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  • Kaimuki Neighborhood Board Minutes Posted for November 17th, 2011 Meeting

Next meeting is 1/19/2011 - Read the agenda. . Click here.
Courtesy of Neighborhood Commission Office
Source Neighborhood Commission Office
Kaimuki Neighborhood Board No. 4
CALL TO ORDER:  Chair Vernon Tam called the meeting to order at 7:15 p.m. with a quorum of eight (8) members present. Note – This 11-member Board requires six (6) members to establish quorum and take official Board action.
Members Present:  John Cater, Abigail Leong, Ginny Meade, Daniel Nahoopii, Sharon Schneider, Leonard Tam, Lori Yamada, Daniel Carvalho, Vernon Tam, and Tim Tybuszewski.
Member Absent – John Perez.
Vacancy – None; all 11 seats are filled.
Guests – Glenn Y. Yamasaki, Trevor Ozawa, Armando V. Gutierrez, Lester Fung, Director Wayne Yoshioka (City Department of Transportation Services), City Councilmember Ann Kobayashi, Karen Yorimoto (Councilmember Ann Kobayashi’s Office staff); Lt. G. Lum Lee, Sgt. C. Sukekane, and Officer M. Mitchell (Honolulu Police Department); Ben Bess, Caron Wilberts, Cheryl Costa, Lorna Heller (Board of Water Supply), Kathleen an Mamoru Sato, Lydia Chock (Leahi Hospital), Candace Van Buren (State Representative Scott Nishimoto’s Office staff), Seiko Chow (Aliamanu Middle School)m, Gordon Tang, City Councilmember Lee Donohue, William Oku (Councilmember Lee Donohue’s Office staff), State Representative Calvin Say. S. Sonoda, State Senator Les Ihara, State Representative-elect Mark J. Hashem, and Gloria Gaines (Neighborhood Commission Office staff).
Honolulu Police Department (HPD) – Lt. G. Lum Lee provided members with a crime statistics report and noted that residents can visit HPD’s website at and click on to any of the 8 (eight) districts on the map and find out the crime trends in your neighborhood. An online complaint form is also available at HPD’s website or contact the Officer Mark Mitchell of the Community Policing Team at 529-3628.
At 7:19 p.m., Lori Yamada arrived; nine (9) members present.
Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) – A representative or report was not available at this time.
Board of Water Supply (BWS) – Lorna Heller stated no water main breaks were reported and highlighted the following:
·         Halawa Xeriscape Garden – Saturday, November 27, 2010 will be Xeriscape Holiday Wreath workshop. Rain barrel catchment workshops coming in February and May 2011; in addition to classes on composting, organic pest control. The workshops focus of innovative means of conserving water through efficient landscaping. For more information visit BWS website at
·         Water Meter Maintenance – BWS is responsible for the maintenance of water meters. Meter box must be kept clear of grass and debris for easy access by BWS crews. If you notice a water leak in the water meter or need to shut off water service for any reason, contact BWS at 748-5000. More information about water meter maintenance may be found in the rules and regulations section of the BWS website.
·         Chlorine in Water – There was a concern that chlorine was being added to the water. Heller will follow up on this matter.
At 7:20 p.m., Daniel Nahoopii arrived; 10 (ten) members present.

Queen Lili‘uokalani Elementary School (QLES) – A resident presented testimony supporting the non-closure of the Queen Lili‘uokalani Elementary School.
Harding Avenue Concerns – Residents raised the following concerns about the Harding Avenue road widening project at the 5th and 11th Avenue intersections:
The owner of a publishing company at 3565 Harding Avenue was opposed to the City’s road widening project on Harding Avenue, provided photos of the Harding Avenue’s current condition, and presented his reasons:
1.       Pedestrian Safety – Pedestrian safety is a concern due to the lack of signaled pedestrian crosswalk. A pedestrian fatality occurred at the 12th Avenue crosswalks.
2.       Potential Vehicle Accident – Vehicles backing out onto Harding Avenue will potentially be at risk for a car accident when peripheral vision will be limited from the road widening project. Pedestrians will also be at risk when cars are backing out of the driveway.
3.       Community Accountability – None of the property owners on Harding Avenue were either personally notified about the road widening project, or advised or consulted on how the project would affect their lives.
4.       Loss of Business and Property Value – That the road widening project will affect his book publishing business on 3565 Harding Avenue as well as decrease its property value.
The City Department of Transportation Services takes a holistic approach to the road widening project rather than just expending Federal stimulus money. Chair Tam asked the resident to be present for the Harding Avenue agenda item.
Contact Council-elect Stanley Chang – Councilmember-elect Stanley Chang’s staff Trevor Ozawa announced that residents are able to contact Councilmember Chang by email at or by calling him at 808-778-5783.
Left Turn Lanes on Harding Avenue and 11th and 5th Avenues – Adrian Chang introduced the City’s Construction Manager Brian Yoshida, the City’s Department of Transportation Services (DTS) Director Wayne Yoshioka; and provided an update of the road widening project.
·         Notice to Proceed – On Monday, November 15, 2010, the contractor was given the notice to proceed and started construction on the 5th and Harding Avenue intersection. The contractor began demolition of the sidewalks first before moving onto the roadway; beginning with the Mauka side of 5th and Harding Avenue, then proceeding with the Makai side. This phase is estimated to be completed in four to five months. Once completed, construction will begin on the 11th and Harding Avenue intersection.
·         Meeting with 5th Avenue Residents – DTS will be meeting with the 5th Avenue residents on Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. in the second level meeting room at the Kaimuki Community Park. The entrance to the building is located at the 11th Avenue side of the park. The meeting will focus on the 5th Avenue concerns. Residents were encouraged to attend the meeting. A similar meeting will also take place for the 11th Avenue residents; residents and tenants will be contacted by phone at that time.
·         Individual Property Owners – Upon request, DTS has met individually with property owners.
·         Focused Project – The road widening project was meant to be focused on the Harding Avenue intersections of 5th and 11th Avenues, providing a left turn lane that addressed the issue of the congestion caused by the problem that, when people stop to turn; traffic backs up and prevents Harding through traffic from moving past the intersections.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1.       Request to Remove the Utility Pole on 12th Avenue – There was a request that the utility pole on 12th Avenue be removed to allow room for the City buses and larger vehicles to make the turn with ease. It was pointed out that the road widening project ends at the 11th Avenue intersection and does not include the 12th Avenue intersection.
2.       Utility Lines – The utility poles will be relocated further into the sidewalk area and will not be installed underground.
3.       Underground Utilities – It was mentioned that installing underground utilities would increase pedestrian safety. Yoshioka stated that at this time, the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) is not prepared to underground the utilities for the road widening project of Harding Avenue; however, this could be addressed in the future as a separate project and will require major discussions with the community at-large.
4.       Decision of a Left Turn Lane – Per DTS, a traffic study was done as part of the consultation and design phase; it was decided that installing a left turn would be the best option.
5.       Width of Sidewalk – The sidewalk will be six feet wide after installing the left turn lane. A six-foot sidewalk is more than the minimum required width of a sidewalk.
6.       Grassy Buffer – The areas where a grassy buffer currently exists within the widening project will be eliminated.
7.       Adjusting Traffic Signal Timing – After installation of the left turn lanes, there will be a period of traffic signal adjustments. After constant monitoring of the intersections, signals will be adjusted and programmed to address the various traffic times of the day.
8.       Observations by L. Tam – After L. Tam explained his observations and offered a suggestion of increasing the various “green” second time signals at the two intersections, Yoshioka reminded that there must be a balance of the left turn vehicles and the operation of traffic flow in all directions for all vehicles; that the traffic analysis clearly showed increasing the left turn lane will improve traffic flow efficiency.
9.       Lack of Notification – It was mentioned that residents needed to be consulted early on to diffuse concerns noted above. Yoshioka stated that at the April 2008 Board meeting, the Board was very supportive of the road widening project; that the project would have never gotten to the construction phase without the Board’s support; and to say no one was informed was incorrect. Despite the fact that the Board members have changed does not invalidate what has progressed thus far.
10.   Trees on Harding Avenue – The trees in front of the Bess Publishing Company will be removed. Significant effort will be exercised to preserve the larger trees.
11.   Emails from Residents – Chair Tam read aloud an email supporting the road widening project.
12.   Community Outreach – There was inquiry whether, in 2008, there was outreach to the property owners of Harding Avenue. This was before Director Yoshioka’s time, however, outreach is routinely done during the planning phase of any project; and for the current project, DTS has done a huge outreach to all property owners. Also, stopping construction at midterm to re-design the project is not efficient use of tax payers’ dollars.
13.   Stimulus Funding – One of the requirements for the stimulus funding was that the project needed to be  “ready-to-go” in order to qualify for the 100 percent stimulus funding.
14.   Pedestrian Fatality – A resident stated that her mother was a victim of a pedestrian fatality at the 12th and Harding Avenue intersection and requested that it be added to the Board’s October meeting minutes as a correction. Resident was also concerned that there are only two intersections with  traffic lights along Harding Avenue on Koko Head and 12 Avenues; and requested that DTS install either a traffic light at the 12th and Harding Avenue Intersection for pedestrians to cross the streets safely, or seek other pedestrian safety solutions. Yoshioka noted that DTS will take a look at the 12th and Harding Avenue intersection; that it be a separate analysis from this project; and will report back its findings to the Board. This item to be placed on the Board’s agenda.
15.   Signs after Construction – It was mentioned that signs used during/after construction projects often stay up too long, causing visual pollution; concern was expressed about the minimum/maximum length of time signs should stay posted.
16.   Vehicles in Left Turn Lane – The left turn west bound storage lane will hold seven (7) vehicles at 5th and Harding Avenue. At the left turn west bound storage lane at 11th and Harding Avenue is approximately eight (8) vehicles; east bound is three (3) vehicles.
17.   Pedestrian Reflectors – It was suggested that pedestrians carry a flashlight or wear reflectors when crossing the streets.
At this time, L. Tam moved and Carvalho seconded that the Kaimuki Neighborhood Board No. 4 ask Mayor Carlisle to have the City’s Department of Transportation Services adjust the traffic signal time at 11th and Harding Avenue as soon as possible so that the traffic flow can improve; by changing the Ewa bound left turn green time from 10, 15, 20 seconds to 25 seconds all day; by changing the Harding Avenue green time from 40, 45, 50, and 55 seconds to 55 seconds all day; by changing the total cycle time from 70 and 80 seconds to 90 seconds all day; lastly, by installing sensors in the pavement to shorten the green times when traffic is light.  After Yoshioka recommended the motion be amended to “reassess the timing lights” rather than mentioning timing specifics, L. Tam and Carvalho withdrew the motion. Although the Board withdrew its motion, Yoshioka stated that they will take a look at the timing lights and reports its findings at the Board’s January 2011 meeting.
Upon arrival of the Honolulu Fire Department, there was no objection to hear a report from Capt. C. Toda of the Honolulu Fire Department.
Honolulu Fire Department ( HFD) – Capt. C. Toda reported on the following:
·         Statistics for October – Included 2 structure and 2 rubbish fires. There were also 76 medical emergencies and 7 miscellaneous calls. No major or unusual incidents were reported.
·         Fire Safety Tip for Holiday Get-Togethers – Consider a fire-resistant artificial Christmas tree. If purchasing a real tree, choose one as fresh as possible and keep it hydrated and away from heat sources. Use noncombustible materials for decorations. Choose only Underwriter’s Laboratory-approved electrical decorations and follow the manufacturer’s instructions; and do not overload extension cords. Also exercise safe-cooking when preparing food by not leaving cooking unattended or wearing long sleeve clothing while cooking. The National Fire Protection Association discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the poultry in hot oil. Turkey fryers can be very dangerous. If hosting overnight guests, be sure to share the home escape plan with them.
Proposed Queen Lili‘uokalani Elementary School (QLES) Closure – Lori Yamada reported the following:
·         Public Hearing – A public hearing is scheduled for Monday, December 13, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. at the Kalani High School cafeteria for a proposed consolidation of schools for the Kalani Complex. One of the schools being considered for closure is the Queen Lili‘uokalani Elementary School. Residents were encouraged to give testimony, submit letters and comments at the public hearing or email to Emailed testimonies are to be received no later than 3 days following the date of the public hearing.
·         Board’s Resolution Opposing Closure – was sent to all the Neighborhood Boards within the Kalani Complex. The Board’s resolution was presented and adopted by the Palolo Neighborhood Board. The resolution will also be presented to the Waialae Kahala Board Thursday, November 18, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. at the Wesley Methodist Church for adoption.
Mayor Peter Carlisle’s Representative – A report was submitted.
City Councilmember Ann Kobayashi – Councilmember Kobayashi provided members with a report, introduced student Ricky Wong from Roosevelt High School, who has been shadowing Councilmember Kobayashi at seven Neighborhood Board meetings, and highlighted the following:
·         Sidewalk Bill – This bill does not go into effect until December; however there has been a “sweep” at the McCully Library area. The police have been watching that area and found that the sidewalk was blocked by individuals engaging in illegal activity.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1.       Homeowner/Non-Homeowner Tax Repeal – The tax repeal will take affect at the next tax payment period in August 2011. Tax time payment is due each August and February of each year.
2.       Sidewalk Bill – The sidewalk bill does not apply in the Kaimuki district area at this time; but if need arises, the bill can always be amended. The sidewalk bill may be extended into the Kaka‘ako district area where the overcrowded sidewalks were also noticed.
3.       Kapalono Field – A request to have the Kapalono Field maintained, and rain gutters cleared of leaves and debris.
4.       Historical Home Exemption – A public hearing was held. A task force of community members will look at the historical home exemption and the tax system as a whole to see how the tax system can be made to be more equitable.
City Councilmember Lee Donohue – Councilmember Donohue provided members with a copy of a report and highlighted the following:
·         Leaf Blower Bill – The leaf blower bill was passed out of committee and will come before City Council for a decision.
·         Honorary Certificate – Cecilia Kalinohulihe‘e Lum was honored and congratulated on her retirement from the Hawaii State Department of Education for her leadership as principal of Koko Head Elementary School for the past thirty years. The school was named a blue ribbon school in 2010.
·         Aloha Message – Councilmember Donohue stated that it was an honor serving as the district Councilmember for the past six months.
State Senator Les Ihara – Senator Ihara provided members with a report and noted the Senate House re-organized and Senator Ihara remains as Majority Policy Leader for the 2011 Legislative session. Of the Senate Leadership, four members are new. The fifth member will be appointed by the new governor, rather than the current governor. The Democratic Party nominated three party members to replace Senator Colleen Hanabusa; and will await the new Governor to make the appointment for Senator Hanabusa’s seat.
State Representative Calvin K. Y. Say – Rep. Say provided members with a report and highlighted the following:
·         Speaker of the House – The House Leadership is currently reorganizing. As the present Speaker of the House, he has 24 votes, the other side has 16, and 3 are uncommitted. Rep. Say is working on getting the needed majority of 26 votes.
·         Flu Season – Information recognizing the signs of flu, what you can do to stay healthy; and various locations where flu shots are available.
State Representative Barbara Marumoto – Rep. Calvin Say was available to answer concerns.
State Representative Scott Nishimoto – Candace Van Buren submitted a report and was available to receive concerns for Representative Nishimoto’s response.
State Representative Lyla Berg – Rep. Calvin Say was available to answer concerns.
State Representative-elect Mark Hashem – Representative-elect Hashem provided members with a report and noted that he will be the new representative for House District 18.
At this time, there was no objection to hear DOE Assistant Superintendent for School Facilities Randy Moore, speak on the closure of QLES.
Proposed Queen Lili‘uokalani Elementary School Closure (QLES) – Randy Moore informed residents of the Kalani Complex elementary school consolidation study, specifically the QLES:
·         Reason the Study was Initiated – Chapter 38, Hawaii Administrative Rules, require the Superintendent to initiate a study when certain criteria are met. For QLES, more than one third of the Lili‘uokalani classrooms are in excess of the school’s current and projected need; that the annual savings of $370,000 including fringes of nearly $100,000 would result from the closure of Lili‘uokalani and the transfer of its students equally between Liholiho and Waialae; that these savings would be greater if a greater percentage of the Lili‘uokalani students were transferred to Liholiho; and if all the students were transferred to Liholiho, the savings would increase to approximately $500,l00, including fringes of $140,000; and in addition, the value of the Lili‘uokalani space, if used as offices, is approximately $500,000 per year.
·         Preliminary Conclusions – The closing of Liholiho instead of Lili‘uokalani is also possible, but it is disruptive to more students and adults than closing Lili‘uokalani and does not result in savings that are as great as closing Lili`uokalani. The number of classrooms, average classroom size, total classroom area, non-classroom areas, and land area at Liholiho were found to be greater than Lili`uokalani/ While both schools have consistently made adequate yearly progress, as measured for the federal no Child Left Behind Act, the percentage of students achieving proficiency or better on the Hawaii State Assessment has consistently been higher at Liholiho.
·         Next Steps – The public hearing is set for Monday, December 13, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. at the Kalani High School Cafeteria at 6:30 p.m. Based on input and the revised report, it is estimated that the Superintendent will make a recommendation to the Board of Education (BOE) around Wednesday, December 29, 2010. Then the BOE administrative committee discussion/recommendation is estimated to be on Monday, January 10, 2011 and further BOE discussion/action is estimated to be Thursday, January 20, 2011. The BOE will organize at one of its December 2010 meetings; then its leadership will then reorganize. These dates mentioned are subject to change.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1.       Traffic Impact – A traffic impact study will not be done; however, historically, both schools had at one time the same number of students as the number of students with the both schools combined. Whatever happens will definitely change the traffic patterns for the school accepting the students.
2.       Families Affected – It was mentioned that changing schools will affect the students and their families.
3.       DOE Office Space – If QLES closes, the property, will not be surrendered for non-education purposes.
4.       Charter Schools – The DOE is required to notify the Charter School review panel when it intends to close a school. The panel with then put the word out to its Charter School community and find out if anyone is interested. If anyone is interested, the Charter School panel will rank them by criteria for DOE selection. The DOE may or may not opt for a charter school.
5.       Charter Conversion Plan – There was mention that the group “Friends of QLES” may have a Charter School Conversion Plan in the works; however, only the Charter School Review Panel is able to review, select, and rank for the selection process. Moore stated that it is a possible for QLES to submit a Charter School implementation plan; but would get less funding than a DOE school and that is the challenge.
6.       Special Needs Population – The special needs population is not significantly higher at this school and will not explain the difference. Moore suggested that the audience review the report and to bring this issue up at the public hearing. The report was meant to be factual and not used to advocate.
7.       School Closure Standard Procedure – There is no standard procedure used when closing a school. The only school DOE closed in the past was Wailupe Elementary School. The Complex Superintendent makes the final decision as to how the new school areas are redrawn. Suggestions were welcomed by the Complex Superintendent. Waialae Elementary School is under-enrolled and is able to accept all the students of Lili`uokalani. Moore noted that 49 percent of elementary students in the Kalani Complex are not from the Kalani Complex district area.
8.       Current Enrollment – For QLES, the current enrollment for the year is 124 students; almost half of the students live in the Kalani High School area.
9.       Average Classroom Size – For QLES, the classroom size is so small there are two combination grade classes.
10.   Structured Schools – The student/teacher ratio remains constant. It is the cost of the non-instructional staff (janitorial, food service, etc.) that makes the difference and makes the smaller schools more expensive to operate. Once enrollment falls below 500 the cost per student increases.
11.   Office Space – Possible to use some classroom for Pre-K classrooms; however, classroom requirements differ for Pre-K.
12.   Teacher Lay Off – No teachers will not be out of jobs, but will be placed at other schools.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES FROM OCTOBER 20, 2010 MEETING: Schneider moved and Meade seconded that the Board approve the regular meeting minutes of October 20, 2010 as corrected. The motion was ADOPTED, 10-0-0 (AYES: Cater, Leong, Meade, Nahoopii, Schneider, L. Tam, Yamada, Carvalho, V. Tam, and Tybuszewski). The correction is as follows:
·         On Page 3, under comments and concerns, add the following: “Resident Jadine Lee stated that her mother was struck by a car at the corner of Harding and 12th Avenue and died as a result of this accident; cause of death was brain trauma.
TREASURER’S REPORT:  Yamada reported for the month of October a previous balance of $2,860.98; current expenses were $49.12 for printing and postage of agenda and minutes. The current balance was $2,811.86. The report was filed.
·         Harding Avenue Construction Notice – Construction for the Harding Avenue at 5th and 11th Avenues road widening project will began Monday, November 15, 2010; starting at the 5th and Harding Avenue intersection.
·         DTS Meeting with Residents – DTS staff will be meeting with the affected residents of the 5th Avenue area on Thursday, November 18, 2010 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Kaimuki Recreation Center upstairs meeting room. Residents will be informed of the construction schedule and impacts; and respond to questions. The contractor will also be there to answer questions.
·         Recess in December 2010 – The Board will recess for December 2010. The next meeting of the Kaimuki Neighborhood Board will be January 19, 2010, 7:15 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 
ADJOURNMENT – The meeting adjourned 9:47 p.m.
Recorded By:    Gloria Gaines, Neighborhood Assistant
Reviewed By:     Vernon Tam, Chair

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