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Diamond Head Neighborhood Board Meeting November 2019 Minutes
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2019
ALA WAI CLUB HOUSE
CALL TO ORDER: Chair Richard Figliuzzi called the meeting to order at 6:33 p.m. A quorum was established with 9 members present. (Note - This 15-member Board requires eight (8) members to establish quorum and to take official Board action).
Members Present: Julia Allen, Richard Figliuzzi, Rene Julian, Michelle Matson (arrived at 6:35 p.m.), Stefan Mrozewski, Bert Narita, Don Persons, Winston Welch, Bruce Wong, and Linda Wong.
Members Absent: John David Beutel, Mark Kamahele, Barbara Miller, Keolu Peralto, and George West.
Guests: Captain Kainoa Asato (Honolulu Fire Department); Lieutenant Taro Nakamura, Sergeant C Corpuz, Lieutenant Jon Nakashima (Honolulu Police Department); Amanda Stevens (Governor David Ige's Office) Ann Wong (Board of Water Supply); Cliff Kaneshiro, Councilmember Ann Kobayashi (Councilmember Ann Kobayashi's Office); Senator Les Ihara Jr.; Emma Bulgan (Representative Scott Nishimoto's Representative); House Speaker Emeritus Calvin Say; Dave Watase, Barbra Armentrout, Jackson Sayama, Jocelyn Garcia, Daisy Murai, Carolyn Tawaka, Brett Scherk, Scott Ballentyne, David Benson, Sam Slom, Jesus Arriola, Jay Ishibashi, Athena Coughlin, Joan Davis (Residents); Lindon Valenciano (Neighborhood Assistant). Name was not included if not legible on the sign-in sheet.
Political Activity Memo: Chair Figliuzzi noted a memo from the Neighborhood Commission Office (NCO) regarding political activity by Board members at Neighborhood Board meetings. He noted the importance of the 2020 elections and suggested that the Board hold an open forum for candidates running for office.
PUBLIC SAFETY REPORTS
Honolulu Fire Department (HFD - Waikiki Station): Firefighter Waters reported the following:
• November 2019 Statistics: There was 1 structure fire, 6 activated alarms, 152 medical emergencies, 2 motor vehicle collisions with a pedestrian, 1 motor vehicle crash, 2 hazardous material (hazmat) incidents, 1 ocean rescue.
Safety Tip: Thanksgiving Cooking: HFD provided Thanksgiving fire safety tips.
o Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking. Do not leave the stove unattended.
o Set a timer as a reminder to check on the food being cooked.
o The HFD discourages the use of outdoor, gas-fueled turkey fryers which can lead to devastating burns, destruction of property, and other injuries.
o Keep children and pets at least three (3) feet away from the cooking area.
o If there is any doubt about extinguishing a small fire, get out of the house and call 9-1-1. Close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
Matson arrived at the meeting at 6:35 p.m.; 10 members present.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Fire Statistic: Matson inquired about the Diamond Head brush fire statistics and locations requested from previous meetings.
2. Hazmat Incidents: Mrozewski inquired and the Firefighter Waters responded that the hazmat incidents were one (1) unknown and one (1) chemical odor. Mrozewski noted the unknown hazmat is unsettling and Chair Figliuzzi noted it is important to know the hazmat type.
Honolulu Police Department (HPD) - District 6 Waikiki/ Diamond Head): Lieutenant Jon Nakashima reported the following:
• October 2019 Statistics: There were 6 robberies, 15 burglaries, 196 thefts, 41 unauthorized entries into motor vehicles (UEMV), 41 assaults, 3 sex crimes, 8 bicycle citations and 14 skateboard citations, 6 speeding citations, 692 parking citations, 2 loud muffler citations, 14 park closure warnings, 54 park closure citations, and 3 park closure arrests. There were a total of 3,985 calls for service.
• Zone Map: Lieutenant Nakashima brought in a zone map of District 6 as requested.
• Kapiolani Park Transient and Commercial Vehicle Update: Lieutenant Nakashima noted that park closure statistics are not broken down and that this data includes Kuhio Beach Park as well as Kapiolani Park. He noted that parking citations are also not broken down, however, he can find out how many were commercial vehicle related.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Commercial Vehicles: Matson suggested focusing on commercial vehicles parked at Kapiolani Park like large food trucks and two (2) remaining dark tour bus-like vans, now that the white tour buses are gone.
2. Different Formatting: Chair Figliuzzi inquired about the different statistic formats on the district maps. Nakamura responded that Waikiki has a more detailed report and suggested visiting www.honolulupd.org for more detailed information.
Honolulu Police Department (HPD - District 7 Kapahulu/St. Louis Heights): Lieutenant Nakamura distributed a District 7 map reported the following:
• October 2019 Statistics: There were 7 motor vehicle thefts, 6 burglaries, 27 thefts, and 21 UEMVs. There were a total of 6,170 total calls for service.
• Safety Tips: The following shopping safety tips were provided:
o If you have to, hide your belonging in your cars and lock your doors. If you are parking at night try to stick to well-lit areas and when returning to your car, have your keys in hand so you are not fumbling with it.
o ATM tips: Look around the area of ATM and if there is someone looking shady, call 9-1-1. Don't count your cash in front of ATM and use ATMs during the day.
Questions, comments, and concerns:
1. Commercial Vehicles: Resident Scott Ballentyne commented on the increasing number of commercial tour vehicles parked in the upper Kapahulu neighborhood near Monsarrat Avenue and inquired how this can be controlled. Lieutenant Nakamura responded that the vehicles need to be a certain gross weight and registered to be considered as commercial vehicles. He noted to call 9-1-1 with the license plate and location to report commercial vehicles parked in residential neighborhoods for an extended time, noting the process is the same as abandoned vehicles.
2. Natatorium Noise: L. Wong noted a letter to Persons regarding a drummer near the Natatorium and Lieutenant Nakamura responded that noise and music is based on perception, and HPD should be called if they are amplifying the music or breaking Park hours rules. Matson added that the Kapiolani Park noise level limit is 65 decibels.
3. Law Enforcement and Assisted Diversion (LEAD) updates: Chair Figliuzzi inquired and Lieutenant Nakamura responded that Law Enforcement and Assisted Diversion (LEAD) activities include unannounced park/mini sweeps more often and they are beginning to see some results, noting that the homeless need to be diverted to various programs and services. Matson noted that LEAD is a new program of law enforcement that includes assisted diversion to get homeless where they need to be for offered services, and she inquired how the program is progressing. Lieutenant Nakamura responded that HPD does enforcement and cannot force people to seek help, but the Chief's program tries to combine assistance with enforcement. B. Wong asked about the different tactics used to successfully get the homeless away from the Ala Wai Golf Course fence but not out of Crane Park and Lieutenant Nakamura responded that it is difficult to tackle the problem because it is a cycle of people moving around, noting they will return. Chair Figliuzzi suggested that Lieutenant Nakamura follow up on LEAD information and updating with statistics, noting that outreach is the first step, followed by enforcement and compliance. A resident noted that the difference between the golf course and Crane Park is the access to restrooms.
STATE AND CITY ADMINISTRATION REPORTS
Governor David Ige's Representative: Amanda Stevens, Governor Ige's representative, reported the following:
• Year-End Newsletter: There is presently no newsletter because November and December newsletter will be combined.
• Legislature: The Governor and his Cabinet are working on their supplemental budget to be delivered to State Legislature on Monday, December 16, 2019, and they are preparing legislative proposals to be introduced in January 2020, that focus on protecting and preserving Hawai‘i's environment, investing in infrastructure, and enhancing the well-being of Hawai‘i's residents.
Questions, comments, and concerns:
1. Statistics: Matson inquired and Stevens responded that she will forward State Homeless Coordinator Scott Morishige the Board's request for the State Parks Division's statistics on their LEAD efforts.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell's Representative: Chair Figliuzzi read a Memo from the Mayor's representative for the Record regarding issues from the October Board meeting:
• Archery Range: Regarding previous concerns, the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) already has a dedicated archery range at the Koko Head Shooting Complex; it was created many years ago to replace the former archery range which was previously located at Kapiolani Regional Park.
• Housing Statistics: Regarding previous concerns, the Office of Housing (HOU) reported that their last outreach/enforcement of the Diamond Head area there was a total of six homeless individuals who were assisted and offered sheltered services. HOU will continue to work with HELP interagency joint outreach events and other city departments to address reported situations in the area.
• Topgolf Update: The Department of Enterprises Services noted that over the past year, the City became aware of potential community concerns regarding the height of poles and safety netting associated with the proposed Topgolf Hawaii facility at the Ala Wai Golf Course. In order to mitigate these concerns, the City asked Topgolf to evaluate potential alternatives to the existing conceptual design that reduce the height of the poles and safety netting without altering the number or the size of the hitting bays in their initial proposal. Topgolf is expected to share proposed potential alternatives with the Department of Planning and Permitting sometime before the end of 2019.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Topgolf: Chair Figliuzzi noted a memo from Top Golf with a proposed presentation in February 2020.
2. Welch commented on the issues of Top Golf impacting the neighborhood with bright lights, noise, and taking public conservation land with no public involvement, and therefore any TopGolf presentation must be fully informative.
3. Substitute: Welch noted that a substitute should be filling in when the Mayor's representative is unavailable.
Board of Water Supply (BWS): Ann Wong distributed handouts and reported the following:
• Main Breaks: There were no reported water main breaks for November 2019.
• Meter Reading Equipment Replacement Project: Over the next year, starting in January 2020, the Board of Water Supply (BWS) has contracted Royal Contracting Company to replace a part of its automated meter reading equipment in water meter boxes across Oahu. The BWS has been gradually replacing them over the last two (2) years and this project will accelerate that effort and, when finished, will notably increase drive-by meter reading rates and make the process more efficient. The BWS has contracted Royal Contracting Company to install the new transponders and EKNA Services, Inc., as the construction managers. The project tasks include:
o Notifying area customers 1-to-2 weeks prior to the work. Most meters are in the public right-of-way. For meter boxes on private property, arranging with the customer in advance to access the box.
o At the meter box, exchanging the old device for a new one, about 15 to 20 minutes per meter.
o Perform Quality Assurance/Quality Control work to ensure transponders are operating correctly.
• Work Schedules: Work will be done seven (7) days a week, from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., except on state highways where work is allowed only from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Water service will not be disrupted. Please note we are not replacing the meters, only a part in the meter box.
• Project Information: The BWS will post project information on its website at boardofwatersupply.com, as well as on social media --Facebook, Twitter, and NextDoor -- for customers to check on work in their area. No customer shall be asked for any type of payment by any BWS employee or contractor for this project. If customers spot suspicious activity or have questions about the project, they can contact the BWS via:
o Phone at 748-6500, 7:45 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., daily, including weekends.
IMPORTANT - - If calling before 7:45 a.m. or after 10:30 p.m., please leave your name and phone number so that we may return your call.
o Email at ContactUs@hbws.org, 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
• Provided is a handout containing information about the Meter Reading Equipment Replacement Project.
• Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility Public Meeting: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Health (DOH) are holding a public meeting on the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 beginning at 6:00 p.m. at Moanalua High School. There is detailed information in a letter mailed to BWS customers, because it is BWS's responsibility and kuleana to protect water resources, and the Red Hill single-wall tanks affect the future of the drinking water aquifer, and the forthcoming public meeting is a rare opportunity for the public to comment on this issue and support BWS efforts.
• Facilities Security: The homeless continue to gather and leave trash all around the Kaimuki Pump Station on Kapahulu Avenue near Market City's Foodland, and BWS continues to work with HPD to try to resolve this issue.
• 2020 Conservation Calendars: Copies of the BWS's 2020 Water Conservation Calendar are available for the Board and community. These calendars feature the winners of last year's poster and poetry contests. Calendars are also available to the general public at BWS stating Monday, December 9, 2019.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Transponder Age: Mrozewski questioned the age of the meter transponders and noted his concern that they should not be failing. A. Wong responded that many are past their service dates.
2. Community Notification: Welch pointed out the importance of BWS notifying the entire community about the Red Hill meeting, noting BWS Chief Engineer, Ernest Lau's testimony of a fuel tank wall plate rusting on the tank, and a recent City Council Resolution supporting alternative protections. A. Wong noted that the Navy plans to only monitor the existing fuel tanks instead of installing double-wall containment.
3. Kapiolani Park Fountain: Chair Figliuzzi inquired and L. Wong responded that the Kapiolani Park fountain is out of order because the fountain's electrical grid is expensive to replace, so Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) has taken it out.
OTHER RESIDENTS/COMMUNITY CONCERN:
Mid-Pacific Road Runners Club (MPRRC): Resident Joan Davis of the MPRRC noted the many running events coming up and for those interested in running to join the MPRRC at www.mprrc.com.
LEAD Statistics: Resident Jackson Sayama noted his experience with homeless and commented that the LEAD program is in the initial stages. He provided statistics from Chinatown and suggested that the Board invite HPD Captain Lambert, the head of HPD LEAD program and homeless initiatives, to speak about this. If successful, the program could expand to other problematic areas, such as Crane Park and Diamond Head. Sayama reported that Kaimuki High School students are vandalizing Crane Park with graffiti on the fence between the high school and the park, and the homeless avoid the students because they are cautious about trouble.
Shower Trees: Resident Barbara Armentrout reported the City and Kapiolani Park Preservation Society planted four (4) queen shower trees in Kapiolani Park on Sunday, November 10, 2019. She noted that Councilmember Waters and Welch also attended. Matson added that Scenic Hawaii also helped sponsor the planting.
Electric Scooters: Resident Armentrout expressed her concerns about electric scooters boosted to run 24 mph riding on the sidewalks, and a present City Council Bill allowing scooters to take up parking stalls. She noted the Board had adopted a Resolution stating safety concerns about bicycles, skateboards and roller-skates on Kapahulu Avenue sidewalks. B. Wong noted seeing rental scooters all over the city in Boise, Idaho set up like BIKI, but riding on sidewalks and parked anywhere without taking up street parking. Chair Figliuzzi noted electric scooters fortunately are not as loud as mopeds, and commended the City Council for now addressing the moped noise issue.
Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Ala Wai Flood Mitigation Project Presentation:
• Chair Figliuzzi commented that the USACE project manager was not present to make their presentation, and asked Resident Dave Watase to provide an update for the flood mitigation project.
• Resident Watase thanked the Board for their support by adopting a) the Resolution requesting the USACE to pause their project and engage with the public to find better alternatives, and b) letters to the Mayor and Governor in the interests of protecting the community and its right to ensure that established laws and procedures are followed. He reported on the following:
o In July 2019, a group of concerned citizens established Protect Our Ala Wai Watersheds a non-profit 501(c) organization, because of the Mayor's and Governor's apparent unwillingness to slow down the project without an accepted EIS.
o The trial was held on October 21 and 22, 2019, and the judge ruled in favor of Protect Our Ala Wai Watersheds on Tuesday, October 29, 2019, the same day as their community forum for project alternatives held at the Ala Wai Golf Course Clubhouse.
o The October forum was spearheaded by the Sidney Lynch, Protect Our Ala Wai Watersheds president and an impacted Palolo Valley stakeholder. It was heavily attended by approximately 300 people, including the exhibitors and a broad spectrum of organizations. Alternatives presented included flood mitigation and eco-system restoration.
o On Thursday, October 31, 2019, the Mayor returned the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) to the Governor for revisions, citing many issues and concerns relating to compliance with HRS 343, the Hawaii Environmental Policy Act, and thus acknowledging the community's concerns that were previously ignored. This is significant for placing a true pause on the project so the USACE will have an opportunity to better inform each community openly about the project.
• Watase suggested that the Board invite the USACE to a workshop at Ala Wai Clubhouse together with the Diamond Head, Kapahulu and St. Louis Heights communities to review the project's impacts on this Board's district so that they can make an informed decision on protecting the Ala Wai Watershed. For example, will the USACE remove their proposed multi-purpose detention basin in Kanewai Park, or the 4-feet high concrete walls around the Ala Wai Canal, or the 45-feet high pumping stations around the Ala Wai Golf Course? Watase pointed out that these are major concerns. He noted that USACE presentations at the McCully-Mo‘il‘ili and Manoa Neighborhood Board meetings did not show any detention basins being removed from the project and that USACE models still predict that Manoa Valley, with the project's detention basins, will continue to flood. He added that that this is the time for the community to speak out, before the USACE project is constructed.
• Watase concluded by requesting support for Protect Our Ala Wai Watersheds online via "gofundme Ala Wai," and by visiting www.stopalawaiproject.com for more information
Questions, comments, and questions followed:
1. Welch commended Watase for his community-wide efforts to inform people about the half-billion-dollar USACE project that previously had no community input, and questioned why the USACE was not present. He added that the Protect Our Ala Wai Watersheds Forum was an excellent example of the community coming together. with 30 presentation tables and many speakers with innovative solutions, noting that the Forum can be viewed on Olelo Channel 54 on November 16 at 10 pm, November 18 at 8 am, and November 20 at 2:30 pm.
2. Matson asked Chair Figliuzzi if there was any reason why the USACE was not present to provide their scheduled presentation. Chair Figliuzzi responded that he had received no answer.
B. Wong departed the meeting at 7:37 p.m.; nine (9) members present.
Oahu Resilience Strategy Presentation:
• Dr. Ketty Loeb, Grants and Research Officer for the Honolulu Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency, was present on behalf of Chief Resilience Officer Josh Stanbro, and was accompanied by Lala Ness, the Equity and Resilience Manager tasked with community outreach for input into large projects affecting the community. She distributed handouts including the Resilience Strategy Executive Summary listing 44 identified key resilience actions for ‘Oahu, and a flier with information on the Office, social media updates and community involvement. Dr. Loeb reported the following relating to the Oahu Resilience Strategy:
o The Oahu Resilience Strategy has been developed by the Honolulu Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency (Resilience Office) detailing four (4) key pillars with a total 44 actions and policies toward a resilient future. The full document and more details can be found on the on the Resilience Office website at https://www.resilientoahu.org/.
o A survey was conducted across ‘Oahu involving all the Neighborhood Boards, more than 200 organizations, and more than 2,000 people representing a good cross-section of the entire island community.
o The results and information from the Survey determined the Oahu Resilience Strategy, which addresses planning and implementing responses to both natural and man-made disasters.
o The Survey identified four key pillars for actions to be addressed:
Remaining Rooted -10 actions with specific policies to address affordability concerns.
Bouncing Forward - fostering resilience in the face of natural disasters, such as having off-grid power and information hubs for communications.
Climate Security - climate mitigation to reduce ‘Oahu's carbon footprint including shipping, transportation and building efficiency, and climate adaptation to rising sea level including infrastructure and community behavior.
Community Cohesion - build on this and further empower communities to help each other.
• Dr. Loeb noted that the communities that recover more quickly after a disaster are those that have strong community cohesion with their neighbors.
• Ness added that the community-based strategy is being implemented from an equitable lens to be accomplished quickly, effectively, and with pono. She encouraged the community to communicate with the Resilience Office and respond to their outreach over the forthcoming year.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Plastics Bill: Narita inquired about a) the Resilience Office's involvement in drafting City Council Bill 40, relating to plastics in the waste stream, and b) NOAA's article relating microplastic beads and nano-plastic beads, and their use in soaps, toothpaste and cosmetics. Dr. Loeb responded that a) the City Council drafted Bill 40, however the Resilience Office was able to give their input and make suggestions, and b) there is a national and international effort to remove and ban micro beads in products, and Bill 40 addresses single-use plastics derived from cancer-causing fossil fuel, that break down into microplastics. She added that this is a health crisis, with a credit-card size amount being ingested per person every week from water, fish and rainwater in remote locations, and these plastics need to be eliminated by working with the business community to develop a reasonable timeline for transition to viable alternatives.
2. Priority Actions: Mrozewski inquired about the Resilience Office's process for prioritizing the 44 actions. Dr. Loeb responded that the website shows the priority of the actions according to a) immediate action, such as Bill 25 and building energy efficiency codes; b) short-term actions, such as building infrastructure to accommodate all electric vehicles; and c) long-term actions, such as coastal armoring infrastructure that requires time and hard decisions. Mrozewski added that in 2017 Mayor Caldwell signed a bill for city vehicle conversions to a fully electric fleet by 2035, and this is the most actionable priority to be moved up in the timeline. Dr. Loeb responded that with funding and the public will, and public-private partnerships, many of the priorities could be accelerated.
3. First Among Equals: Welch thanked the Resilience Office for being responsive to the community as part of the Rockefeller Grant for the Resilient 100 Cities. He expressed support for the Resilience Office becoming stronger over time, and first among equals by having their input considered first for any future infrastructure planning and development, as well as for ensuring needed shade tree canopies. Dr. Loeb noted that the ‘Oahu Resilience Strategy was adopted by City Council as an official guiding document for planning, and Mayor Caldwell has issued directives that this is to be firmly integrated across all City departments.
4. Preparation: Resident Armentrout inquired about Honolulu's rising tide watch given the news about Venice, Italy being in dire straits with flooding. Dr. Loeb responded that while a minimum of 3.2 feet of sea level rise is predicted, this does not include tides, storms and floodwaters. She agreed that Venice's predicament is heartbreaking, and Honolulu needs to act now on this dire prediction for the future.
5. Recovery Plan: Chair Figliuzzi inquired and Dr. Loeb responded that ingesting plastic is poisonous and more toxic chemicals can bond to it.
6. Ground Operations: Senator Ihara inquired about the number of resilient communities on ‘Oahu that can provide a support platform. He noted that many great efforts are ahead of their time but are without financing to maintain their goals. He commented on his bill that addresses Category 5 and 6 hurricanes, where State and City employees become civic leaders within their neighborhoods after protecting their families, and the many non-profit organizations as grantees working as a network are prepared to assist. He added that sequential planning is important before and after a disaster, and a platform for volunteers to register is needed. Dr. Loeb responded that the Resilience Office just adopted a new 5-year hazard mitigation plan which outlines what to do during and immediately after a disaster. She added that the Resilience Office has also hired a hazard mitigation Long-Term Recovery Officer to create a long-term recovery plan for reconstruction two weeks following a disaster, and there are several actions within this strategy to be implemented soon, including increasing coordination with neighborhood emergency preparedness groups that are presently training people around the island.
PRIORITY COMMUNITY ISSUES
Tour Helicopter Safety and Noise Regulation Update:
Tour Helicopter Safety and Noise Inter-Action Group (IAG) Report - Matson reported the following:
• Resolutions: The IAG is presently compiling a package of Tour Helicopter Safety and Noise Resolutions adopted by sixteen (16) ‘Oahu Neighborhood Boards to date since June 2019, related to the necessity of stronger regulations and controls on tour helicopters and fixed-wing tour aircraft.
• Tour Helicopter Meeting: The tour helicopter association invited the FAA, Airports Division, State Legislators and City Councilmembers to a presentation on October 28, 2019, and Councilmember Waters attempted to include community representatives but his request was denied.
• Legislation: The IAG will be meeting with two (2) State Senators next week to discuss forthcoming Legislation, and will have an update at the next meeting.
Julian departed the meeting at 8:07 p.m.; eight (8) members present.
Ala Wai Canal and Golf Course:
Ala Wai Canal and Golf Course Inter-Action Group (IAG) Report - Welch reported the following:
• Ala Wai Flood Mitigation Project Lawsuit: The lawsuit won by Protect Our Ala Wai Watershed now renders the USACE Ala Wai Flood Mitigation Project subject to possible revision.
• Ala Wai Golf Course: Portions of the Ala Wai Golf Course are proposed as a floodwater detention basin, and Top Golf may need to consider a location other than on conservation land and in a flood plain, where their proposed development could better serve the community.
• Community Interaction: The community has been productive in working together and coming up with promising new ideas.
Diamond Head State Monument Update
Transient Encampments - Matson reported that DLNR's Diamond Head Citizens Advisory Committee (DHCAC) is waiting for updated information from the State Parks Division on the transient encampments at Diamond Head (Le‘ahi).
Congressman Ed Case: No representative was present and no report was given.
Councilmember Ann Kobayashi: Councilmember Ann Kobayashi distributed a newsletter and reported the following:
• Engaging Forum: Councilmember Ann Kobayashi reported the Ala Wai forum was spectacular because the presenters and exhibits were planned and sponsored by community members, and it and gave the community an opportunity to speak up and be engaged.
• Bill 40: Councilmember Kobayashi noted Bill 40, relating to plastics, is a good bill, however amendments put local businesses at an unfair disadvantage compared to mainland counterparts, and further amendments to protect local companies are expected.
• Affordable Housing Hearing: Councilmember Kobayashi commented on the City Council's affordable housing hearing, noting the need for incentives to encourage developers to help build affordable housing for homeless, with waivers on city development fees and a respite on property taxes during construction, so at least 75% of the building is affordable.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Proposed Ala Moana Park Playground: L. Wong inquired and Councilmember Kobayashi responded that the City Council adopted a Resolution requesting the Mayor to seek another location for the playground presently proposed for Ala Moana Park, and Kakaako near the Children's Discovery Center would be an ideal location with more space and shared security, etc., however the Mayor seems set on Ala Moana Park. Welch noted the building restrictions in Ala Moana Park open space, and inquired about the maintenance costs of the playground to the City. Councilmember Kobayashi responded that the City Council needs to approve gifts to the City first before the playground is contributed to the City by the non-profit organization promoting the playground, and the 1-acre playground's maintenance and operating costs to the City have not been defined. Matson inquired if the playground is part of the adjacent condominium developer's park dedication fee required by the City, with a taking of existing public park land and a playground donated through the non-profit as a tax write-off. Armentrout inquired about the liability to the City of a playground for disabled children. Councilmember Kobayashi responded that the City Council will look at these issues when and if the playground is presented to the City as a gift.
Councilmember Tommy Waters: No representative was present and no report given.
Senator Les Ihara Jr.: Senator Les Ihara Jr reported the following:
• Special Session: Senator Ihara reported that Senate had a second Special Session to confirm three (3) judges on November 13, 2019, and the Senate will now be in recess until Wednesday, January 15, 2020.
• Kapahulu Business Plan: Regarding Chair Figliuzzi's previous inquiry, Senator Ihara noted that Kenneth Chang, a former Chair of this Board, has the records of the Kapahulu Business Association.
• Privacy Bill: Senator Ihara noted Hawaii is one of the few states which has a right to privacy constitutional amendment, so he is thinking of introducing a bill to protect the right to privacy because there needs to be a reason or purpose to ask someone to reveal private information like their birthdate, instead of just company policy. He added that he would like this to be workable together with respecting the Hawaii's Constitution.
Questions, comments and concerns followed:
1. Kapahulu Master Plan:
o Chair Figliuzzi inquired and Senator Ihara commented that the 2001 Kapahulu Master Plan is a City plan. Councilmember Kobayashi noted that the City updates the Oahu regional plans, and the neighborhood-specific Kapahulu master plan could be incorporated into the Primary Urban Center Development Plan (PUCDP).
o Narita requested that Councilmember Kobayashi assist the Board to get copy of the Kapahulu Master Plan from the Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) for the Board's review, and it may not need to be updated.
o Chair Figliuzzi stated that he has seen the Master Plan and opined that it is ancient, old news.
o Councilmember Kobayashi agreed to initiate a review and encouraged Senator Ihara's input.
o Matson pointed out that the Kapahulu Master Plan was developed by Plan Pacific under the guidance of John Whalen, FAICP, in accordance with input from the entire community, and it addresses Kapahulu's sense of place with appropriate improvements and landscaping. She agreed with Narita that the Board needs to revive the Kapahulu Master Plan and advocate for its implementation.
o Senator Ihara added that the Master Plan adheres to the long-established 60-foot height restriction along Kapahulu Avenue.
Chair Figliuzzi handed the gavel to Welch in order to speak independently as a Board member at 8:26 p.m.
2. Homeless Urgency: Chair Figliuzzi noted that the Lieutenant Governor has said "health is housing," and it is shocking that if the healthcare system is not fixed, it will collapse and no one will have health care. He added that, the City and State should tackle the housing crisis with urgency like an emergency natural-disaster crisis, because this is a very dire situation and this is a call to government agencies and officials for action because something must be done. Senator Ihara responded that for everyone to get to a certain point because there is urgency, there is presently not a path to the solution because of differences over what to do, and the political stalemate caused this to become a community issue. Chair Figliuzzi added that one of the problems is that homeless people cannot get proper identification, and this and the other issues result costs to everyone.
Welch returned the gavel to Chair Figliuzzi at 8:28 p.m.
Senator Stanley Chang: Adrian Tam from Senator Chang's office distributed a newsletter and reported the following:
• Housing Conference: Senator Chang's "Kick the Tires" housing conference on Wednesday, November 6, 2019 was a successful and substantive learning experience that was well-attended and also viewed online.
• Legislation: There is still time to submit ideas and bill requests to Senator Chang's office for drafting by January.
• Holiday Mailing Tips: The holiday shipping deadline for packages is Friday, December 6, 2019 for international mail and Thursday, December 19, 2019 for mainland mail.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Kick the Tires: L. Wong inquired and Tam responded that Senator Chang's "Kick the Tires" project proposes to build Singaporean-inspired housing on underutilized State-owned land along the rail line.
Representative Bertram Kobayashi: No representative was present and no report given.
State Representative Scott Nishimoto: Emma Bulgan of Representative Nishimoto's Office distributed a newsletter and reported the following:
• Christmas Parades: There will be possible road closures for the Kaimuki and Kapahulu Christmas parades on Thursday December 5, 2019 and Thursday, December 12, 2019, respectively.
• Legislative Bills: The State Legislature will be convening on Wednesday, January 15, 2020, and Representative Nishimoto's office can be contacted with any ideas or proposals for legislation.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Free Lunch Shaming: Welch suggested that elected officials work on a resolution to Hawaii being one of four states which allows shaming children who get free lunch.
House Speaker Emeritus (HSE) Calvin Say: HSE Say reported the following:
• Community Clean-Up: The St. Louis Heights Community Association is hosting a clean-up on Saturday, November 15, 2019 at Kalaepohaku Park from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
• Waahila Ridge Improvements: The St. Louis Heights Community Association is meeting on Monday, November 18, 2019 and there will be a report about Waahila State Park renovations by Russell Kumabe from the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Forestry Division.
• Safety Check Program: The State Department of Transportation (DOT) Highways Division is pushing for a road usage charge opposed by many at the beginning of this year by monitoring mileage, so be prepared for this with the new safety check program.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Mileage Monitoring: Matson inquired and HSE Say responded that the mileage monitoring is to change the fuel tax to a mileage tax. Mrozewski added that this is a federally-funded pilot project study with voluntary participation, and the idea is to charge electric cars for road usage because currently the State cannot do this through the gasoline tax.
• Action Needed: Chair Figliuzzi reiterated his concerns relating to what he learned from the Lt. Governor's office regarding the homeless situation because there is no momentum with the present initiatives, including the affordable housing rhetoric, and action needs to be effective to help resolve the issue.
• Departure: Chair Figliuzzi announced the departure of Neighborhood Commission Office (NCO) Executive Secretary Shawn Hawamoto and read an excerpt from his farewell letter. Chair Figliuzzi expressed his gratitude and appreciation for Hamamoto's leadership at the NCO.
Treasurer's Report: L. Wong reported a remaining balance of $402.40.
Approval of Board Meeting Minutes
June 13, 2019 Meeting Minutes:
Welch moved and Mrozewski seconded to adopt the June 13, 2019 meeting minutes.
• Matson noted that she had not attended this meeting and therefore would abstain from the vote.
• L. Wong commented that she would be abstaining from voting on the minutes of this meeting that was held so long ago to remember.
Matson called a Point of Order due to noise in the room precluding Board members from hearing the proceedings.
Chair Figliuzzi deferred approval of the Board Meeting Minutes for June 13, July 11, August 8, September 12 and October 10, 2019 to the Board's next meeting on Thursday, January 9, 2020.
Planning and Zoning Committee: Matson had no report.
Parks and Environment Committee: Welch had nothing to add to his previous report on the Ala Wai Canal and Golf Course update.
Traffic and Transportation: Mrozewski reported looking into some parking issues and following the DOT road mileage study.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Improvement District Committee: Matson inquired and Chair Figliuzzi responded that the Diamond Head/Kapahulu Improvement District committee will be put on next agenda. Matson suggested contacting Ken Chang. Chair Figliuzzi agreed and added he would contact Councilmember Kobayashi about the Kapahulu Master Plan
• Sub-District 1 ( St. Louis Heights): Allen reported that the homeless living under the bridge along the canal between City Mill and the Regency Park residential complex is still a continuing problem. She noted that HPD has issued citations and relocated some people but have not been able the change the situation of the homeless with propane tanks and grills, and encroaching into Regency Park property.
• Sub-District 2( Kapahulu): Chair Figliuzzi noted that Peralto was unable to attend this meeting and reported receiving Peralto's information regarding Crane Park transient encampments, bulky items, and abandoned vehicles.
• Sub-District 3 (Diamond Head): L. Wong reported on the following:
o Abandoned Vehicles: The abandoned vehicle at Puulei Circle has been removed.
o Kaimana Beach Facilities: Specifications on Kaimana Beach showers remain to be received from the City.
o Natatorium: The Natatorium EIS has been finalized with the ocean-water pool and perimeter deck as the preferred alternative, and the City is now looking into a private-public partnership for this $31.8 million project. Opponents who supported the full beach alternative have expressed concerns about people being trapped from the current coming through the bars of the perimeter deck, and that the City's public-private partnership could use the Natatorium commercially and closed it to public access.
Next Regular Board Meeting: The next regular Board meeting will be at Ala Wai Golf Course Clubhouse on Thursday, January 9, 2020 following the December 2019 Recess.
ADJOURNMENT: Chair Figliuzzi adjourned the meeting at 8:51 p.m.
Submitted by: Lindon Valenciano, Neighborhood Assistant
Reviewed by: Christopher Naylon, Neighborhood Assistant
Reviewed and Corrected by: Michelle Matson, Neighborhood Board #5 Secretary
Final Review by: Richard Figliuzzi, Neighborhood Board #5 Chair
November 14, 2019 Meeting Video: https://olelo.granicus.com/player/clip/74403?view_id=78
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