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 3, 1984
West Hawaii Today did not publish on weekends in 1984. March 3 fell on a Saturday.
March 3, 1994
The Hawaii County Department of Public Works proposes adding a $4 per vehicle disposal fee to help the county remove and dispose of abandoned automobiles.
A United Airlines 747 lands at Keahole International Airport for the first time. The large-capacity plane carrying 350 passengers were welcomed with lei, refreshments and Hawaiian entertainment.
March 3, 1999
State officials present plans for a lower Kulani prison drawing questions from threw Big Island senators about whether the facility would even be built. The majority of the public at the meeting, more than 200 people, opposed the prison. Then Gov. Ben Cayetano also revives plans for a private company to build a prison on Hawaii Island if unable to win support for a bond issue.
A state audit questions whether the Hawaii Health Systems Corp. can fulfill its mandates while hampered by restrictive personnel rules, inadequate financing system and deficient planning and implementation. The HHSC was created in 1996 by the state Legislature to provide better health care by freeing hospitals from unwarranted bureaucracy.
Hawaii Preparatory Academy seniors Walter Coronel and Christopher Ross place third out of 1,432 entries in the national Duracell/National Science Teachers Association Scholarship competition for their battery-operated portable vog machine that counts particles in the air.
March 3, 2004
Hawaii County officials divulge more details on a planned 6-cent hike in the fuel tax that would be added to an the 8.8 cents per gallon tax already in place that would raise an additional $5.2 million for the county. Officials said four of the six cent hike will go to the Department of Public Works for 52 new positions, 19 new pieces of equipment, resurfacing several dozen miles of roadway per year, a new West Hawaii facility, improvements at existing facilities, and administrative, materials and supplies costs. The remaining two cents would go to the county Mass Transit Agency for new expanded routes in Waikoloa, Pahoa and Kona, handi-van services in Hamakua, Ocean View and Pahala, expansion of a boat day service, increasing funding for shared ride taxi subsidies, bus fleet maintenance and local matches for grants.
Concrete picnic tables and water irrigation pipes in a once grassy picnic area on the south side of Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area are destroyed by runoff from heavy rain. Officials called the damage the worst they had seen to date. The runoff, which prompted the closure of Queen Kaahumanu Highway and Kohala Mountain and Kawaihae Roads, also washed away the white sand beach area fronting the Hapuna Prince Beach Hotel.
Power is restored to all but eight customers following several days of storms that blew the roofs off six homes in South Kona and left the 65-foot Coral See, and 75-foot Keana, a barge on the rocks of Kailua Bay.
Starbucks announces that Kona coffee will be included in 4,100 locations across the United States. The announcement follows a seven-year absence of Kona coffee at Starbucks locations outside Hawaii.
March 3, 2009
The first state audit of the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board shows the board failed to act according to its own statutory obligations and wasted $1 million in teacher license fees that were supposed to create an online license renewal system.
The Hawaii County Council hires Colleen Schrandt to a six-year term as the county’s legislative auditor. Schrandt was named the legislative auditor in 2007; however, a charter amendment made the position permanent and required the council to select the person to fill it.
March 3, 2013
The 13th annual Great Waikoloa Ukulele Festival draws scores of residents and visitors alike to take part in activities, which included a free, bring-your-own ukulele workshop taught by ukulele master and teacher Roy Sakuma.