Today in West Hawaii history | June 5

June 5, 1984: The County-State Hospitals and Mental Health Divisions of the Department of Health announce plans to organize a complete psychiatric unit at Kona Hospital, although when involuntary psychiatric patients will again be admitted to the hospital is unknown. Kona Hospital Administrator Jennie Wung, and Robert I. Ueoka, County-State Hospitals Division administrator, said the two state Department of Health divisions have institute a “plan of action” resulting from a study undertaken in March. The plan most importantly calls for the recruitment of a psychiatrist to maintain active staff status at the hospital. Ueoka said that hiring could take place within three months as several prospects have already been in contact with the Mental Health Division chief.

June 5, 1994: A Circuit Court judge reverses a recent labor board ruling that declared the county unlawfully failed to negotiate the effects of landfill privatization with the statewide union representing landfill workers. County administrators attempted to conduct effects bargaining with the United Public Workers, but were prevented by the union from doing so, Judge Riki May Amano ruled June 3. “The evidence supports respondents-appellants (county’s) attempts to negotiate the effects of its decision to contract the Puuanahulu landfill, but they were rebutted in their efforts by the UPW,” Amano said. “The findings of fact amply demonstrate the county’s acknowledgement of the legal requirement to participate in effects bargaining.”

Construction is underway on a master-planned community which will eventually provide Kona residents more than 4,250 places to live. The Villages of Lai Opua are being built by the state Housing Finance and Development Corp. The 807-acre project is located on the mauka side of Queen Kaahumanu Highway and is bordered by the Hawaii Police Department’s Kealakehe Police Station, Honokohau industrial area and Kealakehe Houselots.

June 5, 2004: A 20-year-0ld man is seriously injured after a BMW sedan he was driving collided with a state Department of Transportation dump truck on Hawaii Belt Road. The BWM driver was traveling north toward Hamakua when his vehicle crossed the center line and slid into the dump truck driving toward Hilo. The BMW driver suffered head and lung trauma and was airlifted to The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu for treatment.