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  • Kaimuki Neighborhood Board Minutes Posted for February 15, 2012 Meeting

Next meeting is 3/21/2012 - Read the agenda. . Click here.
Courtesy of Neighborhood Commission Office
Source Neighborhood Commission Office
CALL TO ORDER: Chair Vernon Tam called the meting to order at 7:05 p.m. Quorum was established with seven (7) members present. Note – This 11 member Board requires six (6) members to establish quorum and to take official Board action.
Board Members Present – Lyle Bullock, Paul Hoe, Russell McGuire, Sharon Schneider, Lisa Shorba, Leonard Tam, Vernon Tam, Lori Yamada, and Jonathan Young.
Board Members Absent – Abigail Leong, and John Perez.
Vacancies – None.
Guests – Kari Benes (Oahu Complete Streets), Catherine Hughes, Willie Iaela, Dustie L. Nelson, Karen Yorimoto (Councilmember Ann Kobayashi’s Office staff), S. Sonoda, Steve Uyeno (Councilmember Stanley Chang’s Office staff), Sgt. Akurasaki, Corp. W. Gouvea Jr., Off. C. Domingo and Off. S. Fujitani (Honolulu Police Department), Fred Pablo (Hawaii Department of Taxation), Russell Kokubun (Hawaii Board of Agriculture), Lester Fung, Glenn Y. Yamasaki, Fred Perlak and Alan Takemoto (Monsato), Lydia Chock (Leahi), Capt. Ricky Mamiya and FF. Michael Carter (Honolulu Fire Department), Dave D. (Diamond Head Theatre), Asia Y., Representative Calvin Say, Senator Les Ihara Jr., Representative Barbara Marumoto, Darrell Young, and Kazuaki McArthur (Neighborhood Commission Office staff).
Chair Tam noted that the agenda should read approval of the January 18, 2012 minutes, not November 16, 2011 minutes. The Chair recommended the agenda be amended to include approval of the January 18, 2012 minutes.
Bullock moved, and Young seconded to amend the agenda to include approval of the January 18, 2012 minutes. The motion was UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTED, 8-0-0 (Aye: Bullock, Hoe, McGuire, Schneider, L. Tam, V. Tam, Yamada, and Young).
Honolulu Police Department (HPD) – Corp. W. Gouvea Jr. reported the following;
January Statistics: Included 21 burglaries, 46 thefts, and 18 unauthorized entries into motor vehicles (UEMV).
Questions, comments, and concerns followed;
1.       Half Way Houses: It was noted that there is a half-way house near 6th Avenue and Pahoa Avenue. It was asked if crimes in the area are connected to the residents at the half-way house. HPD noted there are a few half-way houses in the area but, also noted that house residents must follow curfews set by the managers.
2.       HPD Candidates: It was asked and clarified that applicants must be United States citizen to work for HPD.
Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) – FF. Michael Carter reported the following;
·         January 2012 Statistics: Included 1 vehicle fire, 99 medical emergencies, 4 search and rescues, and 21 miscellaneous calls for service.
·         Safety Tip: Smoke alarms save lives and are an important part of a home escape plan.  Since the 1970’s, properly installed fire alarms have contributed to a 50 percent decrease in fire deaths. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 65 percent of home fire deaths reported between 2000 and 2004 resulted from homes that had inoperable or no smoke alarms. An estimated 890 lives could be saved each year if every home contained working smoke alarms.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed;
1.       Response Time: It was asked and clarified that firefighters load the fire engine within one (1) minute after receiving an emergency call; however, the estimated time of arrival depends on the distance of the emergency from the firehouse.
2.       Area of Coverage: It was asked and clarified that the Kaimuki fire station area of coverage includes Amelia Earhart Lookout, Waialae Avenue, Chaminade University, and overlaps boundaries with other fire companies.
Board of Water Supply (BWS) – A representative was not present; a report was not made available.
Danger of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and Monsato’s Roundup Pesticide – A representative was not present; the presentation was deferred to a future meeting.
Kapiolani Community College Sunday Farmer’s Market Proposal – A representative was not present; the presentation was deferred to a future meeting.
Complete Streets – Keri Benes circulated a handout and reported that Hawaii has one (1) of the highest bike fatality rates in the nation. Complete Streets are streets that institute measures that allow safe road access for all road users. Complete Streets initiatives aim to reduce traffic, provide safe access to businesses, Increase property value, and improve the surrounding environment. It was noted that members of the Complete Streets Coalition are visiting Neighborhood Boards and requesting they support a resolution urging City Councilmembers to pass a Complete Streets ordinance which would ensure that City planners take into account opportunities to implement Complete Streets elements when planning new road construction, road reconstruction, and road maintenance. The resolution also requests that directors for the Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP), Department of Transportation Services (DTS), Department of Facilities Maintenance (DFM), and the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) collaborate to implement Complete Streets elements when planning transit projects.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed;
1.       Reduction in Pedestrian Accidents: It was asked and clarified that road re-striping and road re-surfacing are steps that can be taken to reduce pedestrian accidents and fatalities.
2.       Pedestrian Education: A Board member suggested holding a pedestrian education class. It was expressed that pedestrians frequently walk into the street without looking. It was noted that the Complete Streets ordinance would only address the design element of transit.
3.       Lack of Funds: A Board member expressed that a Complete Streets ordinance would only cost the City more money.
Lisa Shorba arrived at 7:21 p.m.; nine (9) members present.
4.       Moped Accidents: It was asked and clarified that mopeds are not included in the bicycle fatality statistics.  It was reported that over 400 moped accidents occur in Hawaii each year.
V. Tam Relinquished the gavel to Schneider
5.       Dual Responsibility: The Chair expressed that both drivers and pedestrians have the responsibility to be cautious and to be on the lookout for each other. The Chair noted that he was almost struck by a former Councilmember because the Councilmember was talking on his cellphone while driving. The Chair also relayed incidents of pedestrians crossing the street without looking.  However, because of the greater danger a moving vehicle presents, drivers need to exercise greater care.  So, if the sun is in the driver's eyes, even greater caution needs to be exercised while driving.  It should not be used as an excuse after the fact.
Schneider returned the gavel to V. Tam
6.       Support: A community member noted that she bikes in the area and supports the Complete Streets ordinance. It was expressed that the ordinance would create safer streets and would not cost the City money.
7.       Alternate Transportation: It was suggested taking a taxi or carpooling.
8.       Lane Width: It was asked and clarified that traffic lanes are 10-feet wide.
9.       Median: Concern was raised that installation of a median on Waialae Avenue would make the street too narrow. It was noted that the purpose of Complete Streets is to consider all factors before implementing any changes to streets.
Bullock moved, and Schneider seconded that the Board draft a resolution urging the City to pass a complete streets ordinance, and request that DPP, DTS, DDC, DPP, and DFM directors establish procedures to work together to provide Complete Streets.
Discussion Followed;
  1. 1. Lack of Funding: A Board member reiterated that the concept is good; however, there is no funding for complete streets.
V. Tam relinquished the gavel to Schneider
2.       Concept: The Chair clarified that the resolution supports the concept of Complete Streets but, not necessarily any potential changes in particular.
Schneider returned the gavel to V. Tam
3.       Clarification: A Board member clarified that the Complete Streets ordinance only requests that department heads meet together to consider Complete Streets elements whenever planning transit projects.
The motion was ADOPTED 8-0-1 (Aye: Bullock, Hoe, McGuire, Schneider, L. Tam, V. Tam, Yamada, and Young Abstain: Shorba).
Senate Bill 3052 – Chair Tam reported that Senate Bill 3052 requires public hearings to be held to inform residents before adult resident care homes are built. The bill was introduced by Senator Pohai Ryan after collaborating with Councilmember Stanley Chang. The bill has been deferred in the State Senate.
Mayor Peter Carlisle’s Representative – Tim Steinberger reported the following;
·         Park Facility Use: Residents interested in holding classes at City Park facilities must contact the recreation director of the park and fill out an application. Park rules and regulations can be found on the City website.
·         Road Resurfacing: DFM will be meeting with DTS to discuss the jurisdiction of municipal parking lot resurfacing in the Kaimuki area.
·         Ward Rafters: DPP has investigated Ward Rafters several times over the last two (2) years and a Notice of Violation (NOV) was issued to the owners of the property; however, the property owners challenged the NOV in court. In court, the City could not define what constituted a large number of people. Consequently, the judge ruled in favor of Ward Rafters. At this time, the problem resides between Ward Rafters and adjacent property owners. Community members are instructed to call HPD if witnessing excessive noise or illegal parking.
·         Bill 10: Bill 10 refers to a ban on plastic shopping bags. It was noted that the bill is aimed at reducing the amount of plastic bags being used at big business shopping chains.
·         Sewer Fees: A bill is being considered to modify sewer fees to reduce the base amount while focusing charges more on water consumption.
·         BWS: A resolution has been introduced which would dissolve the semi-autonomous BWS Board and place the management of water under the City’s executive branch.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed;
1.       Board Position: The Chair noted that the Board will not take a position on the Ward Rafters issue as it is currently in litigation.
2.       Plastic Bags: It was asked and clarified that persons would not be prohibited from bringing their own plastic bags to the store.
3.       GMO: A Board member asked if the Mayor had a position on GMO’s. It was noted that GMO’s are more of a State issue.
4.       Ward Rafters Court Case: Concern was raised regarding the Mayor’s Representative’s statement that Ward Rafters won the case against the City. The Mayor’s Representative suggested getting in touch with the City’s attorney in the case to get a more comprehensive answer.
5.       School Boundaries: A Board member reported that the Geographic Information System (GIS) needs to be updated. It was noted that the GIS website still has a school district for Liliuokalani Elementary School.
6.       Rail: It was asked if the upcoming City administration would be able to stop the rail project. It was noted that the Rail project and the Honolulu authority for Rapid Transit (HART) were both previously approved by Hawaii voters during the election. It was noted that the notion to stop the rail and/or disband HART would require placing the item back on the ballot during the next election.
7.       HFD: Concern was raised as to why HFD has not inspected the Ward Rafters for fire code violations.
Councilmember Ann Kobayashi – Karen Yorimoto circulated a newsletter and opened the floor for questions.
Councilmember Stanley Chang – Steve Ueno circulated a newsletter and expounded on Councilmember Chang’s Unified Road Standard Policy. The policy would require the City to assess all of Oahu’s streets and would have the City dedicate resources to repairing the worst roads first. Ueno conveyed Councilmember Chang’s concern of care homes being built without notifying residents first.
Senator Les Ihara – Senator Les Ihara circulated a report reported that Friday, February 16, 2012 is the last day to submit bills to the Senate committees. A re-apportionment meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 23, 2012, at the 6:00 p.m., at the Capitol Auditorium to discuss the proposed State and Senate district boundaries. E-mails were sent out to community members regarding the KCC Farmer’s Market listed on the agenda. Senator Ihara noted he is working on a bill to charge 10 cents per plastic bag used at stores.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed;
1.       KCC Farmer’s Market: The Chair noted that the KCC Farmer’s Market presentation has been deferred to the next regular meeting. It was further noted that KCC Farmer’s Market representatives will meet with neighboring residents and groups to answer questions after the presentation before the Board.
2.       Department of Education (DOE): It was asked and clarified that the DOE is regulated by the State because it is mandated under the State constitution.
3.       Plastic Bag Fee: It was asked and clarified that a portion of the funds generated by the plastic bag fee would go the retailer and also to preserving Hawaii’s water shed. A Board member suggested using the fees to offset the proposed Department of Health trash fees.
4.       Borrowing: It was asked and clarified that the State will be borrowing $1 billion this year. A break down of money borrowed last year will be provided at the next meeting.
5.       GMO Labeling: It was asked and clarified that Senator Ihara supports GMO labeling.
Representative Calvin Say – Representative Calvin Say circulated a newsletter and reported that he is committed to creating job opportunities for those in the construction industry. It was noted that the Rail project will provide jobs for construction. It was noted that the reports on the first half of 2012 shows growth in Hawaii’s tourism industry; however, the second half of the year will be slowed due to elections and the unsettled tax rate. Representative Say is striving to take measures so as to not raise the General Excise Tax. Representative Say noted that he supports GMO’s because it makes Hawaii’s produce more resilient against bugs. It was noted Hawaii’s produce brings in a significant amount of income to the State.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed;
1.       State Financial Plan: It was reported that $1.1 billion was tied up in investments made by the previous administration. It was also noted that the bad investment contributed to much of the State’s financial woes, noting the $1.2 billion shortfall left by the previous administration.  In an agreement reached with the agent responsible, the State has already received $200 million and expects to receive yet another $200 million by July 2012. The remaining balance of $700 million is expected to be paid back by 2015. Question was whether these funds have been included in the State’s Financial Plan. Representative Say replied yes, the repaid amounts have already been incorporated into the budget.
2.       Corporate Tax Rates: It was noted that the lowering of corporate tax rates was an effort to entice outside businesses to Hawaii. It was suggested that taxes on tips be done away with.
3.       17th Amendment: It was suggested the 17th Amendment be repealed which would allow the people to remove Federal representatives from office if they are not doing a satisfactory job.
Representative Scott Nishimoto – Representative Calvin Say circulated a report and opened up the floor for question or comments for Representative Scott Nishimoto.
Representative Mark Hashem – Representative Calvin Say opened up the floor for questions or comments for Representative Hashem.
Representative Barbara Marumoto – Representative Marumoto circulated a newsletter and reported that funds for brown tree snake handlers have been appropriated due to increased flights between Hawaii and Guam. It was noted that the DOE plans to move offices into the vacant Liliuokalani Elementary School lot. This goes against the structure's intended public use.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed;
Public Use: Concern was raised that DOE offices would not serve as public use. It was expressed that the Liliuokalani Elementary School property be utilized in a way that would benefit the community.
Governor Neill Abercrombie’s Representative – Fred Pablo reported the following
·         Homeless at Kaimuki Regional Park: To report homeless at Kaimuki Regional Park, call 791-9359.
·         State Homelessness Coordinator: A replacement is currently being sought to replace Marc Alexander as State Homeless Coordinator.
·         Liliuokalani Elementary School Closure: The closure of Liliuokalani Elementary School saved the State $530,000.
·         Internet Speed: Community members can verify their broadband connection by visiting
·         House Bill (HB) 608: HB 608 was signed into law. The bill provides $1.9 million to Queen’s Medical center to continue liver and kidney transplants in lieu of Hawaii Medical Center closures.
·         Tax Rates: Hawaii has some of the lowest sales and property tax rates in the nation; however, due to the high property value, Hawaii residents pay more to live in the State.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed;
Broadband Speeds: Regarding the Governor's broadband initiative. It was noted that there are only five (5) undersea conduits supplying Hawaii's broadband needs. Three (3) go to the mainland while two (2) go to Asia. The total bandwidth capacity of those five cables is physically limited and present bottlenecks to higher broadband speeds.  Increasing undersea cable capacity, an expense that exceeds the state's resources, must be done before statewide speed can be addressed.  The Governor's advisors need to be aware of this.
APPROVAL OF JANUARY 18, 2012 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES: Yamada moved, and McGuire seconded to approve the January 18, 2012 regular meeting minutes as circulated. The motion was UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTED, 9-0-0 (Aye: Bullock, Hoe, McGuire, Schneider, Shorba, L. Tam, V. Tam, Yamada, and Young).
TREASURER’S REPORT: Lori Yamada reported a starting balance of $2,264.00 and a remaining balance of $1,874.06 after printing and postage of Board meeting minutes and agendas. The report was filed.
1.       Next Meeting – The next regular meeting of the Kaimuki Neighborhood Board is scheduled for Wednesday, March 21, 2012, at 7:00 p.m., at the Kaimuki Christian Church Fellowship Hall, 1117 Koko Head Avenue.
ADJOURNMENT: The meeting adjourned at 9:24 p.m.
Submitted by: Kazuaki McArthur, Neighborhood Assistant
Reviewed by: Vernon Tam, Chair

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