Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Monday, July 15, 2013

Pastor Troy Gacayan, of River of Life Assembly of God Church in Pahala, gave the blessing at the opening of Longs
Pharmacy this morning. Photo by Julia Neal
LONGS PHARMACY OPENED this morning, the first free-standing pharmacy in Ka`u. Manager and pharmacist Leona Goda thanked all of the people who worked with her at the former location at Ka`u Hospital and now at Pahala Shopping Center for helping make the move over the last several weeks. She said that she is grateful that Longs believes in this community and is willing to expand its business here. The pharmacy for the public at Ka`u Hospital is now closed.
Longs staff, including pharmacy
technician Candrie Pascubillo,
moved from Longs at Ka`u
Hospital to the new facility.
Photo by Julia Neal
"This is your store," Leona Goda told
residents at Longs Pharmacy in Pahala.
Photo by Julia Neal
      Pastor Troy Gacayan gave the blessing and talked about Longs being a “very reputable and well known company willing to make Ka`u home." He called Longs “Ka`u’s newest business and family member.”
      By mid-morning the parking lot was full at Pahala Shopping Center, with people going to Longs also parking in the street and the parking lot by R&J Store.
      Hawai`i district manager Raul Sicardi said that he expects to expand some of the food offerings and noted that Longs will not be selling liquor, ice, fishing supplies and many of the other items sold at other stores in the shopping center. He said he expects to keep the space being used at 2,500 square feet.
      Several Ka`u residents attending the grand opening said they thought that people coming to Longs for their prescriptions may make the shopping center very popular and possibly the site of noodle shops and other small restaurants in the three empty bays between Longs and the post office. Longs is open 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. until noon on Saturdays and closed Sundays.

Longs staff opens the new Longs today. (L-R) Pharmacy technician Jamie Gutierrez, Pahoa pharmacy manager Jeime Kon, who helped out with the opening, pharmacy technician Terri Desay and clerk-cashier Donna Tsukamoto.
Photo by Julia Neal
      In addition to the pharmacist, employees at Longs in Pahala are Pahala residents Candrie Pascubillo and Terri Desay, both pharmacy technicians; Na`alehu resident Donna Tsukamoto, a clerk and cashier; and Kurtistown resident Jamie Gutierrez, a pharmacy technician. The pharmacist lives in Moutain View.
Attendees at today's blessing of Longs Pharmacy shared a celebratory
cake. Photo by Julia Neal
      Longs Pharmacies are owned by CVS Caremark, the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States, with mail order, retail and specialty pharmacies as well as retail clinics. CVS is a leading provider of Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans. CVS provides access to a network of more than 65,000 pharmacies nationwide.

HEFTY FEDERAL FLOOD INSURANCE RATE HIKES could land on “more than 13,000 Hawai`i property owners — including businesses, owners of vacation homes, and those whose properties have had major problems with flooding.” They “could see their annual federal flood insurance premiums climb by 25 percent before the end of the year,” writes Washington correspondent Kery Murakani in Civil Beat this morning. Murakami reports a Federal Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman saying that thousands of other property owners may also face huge increases. 
      Civil Beat says that “nationally, the rate hikes are sparking concern. The increases were passed by Congress last year to prop up a federal flood insurance program that’s billions of dollars in debt and that makes big payouts every time a major storm hits.”
Flood insurance could go up for places like Okoe Bay near Miloli`i,
which was hit by the Japan tsunami in March of 2011.
Photo by Kaiali`i Kahele
      Hawai`i Reps. Colleen Hanabusa and Tulsi Gabbard are trying stop the hikes for now. Murakami points to “an amendment to the Homeland Security appropriations bill last month that would delay the premium hikes for a year. A proposal in the Senate would delay it for three years. Both chambers would have to agree on an approach to stop the increases.
      “With Congress unable to agree on much these days, it’s by no means certain that a delay will be approved before the increases kick in on Oct. 1.”
      “Increasingly frequent and severe storms have overwhelmed the National Flood Insurance Program, created by Congress in 1968 to offer subsidized flood insurance because basic homeowners’ insurance policies did not cover floods,” writes Murakami.
      See more at civilbeat.com.

How to support vitality of Hawai`i's
organic food production is the topic
of a survey. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
THE ORGANIC FOOD INDUSTRY is being surveyed on feasibility and potential roles of organizations and agencies to support growth and vitality of Hawai`i’s organic food production and delivery. The initiative is supported by a grant from the Hawai`i Department of Agriculture; the surveys conducted by Kohala Center. They are accessible online at laulimacenter.org/organic_survey.html through Friday, Aug. 2. 
      Farmers, producers, distributors, retailers, consumers, and agricultural professionals are encouraged to participate in one or more of the surveys. Participation is voluntary and anonymous. Data collected from the surveys will influence the development of solutions and recommendations to strengthen Hawai`i’s organic industry, says a statement from The Kohala Center.
      A nine-member advisory group comprised of organic farmers, producers, retailers, and agricultural professionals from around the state was convened in February to determine the primary barriers affecting the growth and sustainability of Hawai`i’s organic industry. Representatives from local processors, distributors, retailers, certifiers, and the state Legislature have also provided input to the group’s work. Based on the issues, barriers, and potential solutions defined by the advisory group, surveys were developed to gain insights and data from a broader range of industry constituents statewide.
Voluntary and anonymous surveys are being conducted by
The Kohala Center. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
       “Organic agricultural producers operating in Hawai`i currently don’t have a central place where they can obtain information on critical issues such as infrastructure, processing, marketing, certification, and business development,” said Melanie Bondera, Rural Cooperative Development Specialist for the Laulima Center, a program of The Kohala Center. “There are many entities in the state providing specific services, but no central educational or advocacy group. Our research seeks to determine how existing entities can support organics in Hawai`i, and how the local industry can overcome the barriers that are affecting farming operations, production, distribution, quality, and costs.”
       Survey data will be analyzed and integrated with the advisory group’s research to develop actionable solutions and recommendations to the Hawai`i Department of Agriculture, as well as provide input on a legislative agenda for the industry in 2014. The advisory group will conduct an open meeting on Hawai`i Island in late October, at which the group’s findings and preliminary recommendations will be presented to the public for feedback and further input.
       Interested participants may access the surveys online at laulimacenter.org/organic_survey.html or contact The Kohala Center at 887-6411 for more information.

Ed Case spent a lot of time in Ka`u as a congressman and a
candidate, including trips with his wife Audrey.
Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U’S FORMER CONGRESSMAN Ed Case has announced he’s moving out of politics into the visitor industry. Case was known in Ka`u for having come here more than any other member of Congress, meeting directly with constituents and getting back to them with details on their concerns. 
      In a statement released last week, Case said he is joining a hotel and travel company. “Sometimes in life it’s just time to start a new chapter. That’s what I’m doing in joining Outrigger Enterprises Group as senior vice president and chief legal officer on July 22nd.”
      Case said that his political career, in which he lost bids for governor and U.S. Senate in recent years, “has been deeply fulfilling, with challenges faced, contributions made, friendships forged and promising opportunities right over the horizon.
      “But I’ve always looked for that next mountain to climb, that next contribution to make, and Outrigger is an opportunity I can’t resist.”
      Outrigger is a 66-year old local company “which has stayed true to its Hawai`i roots and values. Outrigger wrote the book on Hawai`i’s travel and tourism industry and, with its 4,200 employees, is central to 25 percent-plus of Hawai`i’s economy,” Case stated.

JAPANESE THEATRE CALLED BENTO RAKUGO will be performed at Na`alehu Public Library Wednesday at 2 p.m.
      In Rakugo, the performer presents a comic story while sitting on a Japanese cushion throughout the entire performance, speaking all of the voices in both first and third person. The troupe specializes in popular traditional forms of Japanese theatre by bringing a modern twist to Japanese comedy. The program is for ages 5 and older. Call 939-2442 for more information. 

HAUNANI’S ALOHA EXPRESSIONS comes to Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park Visitor Center this Wednesday from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The hula halau of native Hawaiians has shared the aloha spirit with visitors arriving at the Port of Hilo and Hilo International Airport and patients at hospitals and health care centers around the island for many years.
      Haunani’s Aloha Expressions won the overall competition at the Kupuna Hula Festival and the Moku o Keawe competition on numerous occasions. Members make their own costumes and lei. They sing and dance hapa-haole hula, and have performed at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park annual cultural festival regularly.



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