April 14, 1984: West Hawaii today did not publish on this day. April 14, 1984, was a Saturday.
April 14, 1994: A tremendous increase in local heroin use has occurred because of an influx of mainland addicts attracted by a generous state welfare system and a comfortable living environment, county prosecutors say. Total Big Island heroin seizures went from 10 grams recovered in 1988 to 289 grams in 1992 and then skyrocketed “off-the-scale” in 1993.
The Hawaii County Police Department, Planning Department and Prosecutors Office are each facing budget cuts exceeding $250,000 that will compound existing personnel shortages, administrators say.
The state chief labor negotiator reveals the final contract offers made to the three bargaining units representing nearly 20,000 state and county workers. The state’s final offer remains a 4 percent pay increase over two years. The Hawaii Government Employees Association says the offer remains unacceptable and is not fair or equitable.
April 14, 2004: A Hilo councilman proposes legislation that would allow Big Island farmers and ranchers to receive the homeowner’s tax rate on their home sites. Tax assessments for agriculture-zoned properties increase as much as 500 percent this year after the county’s Real Property Tax Division started comparing home sites with neighboring parcels to determine their market value. Currently, farmers and ranchers can receive a homeowner’s exemption but are excluded from the homeowner’s class, which enjoys a tax rate of $5.55 per $1.,000 assessed value compared to the agricultural rate of $9.85 per $1,000 assessed value.