Today in West Hawaii history | April 23


April 23, 1984: Except for the vog, which continues to hang over Kona, the recent eruption of Mauna Loa was only another news story in the paper to people in West Hawaii. And, although the people of Kailua may never look out their bedroom windows to see cascades of molten rock looming closer and closer to everything they own, there is a distinct possibility it may one day occur. Hualalai, the western-most of the five Big Island mountains, is still considered by scientists to be capable of erupting. The volcano last erupted in 1800-01.

April 23, 1994: West Hawaii Today did not publish on this day in 1994. April 23, 1994, was a Saturday.

April 23, 2004: The number of obstetricians in West Hawaii is dwindling. A shortage of OB-GYNs has been a nationwide problem for several users and it is now being felt in Kona and Waimea, as well as other areas around the state. Kona Community Hospital CEO Lynn Walton says such specialists are under a great deal of stress because of the rising cost of malpractice insurance. Physicians are not as inclined to practice obstetrics as they once were, she said. In April 2003, Kona Community Hospital had seven OB-GYNs on medical staff, but it now has four. North Hawaii Community Hospital went from five two years ago to two by the end of 2003.

The county has yet to figure its cut, but its bookkeepers know it will be a portion of $14.6 billion. That’s the net assessed valuation of all taxable property on the Big Island, according to Hawaii County Finance Director William Takaba. The figure is more than $1.6 billion higher than what Hawaii County property was worth in the current fiscal year 2004, an increase of 12.41 percent.