Today in West Hawaii history | June 10

June 10, 1984: Kona’s fishing tournaments provide more than an exciting sport for anglers seeking big purses and food for kitchens from Kona to Detroit. They also provide samples of Pacific gamefish for scientific research. Since 1977, the Pacific Gamefish Foundation has been studying the breeding patterns of locally caught fish, their sex and age and how well their heart muscles perform during a fish with Kona Coast anglers, among other things.

June 10, 1994: Big Island attorney Victor Cox has been named a District Court judge by Chief Justice Ronald Moon. Cox will preside over Family Court cases at the Kona Court House. Cox has served as a per diem Family Court judge under a 1991 appointment by former Chief Justice Herman Lum.

Aaron Madriaga, 10, is one of 12 artists whose work will be encoded on a Visions of Mars CD-ROM to be sent to Mars aboard the Russian Mars 94 mission later this year. The Kahakai Elementary School fifth-grade student’s work was selected from 500 international submissions.

June 10, 2004: A 44-year-old California man is sentenced to a maximum 20 years in prison for driving recklessly and killing a 58-year-old Idaho woman on Queen Kaahumanu Highway. Third Circuit Court Judge Ronald Ibarra convicted Anthony Robert Loeffler of manslaughter for the Oct. 21, 2002, death of Carol Rae Vassar. Loeffler was driving from Kailua-Kona to Waikoloa at 8 p.m. when he swerved into the southbound lane and collided head-on with Vassar’s vehicle.

With the cost to pave a West Hawaii road nearly double what is costs on the east side, Hawaii County officials are seeking a fuel tax adjustment to address the disparity. Five cents per gallon of gasoline, or an estimated $3 million annually, helps fund the resurfacing of county roads. The distribution of that money is based on the miles of county roads in each district. More roads get paved in East Hawaii, not only because districts on this side generally have the highest number county roads, and, thus, more fuel tax money allocated, but also because it costs less to pave a road there. Yamada and Sons, the lowest bidder on the east side, charges $37.94 per ton for asphalt concrete mix and Grace Pacific, the lowest bidder in West Hawaii, charges $71 per ton. The Department of Public Works is proposing an adjustment to the fuel tax allocation formula to compensate the West Hawaii districts for the difference by using a “weighted miles” in Ka’u, North Kona, South Kona, South Kohala and North Kohala that could mean between a 2.8 percent to 48.3 percent increase in the amount of fuel tax money allocated to the districts.