Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire



Star outsources Moiliili pharmacy

Mina Corp., which operates two Mina Pharmacy outlets on Oahu, is taking over Star Markets Ltd.'s only pharmacy on Oahu, in the Moiliili store between King and Beretania streets.

Officials of both companies were unavailable for comment late yesterday, but the change was disclosed in a formal notice to the state Department of Labor & Industrial Relations.

The pharmacy employs eight people and they will cease to be employees of Star Markets when the change takes place, according to the 60-day advance notice filed yesterday.

No information was available on whether some or all of them would be kept on by Mina.

Mina has pharmacies at Kapolei and in the Ala Moana Building on Kapiolani Boulevard. Star Markets' only other pharmacy is in Kihei, Maui. It was not mentioned in the filing.

Tourism study seeks comment

Consultants hired by the state to study the impact of tourism growth will have public meetings statewide next month to give a progress report.

The report, Planning for Sustainable Tourism in Hawaii, is meant to develop strategies and policy tools to predict and minimize the negative aspects of tourism growth while maximizing its benefits. The meetings will focus on the development of goals and indicators for sustainable tourism, and on a computer model being created to forecast economic and environmental impacts of growth.

The schedule is:

>> Kauai, Sept. 9, Wilcox Elementary Cafeteria, Lihue, 5:30-8 p.m.
>> Hilo, Sept. 11, UH Hilo Campus Center, 7-9:30 p.m.
>> Kona, Sept. 12, Kona - Kealakehe Elementary School Cafeteria, 7-9:30 p.m.
>> Molokai, Sept. 24, Mitchell Pauole Center, Kaunakakai, 7-9:30 p.m.
>> Lanai, Sept. 25, Lanai Library Conference Room, 7-9:30 p.m.
>> Maui, Sept. 26, Maui Community College Student Lounge, Kahului, 7-9:30 p.m.
>> Oahu, Sept. 27, Waikiki Elementary School Cafeteria, 2-4:30 p.m.
A final report is to be issued to the state next year.

UAL delays exit from bankruptcy

Shifting course yet again, United Airlines said yesterday that it did not expect to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy this year after all, blaming an uncertain economic outlook for prolonging its work on a restructuring plan.

United officials told a U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Chicago that the airline now expected to leave Chapter 11 protection sometime in the first half of 2004. United, a unit of UAL Corp., is the nation's second-largest airline behind American.

Last spring, executives at the airline, including its chief executive, Glenn F. Tilton, projected that United would emerge from bankruptcy by this December, a year after United sought court protection. At that time, the airline also said its restructuring proposal would be ready by September or October.

In other news, the airline said it plans to hire more than 450 part-time employees in Denver, Chicago and Los Angeles by the end of September to handle increased passenger loads and other work.

Tech industry suspends Visa push

The tech industry, which three years ago won a major increase in H-1B visas to bring in skilled foreign workers, has decided not to seek an extension when the higher limit expires next month.

The move may be linked to a growing trend of sending service jobs to facilities located abroad.

Harris Miller, president of the Information Technology Association of America, said congressional allies have advised him that they won't be able to take action on the visas before Oct. 1, when the H-1B quota drops from 195,000 a year to its previous level of 65,000.

"It's obviously a tough time to ask Congress to vote on the immigration provision when the unemployment rate remains somewhat high," said Miller, whose trade group has been the leading proponent for the temporary visas.


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