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  • Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board Meeting December 2019 Minutes

With Permission / Courtesy of: City and County of Honolulu Neighborhood Commission Office
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
THURSDAY 6 DECEMBER 2018
ONE ALOHA TOWER, MULTI PURPOSE ROOM 2

CALL TO ORDER - Chair Shubert-Kwock called the meeting to order at 6:00 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 - Ernest Caravalho, James Logue, Lori McCarney, Kevin McDonald (arrived 6:05), Dolores Mollring, Willis Moore, Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock, and Bob Tom.

Board Members Absent - Kevin Lye

Guests - Lieutenant Baron Lee and Sergeant Chi (Honolulu Police Department); Captain Russell Youth (Honolulu Fire Department); Megan Muramatsu (Mayor Kirk Caldwell's representative); Councilmember Carol Fukunaga; Glen Young (Senator Karl Rhoads' Office); Nicole Reid (Arts, Culture, Merchants, and Etc. (ACME)); Pat Lee (Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation); Greg Payton (Safe Haven); Lee Stack and Elizabeth Stack (Chinatown Improvement District); Fran Butera (Chinatown Watch); Alex Wong (Sharee); Ronald Higa, John Selby, Alexander Lee, Daivd Shideler, Fred White, Jessica Cole, and Brandon Marlan (Community Members); Harry Cho (Neighborhood Commission Office).

PUBLIC SAFETY REPORTS

Honolulu Police Department (HPD) - Lieutenant Lee reported the following:
• November 2018 Statistics: There were 10 motor vehicle thefts, 5 burglaries, 58 thefts, 32 unauthorized entries into motor vehicles (UEMV), 19 assaults, 4 sex assaults, 1 graffiti incident, 6 drug offenses, and 2,319 total calls for service.
• Safety Tip - Burglary Prevention: Make sure to keep you doors locks, sliding and glass doors should be secured with a lock, make sure no one can reach into windows, be a good neighbor and look out for you them as well, catalogue your valuables, and keep track of where important documents are. 

Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) - Captain Youth reported the following:
• November 2018 Statistics: There were 3 structure fires, 6 activated alarms (no fire), 159 medical emergencies, and 2 motor vehicle collisions with a pedestrian.
• Safety Tip - Holiday Safety: Dried Christmas trees, wreaths, and other natural decorations are extremely flammable. Remove them from your home as soon as possible. Consider disposing them in your green waste bin or taking them to your nearest refuse center. Aerial fireworks and novelty items such as sparklers and fountains are illegal on Oahu. Firecrackers are legal on Oahu and require a permit to purchase and use. Firecrackers are dangerous and should only be used by a responsible adult. The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public safety display conducted by trained professionals. 

Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Robberies: Caravalho raised concerns with the increase in robberies during the evening and night. 
2. Cameras: Logue raised concerns with the current lack of cameras in Chinatown. 
3. Weapons: Tom asked about the legality of personal weapons. 
4. Homeless: A community member raised concerns with homeless people having open containers of alcohol in public. A community member raised concerns with homeless people threatening pedestrians and businesses in Chinatown. 

Neighborhood Citizens Patrol (NCP) - Mollring reported that the NCP has continued patrolling every Tuesday. They have noticed an increase in crime, potholes, and broken pavers.

Residents' and Community Concerns 
• Hallowbaloo: The event organizer of Hallowbaloo have an after event report. He stated that the event went very well and he has received great feedback. 
• APEX Film: A representative from APEX Film stated that they will be filming in Chinatown. 
• Parking: A community member submitted testimony to the Board that stated complaints towards Hank's Café. 

NEW BUSINESS

Board of Water Supply Beretania Complex Redevelopment - Kellen Tanaka reported the following:
• Project Overview: The Honolulu BWS will be issuing a Request for Proposal to redevelop a portion of its Beretania Complex. The purpose of this action is to provide a revenue stream for BWS. Revenue stream will help offset a portion of operating and capital improvement costs for BWS. Project area will be leased to a third party. The developer will implement the redevelopment. 
• Handout: A handout was distributed to the public and Board with additional information. 

Sharee - Alex Wong reported that they will be introducing a new bike sharing program in Honolulu. A handout was distributed to the Board and public with additional information. 

Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Theft: A community member raised concerns that the bikes may be stolen because it will be dock-less. Wong stated that thieves tend to only steal bikes that they can easily ride away with. These bikes will be automatically locked until a rider pays for its use. 
2. Parking: Tom raised concerns that riders will be parking the bikes in public areas such as sidewalks or roadways. Wong stated that users are required to leave the bikes at public bike rack areas. 

Resolution to Support Keeping the Queen Liliuokalani Statue at the Capitol - Caravalho introduced a resolution to the Board that stated the following: 

WHEREAS, the State and legislative body proposes to move the Statue of Moi Liliuokalani from her present location known as the Queens Walk (Chiefs Walk, Palace Walkway) {as proposed SCR 96--SCR 96 SD2 HD1-2016 and 2016 Capitol District Monuments, Markers and Works of Art Master Plan}
WHEREAS, we stand united with our Kanaka Maoli in strongly objecting to the removal of the statue of our Beloved Moi Wahine pohaku underground to house and palace (as proposed SCR 96--SCR 96 SD2 HD1-2016 and 2016 Capitol District Monuments, Markers and Works of Art Master Plan)
WHEREAS, the removal of the statue is a direct offense to the people of Hawaii and especially to the Native Kanaka Maoli population (Relocate to Liliuokalani Building as per recommendations set forth on 2016 Capitol District Monuments, Markers and Works of Art Master Plan)
WHEREAS, we believe that the removal of the statue is to disperse the people from paying their respects to Our Beloved Moi Wahine from the sight of the politicians and tourist that come through the capital
WHEREAS, the Queens Walk is significant in the History of the Hawaiian Kingdom as there was a pohaku, underground walk which she used to go from the Place to her House (moolelo; Underground passage for Queen Liliuokalani marked by pohaku between Iolani Palace Grounds to Washington Place and beyond)
WHEREAS, as we the Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board No. 13 supports keeping the Statue of Moi Wahine Liliuokalani at its present site where she is the guardian of our Royal lolani Palace
WHEREAS, we as citizens of Hawaii call for our government to respect the History of Hawaii and to stop the genocide of our Hawaiian history and culture.
WHEREAS, the statue at its present location also serves as a reminder to our government that they serve the people of Hawaii.
WHEREAS, in good faith we all stand together as one people in respect for all our cultures which our Beloved Queen served as the mother to all the cultures here in the Hawaiian Kingdom
WHEREAS, we shall fight for all that is pono when it comes to our Beloved Queen 
BE IT RESOLVED, that the Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board No. 13 hereby requests that the State of Hawaii respects the location of Our Beloved Queens Statue and does not remove it (If concerns about "looking down" on the Queen, consider ELEVATING the Spirit of Liliuokalani and adding a seating area)

Questions, comments, and concerns followed - More Information: Board members stated that they will wait to take action until more information is received. 

Special Event Live Wrestling Matches - Event organizers, Terrence Lee, Esq. and his son gave an update on their event of live wrestling matches. 


Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Event: Logue asked how many matches there will be. The event organizer stated that there will be nine (9) total with eight (8) of them being televised.
2. Crowd: Shubert-Kwock asked what the expected crowd size will be. The event organizer stated that ticket sales with stop at 500.

Recent Increase of Vandalism in Downtown/Chinatown - Shubert-Kwock stated that there has been a recent increase of window breaking, especially at Hawaii National Bank. Moore stated that this may be due to the lack of HPD foot patrol. 

COMMUNITY REPORTS

Safe Haven - Greg Payton reported the following: 
• November 2018 Statistics: There were two (2) Safe Haven discharges/intakes, three (3) activity center and pathway placements, three (3) Department of Health (DOH) supported housing, and three (3) permanent housing placements. The grand total is 100 placements through November 2018.
• Hygiene Center: The City's Kuwili Street Hygiene Center, operated by Mental Health Kokua (MHK) is scheduled to open in December 2018.

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) - Pat Lee reported that HART has met the three (3) conditions outlined in the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) letters to the City and HART by their Tuesday 20 November 2018 deadline to continue federal participation in the rail project. The HART Board approved pursuing a public-private partnership (P-3) contracting method to complete the City Center Guideway and Stations and the Pearl Highlands Garage and Transit Center. The Honolulu City Council and the HART Board also approved a revised Recovery Plan that reflects the recommendations of the FTA including adjustments to scope, cost, schedule, and program management activities and transmitted the Plan to FTA on Monday 19 November 2018. The Council passed Bill 42, Council Draft (CD) 2, and was signed into law by the Mayor, which removed a prior ordinance restriction against the use of City funds for the rail project and also approved the issuance of $44 million in general obligation bonds as the City's contribution to the project. To meet the FTA's Tuesday 20 November 2018 deadline for the funds to be in hand, the City issued tax-exempt commercial paper (TECP) as temporary funding which will be repaid when general obligation long term bonds are issued early next year. The FTA will now review the revised Recovery and Financial Plans before releasing the remaining $744 million federal share of funding for the rail project. As part of the Annual Holiday Travel Work Restriction period in collaboration with the State Department of Transportation (HDOT) and the City Department of Transportation Services (DTS), there will be no planned rail construction work related lane closures during the Holidays. For more information on the rail project, the public may visit http://www.honolulutransit.org, call the project hotline at 566-2299, or email a question to info@honolulutransit.org. 

Chinatown Business and Community Association (CBCA) - Shubert-Kwock reported that the CBCA's monthly meeting was held on Tuesday 13 November 2018 at 9:00 a.m. at Sunflower Café presided by vice president Dolores Mollring. The CBCA hosted long time secretary Stan Oswalt to update him on Chinatown. Chinatown continues to deal with sidewalk and alcohol issues. Thanks to the Chinatown Watch, Safe Haven, and Kimo Wong, these daily issues were addressed with HPD. There was been an outbreak of broken windows at businesses including Hawaii National Bank who has had their window broke three (3) times in five (5) months. There is a stench in Chinatown and the City is unable to schedule more frequent power washing. Crime continues with the criminal homeless and HPD is aware of the suspects. The next Meeting is on the second Tuesday, at 9:00 a.m. 11 December 2018 at Sunflower Cafe on 1157 Maunakea Street. All interested parties are welcome to the open meeting.

Arts Cultural Merchants Etc. (ACME) - Nicole Reid reported that the area lease-holding merchants invested $35,203 with a return of $9,163 to date on the First Friday Community Mural Installation Block Party Series. ACME has founded Axis Chinatown in collaboration with Kala Roots and Conscious Concepts to communicate and program Frist Friday and ChinARTown creating visual collateral in print and digital platforms. www.ChinatownHonolulu.com is live with the help of Art and Flea and In4mation. Currently connecting with OVB, Roberts Hawaii, and American Savings Bank to leverage small business community. There were no incidents reported from HPD with eight (8) successfully operated events. The goal of the event is to continue this community driven, grassroots style of merchant and community into 2019. There have been eight (8) murals created while hosting live bands, performance artists, and food vendors. 


Chinatown Improvement District - Lee Stack stated that that they will be launching the private security patrol this Monday. This has been a lot of time and effort in the works. It is a variety of land owners and businesses in the district. It starts kind of small, the hours will be staggered, they are working with HPD to ensure there is no trespassing on private property and please call HPD to enforce the sit/lie law. It is a pilot project that will run for three (3) months. Businesses and individuals, if they wish to, can contribute to help fund this project to help provide more hours and personnel on the ground. 

Chinatown Watch - Chinatown Watch's signage program covers the neighborhood that includes the City's hygiene center, River of Life Mission and two (2) liquor stores frequented by people who use the homeless services. We reported at earlier meetings that our neighborhood has suffered a spike in crime and aggressive, aberrant behavior that endangers public safety. The effect on local businesses has been profound. Merchants, property owners, and service agencies formed Chinatown Watch in response to this dangerous, demoralizing situation. With help from HPD and the City, Chinatown Watch developed a series of signs which clearly state that all local and federal laws will be enforced by HPD. Signs were presented at the Thursday 6 September 2018 meeting. Merchants, building owners, and agencies along Pauahi and Maunakea Streets signed up to post the signs prominently. Chinatown Watch launched the signage program on Modnay 22 October 2018 at a gathering of the whole community at Maunakea and Pauahi. It was very well-attended, with merchants, residents, kupuna, business leaders, Neighborhood Board members, and other concerned citizens marching and chanting "Take Back Chinatown - Call 911". After the march, people collected and hung their Chinatown Watch signs in windows and on building exteriors. Sergeant Valoroso and HPD's Community Policing team in uniform supported the Chinatown Watch throughout the event. KITV 4 and Hawaii News Now reported the event on their nightly newscasts. Six (6) weeks after the launch, we can reflect on some victories and some disappointments. On the plus side, the sheer number of Chinatown Watch signs in shop windows and on walls sends a consistent message that our neighborhood will not tolerate drug use, public drinking, sit/lie violations, etc. Chinatown Watch will call 911 and HPD will enforce. HPD was been engaged, responsive and responsible, and our community is most grateful. The best outcome so far has been stronger community ties. Neighbors are getting to know each other. We're working together on a positive solution, instead of just complaining and feeling victimized. As noted, our community's relationship with HPD is stronger as well. If it feels a bit safer or more normal these days, these connections are why. But it's still not safe or normal. Chinatown keeps having the same problems because: The homeless services keep attracting people who engage in aggressive, aberrant behavior. The homeless services cannot control all the troublemakers who use their services. The liquor stores sell alcohol, etc. to the homeless and other substance abusers who congregate here to use the services. HPD is still understaffed, and can't possibly respond to all the daily disturbances caused by the above factors. The City provides no security on the problematic Pauahi block, which the City owns the majority of, including the hygiene center. A signage program can't fix these systemic problems. But it gives the community something positive to rally around while the community waits for lawmakers to make the big changes. Chinatown Watch encourages more neighborhoods in Chinatown to join and post the signs. And don't skip the dialog with each other and with HPD. That's the most important part.

ELECTED OFFICIALS

Mayor Kirk Caldwell's representative - Megan Muramatsu reported the following:
• Follow-Up on Concerns: 
o Bus Stop: Department of Transportation Services (DTS) is examining the feasibility of placing the existing bus stop seats at the bus stop on Hotel Street/Union Mall away from the Walgreens building. Please be aware, however, that DTS must consider a number of factors when determining the ultimate placement of the seats. For example, the seats must not in any way impede the flow of pedestrian traffic along the sidewalk, be placed at a safe distance away from the roadway and provide sufficient clearances to conform to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements for accessibility. 
o Crosswalk Signals: DTS stated that the pedestrian signal was designed to be displayed only when the pedestrian button is pressed (activated). A pedestrian would need to press the button in order for the walk signal to be displayed. DTS checked the pedestrian buttons at the listed intersections, and found them to be working properly.
o Sidewalk at Little Village Noodle House: Department of Facilities Maintenance (DFM) stated that the Honolulu Division of Road Maintenance minimized the hazards in front of Little Village Noodle House sidewalk by providing transitional repairs between the uplift on Wednesday 14 November 2018.
o Removal of Bulb-Outs: DTS stated that they have completed their investigation and are currently in the process of developing new guidelines for the evaluation of pedestrian scrambles. This process is expected to be completed before the end of 2018. If the intersection continues to be a problem in the future, it will be evaluated with their new guidelines. In addition, the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) will be making improvement modifications to the existing subject bulb-outs on Pauahi Street as a part of an upcoming resurfacing project. For further information regarding the subject bulb-outs, please contact the DDC at 768-8480.
o Power Washing: DFM stated that unfortunately, due to limited manpower, they are unable to provide more power washing of streets in Chinatown to remove the foul odors. DFM schedules power washing on a cycle pending availability of manpower and equipment. However, DFM is able to apply a non-chemical and safe sanitizing solution called aqueous ozone which is a powerful oxidizer proven to clean effectively, destroying a host of germs, bacteria, and other contaminants on surfaces, which helps to deodorize and sanitize the area. If the public notices any odor problem in Chinatown, please call the Clean Team at 522-7098.
o Bus Stop: DTS stated that new bus shelters are installed at locations warranted by ridership data, balancing relative needs among all communities on Oahu and with available resources. It is a constant challenge to balance the needs of bus patrons and the issue of homeless persons occupying various bus stops. Consideration for the installation of a new bus shelter is subject to the availability of funds and an assessment of the type of bus shelter which would best suit this bus stop.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed: 
1. Abandoned Bike: Mollring stated that the moped has been removed. However, the bike is still in front of Ross at Fort Street Mall. 
2. Pay Phone: Caravalho raised concerns with vandalized payphones which are privately owned.
3. Bus Stop Seating: Chair Shubert-Kwock again requested to place seating at the Smith Street/Hotel Street bus stop. There is currently no seating. Moore noted that this is a violation of ADA requirements. 
4. DTS Representative: Board members requested for a representative from DTS to attend a future Board meeting to discuss bulb-outs in Chinatown, the Smith Street/Hotel Street bus stop seats, and street closure permits. 
5. Power Washing: Shubert-Kwock requested again for the City to conduct power washing in Chinatown/Downtown. 

Councilmember Carol Fukunaga - Councilmember Fukunaga reported that the City Council authorized enforcement of prohibitions again illegal lodging on sidewalks. With the adoption of Resolution 18-280, Council Draft (CD) 1, Ordinance 18-34 which prohibits any obstructions on a public sidewalk between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. and Ordinance 18-35 which prohibits lodging on a public sidewalk or in other public spaces, can now be enforced throughout Oahu. The recent approval of the State Department of Human Services (DHS) which request to amend the Medicaid program to avoid supportive housing services to those Medicaid-eligible beneficiaries who are chronically homeless, and the State Legislature's $30 million appropriation on Act 209, SLH 2018 should held restore State substance abuse, crisis stabilization and mental health programs that could significantly reduce the number of unsheltered homeless individuals living on city sidewalks and within public spaces. Councilmember Fukunaga and her staff are now pursuing potential location within the Council district to expand the range of medical/crisis stabilization and detox beds to address the homeless populations that have adversely affected the Downtown/Chinatown neighborhoods. During the Wednesday 5 November 2018 PWIS Committee meeting on the resolution, HPD's HELP team leaders Captain Mike Lambert and Sergeant Joseph O'Neal also discussed HPD's proposed mobile navigation centers or "life zones." The Mobile Navigation Centers will enable HPD to place unsheltered persons into portable, inflated structures, where they would have temporary shelter while they are being assessed for additional services and treatment. The department's preliminary plans would rapidly deploy these Centers on a short-term basis in locations like unused area within a park. In response to concerns about the use of City parks for these centers, Captain Lambert pointed out that most instances of park use would be of limited duration (overnight or one (1) day) while assessments for services and shelter were made. 

Questions, comments, and concerns followed: 
1. Homeless: McDonald raised concerns with the ongoing issue with homelessness. 
2. Bus Fares: Logue asked about bus fare increases. 
3. Red Hill Fuel Tanks: Caravalho raised concerns with the Red Hill Fuel Tanks. 

Governor David Ige's representative - Laurel Johnston submitted a report to the Board that stated the following: 
• Education: Education remains one of Governor's top priorities. Department of Education (DOE) Superintendent Christina Kishimoto has been in an office for over a year now working towards teacher retention, stricter anti-bullying policies within schools and focusing on innovation and school-based empowerment.
• Water Resources: In a multi-resource management plan to protect Central Oahu's vital water resources and to improve habitats for native species with the possibility of new outdoor recreation opportunities, 2,882 acres in the Helemano Wilderness Recreation Area has been purchased from Dole Food Co. 
• Technology: The Office of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) has been working with state departments on several projects to help make government more transparent, efficient and effective. Some notable accomplishments include: The Hawai‘i Department Dashboard which helps to track more than $450 million in spending and more than 600 state projects was named 2018 North America winner for digital innovation by Chaucer and the Hawai‘i Annual Code Challenge (HACC), which was conceived by Governor Ige and coordinated by ETS, which brings together coders and state departments to design Computer solutions to improve Government operations and was recently chosen State Information Technology (IT) Innovation of the Year by StateScoop in Washington, DC.

Senator Karl Rhoads - Glen Young reported that recently, the Institute for Human Services got a judge to apply the Assisted Community Treatment Act in removing a mentally ill homeless person off the streets. Senator Rhoads has also requested of the Hawaii State Bar Association to advertise for attorneys to do pro bono work on these types of cases. Senator Rhoads is looking to introduce a bill this upcoming session to allow condominium towers more flexibility in stalling photovoltaic systems. 

APPROVAL OF THURSDAY 1 NOVEMBER 2018 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES - Moore moved and Caravalho seconded to approve the Thursday 1 November 2018 regular meeting minutes as amended. The motion was adopted by Unanimous Consent, 8-0-0. (Aye: Caravalho, Logue, McCarney, McDonald, Mollring, Moore, Shubert-Kwock, Tom; Nay: None; Abstain: None).

Amendments to November 2018 Minutes:
• Page five (5) of six (6), the CBCA meeting time is 9:00 a.m. not 9:00 p.m. 

ANNOUNCEMENTS
• Next Meeting - The next meeting of the Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board No.13 is scheduled for Thursday 3 January 2018 at Hawaii Pacific University, One Aloha Tower Drive, Multi-Purpose Room 3 at 6:00 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 http://olelo.org/olelonet/ and searching on .

ADJOURNMENT - Chair Shubert-Kwock adjourned the meeting at 8:20 p.m.

Submitted by: Harry Cho, Neighborhood Assistant
Reviewed by: Chris Naylon, Neighborhood Assistant


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