Gary Girard

Gary Girard.

Brian Komoto, owner of Delano’s Komoto’s Drugs and the Bakersfield Komoto’s, is featured along with his pharmacy operation in a four-page spread in Pharmacy Today magazine, the December 2017 edition. Komoto is pictured on the magazine’s cover.

Komoto was one of the first pharmacists in the Western states to use robots for filling prescriptions.

“Our robots free up pharmacists to focus on other medications that patients have,” said Komoto, a Pharm D, CEO and co-founder of Komoto Healthcare, Delano.

The Delano pharmacist, who resides with his wife in Visalia, leased the robot in the late '90s.

“While pharmacy technicians start processing prescriptions in the queue, gears grind, cylinders spin, and gleaming robotic arms reach and grab medications in a soft gray honeycomb of carefully stocked cells,” the article stated. “It’s a boon to efficiency.”

Added Komoto, “Our robots hold about 350 medications. Our error rate is almost non-existent. We’ve gotten more involved in meeting with the community and finding out what its needs are and we have more available pharmacists to get involved in these kinds of programs.”

The article was shown to me by Monte Marshall, whose father, Harold, ran Marshall’s Pharmacy for years in Delano and then was succeeded by Monte, who later worked for Safeway and Target as a pharmacist and for years has stepped in to fill in for pharmacists on vacation. Monte started as a registered pharmacist in Delano in 1960 and is in his 58th year in that line of work.

Marshall said he worked for a time for Komoto’s and called Brian a true leader in the industry and said he is into the very high-tech and at one time sent a proposal to Kern County that allowed pharmacists throughout Kern County to serve patients who had government assistance rather than corner the market for a county agency. Marshall said that Komoto is also moving ahead on another innovation in his business, which will soon add to the streamlining of the pharmacy.

Komoto, and his wife who works in the pharmacy as well, can be found at the always busy drugstore in Delano that was purchased from longtime local druggist Ernest Takaki as Takaki’s work years came to a close.

Because of the growth of the business, Komoto had to move a block away from the old Takaki’s Drug to open a new store on Ellington Street.

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The “Kindergarten Blastoff Fair” sponsored by the Delano Union School District is planned Wednesday, March 21, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Pioneer School, 1001 Hiett Ave. in Delano.

A district flyer promises free corn dogs, popcorn and slushees as well as free T-shirts to transitional kindergarten and kindergarten registrants. The flyer also proclaims “free supplies and prizes.”

Booths planned are student registration, student reception center, child development, transitional kindergarten, health services, community connections, preschools, migrant services, food services, Henrietta Weill Child Guidance, Kern Family Health Care, Kern County Library, Clinica Sierra Vista WIC and Clinica Sierra Vista Services. Free books are sponsored by Children’s Plus, Inc.

The district will even provide transportation departing to Pioneer at 3:30 p.m. from Albany Park School, 3:40 p.m. from Fremont, 3:50 p.m. from Nueva Vista, 4 p.m. from Del Vista, 4:10 p.m. from Harvest, 4:20 p.m. from Morningside, 4:30 p.m. from Princeton, and 4:40 p.m. from Terrace. The transportation will leave at 6 p.m. to return to all those school sites.

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No time table has been presented on the completion of the Delano High School nine-lane all-weather track that was started last fall and has had most of its work completed. The three public high schools in Delano will all have all-weather tracks now with Robert F. Kennedy the only school with artificial turf on the football/soccer playing surface as well.

Matt Carter, maintenance, operations and transportation director for the Delano Joint Union High School District, reported that winter rains slowed completion and that due to a number of factors, he could not predict when the entire facility would be completed.

On the district website a month ago, he said that concrete work on a sidewalk from the track to Delano High School’s administration office had been completed. Site fencing was 85 percent complete and all pull boxes had been completed. The pull boxes will feed the MUSCO lighting that has been installed at the track.

The track is red, he said, because that color is common for tracks in the area due to the heat and amount of sunlight. It is the same as at Kennedy and Cesar Chavez high schools'.

The track is blue in the relay exchange zones. Markings on the track are CIF standard for track and field.

The actual seating on the west side of the track will be about 1,400. There are 10 parking stalls on the facility’s west side with plans to enlarge the parking at the facility’s north end.

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Only three of the Delano High School Football Hall of Fame inductees for 2018 have returned their questionnaires, committee members reported. Forms have been sent back to the committee by Martin Gardea, Dan Rodriguez and Robert Oh.

The committee at its March meeting had still not received forms from Robert Campos, Garrett Henson, Arturo Jauregui, Martin Alejandro, Marke Rodriguez, Patrick Martinez, Frank Gonzalez, George Fowler, Ugo Ledezma, Anthony Gabaldon, Alex Madrid, Brent Peterson, John Fielder, and Merle Bassett. Forms may be mailed to 2104 7th Avenue, Delano, CA 93215.

Each inductee or their family will receive two free tickets to the dinner and ceremonies Saturday, June 9, at the Delano High cafeteria. Others who wish to attend may mail checks for $35 each to Monte Marshall, at P.O. Box 922, Delano, CA 93216. Marshall may be reached by phone at 661-725-7541.

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Senior wide receiver Isaiah Cortez was revealed as Player of the Year at the Cesar Chavez High School football awards event. Senior Jesse Ortega III, a leader on defense, was named Titan of the Year.

Others earning varsity awards were Iliana Hernandez, Commitment award; Gabriel Cruz, Coach’s Award for offense; Luis Trujillo, Coach’s Award for defense; Javier Gallardo, Offensive Lineman of the year; David Avila, Defensive Lineman of the year; Julian Avila, Offensive Skill Player of the year; Fernando Abad, Defensive Skill Player of the year; and Carlos Macias, Scholar Athlete with a 4.57 grade average.

For varsity volleyball, Elsie Rivera was named the Most Valuable Player, Maryjoe Rodriguez the Most Improved, and Karen Gutierrez the Top Scholar.

At the JV level Marisol Rivera was Most Valuable Player, Yanely Casas the Most Improved, and Leslie Velasco the Top Scholar.

For the frosh-soph team Loise Rosales was Most Valuable with other special awards to Alyssa San and Riley Ramos.

In cross country, Jose Ayon and Mayra Lara were named Most Valuable boy and girl respectively. Imanol Ulloa and Esmeralda Salcido were Most Improved and Nicolas Zaninovich and Eustolia Beltran the Top Scholars.

For JV cross country, Eliezer Sanchez was Most Valuable, Israel Sanchez the Most Improved, and Anthony Bartolome the Top Scholar.

Jose Acuna and Cynthia Zamora were Most Valuable for frosh-soph cross country with Andres Ayon and Alondra Avila named Most Improved and Aaron Fernandez and Alondra Avila the Top Scholars.

Vivian Han was Golfer of the Year for the girls’ golf team with Daisy Campos the Most Inspirational and Aaliyah Robles the Top Scholar.

For girls’ tennis Ariadna Romo was Most Valuable, Annalia Castrejon the Most Improved, Carolina Diaz the Top Grade Average and Alondra de Santiago the Coach’s Award.

For JV girls’ tennis, Bre-ana Jara won for Most Valuable, Denise Herrera as Most Improved, and Aman Kaur for the Top Grade Average.

Gary Girard is a longtime resident of Delano. He can be reached at 661-725-8803.

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