Today in West Hawaii history | July 8

July 8, 1984: Reports of child abuse — especially sexual abuse — in West Hawaii are on the upswing, apparently because increasing public awareness of the problem. Mike Matsukawa, a Kona attorney who volunteers time to advise the Kona Family YMCA Child Protection Team, said the issue has been brought into the public arena thanks to recent reports in West Hawaii Today and TV coverage of the Oahu trial of Clifford Clarke Sr., who was convicted of murdering 3-year-old Ronnica-Ann Arcala.

July 8, 1994: Kona Councilman Jim Rath asks the Hawaii County prosecutor to bring charges against Mayor Stephen Yamashiro for actions regarding the Keauhou Sewage Treatment Plant. In a letter to County Prosecutor Jay Kimura, Rath said he believes Yamashiro defrauded residents of Keauhou through actions which transferred county sewer service from the Heeia plant to the Keauhou plant, which is owned by Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate.

Gov. John Waihee approves more than $500,000 for Kealakehe High School’s master plan report and the first increment. Of the funds, $220,000 is earmarked for additional planning for the master plan report and environmental assessment. In a separate act, Waihee released $271,000 for additional design funds for the school’s first increment.

July 8, 2004: U.S. Army officials will set up a Stryker Brigade Combat Team in Hawaii and expand Pohakuloa Training Area by 23,000 acres to train soldiers who will comprise such a team.

With students due back in classrooms in about seven weeks, schools from Honokaa to Hookena are working to fill more than 80 teaching vacancies, according to Alvin Rho, West Hawaii Complex Area superintendent. The problem is especially acute at Kealakehe High, which has 21 vacancies and begins the school year on July 31.