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Kaimuki Neighborhood Board Minutes Posted for October 16, 2013 Meeting - NEXT MEETING WEDNESDAY - NOV. 20, 2013
Next meeting is 11/20/2013 Read the agenda. . Click here.
DRAFT REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013
KAIMUKI CHRISTIAN CHURCH FELLOWSHIP HALL
CALL TO ORDER: Chair Lyle Bullock called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m. with a quorum of six (6) members present. Note -- This 11 member Board requires six (6) members to establish quorum and to take official Board action.
Members Present: Lyle Bullock, Paul Hoe, Russell McGuire, Sharon Schneider, Leonard Tam, and Lori Yamada.
Members Absent: Brian Kang and Marilyn Moniz-Kahoohanohano.
Vacancies: There were three (3) vacancies on the Board, including two (2) vacancies in Subdistrict 1 and one (1) vacancy in Subdistrict 3.
Guests: Miles Takaaze (Leahi Hospital), Laurie Callies, Leon and Vicki Kau, Captain Bryan Goo (Honolulu Fire Department), Lorna Heller (Board of Water Supply), Councilmember Ann Kobayashi, James Larson (Councilmember Kobayashi's Office Staff), Mark Wong (Mayor Kirk Caldwell's Representative), Lieutenant Susan Medeiros and Lieutenant Allan Nagata (Honolulu Police Department), Lisa Foxen, Ron Arnold (Kaimuki Business Professional Association), Stephen Enos and Lyndsey Garcia (Councilmember Stanley Chang's Office Staff), House Speaker Emeritus Calvin Say, Senator Les Ihara, and Risé Doi (Neighborhood Commission Office Staff).
FILLING OF BOARD VACANCIES: Chair Bullock opened the floor for nominations or volunteers to fill the three (3) vacancies. There were no nominations or volunteers to fill the vacancies in subdistrict 1. James Larson volunteered to fill the vacancy in subdistrict 3, and delivered a brief introduction about himself. Yamada nominated Larson to fill the vacancy in subdistrict 3, McGuire seconded. The motion to appoint Larson was NOT ADOPTED, 5-0-1 (Aye: Bullock, Hoe, McGuire, Schneider, Yamada; Abstain: Tam).
PUBLIC SAFETY REPORTS
Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) -- Captain Bryan Goo reported the following:
· September 2013 Fire Statistics: There were 2 fire calls, 58 Emergency Medical Services (EMS)/rescue calls, 2 hazardous condition calls, 3 service calls, 15 good intent calls, and 4 false calls.
· Halloween Safety Tips: When selecting a Halloween costume, avoid billowing or long-trailing fabric. If your child is wearing a mask, ensure the eye holes are large enough. Provide children with flashlights or glow sticks for lighting. Keep decorations away from open flames. Keep exits clear of decorations to avoid blocking escape routes.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed: Sirens: Resident Leon Kau asked about the use of sirens and why some emergency vehicles do not use them. Goo noted that the use of sirens is mandatory for HFD when responding to an emergency, and allows the emergency vehicle to get to the scene as quickly as possible. Resident Miles Takaaze thanked HFD for responding quickly and saving his mother-in-law in Hawaii Kai.
Honolulu Police Department (HPD) -- Sergeant Susan Medeiros and Lieutenant Allan Nagata provided a handout and reported the following:
- September 2013 Crime Statistics: There were 12 burglaries, 38 thefts, and 19 unauthorized entries into a motor vehicle (UEMV).
- Halloween Safety Tips: Medeiros reminded the public to pick up the handout, which contained Halloween safety tips for trick-or-treaters, parents, and homeowners.
Questions, comments and concerns followed:
- Illegal Parking: A resident raised a concern that there are parked cars that cause poor visibility of oncoming traffic when turning from Kilauea Avenue to 11th Avenue going toward Waikiki, and requested that a "no parking zone" sign be extended to 15th Avenue. Medeiros advised the resident to call 911 to report parking violations. HPD does not have jurisdiction on signage.
- Arrests: A resident asked if there were any arrests resulting from the burglaries reported earlier. Medeiros clarified that if there were she could not report about it since the burglaries are ongoing investigations. However, Medeiros noted that the handout contains information about where the burglaries occurred.
Board of Water Supply (BWS) -- Lorna Heller reported the following:
· Water Main Break: There was one (1) water main break in the Kaimuki area during September 2013.
- Oahu's Municipal Water System: BWS provides an average of 145 million gallons of water per day to a population nearing one (1) million people through a unique and complex water system. Each of BWS's 94 potable water sources, 90 booster pump stations, 172 reservoirs, and 2,100 miles of pipeline work in concert to deliver safe, high quality drinking water when users turn on their faucets. Source pumps draw water from underground and into the water transmission system. Booster stations are used to push water over long distances and to higher elevations. The purpose of pumping and booster stations is to deliver fresh water to reservoirs, which store water for future use. Finally, when the water is needed, it is fed back into water mains for delivery to homes and businesses. Over 2,100 miles of pipeline are utilized to deliver fresh water from the pumping stations, to reservoirs, and to homes. BWS employees work diligently to operate and maintain Oahu's complex water system. Proactive maintenance and replacement, as well as emergency repairs of control valves, fire hydrants, water mains, and other components are all part of BWS's daily work to ensure a safe and reliable water supply for customers. As part of this ongoing effort, BWS also manages and systematically plans for the renewal and improvement of its infrastructure.
Questions, comments and concerns followed:
- Extra Pay: Resident Kau asked if the BWS Board members are paid members. Heller answered no.
- Reservoir: It was clarified that water is pumped to the reservoir if the water level is low.
Approval of the September 18, 2013 Regular Meeting Minutes: McGuire moved and Hoe seconded to adopt the September 18, 2013 regular meeting minutes as published. The minutes were ADOPTED by UNANIMOUS CONSENT, 6-0-0 (Aye: Bullock, Hoe, McGuire, Schneider, Tam, and Yamada).
Treasurer's Report: Kang read the financial statement for September 2013. Costs included $5.26 for printing, $20.70 for postage, leaving a balance of $541.24. The report was filed.
Permitted Interaction Group Report: This item was deferred until next month.
PUBLIC INPUT -- None.
OLD BUSINESS -- None.
Problems at the Mau'umae Nature Park Lookout: Community member Laurie Callies delivered a presentation on proposing the closure Mau'umae Nature Park Lookout on Koko Drive to vehicles, due to the activities that have been happening there. Callies is the head of the Neighborhood Security Watch (NSW) in Maunalani Heights, and has received numerous reports from residents about the illegal activities occurring at the lookout site. Callies noted that a community group cleaning graffiti at the lookout site had also found used condoms, cigarettes, crystal meth bags, and syringes. Callies asked for the Board's support in closing the lookout point to vehicles, even if it is temporarily. Callies recommended bringing concrete blocks near the lookout site closer together so that cars cannot pass through, but still allowing people to walk to the lookout site.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
- Noise: Resident Lisa Foxen lives near the lookout and commented that there is constant noise coming from near the lookout site. Foxen commented that she hopes that there will be an easier solution than calling HPD every night.
- Dumping: A resident noted that there are trucks dumping rocks and tree branches at the lookout site, and the site is becoming a dump.
- Drug Dealing: A resident commented that she thinks there is drug dealing near the lookout site, and suggested that if cars are not allowed to park there, then drug deals would not happen. Tam also commented that drug dealing has occurred near the lookout for many years.
- Solution: Tam suggested keeping the lookout open, but closing the parking lot and moving the concrete blocks to allow two (2) vehicles to park on Koko Drive. Callies commented it is better to remove the parking altogether but allow space for people to walk through.
- Signage: Chair Bullock asked about signage near the lookout. Callies commented that there is graffiti covering the signs.
- Hours: Chair Bullock asked which hours are the noisiest for the residents. A resident responded that it is noisiest from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m.
- Chain: A resident suggested chaining off the lookout at night. Callies agreed that a chain might help.
- Closure Time: Tam suggested asking the City to close Mau'umae Park and lookout at 10:00 p.m. Callies commented that she does not think that will deter the illegal activity and noise. Tam commented that if there is a closure time, then HPD has to go up there. Callies noted that HPD is there almost every night. A resident noted that once HPD leaves, then the noise begins again.
- Cars: McGuire asked how many cars are parked at the lookout each night. A resident answered two (2) or three (3) cars.
- City Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR): McGuire suggested asking DPR if a chain would be effective in keeping vehicles out of the lookout site and seeing what other suggestions DPR may have. Callies noted that Director Toni Robinson is aware of the problems. Chair Bullock agreed that the Board should make a recommendation of closing the park at a reasonable hour and reducing parking at night to eliminate the activities at the lookout. Chair Bullock also explained that it will take time to make the changes, and recommended that the public keep calling HPD in the meantime.
- Sprinkler System: A resident asked if there was a sprinkler system at the park. Tam commented that the lookout has no irrigation system.
- Barricades: Yamada asked if the NSW would pay to get barricades. Callies noted that the concrete slabs at the lookout are easy to move.
McGuire moved and Schneider seconded to forward the Mau'umae Park lookout recommendations from area residents to DPR, including posting park closure hours and seeking DPR's recommendations on full closure or partial closure of the parking in the area of the lookout in order to stem noise disturbances and illegal activity after hours. The motion was ADOPTED UNANIMOUSLY, 6-0-0 (Aye: Bullock, Hoe, McGuire, Schneider, Tam, and Yamada).
Mayor Kirk Caldwell's Representative -- Mark Wong provided the City newsletter and reported the following:
· Road Repairs: There is road rehabilitation in St. Louis Heights and Wilhelmina Rise.
· Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Symposium: The City Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) will have a TOD symposium on Saturday, November 16, 2013 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Neal Blaisdell Center.
· Town Hall Meeting: There is a new series of town hall meetings. There will be a town hall meeting at Neal Blaisdell Center on October 17, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.
· Budget: A resident had asked last month what it will take to manage the City budget. Wong reported that Mayor Caldwell is looking to manage the budget by a combination of cutting expenses and ways to enhance revenue.
Questions, comments, concerns followed:
- Radiation: McGuire inquired if Mayor Caldwell's administration, the State, or elected officials are looking into Japanese radiation contamination in Hawaii's seafood.
- Christmas Parade: Ron Arnold from the Kaimuki Business Professional Association raised a concern that the resurfacing of Waialae Avenue is not progressing well. Arnold inquired if the construction will be done by December 5, 2013, or if not, requested that the construction resume after the parade. Wong said that it was originally reported that the resurfacing would be done by the end of the year, however, due to issues underneath the road, construction will not be done until the end of January 2014.
- Public Parking Lots: Chair Bullock asked Wong to follow up on the status of resurfacing the public parking lots on Koko Head Avenue and a report on the road rehabilitation project.
- Anonymous Fliers: Chair Bullock raised a concern that he had received an anonymous flier regarding the $250 fine for bulky-item pick-up violations. Chair Bullock asked how the City Department of Environmental Services (ENV) is notifying residents if they are in violation of bulky-item pick-up.
- Timeframe: Hoe asked for clarification about the timeframe of the Waialae Avenue repaving project. Wong will follow up.
Councilmember Ann Kobayashi -- Councilmember Kobayashi provided a newsletter and reported the following:
· Recycling Event: The 10th Annual Community Clean-Up event will be on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at Kaimuki High School from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Proceeds of the event will go to Kaimuki High School, Kapahulu Senior Center, and Moiliili Senior Center.
· Jarrett Middle School Foundation: The Jarrett Middle School Foundation will be hosting a dinner honoring House Speaker Emeritus Calvin Say on Saturday, October 19, 2013.
· Bills: Mayor Caldwell had introduced 10 bills to enhance revenue. Out of the 10 bills, one (1) had survived. Taxes may be raised on people with no home exemption. In order to protect those who rent, only those with no home exemption and renting at $1 million properties will have a higher tax rate. Councilmember Kobayashi noted that most local renters do not rent $1 million homes.
· Park Closure: Councilmember Kobayashi noted that having a park closure time is beneficial so that police can ask people who are in the park after closure hours to leave.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed: Exemptions for Seniors: Resident Kau raised a concern about a bill removing tax exemptions for seniors. Councilmember Kobayashi clarified that those making $50,000 or less will get a break on property tax. Some seniors have a double exemption. The double exemption should remain for another five (5) years.
Councilmember Stanley Chang -- Stephen Enos provided a newsletter and reported the following:
· Kahala Elementary School: Councilmember Chang's office will be adopting Kahala Elementary School and will be restriping the parking lot on Saturday, October 26, 2013.
· Notice of Violation (NOV): A NOV was issued to a property on Hoku Avenue on Tuesday, October 15, 2013.
· Stop Sign: A bent stop sign was reported on Manini Way. A request was assigned to the City Department of Facilities and Maintenance (DFM) to fix the stop sign.
Governor Neil Abercrombie's Representative -- No representative was present; a report was provided.
Senator Sam Slom -- No representative was present and no report was provided.
Senator Les Ihara, Jr. -- Senator Ihara reported the following:
- Special Session: The special session will begin on Monday, October 28, 2013.
- Appointments: The Chief Justice appointed a Maui District Court judge today. There are also 25 interim appointments that the Senate will be confirming. There are two (2) vacancies in Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA). The Senate is requesting the Governor to make an appointment before the special session so there can be hearings on the vacancies.
- Seafood: Senator Ihara will follow up regarding McGuire's earlier question on testing for radiation in seafood.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
- Radiation Testing: A resident commented that the University of Hawaii (UH) Marine Center did test for radiation after the earthquake in Japan, and is regularly monitoring for radiation.
- Discrimination: Resident Kau asked if businesses can refuse to serve same-sex couples. Senator Ihara explained that any business cannot discriminate once in the public marketplace, and commented that businesses cannot pick and choose which customers to serve. Senator Ihara noted that a business can refuse service if the customer is intoxicated, but a business cannot refuse service if the customer is part of a protected class exemption.
- Religious Implications: A resident expressed concern about the religious implications of a business owner serving a same-sex couple, commenting it infringes upon the business owner's religious freedom. Senator Ihara reiterated that once a business enters the public marketplace, it cannot discriminate. The resident expressed concern that passing the same-sex marriage law infringes upon his religious freedom and the decision on not serving a same-sex couple. Senator Ihara noted that churches in the South were against interracial marriages due to their religion, and discrimination against African Americans was also because of religious beliefs. Senator Ihara reported that that clergy can discriminate on solemnizing a marriage. The resident expressed concern about the effects of same-sex marriage on society, citing massresistance.org. Senator Ihara commented that the report from massresistance.org has been debunked by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
- Civil Unions: Senator Ihara noted that currently, Hawaii state law gives the same state rights and benefits to couples in a civil union as in a traditional marriage. Passing a marriage equality bill would allow same-sex couples the federal tax benefits.
- Cost of Special Session: A resident asked about the cost of the special session and inquired about why the same-sex marriage issue could not wait until the regular legislative session. Senator Ihara reported that the cost of special session is about $25,000. However, there is a pending lawsuit, Jackson v. Abercrombie, which will cost the state $300,000 if it goes forward. If the marriage equality bill is passed, then the lawsuit will not go forward. In addition, if a marriage equality bill is passed, then same-sex couples can take advantage of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) federal tax benefits when filing for taxes.
Representative Calvin K.Y. Say -- House Speaker Emeritus Say provided a newsletter and reported that he remains one (1) of the six (6) in the House of Representatives who remains undecided on the marriage equality bill. Speaker Emeritus Say expressed he supports same-sex marriage, but is undecided due to the language of the bill.
Representative Bertrand Kobayashi -- No representative was present; a report was provided.
· Next Board Meeting: The next meeting of the Kaimuki Neighborhood Board No. 4 will be on Wednesday, November 20, 7:00 p.m. at the Kaimuki Christian Church, Fellowship Hall, 1117 Koko Head Avenue.
ADJOURNMENT: The meeting adjourned at 8:39 p.m.
Submitted By: Risé Doi, Neighborhood Assistant I
Reviewed By: Leland Ribac, Neighborhood Assistant II
Reviewed and Finalized By: Lyle Bullock Jr., Chair
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