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01 icon acrobat  June 2019 Minutes



CALL TO ORDER: Chair Randolph Hack called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Quorum WAS ESTABLISHED with eight 8 members present. Note - This 13-member board requires seven (7) members to establish a quorum and to take official Board action.

Board Members Present: Barbra Armentrout, Frank Farm, Josh Frost, Randolph Hack, Beverly Mau, Earl Shiraki, Darlene Nakayama, and Rusti Onishi.

Board Members Absent: Paul Holtrop, Bradley Rentz and Jaime Rincon.

Guests: Corrie Anne Lau (Honolulu Fire Department); Lieutenant Gary Sunada (Honolulu Police Department); Director Ross Sasamura (Mayor Kirk Caldwell's Representative/Department of Facility Maintenance); Councilmember Anne Kobayashi 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).


Honolulu Fire Department (HFD): Corie Anne Lau reported the following:
May 2019 Statistics: There were 3 activated alarms, 35 medical emergencies, 2 motor vehicles crashes, 1 mountain rescue, and 1 hazardous material incident.
Fire Safety Tip: Cooking Safety: Cook with caution and be on alert. Do not use the stove/stove top when sleepy or after consuming alcohol. Stay in the kitchen when cooking. Keep flammable objects and materials away from the stove top. Keep children at least three (3) feet away from the stove top. If you have a small grease cooking fire, smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Leave the pan covered until completely cooled. For an oven fire, turn off the heat and leave the door closed. If you have any doubt about extinguishing a small fire, get out of the house and close the door behind you to help contain the fire, then call 911 from outside the home.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed: Mountain Rescues: Shiraki asked and Lau responded that they will discuss rescue helicopter paths disturbing the community with the fire administration

Honolulu Police Department - A representative of HPD - District 7 reported the following:
May 2019 Statistics: There were 3 motor vehicle thefts, 27 burglaries, 13 thefts, 15 unauthorized entry into motor vehicles (UEMV), and 6,119 calls for service.
??? Safety Tip: Hurricane Season: The representative distributed Hurricane Safety brochures, and commented that a Hurricane Watch refers to expected hurricane conditions with 48 hours and a Hurricane Warning refers to expected hurricane conditions within 36 hours. Evacuation Zones can be found at Avoid coastal flood zones and shelter in place. Keep 14 day disaster kits, including 1 gallon of water per person per day, food, eating utensils, a radio, a light, spare batteries, first aid kit, a whistle, a dust mask, tools, prescriptions, and supplies for pets. 
Meet the Major: The representative announced a meet the major event for August 21, 2019 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Aina Haina elementary school cafeteria to meet and speak with local police officers.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Meet the Major: Armentrout and the representative clarified the time and location of the Meet the Major event. 
2. Abandoned Cars: Shiraki expressed concerns with abandoned cars on the Ewa side of Lamaku Street, commenting that HPD officers do not enforce against them. He added fire/safety concerns with a hoarder home on the street as well. The representative responded that hoarders can be reported to the Board of Health to allow for direct intervention. The representative responded that if a vehicle has expired safety or registration, HPD can call in for a tow. Abandoned vehicles can be report individually at the website through the Customer Services Department. Shiraki asked and the representative responded that an HPD officer will respond if someone reports abandoned vehicles, commenting that the vehicle can be towed only if it is unmoved after being marked for 24 hours. He recommended individuals send concerns through the 311 app as well.

Board of Water Supply: No representative was present, no report was present.

Hearing no objection, Chair Hack moved to Board Business.


Nominee for Palolo Neighborhood Board Community Recognition Award - Michael Loftin, Executive Director, 808 Cleanups

Nakayama moved and Shiraki seconded for the Palolo Neighbohrood Board to nominate Michael Loftin of 808 Cleanups to receive the Community Recognition Award for his dedication to keeping the community clean. The motion WAS ADOPTED by UNANIMOUS CONSENT; 8-0-0 (AYE: Armentrout, Farm, Frost, Hack, Mau, Shiraki, Nakayama, Onishi. NAY: None. ABSTAIN: None. )

Approval of Minutes of the April 10 and May 8, 2019 meetings

Moved and seconded to adopt the April 10, 2019 and May 8, 2019 minutes as amended. The minutes WERE ADOPTED AS AMENDED by UNANIMOUS CONSENT; 8-0-0 (AYE: Armentrout, Farm, Frost, Hack, Mau, Shiraki, Nakayama, Onishi. NAY: None. ABSTAIN: None. ) April and May 2019 Minutes: Strike "Barbara" and insert "Barbra???; April 2019: Page 2 - HPD: Insert "Vehicles should not be parking next to the crosswalk."

Hack returned to the order of business.


Councilmember Anne Kobayashi: Councilmember Kobayashi distributed a newsletter and reported the following:
Monster Homes: Councilmember Kobayashi reported that the City Council passed legislation related to Monster Homes, commenting that implementation will take some time. She added that enforcement legislation for short term rentals would aid efforts against monster homes.
Budget: Councilmember Kobayashi reported that the City Council passed the budget for the next fiscal year, commenting that there are funds for the repairs for parks and roads of Palolo. She commented that she voted against property tax increase and trash fees.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed: 
1. Bill 77: Armentrout asked and Kobayashi responded that an amendment has been agreed upon to better serve the lower income users of the Handi-Van. 
2. Monster Homes: Onishi asked and Kobayashi responded that the new rules of monster home/ short term rental enforcement will give the DPP capabilities to enforce against owners of monster homes posing as multi-generational homes. Onishi asked and Kobayashi responded that any construction work done after a stop-work order is issued ought to be torn down. Onishi asked and Kobayashi responded that they will require a permit to advertise short term rentals. Onishi asked and Kobayashi responded that most of these enforcement mechanisms will be in place by 2020. Armentrout asked and Kobayashi responded that new that the new law will also require on-site parking. 
3. Sanctuary City: Shiraki expressed concerns with efforts to make Honolulu a sanctuary city.
4. Water Drainage: A resident asked if there are stipulations for the size of the impervious surfaces around the house and Councilmember Kobayashi responded that the property owners may only build on 75% of the property, while the rest must provide proper water drainage.
5. Bill 33: Resident Lum asked and Councilmember Kobayashi responded that the Council will have a chance to discuss Bill 33, which would cut back the tax exemptions of Bill 3, at first reading.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell's Representative: Department of Facility Maintenance (DFM) Director Ross Sasamura reported the following: 
CD4 Election: In response to Boardmember Shiraki concerns with unfairness of the recent election for City Council District 4, the Office of the Mayor responded that, for elections to be fair, everyone who is affected should have a say, or at least an opportunity to be heard. The office will pass the concerns on to the election commission for future recounts.
Home Demolition on Kuahea Street: In response to recent concerns with the demolition of City owned homes along Kuahea Street, the Department of Design and Construction reported the following: prior to demolition, environmental site assessments were performed and various materials containing asbestos were identified. These materials were non-friable and typical and common of older homes. As these materials were determined to be non-friable, no additional protective measures were necessary for residents and homes in the vicinity. Per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, workers handling the identified hazardous materials are required to wear personal protective equipment. The contractors met this requirement. Finally, the demolition of existing structures at 2327 and 2331 Kuahea Street were performed in phases to further allow for the safe removal and proper disposal of any hazardous materials.
Kuahea Street Work: In response to requests by Kuahea Street residents for the scope of work and percent completed for emergency, mitigative work on Kuahea Street, the DDC reported the following: The emergency repairs to stabilize the portion of Kuahea Street in the vicinity of 2327 and 2331 Kuahea Street will be performed in phases. The first phase has been completed and involved the demolition of the existing structures on 2327 and 2331 Kuahea Street. The City is in the design phase for the installation of tieback anchors within City-owned property and the City right-of-way.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed: 
1. Waialae to Palolo: Shiraki requested a solid line be drawn on the left turn from Waialae to Palolo Avenue to delineate lanes. 
2. Vote Recount: Shiraki reiterated concerns with the manner in which the votes were recounted.
3. Waiomao Road: Resident Philip Tom asked and Director Ross Sasamura responded that he would provide an update on the recent work done on Waiomao Road. Resident Donna Trusdell expressed concerns with the hump on Waiomao Road. She requested a report on the contingency plan to get emergency vehicles to the area in the event of a landslide. Director Sasamura responded that the ingress and egress of areas affected by natural/manmade disasters is already accounted for by the Department of Emergency Management. He added that they also coordinate with the State of Hawaii's State Department of Transportation, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, and the military, to coordinate their response. He clarified that they have an island wide plan for response.
4. Weir Impacts: A resident expressed concerns with an old water restriction device, or weir, that has not been maintained or repaired since its installation in 1912. She commented that her property frequently floods due to this device. She commented that there has been no solution, adding that she must use personal funds to repair the damages. Director Sasamura and the resident discussed the jurisdiction of the weir. He commented that the weir was intended to control flow and overtop in heavy flow. He added that the flooding might be the result of the changing conditions since the installation in 1912. 
5. Kuahea Place: Resident Devin Guise expressed concerns with the property abutting Kuahea Place where the demolition occurred. She commented that phase two (2) concerns the stabilization of that property. She asked if the reconstruction of the retaining wall is included in phase two (2), as it was intended to hold up Kuahea Place. Director Sasamura responded that he would take the question back to DDC for a response.

Outgoing Neighborhood Board Member Announcement: Resident Will Caron reported that he had to leave the Neighborhood Board as he moved to a different sub-district within Palolo. He added that he would still be active in the community.

Governor David Ige's Representative: No representative was present; a newsletter was distributed.

Armentrout left at 7:54 p.m. with seven (7) members present. Quorum was lost.

House Speaker Emeritus (HSE) Calvin Say: HSE Say distributed a newsletter and reported the following:
Homeless at Kaimuki Park: In response to concerns with homeless at Kaimuki Park, HSE Say commented that the State and City homeless coordinators, Scott Morishige and Marc Alexander respectively, were contacted.
Monster Homes: HSE Say reported that he visited the site of the monster home on 1411 Palolo Avenue.
Sewage Spill: HSE Say advised residents to contact the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Environmental Services (ENV) in the case of a sewage spill. He added that the recent earth movement has caused more frequent sewage spills.
??? Ecosystem Restoration: HSE Say requested that design plans for the Ala Wai Flood Control Project incorporate ecosystem restoration in the overall plan.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed: 
1. Monster Homes Inspection: Shiraki recommended that inspectors be tasked with inspecting suspected monster homes to the residents at later hours.
2. Sanctuary City: Shiraki expressed concerns and HSE Say reiterated his position in support of sanctuary cities.
3. Feral Chickens: Resident Sharon Young Nakaui commented that the feral chickens are far more wide spread than is being discussed.
4. Ala Wai Golf Course: Resident Franklin Chung commented that the Ala Wai Golf Course was built as a flood plain, and this status ought to be taken advantage as a potential alternative for flood mitigation.
5. Ala Wai Flood Control Project: Resident Sean Stanlin asked and HSE Say responded that his position on the Ala Wai Flood Mitigation project is to find a beneficial outcome that would ensure that the appropriated Congressional funds be used towards the intent of the project while seriously accommodating the concerns of the community. He reiterated his request for ecosystem restoration in the design plan. A resident asked and HSE Say responded that if there are no changes beyond those relating to the location of the basins, he would not support the project.

Senator Les Ihara Jr.: No representative was present; no report was given.


Palolo 9th and 10th Avenue Sewer Project - Project Manager Arjay Franczyk provided an update on the Palolo 9th and 10th avenue sewer project: Project Update: Franczyk reported that their team has moved up from Pakui Street towards Kalua Street. He commented that unforeseen conditions underground have caused delays in the project.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed: 
1. Work on 9th Avenue: Shiraki asked and Franczyk clarified that the work on 9th avenue is not complete. 
2. Clarification: Farm asked and Franczyk responded that they are installing line and new manholes. The next part of the process will be to integrate the new line into the existing down flow and at that point they will begin to put in the new laterals.

US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Proposed Ala Wai Flood Risk Mitigation Project: USACE Project Manager Jeffrey A. Herzog reported the following:
Update: Herzog commented that following the deferment of SB77, the City and State are discussing a potential path forward and that the USACE is regularly communicating with them. Herzog reported that the next step is to award a geographical and topographic survey based off of the public lands that were given rights of entry on June 25 from the DLNR Land Board. He reported that the USACE will do a sediment characterization as well as a geotechnical boring to determine what the subsurface looks like along the Ala Wai Canal and Public Lands/Watershed areas. The contract will be awarded in June 22, 2019. He commented that there will follow 120 days for the contractor to develop the schedule, acquire permits, and coordinate with the USACE and the community. The surveying will begin in the late summer and early fall 2019. 
Flood Modeling Update: Herzog reported the USACE updated their modeling over the last nine (9) months and described the changes. He commented that the level of analysis that was done during feasibility was to determine if the project had a federal interest and could be done in an environmentally acceptable way according to federal law. The USACE works in partnership with a sponsor, in this case the DLNR. The State and City will determine if there is a path forward on the project. 
Feedback: Herzog provided a response to community feedback on the project. He commented that the flood modeling that the USACE used on the project is the industry standard. He added that in the State of Hawaii, the USACE has a good track record with flood mitigation projects, commenting that their flood mitigation projects protected the Hilo community during the floods in 2018. He commented that the USACE will not design the project like the one at Ha'aione Valley constructed in 1962. He commented that on June 17, 2019 the USACE will have an Industry and Innovation outreach day to bring together many non-profits and other organizations to bring key stakeholders together to discuss flood mitigation solutions. He commented that the USACE will better communicate with the community moving forward. Herzog responded to concerns with maintenance, commenting that Article II F- I of the legal agreement outlines the sponsor's obligation to communicate the project with the community and establishment of a flood plain management plan. Herzog reported that the project is meant to address river and watershed flood hazards coming off of the Koolau Mountains, passing through the watershed, and exiting out of the canal. He clarified it is not meant to address coastal hurricane storm damage or coastal erosion.

Hack suggested a time limit of 1 minute per speaker, Secretary Nakayama to be timer. Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Climate Change: Resident Chung commented that he does not believe in man-made climate change, but supports the project to the extent that it impacts the Ala Wai Golf Course as a flood plain. Herzog responded that Director Kroening met with the administrators of Ala Wai Golf Course, commenting that there is a plan to revitalize the golf course and better utilize its function as a flood plain. He commented that no change that would induce flooding on another, especially the neighboring schools of Iolani School and Ala Wai Elementary School.
2. Alternative Solutions: A resident recommended using existing channeling segments in conjunction with a mechanical element to create an earlier drain basin to flood Palolo Park, among other solutions that would better utilize existing infrastructure. Herzog responded that they must minimize impacts on private lands as much as possible.
3. Local Streams: Resident Steven Holmes asked and Herzog responded that the local sponsors would maintain the streams. Resident Holmes expressed concerns with the local sponsor's abilities to maintain the streams. Herzog responded that Article II F- I requires the sponsor to create a flood plain management plan, which ought to address those concerns. 
4. Flooding: A resident expressed concerns that the project will flood other communities.
5. Changing Designs: Resident Hughes asked and Herzog responded that there is room for flexibility in changing the design features and moving the sites to minimize the impact to the community. He commented that the concept of reducing the upstream flow to minimize downstream impact will not change.
6. Changes: Sydney Lynch asked and Herzog responded that the idea of ecosystem restoration was not carried forward after 2012. He commented that he has committed to Senator Moriwaki and DLNR to look into ecosystem restoration. Herzog commented that they are working to make changes to the project features, part of which will be relocating some and changing the sizes based off of performance requirements.
7. Viable Alternatives: Resident Dave Watase expressed concerns with the lack of alternatives when the project was originally proposed, expressing doubts that the stakeholders have been effectively involved. Watase expressed concerns with the modeling used and Herzog responded that the 10 and 100 year flood maps appear similar because the watershed is relatively deep, meaning that a significant volume of water may cause a deceptively small rise in the visible flood area. 
8. Financial Justification: Resident Watase expressed concerns with the lack of financial justification for the retention basin ($3 million in damage).
9. Lack of Notification: Resident Pete Arnold expressed concerns with the lack of notification for those impacted by the project, commenting that the community does not trust the USACE. He commented that the community does not appreciate the non-collaborative attitude that the USACE approached the project with. He added that the land value will significantly drop due to the project.
10. Ecosystem: Resident Andrea described her experience and efforts with her students and other teachers in understanding and maintaining the health of the Ala Wai Watershed. She commented that the project needs to better address concerns related to the ecosystem. She commented that there are other systemic problems with the watershed that need to be addressed, concluding that the project is to narrowly focused. 
11. Extreme Weather: Resident Jordan Wong asked and Herzog responded that they must conduct a qualified risk assessment with the U.S. Army Dam Safety Center of Expertise. They are required to meet State and Federal requirements to survive extreme weather events. 
12. Lack of Personal Stake: Resident Fannie Cline expressed concerns with the lack of personal stake of the staff of USACE in the impact of the project. She commented that the community does not want USACE to impact the watershed with their project. Herzog responded that there are members of their staff with ties to those areas impacted by the community.
13. Project Concerns: A resident expressed concerns that the project will flood the nearby homes, the negative impact on the environment, and the lack of representation from their elected officials in regards to this project. Herzog responded that HSE Say has been very active in conversations with the USACE, especially with ecosystem restoration. Herzog responded that the trees will be replaced as well mitigation to reduce the impact on the black damsel fly. 
14. Ancestor Practices: A resident expressed appreciation to the USACE representative for engaging with the community on this occasion. She commented that the community ought to look to how those that came before took care of the stream before exploring other options.
15. Historical Flooding: Resident Bruce Lum asked what historical flooding data was explored during the planning of the project. Herzog responded that as of now, given the current state of the watershed which has changed from its historic condition, the project asks that the USACE best protect the people living in the watershed. Resident Lum recommended exploring natural, proper, and resilient land-use and Herzog responded that the questions they explore is how to responsibly create flood parks, create resilience within the flood plain, and create a flood plain management plan. He concluded that the approach must be more systemic.

Hack requested Herzog attend to any further questions or comments privately with residents. He stated he would be available until 9:30 PM.

Hack stated he was going to adjourn the meeting. Frost inquired about the agenda item regarding letters to Mayor and Office of Environmental Control. Hack responded that there was lack of quorum.

Citing the lack of time, Hack moved to ADJOURNMENT.

ADJOURNMENT: The meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

Submitted by: Thomas Baldwin, Neighborhood Assistant
Reviewed by: Beverly Mau, Vice Chair
Finalized by: Randolph Hack, Chair

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