About The Kaʻū Calendar

Ka`u, Hawai`i, United States
A locally owned and run community newspaper (www.kaucalendar.com) distributed in print to all Ka`u District residents of Ocean View, Na`alehu, Pahala, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Volcano Village and Miloli`i on the Big Island of Hawai`i. This blog is where you can catch up on what's happening daily with our news briefs. This blog is provided by The Ka`u Calendar Newspaper (kaucalendar.com), Pahala Plantation Cottages (pahalaplantationcottages.com), Local Productions, Inc. and the Edmund C. Olson Trust.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016

Retired police officer Bobby Gomes led yesterday's Ka`u Plantation Days pa`u parade Grand Marshal.
Photos by Darlyne Vierra
PA`U RIDERS AND HORSES GRACED Hwy 11 in Na`alehu yesterday at the opening of Ka`u Plantation Days. Retired police officer Bobby Gomes, of Pahala, served as Grand Marshal.
      Festivities, including music and food, followed at Na`alehu Park, with displays of photos and artifacts from Ka`u’s sugar era. Ka`u Sugar closed down 20 years ago.
      Ka`u Multicultural Society organized this year's event, with leadership from Darlyne Vierra and Liz Kuluwaimaka.
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Colors represent various Hawaiian Islands.
“THE PRESIDENT TOOK OFFICE VOWING to strengthen the relationship between the United States government and tribal governments around the country, including the Native Hawaiian population,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said at a press briefing on Friday. His remarks followed the Department of Interior’s release of a new rule establishing a way for Native Hawaiians to have a government-to-government relationship with the federal government if they choose to form a unified government.
      “Next week the White House will convene the Tribal Nations Conference here in Washington, D.C.,” Earnest said. “This is something that the President has prioritized, and he’s regularly appeared at this conference as a demonstration of the priority that he has placed on improved relations between the federal government and tribal governments.
      “The President obviously does have his own personal connection to the Native Hawaiian population and the rich cultural heritage of the Native Hawaiian people. The President got to experience a little of that when he traveled to Hawaii a few weeks ago. And the President believes that that cultural heritage isn’t just worthy of our respect, it’s also worth protecting. And that's the reason that, in designating the marine monument out there, the policy was careful to ensure that local populations could continue to engage in their ancient traditions.
Keiki rode their horses through Na`alehu.
      “So I think this also – I would put this in the category of the kind of policies the President is hopeful the next president will pursue. But there’s a lot of progress that we’ve made in terms of strengthening the relationship between the federal government and a variety of tribal governments. But there’s more work to be done.”
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HAWAI`I ATTORNEY GENERAL DOUG CHIN joined 35 other attorneys general who filed an antitrust lawsuit against the makers of Suboxone, a prescription drug used to treat opioid addiction, over allegations that the companies engaged in a scheme to block generic competitors and cause purchasers to pay artificially high prices.
A horse strikes an imposing pose.
      Suboxone is a brand-name prescription drug used to treat heroin addiction and other opioid addictions by easing addiction cravings. No generic alternative of the film is currently available.
      Chin said, “Helping addicts recover from the deadly effects of opioids is a top priority here and in other states. This week, I had commented on the legal authority in Hawaii to prescribe Suboxone for the purpose of opioid detoxification or maintenance treatment of opioid dependence. Unfortunately, the makers of this drug have capitalized on this serious public health crisis and raked in huge corporate profits.”
      Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals, now known as Indivior, is accused of conspiring with MonoSol Rx to switch Suboxone from a tablet version to a film that dissolves in the mouth in order to prevent or delay generic alternatives and maintain monopoly profits. The companies are accused of violating state and federal antitrust laws.
Miss Ka`u Coffee 2016 winners celebrated Ka`u Plantation Days. Left
to right are Miss Ka`u Coffee 2016 Rochelle Koi, Miss Ka`u Coffee
Second Princess Jami Beck, Miss Peaberry Chazlynn Pua-Queja
and Junior Miss Ka`u Coffee 2016 Karlee Fukunaga-Camba.
      According to the lawsuit, when Reckitt introduced Suboxone in 2002 (in tablet form), it had exclusivity protection that lasted for seven years, meaning no generic version could enter the market during that time. Before that period ended, however, Reckitt worked with MonoSol to create a new version of Suboxone – a dissolvable film, similar in size to a breath strip. Over time, Reckitt allegedly converted the market away from the tablet to the film through marketing, price adjustments and other methods. Ultimately, after the majority of Suboxone prescriptions were written for the film, Reckitt removed the tablet from the U.S. market.
      The attorneys general allege that this conduct was illegal “product hopping,” where a company makes modest changes to its product to extend patent protections so other companies can’t enter the market and offer cheaper generic alternatives. According to the suit, the Suboxone film provided no real benefit over the tablet and Reckitt continued to sell the tablets in other countries even after removing them from the U.S. market. Reckitt also allegedly expressed unfounded safety concerns about the tablet version and intentionally delayed FDA approval of generic versions of Suboxone.
      As a result, the attorneys general allege that consumers and purchasers have paid artificially high monopoly prices since late 2009, when generic alternatives of Suboxone might otherwise have become available. During that time, annual sales of Suboxone topped $1 billion.
The last haul cane truck brought the parade to a close.
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A FEDERAL FUNDING RESOLUTION FOR ZIKA research and protection includes $1.1 billion.
      “We appear to have a deal on Zika that will help us to address this dangerous disease,” Sen. Brian Schatz said. “This is especially important for Hawai`i because we have one of the mosquitoes that carries the virus. This disease is now well established in the United States, with thousands of cases reported in Florida and the U.S. territories. Our critical public health agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are in desperate need of funding to combat Zika. It’s time we finally move forward with providing the CDC with the resources it needs.”
Schatz has been a voice on the need to pass Zika funding. Earlier this month, he sent a letter signed by 27 Senate colleagues, including Sen. Mazie Hirono, to House Speaker Paul Ryan urging him to bring the Senate-passed bipartisan Zika funding bill up for a vote in the House.
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After the pa`u parade, festivities continues at Na`alehu Park.
THE BIPARTISAN, BICAMERAL POWER ACT, which would help connect victims with legal representation. In response to a pervasive lack of legal assistance for domestic violence survivors, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and colleagues today introduced the bill last week. Studies have shown that survivors who can afford or access a lawyer successfully obtain restraining orders in 83 percent of cases, compared to 32 percent without a lawyer.
      “The frequency of domestic violence is more prevalent than most realize – nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the U.S.,” Gabbard said. “This staggering statistic will not change and could become worse if we don’t empower survivors with the support they need to move forward. In Hawai`i, 575 domestic violence survivors seek support from local programs and services every single day, and too often, their needs go unmet. The POWER Act will give domestic violence survivors in Hawai`i and across the country access to affordable legal services as well as the protection that is often needed for themselves and their families.”
Among Plantation Days musicians were
and Demetrius Oliviera and friends.
      The POWER Act would require each U.S. Attorney’s office to annually host a public event supporting pro bono legal services for survivors of domestic violence. The U.S. Attorneys would report to the Department of Justice, which will then compile a single report to Congress each year summarizing the events and discussing their effectiveness.
      A companion bill passed with unanimous support in the Senate.
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HAWAIIAN ADZE PRODUCTION & Lithic Block Quarries on Kilauea are topics at After Dark in the Park on Tuesday. Archaeologist Caleb Houck shares his knowledge about the lithic block quarries on Kilauea volcano. Learn how Hawaiians crafted finely grained basalt rock into adze following the 1790 summit eruptions, why these particular rocks were prized by Hawaiians and how archaeologists discovered these abandoned quarries centuries later.
      The free program begins at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
      Free; park entrance fees apply. $2 donations support park programs.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS ATPAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM ANDKAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

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