Today in West Hawaii history | April 11

April 11, 1984: Mauna Loa continues to fountain fire amid a search for a small sightseeing plane that went missing with four men aboard. The Coast Guard says six military air craft and Civil Air Patrol planes were concentrating on the Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea slopes searching for the four Kaneohe-based U.S. Marines. Lava output continues at about half the rate at the start of the eruption, however, there has been no letup in harmonic tremor. No active lava finger was closer than 20 miles from Hilo.

The Kona Regional Plan, with six new amendments, receives a favorable recommendation from the Hawaii County Planning Commission following a series of public hearings. The commission voted to send the document to the County Council for adoption as a resolution. The regional plan will guide implementation of the County General Plan, the basic legal planning document for the county.

Ka’u High School students send letters to the media, including West Hawaii Today, and Big Island legislators to complain of the school not offering the actual minimum courses as required. Kenneth Asato, state Department of Education Deputy district superintendent, says the complaints are unfounded and the result of a misunderstanding. He says the school offers five courses over the minimum number of required courses. The students have confused a minimum 25 elective courses with the required courses. “… It is their belief that since all the elective courses are not offered, they are being cheated,” he says.

April 11, 1994: Representatives from 30 nonprofit organization that have requested county funding will make presentations this week before the Hawaii County Council during special meetings. The organization are seeking a combined $1.34 million. Organizations are limited to $900,000 in county appropriations annually.

Matson Navigation Company Big Island District Manager Tony Hanley is bullish on the future of the Big Island’s economy, but says it’s going to get worse before it gets better. He said over the past three years, cargo coming into the Big Island through Kawaihae Harbor has declined by 12 percent.

April 11, 2004: With Big Island farmers and ranchers standing to gain three times what they received this year for Farm Bill conservation programs, large landowners want to be able to tap in the resources. The Farm Bill program precludes landowners with adjusted gross incomes exceeding $2.5 million from participating in certain programs. In Hawaii, land values and historic landownership patterns make it basically impossible to really address environmental issues without an exemption from the AGI, landowners say.