Today in West Hawaii history | August 2

Aug. 2, 1984: About a dozen labor unions have joined a group that wants to convince residents of the Big Island it would be a serious mistake to drastically cut property taxes. Russell Okata of the Hawaii Government Employees Association, one of the concerned labor groups, said the result would be a cut in public services, or else fees for things people now use for free, such as gyms, parks and beaches. Public employee unions also see a threat to the latest collective bargaining agreement. The state Legislature and all four county councils must approve funding to implement it. Okata said if the Hawaii County Council were to reject the contract because it would not pay its share, the agreement would fall through.

Aug. 2, 1994: A brushfire consumes about 500 acres in Waikoloa before it was contained around 7 p.m. The fire scorched the south side of Waikoloa Road, north of Waikoloa Village. Some old, abandoned structures were threatened by the fire, however, no damage occurred.

Big Island hotel occupancy during the first half of 1994 was higher than in 1993, but average daily room rates were 12 percent lower than 1990, according to figures from Pannell Kerr Forster — Hawaii, an international accounting and consulting firm. Compared to 1990, occupancy on the Kohala Coast was down slightly but up from 1993. The area’s average daily rate for the first half of 1994 was 20.22 percent lower than 1990 and 6.41 percent lower than 1993. Darryl Chai, of PKF, said the decrease in the average daily rate since 1990 is the result of the glut of hotel rooms along the Kohala Coast.

Aug. 2, 2004: The state is planning improvements to the Big Island’s most popular state beach park and to another nearby that was once one of the isle’s best-kept secrets. The state Board of Land and Natural Resources recently awarded a $670,000 contract for improvements at Hapuna State Recreation Area. Isemoto Contracting Co. was the lowest bidder on work to bring the park into compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. A $232,000 contract was also approved to provide a gravel road to Waialea Bay, also known as Beach 69.