Today in West Hawaii history | May 27

May 27, 1984: Hawaii County Mayor Herbert Matayoshi criticizes Hawaii County council Chairman Stephen Yamashiro’s proposal to eliminate a pair of high-salaried positions in the Mayor’s office for fiscal year 1984-85. “If they’re going to cut, instead of monkeying around with someone else, they should cut in their own backyard,” says Matayoshi. He suggests that the council instead cut the Legislative Auditor’s staff and the county clerk’s office.

May 27, 1994: The state Department of Public Safety’s first presentation of its efforts to build a 1,000-bed prison on Hawaii Island garners a cool reception from many of the 100 people who attended a recent briefing. The skeptical, standing-room-only crowd questioned why Oahu prisoners should be housed at a $125 million medium-security prison to be build adjacent to existing Kulani Correction Facility. “We’re importing problems into a community,” says one Kurtistown resident. “I believe a community should deal with its own problems.”

Hawaii County is preparing to acquire 4,460 acres of former sugar lands that it would make available as a “catalyst” for large-scale tree farming, Mayor Stephen Yamashiro says. More than 100 parcels between Paauilo and Waipio Valley could become county property as settlement for $18.3 million in rollback property taxes owed by bankrupt Hamakua Sugar Co. Inc. The tentative agreement is currently pending Hawaii County Council approval, which could occur next week.

May 27, 2004: Konawaena Elementary School May Day royal court queen Lehua Wall dances hula during the school’s May Day celebration on May 26. The event featured performances by each class, kindergarten through fifth grade.

Mayor Harry Kim this suggests to Hawaii County Council members a compromise on the proposed East Hawaii Regional Sort Station. Kim asks members to consider proceeding with construction of the recycling and reloading station, and then having it privately operated. Construction costs could be recovered from a waste reduction technology vendor that is ultimately selected by the county. Last week, the council voted 6-3 to withhold $500,000 the administration had earmarked for an East Hawaii sort station.