Civil Defense Warning – NWS Issues Tropical Storm WARNING for Hawaii County

This is a Tropical Storm Darby update for Friday July 22nd at 10:00 AM.

The National Weather Service has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for Hawaii County.  A tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected in Hawaii County within 36 hours.  A high surf warning for east facing shores is also in effect.

darby 722 11am

As of this morning, Tropical Storm Darby is located about 390 miles east of Hilo moving to the west at 12 miles per hour.  Maximum sustained winds are 60 miles per hour with higher gusts.

The public is advised to be storm ready.  Damaging surf, rain, wind, flooding, rock and mud slides are expected to begin affecting the Big Island later today.  Residents are urged to complete storm preparations before nightfall.

Should power be lost or access be blocked – ensure you have prescription medications, ice, water, oxygen, backup power and fuel if needed.

To keep visitors and employees safe as Tropical Storm Darby approaches, all camping and pavilion reservations at County and State parks have been cancelled today through Sunday. All backcountry areas and certain roads in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, are closed effective 5 p.m. today. County lava viewing and swimming pools are closed effective noon today. Beginning Saturday, all State and County park facilities are closed until further notice.

If possible and safe, shelter in place or with family and friends.  However, the following pet friendly emergency shelters open today at 4 pm: Waiakea High, Kalanianaole Elementary, Keaau High, Pahoa High, Honokaa High and Intermediate, Kealakehe High, Konawaena High and Ka’u High. Requirements for pets that need shelter are listed at Bring bedding, food, water and any personal items you may need. Hilo High, Laupahoehoe Community Charter School, Mountain View Elementary, Waikoloa, and Kohala High and Elementary open today at 4 pm but are unable to accommodate pets. Again, bring bedding, food, water and any personal items you may need.

Monitor your local radio broadcasts for information updates and go to for more details.

101 Confirmed Cases of Dengue Fever – CDC Official to Visit Big Island

As of November 25, 2015 there were 101 confirmed cases of Dengue Fever reported on the Big Island:

Hawaii Island residents 88
Visitors 13
Confirmed cases, TOTAL 101

Of the confirmed cases, 88 are Hawaii residents and 13 are visitors.
78 cases have been adults; twenty-three have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 11/17/15.

As of today, a total of 190 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

101According to the Hawaii Tribune, an official from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) will be coming to the Big Island on Tuesday of next week:

“…a top CDC official is set to arrive on island next week to assess the handling of the outbreak here.

Lyle Petersen, director of the CDC’s Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, will vet containment efforts and share his analysis with county and state officials during his visit, confirmed Gov. David Ige’s communications director Cindy McMillan.

“(Petersen) will evaluate ongoing efforts based on his visit and analysis of the most current data being captured on a daily basis,” McMillan said.”

Big Island Residents Lose Electricity on Christmas Eve

This evening on the Big Island of Hawaii, residents across the island reported that they had lost electricity for a time tonight.  From Puna to Kona the outages were reported.

Hawaiian Electric Companies is currently investigating the power failure but has tentatively classified this as a “frequency trip on the system”.
HELCO Response 3When they have determined the exact cause of the island-wide outage I will update this post.

Big Island Visitors Bureau Announces Additions to Marketing Team

The Big Island Visitors Bureau (BIVB) is pleased to announce the appointment of Donna Kimura as marketing director and Teresa Cosgrove as sales manager, two industry veterans who bring more than 40 years of combined experience to the team. Both Kimura and Cosgrove will be based out of BIVB’s West Hawaii office.

Teresa Cosgrove

Teresa Cosgrove

“Having had the opportunity to work with Donna and Teresa in other capacities over the past two decades, I’m extremely pleased to have them join our BIVB ohana [family],” said Ross Birch, BIVB Executive Director. “Not only do they bring a solid track record of success and strong network of industry contacts to the team, but also a deep, personal understanding of Hawaii Island and the passion needed to take our destination to the next level. We’re all looking forward to keeping the momentum moving in a positive direction for our island.”

In her position as Marketing Director, Kimura will be responsible for development, budgeting and implementation of the BIVB’s annual marketing plan for all major market areas for promotion of Hawaii Island as a leisure travel and meeting/convention destination. This includes working with the BIVB’s sales team, advertising and public relations contractors, and the industry at large to identify markets and trends to ensure current strategies are in line with current market conditions.

With 25 years of experience, Kimura worked briefly for BIVB in 2009, managing the activities of its contractors, coordinating promotions, and working on other marketing initiatives before becoming a freelance marketing communications consultant later that year and eventually finding her way back to the bureau. Prior to that, she held public relations and marketing positions with the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, The Orchid at Mauna Lani, and The Ritz-Carlton, Mauna Lani. Kimura is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she earned her master’s degree in linguistics.

Cosgrove brings more than 15 years of experience to her position as BIVB sales manager where she will provide support to the sales and marketing team in its mission to bring more meetings, conventions, and incentives business to Hawaii Island. Prior to joining the bureau, she was the Leisure Sales Manager at the Hilton Waikoloa Village for 12 years where she served as the liaison between on-property leisure sales and Hilton Hawaii’s regional sales team.

In that role, Cosgrove conducted site and familiarization tours for wholesale and retail industry agents, participated in industry tradeshows and educational seminars, developed leisure promotions for the FIT, military and corporate travel markets, and was responsible for contract preparation and rate planning for wholesale partnerships and tour group sales. She started her travel career at the Hilton Waikoloa Village in 1998 as its Sales Administrative Assistant and then became its Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator in 1999. Cosgrove is a graduate of The University of Texas at Arlington where she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. She is the recipient of the 2002 Hilton Circle of Excellence and has earned numerous Quarterly Sales Goal Achievement Certificates of Accomplishment.

BIVB is a chapter of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, Hawaii’s tourism marketing agency for North America. For more information about Hawaii, the Big Island, visit or call 1-800-GOHAWAII.


First Volcom Store to Open on the Big Island

Queens’ MarketPlace announces that Volcom, a modern lifestyle brand that embodies the creative spirit of youth culture, will open its first Big Island store at the popular shopping center by the end of this year.

VolcomFounded in 1991 on the principles of “liberation, innovation and experimentation,” Volcom products are designed for people with a passion for art, music, film, skateboarding, surfing and snowboarding.  With designs for men, women and youth Volcom incorporates a distinctive mixture of fashion and function combined with quality, comfort and athletic performance.

“Volcom is excited to be opening our first store on the Big Island at Queens’ MarketPlace,” said Volcom’s Senior Director of Retail, Rocky Taylor. “We have four other stores in Hawai‘i and feel this location will be a great addition.”

Bringing its creative energy to Queens’ MarketPlace, Volcom joins a growing family of shops and boutiques, galleries, services and restaurants within award-winning Waikoloa Beach Resort.

“We’re looking forward to working with the Volcom team to help build excitement for their opening, and add their lifestyle products to our already-great lineup of sports and activities, and the gear to go with them,” said Scott Head, Vice President of Resort Operations. “Their new shop is great news for visitors and our resident kama‘āina as well.”

Since it opened in 2007, Queens’ MarketPlace in Waikoloa Beach Resort has earned a reputation among visitors and kama‘āina as “the gathering place of the Kohala Coast,” full of shopping opportunities, services and great food, along with entertainment and arts programs, movies under the stars and large-scale concerts in Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens. For more information, visit or call 886-8822.

Governor Releases $12.9 Million for National Guard, Civil Defense and Health Facilities on Oahu and Big Island

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the release of more than $12.9 million for capital improvement projects (CIPs) that include priority work at National Guard and State Civil Defense facilities, repairs and energy cost-saving measures for health facilities, and a new home for the Youth Challenge Academy program on the Big Island.

“Our recent brush with Tropical Storm Flossie highlights the need for enhanced National Guard, emergency management and health facilities, and these funds will strengthen our state’s disaster preparedness capabilities,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “The Youth Challenge Academy program, by working with island youth, is likewise an investment in the self-reliance of our future community members and leaders. I thank our state legislators for recognizing these projects that improve our ability to serve the people of Hawaii.”

Allotment of funds for the following priority projects, identified by members of the state Legislature, has been approved by the Governor:

National Guard / Civil Defense

$5,900,000 – Keaukaha Military Reservation, Hawaii Island – Construction of one, 100-person billet to house the cadets of the Youth Challenge Academy at the Keaukaha Military Reservation (KMR), as well as renovation of Building 621 for the addition of restrooms and other miscellaneous facility and infrastructure improvements (The relocation of the Hawaii National Guard’s Youth Challenge Academy campus on the Big Island from the Kulani Correctional Facility to KMR is expected to provide cost savings, mostly from utilities, that directly translate into the potential for increasing the number of cadets allowed into the program; additional benefits include improved proximity to medical facilities in Hilo and National Guard resources and personnel)

$4,050,000 – National Guard Facilities, statewide – Design and construction for upgrades and improvements to National Guard facilities statewide, including major renovations in the mauka and makai wings of Building 46 at Kalaeloa, Oahu (electrical, water, sewer, and air conditioning)

$500,000 – Army Guard Facilities, Oahu – Construction to renovate Hawaii Army National Guard Facilities at Kalaeloa, Oahu, including renovation of Buildings 282 and 1784, as well as various utilities improvements (These funds are necessary in order to receive federal funds; total project cost is $19,800,000 with $2,300,000 in state funds and $16,500,000 in federal funds)

State Civil Defense Building

State Civil Defense Building

$225,000 – State Civil Defense, Building 303, Oahu – Design and construction to provide exterior building hardening improvements at  Building 303, which houses the Emergency Operating Center Annex, the State Media Center, Joint Information Center, administrative offices, and emergency equipment and supplies within Diamond Head Crater; the project includes upgrades to the roof, walls, windows, doors, and other building components that are vulnerable to high winds and flying debris (These funds are necessary in order to receive federal funds; total project cost is $900,000 with $225,000 in state funds and $675,000 in federal funds)

Health Facilities

$1,000,000 – Leahi Hospital, Oahu – Design, construction and equipment to install a photovoltaic system to reduce electricity costs

Leahi Health Center

Leahi Hospital

$650,000 – Maluhia Hospital, Oahu – Design and construction to replace existing windows that have deteriorated and need to be replaced to improve the building envelope

$535,000 – Maluhia Hospital, Oahu – Replacement of the existing retaining wall along Keola Road that has deteriorated

$75,000 – Hale Hoola Hamakua Hospital, Hawaii Island – Completion of an energy audit and installation of energy-saving equipment such as variable frequency drives, controlling devices or programs, or modify existing systems


Governor Abercrombie Signs Emergency Proclamation in Advance of Flossie

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed an Emergency Proclamation in preparation of Tropical Storm (TS) Flossie. The proclamation provides certain authorities that will allow the state to more effectively prepare for the arrival of TS Flossie, expected to make landfall Monday morning on the eastern end of Hawaii Island. Local, state and federal governmental agencies and non-profit partners are coordinating and working together to minimize the impact of the projected high wind, waves and torrential rain.

“All parts of our emergency response system for the entire state are working together,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “The purpose of signing this proclamation is to ensure that state agencies have full powers necessary to best protect and serve the people of Hawaii.”

The emergency proclamation covers such items as access to the major disaster fund to cover staff overtime and other expenses, allowing emergency procurement of needed supplies and resources, as well as activation of the National Guard, if needed.

Click to view proclamation

Click to view proclamation

View the Governor’s proclamation here.

Voodoo and Human Trafficking in Puna? – “… But the Last Night On The Island I Fought For My Life…”

Ok, the other day I got a very strange email and I think I got sucked into something very mysterious.  I will be posting each of these emails in the order that  I received them.  I hope I didn’t miss anything.


It all started out when I received this public comment on my website under the “Missing” tab:

My name is Kate. I am not 100% sure what happened to me, but the last night on the island I fought for my life. i think I almost got sucked into being taken without it being connected to these folks I got to know. I think they work in human trafficking. But I am not sure, but I think so. I think they have a guy on the island who they call in when they “have one” (a person who they might be able to take without much trouble) and then he uses voodoo to slowly capture them in a way that it goes unnoticed. I think the ring extends to CA and down into Mexico. I think they are very well funded and organized. I am scared to make accusations for a few reasons. But I also want to talk about it all. The first day I went around the island with the guy- Ms. Royal died that day and I was fed a Pig who was slaughtered that day and who there was a picture of. It WAS THE ODDEST DINNER I HAVE EVER BEEN TO.

I then received the following comment on my site but quickly deleted thinking it was a repeat of the above comment… but now realize it was a different comment:

My name is Kate Ellen Nicholson. I experienced intense trauma on the Big Island in Hawaii. The police were involved but were not helpful, more so they inflicted more trauma. I wanted them called both times, as I was fearing for my life, and I never have before. I am 30 years old. I maintain that the island has a major issue with NOT recording by the police. All across the Unites States cop cars must record the situation via voice and video. On your island, there is none of that. I find it highly odd and problematic.
The island is like all of the world, it is controlled by a few, who are connected to a bloodline. I am a geographer who went to the George Washington University, I work with demographics. The situation in Hawaii is analogous to the apartheid when it comes to the ethnic stats- when it comes to the minority ethnicity ruling. I have a story to tell and am not ready to tell it. Damon Tucker is harassing me and being extremely rude as he wants to get himself all involved and wants the story. He has treated me with intense disrespect, threatening to post my IP address, when I have already stated I have PTSD and do not feel safe. He is threatening and harassing. And he swore at me. Please find it in your hearts to send me positive vibrations and to be kind and understanding. Thank you for your time and understanding. May peace and joy be in your hearts.

I didn’t really think of anything… and just allowed the first comment on my site… then I got bombarded with the following emails to my personal email address:

Hi. My name is Kate. I am 30 and from vt. I was on Big Island for month and a half. I think I escaped a human trafficking capture but it was very very complicated and I barely escaped and I think it gets into this: they have a guy on the island with REALLY STRONG vooodoo powers. control thoughts, actions, words and electronics. I think they are very careful.

just wanted to reach out.


My reply to her initial email:

Did you report this to the police?

Damon Tucker

Here is reply after I sent her this question:

I got the police involved yes. I am not even 100% positive that is what they were trying to do. They drugged me I think….it was a week long spiral into confusion.  I am sorry I can’t elaborate right now. It’s too emotional for me.
Do you ever catch wind of voodoo cults on the island, down near the lava flow>? By voodoo I do mean magic and voodoo. I never believed in it, but I do now. They messed with me so much I don’t even know what happened. I don’t know if he was a good spiritual guide or he was going to take me. I decided on the last night that the situation was that they had their ducks in a row to take me and not get blamed so I pre-emptively fought him and got dna on me and ate necklaces around our necks (he gave me mine) and got those beads in my stomach. I will say, from an intuitive stand point, he changed at that point as thought I had really shifted the situation. He had a lady staying with her. She was very odd and even though he asked for more help holding me down etc she seemed to work with me. The cops were eventually called by her (but a car came in between, i had run into the woods at that point and was leaving hair dna. I NEVER AGREED TO ANY DRUGS. and i think they put something in the tea. she was making it, he said it was the best on the island. then she said o I forgot to make u a cup. but she had. i took two tiny sips. which might have helped me. he was a very very powerful man with powers i did not believe existed. he fist the description of a pscyho/sociopath PERFECTLY.  I am looking at the face of a girl missing in CA that I am trying to consider was with them when I first saw the, The lady introduced her as her daughter but they didn’t look anything alike and when the Ms. Royal was found there was some wierd conversations about it. He actually said “is that your daughter, did you hear about it, have you heard from her.” i watched her response. it was twilight zone-like. 
i have been following articles from the puna area. one is notable to me: a guy is involved in a house where people are getting raped- or so he says as he leaves the court room. i was in that area and i think they scout for people, capture them and it’s all S&M from there. slave sex trafficking. I think the reason they do it is for the money. I also have a suspicion that the victims are used to grow marijuana in hawaii and n/ CA. 

sorry for the ramble.  thanks for the response. 
one of the few people i am talking about this too.

i know it’s a very odd complicated story.
i went to GWU in DC. I am educated & bright. I acknowledge the story is difficult…I can’t even make sense of it and again, GWU 3.73GPA. Voted most likely to succeed and most organized in HS.  Very clever girl here.  not willing to go through emotional distress of the psychward or police report as I know where others are at mentally. I must make some headway first. Part of that was writing on your page and seeing if anyone responded with something that might help me– even though my ultimate hope would be to be able to help others. 

thanks you for your time.

At this point I really didn’t know what I had on my hands so I started CC’ing Tiffany Edwards Hunt some of the email correspondences that we were having and my next reply was:

Send me a police report number.  Which officer did you talk to.  This all sounds very suspicious and very “Rumorish”.

I suggest you take it up w/ Tiffany Edwards Hunt to see if she knows anything about it.

This type of thing really isn’t my type of story.


Damon Tucker

Her response was the following:
I would never interact with a Hunt. You should learn who the Hunts are.

sorry to add another layer. but i know who the Hunt brothers are and I know their connection to the zionists and pedophilia. I went to GWU and I study the world and have many aquintances from powerful families.

I then started to suspect this lady may need her meds and replied to her the following:
Ok… now your just sounding a bit off!!!

Damon Tucker

Tiffany then interjected the following:
I am definitely not involved in zionism or pedophilia. What is going on here?
And then Tiffany followed up with:
Hi Kate,
If you believe you can trust me, I am happy to talk with you and take a drive to try and figure out where you were taken. 

Were you given ayahuasca?

Kate then replied to Tiffany:
i don’t trust u and i don’t want to talk to you.
i know the Hunt brother story etc.
i live in the town with Heny G Jarecki;s son
i don’t mingle with people from your bloodline
you scare me.
I then replied to Kate and Tiffany:
Kate… I’m not sure what you are talking about the “Hunt” Brothers… But I will vouch that Tiffany is not involved w/ any Hunt Brothers that you may have come across in the past.

She is an independent reporter here on the island and she is probably the best one to get your story out to.  (If you haven’t seen her website it is )

I’m not an investigative journalist the way she is.

Trust Tiffany to give you your side of the story w/out any corporate or police influence.

I’m out of this story… I only blog as a hobby.  Some folks like to play games online for a hobby… I like to be a newshound.

Wish you the best Kate,


Damon Tucker

I then received the following from Kate:

This is called harassment and I will take you to court. Leave me alone. And I did not give you permission to post anything. LEAVE ME ALONE.

I then reply:

I wish you would trust Tiffany to tell your story.

I will now be posting what you have sent to me on my website to see if anything comes up from folks that know what is up.

I will also be using your name as a the person that sent this to me.

I gave you the option to tell your story to Tiffany…

I will now be piecing together the things you sent to me and will publish it as a commentary I received via e-mail.

You have until tomorrow morning to respond to this.

Please understand that I think you are mistaking Hunt family for someone not even related to her…. for that matter do you know how many “Tucker’s” there are on the Big Island alone that I get associated with.

I will be posting your name and IP address to the email you sent me if you do not follow up on this email I’m sending you now.

Those that know me… know I don’t put up w/ shit or rumors.


Damon Tucker

She then responded:
If you post my IP address that puts me in danger and you will be held accountable in COURT. That is absolutely what the laws are about. You cannot post my personal information. This is WHY I don’t talk to people. You are rude and you are attacking me, dont you see that? I was willing to talk to you. You lost my trust entirely by contacting Ms. Hunt. I maintain and I will continue to maintain I do not TRUST THE HUNT FAMILY nor their associates. I went to the GWU and I am not stupid.

Good luck figuring out what’s going on around you.
And consider being nicer.

Kate Ellen Nicholson

I then told her:

Shut up already…. your digging yourself in a hole.

She then sends me the following:

You are mean.

I hope you gain a sense of accomplishment.

Good luck trying to make the world a better place. You’re not headed in the right direction.

I want something posted with what you are posting::

My name is Kate Ellen Nicholson. I experienced intense trauma on the Big Island in Hawaii. The police were involved but were not helpful, more so they inflicted more trauma. I wanted them called both times, as I was fearing for my life, and I never have before. I am 30 years old. I maintain that the island has a major issue with NOT recording by the police. All across the Unites States cop cars must record the situation via voice and video. On your island, there is none of that. I find it highly odd and problematic.
The island is like all of the world, it is controlled by a few, who are connected to a bloodline. I am a geographer who went to the George Washington University, I work with demographics. The situation in Hawaii is analogous to the apartheid when it comes to the ethnic stats- when it comes to the minority ethnicity ruling. I have a story to tell and am not ready to tell it. Damon Tucker is harassing me and being extremely rude as he wants to get himself all involved and wants the story. He has treated me with intense disrespect, threatening to post my IP address, when I have already stated I have PTSD and do not feel safe. He is threatening and harassing. And he swore at me. Please find it in your hearts to send me positive vibrations and to be kind and understanding. Thank you for your time and understanding. May peace and joy be in your hearts.

Then the last message I sent to her:


She then replied:

I need to let you know that I am altering my email so as to not receive anymore emails from you email. Should you send me an email from another account, that is harassment I do believe. I am perfectly comfortable using the website you set up as a forum. We can discuss this on there in front of everyone. I will not be put in a corner by you or Ms. Hunt, you are threatening and rude. You can express yourself on your website in front of others rather than in personal direct communication with me.  
Thank you for putting time and effort into caring for missing people Damon. 
I think what you are doing is very important. 
Keep up the good work in that regards.


Tiffany then politely rounded out our conversation with the following:

I find it interesting you judged me based on my last name alone, and treated me with contempt, based on my last name, yet you are making a public plea for positive vibrations. You are a mirror, and you projected a good deal of animosity, just in my brief interaction with you. Maybe you have come to the Big Island to delve a little bit deeper into some self reflection beyond your degree and “expertise.”

Enveloping you with white light,

Tiffany Edwards Hunt


Proposed Critical Habitat Sites for the Island of Hawaii

State GIS Map: US Fish & Wildlife Service’s proposed critical habitat sites for the Island of Hawaii.

Critical Habitats

Click here for more information: Big Island Proposed Critical Habitats

Hilo Viking Robotics Partners with Hawaii TechWorks

East Hawaii (EHCDC) is pleased to support Hilo High School’s Robotics Club

The East Hawaii Community Development Corporation is pleased to announce that Hilo Viking Robotics (HVR) and Hawaii TechWorks have partnered to support the technical and career education of students and community members in the areas of robotics, science, technology, entrepreneurship, and related activities.

Hilo Vikings Robotics

Both HVR and Hawaii TechWorks recognize the profound need to strengthen these areas within our community and foresee powerful alignments given the similarity of vision between our organizations. To further our community development-focused goals, Matthew Pearring, President of HVR, has joined our Senior Advisory Board, which may be viewed here:

About East Hawaii (EHCDC)

The East Hawaii Community Development Corporation (, 501(c)(3), established by organization Chair and President Ernest Matsumura and headed by Executive Director Anthony Marzi, is a non-governmental, social enterprise organization working in East Hawaii and surrounding communities. The goals of East Hawaii (EHCDC) are to: coordinate with, as well as develop and expand upon, existing economic development activities through strategic project planning and outreach to build a vibrant community with quality economic activity; provide training and mentoring, as well as an expanded professional community, so a next generation of leaders can emerge; and, facilitate the development of strong community ties through informal networking and relationship-building, new job opportunities for local residents, and spurred community economic development. Hawaii TechWorks and Hawaii Food Hub are EHCDC programs that serve these goals.

About Hawaii TechWorks

Hawaii TechWorks is an open-access community workspace for enabling invention and innovation by providing the learning communities, the general public, and business communities of Hawaii Island access to computer design software, high-technology industrial design and fabrication equipment, mentoring and training services, and the business infrastructure needed to support entrepreneurial development in the community.

Hilo Viking Robotics 2

About Hilo Viking Robotics

Hilo Viking Robotics ( is a club at Hilo High School dedicated to providing students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the fields of science, engineering, and business. With those goals in mind, HVR competes in various robotics competitions throughout the year, including the VEX Robotics Competition and the FIRST Robotics Competition. HVR is a fully student-driven club that allows the students to take full control of the club’s actions and its future. Students immerse themselves in the fields of engineering, computer-science, and business when building their robots, working on documentation, or soliciting to businesses. HVR strives to promote robotics within their community by attending outreach events and organizing annual robotics youth camps called Camp Eureka.

In the past two years, HVR has continued to grow, as well as garnered several awards at various robotics events. In 2012, HVR was awarded the Judges Award at the Hawaii Regional FIRST Robotics Competition. HVR competed at the 2012 Maui VEX Tournament and won the Excellence Award. At the TMT Big Island VEX Tournament, HVR won Tournament Champion and Finalist. At the 2012 Big Island VEX League, HVR won the Best Programming Skills Award, Best Driver Skills Award, Tournament Finalists, and the Excellence Award. At the prestigious 2012 Pan Pacific VEX Championship, HVR was named Tournament Champion.


HMSA Acquires Shipman Land for Keaau Office Building

To improve service for East Hawaii residents, the Hawai‘i Medical Service Association (HMSA) will start development of a new office building in the heart of Keaau town on two acres recently acquired from W.H. Shipman, Limited. The relationship between HMSA and Shipman began three years ago when HMSA representatives started looking for land for new customer service, sales, and call center operations.

Artist Rendition of new Keaau HMSA Building

Artist Rendition of new Keaau HMSA Building

“This is an investment in the health care infrastructure on Hawaii Island,” says Steve Van Ribbink, HMSA chief financial and services officer. “HMSA opened its first Hawaii Island office in 1946. Since then, we’ve grown our operations to include 45 employees in three separate offices.” The choice of Keaau shows a continuation and even acceleration of job growth in Puna, noted Shipman President Bill Walter.

“What we’re seeing are good quality jobs coming to Puna, which is important for Keaau and Puna,” said Walter, pointing to the Department of Education school complex and Big Island Bio Diesel as recent examples. “HMSA was looking for a location that would be readily accessible and have the convenience of a small town.”

The new two-story building will be located at the corner of Old Volcano and Keaau-Pahoa Roads. Shipman has retained the front portion of the property to provide retail services.

HMSA Keaau Location

Parking for both the HMSA office and future retail space will be accessible from both Old Volcano Road and the entrance to the Shipman gym.  The 20,000 square-foot complex is expected to be ready for business by the end of  2014 and the building’s design will be reminiscent of the plantation era, with gabled roofs, ample overhang, and breezeways.

“HMSA embraced our desire to have plantation-style buildings in the village,” Walter said. “They understand that what we’re trying to build here is something that will have a lasting and memorable character to it, something that will draw people in and create a destination,” Walter said. “We see HMSA as a company that is going to contribute to building a family-oriented, health-oriented, and friendly, livable community.”

HMSA is a nonprofit, mutual benefit society founded in Hawaii in 1938. It is governed by a community board of directors that includes representatives from health care, business, labor, government, education, clergy, and the community. HMSA is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit

W.H. Shipman, Limited, is a family-owned company vested in Keaau with more than 16,000 acres and a 130-year history in Puna. Engaged in land stewardship, commercial/industrial development and leasing, including the lease of agricultural lands, W.H. Shipman, Limited’s, growth is at the pace of East Hawaii’s. Building character and quality companies are chief concerns for W.H. Shipman, Limited.


Bills Important to the Big Island Continue Moving in the Legislature

As the 2013 legislative session hits the half way mark, proposed bills affecting the economy and quality of life for Big Island residents have been approved by the House of Representatives and sent to the Senate for further consideration.  Representative Richard H.K. Onishi (Hilo, Keaau, Kurtistown, Volcano, Pahala) has been working to keep several of those measures moving forward.


“Agriculture is an important component of life for residents who live in my district and for all of us on Hawaii Island.  I am pleased that the House has approved legislation that supports, improves and strengthens this vital part of our economy and life style. If we truly want to achieve food sustainability for Hawaii and put more local food in our markets and homes we need to assist farmers in every way we can, “said Representative Onishi.

The House also approved funding for Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) to improve facilities at Keeau Middle School, and appropriated money to renovate the Keaukaha Military Reservation to house the Youth Challenge Academy.

Onishi said, “The funding for Keeau Middle School allows us to renovate the music building, and provide for the health and safety of our students by demolishing classrooms that are deemed not safe.  As for the Youth Challenge Academy, it needs to be relocated to the Keaukaha Military Reservation so that its current site, Kulani Correctional Facility, can be returned to its original and proper mission as an incarceration facility.”

Legislative Highlights for Hawaii Island:

  • HB353 – Appropriates funds to the Department of Agriculture for the United States Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center to research and develop methods for the prevention and treatment of coffee berry borer infestations. Provides a grant for the coffee berry borer task force for control of the coffee berry borer and mitigation of damage.
  • HB487 – Expands livestock feed subsidy to include feed for goats, sheep, lambs, fish and crustaceans. Creates a subsidy for qualified feed developers.
  • HB489 – Provides, under certain circumstances, an exemption from building code and permit requirements for nonresidential buildings or structures on farms.
  • HB1264 – Allows for agricultural loans to be administered for livestock biosecurity projects. Modifies the new farmer loan program of the Department of Agriculture to promote the development of innovative technologies and to assist new farm enterprises.
  • HB1419 – Appropriates funds for personnel, operations and equipment to the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES).
  • HB417 – Addresses primary care physician shortages by appropriating funds for the interdisciplinary Hawaii Health Systems Corporation primary care training program at Hilo Medical Center.

House CIP Highlights for Hawaii Island:

  • $20,000 to renovate music building at Keeau Middle School
  • $675,000 to construct covered walkways and demolish unsafe classrooms at Keeau Middle School
  • $2.5 million for improvements to Ka‘u irrigation system
  • $5.9 million to renovate Keeaukaha Military Reservation to house the Youth Challenge Academy


Commentary – Former Mayor Harry Kim on House Bill 106

I have just been informed that HB106, calling for the repeal of Act 97, will not be scheduled for a hearing in the Senate. The bill will die if it is not scheduled for hearing by Monday, March 18. If that happens, then Act 97 will govern the development of the geothermal industry in this state.

HB 106

It is so very difficult to understand or accept that despite all of the support and testimony for HB106 for the repeal of Act 97 by people of Maui, Hawaii Island, Kauai and Oahu, which includes the County governments of Maui and Hawaii Island, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Sierra Club, Hawaii’s Thousand Friends, and many others, HB106 may not be given even an opportunity to be heard by the Senate.

It has not been an easy task to convince people that this was not about a position for or against the development of the geothermal industry. This was about doing it right, with the concerns of the people and the environment being addressed.

What does Act 97 do?

  • Allows geothermal exploration and development in all state land use categories: conservation, urban, rural, and agricultural (including ceded lands).
  • Eliminates entirely the County government’s approval and review process over geothermal development. With this goes the entire permit process and people’s opportunity for meaningful input.
  • Allows geothermal power plants to be built anywhere in urban, agricultural and rural districts without a County land use permit or public hearing because it is a right by law of Act 97.
  • Allows geothermal exploratory and development drilling in all state land use categories of conservation, urban, rural, and agricultural land with only a BLNR permit.
  • Reinforces the elimination of the people’s right to a contested case hearing.
  • States that geothermal exploration and development are permissible in all conservation, agricultural, urban and rural zones; i.e. anywhere in the state.

It is noted that the sponsors of Act 97 originally attempted to exempt exploratory geothermal wells from Ch. 343, the state EIS/EA laws. Due to opposition, they sought an exemption from EIS/EA requirements from the Office of Environmental Quality Control in May 2012, but fortunately, this effort failed. Imagine what it would be today if this had passed. Imagine the only notification that the public would have of geothermal drilling would be waking up in the morning and seeing the drilling rig! It is of concern that the supporters of Act 97 may try again.

I consider Act 97 a huge threat to Hawaii’s people and its environment. I believe that Act 97 shows a blatant disregard for the community, the environment, local units of government, and the County and State laws of zoning and land use.

It is difficult to understand or accept that sweeping land use changes were made without any care or mention of people, of land, or of lifestyle. I ask for understanding that the sadness expressed here is not just about the development of the geothermal industry. This is about the relationship between the people and their government. This is about a hope for a government that is an extension of the people, and not for special interests or financial gain. It is asked that you become aware that if Act 97 is not repealed, it will open the way to an open door policy for the development of the geothermal industry including “enhanced geothermal systems (EGS)” or “fracking,” which is now being explored by the State of Hawaii. As stated, this is not about being for or against geothermal, this is about doing it right, with the greatest care of impact on environment and people.

At this time, efforts are being made to see how we can ensure that a hearing will be scheduled on HB106 in spite of efforts to kill the bill. It is probable, due to the lateness of this writing, that the deadline of March 18 will have passed. If you are reading this before the deadline of March 18, I ask that you contact the following Senators and ask that HB106 be scheduled for hearing: Senator Malama Solomon, Chair of the Committee on Water and Land (808-586-7335); Senator Mike Gabbard, Chair of the Committee on Energy and Environment (808-586-6830), and Senator Will Espero, Chair of the Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs (808-586-6360).

HB106, that calls for the repeal of Act 97, needs your help. This Act is a blatant disrespect of people, local units of government, of lifestyle, and impact on environment. It is hoped that our government will be of fairness and do what is right by law and a sense of what is right.

Harry Kim


Coffee Berry Borer Bill Passes House, Moves to Senate

The House passed HB353 HD1, introduced by Representative Nicole Lowen, which would appropriate funds to address the infestation of the coffee berry borer beetle, a pest that is causing widespread damage to coffee crops on the Big Island.


In recent years the coffee berry borer beetle has been ravaging coffee farms in the Kona area, with over 90% of coffee operations on Hawaii Island being affected. Help is clearly needed for an industry that is responsible for $30 million in revenue annually, and help is on the way. The bill, which will now advance to the Senate for consideration, would appropriate $300,000 in State funds to be matched by an additional $200,000 from federal or other sources.  When added to current federal funds of $330,000 already granted and another $200,000 that the State DOA has committed to, it adds up to a total of just over $1 million in state and matching funds over the next four years.

Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei)

Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei)

“Our farmers need help in dealing with the coffee berry borer beetle before it decimates the Kona coffee industry,” said the bill’s introducer, Rep. Nicole Lowen (Kailua-Kona, Holualoa, Kalaoa, Honokohau). “The final draft that we sent over to the Senate provides the industry with the aid it desperately needs in a manner that is fiscally responsible, and I plan to keep working hard to secure additional funds in the future.”


Big Island Police Investigating Likely Kona Drowning

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a likely drowning in Kona over the weekend.

HPDBadgeShortly before 3:30 p.m. Saturday (December 29), Kona Patrol Officers responded to the end of OTEC road in Kailua-Kona to a report of a body floating in the ocean.

A 40-year-old Kailua-Kona man, who had been swimming in an area of high surf, was floating face down in the water and appeared unresponsive. Fire Department personnel pulled him from the water, attempted life-saving measures, and took him to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The man’s name is being withheld pending notification of his family.

Police have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death


Survey Shows Support for Aina Koa Pono

Media Release:

Aina Koa Pono (AKP) received support from Hawaii Island residents in a recent survey, but a larger number revealed that many are still unaware of the company and its Kau project.

The survey results were released today to coincide with the Hawaii Public Utilities’s Commission hearings on Hawaii Electric Light Company’s request for approval of the biofuels contract.

Aina Koa Pono is proposing a biorefinery in Kau which would produce 24 million gallons of biofuel annually—16 million gallons will be used at HELCO’s Keahole power plant and eight million gallons will be distributed by Mansfield Oil for transportation, with preference to Hawaii. When completed, AKP can supply 18 percent of the island’s power needs from renewable resources.

“Hawaii Island residents were surveyed because we wanted to get a sense of the level of acceptance and support for the Kau project,” said Chris Eldridge, partner of AKP. “What we learned was that while there’s support, we need to do more education and outreach.”

AKP engaged SMS Research and Marketing of Honolulu to conduct the survey. The survey, taken in September and October, found that 85 percent support “developing more renewable energy sources for the Island of Hawai‘i.”

The Kau project would provide “base load” electricity, which is essentially steady electricity, as opposed to other alternatives such as wind or solar, which are intermittent and depend on weather conditions.

Aina Koa Pono’s operation would initially convert invasive plant species, coconut husks and macadamia nut hulls to biofuel using Microwave Catalytic Deploymerization (Micro Dee). Microwave technology has been successfully and safely used in the herbal extraction and pharmaceutical industries for decades.

SMS Research has served organizations in Hawaii for more than 50 years.

The research also indicated that a large minority Hawaii Island residents do not know enough about Aina Koa Pono or its project.

SMS Research found that only 10 percent of those interviewed knew about the Aina Koa Pono project when asked on an unaided basis. Of the residents who knew of the project, 65 percent support the project compared to 16 percent who do not.

A description of the project was provided to all respondents and when asked whether they favor or oppose the project, 56 percent stated they were in favor of the project as compared to 11 percent opposed— a 5-to-1 ratio. 33 percent stated they did not know enough about the project.

“We have been meeting with folks in Kau and will be increasing our outreach to the community so they are aware of our project,” Eldridge said.

Excluding those who do not know enough, the support for Aina Koa Pono development is strong in the areas of safety, keeping money in the State, additional jobs, revitalization of Hawaii’s agricultural industry, reduction of electric bills for Island residents, and more.

Again, excluding those who do not know enough, some of the concerns with the project include the perception that Aina Koa Pono will be run by outsiders, may have some impact on traffic, biofuel will cost more to produce than imported oil, and the plant will be too expensive to build.

“Serious misinformation is circulating throughout the community. Aina Koa Pono is locally owned and the $450 million project is privately funded,” Eldridge said. “Eight to 12 trucks a week will deliver biofuel to Keahole. The project poses no financial risk to ratepayers, who pay nothing until the biofuel is produced and accepted by HELCO.”

The Aina Koa Pono project would increase electricity bills for HECO and HELCO customers by 84 cents to $1 a month for typical 500 to 600 kWh usage.

At the conclusion of the survey, participants were asked again the level of support or opposition to the development of the biofuel plant at Kau, a majority of 63 percent support versus 12 percent who oppose with 25 percent having no opinion.

The final report will be released by SMS Research shortly.

(Research Methodology: 303 interviews conducted between September 20 to October 3, 2012, margin of error is +/– 5.6 percentage points.)

Hawaii County Mayor’s Office on Japan Tsunami Debris “We are Prepared for Whatever Will Be Washed Up…”

Hawaii County Mayor’s Office on Japan Tsunami Debris “… We are Prepared for Whatever Will Be Washed Up…”

OSHIMA ISLAND, Japan (April 1, 2011) – Debris and homes lay in rubble on Oshima Island, Japan following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Marines with the 31s Marine Expeditionary Unit and Sailors with the Essex Amphibious Ready Group are on Oshima Island to help clear a harbor and assist with cleaning debris from local schools and government buildings in support of Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eva-Marie Ramsaran/released)

Tsunami debris from the March 11th, 8.9 earthquake that destroyed parts of Northern Japan is expected to come ashore to the Hawaii Islands according to recent studies.

Tsunami Debris

PACIFIC OCEAN (March 13, 2011) An aerial view of debris from an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck northern Japan. The debris was inspected by a helicopter-based search and rescue team from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alexander Tidd/Released)

The following two letters were sent in to the Hawaii County Mayor’s office recently regarding the expected debris that will be washing up on Hawaii’s Islands in the next few years:

PACIFIC OCEAN (March 13, 2011) An aerial view of debris from an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck northern Japan. The debris was inspected by a helicopter-based search and rescue team from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dylan McCord/Released)

Dear Troubleshooter,

Tons of debris from Japan will soon be washing up on our beaches. Literally tons of this, containing whole houses, shoes with feet in them, machines, anything and everything, will be deposited on our beaches that catch these currents. An unknown quantity of this debris will be radioactive, and will pose an attractive danger to the populace. What are you planning to do to address this problem?

Concerned about Debris

In the same mailbag:

Dear Troubleshooter,

I am 12 years old, and I am currently writing an article on the tsunami debris that is floating here from Japan. I was wondering if you have any cleanup and disposal plans in place for when it arrives at our island

Young Writer

PACIFIC OCEAN (March 29, 2011) Recovered boats and debris are on the aft deck of the Military Sealift Command rescue and salvage ship USNS Safeguard (T-ARS 50). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Anthony R. Hayes/Released)

The Counties response:

Aloha Concerned and Young,

Mahalo for your inquiries. Yes, we are prepared for whatever will be washed up on our shores and we already have protocols for the various items that have routinely been washing ashore for many, many years. Hawaii County Civil Defense is charged with making sure that items of danger will be cleared from our shorelines.

While we may not initially have personnel on constant lookout for debris, we are confident that those who live, work and play along the shoreline will inform us of dangerous debris, just as they do now when such items wash ashore. Should large amounts of debris begin littering our shorelines, we would likely assign county personnel to make regular inspections and, if necessary, sweeps.

That being said, no one really knows how much debris is in the ocean or how much will end up on our shorelines. While there was an estimated 20 million tons of debris that was washed into the ocean by the March 11 tsunami, it is also estimated that the debris lies in a field 2,000 miles long by 1,000 miles wide. That’s 2 million square miles, or equal to three times the size of Alaska, or roughly the size of Texas, California, Montana, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and Colorado … multiplied by two.

From what the scientists have said, this will not be the rumored field of debris that someone can walk on, but there certainly will be an increase in the amount of flotsam that comes ashore. The unknown is how much of an increase.

Whatever it is, we will be prepared to make sure our beaches are clean and safe if and when it does arrive.

Two other points:

– Coincidentally, the debris field is expected to hit the West Coast of North America as this article is published, so let’s all keep an eye out for news about the debris field.

– Should you happen to find personal items washed up on shore that may be able to be identified, there are a number of people on the Internet who have offered to try any return them to their owners. Use your discretion before handling items, and before you contact anyone on the Internet.

Big Island Police Conducting DUI Checkpoints Now Through End of Merrie Monarch

It’s kind of cool our police department at least warns folks when they are going to be having DUI Checkpoints.  Those that get nailed during these times are idiots.  Well those that drive drunk are idiots to begin with.

Media Release:

This Friday, Good Friday, kicks off a three-day holiday weekend.

To help prevent tragedy on our roads, Big Island police will conduct DUI checkpoints and roving patrols beginning Friday and continuing through the Merrie Monarch festival the following week. The effort is part of a national and statewide campaign called “Drunk Driving: Over the Limit. Under Arrest.”

Driving under the influence of alcohol presents a potential danger to every motorist, passenger and pedestrian that driver encounters. So far this year, Big Island police have made 404 DUI arrests.

Police remind the public that the County of Hawai’i Mass Transit Agency maintains a Shared-Ride Taxi program year round. Every individual is entitled to buy subsidized taxi coupons for as low as $2 each and use them with participating taxi companies. For details, call 961-8744 or visit

So far this year, there have been eight traffic fatalities on the Big Island. Those crashes ended the lives of eight individuals who never imagined they wouldn’t reach their destination. Please do your part to keep our roads safe. Always remember to have a designated sober and licensed driver before you start drinking. If you don’t find one, don’t take a chance—take a taxi.

For full details, go to

Tsunami Updates Courtesy of the Big Island Visitors Bureau

Media Release:

It’s business as “almost-usual” for Hawai’i Island, following the tsunami that struck March 11 due to an earthquake near Honshu, Japan. There were no deaths or injuries in Hawai’i, and the majority of Big Island businesses are back to normal (those impacted most are in the Kona District.) See below for Big Island updates. For detailed statewide updates, visit the Hawai’i Visitors and Convention Bureau’s special alert website. BIVB supports the statewide relief effort for Japan, “Aloha for Japan.”

Thanks to the help of dedicated community volunteers, Hulihe’e Palace has reopened for self-guided museum tours 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Repair of damages suffered by the March 11 tsunami continue to the palace basement, grounds and exterior buildings; the gift shop remains closed. Hulihe’e Palace continues free monthly outdoor concerts honoring late Hawaiian royalty. Time is 4 p.m. Apr. 17, May 15, June 12, July 17, Aug. 14, Sept. 18, Oct. 16, Nov. 20 and Dec. 18. Call (808) 329-1877 or visit

Four Seasons Resort Hualālai at Historic Ka’upulehu will reopen Apr. 30, 2011.  While there is no significant structural damage, management is well aware of what their guests desire and their need to provide an uncompromising experience.  For updates, visit

Kona Village Resort remains closed “for an extended period of time,” according to a statement issued by its management. Damage to the 45-year-old iconic resort was severe enough to cause the layoff of all employees and no re-opening date has been established at press time. For information, visit

King Kamehamemeha’s Kona Beach Hotel is open and there was no damage to guest rooms. The award-winning Island Breeze Lu’au has resumed its normal schedule. Carpets are being replaced in the lobby and meeting areas, and the Billfish Bar is serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

‘Anaeho’omalu Beach is again open on both sides. The public parking, restrooms and access on the south side had been previously closed due to debris.

All Big Island National Parks Are Open. Assessment continues at Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park on impacts to its cultural sites, but the park is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Its royal grounds, pu’uhonua and coastal trail are closed. All other areas of the park are open. Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park is open daily and the only area closed is the coastal trail between the north end of ‘Aimakapā and the south end of Kaloko fishponds.  The visitor center is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Continental Airlines Announces New Service to Hilo, Hawai’i

Media Release:

Continental Airlines today announced new daily nonstop service to Hilo, Hawai’i, from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and once-weekly service to Hilo from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) beginning June 9, 2011.

The new flights complement Continental’s and United’s extensive service to Hawai’i. United, which has served the islands since 1947, and Continental collectively provide more mainland service to Hawai’i than any other carrier from their hubs at Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Houston, Chicago and Newark/New York.

“We are excited to provide customers the only direct flights to Hilo from the mainland,” said Jim Compton, executive vice president and chief revenue officer of United Continental Holdings, Inc. “These flights will offer customers convenient, nonstop service to the Big Island without having to connect in Honolulu.”

“The addition of the two routes is welcome news for Hawai’i Island and the entire state, and a result of the momentum established by our tourism industry to lead Hawai’i’s tourism recovery. Based on initial Hawai’i Tourism Authority projections, the flights could bring nearly 40,000 more visitors to the island and generate $50.6 million in direct visitor spending and $5.52 million in tax revenue,” said Mike McCartney, Hawai’i Tourism Authority president and CEO.

Continental will utilize a 160-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft on the new routes, with 16 seats in first class and 144 seats in economy. The flight schedules are as follows:

Los Angeles – Hilo (daily) Hilo – Los Angeles (daily)
Departs Arrives Aircraft Departs Arrives Aircraft
5:00 p.m. 7:40 p.m. 737-800 8:55 p.m. 5:15 a.m.* 737-800
San Francisco – Hilo
(Saturday only)
Hilo – San Francisco
(Saturday only)
Departs Arrives Aircraft Departs Arrives Aircraft
4:20 p.m. 6:40 p.m. 737-800 9:20 p.m. 5:20 a.m.* 737-800
*Arrival time is the next day.

The new flights are timed to provide convenient connections at Los Angeles and San Francisco, with an extensive network of United and Continental flights to more than 82 destinations throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and Latin America. United’s hubs in Los Angeles and San Francisco are the largest of any carrier on the West Coast.

“Hilo has demonstrated its value as a premier visitor destination with nearby Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and the annual Merrie Monarch Hula Festival as featured attractions, and we believe that once visitors discover Hilo, they will want to return again and again,” said County of Hawai’i Mayor Billy Kenoi. “I am grateful for Continental’s confidence in our future as a visitor destination, and I know these direct flights will become a win-win for both Continental and Hawai’i Island. Aloha and mahalo to Continental Airlines for being an industry leader and making this happen.”

About United Continental Holdings, Inc.

United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: UAL) is the holding company for both United Airlines and Continental Airlines. Together with United Express, Continental Express and Continental Connection, these airlines operate a total of approximately 5,800 flights a day to 371 airports on six continents from their hubs in Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Guam, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark Liberty, San Francisco, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. United and Continental are members of Star Alliance, which offers 21,000 daily flights to 1,160 airports in 181 countries. United’s and Continental’s more than 80,000 employees reside in every U.S. state and in many countries around the world.For more information about United Continental Holdings, Inc., go to For more information about the airlines, see and, and follow each company on Twitter and Facebook.

SOURCE United Continental Holdings, Inc.