Today in West Hawaii history | March 14

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

March 14, 1984: The U.S. Department of Agriculture calls off its decision to pull out from an agriculture inspection program at neighbor island airports. The USDA had planned to stop the program effective April 1. That would have required passengers leaving the state for the mainland to have their bags checked at Honolulu International Airport.

Making a pedestrian mall of Alii Drive’s Kailua Village section, an idea resurrected at a recent meeting of the Kona Coast Chamber of Commerce “won’t ever get done without the support of the merchants,” according to Ed Iida of Belt, Collins and Associates of Honolulu.

March 14, 1994: Local Girl Scouts celebrate 82 years of Girl Scouting in the United States.

March 14, 1999: Big Island fruit growers taste irradiated papaya and rambutan after it was treated by a linear accelerator in Iowa. The samplers blind-tested the treated fruit against a test batch picked at the same time and were unable to detect a difference irradiated and nonirradiated food.

Groundbreaking is held for the construction of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Kona temple. 1A

Hawaii Island continues to be plagued by social and economic woes, with higher rates of poverty and child abuse than any county in the state, according to Mental Health Association in Hawaii County’s sixth Survey of Social Indicators.

Prosecutors are reviewing a missing persons case that has stymied police and brought them no closer to locating 7-year-old Peter Kema Jr. of Hilo. The case was referred to prosecutors by police who have found no solid evidence of foul play or information that could lead to arrests.

March 14, 2004: Additional gasoline taxes of 12 cents a gallon could be in the works for Big Island motorists should proposed county and state legislation become law. If the proposals are passed, and a predicted spike in gas prices across the nation becomes reality, West Hawaii consumers could be faced with prices of $2.60 a gallon or more.

Four months away from the candidate filing deadline, Mayor Harry Kim says he remains undecided whether he will seek a second term.

March 14, 2009: Nearly 40 years after being turned over to the state, and about a year since being transferred to the county, planners will once again review possible uses for Old Kona Airport Park.

March 14, 2013: The Hawaii County Council passes a resolution in support of renaming Saddle Road the Daniel K. Inouye Memorial Highway. The resolution supports state House and Senate resolutions asking the state Department of Transportation to rename the road after the longtime U.S. Senator.

Hawaii County is closing its scrap metal receiving stations at the Kealakehe and Hilo transfer stations leaving commercial operators in search of another outlet. The move is a cost-saving measure.

Midfielder Saxon Nagata is named the Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division I Player of the Year.