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  • Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board Meeting August 2018 Minutes

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




CALL TO ORDER - Chair Shubert-Kwock called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Quorum was established with six (6) 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 - Ernest Caravalho, Kevin Lye, Lori McCarney, Dolores Mollring, Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock, and Robert Tom

Board Members Absent - Willis Moore and John Smiley

Guests - Lieutenant Lee and Sergeant Lau (Honolulu Police Department); Captain Russell Youth (Honolulu Fire Department); Doris Lam (Councilmember Carol Fukunaga's Office); Senator Karl Rhoads; House Representative Daniel Holt; Laurel Johnston (Governor David Ige's Representative); Chris Sayers (Department of Transportation Services Complete Streets); Sam Moku (Hawaii Pacific University); Paul Fortino and Paul Marx (AHED Foundation); Brandi Crabbe (Hawaiian Electric Company); Nicole Reid (Arts, Culture, Merchants, Etc. (ACME)); Pat Lee (Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation); Greg Payton (Safe Haven); Dean Sakamoto, Connie Kwon, and Lee Haolong (SHADE); Justin Barfield and Lori Chong (NAN Inc.); Elizabeth Stack (Chinatown Improvement District); John Donaldson-Selby, Ronald Higa, James Logue, Kevin McDonald, Reena Rabago, Chris Wong, Laura Sturges, Paul Fortino, Paul Marx, Mark Wallen, Melissa White, and Lynell Yu (Residents); Harry Cho (Neighborhood Commission Office).

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


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

• July 2018 Statistics: There were 7 motor vehicle thefts, 12 burglaries, 73 thefts, 20 unauthorized entries into motor vehicles (UEMV), 30 assaults, 2 sex assaults, 1 graffiti incident, 5 drug incidents, and 2,395 total calls for service.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed - Cameras: Chair Shubert-Kwock asked if there are any surveillance cameras that are not working in the Downtown-Chinatown area. Lieutenant Lee stated that there are a few cameras that are out of order. However, HPD is currently awaiting the parts for repair.

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

??? July 2018 Statistics: There were 2 structure fires, 7 nuisance fires, 2 cooking fires, 3 activated alarms (no fire), 143 medical emergencies, 2 motor vehicle collisions with a pedestrian, and 4 motor vehicle crash/collisions.

• Safety Tip - Grilling Safety:

o Each year, an average of 8,900 home fires are caused by grilling. Almost half of all injuries involving grills are due to thermal burns. The following tips will ensure safe grilling. Propane and charcoal barbeque grills should only be used outdoors. Grills should be placed well away from the home, deck railings, and out from under leavers and overhanging branches. Keep children and pets at least three (3) feet away from the grill area. Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat build-up. Never leave your grill unattended. Ensure that the gas grill lid is open before lighting it. Charcoal chimney starters allows lighting the charcoal with newspaper as fuel. If using a started fluid, use only charcoal start fluid and never add other flammable liquids to the fire. Keep charcoal fluid out of children's reach and away from heat sources. When finished, let the coals cool completely before disposing it in a metal container.

Neighborhood Citizen Patrol (NCP) - Mollring reported that the community group in Downtown-Chinatown will not be able to participate in National Night Out on Saturday 4 August 2018, due to its loss of sponsorship from Target. Another event will be scheduled at a later date. The weather has been great lately and Member Mollring asked that members of the community join the NCP on their weekly walks every Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. starting from the Diamond Head side of Kukui Plaza.

Public Concerns:

1. Potholes: John Donaldson-Selby stated that he would like the potholes along Bishop Street to be repaired.

2. Holo Card: Regarding transportation fares, Ronald Higa stated that he feels only the daily pass is needed with a cash fare option. He would like the monthly, annual, and biannual passes to be discontinued. It will save expenses and duplication of labor and decrease waste.

3. Signs: Fran Butera stated that her business has been working the City and County of Honolulu and HPD to come up with signs for businesses that will encourage and remind the public to refrain from illegal activity.

4. Satellite City Hall: Kevin McDonald was concerned with the long wait times for driver license renewals.

5. Fence at Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Park: Kevin McDonald, owner of Sin Lounge, would like a representative from Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to speak with him regarding the gate at the park which he believes serves as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) entrance and fire exit for his business. He spoke to a representative a few months ago but is not satisfied with the response received.


Board Decision on John Smiley's Three Absences - This item was deferred due to Smiley's absence at the meeting. The Board will allow Smiley to speak at the next meeting before potential action is taken.

Filling of Vacancy - Chair Shubert-Kwock thanked former Chair Au for his many years of service. There is one at-large vacancy on the Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board. Candidates Kevin McDonald, Chris Wong, John Selby, Mike Gallegos, and Laura Sturges each gave brief statements about themselves. Wong was nominated by McCarney, Gallegos was nominated by Caravalho, and Sturges was nominated by Lye. Chair Shubert-Kwock called for a roll-call vote for the three nominees. As no nominee received a majority of votes, this item was deferred to next month's meeting.

• First roll-call vote: 2-1-2-1 (Wong: McCarney and Tom; Gallegos: Caravalho; Sturges: Lye and Shubert-Kwock; Abstain: Mollring).

• Second roll-call vote: 3-2-0-1 (Wong: McCarney, Shubert-Kwock, and Tom; Gallegos: Caravalho and Lye; Sturges: None; Abstain: Mollring).

Election of Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board Secretary - As there were no nominations, this item was deferred to next month's meeting. Lye made it clear that there does not appear to be a commitment from NCO to ensure that quality, proofread drafts of meeting minutes compliant with grade-school rules of grammar would be made available from the assigned Neighborhood Assistant for the Board and public to review; hence the time to repeatedly correct the same mistakes each month means the role of Board Secretary is largely immaterial.

Change Monthly Meeting Time ??? Mollring moved and McCarney seconded that the Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board 13 change the start time of its monthly meeting from 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., pending approval from Hawaii Pacific University. The motion was adopted by MAJORITY VOTE, 6-0-0 (Aye: Caravalho, Lye, McCarney, Mollring, Shubert-Kwock, Tom; Nay: None; Abstain: None).

As there were no objections, Chair Shubert-Kwock amended the agenda to permit discussion of notification to the public of the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) power shut off on Pauahi Street. The motion was adopted by unanimous consent, 6-0-0 (Aye: Caravalho, Lye, McCarney, Mollring, Shubert-Kwock, Tom; Nay: None; Abstain: None).

Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) Equipment Upgrade - Brandi Crabbe from HECO reported that Hawaiian Electric crews will be upgrading the electrical distribution system in Chinatown from Monday 6 August 2018 to Thursday 9 August 2018. This will require three days of lane closures and power outages. Crews will replace utility poles, transformers, and conductors, as well as string new power lines. The work is being done to improve service reliability and improve capacity for future growth in Chinatown. HECO has notified about a dozen customers who will be affected by a power outage on Monday 6 August 2018 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. About 100 businesses and 50 residences have been notified of the second scheduled outage from 7:00 p.m. on Thursday 9 August 2018 to 6:00 a.m. on Friday 10 August 2018. Customers who have not been contacted by HECO through a letter, phone call, or visit will not experience an outage. The road closures are from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Monday 6 August 2018 and Tuesday 7 August 2018 on Smith Street from Pauahi Street to South Beretania Street.

Queen Emma Building - Paul Fortino, Paul Marx, and representatives from SHADE reported that the Queen Emma Building on 1192 Queen Emma Street will be redeveloped into a building with 71 affordable rental units accommodating 60% Area Median Income (AMI).

McCarney moved and Mollring seconded a motion for Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board 13 to support the redevelopment of the Queen Emma Building. The motion was adopted by majority vote, 5-0-1 (Aye: Caravalho, McCarney, Mollring, Shubert-Kwock, Tom; Nay: None; Abstain: Lye).

Complete Streets - Chris Sayers reported the following:

• Community Meeting: A community meeting for downtown bikeways on South King Street, Punchbowl Street, and Bishop Street will be held on Wednesday 29 August 2018 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Fuller Hall at YWCA Laniakea on 1040 Richards Street. The plans will reflect the public's input with no reduction in on-street parking, no removal of loading zones, limited traffic delay impacts, safer bike connections to key destinations, and dedicated bike signals at intersections.

• Punchbowl Street: Addition of bike facilities between Vineyard Boulevard and Ala Moana Boulevard including sharrows between Vineyard Boulevard and South King Street, a two-way protected bike lane on the Diamond Head side between South King Street and Pohukaina Streets, and a one-way protected bike lane (mauka direction) and sharrows (makai direction) between Pohukaina Street and Ala Moana Boulevard.

• South King Street: An extension of the existing two-way protected bike lane along the mauka side of the road between Alapai Street and Bishop Street.

• Bishop Street: Addition of two-way protected bike lane along the Diamond Head side of the street between Beretania Street and Nimitz Highway.

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation City Center Utilities Relocation:

• Task Orders: Task Order 4 will include electrical work which will be conducted for undergrounding above-ground power lines. Work times are expected to be Monday to Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and possible night and weekend work as well. The types of equipment used will be excavators, dump trucks, concrete saws, hand tools, and steel plates. Task Orders 14, 15, and 9 will address "wet" utilities along Nimitz Highway. Task Order 20 will include a "wet" utilities relocation on Halekauwila Street from Keawe Street to Coral Street. Work will begin in August 2018 on Monday to Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for four months. Night and weekend work will begin when the water line installation is complete.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed:

1. Costs: A community member was concerned with the rising cost of building the rail nearly tripling its original expected cost.

2. Public Meetings: McCarney reminded the public that HART board meetings are made public on lelo and is a great way to stay updated.


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

Safe Haven - Greg Payton reported the following:

• July 2018 Statistics: There was one Safe Haven discharge/intake, one activity center and pathway placement, one client returned to the mainland, two Department of Health (DOH) AMHD-supported housing placements, and five permanent housing placements. The grand total is 69 placements for the calendar year through July 2018.

• Chinatown Merchant Concerns: Mental Health Kokua (MHK) met with Fran Butera, HPD Captain Lambert, and Pam Witty-Oakland about responding to psychotic homeless people on Chinatown Streets. Butera designed signs to post in the neighborhood to give a consistent branded message that businesses are enforcing sidewalk laws. Shared costs with the City regarding street security, the addition of a security guard outside Pauahi Hale, and moving Pauahi Hygiene Center to Kuwili Street in fall 2018 were discussed.

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) - A presentation was given earlier during the meeting by Pat Lee and representatives from HART.

Chinatown Business and Community Association (CBCA) - Shubert-Kwock reported that the CBCA's monthly meeting was held on Tuesday 10 July 2018 at the Won Kee Restaurant. Topics of discussion included crime issues with Officer Hayden Schmidt and how the Board can work with Captain Mike Lambert and area merchants to enforce the Sit-Lie Ban. Recent disturbances include a woman yelling obscenities to the public, alcohol and drugs consumed on sidewalks, and frequent fights that occur in front of Safe Haven and River of Life areas. The CBCA is concerned that liquor stores are selling alcohol after hours. CBCA continues to urge the City to remove the bulb-outs and to provide regular power washing of the streets as Downtown-Chinatown is a tourist attraction. Homeless camping on River Street which completely blocks the sidewalk continues to be a concern. There are current plans for a CBCA Annual Heroes Banquet on Saturday 20 October 2018 at Golden Palace to honor five Chinatown Heroes for their unselfish work. They and their significant others will be invited to dinner at the expense of CBCA. The CBCA congratulates Chu Lan for being elected Chair of Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board 13 and other officers. CBCA thanks Chair Emeritus Alvin Au for his many years of service to the Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board and wishes him well. The next CBCA Dim Sum Breakfast Meeting will be held at 9:00 a.m. at Won Kee Restaurant on Tuesday 14 August 2018.

Arts, Culture, Merchants, Etc. (ACME) - Nicole Reid reported that an event will be held in coordination with Toyo Tires during September 2018. Details for the event will be reported during next month's meeting of NB 13. New businesses that have opened in the Downtown-Chinatown district include Yield, Paisley Mead, Teaspresso, and Alii Coffee. ACME met with the City to discuss parking, food service removal, and power washing of sidewalks. During First Fridays, sound meter readings are conducted at the base of the building every half-hour, HPD officers are present, and sidewalks are always open for public transit.

Chinatown Improvement District (CID) - Lee Stack reported that there was a car accident at the Nuuanu Avenue/Pauahi Street bulb-out. A tour with the Hawaii Heritage Center was held with a total of 120 people and great feedback was received. The Taste of Chinatown event will be held on 29 September 2018 from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and no street closure is expected. CID has been working with HPD's Captain Lambert to discuss removing people from private properties.

Biki - Lori McCarney stated that Biki is continuing to expand. McCarney asked the Board for their opinion on moving the Biki station from Dr. Sun Yat-sen Mall to elsewhere on or near College Walk.


Mayor Kirk Caldwell's representative - Megan Muramatsu reminded the public that the Pothole Report Hotline is (808) 768-7777. Concerns regarding long wait times at Satellite City Halls in Honolulu County will be taken back to Department of Customer Services (CSD).

Questions, comments, and concerns followed - Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Park: Caravalho asked why Hawaii Theater is issued a key to the gate and no other businesses are. Muramatsu stated that she will address this concern to the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR).

Councilmember Carol Fukunaga - Doris Lam reported the following:

• Bill 51 and Bill 52: Mayor Caldwell proposed two bills which prohibit any obstruction on a public sidewalk between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. island-wide and prohibit lodging on a public sidewalk or area. Councilmember Fukunaga's concern with this approach is that all the City is doing is shuffling the homeless people off sidewalks and other public areas which is an approach that does not work without more.

• Resolution 18-158: Councilmember Fukunaga introduced a resolution requiring immediate treatment services and housing solutions for homeless persons so they do not return to the same location. Mayor Caldwell previously opposed Council-initiated proposals to expand the sit-lie ban, citing financial losses and constitutional issues. Councilmember Fukunaga is therefore seeking legal advice from the Corporation Counsel on the constitutionality of the City-wide ban proposed in the two bills.

Governor David Ige's representative - Director Laurel Johnston reported that Governor Ige has been focusing on sustainability and food production as well as recognizing measures passed at the Legislature by the women's caucus. Director Johnston is continuing to work towards improving Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed - Bond Rating: Lye asked to what the bond ratings had been changed for the airport. In post-meeting correspondence, Director Johnston relayed that S&P upgraded the airports bond rating for this transaction from AA to A+.

Senator Karl Rhoads ??? Senator Rhoads reported the following:

• Capital Improvement Projects (CIP): $300,000 was released for construction of a new visitor and education center at the Hawaii Heritage Center as well as $500,000 for construction of energy efficient lighting at the Hawaii Theatre Center.

??? Construction Contract: $381,000 has been awarded for the exterior painting of the Central Middle School campus.

• Community Concerns: Senator Rhoads received complaints from residents about the escalating criminal and drug activity taking place on Maunakea Street. Senator Rhoads reported this activity to HPD and will update the Board when responses are received.

• Community Concerns: Senator Rhoads received a complaint from a resident about the deteriorating condition of the second-floor walls within the Hawaii State Library. Senator Rhoads wrote to Mr. Dean Shimomura, Central Services Division Administrator, Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS) regarding the problem. Recently, CIP funds were released in the amount of $165,000 to replace the roof drain lines at the Main Library and a larger amount of $6,500,000 for library improvements state-wide. Senator Rhoads inquired as to whether these funds will address this problem and will update the Board when a response is received.

House Representative Daniel Holt - Representative Holt reported that absentee voting for upcoming primary elections will be available until Saturday 4 August 2018. Representative Holt participated in the Kekaulike Mall Citizen Patrol and is working to improve lighting to increase nighttime visibility. Mayor Caldwell was thanked for inviting Representative Holt to join the annual Dragon Boat Race at Ala Moana Beach Park. The State has been partnering with the City to find vacant lots for abandoned vehicles.

APPROVAL OF THURSDAY 5 JULY 2018 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES - As there were no objections, the Thursday 5 July 2018 regular meeting minutes as distributed to the Board by Member Lye on 27 July 2018 and further amended during the meeting on 2 August 2018 were approved by UNANIMOUS CONSENT, 6-0-0 (Aye: Caravalho, Lye, McCarney, Mollring, Shubert-Kwock, Tom; Nay: None; Abstain: None). An updated file incorporating all approved amendments was provided to NCO on 3 August 2018.


Treasurer's Report - Mollring stated that the Board retains a balance of $370.13.


Next Meeting - The next meeting of the Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board 13 is scheduled for Thursday 6 September 2018 at Hawaii Pacific University, One Aloha Tower Drive, Multi-Purpose Room 2 at 6:00 p.m. pending Hawaii Pacific University's approval of the proposed change in start-time. Please check the September 2018 agenda for an updated meeting-time.

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 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 Shubert-Kwock adjourned the meeting at 10:09p.m.

Submitted by: Harry Cho, Neighborhood Assistant

Reviewed by: James Skizewski, Public Relations

Finalized by: Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock, Chairperson of Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board 13

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