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Downtown Neighborhood Board No. 13 Minutes Posted for THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2017 Meeting
DOWNTOWN NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD NO 13
DRAFT REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2017
ALOHA TOWERS, MULTI PURPOSE ROOM 2
CALL TO ORDER -- Chair Alvin Au called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m., with a quorum of seven (7) members present. Note: This nine (9) member Board requires five (5) members to establish a quorum and to take official Board action.
Board Members Present -- Alvin Au, Anthony Chang, Jasmine Mancos, Dolores Mollring, Jonathan Saupe, Bob Tom and Stanford Yuen.
Board Members Absent -- Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock and Tom Smyth.
Guests -- Captain Kenneth Kahahawai and Fire Fighter III Stan Kimura (Honolulu Fire Department); Major Calvin Tong, Major Allan Nagata, Lieutenant Baron Lee and Sergeant Harold Chi (Honolulu Police Department); Laurel Johnston (Governor Ige's Representative); Megan Muramatsu (Mayor Caldwell's Representative); Pat Lee (Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation); Sonny Le (Senator Karl Rhoads); Bryan Mick (Disability and Communication Access Board); Sam Moku (Hawaii Pacific University); Bill Hanrahan (Mental Health Kokua/Safe Haven); Allan Stack Jr. (Chinatown Improvement District); Sandra Pohl; Nicole Reid (Arts, Culture, Merchants, Etc.); Ann Shaver (League of Women Voters); Michael Packard (Department of Transportation Services); Don Murphy (Murphy's Bar and Grill); Kevin Lye, Alexandra Aranda, Jackie Magpantay, Mekenzi Stair, Amanda Moriarty, Adham Osman, Michelle K., Helen Rawer, Ronald Higa, Joan Davis, Dean Ho, and Kalawai'a Goo; David Amodo (videographer); and Sharon Baillie (Neighborhood Commission Office).
INTRODUCTION OF BOARD MEMBERS -- Chair Au and the Board members introduced themselves at this time.
PUBLIC SAFETY REPORTS
Honolulu Fire Departments (HFD) -- Fire Fighter III Stan Kimura reported the following:
• January 2017 Fire Statistics -- There was 1 structure fire, 1 wildland/brush fire, 5 nuisance fires, 5 cooking fires and 8 activated alarms. There were 201 medical emergencies, 4 motor vehicle collisions with a pedestrian, 2 ocean rescues and 2 hazardous materials incidents.
• Fire Safety Tip -- Electrical Safety:
o Plug one (1) heat-producing appliance (coffee maker, toaster, etc.) into a wall receptacle outlet at a time.
o Major appliances (refrigerators, dryers, stoves, etc.) should be plugged directly into a wall receptacle outlet. Extension cords and power taps or strips should not be used.
o Ensure electrical cords are not running across doorways or under carpets.
o Extension cords are intended for temporary use. Have a licensed electrician install additional receptacle outlets to eliminate the need for extension cords.
o Ensure that electrical work is performed by a licensed electrician.
Questions, comments and concerns that followed:
1. Chinese New Year -- Chair Au inquired and Fire Fighter III Kimura answered that the Chinese New Year was busy during the day time but at night was relatively quiet.
2. Thank You -- A resident thanked HFD in their quick response when needing assistance for a gentlemen that was near the end of his life a few weeks ago.
Honolulu Police Department (HPD) -- Lieutenant Baron Lee reported the following:
• January 2017 Crime Statistics -- There were 8 motor vehicle thefts, 2 burglaries, 49 thefts, 16 unauthorized entries into a motor vehicle (UEMV's), 22 assaults, 1 sexual assault, 3 graffiti incidents and 6 drug offenses. A total of 2,178 calls were placed for service.
• Safety Tip -- Burglary Prevention: Actions -- Burglaries occur every 15 seconds. A criminal will enter and commit a crime. Take precautions such as having a solid or metal door. Secure doors with second locks. Have anti-theft devices and alarm decals. Be good neighbors and look out for suspicious activity, if you see something say something.
• District One (1) Major -- Major Allan Nagata the new Major for District one (1) introduced himself, and stated that he looks forward to learning and working in the community. Major Nagata came from the communication division. Do not hesitate to be a part of the solution.
Questions, comments and concerns that followed:
1. Rotation -- Yuen inquired and Lieutenant Lee answered that there is no specific rotation for police to move in and out of divisions and districts, adding that it depends on the administration.
2. Smith Beretania Park -- Yuen noted seeing a big improvement at Smith-Beretania Park and thanked HPD for doing their part.
• Narcotics/Vice -- Major Calvin Tong, Commander of the Narcotics/Vice Division updated the board on activity which has taken place since the last time he visited the board in November 2016. 24 people have been arrested, mostly for drug related offenses, most of them were felonies. Three (3) drug dealers were arrested at A'ala Park. One (1) search warrant was issued and one (1) play bust for gambling took place. There were six (6) gambling cases, two (2) arrests, four (4) machines were seized and $9,200 in cash was forfeited. In 2016, five (5) search warrants were issued, $53,000 in cash was forfeited and 33 machines were seized.
Questions, comments and concerns that followed continued:
3. Thank You -- Mollring thanked HPD for their assistance in cleaning up Kamali'i Park. Major Nagata noted that the effort to clean up Kamali'i Park took the help of not only HPD, but the residents, neighborhood board, and area legislators.
4. Machines -- Ho inquired and Major Nagata answered that machines which were seized are illegal and were slot machines and table top machines.
5. Presence -- A resident expressed thanks for seeing HPD walking around the area, exuding their presence. The resident noted his belief in arresting the drug dealers first before the drug users. Major Tong expressed his thanks for the comment for the District One (1) team, and noted that there are a lot of sources to distribute drugs, when one (1) drug dealer is arrested, there is another one (1) waiting to take their place.
6. Weed and Seed -- Chair Au inquired and Major Tong noted that certain areas of Downtown -- Chinatown are considered to be in the Weed and Seed area and that the crime reduction teams would monitor these places.
Neighborhood Citizen's Patrol (NCP) -- Dolores Mollring reported the following:
• Patrols -- The NCP has been able to walk every Tuesday and the neighborhood has been quiet.
• Sign Waving -- The NCP waved signs last Friday, January 27, 2017 at Tamarind Park at 7:00 a.m., to remind cars and pedestrians to be mindful of each other, to obey traffic signals and to slow down.
• Living Alone -- Mollring asked that if anyone lives alone and is elderly and they need to use a stool or other device to grab something off of the shelf, to please ask for help instead to ensure they do not injure themselves if alone.
Public Concerns -- Complete Street Implementations -- Michael Packard from the Department of Transportation Services (DTS) notified the board of proposed pedestrian safety and bicycle network improvements to be implemented in Downtown-Chinatown over the next few years. Packard passed out informational flyers and will come back at the March 2017 neighborhood board meeting and make a presentation.
2nd Walk on the Wild Side Festival -- Sandra Pohl reported the following: Event -- The Walk on the Wild Side Festival is a collaboration between many community organizations and is a fundraiser for the National Kidney Foundation. There will be over 30 non-profits and 60 local artists taking part in the event. This event will be held on Saturday, March 11, 2017 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. There will be street closures on Hotel Street from Bishop Street to Maunakea Street, Pauahi Street from Bethel Street to Nuuanu Street and at Fort Street Mall from King Street to Chaplain Lane.
Questions, comments and concerns that followed:
1. Policing -- Mollring inquired and Pohl answered that since the event is during the daytime, around 15 special duty officers will be hired for the event. This event will also promote pedestrian safety as well as bike safety.
2. Crowds -- Tom asked and Pohl answered that 3,000 to 5,000 people are expected to attend the event.
3. Scavenger Hunt -- Tom asked and Pohl answered that the scavenger hunt will have 12 stops, some of which will be inside of the footprint of the event on Hotel Street and Fort Street Mall and other locations for the scavenger hunt will be outside of the area.
4. Alcohol -- Tom inquired and Pohl answered that the wine tasting will only be happening in the Menoca Building courtyard, and is for people of legal drinking age who purchased a special pass.
5. Buses -- Yuen asked and Pohl answered that the City would help post proper signage when the buses will be re-routed to King Street and Beretania Street during the event.
6. Fundraiser -- A resident inquired and Pohl answered that the National Kidney Foundation focuses on prevention, primary education, healthy living, treatment and encourages services. Please walk, it is the most affordable form of exercise.
7. Event -- Yuen stated that this event was a very worthy cause and requested that Pohl come back after the event to update the board on the number of people in attendance, revenue earned and what the money went towards. Pohl noted that she would apprise the board.
8. Vehicles -- Stack Jr. asked and Pohl responded that vehicles will be able to traverse Hotel Street at the cross streets of Maunakea Street and Nuuanu Avenue.
Mancos moved and Mollring seconded to support the 2nd Walk on the Wild Side Festival. The motion passed by UNANIMOUS CONSENT, 7-0-0. (AYE: Au, Chang, Mancos, Mollring, Saupe, Tom and Yuen; Nay: none; Abstain: none).
Watabe Wedding Corporation Liquor License Request - No representative was present; a report was not provided.
State of Hawaii Disabled Parking Program -- Bryan Mick of the State Department of Health (DOH), Disability and Communication Access Board (DCAB) reported the following:
• History -- 1988 -- United States Congress enacts Public Law 100-641, exhorts the states to adopt a disabled parking program. 1992 -- Hawaii State Legislature enacts Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) 291, Part III complies with PL 100-641. Hawaii Administrative Rules Section 11-219 contains the administrative rules which govern the program.
• Parking Lot Requirements -- Applies to any public facility or any private facility where the public is invited to enter and park. An accessible stall is a minimum of eight (8) feet wide and has an adjacent five (5) foot wide access aisle. A van accessible stall is 11 feet wide, or an eight (8) foot wide stall with an eight (8) foot wide access aisle. A facility with five (5) -25 stalls must provide one (1) reserved accessible stall. An additional reserved stall must be provided for every additional 25 stalls up to 100, and an additional stall for every additional 50 stalls up to 200, and an additional stall for every 100 stalls up to 500. Between 500 and 1000 stalls, two (2) % of the total must be reserved accessible. Over 1000 stalls, 20 stalls plus one (1) for every 100 stalls must be reserved accessible. One (1) of every six (6) reserved stalls must be van accessible. Exception - A facility that has four (4) or less stalls must have one (1) stall which is accessible, however it need not be reserved or have a reserved sign.
• Types of Permits -- Temporary placard (red) -- Valid between one (1) -- six (6) months; Long term/Permanent placard (blue) -- Valid for six (6) years; Special License Plates.
• Disabled Parking Permit Privileges - Reserved stalls are designated by a sign bearing the international symbol of access. Vehicles displaying a valid permit may park in a reserved stall subject to lot or street restrictions such as closure hours. The permit holder must be a driver or passenger in the vehicle or about to become one. Vehicles displaying a valid permit may park in a metered stall without paying the meter for 2.5 hours or the maximum time the meter allows whichever is longer.
• Eligibility Requirements - A qualified applicant is a person who is limited or impaired in the ability to walk, and who, as determined by a licensed practicing physician or an advanced practice registered nurse: Cannot walk 200 feet without stopping to rest due to a diagnosed arthritic, neurological, orthopedic, renal, oncological, or vascular condition; Cannot walk without the use of, or assistance from, a brace, cane, crutch, another person, prosthetic device, wheelchair or other assistive device; Is restricted by lung disease to such an extent that the person's forced (respiratory) expiratory volume for one (1) second, when measured by spirometry, is less than one (1) liter, or the arterial oxygen tension is less than sixty mm/hg on room air at rest; Uses portable oxygen; or Has a cardiac condition to the extent that the person's functional limitations are classified in severity as Class III or Class IV according to the standards set by the American Heart Association.
• Ineligible Individuals who belong to any of the following classes do not qualify for a parking permit based solely on that status: Persons who have a visual impairment; Persons who have a mental illness; Persons who are old; or Persons who are infants.
• How To Apply For A Parking Permit -- Applications forms are online or may be picked up at County Satellite City Halls/DMVs. Also may contact DCAB and request via mail. The applicant fills out side one (1), a physician or advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) fills out side two (2). The physician or APRN must have a Hawaii medical license unless they are stationed here in the military. First time applicants for a long term placard, temporary placard, and special license plates must apply in person at County Satellite City Halls/DMVs. Temporary placards have a fee of $12, special license plates cost $5.50 plus any county fees. No fee when applying for long term placards including their renewal. An application for a renewal of a long-term placard must be mailed to DCAB at 919 Ala Moana #101, Honolulu, HI 96814.
• Reciprocity -- Under HRS 291-51.7, the State, county, and private entities must recognize disabled parking permits issued by other states and countries. Visitors may use their permit to obtain the same parking privileges that Hawaii permittees enjoy. Likewise, other States are encouraged to recognize Hawaii issued parking permits. Check with the specific state you plan to visit. Disabled parking permits issued by the nation of Japan do not include the International Symbol of Accessibility. Upon request, DCAB will provide an additional document in English to be displayed in conjunction with their official parking permit.
• Violations and Penalties -- Parking in an access aisle: $250 - $500 fine. Forgetting to display valid permit while parked in a reserved stall: $25 - $100 fine. Parking in a reserved stall with no permit or using an expired permit: $250 - $500 fine. Counterfeiting or altering a permit: misdemeanor up to $2000 fine. Using a valid permit assigned to someone else: $250 - $500 fine and confiscation of the permit.
• Enforcement -- County law enforcement (HPD). Call 911 non-emergency. Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS) parking control. Call 586-0352.HPD's volunteer Special Enforcement Officers (VSEO).
o Pass background check.
o Complete training course
o Work a minimum of 20 hours per month.
o Call 723-3412 for more information or to apply.
• Number of Permits -- Statewide -- 108,078. City & County of Honolulu -- 76,553, Special License Plates -- 4,079, Temporary -- 2,442 and Long Term -- 70,032.
• DCAB Proposed Legislation
o House Bill (HB)1109/Senate Bill (SB)975 -- Confiscation -- Would allow law enforcement officers or commissioned volunteer officers to confiscate a placard anytime it is used in violation of HRS 291. Right now, a placard may only be confiscated when it is valid and used by someone other than who it was issued to. This bill would remove from circulation improperly used placards, expired placards, altered placards, counterfeit placards, invalidated placards, and bought or sold placards. This in turn would free up reserved stalls and metered stalls.
o HB1108/SB974 -- Free Metered Parking -- The State legislature passed a broad exemption waiving parking meter fees for any vehicle displaying a disabled parking permit. This proposed bill would narrow the exemption to only licensed drivers who are unable due to their disability to access or operate a parking meter by requiring an additional certification and permit.
• Other Proposed Legislation -- HB646 Eligibility for Blind and Low Vision Persons -- Would expand the list of qualifying conditions to cover people who are blind or have low vision. The current estimate of Hawaii residents who would be covered by this is 22,000 people. DCAB opposes this bill as vision impairment is not a mobility disability and use of an access aisle is not required for blind/low vision people to park.
Questions, comments and concerns that followed:
1. Parking -- Mollring noted seeing vehicles parked along the Fort Street Mall side as well as Kukui Plaza using handicap placards all day. These individuals are not placing money into the meters, and are going over their allotted time allowed to use meters for free. Mick stated that they encourage parking enforcement to mark tires of vehicles parked in a metered stall for too long and that they are working on changing the language for people who use their placards in metered stalls, to state that the first two (2) and a half (1/2) hours are free, and thereafter money needs to be placed in the meters.
2. Loading Zone Passes -- Saupe inquired and Mick answered that the Department of Transportation Services (DTS) and not DCAB would be in charge of issuance of Loading Zone Passes.
3. Volunteer -- Yuen inquired and Mick answered that HPD has a volunteer special enforcement program, and volunteers help with concerns such as handicap placards.
4. Handicap Placards -- Tom noted the extreme amount of residents who have some sort of handicap placard. Mick noted that they will do outreach to the medical community to ensure that only people who really need the placards receive them.
Mollring moved and Saupe seconded to support HB1108/SB974 and HB1109/SB975.
1. Clarification -- Au inquired and Mick re-read the bills up for a vote, noting that the bills were concurrent in the house and senate.
2. Confiscation -- Mollring inquired and Mick answered that the occupant of the vehicle would need to be present for HPD to take a way an illegal used/altered/expired handicap placard.
The motion to support HB1108/SB974 and HB1109/SB975 passed by UNANIMOUS CONSENT, 7-0-0. (AYE: Au, Chang, Mancos, Mollring, Saupe, Tom and Yuen; Nay: none; Abstain: none).
Voting By Mail -- Ann Shaver, President of the League of Women Voters of Hawaii reported the following: What It Is -- Voting By Mail would mail ballots to all registered voters, around three (3) weeks prior to Election Day. This would not eliminate all polling places. Voting by mail would offer convenience to voters, a cost savings of around $800,000 every election cycle and would reduce barriers and increase voter participation. Voting by Mail would be phased in with all four (4) counties having the voting by mail convenience by 2022. Shaver requests that the board support an Election By Mail resolution and SB459 which requires elections by mail, beginning first with certain counties in the 2018 primary election, until the 2022 primary elections, when all elections are to be by mail. Clarifies the election laws to provide for elections by mail, including defining "absentee voting" and "election by mail", and stating how absentee ballots are to be prepared for counting and how and when the ballots are counted.
Questions, comments and concerns that followed:
1. Voting -- Lye asked and Shaver answered that all ballots received by close of poles on Election Day would be counted, and that fewer polling places would be open during early walk in voting and on Election Day.
2. Time Zones -- Tom noted that a reason some people do not cast votes during the Presidential Election is that they do not believe their vote counts as it is the last one to be counted. Tom suggested looking at the possibility of having Hawaii's votes counted first. Shaver will bring up this suggestion to the others at the League of Women Voters.
Mollring moved and Mancos seconded to support SB459 and a Resolution for an Elections by Mail System. The motion passed by UNANIMOUS CONSENT, 7-0-0. (AYE: Au, Chang, Mancos, Mollring, Saupe, Tom and Yuen; Nay: none; Abstain: none).
Discussion Followed: Convenience -- Mollring stated how convenient it was to vote by mail in the most recent election and think that an Election by Mail System is a wonderful idea.
30th Annual St. Patrick's Day Event -- Don Murphy of Murphy's Bar and Grill reported the following: Event -- On Saturday, March 17, 2017, Murhpy's Bar and Grill will be holding their 30th Annual St' Patrick's Day Event. There will be street closures starting at 5:00 p.m. on Nuuanu Avenue between North King Street to Nimitz Highway, and on Merchant Street from Nuuanu Avenue to Bethel Street, and on Marin Lane from Smith Street to Nuuanu Avenue. There will be family friendly activities for children taking place from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. There will be live music during the street closure hours, but will end by 10:00 p.m.
Questions, comments and concerns that followed:
1. Numbers -- Tom inquired and Murphy answered that 10,000 people are expected to attend the event and that last year, Murphy's Bar and Grill was able to donate money to 10-12 charities from funds raised during the event.
2. Police -- Murphy noted that there would be 17 special duty police officers at the event as well as 40 to 50 security personal present.
Mollring moved and Mancos seconded to support the 30th Annual St. Patrick's Day Event. The motion passed by UNANIMOUS CONSENT, 7-0-0. (AYE: Au, Chang, Mancos, Mollring, Saupe, Tom and Yuen; Nay: none; Abstain: none).
Board member Mancos departed the meeting at 8:17 p.m.; Six (6) board members present.
33rd Annual Great Aloha Run -- Chair Au announced that on Monday, February 20, 2017 the 33rd Annual Great Aloha Run would be taking place, there would be some local street closures on Nimitz Highway towards the airport, on Punchbowl Street, Alakea Street, Bishop Street, Bethel Street, Nuuanu Avenue, Smith Street, Kekaulike Street and River Street.
Questions, comments and concerns that followed:
1. Participation -- Davis a 20 year member on the Great Aloha Run race committee stated that she would welcome any feedback on the race and would take it back to the committee for their final meeting next week before the event.
2. Race -- Saupe inquired and Davis answered that the Great Aloha Run starts at Aloha Towers and ends at Aloha Stadium.
3. Maps -- Saupe suggested that the event organizers place information and maps of the Downtown-Chinatown area in the race information given. Davis will take back this suggestion.
Mollring moved and Saupe seconded to support the 30th Annual St. Patrick's Day Event. The motion passed by UNANIMOUS CONSENT, 6-0-0. (AYE: Au, Chang, Mollring, Saupe, Tom and Yuen; Nay: none; Abstain: none).
Board member Mancos returned to the meeting at 8:21 p.m.; Seven (7) board members present.
Assembly of an Annual Conference of Chairs to include all Board Members -- Chair Au noted that McCully-Moilili Neighborhood Board No. 8 passed a resolution requesting that the Executive Secretary of the Neighborhood Commission Office (NCO) create an Annual Conference of Chairs which should include all board members. Chair Au noted that currently the Conference of Chairs takes place every two (2) years and only two (2) people from each board attend.
Mancos moved and Mollring seconded to support the resolution passed by McCully-Moilili Neighborhood Board No. 8 requesting an Annual Conference of Chairs to include all board members. The motion passed by UNANIMOUS CONSENT, 7-0-0. (AYE: Au, Chang, Mancos, Mollring, Saupe, Tom and Yuen; Nay: none; Abstain: none).
Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) -- Sam Moku reported the following:
• Main Breaks -- Moku thanked the Board and audience for being understanding for the January 2017 meeting being cancelled due to an unexpected water main break. The water main is still being repaired.
• Inauguration -- On Friday, March 3, 2017, HPU President John Gotanga will be inaugurated. All are welcome to attend. The event will be held at Iolani Palace starting at 4:00 p.m.
• Nursing Students -- Moku noted that there were HPU nursing students from the Hawaii Loa campus present at the meeting.
Questions, comments and concerns that followed: New Year's Celebration -- Tom inquired and Moku answered that there were 7,000 people in attendance and that only one (1) incident took place when an individual jumped into the water at the Maritime Museum during the New Year's Celebration.
Safe Haven -- Bill Hanrahan reported the following:
• Safe Haven -- Safe Haven is Mental Health Kokua's (MHK) 25 bed permanent housing program, which serves hard to reach homeless adults with mental illness who have been unable or unwilling to participate in supportive services.
• Pauahi Hale -- MHK manages Pauahi Hale for the City and County of Honolulu as a low income housing project.
• Placement -- Safe Haven was able to place 16 people into permanent housing in the month of January 2017. Five (5) of these placements came in conjunction from Helping Hands Hawaii and the Pathways program.
• Roof -- Construction on the roof of Pauahi Hale has been completed and 12 rooms which were previously water damaged have opened up for people in need.
Questions, comments and concerns that followed: Moving -- Saupe inquired and Hanrahan answered that Safe Haven will be relocating to Pauahi Hale around July 2017.
Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) -- Pat Lee reported the following:
• Guideways and Construction
o The West Oahu-Farrington Highway Guideway (East Kapolei to Pearl Highlands) contract is wrapping up with road repaving being completed.
o The West Oahu Stations Group (East Kapolei, University of Hawaii West Oahu and Ho'opili), being constructed by Nan, Inc. is under construction and anticipated to be completed by Fall of 2018.
o The Farrington Highway Stations Group (West Loch, Waipahu Transit Center and Leeward Community College), being built by Hawaiian Dredging, is also underway with anticipated completion by the end of 2018.
o The Kamehameha Highway Guideway (Pearl Highlands to Aloha Stadium), constructed by Kiewit Infrastructure West should be completed by this summer, 2017. The final span for this portion of the guideway was set on Thursday, December 22, 2016. Tracks are now being installed and almost finished.
o The Kamehameha Highway Stations Group (Pearl Highlands, Pearl Ridge and Aloha Stadium), which is under contract with Nan, Inc. is scheduled for completion by summer of 2019.
• Rail Operations Center (ROC) -- The ROC, built by Kiewit-Kobayashi Joint Venture is finishing out final work. Testing of the ground equipment including the wheel press, wheel lathe, train wash facility, and test track are underway. The test tracks will be energized soon.
• Testing -- For the Core Systems contract, train vehicles and controls, train testing and signaling field work has started and should be concluded by the summer of next year, 2017. The trains will be tested at the ROC, followed by train testing up on the guideway. Testing includes verification of all safety features of the signaling system, starting and stopping at various station locations, keeping proper speed and schedule, and stopping at the correct spot at the stations where the platform passenger safety gates open and close for boarding.
• Public Use -- Once the trains are certified and the west side stations are completed, revenue passenger service can start on an interim basis between Aloha Stadium and East Kapolei by 2021.
• Proceedings -- The Airport Guideway and Stations (Aloha Stadium to Middle Street) contracted to Shimmick/Traylor/Granite Joint Venture is underway and STG is proceeding with construction.
• Pending Constuction -- The final leg of the 20-mile rail route, from Middle Street to Ala Moana Center including eight (8) train stations, is pending additional funding so that a contract can be offered for that work.
• Tax Extension -- HART and the City and County of Honolulu are seeking an extension of the half percent general excise tax (GET) surcharge from the State Legislature to obtain more funds to complete the 20-mile, 21 station rail project. Due to projected increases in construction costs, an extension of the GET is needed to finish the full project as planned, which would include all of the stations in Kalihi as well as the guideway and stations through Kaka'ako to Ala Moana Center.
• For general project information, traffic updates, meeting notices and more information, please visit the website www.honolulutransit.org, call the project hotline at 566-2299 or email a question at email@example.com.
Questions, comments and concerns that followed:
1. Funding -- Mollring voiced concerns over the Trump administration possibly cutting funding for the rail project as Hawaii is a mostly Democratic State. Lee answered that he did not want to make any speculations on the matter.
2. Completion -- Tom inquired and Lee answered that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) sent a letter to the City and County of Honolulu and HART in December 2016 requiring a Plan B for the rail project if the funding could not be found to complete the entirety of the original project. Plan B would build the rail to Aloha Towers from Middle Street, but there would be no rail station stops in-between.
3. Extension Cap -- Saupe inquired and Lee answered that the extension cap on the rail project goes through 2027 and is at $6.8 billion dollars but current construction estimates are at $8.2 and other finance costs would increase the cost to $9.5 billion.
4. At Grade Completion -- Lye noted hearing about the possibility of an At-Grade rail system from Middle Street to Ala Moana Center. Lee answered that news reports have looked at at-grade systems which would require an entirely new set of equipment along with other environmental assessments, due to the new impacts it would create. There have been no studies or monetary amount placed on converting to such a system.
Chinatown Business and Community Association (CBCA) -- Shubert-Kwock informed the board that she would be unable to attend the meeting; a report was not provided.
Chinatown Improvement District (CID) -- Allan Stack Jr. reported the following:
• Status -- CID is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
• Annual Park Cleanup -- CID will be holding its annual park cleanup of the Smith Beretania Park. This cleanup will take place, Saturday, February 18, 2017 starting at 8:00 a.m. and go to 11:00 a.m. Graffiti removal, painting and trash pickup will take place. Light refreshments will be provided.
Arts Culture Merchants Etcetera (ACME) -- Nicole Reid reported the following:
• Bus Stop Signage -- ACME is working with the City and County of Honolulu to replace the bus stop signage for First Fridays. The metal backings for signs at some bus stops have been ripped off.
• Street Closures -- Due to the escalating cost of hiring HPD special duty officers for First Friday Events, there is no longer any street closure permits. The streets usually closed for First Friday will no longer be closed, however the buses will still be rerouted off of Hotel Street.
• Occupancy -- There have been several new businesses which have moved into the Downtown-Chinatown area recently. Bethel Street is lit up with businesses and there is 100% occupancy at the Arts at Marks Garage.
Questions, comments and concerns that followed:
1. Costs -- Tom inquired and Reid answered that she would provide an answer on the cost of hiring special duty police officers at a later date as she does not know the exact figure at this time. Reid added that because there are no street closure permits, they are not required to hire special duty police officers, but like to keep a good relationship with HPD and therefore have special duty police at these First Friday events which no longer have street closure permits.
2. Sidewalk Cafes -- Yuen suggested that ACME consider implementation of sidewalk café's along the streets with wider sidewalks to increase business and for the pau hana crowd. Reid noted that the City and County of Honolulu is in the process of creating a complete street concept for the area and ways to maximize and use an extra 12 to 18 inches of public space for private use is being looked at. Reid noted that businesses would like to create an extension of their businesses, but some residents do not want to see or hear an increase in noise and crowd or alcoholic beverage consumption. Packard noted that the City and County of Honolulu is discussing ordinance revisions which would allow for businesses to extend onto public land, especially on wider sidewalks such as Hotel Street. Such extensions would need to be Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant for people using mobility devices such as wheel chairs to safely and securely use the public sidewalk.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell's Representative -- Megan Muramatsu of the Managing Directors Office (MDO) reported the following:
• Candidate and Voter Registration for the 2017 Neighborhood Board Elections -- Candidate registration for the 2017 Neighborhood Board Elections has begun and the deadline to apply is Friday, February 17, 2017. Paper applications are available on the front table or you may apply online at www.honolulu.gov/nco or at the NCO, located at 925 Dillingham Boulevard, Suite 160. More information on the boards and the election are also available on that site or by calling 768-3781.
• Informational Sessions for Potential O'ahu Neighborhood Board Candidates -- The Neighborhood Commission Office (NCO) will host information sessions for people interested in being a candidate for the 2017 Neighborhood Board elections. There are 437 seats available for 33 neighborhood boards across O'ahu. Candidate recruitment has begun and will end on Friday, February 17, 2017. Candidacy is open to O'ahu residents who will be at least 18 years of age by Friday, February 17, 2017. Three (3) informational sessions are scheduled for:
o Wednesday, February 8, 2017 -- Hawaii Pacific University (HPU), Multi-Purpose Room Three (3) from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
o Thursday, February 9, 2017 -- Kailua District Park, Multi-Purpose Room from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
o Monday, February 13, 2017 -- Kapolei Hale, Conference Room A and B from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
• Mayor's Memorial Day 2017 Poster Contest -- Open to all students, kindergarten to 12th grade, in public, private, charter school, or homeschooled. Drawing needs to be on a 9" x 12" paper and the use of pen, pencil, ink, pastels, and paints are allowed. No computer enhancements or cut-outs, paste-ons, or stickers are allowed. Drawing could depict scenes of lei sewing activities, Punchbowl memorial activities, or military appreciation. This year marks the 50th Commemorative Year of the Vietnam War, and we are hoping for a great public show of support. More information is available through children's schools, on the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) website, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call at 768-3003.
• Dip in Pavement -- A concern was raised about a dip in the pavement on South Beretania Street and Bethel Street, which was caused after utilities work took place. The Board of Water Supply (BWS) recently performed trench work at the intersection of South Beretania Street and Bethel Street. BWS was informed of trench settlement concerns and will be investigating their trench patch.
• Homeless and Trash -- A resident raised concerns about the amount of trash and homeless at the triangle area of North King Street and North Hotel Street, where the dragon archway is. The Department of Facility Maintenance (DFM) noted that the Stored Property Ordinance (SPO) and Sidewalk Nuisance Ordinance (SNO) teams scheduled an enforcement of the triangle area for Friday, January 27, 2017.
Questions, comments and concerns that followed: Responses -- Chair Au inquired and Muramatsu answered that when the Mayor's Office receives concerns that the office will usually respond, so long as there is proper contact information. Sometimes responses can take a while when looking into a particular concern.
Councilmember Carol Fukunaga -- Councilmember Fukunaga was unable to attend the meeting; a report was provided.
Governor David Ige's Representative -- Laurel Johnston, Deputy Director of the Department of Budget and Finance reported the following: Budget -- Governor Ige will be cutting his budget requests for the upcoming year as the revenue forecast is not at what was expected. The Governor has to follow the Department of Taxation Council on Revenue projections.
Questions, comments and concerns that followed:
1. Reductions -- Saupe inquired and Johnston answered that Governor Ige wanted to add an additional $400 million to the budget, however will only be requesting an addition $100 million. This effects the operational side of the State and not the Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) side.
2. Harbors -- Chair Au inquired and Johnston stated that Darrell Young, Deputy Director of the Harbors Division at the Department of Transportation (DOT) will come to the March 2017 meeting and present on a proposed increase in harbor fees. Johnston noted that the harbor fee increases would be statewide.
Senator Karl Rhoads -- Sonny Le reported the following:
• Storm Drain -- A Maunakea Street storm drain which was installed to cut down on sewer smell mid-block between Kukui Street and Beretania Street may be causing flooding. This concern was reported to the City.
• Gambling -- Complaints were received about illegal gambling rooms in the buildings along the ‘ewa side of Mauankea Avenue between Nimitz Highway and King Street. This concern was reported to HPD.
• Homeless -- Complaints were received regarding homeless individuals making loud noises at the corner of Hotel Street and River Street at 4:00 a.m. This concern was reported to HPD.
• Dogs -- A request was made to allow dogs on leashes at Smith-Beretania Park. The request was forwarded to DPR.
• Bills Introduced
o SB114 -- Gives DOT the authority to regulate noise emanating from the harbor.
o SB126 -- Creates an emergency responder noise task force.
o SB129 -- Specifies that if you are on the curb, but have any part of your body, cane or bicycle beyond the curb, cars must yield.
Questions, comments and concerns that followed: Pedestrian Walkway -- Chair Au requests that Senator Rhoads provide information on the funding for the pedestrian walkway at North Vineyard Boulevard and River Street at the next month's meeting. There will be a presentation on the pedestrian walkway by DOT.
Representative Daniel Holt -- Representative Holt reported the following:
• HB653 -- Would appropriate funds to maintain and expand the Weed and Seed program to keep our communities safe and expand it to other areas in need. Around $400,000 is being requested.
• Committees -- Representative Holt is the Vice Chair of the Labor and Public Employment (LAB) committee, and a member of the Economic Development and Business committee as well as the Finance committee.
• Tax Preparation -- There is a free tax return preparation event taking place at the Hawaii State Capitol on Saturday, April 1, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Appointments are required, please call 724-1278.
• Kapalama Canal -- There will be a Kapalama Canal workshop on Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 6:00 p.m. at the Farrington High School cafeteria.
• Development -- Representative Holt stated that he is all for sidewalk cafés and complete street development. Representative Holt encourages everyone to participate and communicate any ideas or concerns on proposed project. Please call Representative Holt at 586-6180 or visit Room 319 at the State Capitol.
Questions, comments and concerns that followed: Rail -- Saupe inquired and Representative Holt answered that a permanent extension of the General Excise Tax (GET) is a tough sale, when there are many other improvements and upgrades that will need to be made in the future besides rail. All are deeply committed to the rail project and all options need to be vetted.
APPROVAL OF DECEMBER 1, 2016 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES -- The Board approved the December 1, 2016 regular meeting minutes by UNANIMOUS CONSENT, as amended 7-0-0. (AYE: Au, Chang, Mancos, Mollring, Saupe, Tom and Yuen; Nay: none; Abstain: none).
1. PAGE 5: Under Bill 63, "Councilmember Fukunaga noted that this route will act as a safety valve for extreme circumstances."
BOARD BUISNESS AND REPORTS
Hearings For Liquor License Applications
• Thursday, March 2, 2017. Square Barrels, 1001 Bishop Street, Suite 108. Category two (2).
• Thursday, March 16, 2017. Sin Lounge, 1111 Nuuanu Avenue, Suite 112 & 113. Category three (3).
Future Agenda Items -- At the next regular meeting of the Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board No. 13, topics of discussion will include: State DOT, Highways Division, Traffic Branch, Installation of traffic signals at the intersection on North Vineyard Boulevard and River Street for pedestrian crossing; Primary Urban Center Watershed Management Plan (PUC WMP) Presentation; State DOT, Harbor Division, Presentation of Proposed Harbor Fee Increase; and Discussion on Proposed Bicycle Paths and Pedestrian Safety Improvements in the Downtown-Chinatown area, City DTS and Hawaii Bicycling League (HBL).
Treasurer's Report -- Treasurer Mollring reported a remaining balance of $225.63 for December 2016 and $204.50 for January 2017. The report was filed.
Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization (OahuMPO) -- Chair Au noted that longtime neighborhood board member Tom Smyth has fallen ill, the board wishes him a speedy recovery. Mollring will represent the Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board No. 13 at the OahuMPO meetings until further noted.
Next Meeting -- The next Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board No 13 meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 2, 2017 at the Hawaii Pacific University, One Aloha Tower Drive, Multi-Purpose Room 2 at 7:00 p.m.
ADJOURNMENT -- The meeting adjourned at 9:18 p.m.
Submitted by: Sharon Baillie, Neighborhood Assistant I
Reviewed by: Brittany Yadao, Neighborhood Assistant I
Final Review by: Chair Alvin Au and Vice Chair Tom
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