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Palolo Neighborhood Board Meeting May 2019 Minutes
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
WEDNESDAY, MAY 8, 2019
PALOLO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CAFETERIA
CALL TO ORDER: Chair Randolph Hack called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Quorum WAS ESTABLISHED with 10 members present. Note - This 13-member board requires seven (7) members to establish a quorum and to take official Board action.
Board Members Present: Barbara Armentrout, Will Caron, Frank Farm, Josh Frost, Randolph Hack, Paul Holtrop, Beverly Mau, Earl Shiraki, Darlene Nakayama, and Rusti Onishi.
Board Members Absent: Bradley Rentz and Jaime Rincon.
Guests: Captain Takada (Honolulu Fire Department); Lieutenant Gary Sunada (Honolulu Police Department); Dominic Diaz (Board of Water Supply); Director Ross Sasamura (Mayor Kirk Caldwell's Representative/Department of Facility Maintenance); Director Catherine P. Awakuni-Colón; Cliff Kaneshiro (Councilmember Ann Kobayashi's Office); House Representative Calvin Say; (Residents) Jr. Traver Carroll, Jackie Carroll, Jay Chivers, Maribeth Samiento, Elton Fukumoto, Carol Lee-Arnold, Wainani Arnold, Grace Lee, George Lee, Pritty Borthakur, Dulal Borthakur, Jason Arakawa, Liare Arakawa, Aurelia Gonzalez, Freedom Dennis, Roya Dennis, Dave Watase, Kahealani Kaehi, Kehau Lianos, Evan Anderson, David Farrell, Philip Tom, Cory Kot, Syndney Lynch, Maelyn Chang, Bruce Shimokawa, Martha Torney, Ashley Noji, Keoki Noji, Shirley Murakami, Bill Chismar, Rose Chismar, Drew Matsumoto, Sandra Staab, Daryn Shima, Ann Harada, Howard Caires, Tracy Caires; and Thomas Baldwin (Neighborhood Assistant).
Citing time restraints for the Representative and hearing no objections, Chair Hack moved to Representative Calvin Say.
CITY MONTHLY REPORTS
Honolulu Fire Department (HFD): Captain Takada reported the following:
April 2019 Statistics: There were 26 medical alarms and 3 mountains rescues.
Fire Safety Tip: Escape Planning:
o General Information: Captain Takada emphasized the importance of escape plans in case of an emergency. Residents may have only a few minutes to get our safely one a smoke alarm sounds.
o Making An Escape Plan: Captain Takada gave tips on how to make a home escape plan, including knowing at least two ways out of every room, having an outside meeting place, practicing your home fire drill twice a year during both day and night, teaching children how to escape on their own, and closing doors behind oneself.
o Smoke Alarm: Captain Takada added that if a smoke alarm sounds, residents should get out and stay out - never go back inside for people or pets, stay low and under smoke to escape and call 911 from outside the residence.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Dry Brush in Private Property: Armentrout expressed concerns and Captain Takada responded that they cannot take preemptive measures to mitigate the risk of dry brush if it's on private property.
2. House Fire Causes: Shiraki asked and Captain Takada responded that house fires have various sources, though can commonly be candles or overheating appliances.
Honolulu Police Department - District 7: Lieutenant Sunada reported the following:
??? April 2019 Statistics: There were 8 motor vehicle thefts, 23 burglaries, 20 thefts, 15 unauthorized entry into motor vehicles (UEMV), and 6,119 calls for service.
Safety Tip: Lieutenant Sunada encouraged residetns to lock their car and home doors.
3-1-1 System: Lieutenant Sunada reported that they will be rolling out the 311 system specifically for non-emergency complaints. Time sensitive cases or emergencies should be referred to 911.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Recreational Marijuana: Shiraki expressed concerns with legislation to legalize marijuana and Lieutenant Sunada responded that this is the responsibility of the legislative branch.
2. Waiomao and 10th Avenue: Shiraki expressed concerns with vehicles on Waiomao and 10th Avenue illegally parking too close to the corner.
Board of Water Supply: Dominic Diaz of the BWS reported the following:
Main Break Report: Diaz reported one (1) main break fronting 1801 9th Avenue.
??? General Water Announcement: BWS reminds customers to be vigilant about protecting themselves against fraud. Utility customers are increasingly becoming targets for individuals attempting to gain access to residences, steal personal information, or trick them into giving away their money. Scammers can act through unexpected or aggressive text messages, phone calls, or visits to a property. Residents should call BWS Customer Care at 748-5030 to verify account status. To confirm the validity of an individual claiming to be a BWS employee, residents may call BWS at 748-5000 or HPD at 9-1-1 if suspicious. Customers may also call BWS at 748-5041 to file a report about suspicious encounters.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed regarding main breaks:
1. Repaving on 10th Avenue: Shiraki expressed appreciation for BWS repaving work on 10th Avenue.
2. Avoiding Fraud: Resident May asked and Diaz responded that BWS workers in the field will be wearing a City and County badge and wearing a BWS shirt. A BWS contractor may not have these, but should be able to answer who they're working for and what the project is.
3. Waiomao: Shiraki asked and Diaz responded that BWS is actively monitoring for leaks along Waimao Road and working to solve the issues in the area.
FILLING OF VACANCIES
No resident volunteered to fill the vacancy in sub-district four (4).
Councilmember Kobayashi's Office: Cliff Kaneshiro of Councilmember Kobayashi's distributed a newsletter and reported the following:
Council Calendar: Kaneshiro reported that today (Wednesday, May 8, 2019) is the full council meeting. Committee meetings will begin on May 22, 2019.
??? Maryknoll School: Kaneshiro reported that their office recognizes the Maryknoll Basketball teams State Championship victory.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Monster Homes: Onishi asked and Kaneshiro responded that they can look into specific issues related to Monster Homes to bring back to the next meeting. Shiraki asked and Kaneshiro responded that Monster Home legislation is targeted towards non-owner occupied residences. Onishi requested specific information on the legislation as it develops.
2. Top Golf: Shiraki asked and Kaneshiro responded that he will do more research on the Top Golf project that is still underway.
3. Monster Homes (continued): Armentrout expressed concerns with a new monster home in Palolo and Kaneshiro requested information on the address of the home.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell's Representative: Department of Facility Maintenance (DFM) Director Ross Sasamura reported the following:
Neighborhood Board Elections: The Neighborhood Commission Office (NCO) is happy to announce that this Friday, April 26 marks the opening of the online voting period for the 2019 Neighborhood Board Election. The voting period will run through Friday, May 17 at 11:59 p.m. The 2019 Neighborhood Board Election is being held online at www2.honolulu.gov.nbe. The website will not be activated until the voting period begins on Friday, April 26 at 8:30 a.m. and concludes on Friday, May 17 at 4:30 p.m. Passcodes are being mailed to eligible voters prior to the start of the voting period. Please note that O‘ahu voters residing in an uncontested race area will not receive a passcode. Online voting ends at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 17. If you are unable to vote online, you can request a paper ballot by calling the NCO's Ballot Request Hotline at 768-3710 no later than 4:30 p.m. on Monday, May 13 with your full name, birthdate, and residential address. Returned ballots must be postmarked by Friday, May 17 and received by the NCO no later than Friday, May 24.
The following voting sites with computer access will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Friday, April 26 through Friday, May 17:
o Kapolei Hale Conference Room C, 1000 Ulu‘ohi‘a Street (Mondays through Fridays)
o Kap lama Hale, 925 Dillingham Boulevard Suite 160 (Mondays through Fridays)
o The KEY Project in Kahalu‘u at 47-2000 Waihe'e Road from 8:30 a.m. and 4:30p.m.(Monday through Friday)
o Any public library on O‘ahu within the Hawai‘i State Public Library System (see library hours)
The certified election results shall be made public no later than Monday, June 3.
For more information please call NCO at 768-3705 or visit www.honolulu.gov/NCO.
Planned Development: In response to a request from Speaker Emeritus Say to advise if a development project is undergoing planning or permitting at 2106 Palolo Avenue. DPP responded that the recorded fee owner is Pacific Islanders United Methodist Church. On January 26, 2004, a Conditional Use Permit - Major for a halfway house group living facility called "The First Life After Prison" facility (also known as the Frist L.A.P. Program) was approved with conditions. DPP has no record of any other development activity, including building permit applications, occurring within the last 15 years.
Waiomao "No Parking" Signs: In response to Board member Farm's is request for the installation of "No Parking" signs at the end of Waiomao Road due to an increase in vehicle parking from hikers visiting the area, DTS completed an investigation of Waiomao Road. In accordance with the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu, Section 15-14.1(a), "No person shall stop, stand or park a vehicle . . . (1) On a sidewalk; (27) Within the turnaround area of any dead-end street;" and signs are not required for these restrictions to be enforceable. A review of the traffic collision history within the past three (3) years did not show any unusual trends or conditions which would necessitate the installation of additional traffic control devices at this time. As such, the DTS does not recommend the installation of "No Parking" signs at the dead-end portion of Waiomao Road at this time. They recommend that the requestor notify the Honolulu Police Department whenever illegal parking is observed.
??? Kuahea Street Planned Home Demolition: In response to a request for information on how many homes will be demolished by the City on Kuahea Street and concern over the release of asbestos from the demolition work, DDC reported the following: The City has building permits to demolish two (2) homes and has done environmental site assessments for the site and structures to be demolished. DDC is evaluating whether other structures will need to be demolished to support the stabilization project. The demolition operations will be performed in phases to allow safe removal and proper disposal of materials containing asbestos.
Appropriation for Kuahea Street Stabilization: Director Sasamura corrected a previous statement, commenting that the $1.5 million request for the FY20 budget. There is $1.5 million requested in the CIP budget under Bill 11. However, according to the DDC, all of those funds are actually in the construction phase. There are no funds for planning or design.
Bills and Resolutions: In response to board member Onishi's concern regarding bills, Director Sasamura reported that residents can access any bill that's been filed, including through the City Council website.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Demolition on Kuahea Street: Director Sasamura responded that the word "asbestos" was used in the response because this was the subject of the inquiry. Director Sasamura clarified that no asbestos has been reported at this time.
2. Red Painted Curbs: Onishi asked and Director Sasamura that the City does not paint curbs red.
3. Garage Car Port: Onishi asked and Director Sasamura responded that the maximum length of garage car ports is dictated by the DPP.
4. Council District 4 Elections: Shiraki expressed concerns with Council District 4 elections allowing those who did not vote in the first election to vote in the second election.
5. Demolition on Kuahea Street (continued): Resident Julie Etsy of Kuahea Street expressed concerns with the construction workers wearing certain protective gears that would be used in hazardous materials incidents (like asbestos) with no report as to what they were protecting themselves from.
6. Kuahea Street Construction Plans: Resident Etsy asked and Director Sasamura responded that no plans are publicly accessible at this time, commenting that only the bills to fund the construction are public at this time. Resident Etsy asked and Director Sasamura responded that the requested construction funds are for the plans that were already developed. He clarified that these are emergency procurements taken from the leftover funds from the previously halted Kuahea Street work. He commented that the $1.5 million is to continue this work. Resident Etsy asked and Director Sasamura responded that he would get more information on the scope and plans of the work.
Governor David Ige's Representative: Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) Director Catherine P. Awakuni-Colón distributed a newsletter and reported the following:
Newsletter Highlights - Sustainability: Director Awakuni-Colón highlighted items from the newsletter related to sustainability values and practices, including the green energy money saver program, growing and buying local foods, training future environmental leaders of Hawaii, and how residents can help to monitor and protect against invasive species.
Response - 99 Year Lease Program: In response to Board member Frost's inquiries with bills related to the Governor's 99 year lease program, Director Awakuni-Colón reported that information related to House Bill 963 and Senate Bill 1190 was emailed Board member Frost.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed: Ford Fuchigami: Armentrout asked and Director Awakuni-Colón that Ford Fuchigami will be returning to the Hawaii State Department of Transportation (HDOT) in an administrative role.
House Speaker Emeritus (HSE) Calvin Say: HSE Say distributed a newsletter and reported the following:
Kuahea and Waiomao - Bill 11 and Council Resolution: HSE Say reported, in addition to the $1.5 million appropriation for the Kuahea Street, their office submitted testimony in support of a $350,000 appropriation for the Palolo Valley Geological Survey at the City Council.
9th Avenue Sewer Project: HSE Say provided an update on the construction for the sewer project on 9th Avenue between Paalea and Kalua Road.
Waialae Avenue: HSE Say responded to a request for street paintings of arrows on the one way streets of 8th, 9th, and 10th avenue on the mauka side of Waialae Avenue due to recent accidents, HSE Say reported that there was not sufficient signing on Waialae Avenue.
Feral Chickens: HSE Say reported that Anuenue School and the Public Housing Authority are looking into reports of feral chickens in Palolo.
Lamaku Street: HSE Say reported that according to a resident, there is developing earth movement risk on Lamaku Street by Waiomao Road.
Flashing Lights: HSE Say reported that a resident requested flashing lights; they requested flashing caution lights on the corner of 6th Avenue and Harding.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Resolution 19-49 CD1: Armentrout encouraged residents to research Resolution 19-49 CD1 related to exploring the cause of the earth movement in Palolo Valley.
2. Alzheimer 's disease and Dementia Legislation: Caron expressed his appreciation for HSE Say's work and support of legislation related to Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia.
3. Red Curb Painting: Onishi asked and HSE responded that the bill related to red curb paint died in the Legislature. Onishi inquired about the length of driveways inhibiting on street parking for residents. Onishi asked and Director Sasamura encouraged any residents that believe a driveway of a property is violating DPP guidelines for the width of driveways to contact them to investigate the concern.
4. Feral Chicken: Resident Sharon Young commented that the feral chickens are throughout the entire Palolo Valley.
5. DPP Enforcement of Monster Homes: Shiraki commented that DPP inspectors ought to investigate later in the day to see what residents are there.
6. Sanctuary City: Shriraki expressed concerns with the impact of Sanctuary City status and Chair Hack responded that the issue will be discussed later in the meeting. He added that the effort died in the Legislature.
7. Appreciation: Resident Bill Chismar expressed appreciation to HSE Say for his support of legislation to explore the cause and possible remedies for the earth movement on Kuahea Street, Kuahea Place, and Waiomao Road.
Senator Les Ihara Jr.: No representative was present; no report was given.
No concerns were raised.
Ala Wai Flood Mitigation Project Update: Resident Dave Watase updated the community on the Ala Wai Canal Project. As of May 2, 2019, the State Legislature did not appropriate the $125 million as requested in the Governor's Budget. Resident Watase reported that the City is still ready to sign the project partnership agreement and take responsibility for operating and maintaining the project. He reported that Governor Ige indicated in April 18, 2019 that he was committed to funding the State's $125 million share and has approval to finance a debt service for 2 years and sign a sub-agreement for certificates for the $125 million on a deferred payment schedule. Resident Watase expressed concerns that this may indicate the Governor avoiding the Legislature. He reported that the USACE has placed a June 28, 2019 deadline for the project partnership agreement to be completed. Resident Watase reported that it is unclear if the project funding will be lost or if the project will die if the partnership agreement is not executed by the deadline. He reported that the Congressional funding does not expire. He added that the USACE has not indicated a willingness to make substantial changes in the plan to satisfy the community and Board concerns.
Mitigating the Impact of the Waiamao and Kuahea Earth Movement: Resident Ashley Noji reported the following a summary of the neighborhood concerns. She commented that the community wants written communication and needs more support to expedite critical repairs to an emergency area. Resident Noji reported that the residents ought to be made aware of the projects and circumstances on Waiomao and Kuahea. Resident Noji commented that these types of written notices could include when demolition will occur, the results of infrastructure assessments, and schedules pertaining to repairs.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Kuahea Place: Onishi asked and Director Sasamura responded that Kuahea Place is privately owned. Onishi asked and Director Sasamura responded that there is a City ordinance for private streets that allows the city to maintain private streets. There are a set of conditions that apply to the City actually doing work on private property. One (1) of the stipulations requires that the work could be done safely, and Director Sasamura responded that the lack of stability on Kuahea Place would violate that stipulation. Onishi asked and Director Sasamura responded that there is nothing the city can do to spend public funds for Kuahea Place. Onishi asked and Director Sasamura responded that the safety stipulations include the safety of everyone who could be impacted by the instability of Kuahea Place.
2. Owner of the Kuahea Place: Caron asked and Director Sasamura confirmed that the owner of the private road could initiate repairs.
3. Retaining Wall: Resident Shirley Murakami expressed concerns with the retaining wall between Kuahea Street and Kuahea Place, as the deterioration of the wall is contributing to the earth movement.
4. Kuahea Place - City Ownership: Resident Rose Chismar commented that according to a public GIS document, the City and County of Honolulu owns the first 39 feet of Kuahea Place.
5. Kuahea Street - Acquired properties: Onishi asked and Director Sasamura responded that the City's position on the recently acquired properties is to prevent any further earth movement that affects the city right of way. He added that he will return to the DDC to provide a scope of the work as well as the status/progress of the work and will report back to the Board and community on these efforts.
6. Assessment beneath Kuahea Place: A resident expressed concerns that if the City is not willing to explore what activity is occurring beneath the private properties of Kuahea Place, then they will be left with incomplete information to understand the cause of earth movement. She added that private residents on Kuahea Place must now hire independent engineers to assess their respective properties. Director Sasamura responded that the City has not stated an intent to explore private property, only stating an intent to maintain the City's right of way and mitigate the earth movement within their jurisdiction. A resident reiterated the previous resident's concerns, commenting that the narrow jurisdiction of the City's right of way leaves them with little information to assess the cause of earth movement, putting the City in an unfavorable position to reliably mitigate the problem. She expressed concerns with the City citing safety concerns for not repairing the private streets, commenting that areas where the City is now conducting demolition work with heavy equipment was once said to be unsafe for work by the City for the same reason.
7. Private Road: Caron commented that pressuring a private land owner to make repairs for the benefit of the public is not unprecedented, and asked why this could not be done for the owner of Kuahea Place. Director Sasamura responded that this pressure needs to come from the residents themselves, as the City cannot act in this case. Nakayama asked and Resident Noji responded that there are some complications in the history of the road and how the city has defined public roads and private roads that resulted in the City deeming Kuahea Place a private road. She concluded that it is unclear who owns Kuahea Place. Director Sasamura responded that according to their records, Kuahea Street is private. He recommended that those who are interested explore the land ownership history, as these documents are public record.
8. Homeowner's Insurance: Nakayama asked and Resident Noji responded that homeowner's insurance for many specifically does not cover damage due to earth movement.
City Council Meeting - Bill 85 and 89: Caron reported that Bill 85 and Bill 89 were recommitted to the Zoning committee for a hearing on Thursday, May 23, 2019.
Permitted Interaction Group (PIG) - Ala Wai Flood Control Project
Hack appointed Caron to the PIG on the Ala Wai Flood Control Project.
Presentation: Hack reported that the USACE has expressed interest in providing a presentation at the area neighborhood board's affected by the project.
Honolulu as Sanctuary City: Discussion followed:
Opposition: Shiraki expressed opposition to Honolulu being a Sanctuary City, commenting that this would be encouraging and accepting people who are violating the laws. He commented that people do not understand the impact of being a Sanctuary City.
Support: Caron expressed support for Honolulu being a Sanctuary City. He commented that immigration is good for the economy as immigrants do the jobs that other residents will not. He reported that illegal immigrants already pay taxes to the amount of roughly $11 billion per year. He commented that these immigrants come to America to work, not commit more crimes. He reported that only five (5) percent of inmates are illegal immigrants. He reported that according to the United Nations, the right to immigration is a human right called "freedom of movement." He reported that prior to the Chinese and Asian exclusion acts, immigration was not against the law. He commented that it would be pragmatic to grant amnesty to the current illegal immigrants, as it would be logistically impossible to deport them. He concluded that there is nothing wrong with supporting sanctuary cities.
Opposition: Shiraki clarified that he is not opposed to immigration, commenting that he supports laws and developments that ensure that immigrants come to America legally.
Approval of Minutes of the Wednesday, March 13, 2019
The Wednesday, March 13, 2019 Regular Meeting Minutes WERE ADOPTED WITH AMENDMENTS by UNANIMOUS CONSENT (AYE: Armentrout, Caron, Farm, Frost, Hack, Holtrop, Mau, Shiraki, Nakayama, Onishi NAY: None. ABSTAIN: None.) Amendments are as follows: Correction of Meeting Date to "Wednesday, March 13, 2019".
Treasurer's Report: Onishi reported a remaining balance of $139.98
Police Week: Hack reported that Police Week will run Sunday May 12, 2019 through Saturday May 18, 2019.
ADJOURNMENT: The meeting adjourned at 8:43 p.m.
Submitted by: Thomas Baldwin, Neighborhood Assistant
Reviewed by: Beverly Mau, Vice Chair
Finalized by: Randolph Hack, Chair
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