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  • Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board Meeting July 2018 Minutes

With Permission / Courtesy of: City and County of Honolulu Neighborhood Commission Office
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Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board No. 13


01 icon acrobat  July 2018 Minutes



CALL TO ORDER - Chair Au called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m. Quorum was established with 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, Ernest Caravalho, Kevin Lye, Dolores Mollring, Willis Moore, Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock, John Smiley, Robert Tom

Board Members Absent - Lori McCarney, Willis Moore

Guests - Lieutenant Lee and Sergeant Lum (Honolulu Police Department); Captain Kiana Kam (Honolulu Fire Department); Doris Lam (Councilmember Carol Fukunaga's Office); Senator Karl Rhoads; Bob Shin (Hawaii Department of Transportation); April Bautista (State Office of Elections); Scott Perez and Daniel Sato (Honolulu Liquor Commission); Brandi Crabbe (Hawaiian Electric Company); Nicole Reid (Art's, Culture, Media, and Etc. (ACME)); Greg Payton (Safe Haven), Andrea Lum and Michelle Bartell (American Savings Bank); Dean Sakamoto (SHADE); Allen Stack Jr. (Chinatown Improvement District); Carter Churchfield (Honolulu Exposed); Don Murphy (Murphy's Bar and Grill); Sandy Pohl (Event Organizer); Susie Chun Oakland (CYD); Ronald Higa (Resident); Harry Cho (Neighborhood Commission Office).

INTRODUCTION OF BOARD MEMBERS ??? The Board members introduced themselves. Chair Au reminded those present to speak into the microphone when addressing the Board.


Caravalho nominated Shubert-Kwock as Chairperson of the Downtown/Chinatown Neighborhood Board No.13. Shubert-Kowck was voted as Chairperson of the Downtown/Chinatown Neighborhood Board No.13 by majority vote, 5-0-2. (Aye: Caravalho, Lye, Mollring, Shubert-Kwock, Tom; Nay: None; Abstain: Au, Smiley).

Mollring nominated Caravalho as Vice-Chairperson of the Downtown/Chinatown Neighborhood Board No.13. Caravalho was voted as Vice-Chairperson of the Downtown/Chinatown Neighborhood Board No.13 by majority vote, 5-0-2. (Aye: Caravalho, Mollring, Shubert-Kwock, Smiley, Tom; Nay: None; Abstain: Au, Lye).

As there were no objections or further nominations, Mollring will remain as Treasurer of the Downtown/Chinatown Neighborhood Board No.13, 7-0-0. (Aye: Au, Caravalho, Lye, Mollring, Shubert-Kwock, Smiley, Tom; Nay: None; Abstain: None).

Election of a Secretary was deferred to the next meeting.


Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) - Captain Kam was present but departed due to an emergency.

Honolulu Police Department (HPD) - Lieutenant Lee reported the following:
• June 2018 Statistics: There were 8 motor vehicle thefts, 5 burglaries, 68 thefts, 26 unauthorized entries into motor vehicles (UEMV), 28 assaults, 2 sex assaults, 2 graffiti incidents, 3 drug incidents, and 2,457 total calls for service.
• Safety Tip - Public Transportation: When using public transportation make sure to have your fare or bus pass ready before boarding. Plan a route to use the most well lit areas possible. Keep your purses, bags, belongings in your lap or around your arm. To feel safer, sit near the front of the bus. Do not fall asleep while using public transportation.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Assault: Smiley asked if there are any updates regarding the assault of sportscaster John Noland. Lieutenant Lee stated there is no new information. He also stated that the area during late nights is not a safe area for anyone to be. Mollring asked if the property can be seized from the landowner due to the drug activity and crime. Lieutenant Lee stated that the narcotics/vice division is investigating however he has no information regarding that.
2. Alcohol Sales: Lye asked if there are any laws that prohibits establishments from selling individuals cans of beers. Lieutenant Lee suggested asking Honolulu Liquor Commission later during the agenda.
3. Safety: Tom asked what the Neighborhood Board can do to help HPD protect the residents and businesses more in the area. Lieutenant Lee stated that lobbying for more patrol and hiring of officers would be helpful. This is dependent on HPD's budget as well as hiring of qualified recruits.

Neighborhood Citizens Patrol - Mollring reported that the neighborhood citizen's patrol has been patrolling early in the evenings. Prostitution has decreased and is very minimal near Kukui Street during the hours that they patrol. They are continuing to ensure the safety of residents in the area.

Public Concerns:
1. Office of Elections: April Bautista from the Office of Elections stated that they are currently seeking volunteers for the primary and general elections. About 36 more volunteers are needed for the Downtown/Chinatown area polling stations. $75 to $85 will be paid to volunteers.
2. Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT): Bob Shin from HDOT stated that the Likelike Highway project will begin be completed by the end of July 2018 or early August 2018. The Pali Highway resurfacing which begun early 2018 will be completed near August 2019. The Middle Street to the Punchbowl off-ramp project will be completed near the end of 2018. There are two (2) projects currently in the design stage. The next Pali Highway project after the resurfacing and the Nimitz Highway resurfacing from Kalihi Street to Atkinson Drive.
3. Sustainable Humanitarian Architecture and Design for the Earth (SHADE): Dean Sakamoto from SHADE stated that they will be holding their second workshop with the Kukui Redevelopment Area on Wednesday 11 July 2018 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at SHADE City Lab. The plans are to improve the residential and commercial land along the Nuuanu Stream. SHADE has been receiving input from the neighborhood through workshops and outreach to develop a municipal special improvement district which will provide an enhanced level of security and sanitation in the area.
4. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park: Kevin McDonald from Sin Lounge stated that he has met with a representative from the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR). However the issue regarding the fence has not been resolved.


Honolulu Liquor Commission, Chinatown Liquor Licensees, Live or Recorded Music, and Public Complaints - Investigators Scott Perez and Daniel Sato circulated a list of the retail licenses in the Chinatown/Downtown area and reported that there are 16 retail licenses, 31 restaurant licenses (20 with music/dancing and 11 standard), 20 dispenser licenses (15 with music/dancing), one (1) club license with music and dancing, and two (2) brewpub licenses with music and dancing.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Music Bass: Mollring suggested that the Liquor Commission should regulate the bass of the music.
2. Corrective Action: Tom asked what corrective action is taken by the Liquor Commission for violations. Perez stated that the corrective action include verbal warnings and written citations.
3. Compliance: Lye asked if most establishments attempt to comply with the rules or do they break the rules until a complaint is filed. Perez stated that most licenses are aware of the rules and they do their best to comply with them. However, establishments can occasionally push the boundaries and breach the rules.
4. Alcohol Sales: Shubert-Kwock asked if a can of beer can be sold individually, rather than in a six (6) pack. Perez stated that he will follow up with a response.
5. Noise: A community member stated that Chinatown is a mixed-use zoning with a combination of residential and commercial, therefore, noise is inevitable.
6. Cinco de Mayo: A community member asked why the Cinco de Mayo event did not occur. Perez stated the event organizer did not apply for a liquor license.
7. Monthly Meeting: Shubert-Kwock requested Honolulu Liquor Commission to attend each monthly meeting to update the Board. Perez stated that this would need to be discussed with the Administration.

25th Annual Hawaii Children and Youth Day ??? Au stated that the event organizers were not able to attend the meeting. The event will take place on Sunday 7 October 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the State Capitol and surrounding Capital District. Punchbowl Street, between South King Street and South Beretania Street will be temporarily closed for the event from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. that day.

Mollring moved and Caravalho seconded the motion to support the 25th Annual Hawaii Children and Youth Day. The motion was adopted by UNANIMOUS CONSENT, 7-0-0. (Aye: Au, Caravalho, Lye, Mollring, Shubert-Kwock, Smiley, Tom; Nay: None; Abstain: None).

American Savings Bank Building Construction Update - Michelle Bartell reported that they have reached a recent milestone with the construction of the building. Glass has been installed onto the building and the central staircase has been constructed. The Seventh Community Clean-Up was held in April 2018 with 200 volunteers. The next Community Clean-Up will be on Saturday 27 October 2018 on Make a Difference Day.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Park Improvement: Caravalho suggested working to help improve Aala Park as well. Bartell stated that they are working with DPR for potential improvements and have done community clean-ups there as well.
2. Birds: Lye asked if there are plans to mitigate bird nests on the structure. Bartell stated that this is a topic that the construction team has discussed.

Hawaiian Electric Company Project for System Upgrades - Brandi Crabbe reported that there will be system upgrades in Iwilei, Kakaako, and Ala Moana. A recent outage in the area was at Ala Moana Shopping Center. The goal of this project is to improve reliability of customers, reduce safety risk for crews, and avoid prolonged and unplanned outages. The outage in Downtown will take place from 10:00 p.m. on Monday 16 July 2018 to 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday 17 July 2018. A lane closure during the duration of the project be on Iwilei Road, Nimitz Highway, and Ala Moana Boulevard. Work will begin on Monday 16 July 2018 and will last roughly three (3) weeks from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. This will affect 400 businesses and 2,000 customers. The public may call 808-548-7311 for more information.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed - Power Outages: Mollring stated that she noticed some building having power outages and other buildings with electricity in the same area. Crabbe stated that not all buildings are fed by the same circuit which is why some may have electricity while others don't during an outage.

Celebrate the Arts Festival - Sandy Pohl stated that the event will take place on Saturday 8 September 2018 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Park on Bethel Street between Hotel Street and Pauahi Street. The purpose is to build community pride for a vibrant and clean neighborhood to live, work, and play. The event is to encourage residents to come out and get to know the neighborhood. The pump house will be painted over and turned into a "Lego head."

Questions, comments, and concerns followed - Painting: Lye asked how long the paint will last and what is the plan to maintain this project. Pohl stated that the "Lego head" will be maintained and re-painted if it is vandalized or when necessary.

Mollring moved and Caravalho seconded the motion to support the Celebrate the Arts Festival's Project. The motion was adopted by UNANIMOUS CONSENT, 7-0-0. (Aye: Au, Caravalho, Lye, Mollring, Shubert-Kwock, Smiley, Tom; Nay: None; Abstain: None).

Hispanic Heritage Festival - Sandy Pohl stated that the event will take place on Saturday 13 October 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Nuuanu Avenue between Hotel Street and Chaplain Lane. This is in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. The Hispanic community presents their annual Hispanic Heritage Street Festival/Health Fair. The event is free and open to the public. There will be live entertainment, food booths, crafters, cultural displays, specialty booths, children's activities, informational booths, health agencies, dance workshops, and dance exhibitions.

Mollring moved and Caravalho seconded the motion to support the Hispanic Heritage Festival. The motion was adopted by UNANIMOUS CONSENT, 7-0-0. (Aye: Au, Caravalho, Lye, Mollring, Shubert-Kwock, Smiley, Tom; Nay: None; Abstain: None).

First Friday Mural Installation - Nicole Reid reported that she is requesting approval and support from the Downtown/Chinatown Neighborhood Board No. 13 for the First Friday Mural Installations for September 2018 to November 2018. The event has taken place during the past three (3) months. Mayor Kirk Caldwell has submitted a letter of support for the event to the Board which will create a more vibrant customer base and increase positive image for the community. The cost to date is $12,264, in-kind contributions to date is $5,500, and total income to date is $2,691.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed - Community: Mollring asked how this event can give back to the community. Reid stated that this event is currently in the beginning stages. Once the organization funds break-even, there are plans to cooperate with community organization and improvement groups.

Mollring moved and Caravalho seconded the motion to approve and support the First Friday Mural Installation Block Party for September, October, and November 2018 with alcohol sales and live music to end by 10:00 p.m. The motion was adopted by UNANIMOUS CONSENT, 7-0-0. (Aye: Au, Caravalho, Lye, Mollring, Shubert-Kwock, Smiley, Tom; Nay: None; Abstain: None).

University of Hawaii Pigskin Pig-out Fundraiser: Don Murphy stated that the event will take place on Thursday 9 August 2018, 5:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Merchant Street between Nuuanu Avenue and Bethel Street. There will be a live indoor auction, no live outdoor music, and no off-premises alcohol sales.

Hawaii Literacy Fundraiser: Don Murphy stated that the event will take place on Thursday 13 September 2018, 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Merchant Street between Nuuanu Avenue and Bethel Street. There will be alcohol service on the street until 10:00 p.m.

Mollring moved and Caravalho seconded the motion to support both the University of Hawaii Pigskin Pig-out Fundraiser and the Hwaii Literacy Funrasier. The motion was adopted by UNANIMOUS CONSENT, 7-0-0. (Aye: Au, Caravalho, Lye, Mollring, Shubert-Kwock, Smiley, Tom; Nay: None; Abstain: None).


Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) - No report was given.

Safe Haven - Greg Payton reported the following:
• June 2018 Statistics: There were two (2) Safe Haven discharges/intakes, four (4) activity center and pathway placements, five (5) Mental Health Kokua (MHK) Oahu Case Management Housing, and 11 permanent housing placements. The grand total is 64 placements through June 2018.
• Chinatown Merchant Concerns: MHK met with Fran Butera and several Chinatown merchants about psychotic people and gang-type homeless people on the streets. Not all homeless people are served by MHK-Safe Haven. MHK will help: signs where allowed by City regarding sidewalk access, security guard for outside of Pauahi Hale, routine meetings with merchants, and moving hygiene center to Kuwili Street in fall 2018.

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) - Pat Lee submitted a report to the Board which stated that the Honolulu Rail Project is making steady construction progress. All nine (9) stations on the West side are proceeding, the Airport Guideway and four (4) stations are underway, and that this summer, contractor Nan Inc. is preparing to start the City Center Utilities Relocation located in the final 4.1 miles of the alignment. The West Oahu Stations Group, consisting of the Kualaka'i, Keone'ae, and Honouliuli stations (formerly called the East Kapolei, UHWO and Ho'opili stations), is over 50% completed by HART's contractor NAN, Inc. These stations are anticipated to be completed by summer 2019. The Farrington Highway Stations Group, Ho'ae'ae, Pouhala, and Haulani (Westloch, WTC and LCC), being built by Hawaiian Dredging, is approximately 70% completed, with all three (3) stations scheduled to be finished by spring 2019. The Kamehameha Highway Stations Group, Waiawa, Kalauao, and Halawa (Pearl Highlands, Pearl Ridge and Aloha Stadium) also being built by NAN, are about 32% complete, with full completion anticipated end of summer 2019. With Ansaldo continuing to work on train manufacturing and testing, HART hopes to open the first 10 miles of the route at the end of 2020. The Airport Guideway and stations, under contract with STG, is about 23% completed. The final City Center Guideway and Stations contract will be out for bid at a later time. An advance City Center utility relocation contract has been awarded to Nan Inc., which plans to start work this summer. With construction activities occurring throughout the 20 mile rail route, HART reminds drivers to proceed with caution through work zones, and observe signs and posted speed limits for your safety and the safety of others. Pedestrians are asked to obey all safety signage and heed all warnings. For more information on the rail project, the public may visit, call the project hotline at 566-2299, or email a question to

Chinatown Business and Community Association (CBCA) - Shubert-Kwock reported that the CBCA's monthly meeting was held at the Won Kee Restaurant. Topics of discussion included crime and homelessness impacting Chinatown, issues of substance abused homeless destroying property ranting on Maunakea Street and Pauahi Street, violent assaults by drug addicts looking for easy cash, sportscaster, and John Noland's death from a deadly assault. Oren and Fran, owner of the building across River of Life has compiled a crime map documenting serious crimes. The community has been working with stakeholders, police, and lawmakers to address the recent escalation of crimes. Thank you to HPD, Queens, HMSA, IHS, HOSPICE, and others who provide walk-in services, urgent care services, and resources so those in need may receive medical treatment and assistance including housing first aid, and rehab. The CBCA has donated the Blessing Ceremony conducted by Sifus Ernie Loo and Kimo Wong. CBCA recommends any Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) go to HPD for increased foot patrol, a 24/7 civilian video staff to monitor cameras, and funding to pay for new cameras and overtime. CBCA also recommends the City set up a regular Clean Team to power wash and clean Chinatown. CBCA believes the Historic Foundation of Hawaii should receive CDBG funds to remove long standing graffiti on the historic buildings. CBCA is waiting for Department of Transportation Services (DTS)/Biki to relocate the bike docking station next to the Dr. Sun Yat-sen statue and believes Biki should return metered parking stalls to the community. CBCA is doubtful of the 800,000 rides and questions the reason for adding another 40 docking stations to the existing 100 when Biki cannot financially sustain itself. The next CBCA Chinatown Meeting is on Tuesday 10 July 2018, 9:00 a.m. at Won Kee Restaurant.

Arts Cultural Merchants Etc. (ACME) - Nicole Reid reported that a restaurant has recently closed down on Hotel Street. A new Burmese restaurant will be opening and will be a great addition to the diversity of cuisines. A new breakfast restaurant called Yield will be opening as well by the son of Chuck Furuya. Toyo Tires will be holding a small event in September 2018 and more details will be explained during next month's Board meeting.

Chinatown Improvement District (CID) - Lee Stack reported that the Courtyard Walking Tour will take place on Saturday 7 July 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Over 100 participants are currently signed up. Thank you to the Department of Facility Maintenance (DFM) for clearing the sidewalk obstructions on River Street. CID did not support Resolution 18-131 to receive funding. The CID investigated and found that block parties should not be charging admission for entry into public streets.

Biki - No report was given.


Mayor Kirk Caldwell's representative - No report was given.

Councilmember Carol Fukunaga - Doris Lam reported the following:
• Homeless Solutions Update: With Downtown/Chinatown neighbors and businesses loudly demanding better solutions for chronic homeless individuals with mental health issues creating an unsafe environment in the community, Councilmember Fukunaga has been collaborating with City departments, State legislators, and community stakeholders to craft solutions to alleviate these concerns.
• Legislation Update: Last month, Council Chair Martin and Councilmember Fukunaga introduced Resolution 18-131, which was considered during the Council Budget Committee meeting on Wednesday 27 June 2018, Resolution 18-131 urges the City Administration to identify areas in the City, possibly including the Chinatown area,, which may meet the criteria for slum or blight area as defined by the Federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD). With reports of violent crimes in Chinatown, including the stabbing reported last month, as well as reports of prostitution, gambling, and drug dealing throughout the community, designating some areas of Chinatown as slum or blight areas may provide an opportunity to secure the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to mitigate these conditions and renew revitalization efforts in these areas.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed - Bill 35: A community member stated that he would like to Councilmember Fukunaga to explain her position regarding Bill 35.

Governor David Ige's representative - No report was given

Senator Karl Rhoads - Senator Rhoads reported the following:
??? Bike Lanes: In following up on Senator Rhoads' concerns to the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) concerning the unsightly jersey barriers and the loose gravel in the bike lanes along Nimitz Highway, HDO responded by saying that they cleared the gravel and debris from the bike lanes and will continue to monitor the area. HDOT further responded that they are working on identifying alternatives to the jersey barriers and will provide Senator Rhoads with that information.
• Trespassing: Senator Rhoads met with members of the Chinatown Business Watch earlier this week to discuss the ongoing homeless situation and criminal activity taking place. Senator Rhoads' office is working on legislation to address the trespass laws to make it easier for property owners to enforce removal of individuals residing on their property without their permission.

Representative Daniel Holt ??? No report was given.

APPROVAL OF THURSDAY 7 JUNE 2018 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES - As there were no objections, the Thursday 7 June 2018 regular meeting minutes were APPROVED by UNANIMOUS CONSENT, 7-0-0. (Aye: Au, Caravalho, Lye, Mollring, Shubert-Kwock, Smiley, Tom; Nay: None; Abstain: None).


Treasurer's Report - Mollring stated that the Board retains a balance of $130.49.


Next Meeting - The next meeting of the Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board No.13 is scheduled for Thursday 2 August 2018 at Hawaii Pacific University, One Aloha Tower Drive, Multi-Purpose Room 2 at 7:00 p.m.

Neighborhood Citizen Patrol - The Neighborhood Citizen Patrol meets each Tuesday on the Diamond Head side of Kukui Plaza at 8:00 p.m. Please join the patrol and support its efforts to express service and pride in our Downtown-Chinatown community.

lelo - Rebroadcasts of Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board No.13 meetings are scheduled on lelo channel 49 for every third Thursday at 9:00 p.m., as well as 6:00 a.m. on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month. An archive of past meetings may be found on and searching on .

ADJOURNMENT - Chair Au adjourned the meeting at 9:20 p.m.

Submitted by: Harry Cho, Neighborhood Assistant
Reviewed by: K. Russell Ho, Neighborhood Assistant
Finalized by: Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock, Chairperson of NB No.13

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