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Kaimuki Neighborhood Board Meeting Minutes Posted For LAST MONTH (APRIL 19, 2017)
Kaimuki Neighborhood Board No. 4
DRAFT REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19, 2017
KAIMUKI CHRISTIAN CHURCH, FELLOWSHIP HALL
CALL TO ORDER -- Chair Lyle Bullock Jr. called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m. A quorum was established with six (6) members present. Note: This 11-member Board requires six (6) members to establish a quorum and to take official Board action.
Board Members Present -- Lyle Bullock Jr., Mark Hagadone, Paul Hoe, Brian Kang, Marilyn Moniz-Kahoohanohano, Sharon Schneider (arrived at 7:15 p.m.), Stephanie Nagai, and Calvin Hara (appointed at 7:07 p.m.).
Board Members Absent -- Lori Yamada.
Guests -- Sergeant Clifford Ramson (Honolulu Police Department); Fire Fighter I Gavan Miyashita (Honolulu Fire Department); Cameron Sato (Senator Stanley Chang's Office); Pankaj Bhanot (Governor David Ige's Representative); Karen Yorimoto (Councilmember Trevor Ozawa's Office); Councilmember Ann Kobayashi; Dustin Lee (Representative Calvin Say's Office); Senator Les Ihara Jr.; Representative Bertrand Kobayashi; Carol Hoshiko (Kapiolani Community College); Rae and Rhayne Tadaki; Rebecca Gardner; James Larson; Edmund Morse (Residents); and Brittany Yadao (Neighborhood Commission Office).
PUBLIC SAFETY REPORTS
Honolulu Police Department (HPD) -- Sergeant Clifford Ramson reported the following:
• March 2017 Statistics: There were 7 motor vehicle thefts, 7 burglaries, 30 thefts, 33 unauthorized entries into motor vehicles (UEMV) and 6,512 total calls for service.
• Safety Tip: A handout on tsunami preparedness was distributed and available at the back table.
Questions, comments and concerns followed: Crime Report: Schneider asked and Sergeant Ramson replied that a simple assault depends on the extent of the injuries or if a weapon was involved.
Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) -- Firefighter I Gavan Miyashita reported the following:
• March 2017 Statistics: There were 5 activated alarms, 29 medical emergencies, 1 motor vehicle crash/collision, and 3 mountain rescues.
• Fire Safety Tip: Home Fire Sprinklers:
o Fire sprinklers respond quickly and effectively to fire, often extinguishing the fire prior to the fire department's arrival.
o Fire sprinklers can save lives and property from fire.
In 2014, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) found that sprinklers reduced fire deaths by 83%.
A 2014 NFPA report found that sprinklers reduced property loss in homes by 69%.
o Common fire sprinkler myths:
Myth: All fire sprinklers will go off at once.
Fact: Systems are designed so the closest sprinkler head to the fire is activated.
Myth: They cause a lot of water damage.
Fact: Typically, sprinklers utilize 13 to 18 gallons of water per minute. Fire-fighting hoses flow at least ten times that of a sprinkler.
o Having fire sprinklers in your home is like having a fire fighter in your home 24 hours a day and ready to extinguish a fire!
Board of Water Supply (BWS) -- A representative was not present, a report was not available.
FILLING OF VACANT BOARD SEATS -- Chair Bullock announced three (3) vacancies on the board. Two (2) vacancies are in Sub-district 1, East Kaimuki and Business District. The other vacancy is in Sub-district 3, West Kaimuki. Chair Bullock asked if there were any interested residents to fill the vacancies.
Calvin Hara noted his interest in serving on the Board.
The Neighborhood Assistant (NA) verified the residency of Hara in Sub-district 1.
Hara introduced himself and noted his interest and availability to serve on the Board.
Chair Bullock called for a voice vote, Hara was appointed to the Kaimuki Neighborhood Board No. 4 by UNANIMOUS APPROVAL, 6-0-0 (Aye: Bullock, Hagadone, Hoe, Kang, Moniz-Kahoohanohano, Nagai; Nay: None; Abstain: None).
Chair Bullock allowed for the Oath of Office to be administered by the Neighborhood Assistant (NA) at the end of the meeting.
Hara joined the board, seven (7) members were present.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell's Representative -- Chair Bullock read the Memo for the Record as follows:
• Follow-Up to Previous Concerns:
o No Parking Signs -- The Department of Transportation Services (DTS) replied that the board needs to provide a specific list of street names for further action. DTS cannot search by general references and is unable to conduct an investigation.
o After School Traffic -- HPD replied that on Tuesday, March 28, 2017, Sergeant Keith Pimenta met with Principal Buffy Cushman of the School of Examining Essential Questions of Sustainability (SEEQS) and informed her of the complaint. Sergeant Pimenta asked that notice be sent to the parents to inform them that double parking is a violation and officers will cite if it is observed. On Wednesday, March 29, 2017 and Thursday, March 30, 2017, Officer Travis Kimura monitored Luawai Street between 8:20 a.m. and 8:40 a.m. He observed traffic to be very light and did not observe any violations. During these times, he saw approximately six (6) student drop-offs.
o Non-Profit Organization (NPO) -- The Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) replied that a person or group seeking the use of a City park or facility should request for a park-use permit from the park's Recreation Director, and indicate the reason for the use of the park. If the group is not a Department of Education (DOE) school, then a permit for the use of the park/facility could be issued contingent on the information provided on the application. If the group is a DOE school, then the group will need to first go through the State's process of obtaining the State's indemnification for the City. If possible, next time please provide more details to the question so that staff can check on the concern at the specific park, and provide a more detailed response.
• Earth Month: Events remaining in April 2017 for Earth Month include Saturday, April 29, 2017, Makiki/Pupuole/Waipahu Adopt-A-Blocks and Pearl Harbor Bike Path Clean-Ups. There will also be the 10th Annual Mauka to Makai environmental Expo on Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Waikiki Aquarium. Free entrance and free parking and shuttle from Jefferson Elementary School.
• Moped Registration: The Department of Customer Services (CSD) reminds moped owners that a new State law requires the annual safety inspection and registration of mopeds beginning Sunday, January 1, 2017. Registered owners of mopeds on Oahu will need to get a safety inspection and register mopeds initially this year and annually thereafter.
Board member Schneider arrived at 7:15 p.m.; there were eight (8) members present.
Councilmember Ann Kobayashi -- Councilmember Kobayashi distributed a handout and reported the following:
• Budget Process: Councilmember Kobayashi commented on the amount of bills and proposals that aim to raise fees and taxes. While a lot of money is needed to run the City there is also a lot of money that is being spent.
• Parks Committee: The Parks Committee is looking to introduce programs for seniors at the community parks. Ideas and suggestions are welcome.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed: Bus Stop: Schneider noted that a bus stop near the park may be more convenient for seniors looking to be more active. Councilmember Kobayashi replied that she is looking into ways to make the parks more inviting.
Councilmember Trevor Ozawa -- Karen Yorimoto reported the following:
• Legislative Session: The Honolulu City Council is continuing to address various issues while working on finalizing the City's budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Councilmember Ozawa will continue to advocate for cost-savings and trimming costs before considering revenue generating measures.
• Parking: Regarding parking on unimproved sidewalks along Sierra Drive, Councilmember Ozawa has reviewed the first draft of the proposed bill that would relieve such restrictions.
Questions, comments and concerns followed:
1. Testimony: Hagadone commented on the lack of community attendance at the hearing regarding bill 71 to address the parking issue. Hagadone emphasized the importance of civic engagement for change and resolve to occur.
2. Information: A resident asked and Yorimoto replied that information regarding hearings, bills and more can be gathered by contacting Councilmember Ozawa's office at 768-5004 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at http://www.honolulu.gov/councild4. Chair Bullock emphasized the importance of receiving such information within a timely manner.
Governor David Ige's Representative -- Director Pankaj Bhanot of the Department of Human Services (DHS) highlighted the current Governor's Newsletter regarding the National Governor's Conference, the Affordable Care Act, and federal grants and funding.
• Legislative Session: The Legislature will be moving into conference in the following weeks. The Finance and Ways and Means (WAM) Committees are working to resolve differences on certain fiscal and non-fiscal bills, such as House Bill (HB) 100, the State Budget.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Travel Ban: Kahoohanohano asked and Director Bhanot replied that his impression on the Governor's position on the travel ban is that Governor Ige has made it clear that he believes that any discrimination based on religion is not acceptable. Especially in consideration of past discrimination.
2. Sanctuary Cities: Hawaii is not currently a sanctuary city but the State does have certain obligations to comply with the law.
Senator Stanley Chang -- Cameron Sato distributed a handout and reported the following:
• Bills: HB 527 regarding mobile clinics will be going before conference committee on Friday, April 21, 2017, at 9:15 a.m. in room 229. Sato encouraged the community to send in testimony.
• Pothole Reimbursement: Sato reminded the public that they can be reimbursed for vehicle damage caused by potholes.
• 311 Application: Sato encouraged the public to make use of the 311 application which directs City concerns to the pertaining department.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Homeless: Hagadone asked and Sato replied that Senate Bill (SB) 2 died during committee hearing. Director Bhanot added that there needs to be a feasibility study regarding safe zones. Proper services and strategies will need to be applied as many homeless are diagnosed with mental health and drug abuse issues. DHS is working with Senator Chang and added that the community support is important in establishing solutions. Director Bhanot added that anyone who sees a homeless individual in the community that may need services should contact DHS.
2. Transition Housing: A resident asked and Director Bhanot replied that the State has been working on several housing solutions from affordable housing, to transitional housing, and public housing strategies. There is a strategy for a family assessment center where shelter will be provided for 90 days, important factors for consideration is a safe environment with proper services. Since its' inception, over 60 families have been served and have moved on to transitional housing. The housing first initiative is important to provide stable housing.
3. Emergency Medical Services: Nagai noted that she is a part-time Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and noted that homeless individuals will often call an ambulance for transport to a hospital for an often minimal situation. Nagai suggested that there be a taxi voucher or some other solution to address this issue, Nagai added that in most cases the homeless individual simply does not have the money for a taxi. Director Bhanot replied that there have been discussions to address the concern of emergency ambulance service bills to address homeless individuals. Director Bhanot thanked Nagai for her suggestion and validation of such services being used in a non-emergency situation.
Senator Les Ihara Jr. -- This item was deferred to later in the meeting.
Representative Calvin K.Y. Say -- Dustin Lee distributed handouts and reported the following: Handouts: Handouts were available regarding short-term rentals, the General Excise Tax (GET), residential parking, the Hawaii State tax system, and a basic business application.
Questions, comments and concerns followed: Parking: Hagadone asked and Lee replied that the parking proposal will allow for two (2) permanent parking placards for overnight and guest placards for up to 20 additional single-night parking placards. They are technically free with a required deposit of up to $100. Regarding the parking placard trial in Kalihi, there have been mostly positive results. However, there has been concern of residents being given an unfair advantage to public space. As the trial period progresses such concerns can be addressed.
Representative Bertrand Kobayashi -- A newsletter was distributed and Representative Kobayashi reported the following:
• Homeless Camps: the State identified at least 40 camps or rubbish locations on Diamond Head. After six (6) months of outreach to homeless individuals living in the area, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and the Divisions of State Parks and Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE), along with several other government agencies, removed tons of debris from illegal camps within the Diamond Head area.
• Rockfall Mitigation: Traffic along Diamond Head Road and Beach Road may experience delays while a contractor carries out work to remove rock fall hazards along the makai side of Diamond Head Crater. There will be three (3) stages of work. The first stage started Tuesday, March 28, 2017 to Friday, April 7, 2017, for work on the exterior ocean side of Diamond Head Crater. The second stage will take place Monday, April 10, 2017 to Friday, April 14, 2017, above the Kahala Tunnels to the crater. The third stage of work will begin Fall 2017, along the interior Diamond Head Summit trail. Trail closures may be necessary at that time. The total project cost is $1.72 million and the contractor is Prometheus Construction.
• Smoke Alarm: Residents can sign-up for free smoke alarm installation by calling 739-8111.
• Death with Dignity: The death with dignity bill died during committee. Misconceptions about the bill is that a formal vote was not taken. However, Health Committee members voiced their hesitance to the wording of the bill that would allow some to take advantage. The bill was placed on the agenda for discussion despite the Chair of the Health Committee knowing that there would not be enough votes for the bill to advance.
• Rail Tax Extension: The Senate position on the issue of funding the rail to completion is to eliminate the State's 10 percent surcharge fee. The House position is to eliminate nine (9) percent of the administrative fee and extend the GET for two (2) years. There is controversy to whether the two (2) years is a sufficient amount for the rail to be completed to Ala Moana. The current budget includes over $1 billion in contingency funds. If there are no cost overruns or change orders, that contingency may help. The City has consistently changed its proposal for the amount needed to cover rail costs. General agreement is that the City needs to put its own money to cover those shortfalls.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Contingency: Hagadone asked and Representative Kobayashi replied that the contingency fund is currently $1.65 billion. A resident asked and Representative Kobayashi replied that it is hard to say where those funds came from as excess is compiled into a "pot." The City is supposed to receive $1.55 billion from the federal government for the project, however, the City has only received about $700 million.
2. Death with Dignity: A resident asked and Representative Kobayashi replied that the Legislature works on a biennial two (2) year session. Technically, the bill is still alive, it passed through the House and will not need to be reintroduced again next year. The feelings may not change towards the bill as the Legislature and Committee members will maintain the same people.
3. Resistance: A resident asked and Bertrand Kobayashi replied that resistance to the death with dignity bill may have been a lack of safeguards to deter abuse of the service.
• Book Sale: A representative from the Kaimuki Library distributed bookmarks that highlighted dates, times, and locations of book sales. There will be a perpetual book sale at the Art at Mark's Garage.
• Book and Music Festival: The Book and Music Festival, sponsored by the Bank of Hawaii, will take place on Saturday, May 6, 2017 and Sunday, May 7, 2017, at the Frank Fasi Civic Center from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
• Kaimuki Library: The Kaimuki Library is currently closed and may open around June 2017 for the summer programs.
• Bus Stop: A resident asked that the bus stop on Koko Head Avenue by the Sprouts and across from the Liliuokalani Elementary School, be painted a darker color as the graffiti now stands out against the lighter colored paint.
Approval of the Wednesday, March 15, 2017 Regular Meeting Minutes: Nagai moved and Hoe seconded that the Kaimuki Neighborhood Board No. 4 APPROVE the Wednesday, March 15, 2017, regular meeting minutes by UNANIMOUS consent, 8-0-0 (AYE: Bullock, Hagadone, Hoe, Kang, Moniz-Kahoohanohano, Schneider, Nagai, and Hara; NAY: None; ABSTAIN: None).
Public Education Funding -- Hawaii State Teacher's Association (HSTA): Misty Higa presented the following:
• Background Information: At the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year there were 1,600 openings for teachers. The local colleges only graduate about 400 teachers a year which has gone down 25 percent in the last five (5) years. Once the graduates fill up vacancies then the state has to look to the mainland to recruit teachers. Statistics show that after a few years many of those recruits leave, then the state must resort to emergency hires, people that lack the credentials to teach. Last year, there were 300 emergency hires in Hawaii. Once emergency hires run-out then those remaining vacancies are filled with substitutes who have no qualifications to be teaching a classroom.
• Resolution: A solution that is being looked at is "Schools Our Keiki Deserve," which is a plan to fix Hawaii's public education system. 80 percent of people in Hawaii believe funding for schools in Hawaii need to be improved. Hawaii is the only state in the nation that does not use property taxes to fund their schools, with enough support for this approach. Higa asked for the board's support for the resolution in support of funding for public education.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Average: Hagadone asked and Higa replied that in Hawaii, teacher pay with adjusted cost of living is last in the nation.
2. Gap: Kang asked and Higa replied that $800 million a year is what is needed to take care of Capital Improvement Projects (CIPs), teacher pay, supplies and more. Chair Bullock asked and Higa replied that this is above what the State is doing currently and added that the GET approach failed last year. The resolution would require that investment properties at $1 million and a second property at $2 million, have the surcharge applied.
3. Valuation: Chair Bullock asked and Higa replied that County assessment would be used. Chair Bullock asked and Higa replied that the County would remain in control of the assessment value and report to the State. Further details would be considered at Conference Committee. Chair Bullock noted his concern is that he is already being taxed a property tax for City services and DOE funding is through the GET and the fees may mesh. Higa replied that it is people from out of state who can afford to purchase property in Hawaii and the State has the lowest property tax rate.
4. Support: Moniz-Kahoohanohano commented on the importance of raising teacher pay so that more young professionals may consider teaching as a valued occupation. Moniz-Kahoohanohano suggested that physical education be considered in the DOE priorities. Chair bullock added that he supports raising teacher pay but the resolution in question has too many details that need to be worked out.
Senator Les Ihara Jr. -- Senator Ihara commented on the previous presentation and noted the irony that the City is using the State GET tax to fund the rail project while the HSTA is seeking the City tax to fund a State program. Senator Ihara added the Senate and House are in disagreement as to how the rail should be funded and added that a revenue stream is needed.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed: Investment: Hagadone asked and Senator Ihara replied that there is a certain type of stage financing. Senator Ihara added that the Legislature is considering a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Board.
Treasurer's Report -- Hagadone reported a remaining balance of $173.42.
Members Attendance at other Meetings
• Candidate Forum: There was a Neighborhood Board candidate forum on Tuesday, April 19, 2017, Chair Bullock, Hagadone, and Schneider were in attendance.
• EnVision Kaimuki: The EnVision Kaimuki Committee meeting minutes are due by Friday, May 5, 2017.
• Neighborhood Board Elections: The Neighborhood Board elections run from Friday, April 28, 2017 to Friday, May 19, 2017. Registered voters or those who registered with the Neighborhood Commission Office (NCO) will receive a notice in the mail along with a passcode which will allow for online voting. A paper ballot can also be requested at 768-3763. Voting online will also be available at Kapolei hale, Kapalama Hale, the KEY Project in Kahaluu, and any public library on the island of Oahu within the Hawaii State Public Library System.
• Volunteer: A representative from the Kaimuki Neighborhood Board No. 4 is needed for the Primary Urban Center (PUC) Watershed Management Plan (WMP) meeting on Wednesday, May 17, 2017. Nagai volunteered to be the board representative.
• Honolulu Ekiden: The Honolulu Ekiden and Music Festival is a marathon race from Kapiolani Park to Sandy Beach. Residents are advised to consider alternate traffic routes.
• Next Meeting: The next meeting of the Kaimuki Neighborhood Board No. 4 will be Wednesday, May 17, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. at the Kaimuki Christian Church, Fellowship Hall, 1117 Koko Head Avenue.
ADJOURNMENT -- The meeting adjourned at 8:46 p.m.
Submitted by: Brittany Yadao, Neighborhood Assistant
Reviewed by: Dylan Whitsell, Neighborhood Assistant
Reviewed by: Lyle Bullock, Chair
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