Today in West Hawaii history | March 23

March 31, 1984: West Hawaii Today did not publish on this day in 1984. March 31, 1984, was a Saturday.

March 31, 1994: A rocket-launching facility and related space industry remains a viable economic option for the Big Island’s Ka’u area with the phase-out of sugar production, Gov. John Waihee says. C. Brewer and Co. recently announced that it will begin phasing down the struggling Ka’u Sugar Co. The state’s seven-year spaceport project has been in limbo since 1993 when Lockheed Missiles and Space Co. Inc. withdrew after expressing some interest in the project.

March 31, 1999: The Hawaii Police Department and Prosecuting Attorney’s Office are among those scrutinized by Hawaii County Council members during the second day of budget reviews. The prosecutor’s office is seeking $3.76 million for the 1999-2000 fiscal year citing its caseload steadily increasing since 1995, but the budget decreasing from $703,000 in 1995 to $603,000. Police presented a $30 million budget, including $21.8 million for salaries and wages, excluding benefits, $8 million for other expenses and $145,000 for equipment.

March 31, 2004: About 50 employees of the Waikoloa Beach Marriot and Outrigger Resort waved signs and shouted into bullhorns to demand a new labor contract as their hotel faces the possibility of new ownership. Renette Takehsita, the business agent for Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Local 5, the bargaining unit for 290 Waikoloa Beach Marriot workers, says the rally was to let the community know what was going on because employees and the hotel are part of the community.

March 31, 2009: The worn tennis courts at Kamehameha Park in Kapaau are getting a spring fix-up thanks to Kohala residents who have donated more than $36,000 for patching and painting.

Kona Community Hospital is changing nursing staffing levels to reflect patient populations in the emergency room for greater efficiency and care, says the hospital’s CEO Earl Greenia. The change will the emergency room with fewer nurses on the morning shift.

Should the state Legislature decide to take away all Transient Accommodations Tax revenues from the counties, the Big Island government might be forced to close some departments or agencies. That’s what Mayor Billy Kenoi told Hawaii County Council members during the first day of budget meetings between council members and department heads.

March 31, 2013: The U.S. Air Force has shelved plans to build a 3,500-foot-long runway at Kona International Airport. However, touch-and-go training will continue. The runway was determined cost-prohibitive by the Air Force.