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Off the News

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L&L meets land of the rising sun

First, Hawaii; next, the Mainland; now, the world.

Or at least Japan.

In a show of conviction that the world can never have too many chicken katsu lunch spots, L&L Hawaiian Barbecue has just opened a franchise in bustling Shibuya, Japan.

Hoping to capitalize on the thousands of commuters at a crosswalk from a nearby train station, the latest L&L franchisee is in prime demographic territory: lots of potential customers on foot, and most of them young.

Being Shibuya, the rent is "very expensive," notes L&L co-founder Eddie Flores, above, but not outrageous, relatively speaking. Just gotta keep those plate lunches moving. And the loco mocos … and the SPAM musubis …

Step out for Kamehameha Day

Those recent ads featuring time-released snippets of King Kamehameha’s life and times have been cool reminders that the annual state holiday is just around the corner.

As it’s been annually in the past years, the statue on King Street of the alii who united the Hawaiian Islands will get draped with lei on Friday, followed by a grand parade the next day. The 94th annual King Kamehameha Celebration Floral Parade is among the islands’ finest, replete with glamorous pa’u riders, marching bands and colorful floral floats. We can hardly wait.

Painful ending to proud career

The views of Helen Thomas have appeared occasionally on these pages for the past decade since she made the transition from White House correspondent for UPI to columnist for Hearst News Service.

Those days are over, alas, as Thomas has resigned amid outrage about her statement that Israelis should "go home" to Poland, Germany, the United States "and everywhere else."

Thomas, 89, has become increasingly shrill in recent years, making it difficult to reconcile that with the regard and esteem for her years as a trailblazer for women journalists. Her retirement, however forced and painful, is timely.

Kids did all right with fewer days

Numerous U.S. school districts switched to four-day school weeks last fall to save money, and some are finding that the move did not hurt student performance, The Associated Press reports.

But unlike in Hawaii, where instructional time was cut outright via Furlough Fridays, districts that ended up liking the shorter week increased the length of the days on those days that students were on campus, and many added after-school tutoring on those days, as well.

The AP found more than 120 school districts had switched to a four-day week, including Peach County in rural Georgia, where test scores, attendance and graduation rates all rose.

 

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