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Off the News

For Friday, February 11, 2011


BOE appointment marks beginning of new era

Hopefully, Gov. Neil Abercrombie's appointment of Don Horner to the Board of Education is a sign of things to come.

Horner, First Hawaiian Bank's board chairman and chief executive officer, brings a wealth of big-business experience to the position. He knows how large, multilayered operations are supposed to be run if they are to be successful. And as a product of public schools himself, he says he is looking forward to the challenge.

More important, his selection affirms the power of direct accountability -- which voters overwhelmingly favored in rejecting an elected BOE for a governor-appointed one -- to ensure that qualifications and capabilities come first.

Horner is Abercrombie's choice -- neither an option from a list provided by a committee nor a finalist on a ballot that too few voters thought much about.

Chief Akaka Bill foe: Going, but not gone yet

If there was a nice, aloha-spirited way to say "good riddance," backers of the Hawaiian federal recognition bill would be saying it to Jon Kyl, Republican senator of Arizona.

He, like the bill's sponsor, Hawaii Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka, is up for re-election in 2012. But Kyl, perhaps the measure's most outspoken opponent, has decided not to run.

Of course, he'll still be around meanwhile to block it, and whether the bill could clear the GOP-led House seems unlikely, anyway.

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