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Makiki/Lower Punchbowl/Tantalus Neighborhood Board No. 10

 

DRAFT-REGULAR MEETING MINUTES

THURSDAY, JANUARY 19, 2012

MAKIKI DISTRICT PARK, ARTS AND CRAFTS BUILDING

 

CALL TO ORDER: Chair John Steelquist called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m., with a quorum of 14 members present. Note – This 17 member Board requires nine (9) members to establish quorum and take official Board action.

 

Members Present: Vincent Browne, Charles Carole, Diane Chong, Trevor Funk, Philip Hauret, Richard Kawano, Allan Lee, Eloise Lee, Sam Mitchell, Chuck, Reindollar, Isaiah Sabey, John Steelquist, Earl Winfree, Susan Lai Young.

 

Members Absent: Ron Cannarella and Michael Wooten.

 

Guests: Marques, Chief of Police Louis Kealoha, Assistant Chief of Police Randy Macadangdang, Lieutenant Ben Mahi, Sergeant Shinichi Masaki, Corporal Kevin Nakano, and Corporal Joel Gonsalves (Honolulu Police Department); Justin Kessler (Board of Water Supply), Linnea Schuster (Office of Representative Sylvia Luke), Dale Uno (Office of Senator Brickwood Galuteria), Patsy Tom, Terry Conlan (Dogs), Cappy Sheeley, M. Leslie Ortiz, Larry Fenton, Captain Al Ku (Honolulu Fire Department), Richard Cassidy, April Bautista (Office of Representative Karl Rhoads), Madori Rumpungworn, D’Angelo McIntyre, and Daniel Cooper (Occupy Honolulu); Mike Kockler (MyChangeNow.com), Pat Lee (Honolulu Rail Project), Hector Valenzuela (U.H.), Mark Stoffle, Kelsey Gaddy (Mayor Peter Calisle’s Representative), Mike Toggler, James Larson (Office of Councilmember Tulsi Gabbard), and Nola J. Frank (Neighborhood Commission Office staff).

 

Vacancies: One (1) vacancy in sub district 2.

 

BOARD ORGANIZATION:

 

Filling of Vacancy, Sub district 2: Chair Steelquist asked the audience if there was anyone interested in filling the vacancy. Hearing no interest, the item was deferred to the next meeting.

 

CITY MONTHLY REPORTS:

 

Honolulu Fire Department (HFD): Captain Al Ku reported the following:

 

  • December 2011 Statistics – Included 3 fire related calls, 91 medical emergencies, and 45 miscellaneous calls (hazardous conditions, stalled elevator, water evacuation, assist patient, and good intent).
  • Fire Safety Tip: In an emergency, it is critical that first responders quickly identify the correct location. Fire building, and U.S. postal codes and City ordinances states that property owners shall place house numbers so it is legible and readily visible from the street. This will assist HFD and other first responders to quickly locate the home in the event of an emergency. If the property is difficult to locate and/or access, provide 911 dispatchers with additional information to assist them in locating the property during an emergency.

 

Questions, comments and concerns:

 

  1. New Year’s Eve – Fireworks related calls were less than previous years.
  2. False Alarms – Approximately 4-5 false alarm calls are responded to monthly.

 

Honolulu Police Department (HPD): Lieutenant Ben Mahi introduced Police Chief Louis Kealoha.  Police Chief Louis Kealoha wished everyone a Happy New Year and highlighted the following:

 

  • Neighborhood Board Meetings – Since becoming the Chief of Police his intention is to attend all the Neighborhood Board meetings. There are a few left on his agenda.
  • Introduction – Assistant Police Chief Randy Macadangdang was introduced.
  • New Year’s Eve Calls – A lot of challenges occurred last year.

 

  • Asia-Pacific Economic Corporation (APEC) – The department came under budget during the APEC activities.
  • Community Health and Safety – Violent crimes and property crimes in Honolulu decreased to seven percent. The department continues to work with the Neighborhood Boards, Citizens Patrols, and neighbors to keep the communities safe.
  • Fireworks Law – The department wanted volunteer efforts from the community to obey the law. Enforcement this New Year’s Eve was low key and HPD now has a baseline. This year most of the fireworks started about 11:30 p.m., increased at midnight, and ended about 1:30 a.m. However, near midnight fights and accidents increased. There was a 39 percent decrease for service calls compared to 1,300 last year. HPD is keeping the law status quo for now. It is not a magic pill due to beliefs, culture, and people’s behavior. It takes time for laws to take place.

 

Questions, comments and concerns followed:

 

  1. Statistics – It was asked and clarified that statistics in every police jurisdiction are different. It is important that public safety is not jeopardized. Suggestions from the public are welcome and will be considered.
  2. Equipment Funding – Regarding funding for equipment, the budget has remained the same for the past two (2) years. All levels of accountability are looked at. Nationwide service grants have been cut in half. Federal grants are sought to supplement the budget.
  3. Funding Shortage – Regardless of the allotted funding, public safety is never compromised.
  4. Asia-Pacific Economic Corporation (APEC) – (A) HPD was commended for their hard work during the APEC demonstration. (B) It was asked if a proposed budget for APEC was submitted to the City Council. In answer, $18 million was budgeted for training, etc. Close to $8 million was returned. HPD made no arrests and no officer complaints. The community was thanked for their patience during this time.
  5. Accountability – Police officers are human and mistakes are sometimes made. However, if a wrong doing is committed that person must be held accountable for his/her actions. Officers are disciplined if need be.
  6. Gun Permits – An inquiry regarding home invasions and robberies.

Chief Kealoha replied the law does not permit anyone to have a weapon whether a home or business. The rules are not made by the Chief and he must answer to the Mayor, City Council and State Legislators. The job of the Chief is to work with everyone.

 

Board of Water Supply (BWS): Justin Kessler reported the following:

 

  • Water Main Breaks – No water main breaks reported for November and December 2011.
  • Revised Water Rate Schedule Adopted – The BWS Board of Directors has approved a revised water rate schedule to fund the operation, maintenance, and replacement of Oahu’s aging water infrastructure. The new rate schedule, which took effect on January 1, 2012, will be spread over a five-year schedule at 9.65 percent increase each year. The increase would allow BWS to accelerate its capital improvement program, and ensure the delivery of a safe and dependable water supply.
  • Water Conservation Calendar and Contests – The 2012 Water Conservation Calendar features the winning artwork and poetry submitted from Oahu’s keiki in last year’s contests. Helpful tips and coupons from the sponsors are included in the calendar. The 2012 poster contest is open to students in grades Kindergarten to sixth and the poetry contest is open to students in grades 7-12. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, March 7, 2012.
  • New Year’s Resolution to Save Water – The New Year is a great opportunity to make positive changes in our lives. One such change can be to cut down on household water usage and reduce water waste. This will help to save money and conserve the water resources. For more information visit www.boardofwatersupply.com or call the BWS Communications Office at 748-5041.

 

Honolulu Police Department (HPD): Lieutenant Ben Mahi reported the following:

 

  • December 2011 Statistics – Robberies are up, unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle (UEMV) is down, and sex assaults are down.
  • Children Pedestrian Safety Tips – A flyer with children pedestrian safety tips was circulated. If anyone would like to join or participate in a Neighborhood Security Watch or Citizen Patrol group, contact Sergeant. Lawrence Santos at 529-3695 or at Isantos@honolulu.gov.

 

 

 

 

 

Questions, comments and concerns followed: Property Crimes – Include thefts, burglaries, and robberies. Bill 5, relating to stored property is not enforced by HPD. Officers stand by while the Department of Facility Maintenance (DFM) removes items left on sidewalks and stores them for 30 days.

 

RESIDENTS’/COMMUNITY CONCERNS:

 

Early Morning Sirens – Chair Steelquist reported that he spoke with HFD who tries not to run the sirens in the middle of the block at certain hours. This item will be placed on the February agenda.

 

Community Organization – A resident reported that he goes around picking up trash and recyclables and would like to organize community members to help with this task.  He raised concern about the amount of trash in the Makiki Stream and at the drainage ditch along Kalakaua Avenue. Chair Steelquist answered that the stream belongs to the adjourning neighbors. The City has cleaned narrow areas, but it is not a priority. Board member Carole mentioned that Hui o Makiki will be providing information on the Magic Island/Ala Moana cleanup scheduled for Saturday, March 17, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

 

Trash – Heaps of trash was reported at 1027 Prospect Street. It is hard to distinguish if the trash is dumped in the area or for bulky item pick up. It was suggested to call the City Refuse Department.

 

Hui o Makiki – Meetings are held the first Saturday of each month at 9:00 p.m. at Makiki District Park.

 

Punchbowl Contract – Chair Steelquist reported correspondence received last week regarding a meeting held this past Tuesday. Plans are to build a new administration center along the end of Puowaina Street by the Veterans Administration. A self waiver was given for the Environmental Assessment (EA), with a 60-day comment period. Construction start is in approximately 140 days.

 

Thomas Square Park – An inquiry asked for the concrete Thomas Square Park boundaries. It was recommended to contact Makiki Park Director Rosalind Park.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

 

The Honolulu Academy of Arts at Spalding House Annual Report – Stephan Yost reported the following: A merger took place on January 2, 2011. The yearly Conditional Use Permit (CUP) allows six night events. The Johnson and Peterson homes are up for sale. Work is being conducted with the City for the appropriate permits for upgrades. Funding has been transferred into the endorsement account.

 

Seeds of Truth – Dr. Melissa Yee reported since 1996 Americans have been eating genetically modified (GM) ingredients in most processed foods. GM plants such as soybean, corn, cottonseed and canola, have had foreign genes forced into their DNA. The inserted genes come from bacteria and virus species, which have never been in the human food supply. According to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food. The GM food crops major varieties are soy, corn, cotton, and sugar beets. The second GM trait is built in pesticide found in corn and cotton. There is also a GM papaya and a small amount of zucchini and yellow crookneck squash.

 

Questions, comments and concerns;

 

  1. Pharmaceutical Drugs – Rumor is that GM is also used for medicines.
  2. Support – There are at least two (2) bills in support of seeds of truth.

 

Mitchell moved and Carole seconded that the Makiki/Lower Punchbowl/Tantalus Neighborhood supports the labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods.

 

Discussion followed: 1) Kawano was in support or the motion, but wanted to hear from both sides on the issue. 2) Mitchell noted he has heard both sides. 3) Chair Steelquist agreed that the both sides should be heard by the Board. 4) Carole added if no GM is used the farmers would be able to use the original seeds. Hearing no objection the motion was tabled until the February meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

CITY REPORTS:

 

Occupy Honolulu Encampment at Thomas Square – Chair Steelquist asked the group in attendance what they are doing in the neighborhood. Madori Rumpungworn reported they want to make the world a better place and spread awareness on issues unaware to citizens. The group is camping at Thomas Square because of its history.

 

Questions, comments and concerns followed: Restroom Access – Mitchell pointed out one of the problems for the group is restroom access at night. However, the Board previously passed a park closure resolution. He requested a motion be placed on the February agenda regarding restroom access.

 

CITY REPORTS:

 

Councilmember Ann Kobayashi – Report provided.

 

Councilmember Tulsi Gabbard – James Larson reported the following:

 

  • Bill 56, Adoption of the New Fire Code – As chair of the Committee on Safety, Economic Development and Government Affairs, the Councilmember is involved in reviewing this bill regarding the adoption of the updated fire code on a county level.
  • Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit (HART) Update – HART has submitted its proposed Fiscal Year 2013 Operating and Capital Budgets to the Mayor’s office.
  • Liliha Public Library – The Liliha Public Library celebrates its 45th Anniversary.
  • Gray Water Reuse – The practice of reusing gray water as a valuable resource right now can help lead Hawaii to an affordable and maintainable future for generations to come.
  • Dog Park – A letter from the BWS regarding the use of BWS property for a dog park was circulated. As an alternate site Makiki District Park Manager Rosalind Young recommended the mini park on Makiki Street.

 

Questions, comments and concerns followed:

 

  1. Genetically Modified (GM) Food – The GM bill was voted down by the full City Council. Councilmember Gabbard voted no because there is no verification if the produce is labeled and sent to Hawaii and not comprehensive enough to be productive.
  2. Stance on Gay Marriage – There was no comment on this issue.

 

Mayor Peter Carlisle’s Representative – Kelsey Gaddy reported the following:

 

  1. Potholes Along Beretania Street – Please call the Pothole Hotline at 768-7777 to report potholes and provide a specific address. Beretania Street is a long street and potholes deeper than two (2) inches are filled in.
  2. Sidewalk Repairs Done in Segments – This concern was referred to the City Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP). However, due to the long backlog, the work order is based on DPP’s tasking. If the sidewalks are uplifted by a private tree the homeowner is responsible for the repair. Each case must be addressed separately.
  3. Dog Park Selection – Reported earlier by Councilmember Tulsi Gabbard’s representative.
  4. Pothole Materials – The Division of Road Maintenance fills over 60,000 potholes annually island wide. The use of synthetic mixes is very expensive. It was found the most economical method is the use of hot asphalt mix to fill potholes.

 

Questions, comments and concerns followed:

 

  1. Road Repairs After a BWS Water Main Break – A quick patch is put down by BWS crews and a contract is placed for the repaving.
  2. Trash at the Bus Stop Across the State Capitol on S. Beretania Street – Call the City Complaint Office at 768-4381 or the State at 586-0034 to report trash.
  3. Potholes – An inquiry noted that pothole patching is not working and wanted to know who decides on the materials used. In answer, there are too many potholes in need of repair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

STATE ELECTED OFFICIALS:

 

Representative Karl Rhoads – April Bautista reported the following:

 

  • Update – HPD mentioned in June of 2100 that a change in law is required in order for HPD to be able to utilize new graffiti camera technology Representative Rhoads wrote to HPD requesting clarification on which law(s) needed to be amended. HPD’s response letter stated that they are not currently exploring the use of the new graffiti camera technology.
  • “Occupy” Movement Complaint – A complaint received regarding the “Occupy” movement blocking the sidewalk at Thomas Square was forwarded to HPD.
  • Mosquito Infestation Complaint – The State Department of Health (DOH) was informed about a complaint received about mosquito infestation due to stagnant water at the Pensacola Chelsea (1310 Pensacola Street).

 

Senator Carole Fukunaga – Report provided; there was no representative present or report available for Senators Galuteria, Luke, and Belatti.

 

Governor Neil Abercrombie’s Representative – Calbert Young and Dwight Takamine reported the following:

 

  • 2012 Legislative Session – The 2012 Legislative Session has started.
  • Budget – The governor released $63.7 million for Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) statewide; and $16.6 million for schools, libraries, and Honolulu International Airport.
  • Boards and Commissions – Applications are being accepted to serve on one of the 160 boards and commission.
  • Contact Information – Calbert Young can be contacted at 586-1518 and Dwight Takamine at 586-8844.

 

Questions, comments and concerns followed:

 

  1. Board and Commissions Information – Visit www.hawaii.gov/gov for more information.
  2. Genetically Modified Labeling – An inquiry was what the governor’s position is regarding genetically modified labeling.
  3. Real Property Policy Changes for Non-Profits – The tax exemption bill was previously legislative bills.

 

BOARD BUSINESS:

 

Approval of the November 18, 2011 Regular Meeting MinutesThe November 18, 2011 Regular Meeting Minutes were ADOPTED by UNANIMOUS CONSENT, 14-0-0 (Aye: Browne, Carole, Chong, Funk, Hauret,  Kawano, A. Lee, E. Lee, Mitchell, Reindollar, Sabey, Steelquist, Winfree, Lai Young).

 

Treasurer’s Report – Deferred.

 

Scottish Rite Day Care Facility at 1408 Nehoa Street Update – Chair Steelquist reported the Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) held a hearing in November 2011. No action was taken by the Board on this issue in November.

 

Discussion followed:

 

  1. Opposition – Chong reported that 10 people testified in opposition because of traffic and children and pedestrian safety. She noted that Scottish Rite representative spoke about their plans, However, plans for a shuttle for the children is not being considered at this time. It was stated that traffic is the main concern.
  2. Hearings Officer – Chair Steelquist relayed that the hearings officer asked that all information be provided before a decision would be made.
  3. Starting Time – E. Lee inquired if any consideration has been given to changing the starting time.
  4. Shuttle – (A) Mitchell added that a shuttle is needed if only as a trial period to start. An alternate plan should also be in place. (B) Carole suggested a four (4) trial period shuttling the teachers from the church to the school.
  5. Traffic Jam – Chong noted that cars turning into the school’s driveway are blocking two (2) lanes on Nehoa Street going west. Chair Steelquits mentioned the school informed him that there would be a traffic guard
    on duty. Carole added that results from a December 2011 traffic survey showed that drivers in the middle lane going toward Roosevelt High School are turning left on Keeaumoku Street when the signal turns red

 

Monday through Thursdays. Approximately 60 cars are stopped during this time between Makiki and Keeaumoku Streets.

 

  1. Concerns – Chair Steelquist said that the DPP Hearings officer would like suggestions from the Neighborhood Board.

 

Steelquist moved and Browne seconded that the Makiki/Lower Punchbowl/Tantalus Neighborhood Board No. 10 supports the Scottish Rite Day Care Facility but believes there must be a solution to traffic. The motion in support of the Scottish Rite Day Care Facility, but believes there must be a solution to traffic. The motion was ADOPTED, 12-2-0 (Aye: Browne, Chong, Funk, A. Lee, E. Lee, Mitchell, Reindollar, Sabey, Steelquist, Winfree, lai Young; No: Carole and Kawano).

 

Contract for the Videographer – It was announced that broadcast of Board meeting can be seen on `Olelo Channel 49 the first Friday of each month at 9:00 a.m.

 

Complaints of Noise from Roosevelt High School – The acting principal was contacted and said that the noise if from basketball games.

 

The City’s Proposal to Issue a Single-vendor Towing Contract – This matter was previously referred to the Mayor’s representative.

 

Skateboarding and Bicycling on Tantalus and Round Top Drive Update – The situation still remains the same.

 

Safeway Update – This item will be removed from the agenda.

 

Dog Park Update

 

  • Archie Baker Park – A petition with 66 signatures was given to the Chair in opposition to a dog park at Archie Baker Park. A history of this park was read noting that the pond is now covered with grass making it difficult to maintain the park. The Board was asked to support community members in opposition to this site used for a dog park. Chair Steelquist replied no Board action would be taken.
  • Comment – A constituent pointed out that the Board supported a dog park at Makiki District Park about a year and a half ago. It was asked that the proposed sites be reviewed. DPR was asked to reconsider their position. This concern was referred to Councilmember Tulsi Gabbard’s office.
  • Comments – (1) Lai Young mentioned that a newsletter solicited opinions from the community two (2) years ago. (2) Carole suggested a sketch of what the community wants before speaking to DPR. (3) Kawano pointed out the main objection is liability. (4) A representative from Councilmember Gabbard’s office said that people bring their dogs to parks where pets are prohibited and let them run without a leash. (5) It was requested to have a DPR representative attend the February meeting.

 

Recycling Days in the Makiki Area – No report.

 

COMMITTEES

 

Transportation, Honolulu Rail Project – Pat Lee reported the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has accepted the Honolulu rail transit project into Final Design – the final phase of the project’s development before executing a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) with the federal government.

 

The Honolulu rail transit project’s entry into final design demonstrates the FTA’s continued acknowledgement that the project is progressing through the various FTA requirements toward a federal contribution of $1.55 billion. As is the case with all projects that progress through the Final Design process, FTA Regional Administrator Rogers noted that the Honolulu project’s financial plan will be subject to an even more intensive review before FTA enters into an FFGA with HART.

 

As previously announced by Senator Inouye, the Fiscal Year 2012 Transportation Appropriations measure includes a total of $510 million for those transit New Starts projects that will enter into an FFGA in calendar year 2012. When Honolulu enters into an FFGA with the FTA, it will become eligible for a portion of these funds.

 

 

Excise tax collections for the rail project were $179.1 million for the past fiscal year, which was 9 percent ahead of the amount the City had projected.

 

The most recent quarterly excise tax collections basically continued that trend, coming in at $46.4 million, or about 6 percent ahead of the city's latest projections for the quarter.

 

The State began collecting the half-percent excise surcharge on behalf of the city in 2007, and the city expects to receive a total of $3.532 billion from the rail surcharge during the 16 years the extra tax is in effect. The surcharge applies only on Oahu, and expires at the end of 2022.

 

HART has also awarded a $38.8 Million contract to AECOM Technical Services to design the airport segment of the rail transit project. This is a 5.2 mile segment between the Aloha Stadium and Middle Street transit stations.  Design work is expected to be completed by early next year. Following the design, a separate contract will be put out for bid for the construction work.  Rail station design and construction for this segment will also be awarded as separate contracts which will be forthcoming.

 

The local AECOM office was formally M&E Pacific, which was founded in Honolulu in 1959.  Some of the other locally based subcontractors for this design work include Wilson Okamoto, Yogi Kwong Engineers, Geolabs, Group 70 and PBR Hawaii, all long time kama’aina firms.

 

Current schedule as follows: January – FTA allows HART to enter into Final Design; spring - FTA gives HART a LONP, allowing some vertical construction to begin (foundation and columns); fall – FTA and HART enter into a FFGA; by 2015 – Kapolei to Aloha Stadium; by 2017 – Kapolei to Middle Street; and by 2019 – System fully operational.

 

Questions, comments and concerns followed:

 

  1. Buses – It was asked and clarified that buses would not be able to accommodate a large amount of passengers.
  2. Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit (HART) – If a new Mayor is elected and opposed to rail the charter must be changed and put on the ballot with just one (1) vote.
  3. Overall Plan – The rail is still on schedule for completion in 2019.

 

Health Safety and Wellness – Kawano noted that a candidate forum committee should be established and said that the primary election will be held this August.

 

There were no other committee reports.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

 

  • Next Meeting – The next Makiki/Lower Punchbowl/ Tantalus Neighborhood Board No. 10 regular meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 16, 2012, at the Makiki District Park, Arts and Crafts Building (1527 Keeaumoku Street) at 7:00 p.m.
  • Broadcast – Neighborhood Board meetings can be viewed on `Olelo Channel 49, the 1st Friday of each month at 9:00 a.m.

 

ADJOURNMENT: The meeting adjourned at 9:43 p.m.

 

Submitted by: Nola J. Frank

Neighborhood Assistant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

 

Last Reviewed: Thursday, February 09, 2012