou last night may have been weather-related.

Water may have seeped into an underground cable at about 8 p.m., knocking out power to about 950 customers for about an hour, Pai said.



Fire destroys resort space

Fire destroyed a retail space yesterday morning at the Coco Palms Resort shopping annex on Kauai.

The fire caused an estimated $80,000 in damage to the building and its contents, fire officials said.

The fire destroyed the 1,000-square-foot retail space on the second floor of the old wooden structure.

The 1961 movie “;Blue Hawaii,”; starring Elvis Presley, was filmed at the Coco Palms.

Five companies and a battalion chief responded to the 3:05 a.m. alarm. The fire was under control at about 4 a.m. but flared up again at 9:37 a.m. The fire was extinguished at about 10:30 a.m.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.