From The Honolulu Star-Advertiser:Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie has signed into law a bill giving him the power to directly appoint Board of Education members. Abercrombie says he plans to whittle down applicants for the board by April 1 and will announce his picks all at once. Appointees must be confirmed by the Senate. The push to switch to an appointed board from an elected one was prompted by the anger over teacher furloughs last school year that left Hawaii students with the shortest instructional calendar in the nation. Voters approved a constitutional amendment last year to get rid of Board of Education elections. Hawaii is the only state with a statewide school district.