Today in West Hawaii history | April 17

April 17, 1984: Hawaii Chief Volcanologist Thomas Wright says the Mauna Loa eruption is “over.” Saturday was the last day of any observable surface activity, he said. Scientists will now conduct follow-up studies, which will include careful monitoring of the world’s largest active volcanoes for the first signs of any future eruption.

April 17, 1994: Three bargaining units of the Hawaii Government Employees Association overwhelmingly voted to strike, and thousands of state and county workers could be on the picket line starting Monday (tomorrow). Results of the week-long vote were released late Friday, and more than 75 percent of the 18,000-plus workers represented by the three unions voted. Of that, 82 percent voted to strike.

Adequate E-911 service, unpolluted drinking water and aquatic safety cannot be guaranteed if the Hawaii Government Employees Association fulfills its threat of a statewide strike, county officials said. The county, fearing the loss of 1,102 HGEA members, has asked the Hawaii Labor Relations Board to prevent 122 “essential” employees from striking. The police dispatchers, investigators, water quality inspections and related workers are mandatory for public health and safety, according to the county’s petition.

Mayor Stephen Yamashiro has vetoed the controversial “second dwelling unit” bill, forcing the Hawaii County Council to renew its five-year ordeal to replace the current ohana-zoning law. Yamashiro, citing concerns that the council-adopted ordinance would prove too restrictive, last week refused to the bill into law. He said the present bill would preclude needed housing over a large portion of the county and would have the unintended effect of restricting additional housing in areas where such units are currently permitted, which would deprive individuals of the permitted uses and densities of their property.

Big Island boxers Elward Westbrook and Teli Latu begin competition in the U.S. Golden Gloves National Tournament this week in Wisconsin.

April 17, 2004: West Hawaii Today did not publish on this day. April 17, 2004, was a Saturday.