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 15, 1984:
Slashed psychiatric services at Kona Hospital could prompt a lawsuit against the state and county. Hilo Legal Aid Society of Hawaii attorney Ben H. Gaddis in a Feb. 16 letter to the state Department of Health said “If after 30 days involuntary psychiatric admissions problem at Kona Hospital has not been resolved, I have obtained authorization from our executive director to initiate legal proceedings to alter the present practice.” Current Kona Hospital policy at the time dictated that involuntary patients be transferred by police to Hilo. The transfers followed a 1983 de-designation of Kona Hospital as a psychiatric facility by the Department of Health.
March 15, 1994:
Millions of taxpayer dollars are appropriated yearly that are not spent due to governmental bureaucracy, limited county personnel and restrictions on bidding mandated to ensure fair competition for contracts. The current $160 million annual budget includes $2.6 million that was not spent during the previous fiscal year.
March 15, 1999:
Chalon International, which purchased 19,000 acres of former sugar lands in 1988 from Castle and Cooke, is slowly progressing with plans to develop a resort at Mahukona in North Kohala. The company is also renovating the Nanbu Hotel in Kapaau.
March 15, 2004:
Flash floods submerge North and South Kohala during a winter storm that stalled over North Hawaii. The storm shut down roadways, caused periodic power outages, trapped hikers, washed out water main pipes, and damaged homes. Waimea suffered the brunt of the flood damage. In its wake, schools are left closed and emergency water locations were opened.
March 15, 2009:
Some 1,450 people attend the 14th annual Kona Brewers Festival held at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel.
March 15, 2013: Hawaii County Water Supply officials say levels of atrazine in island well are far below safe thresholds, even as 19 members of the state House called for a task force to investigate the effects of the herbicide on human health.