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Diamond Head Neighborhood Board Meeting January 2018 Minutes
DRAFT - REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
THURSDAY, JANUARY 11, 2018
ALA WAI CLUB HOUSE
CALL TO ORDER: Chair George West called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. A quorum was established with 14 members present. (Note - This 15-member Board requires eight (8) members to establish quorum and to take official Board action).
Members Present: Julia Allen, Ajay Bhatt, Judith Bowman, Leonora Cuban, Richard Figliuzzi, Mark Kamahele, Michelle Matson, Barbara Miller, Bert Narita, Don Persons, Laura St. Denis, Winston Welch, George West, and Linda Wong.
Member Absent: Jerry Wanager.
Guests: Scott Morishige (State Homeless Coordinator); State Senator Les Ihara; State Representative Bertrand Kobayashi; State Representative Scott Nishimoto, Kevan Wong, and Megan Kira (Office of Representative Scott Nishimoto); Executive Director Marc Alexander (Office of Housing); Deputy Director Jeanne Ishikawa (Department of Parks and Recreation); Kurt Tsuneyoshi (Honolulu City Council); Taro Nakamura (Honolulu Police Department); Tony Hart (Honolulu Fire Department); Cliff Kaneshiro (Office of Councilmember Anne Kobayashi); Ann Wong (Board of Water Supply); Carol Hoshiko (Kapiolani Community College); Commander David Turer and Murray Nelson (New Zealand Defense Force); Justine Espiritu (Bikeshare Hawaii); Barbara Armentrout (Rates Commission); Daisy Murai, Taylor Maddisson, Natalie Iwasa (Residents); and Thomas Baldwin (Neighborhood Assistant)
Announcements: Chair West commented that anyone wishing to speak on items not already on the agenda should fill out a Community Concern form at the front table and turn it into the Chair or Neighborhood Assistant.
Hearing no objection, Chair West added two (2) items to the Announcements.
PUBLIC SAFETY REPORTS
Honolulu Fire Department (HFD - Waikiki Station): No representative was available at this time (see page two ).
Honolulu Police Department (HPD) - District 6 Waikiki/ Diamond Head): Lieutenant So reported the following: December 2017 Statistics: There were 11 robberies, 15 burglaries, 186 thefts, 18 unauthorized entries into motor vehicles (UEMV), 32 assaults, 1 sex crime, 46 speeding citations, 462 parking citations, 4 loud muffler citations, and 11 park closure citations, with 4108 total calls for service.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Bike Law Enforcement: Resident Carolyn Tanaka asked and Lieutenant So responded that special patrols are still looking for Biki riders unaware of local biking laws.
2. Ala Wai Yacht Harbor: Matson inquired into the homeless situation at Ala Wai Yacht Harbor and Lieutenant So responded that he has no information on a meeting regarding the homeless at the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor. Lieutenant So commented that if the homeless are not doing anything illegal, then HPD cannot do anything, but will still enforce park closure hours.
Honolulu Police Department (HPD - District 7 Kapahulu/St. Louis Heights): Lieutenant Hayamoto reported the following:
• December 2017 Statistics: There were 4 motor vehicle thefts, 7 burglaries, 35 thefts, 16 UEMV, and 6905 total calls for service.
• Safety Tips: Pedestrian Safety: Lieutenant Hayamoto advised citizens on pedestrian safety:
o When available always use a marked crosswalk to cross the street.
o When preparing to cross the street, do not assume that since you can see the vehicle, the driver can see you. It is far safer to assume that the driver does not see you. Make eye contact.
o Even what you have the right of way, be prepared to yield to an approaching vehicle.
o Do not focus on where you are walking, but on the traffic around you as you walk.
o When a pedestrian traffic light changes to green, wait a few moments, and look for vehicle's attempting to turn, make eye contact before stepping off the curb or into the road.
o Do not allow your children to walk near roadways unattended. Children are impulsive and may act without realizing the dangers around them (e.g. run across the street to see a friend, chase after a ball, etc.).
o Judging the speed of approaching vehicles is difficult. Don't try to beat a vehicle across the street.
o Wear light colored clothing or reflective material. Do not wear clothes that blend in the background.
o Walk facing the direction of traffic. This allows you to monitor a vehicle's approach and avoid potential injuries.
o Do not leave the curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield. If a bus or other large vehicle is blocking your view, they are also blocking the view of drivers in other lanes. Consider waiting until it leaves before crossing.
o Be patient and while in the marked crosswalk. Do not begin crossing if the red "Don't Walk" or red palm symbol is flashing is steady.
o Be especially careful of vehicles turning right on red or within an intersection. Drivers maybe busy looking out for other vehicles instead of pedestrians.
o When in a parking lot, do not walk behind vehicles with their reverse lights on and listen for vehicles with their engines running.
o Never enter the roadway behind a parked car if there is any chance that the car will back up.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Hotel Safety: Persons advised anyone staying in hotels to take precautions to ensure their room numbers remain private to avoid burglaries, or other crimes.
2. Suspicious Activity: Allens commented that a couple in the St. Louis community have been seen asking residents strange questions before inspecting for security cameras on the property. Residents are urged to call 911 if they see suspicious activity.
3. Parking on Diamond Head Road: St. Denis commented that many vehicles are double and triple parked on Diamond Head Road when leaving the crater. Lieutenant Hayamoto responded that HPD does not have the jurisdiction to enforce on that road portion inside the crater, but can provide assistance on traffic control.
4. Homeless Sleeping in Vehicles: Kamahele commented that he was notified by the owner of Hawaii Paddlers of a homeless person living in their vehicle. According to the businesses owner, the vehicle is parked outside of their business at all times. Hayamoto clarified that it was on Williams Street. Hayamoto commented that HPD will make checks.
5. Crane Community Park: Wong commented that she had requested information on Krane Park. Hayamoto read the statistics for Sunday, October 1, 2017 through Saturday, January 6, 2018: There were 37 park closure citations, 8 tents prohibited citations, 3 smoking citations, 6 sidewalk obstruction citations, 1 criminal littering citation, 2 shopping carts prohibited citations, 5 contempt arrests, 2 prohibition citations, 1 prohibition arrest, 1 harassment arrest, and 1 arrest for resisting arrest. Wong asked and Hayamoto responded that there is a weekly check to enforce Stored Property Ordinance (SPO).
6. Armed Burglary: Matson requested an update on a recent armed robbery in the community and Lieutenant Hayamoto responded that it is currently under investigation with no new information available for the public. Lieutenant Hayamoto reassured the community that they were safe.
7. Homeless on Diamond Head: Matson expressed her concerns with the threat of fires with the Homeless camps at Diamond Head. Matson asked how HPD would respond to homeless safe zones being established. Lieutenant Hayamoto responded that HPD strives for compassionate responses, but must enforce laws. Lieutenant Hayamoto commented that they are unable to comment on legislation for safe zones.
8. Statistics: Welch expressed his concerns for increasing speeding citations in Waikiki and Lieutenenat Hayamoto responded that they do not have any information regarding Waikiki.
9. Homeless at Crane Park: Kamahele expressed his concerns with the chronic presence and density of homeless at Crane Community Park. Kamahele commented that neighbors are extremely concerned for the children who want to utilize the park facilities. Lieutenant Hayamoto commented park enforcement rules are checked daily and SPO and Sidewalk Nuisance Ordinance (SNO) enforcement is conducted weekly. Wong commented that another officer had informed her that the Department of Facility Maintenance (DFM) are enforcing SPO's biweekly. Wong commented that DFM ought to enforce SPO's more than biweekly to allow the park to be used. Lieutenant Hayamoto responded that enforcements are done weekly, not biweekly. Lieutenant Hayamoto commented that he will clarify the discrepancies between their report tonight and the report from the officer that spoke with Wong.
Honolulu Fire Department (HFD - Waikiki Station): A representative of the Honolulu Fire Department reported the following:
• December 2017 Statistics: There were 5 activated alarms, 167 medical calls, 7 motor vehicles crashes, and 1 ocean rescue.
• Safety Tip: Children and Fire - Children between the ages of two (2) and 10 are naturally curious about fire and may secretly experiment with lighters and matches if given the opportunity. This can occur when the child is unsupervised or even if an adult is in close proximity. Follow these tips to keep your family safe:
o Accessibility - Keep matches and lighters up high, preferably in a locked cabinet, and out of children's reach.
o Supervision - Closely supervise children; ensure they are kept away from fire sources, including lit candles, cigarettes, bonfires, and stoves.
o Curiosity ??? It is only natural for children to be curious and ask questions about fire, play with fire trucks, or pretend to cook. Use these opportunities to teach them about fire safety.
o Caution - Teach children to never touch matches or lighters. They should always tell an adult when matches or lighters are found.
o Education - Talk with children about what their friends or other children are doing with fire. Talk about what they see online in video games, on television, in movies, and on social media. Teach them how to resist peer pressure to misuse fire.
Questions, comments, and concerns:
1. Fires at Diamond Head Crater: Matson asked and the representative from HFD responded that there were no reported fires on the slopes of Diamond Head Crater for the month of December 2017.
2. Emergency: Resident Daisy Murai asked and Lieutenant Hayamoto responded that he was not familiar with an medical emergency around 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 11, 2018 near Waikiki School.
Board of Water Supply (BWS): Ann Wong of the BWS reported the following:
• Water Rate Tiers and Conservation: BWS's residential water rates are tiered to encourage conservation. The more water a customer uses, the more they pay for that additional water. Over half of BWS customers never exceed the first tier, and over 90% of their customers fall within the first two (2) tiers. The top 1% of BWS residential customers use over 44,000 gallons of water per month, which places high demands on the island's limited resources. BWS wants to do more to encourage conservation and believes revising the tiers can provide that incentive. One (1) possible change would move the top tier from over 33,000 gallons per month of usage down to about 21,000 gallons. Another would provide an amount of water necessary for customers' basic needs at a low cost. These changes would ensure affordability, reward conservation efforts, and place the cost-burden on those customers who use very high amounts of water.
• Water Rates and Outreach Process: In the next six (6) months, the Board will reviewing rate models to determine appropriate rate increases and changes to fees. As part of this process, the BWS is working on a presentation for the Neighborhood Boards and other groups about our Water Rate Study and potential new water rates. Those interested in scheduling a presentation should contact Keoni Mattos in our Communications Office at 748-5369. Our Board will also be conducting four (4) public hearings on proposed changes to water rates prior to their adoption. We expect these meetings will be held in June 2018.
• Request: In response to a resident concern, the BWS will be removing the graffiti from a Diamond Head Line Booster on Kapahulu Avenue.
• Kaimuki Pump Station: In response to a request from Vice Chair Narita, BWS will provide a report to the Diamond Head/ Kapahulu/ St. Louis Heights neighborhood Board at the February 2018 meeting.
• Clarification of Red Hill: BWS needs more clarification from Matson regarding Red Hill data.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Drinking Water: St. Denis expressed her concerns with the low quality of drinking water, citing a news report. St. Denis asked and Ann Wong responded that she was not familiar with the story. Ann Wong will provide a follow up. Board Member Linda Wong commented that the water at Ala Moana Beach had been tested. L. Wong commented that fecal matter had been found and contaminated the ground water.
2. Main Break: Matson commented on the main break reported on Friday, October 13, 2017. Matson commented that the location of the main break, indicated as "295 Makale Place" on the Thursday, November 16, 2017 Regular Meeting Minutes of the Diamond Head/ Kapahulu/ St. Louis Heights Neighborhood Board No. 5 does not exist. A. Wong will report back.
3. Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) Condominium Tower: Matson commented on the recent news of HECO liquidating their properties occupying several acres of land in Kakaako to condominium developers. Matson expressed her concerns with the impact on water consumption from future developers.
4. Drinking Water (continued): Figliuzzi clarified that the news report concerned cesspools concentrated on the North Shore. A. Wong commented she will look into the potential impact of cesspools on BWS water.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell's Representative: No representative was present; a report was emailed to Chair West and read later in the meeting.
Governor David Ige's Representative: No representative was present; no report was given.
Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) Memorial Parade: Commander Turner of the New Zealand Defense Force (NZDF) reported the following:
• Request: Members of the NZDF requested the Board's assistance in the ANZAC Memorial Parade for Wednesday, April 25, 2018.
• ANZAC Memorial Parade: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 is ANZAC Day, a day intended for remembrance of the Australian, New Zealand, and other British soldiers who fought and lost their lives at Gallipoli, Turkey during the First World War.
• Diamond Head Service: Commander Turner commented that the dawn service in Oahu is typically held at Diamond Head in coordination with The Hawaii Army National Guard (HIARNG) and typically attended by Australian and New Zealand personnel and families. This year, there are 34 veterans from the Royal New Zealand Navy (RZNZ) visiting Oahu. If the HIARNG does not allow their presence, then a new location to allow the veterans to pay their respects will be sought. They see the Natatorium as an appropriate location.
• Details: The ANZAC Day memorial will be on Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at dawn (around 6:03 a.m.) Potential disruption in the form of noise due to bugle calls, the singing of national anthems, and set up and cleaning of the event is expected. There are an expected 150 personnel in attendance. They plan to be set up by 5:30 a.m. and to be clear of the area by 7:00 a.m.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Natatorium: Matson commended the soldiers in attendance for their service, commenting that the Natatorium, as a First World War memorial, would serve as an appropriate venue. Matson commented that Kapiolani Park often holds loud events early in the morning. Matson recommended they reach out to Brian Turner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in San Francisco, who would be interested in the event.
2. Parade: Wong asked and Commander Turner clarified that it is not a parade. Welch asked and Commander Turner responded that while it does honor the lives of those lost at the Battle of Gallipoli, the significance of the memorial is to honor all of the lives lost during the First World War.
3. Hotels: Persons commented that they ought to notify the hotels nearby so that management can notify guests of the noise.
4. Order of Service: Cameron Sato asked and Commander Turner responded that they can provide a copy of last year's order of service to get a better idea of the event.
Matson moved and Bowman seconded to support the ANZAC event. The motion WAS ADOPTED by HAND VOTE 12-0-2 (AYE: Allen, Bowman, Figliuzzi, Kamahele, Leonora, Matson, Miller, Narita, Persons, St. Denis, West, Wong NAY: None ABSTAIN: Bhatt, Welch.)
Manuel Shelly, Rainbow EKIDEN Race, Sunday, March 11, 2018: Manuel Shelly distributed newsletters reported the following: Event Details: The 6th Annual Rainbow EKIDEN Race will begin at Kapiolani Park on Sunday, March 11, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed: Monseratt Avenue: Wong asked and Manuel Shelly confirmed that the event will not go down Monseratt Avenue.
LJ Duenas, American Diabetes Association, Race, Saturday, March 17, 2018: No report was provided.
Joint Presentation Scott Morishige and Marc Alexander, Homeless Coordinators: State Homeless Coordinator Scott Morishige and Executive Director of the Office of Housing Marc Alexander reported the following:
• State of Hawaii Efforts: Morishige provided an overview of the States actions to reduce homelessness. He commented that because multiple factors contribute to homelessness, solutions must be multi-faceted. According to Morishige, the State of Hawaii identified three (3) focus areas.
o Affordable Housing: The State has increased the level of investment for the State Housing Revolving Fund and the Dwelling Unit Revolving fund, giving the State more financing for affordable rental housing development and infrastructure development.
o Health and Human Services: The Human Services Department and the State Department of Health reviewed and reset all contracts for homeless shelters, homeless outreach, permanent housing programs, and housing placement programs in February 2017. The State of Hawaii then tied service funding to performance to focus on and observe key metrics related to homelessness. These metrics include increasing the rate of placement into permanent housing, decreasing length of stay in shelters and other homeless programs, and increasing housing retention.
o Public Safety: Public Safety in regards to the homeless extends beyond just cooperation with the Department of Public Safety (DPS) or law enforcement. In finding a solution around public safety, efforts have been taken to reduce illegal trespassing on government lands, sites that can create hazardous conditions for those choosing to dwell there and nearby residents. The State of Hawaii has worked with the legislature to increase funding for the State Department of Transportation (HDOT) and other agencies to better maintain the properties, closed loopholes that allowed for trespassing on state lands, and are working to guarantee consistent enforcement in hazardous state properties.
o Kakaako Case Study: To help remedy the Homeless situation in Kakaako in 2015, the State of Hawaii worked with service providers to conduct a count of the homeless in the area, allowing for data collection of population and demographics. This data allowed for more effective administration of appropriate services, and resulted in positive impacts in the homeless population in Kakaako. One (1) homeless youth, and his family, were identified by a State contracted outreach worker before being linked to the Family Assessment Center in Kakaako. They were then placed into a permanent dwelling with the City and County of Honolulu's Housing First Program. As of January 2018, this family is permanently housed in a rental unit and are stably employed.
o Progress Evaluation: To measure the effectiveness of the program, they looked at the point in time count for 2017, and saw that for the first time in 8 (eight) years, the point in time count had gone down by nine (9) percent. The West Coast in the same time saw significant increases (13 percent in California.) The State is seeing the effectiveness of their programs by assessing their contracts. In evaluating the Family Assessment Center, they have a 91 rate permanent housing placement rate, with a 77 day average transition from homelessness to permanent housing, short of the benchmark limit of no more than 90 days. The Housing First Program, begun in 2014, has a 97 percent retention rate in the State.
o Point in Time Count 2018: Morishige distributed information on the annual point in time count in January, 2018 and encouraged residents to volunteer.
• City and County of Honolulu Efforts: Executive Director Alexander distributed a handout and provided an overview of the City and County of Honolulu's actions to reduce homelessness.
o Ending Homelessness: He commented that Mayor Kirk Caldwell believes the most effective solution to ending homelessness is Housing with an effective support system. Executive Director Alexander defined "ending homelessness" as "preventing homelessness, and when it cannot be prevented, having a system in place to ensure that homelessness is rare, brief, and nonrecurring."
o Coordinated Entry: As of August 2017, the Office of Housing implemented a system known as Coordinated Entry. The Coordinated Entry system has been approved by the City and County of Honolulu, State of Hawaii, Partners in Care Group, and Housing and Urban Development. The Coordinated Entry system outlines a three (3) step process of entry, assessment, and services.
o Evidence Based Practice: Executive Director Alexander commented that the City and County of Honolulu's approach is an evidence based practice. He commented that Housing First, The Kakaako Family Assessment Center, and Hale Mauliola Navigation Center are examples of solutions reinforced by evidence that these solutions bring people into permanent housing. Executive Director Alexander commented that the next step for the City and County of Honolulu is to scale the success of the effective programs. He cited a study demonstrating that individual homelessness in Oahu rose by 0.4 percent (19 individuals) in the last year, and family homelessness dropped by 14 percent (300 people.) He added that people may be perceiving more homeless despite the relative dip because unsheltered homelessness, or visible homeless, has doubled in the last six (6) years.
o How to Help: Executive Director Alexander commented that those who give money, food, or shelter to individual homeless, while well-meaning, are not effectively helping those individuals. He referenced the hand out on 10 Ways to help people experiencing homelessness as a guideline. Examples of help include connecting with and working with a provider, or renting a unit to an individual or family. He distributed business cards with the Aloha United Way (AUW) hotline 2-1-1 to give out to those in need.
o Affordable Housing: Executive Director Alexander commented that previous administrations at the State level had not tackled affordable housing, which lead to an avoidable rise in homelessness. He cited a University of Hawaii study that indicated that lack of affordable housing is the highest predictor of homelessness.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. State Programs Data: Matson asked and Morishige responded that 41 families (120 individuals) have utilized the Family Assessment Center, with 91 percent of that moving to permanent housing. The State's Housing First Program, the 97 percent retention rate reflects 87 households (114 individuals) that have been permanently housed since 2014. The Housing First Program has been expanded to the neighbor islands. Matson asked and Morishige responded that the most recent estimate of homeless State wide is about 7200 individuals, with a little under 5000 on Oahu. Executive Director Alexander commented that the City and County of Honolulu's Housing First Program had a UH study evaluation had 215 vouchers. The study found that nine (9) out of 10 of the initial 115 are still in housing. The City and County of Honolulu is in the process of initiating another 200 vouchers, and will now process another 300 vouchers. The Office of Housing is looking to scale the success with housing vouchers. 1800 units are needed to support families and individuals. Morishigi commented that 1100 individuals have been placed directly into permanent housing from shelters in 2017, or 40% of total number from exited from emergency and transitional housing in 2017.
Mark Kamahele left at 7:46 p.m.; 13 members present.
2. Chronically Homeless: Matson expressed her concerns with those who are chronically homeless, and the impact that some of these individuals have on the community. Matson cited incidents such as public defecation, starting fires, and pollution. Morishige responded that individuals who are chronically homeless or unwilling to accept help are identified as "service resistant." Morishige commented that special funding for this designate group are linked to services focused on homeless outreach, with special targeted efforts on relationship building with these individuals. He added that the Department of Health is taking great efforts to support those homeless with serious mental issues who are frequent utilizers of emergency department services at hospitals. In May 2017, the DOH piloted an intensive case management program partnership with HPD and Queens to target those who were the most frequent utilizers of emergency services. The program has been successful in reducing the recidivism rate of those individuals and getting them housing. The State has also created better linkages between law enforcement and the Health and Human Services system. The State worked with the judiciary to implement a community outreach court, or homeless court. With the community outreach court, those who are cited/ arrested for petty offenses can go before the courts as opposed to going to jail, and perform community service and connect with services to help find these individuals permanent housing. The State is also piloting a program later in January 2018 called the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) with HPD and the sheriff division. LEAD aims to provide better referral tools to law enforcement for when they encounter individuals guilty of petty offenses. Through LEAD, these individuals will be engaged with needed services/ programs. Executive Director Alexander that initiatives such as the Kawili Project, which includes developing hygiene centers in the Iwilei area, permanent support of housing, and the ability to provide social services. The City and County of Honolulu continues to acquire properties specifically designed to help those experiencing homelessness or formerly homeless families. Morishige commented that the State has partnered with the City and County of Honolulu by pairing services through the DOH and DHS with the buildings acquired from the City and County of Honolulu to specifically aid chronically homeless individuals with a history of substance abuse. Morishige cited a specific example in 2017 with the Winston Hale project in Chinatown. He commented that 30 chronically homeless individuals were identified, assessed, and linked to permanent housing, allowing them to seek further services effectively.
3. Crane Community Park: Wong asked and Morishige responded that the Institute of Human Services (IHS) performs outreach in Crane Community Park at least once a week.
4. Pets/ Barriers: Wong asked and Morishige responded that the State worked with providers to lower the barriers to emergency and transitional shelters. Morishige cited an example where limitations were put on fees shelters could charge and identification requirements. The State is performing outreach to educate homeless of the recent changes to the shelter system. The State is working with the shelters to provide trainings on what it means to be low barrier and a housing first approach to shelter. Executive Director Alexander added that the Hale Mauliola Navigation Center allows pets and animals in the shelter. The largest shelter, the Waianae Convention Center (WCC) allows pets. Morishige commented that the State has partnered with the Hawaii Humane Society and other organizations to ensure that animals are given a foster home if need be.
5. Emergency Declaration: Welch expressed his appreciation for the efforts taken by the State and City and County of Honolulu. Welch commented that the issue is an epidemic and should be called an emergency to highlight the seriousness of the issue. Welch asked and Morishige explained that Governor Ige had issued an emergency proclamation to address homelessness, but it cannot necessarily be used to generate more money for the issue. An emergency proclamation allows the State to waive state laws and requirements to respond to situations more quickly for a finite period of time. The emergency proclamation was used to jump-start State efforts, reaching out to all four (4) counties, asking them to identify and accelerate State projects related to homelessness. The emergency proclamation was also used to shift resources within the State's budget to accelerate homeless prevention and rapid rehousing projects. Morishige commented that political will is needed to move forward. He commented that Governor Ige is requesting from the Legislature in the 2018 Legislative Session $100 million for affordable rentals, infrastructure, and affordable housing renovation and repairs. Morishige added that the Governor is also requesting an additional $15 million for health and human services to continue to invest in the previously mentioned programs. Executive Director Alexander commented that citizens should seek their elected legislator's committed support towards affordable housing efforts. He added that there needs to be more encouragement of public-private partnerships.
6. Hospitals: St. Denis expressed her concerns with the homeless utilizing Emergency Rooms for showers. Executive Director Alexander responded that the City and County of Honolulu is bringing hygiene centers online. He added that the City and County of Honolulu owns two (2) public and privately funded trailers to help address needed hygiene and medical services. He added that the State, City and County of Honolulu, and Queen's Medical Center have been working together to track the different clients that come in. Homeless clients are being connected with homeless service providers through this effort. St. Denis asked and Morishige responded that those seeking to find services for others should call their office at 586-0193, as they serve as a coordinator across all state department and agencies and all the various non-profits.
7. Affordable Housing: Wong commented that she heard a report about a new development in Kakaako only had 33 affordable housing units, with an affordable housing criteria of $140,000 per year. Executive Director Alexander responded that Bill 58 and Bill 59 are moving through the City Council to change the affordable housing criteria to 80% Area Median Income (AMI).
8. Cost of Living: Matson commented on those who become homeless due to inability to afford the cost of living. Matson expressed her concerns that the increasing cost of living, taxes, and illegal vacation rentals are pushing local homeowners/rentals out of their homes. Matson commented that elected officials need to address the cost of living in a state attracting increased out-of-state investment in the form of speculative development, off-shore residents, and individuals who want to develop high-cost condominiums. Executive Director Alexander responded that Mayor Caldwell has established a special commission to investigate illegal vacation rental units. He added that Honolulu has a 6.3% rental vacancy rate, nearly double the statistics in similarly sized West Coast cities.
9. Hospitals (continued): Bhatt commended the work of the State and City and County of Honolulu's coordination on this effort. Citing his work experience at Queen's Medical Hospital, Bhatt commented that connecting patients in decentralized medical areas, such as wound care, to programs has been difficult due to a lack of coordination with social workers/ case managers. Bhatt asked and Morishige responded that he will communicate these concerns with Queen's Medical Center to find avenues to coordinate.
Crane Community Park: Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Jeanne Ishikawa responded to some concerns surrounding Crane Community Park. Deputy Director Ishikawa confirmed that DPR coordinates with the Department of Facility Maintenance (DFM) and HPD to do frequent SPO enforcements at Crane Community Park. Deputy Director Ishikawa commented that, while the park is being utilized as intended, there are still piles of property that will be addressed. Deputy Director Ishikawa commented that HPD can only enforce park rules. HPD cannot enforce against an individual in the park during park hours with piles of their property on the land. She added that DPR is working closely with other organizations to ensure that parks are safe and available to the public.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Property: Matson asked if the park rules can be adjusted to discourage or eliminate piles of unsightly and unhealthy belongings. Deputy Director Ishikawa responded that defining what belongings ought to be thrown away is not straight forward.
2. Park Supervisor: Wong expressed her concerns with only having a part-time supervisor at Crane Communtiy Park and requested a full-time supervisor. Deputy Director Ishikawa responded that they are looking into it. Wong requested a follow-up on the concern.
Kapiolani Community College (KCC): Carol Hoshiko distributed the KCC annual report and reported the following:
• Community Engagement: Hoshiko expressed her desire to have more community members visiting the campus. Hoshiko commented that she will be starting a free community lecture series, beginning in February 2018.
• Culinary Institute of the Pacific: Hoshiko commented that they hope to develop team building activities and classes at the Culinary Institute.
Bikeshare Hawaii: Grants and Programs Manager Justine Espiritu at Bikeshare Hawaii reported the following: Expansion: Due to recent awarded funding for new equipment, Bikeshare Hawaii is planning its Summer 2018 expansion. Bikeshare Hawaii is conducting community outreach to find ideal locations to add between 30 to 50 stations. Espiritu commented that a formal presentation on the expansion can be given in February 2018 or March 2018.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Presentation: Chair West commented that he would coordinate with Espiritu regarding a future presentation.
2. Expansion Details: Matson asked where Bikeshare plans to install the new stations and how many bike each station will carry. Espiritu responded that Bikeshare is still in the planning and outreach phases, working with City and County of Honolulu to coordinate where the stations will be. Some areas such as UH and Makiki, originally planned for phase one (1), are considerations for expansion. Chair West asked and Espiritu responded that specific locations may be identified by March 2018. Chair West asked and Espiritu responded that scheduled open houses and other public forums may be included in a March 2018 presentation.
3. Affordability: Welch expressed his concerns with the lack of affordability of the service for locals. Welch asked and Espiritu responded that different membership options are available and Welch responded that these options are still more expensive than their counterparts in other cities. Welch asked and Espiritu responded that Bikeshare Hawaii is creating a pilot program with Waikiki Health for a subsidized free membership through grants with the Atherton Family Foundation and the Kuanani Foundation for a small number of Waikiki Health patients. This pilot program to better understand the consequences of subsidized memberships. Espiritu compared the prices to the current monthly pass for TheBus rate at $70.00 contrasted with the $50.00 dollar monthly Biki membership. Espiritu commented that further cuts in membership prices would require operational subsidies.
4. Parking: St. Denis expressed her concerns with the acquisition of parking spaces in the community and urged Bikeshare to find other locations.
5. Non-Profit: Wong asked and Espiritu responded that as a 501(c)3 non-profit, they can charge for transportation services to cover operations while still qualifying for grants. Espiritu compared this to TheBus, a public transportation service that charges for use to cover operational costs. Wong commented that Bikeshare was not made as an off-shoot of TheBus until much later in its history. Espritu responded that the partnership is with the City and County of Honolulu, and they would not have been able to put stations on the public right-of-way without it. Wong asked and Esiritu responded that they are not an off-shoot of TheBus and that Bikeshare is just another form of public transportation.
6. Pualei Circle: Wong commented that residents around Diamond Head and especially in Pualei Circle had not been given much outreach before the initial installations of stations. Wong commented that those residents feel they have enough stations and urged Bikeshare not to install more stations in the area. Espiritu responded that Bikeshare Hawaii received a petition from approximately 150 Pualei Circle residents requesting more stations in their community.
7. Expansion Details (continued): Bhatt asked and Espiritu responded that there is a form online to request Bikeshare sites. She added that Bikeshare Hawaii has $5 million in federal funding to be spent over the next three (3) years on equipment. Espiritu commented that they may expand into Kaimuki in 2019.
Councilmember Anne Kobayashi: Councilmember Kobayashi distributed a newsletter and reported the following:
• Bikeshare Stations: Councilmember Kobayashi commented that stations ought to be on sidewalks, not in parking areas.
??? Crane Community Park: Councilmember Kobayashi expressed her desire to see the belongings taken somewhere else after park hours. She added that community members are still nervous with having their children around the park, despite the new playground equipment.
• Complete Streets: Councilmember Kobayashi expressed her concerns with the focus from Complete Streets on bike lanes, as the rehabilitation process takes away emphasis on pedestrian crosswalks. She cited the removal of crosswalks along Date Street as an example.
• Fire Sprinkler Bill: Councilmember Kobayashi commented that the City Council is still working on the Fire Sprinkler Bill to increase fairness.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Homeless: Welch urged Councilmember Kobayashi to help end homelessness. Welch commented that the City and County of Honolulu's spending $750 million on the Neil Blaisdell Center evinces a lack of priorities.
2. Development: Welch expressed his concerns with the development of a commercial development at the Ala Wai Golf Course and a general encroachment upon green and open spaces. Welch expressed his concerns with the lack of transparency from the City and County of Honolulu and urged Councilmember Kobayashi to scrutinize these types of proposals.
3. Ala Wai Golf Course: Matson asked if there was a means to obtain an executive summary from the Department of Enterprise Services (DES) outlining design elements pertaining to the existing Request for Proposal (RFP) for the addition to Ala Wai Golf Course. She commented that the RFP and details surrounding it have been held back from the community. She added that the Diamond Head/ Kapahulu/ St. Louis Heights Neighborhood Board No. 5 have consistently requested a presentation from Director Guy Kalukukui of the DES for five (5) months. Welch asked and Councilmember Kobayashi responded that Director Kalukukui ought to be at the meeting next month. Councilmember Kobayashi that these large commercial developments at Ala Wai Golf Course, Thomas Square, and others, take focus away from basic maintenance of park facilities.
4. Affordable Housing: Wong commented that she overheard a discussion at City Council regarding lowering the requirements to qualify for affordable housing. Councilmember Kobayashi responded that the City Council will be holding a meeting on Thursday, January 18, 2018 regarding Bill 58 and 59. She added that a new building nearby the Ala Moana Center which has a potential capacity for 500 affordable units. She added that a building nearby sold out all of its workforce housing units within days. She commented that Mayor Caldwell may call to condemn the lot with those properties for a portion of the Rail. She commented their office requested details on this addition.
5. Rate Commission: Resident Armentrout commented that the Rate Commission meeting was on Monday, January 8, 2018. She expressed her concerns with the lack of public visibility of the Rate Commission, and requested that it be given more visibility along with other boards. She commented that the next meeting will be on Monday, January 22, 2018 due to a budget request from Mayor Caldwell due Thursday, March 1, 2018. Resident Armentrout asked and Councilmember Kobayashi responded that they will look into the issue.
Councilmember Trevor Ozawa: No representative was present; a report was provided.
Senator Stanley Chang: Cameron Sato of Senator Chang's Office reported the following:
• Annual Survey: Sato reported that the Office of Senator Chang emailed Board members the annual survey. A mailer will be distributed later in the month.
• Homeless: Sato commented that homeless usage of Queen's Medical Center showers costs an annual $10 million. Senator Chang hopes to push a bill creating mobile clinics in the 2018 Legislative Session. Sato commented that Senator Chang agrees with the Governor's efforts to put more funding into homeless initiatives and acknowledges that other priorities pull away from a full level of homeless funding.
• Illegal Vacation Rentals: Sato commented that Senator Chang plans to introduce a bill to make intentionally deceiving or lying to a City and County of Honolulu housing inspectors a misdemeanor. He added that this bill has implications for monster homes as well. Senator Change hopes to pass a measure to introduce Post-compliance service to the State level. Post-compliance service create detailed listings of illegal vacation rentals, and helped Maui County identify 10,000 previously unknown illegal vacation rentals.
Senator Les Ihara: Senator Les Ihara reported the following:
• 2018 Legislative Session: Senator Ihara commented that Opening Day at the Legislature will be on Wednesday, January 17, 2018. Senator Ihara commented that the Legislature will be focused on an open house, and invited the community to join them.
??? Moped Citizens Group: All moped should now have appropriate license plates as of Monday, January 1, 2018. HPD is briefing their officers on identifying properly registered mopeds.
• Kupuna Caucus: The Kupuna Caucus is introducing 12 bills in the 2018 Legislative Session.
??? Tax Collection/Investing: Senator Ihara commented on a bill that would tax those who invest in an asset within the State of Hawaii who live out of state. He commented that the potential revenue stream lies between $25 million and $50 million annually. He explained that the current federal system adopted by the states allows individual investors to invest in publicly traded companies that have a revenue stream from commercial properties. These publicly traded companies are required to pay dividends, and the investor must pay income tax on these dividends. On the State level, for Hawaii residents, they pay income taxes from their investments in the State of Hawaii. He explained that out-of-state investors with investments in Hawaii property currently pay those taxes to their own state, and not Hawaii. The new bill aims to allow Hawaii to withhold all of the taxes that are due by individual investors in all of the states, and then transfer it to Hawaii for Hawaiian investors and others. The State of Hawaii would guarantee that out-of-state investors in Hawaii property would not be double-taxed as a consequence. They will be charged the difference if an out-of-state investors income taxes are higher than Hawaii's income taxes.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Public Parking Kiosk: Wong commented that the parking kiosk by Side Street Inn by Kapahulu Avenue is broken and unusable. She added that technical difficulties kept the official phone application from purchasing the public parking. Senator Ihara commented he will look into finding a solution.
2. Tax Collection/Investing: Matson asked and Senator Ihara responded that they are still in discussions with tax attorney's to delve into the bill.
3. Bill Intro Deadline: Matson asked if it were possible for Senators and Representative to introduce bills relating to preservation that would affect land outside of their own districts. Senator Ihara and Representative Nishimoto responded that an elected official can assist another in this way. Matson commented that she will make a request of Senator Ihara to introduce a bill.
Representative Bertrand Kobayashi: Representative Kobayashi distributed a newsletter and reported the following:
• Erosion Shoreline: Representative Kobayashi reported that the State Attorney General provided a formal opinion on shoreline erosion. According to the formal opinion, the boundary line between public and private ownership moves with the erosion. Representative Kobayashi commented that direct application of this opinion may be seen in Kahala.
• Closure of Diamond Head Summit Trail: The Diamond Head Summit Trail will be closed from Monday, January 8, 2018 through Friday, January 12, 2018 and Monday, January 15, 2018 to Friday, January 19, 2018. Representative Kobayashi commented that the park closure dates differ from what the community was told in December 2017.
Representative Scott Nishimoto: Representative Nishimoto's Office distributed a newsletter and reported the following: the Board: Tax Clinic: The Capitol will be hosting a Tax Clinic on Saturday, January 27, 2018 for individuals making less than $56,000 per year to qualify for free tax preparation.
Questions, comments, and concerns: Tax Clinics: Bhatt asked and Representative Nishimoto responded that any kind of consultation at the Tax Clinic requires that an individual make less than $56,000 per year.
House Speaker Emiterus (HSE) Calvin Say: No representative was present; a report was provided.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell's Representative: Walea Constantinau emailed a report to Chair West: Bikeshare Hawaii: In response to a request from Vice Chair Narita from the previous meeting, the Department of Transportation reported that the City has granted Bikeshare Hawaii exclusive rights for a bike share system in the current project zone, which is generally the Honolulu urban core area. The City's arrangement with Bikeshare Hawaii prohibits the City from promoting a competitive entity. The Biki system does have some competition from traditional bicycle rental shops, which services a slightly different user who prefers to rent for a whole day.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Bikeshare Hawaii: Chair West read a verbal report from Tricia Lindsey, Secretary of DTS Deputy Director Jon Nouchi summarized as follows: Bikeshare is a pilot program, and that DTS is looking into the aspects of competitive vendors and they have engaged the services of Corporation Counsel. Chair West commented that this report directly contrasts the earlier report received from DTS. Chair West will address the issue in February 2018 regarding competitive vendors.
Vice Chair Narita left at 9:02 p.m.; 12 members present.
2. Ala Wai Golf Course RFP: Board Member Matson requested an executive summary outlining design elements within the RFP for the Ala Wai Golf Course.
Approval of Thursday, November 9, 2017, Regular Meeting Minutes
Welch moved and Allen seconded the motion to approve the Thursday, November 9, 2017, Regular Meeting Minutes.
Welch moved and Matson seconded to amend the minutes to strike the words "(see report)" and insert the pedestrian safety report as distributed in the Thursday, November 9, 2017, Regular Meeting Minutes on page 2, strike the words "295 Makale Place" and add the words "2955 Makalei Place" on page 2, strike the word "Wailen" and insert the word "Whalen" on page 4, strike the word "Planned??? and insert the word "Plan" on page 4, insert the word "for" after the words "╔ Request for Investigation and Service Report╔" on page 4, and insert a subject before the words "╔which was forwarded to him" on page 4.
Mail: Wong commented that a physical copy of the agenda and minutes was not received by the Board members until one (1) day before the meeting. Wong commented that she cannot vote on the minutes at this time.
Correction: Wong commented that an amendment ought to be made to include Chair West's request for Wong to follow up on reports of Uku's at Waikiki Elementary School on Page 9. Chair West requested a written report be emailed to the Neighborhood Assistant.
Mail (continued): Wong requested that the Neighborhood Commission Office send out the agenda and minutes more than one (1) day before the meeting. Chair West responded that he received the packet in accordance with Sunshine law, and asked if other Board members were receiving agenda and minutes late. Matson commented that the agenda and minutes are posted online as well.
The motion WAS ADOPTED by HAND VOTE; 8-3-0 (AYE: Allen, Bowman, Figliuzzi, Leonora, Matson, St. Denis, Welch, West NAY: Miller, Persons, Wong ABSTAIN: None.)
Leahi Avenue Permitted Interaction Group: No report was given.
Treasurer's Report: No report was given.
Subdistrict 1 (St. Louis Heights): Allen reported the following:
??? Neighborhood Security Watch: The St. Louis Heights Community Association is organizing a neighborhood security watch, and is seeking block captains and members.
• Regency Park: The BWS has replaced a lock at a Regency Park gate.
Subdistrict 2 (Kapahulu): No report was provided.
Subdistrict 3 (Diamond Head): St. Denis reported the following: Kiawe Tree: St. Denis expressed her concerns with the removal of a Kiawe tree in front of a Kapiolani Park fountain. St. Denis commented that despite phone calls, the tree was taken down. Matson commented that she spoke with arborist Steve Nims, and he reported that lightning had damaged the tree decade before. She added that Stan Oka at Division of Urban Forestry mentioned that the cracks had increased, posing a risk of possible failure, leading to potential injury.
REPORTS OF MEMBERS' ATTENDANCE AT OTHER MEETINGS
Waialae-Kahala Neighborhood Board No. 3: Wong attended the Waialae-Kahala Neighborhood Board No. 3, with the Director of the Department of Health (DOH) in attendance. Wong had asked the Director of the Department of Health (DOH) about the ukus at Waikiki Elementary School. Following an email with the Principal of Waikiki Elementary School, Wong reported that the issue was resolved.
Chair Report: Chair West commented that he did not specifically schedule DES Director Kalukukui for the current meeting given the full agenda with the Homeless Presentation. Wong requested that Crane Community Park be placed on a future agenda.
Next Regular Board Meeting: The next regular Board meeting will be at Ala Wai Club House on Thursday, February 12, 2017.
ADJOURNMENT: As there was no further business before the Board, Chair West adjourned the meeting at 9:16 p.m.
Submitted by: Thomas Baldwin, Neighborhood Assistant Reviewed by: Dylan Whitesell, Public Relations Assistant
Reviewed by: Richard Figliuzzi, Secretary Finalized by: George West, Chair
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