March 24, 1984: West Hawaii Today did not publish on this day in 1984. March 24, 1984, was a Saturday.
March 24, 1994: A relaxed “second dwelling unit” bill that will not mandate paved roads or county water systems — as earlier drafts would have — is narrowly adopted by the Hawaii County Council. Members voted 5-4 to repeal the 1982 ohana-zoning law in an effort to curb development abuses while still allowing for double-density uses. The adoption comes two weeks after the council adopted a more stringent version that would have required the paved roads and water systems, however, Hamakua Councilman Takashi Domingo requested the bill be reconsidered after numerous residents complained it would prove too restrictive.
The county still does not know if it will get an extension on a Hawaii Labor Relations Board decision to negotiate with the United Public Workers over the West Hawaii landfill. A Third Circuit Court judge hears arguments from the county, UPW and Waste Management Inc. Waste Management had been operating the Puuanahulu landfill since it opened in October 1993. In February 1994, the county was ordered by the board to meet with UPW representatives to discuss what effects privatization would have on members. The county is appealing the order that calls for negotiations with the UPW.
March 24, 1999: Hawaii Preparatory Academy celebrates its golden anniversary. The Waimea-based private school started in 1949 as a boys boarding school.
The electoral initiative to ban a cobalt-60 irradiator from the Big Island is declared “unconstitutional” by the state Attorney General’s Office, in its first formal opinion of the year. The proposed ban is pre-empted by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954.
March 24, 2004: A flooded culvert on Akoni Pule Highway caused the collapse of a 20-foot wide section of road. It also damages a pipeline that provides water service to North Kohala.
An elderly Asian man is fatally stabbed in a Japanese restaurant in the Waikoloa Kings’ Shop. The man was stabbed several times with a large knife that was found at the scene. Police arrested an Asian man believed to be in his 20s or early 30s following the incident. Police say the two may have worked at the restaurant.
March 24, 2009: A proposal by several state and federal agencies and offices would create a wet forest research center near Laupahoehoe. The Hawaii Experimental Tropical Forest research and education center would provide a venue for university students to learn more about the wet forests of windward Hawaii, while younger students could visit the center to learn from researchers, according to a draft environmental assessment.
Suggestions on how to save money in Hawaii County’s operating budget for the 2009-10 fiscal year continue to pour in from Hamakua Councilman Dominic Yagong’s office. Yagong recently submitted a letter to Mayor Billy Kenoi that requests the administration consider reducing the county’s 481-vehicle fleet by 100. Yagong says the reduction would result in “significant taxpayer savings.”
The Kona Family YMCA and Waimea Family YMCA will lose their branch identities, but their presence in the community will remain. The Island of Hawaii YMCA announces it is consolidating its operations to the Waiakea Settlement in Hilo to offset the effects of the economic downturn.
March 24, 2013: The $90 million in funding sought for the long-promised Kona Judiciary Complex has been slashed in half. House Bill 197, which addresses Judiciary appropriations, at its introduction in the state House of Representatives included a request for $1 million for design work and another $89 million for construction in fiscal year 2014-15. When transmitted from the House to the Senate, the request had been removed completely, replaced instead by $2.7 million for projects on Oahu and Maui. The Senate Judiciary committee subsequently includes $45.5 million for the project.
Kuakini Highway’s four lanes could extend beyond Hualalai Road as soon as 2017 as the County of Hawaii and Federal Highway Administration move forward with planning. According to a draft environmental assessment, the county and federal administration are looking to widen the highway to four lanes between Hualalai Road and a planned intersection with the long-proposed Alii Highway, near Kona Sea Villas.
With the demand for Hawaii-grown cacao is on the rise worldwide, chocolatiers from near and far say the crop will play a major role in Hawaii’s future. Island-grown cacao could be on its way to becoming the next Kona coffee, says Kona Cacao Association President Farsheed S. Bonakdar.