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 19, 1984: Atlanta angler Gary Merrimin catches via rod and reel a 1,656 pound, 19-foot-tall tip-to-tail Pacific blue marlin in 700-fathom waters off Kona, near the Pine Trees surf spot. Merrimin caught the marlin, which had a 90-inch girth, aboard Capt. Bart Miller’s boat “Black Bart.”
County officials say the Hawaii County Taxpayers Association’s proposed $4 property tax rate, if approved by voters, will result in cuts to or elimination of many government services.
March 19, 1994: West Hawaii Today did not publish on Saturdays in 1994. March 19, 1994, was a Saturday.
March 19, 1999: HealthCare Financial Partners REIT, a Maryland-based company, seeks state approval to purchase the Keauhou Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center for $5.3 million.
Residents tell Hawaii County Council members to cut expenses rather than borrow money to pay bills during a public hearing held to gauge the public’s reaction to a proposal by Mayor Stephen Yamashiro to use a $7.8 million sinking fund to balance the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The funding was set aside in 1978 as a rainy day fund to ensure that debts could be serviced.
Kona farmers are battling the nematode, a microscopic worn that infects soil and turns plant roots into rotted, gnarled knots. The species, first described officially as a species in 1994, is posed to be responsible for a slow decline of the Kona coffee industry, says a University of Hawaii plant pathologist.
Deputy Attorney General Girard Lau issues an option requiring Sen. David Matsuura, D-South Hilo and Puna, to remove a Christian fish symbol on his office door could raise freedom of speech issues.
March 19, 2004: Alii Parkway is quickly moving toward a major roadblock that could jeopardize the project and create a rift between Hawaiians and the rest of the community. A Keauhou area cave known to contain human remains, possibly those of royalty, has been known to the county for at least a decade. It lies directly in the path of the Alii Drive bypass road and yet was not acknowledged for more than a decade possibly casting the entire project into doubt.
The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers not only files a grievance against the County of Hawaii but also a complaint with the Hawaii Labor Relations Board and threatens to wage a civil lawsuit against the county. The union maintains the county’s Police Commission has exerted authority it does not legally have as it looks to revise rules and regulations to how public complaints against police officers are made and how they are investigated.
A proposed $22 million county water system could meet the needs of about 7,500 people in the South Kona-Ka’u region, but would not deliver water to any house between Hookena and Waiohinu, according to a draft Ka’u to South Kona Water Master Plan. The system would also serve less than half of the estimated 16,950 people expected to be living in the area by 2020, including about 11,0000 in Ocean View.
An eight-year struggle by a kalo farmer to restore the full flow of stream water in Waipio Valley is nearly over. The state Water Commission grants a request by Kamehameha Schools to abandon the Lalakea Ditch system above the valley and return about 2.5 million gallons of water to the twin Hiilawe Falls.
March 19, 2009: Hawaii County Council members approve a slate of 12 bills authorizing Public Works projects that could be eligible for federal stimulus funding. Among the approvals: releasing $4 million in county general bonds and accepting $35 million in federal funding for Ane Keohokalole Highway.
A former police commissioner and 3rd Circuit Court judge and Hawaii County councilman question the role of the county’s police commission, which hires or fires the police chief, among other duties, but can’t monitor internal investigations or disciplinary actions in response to complaints from the public.
Konawaena High School’s Kaua Wall is named Big Island Interscholastic Federation girls soccer Division Player of the Year. She is among four Konawaena players on the Division I First team.
March 19, 2013: Hawaii County is poised to issue a 10-year contract to divert most of its waste from the county’s two landfills, a contract that would all but close the door on the prospects for a waste-to-energy facility that has been endorsed by Mayor Billy Kenoi.
Conflicting reports come in regarding whether the Kohala Watershed Partnership is using aerial hunting during its current eradication efforts. The nonprofit partnership, which is helping to restore native forests in the watershed above Pelekane Bay, denies using the method.