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With Permission / Courtesy of: City and County of Honolulu Neighborhood Commission Office



February 2023 Minutes





CALL TO ORDER - Chair Yamada called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. Quorum was established with six (6) members present. Note - This 11-member Board requires six (6) members to establish a quorum and to take official Board action.

Board Members Present - Brian Kang, Paul Hoe, Lori Yamada, Jason DeMarco (via WebEx), Eric McCutcheon, Kelsie Aguilera, Becky Gardner (appointed), Rob Haak (appointed).

Board Members Absent - None.

Guests - Captain Joe Welch (Honolulu Fire Department); Lieutenant Taro Nakamura (Honolulu Police Department); Lorna Heller (Board of Water Supply (BWS); Adoree Yu (Queen Theatre); Eric Crispin (3650 Waialae Avenue); Director of the Department of Information Technology Mark Wong (Mayor Rick Blangiardi's Representative); Adam Doo (Office of Council Chair Tommy Waters); Councilmember Calvin Say; Amanda Stevens (Governor Josh Green's Representative); Ian Ross (Office of Senator Stanley Chang); Senator Les Ihara; Representative Jackson Sayama; Representative Bertrand Kobayashi; Lot Lau, Laura Ruby, (Residents); and Thomas Baldwin (Neighborhood Commission Office).

Chair Yamada passed the gavel to Vice Chair Hoe at 6:30 p.m.

ROLL CALL The Neighborhood Assistant conducted a roll call.


There are three (3) vacancies in Subdistrict 1, one (1) in Sub-district 2, and one (1) in Subdistrict 3.

Joyce Murakami and Becky Gardner volunteered to join the Board in Sub-District 2. As there was only one (1) seat, Murakami willingly withdrew.

Hearing no objection, the Board voted to appoint Becky Gardner to Sub-District 2 by UNANIMOUS CONSENT.

Rob Haak volunteered to fill the seat in sub-district 1 and discussed his background.

Hearing no objection, the Board voted to appoint Rob Haak to Sub-District 1 by UNANIMOUS CONSENT.

Vice Chair Ho called a recess at 6:45 p.m. to administer the oath of office.

Vice Chair Ho returned the meeting to order at 6:47 p.m. Gardner and Haak joined the meeting with eight (8) members present.


Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) - Captain Joe Welch reported the following:

January 2023 Statistics: There were one (1) structure fire, four (4) activated alarms, 51 medical calls, and six (6) motor vehicle crash/collisions.

Fire Safety Tip: Lithium-Ion Battery Safety Tips were provided.

Honolulu Police Department (HPD) - Lieutenant Taro Nakamura reported the following:

January 2023 Statistics: There were 9 motor vehicle thefts, 10 burglaries, 30 thefts, 19 UEMVs, and 6,888 total calls for service.

Safety Tips: Driving in the rain safety tips were provided.

Board of Water Supply (BWS): Lorna Heller reported no main breaks in the community and discussed World Water Day on March 22, 2023 and discussed the theme of Accelerating Change.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed: Main Breaks: Vice Chair Hoe asked and Heller clarified that main breaks this month were outside of the Kaimuki area.


Queens Theatre Marquee/ Tree Wells: Resident Lot Lau expressed safety concerns regarding the Queens Theatre marquee, specifically the danger of the marquee falling in high winds or heavy rains. He expressed concerns that tree well volunteers outside of the marquee feel unsafe. Resident Lot Lau requested that the Neighborhood Board consider adopting a tree well in the community.


Kaimuki Business and Professional Association (KBPA): No report was given.

Hawaii Bicycling League: Neighborhood Bike Leader, Eric McCutcheon gave a presentation and micro-mobility. He provided a slideshow of the various moped and electric scooter related services providers in the community. To legally operate a moped in Hawaii, the maximum engine size must be 50cc or 1492 watts (2 h.p.) and the maximum speed allowed is 30 mph. The annual registration fee is $27, and a metallic tag or emblem is required. To operate a moped, a driver's license of any class is necessary, along with a license plate. An annual safety inspection is mandatory, and insurance is not required. The minimum age for operating a moped is 15 years old, and helmets are required until the age of 18. Passengers are not allowed on mopeds. Mopeds are considered devices, not vehicles, which allows for the lack of insurance requirement. Moped drivers shall use bicycle lanes, and every person riding a moped on a roadway shall be granted all the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle. He encouraged legislators to consider a helmet law for 18+ moped use.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed:

License: Chair Yamada asked and McCutcheon clarified that a license of any type is required to operate a moped.

Micro Mobility: A resident asked regarding the Hawaii Bicycling League's thoughts on electric bike policy. She expressed concerns with the reckless speed at which electric bike users, especially kids, operate those devices. McCutcheon clarified that the Hawaii Bicycling League supports all forms of micro mobility, but urges that those devices be operated, maintained, and licensed according to the law.

Queen Theater: Adoree Yu reported the following: Yu acknowledged concerns with the safety of the Queen Theatre marquee. She commented that a structural engineer assessment of the marquee concluded that it is structurally stable. Yu added that work will be done to replace all the plywood boards that detract from the feeling of the marquee.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed: Tenants: Member Gardner asked and Yu responded that they are still evaluating several candidates for long term use.

Diamond Head Theater: No representative was present; no report was given.

Kapiolani Community College: No representative was present; no report was given.

3650 Waialae Avenue (Goodwill Building): Eric Crispin reported the following: Discussed the next element of the project as they install permanent utilities, new sidewalks, and other elements which will require the temporary relocation of the bus stop to Pipeline Bake Shop for about four (4) to six (6) weeks starting in March 2023. He reported that they are still on track to finish by Fall 2023.

Hawaii State Department of Transportation (HDOT): Bryan Kimura of HDOT reported the following: Regarding the missing sign and striping on the West-bound H1 off-ramp by Ekaha Avenue, Kimura reported that the work was rescheduled to March. He reported that HDOT completed the assessment of the curve just before Ekaha which calls for delineators from the end of the guardrail to the end of the curb to enhance visibility of the curve. Kimura also discussed signal modernization at the H1 Off-ramp at Koko Head as well as converting the right lane into a right turn only lane.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed: Mental Health related Passes: Member Gardner asked regarding a pass for those with mental health disorders that was discontinued, expressing that the Department should expect pushback from those who are concerned with the rollback of those benefits during a mental health crisis. Mark Wong clarified that this would fall under the City.


Mayor Rick Blangiardi's Representative - DIT Director Mark Wong distributed a newsletter ( and reported the following: On January 12, 2023, the City Department of Transportation Services (DTS) announced the purchase of 48 new Handi-Vans to replace older vans, improve operational reliability, add new technologies and help operators with high rider demand. Director Wong highlighted upcoming affordable housing projects in Salt Lake, Waipahu, and Mo'ili'ili. Director Wong highlighted the following targets for Fiscal Recovery Fund Relief: Non-Profits - $30 million; Funding Affordable Housing on Oahu - $20 million; Oahu Business Recovery Grants - $10 million; Rental and Utility Relief Program - additional $7 million; net $38 million in SLFRF funds; Park Facility Improvements - $8 million; Board of Water Supply Kalaeloa Seawater Desalination Facility - $25 million; BWS System improvements - $26 million. Regarding Safety at 8th Avenue and Waialae Avenue, DTS will conduct an evaluation of the intersection and accident evaluation.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed:

1. Desalination Plant: Member DeMarco asked and Director Wong responded that following recent incidents at Red Hill, there are those at the BWS who feel that investing in supplementary sources of freshwater, such as a desalination plant, are prudent investments in the long term.

2. Parking Lot 2 - Electric Vehicle: Vice Chair Hoe asked and Director Wong responded that a charger is planned for the EV stall at Parking Lot 2.

City Council Chair Tommy Waters - Adam Doo of Council Chair Tommy Waters distributed a newsletter and reported the following: The City Council voted to approve Resolution 22-253 requesting the administration to enforce the sit lie ordinances near school property and requests a written plan from the administration outlining how this will be accomplished. A new shower will be constructed at Kaimana Beach by Summer 2023. Their office is still awaiting results from the DTS study of 16th and Waialae Avenue, expected February 2023.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed: Parking Around Iolani Palace: Member McCutcheon asked all present lawmakers, City and State, their thoughts on the proposal to remove parking from outside of Iolani Palace.

Councilmember Calvin Say (City Council District 5): Councilmember Say distributed a newsletter and reported the following: Referring to a study of 8th and Waialae Avenue, Councilmember Say clarified that the process will likely involve DTS, DCS, and DFM. He reported that he attended the Kaimuki Rain Garden blessing on 11th Avenue and that Kaimuki Community Park and Gymnasium improvements are being constructed at a cost of $775,000.

Governor Josh Green's Representative - Governor Green's Representative Amanda Stevens of the Department of Human Services introduced herself and reported the following: Governor Josh Green's priorities include affordable housing, homelessness, cost of living, and climate change. To contact the Governor's Office, please visit to find general information, learn about state capitol tours, request a commemorative message, submit a flag request, contact the governor, request a meeting, invite the governor to an event, or submit a U-I-P-A Request. She reported that she would follow up on McCutcheon's question regarding the parking around Iolani Palace.

Senator Stanley Chang: Legislative Aide Ian Ross of Senator Chang's Office distributed a newsletter and reported the following: The State Youth Commission currently has openings and is seeking potential nominees. Regarding legislation, Ross reported: SB875 authorizes counties to sell private property to pay unpaid civil fines, provided an ordinance has been adopted, all legal proceedings have been exhausted, and the property is sold at market value. Any excess revenue from the sale goes back to the property owner; SB338 establishes the Department of Housing and places several housing related departments under it for administrative purposes. It also replaces a position on the Hawai i Community Development Authority with the Director of Housing. SB863 establishes the Hawai i Residential Developers Loan Corporation and Special Fund to improve access to credit and guarantee loans made by private institutions to developers of residential housing for Hawai i residents. It appropriates funds for this purpose. He will follow up on parking outside of Iolani Palace.

Senator Les Ihara, Jr.: Senator Ihara introduced himself and reported the following: He reviewed the Legislative calendar, highlighting the upcoming deadlines. He noted that his priorities for this session include campaign reform and ethics. He discussed that the Governor has until March 20, 2023 to submit a new nominee as a potential head of DHHL to be considered this session. He discussed the upcoming Kuilei Place Project, commenting that he is concerned that some projects can be exempted from setback and height requirements from a single Council vote. He would follow up on Iolani Palace, but added that Representative Ward's bill related to this has died in the House.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed:

1. Year Round Legislation: Member McCutcheon asked and Senator Ihara responded that he would look into the bill related to year round legislation.

2. Kuilei Place: Resident Laura Ruby expressed concerns with Kuilei Place, commenting that the approval sets a bad precedence.

Representative Jackson Sayama: Representative Sayama reported the following: He reported that the Consumer Protection and Commerce Committee just approved and passed out a bill banning flavored tobacco products for e-cigarettes, HB497 mandating the school facilities authority conduct a feasibility study on building teacher and workforce housing on the Queen Liliuokalani elementary school property. He is also reaching out to appropriate departments to do an environmental impact study regarding HB497. He clarified that he did introduce a bill related to a year long legislative session.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed: Year Round Legislation: Year Round Legislation: Member McCutcheon asked and Representative Sayama responded that a year round legislative session would represent a fundamental shift in the process and that he does not have a stance on the question at this time. Ross of Senator Chang's Office clarified that the year round legislation bill is SB149, and has not been scheduled for its WAM hearing at this time.

Representative Bert Kobayashi: Representative Kobayashi distributed a newsletter highlighting the House Majority Package and a synopsis of the Governor Green affordability package. Due to technical difficulties, the report was deferred. He added through WebEx chat that, regarding the Iolani Palace parking question, the State DLNR in its own administrative capacity is proposing removing parking around Iolani Palace.

United States Representative Ed Case: No representative was present; no report given.


Kaimuki Neighborhood Board No. 4 Website: Chair Yamada shared a website hosting information relevant to Kaimuki and the Neighborhood Board:


Report of Planning and Zoning Committee and Recommendations Committee Chair DeMarco discussed finalizing their venue for the next meeting, commenting that their next committee meeting is tentatively scheduled for March 23, 2023.

Discussion on forming Committees to address community issues - Transportation, Environment, Safety, etc. No report.

Approval of Regular Meeting Minutes (January 2023): KANG MOVED and DEMARCO SECONDED TO ADOPT THE MINUTES AS AMENDED. The motion WAS ADOPTED by VOICE VOTE: 7-0-1 (AYE: Kang, Hoe, Yamada, DeMarco, McCutcheon, Aguilera, Haak. NAY: None. ABSTAIN: Gardner). The regular meeting minutes were adopted with amendments.

p. 1 Strike "Kapalama Hale Conference Room" and replace with "Kaimuki Library Meeting Room"

p. 1 First bullet: Strike redundant "and"

p. 2-5 Header: Strike "11" and replace with "18".

p. 2 PUCDP extension date: Strike and replace "2022" with "2023".

p. 2 Trees for Kaimuki: Striking "during" before the word "before"

p. 4 Striking motion and action on Kuilei Place.


Treasurer's Report - No report was available.

Members' Attendance at Other Meetings: No reports.

Next Meeting: The next Kaimuki Neighborhood Board No. 4 Regular Meeting is scheduled on Wednesday, March 15, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. in person and / or WebEx Application.

ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 8:10 p.m.

Submitted by: Thomas Baldwin, Neighborhood Assistant

Final approval by: Lori Yamada, Chair

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