Today in West Hawaii history | July 24

July 24, 1984: An era ends when Hawaii County Mayor Herbert Matayoshi resigns and files nomination papers to campaign for the Hilo Senate seat. In stepping down, Matayoshi concludes 22 years — 10 years as mayor — of county services.

Hawaii County Mayor Herbert Matayoshi announces that the state and county have resolved all major issues in negotiating an agreement to transfer Hilo Hospital to the county. Remaining steps include finalization of a tentative agreement with the Hospital Corporation of Hilo and adoption of an ordinance by the Hawaii County Council accepting the transfer of functions and assumes financial responsibility for the operation and maintenance of Hilo Hospital. The actual transfer date depends on completion of construction, furnishing and equipping the new acute care facility.

July 24, 1994: Hawaii’s ecosystem may finally get more federal protection if Reginald Davis has his way. For the first time, Hawaii has an elected official on the Board of Directors for the National Audubon Society. David, state president of the organization, was elected to oversee concerns in Alaska, Hawaii and the Marianas. He said he will lobby for a strengthened Endangered Species Act and more federal money for the local Fish and Wildlife service.

The two top officers of the Hawaii Police Department announce they are stepping down. Police Chief Victor Vierra and Deputy Chief Francis De Morales will retire Aug. 15.

The West Hawaii Explorations Academy begins its adventure with a ground breaking ceremony and blessing at its Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority site. The new program, which is administered by Konawaena High School, opens in September and is an operational project and work experience laboratory. More than 50 10th through 12th graders will work and study at the site full-time.

July 24, 2004: With the new school-year about to begin in four weeks, the key administrative position remains open at Kaʻu High and Pahala Elementary. The state Department of Education says it is now advertising the principal vacancy and will do so for two weeks before beginning the selection process. Instruction begins Aug. 23.

Legislation allowing 83 acres makai of Queen Kaahumanu Highway to be rezoned for a residential hotel, and commercial development has been deferred until next month, after Hawaii County Council members made substantial revisions. Council members had taken up the draft bill on final reading, but opted to hold it over to Aug. 4 to provide public notices of the changes made. Clift Morris and San Luis Obispo, Calif.-based contractor Arnold Volny have sought the rezoning from industrial to project district to develop 392,000 square feet of retail space, 240 multi-family units and 400 hotel rooms.