Editor’s note: This list of notable stories featured in West Hawaii Today throughout the years is compiled from West Hawaii Today archives. It includes historical notes from one, five, 10, 15, 20 and 30 years ago. “Today in West Hawaii history” is a daily feature of West Hawaii Today and is available only online at westhawaiitoday.com.
March 1, 1984
Hawaii County says it is in the process of filling seven vacancies on the Kona police roster, a move that would allow the department to assign more officers to patrol duty, thus increasing protection in the Kona police district, which includes North and South Kona. The vacant position had resulted in issues of manpower in the district.
Kailua High School graduate Albert Pyun announces part of “Radioactive Dreams,” a film he is directing, will be shot on the Big Island. An estimated $800,000 was to spent filming the sci-fi comedy, including shots on Saddle Road and in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
March 1, 1994
“Live with Regis and Kathie Lee” televises from Kohala. “Live’s” production crew shot four shows while on the island.
Ka‘u Agribusiness Co. Inc. asks 250 union workers to accept “substantial” wage and benefit cuts to preserve their sugar-industry jobs. Two consecutive years of losses prompted the request.
Mayor Stephen Yamashiro submits his budget proposal that would reduce the county operating budget by 3.2 percent to $155.1 million. He attributed the need for the decrease to dropping revenues from real property taxes and cuts to federal grants. Yamashiro, who also proposed continuing a hiring freeze in the budget, said the county would be able to maintain effective operations and needed services despite the decrease of $5.1 million from the budget.
The National Park Service announces it will increase fees for commercial vehicle tours from $3 per passenger to between $25 and $100, depending on the number of people per vehicle at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The service also announces a $25 fee for tour aircraft flying over the park. The cost for private vehicles remained at $5.
March 1, 1999
In an effort to preserve shorelines such as Makalawena and Kohanaiki, the Hawaii Chapter of the Sierra Club commences a campaign to educate Hawaii residents about the value of coastal lands. At the time, Makalawena and Kohanaiki were privately owned parcels targeted for development at one time or another. Today, Makalawena is part of Kekaha Kai State Park and the Kohanaiki shoreline is owned by the county.
March 1, 2004
Residents begin surveying the damage left in the wake of storms that battered Hawaii Island in the previous days. The majority of the damage was located on Huanui Road in Milolii Mauka where residents were left without electricity and phone service for several days. Tornado-like winds also uprooted trees and ripping a roof off a home.
The average resale price of a Big Island home is $235,000, the lowest in the state, according to Real Estate Market Research Co. The average resale price of a home on Maui was $440,000; Oahu $380,000; and Kauai $368,000.
March 1, 2009
Wind blows off a section of roof at Ka‘u High School. Area residents said the roof was blown off by a small tornado; however, officials were unable to confirm a tornado touched down in Pahala. No injuries were reported.
Community members at a Waikoloa meeting give a mostly positive response to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ proposed $240 million Recreational Renaissance Plan. The plan, DLNR officials touted, would address some of the immediate problems at state parks as well as boating, forest and related areas; establish maintenance cycles; and pay for itself via visitor fees and increased commercial leases.
March 1, 2013
Anticipating a slight increase in property values, Mayor Billy Kenoi for fiscal year 2013-14 proposes a $370.8 million operating budget — some $.7 million, or 1.5 percent, greater than the year prior. The bulk of the increase in the proposed budget was to cover employee salaries for the extra 12 days because of the end of furloughs.
Lawmakers begin considering a bill that could move the balance of power in the state Legislature even more toward Oahu. In 2012, the state excluded nonresident military personnel and students form population counts when drafting district lines, helping the Big Island gain a fourth state Senate seat. The bill would require any “usual resident” counted in the last U.S. Census be considered when drawing district lines, allowing more military personnel and students to be counted.
State Rep. Faye Hanohano apologizes on the state House floor for offending people by using racial slurs to express disappointment of art in her office. The slurs disparaged white, Japanese and Chinese people.
Hawaii Electric Light Co. announces it is ready to receive offers for expanding geothermal power on the Big Island by up to 50 megawatts.
The Big Island Interscholastic Federation releases its All-BIIF girls basketball teams and names Konawaena High School senior Courtney Kaupu as West Hawaii’s Player of the Year.
Kahilu Theatre, which cancelled its 2012-13 season because of financial troubles, announces it is “making a comeback” and putting together a full season with Tim Bostock Productions.