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 5, 1984: Kona resident Donny Gabriel nets 65 points for his bronco ride during the Future Farmers of America’s Open Market at Kamehameha Park in North Kohala.
Honolulu Mayor Eileen Anderson tells dozens of people that modern technology such as computers and robots will free women from “routine” work and challenge them to “use what humans can use best: their intuition, their reason and their compassion” helping to kick off “Women’s History Week” in Kona.
Robert “Bob” Lindsey, of Waimea, announces plans to run for the newly apportioned sixth district in the state House of Representatives. If ratified, the district would include North Kona, the west parts of South and North Kohala and parts of rural east Maui.
“Cycletron,” a new mode of transportation invented by Kip Raiford, makes its debut. Raiford was often seen riding the three-wheeled contraption — composed of two five-speed bikes, rollerskate wheels and an old supermarket turnstile, at Old Kona Airport.
March 5, 1994: West Hawaii Today did not publish on Saturdays in 1994.
March 5, 1999: Hawaii students’ reading scores are lowest in the nation, according to the annual National Assessment for Education Progress. Less than half of Hawaii’s public school fourth graders had basic reading skills and less than 20 percent were proficient and just 60 percent of eighth graders were at or above basic reading skills, including 19 percent who were proficient. The state teachers union, Hawaii State Teachers Association, blamed the scores on the state’s large number of stud nets who speak English as a second language or whose parents don’t speak English; a large transient population; lack of resources and large classes sizes. The state DOE superintendent said a task force would be created to address the dismal scores.
Kona Councilwoman Nancy Pisicchio says the Kahalui-Keauhou Parkway, also known as Alii Highway, will be built, but just how is the real question. The project, which had yet to be designed, was among many projects included in a proposed $34 million bond float.
Big Island Sen. David Matsumura says he has a constitutional right to display a Christian religious symbol on the outer door of his state office. The group Hawaii Citizens for the Separation of State and Church filed a complaint alleging that the display of the ichthus fish is unconstitutional.
March 5, 2004: Hawaii County Council members announce the tentative approval of a resolution that would speed up planning, design and construction of roads in West Hawaii.
About 25 people stage a protest of the proposed expansion of the Pohakuloa Training Area and overall military presence on Hawaii Island. The protest was held outside a Hilo hotel where a presentation by the PTA commander of the proposed expansion was being held for the government affairs committees of the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce.
March 5, 2009: Some major Kona road projects the public was under the impression would be design-ready by December 2008 remain at most a year away from reaching the milestone. The delays to projects like the Laaloa Avenue extension and Alii Parkway could make them ineligible for federal stimulus funding.
Hawaii County’s Office of Housing and Community Development announces it is moving ahead with two main projects — Kaloko Transitional Housing and an emergency shelter in the Kona Old Industrial Area — after encumbering $1.8 million in federal grants and county funds. Work was expected to begin in the summer.
March 5, 2013: A mainland-based developer has completed the purchase of 52 lots from The Club at Hokulia. Sun Kona Properties LLC, an investment firm related to SunChase Holdings out of Arizona and California, purchased the lots.
Despite an annual budget of $12,600 for travel-related costs for three county professional associations, five Hawaii County Council members are currently attending the National Association of Counties convention in Washington, a trip that is likely to cost $3,000 per member.