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Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board Meeting January 2019 Minutes
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
THURSDAY 3 JANUARY 2019
ONE ALOHA TOWER, MULTI PURPOSE ROOM 2
CALL TO ORDER - Chair Shubert-Kwock called the meeting to order at 6:03 p.m. Quorum was established with seven members present. Note: This nine-member Board requires five members to establish a quorum and to take official Board action.
Board Members Present - Ernest Caravalho, James Logue, Kevin Lye, Lori McCarney, Kevin McDonald (arrived 6:05 p.m.), Dolores Mollring, Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock, and Bob Tom.
Board Members Absent - Willis Moore
Guests - Lieutenant Ferrell and Sergeant Chi (Honolulu Police Department); Councilmember Carol Fukunaga; Senator Karl Rhoads; Pat Lee (Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation); Greg Payton (Safe Haven); Lee Stack (Chinatown Improvement District); Sandra Pohl (National Kidney Foundation); Kalfred Chang (Chinatown Merchants Association); Ronald Higa, John Selby, Laura Sturges, Fred White, Dean Ho (community members); Harry Cho (Neighborhood Commission Office).
INTRODUCTION OF BOARD MEMBERS - Chair Shubert-Kwock and the Board members introduced themselves.
McDonald arrived at 6:05 p.m. Eight (8) members present.
Caravalho moved and Lye seconded to amend the agenda to place elected officials immediately after public safety reports. The motion was not adopted, 4-4-0 (Aye: Caravalho, Logue, Lye, McDonald; Nay: McCarney, Mollring, Shubert-Kwock, Tom; Abstain: None).
PUBLIC SAFETY REPORTS
Honolulu Police Department (HPD) - Lieutenant Ferrell reported the following:
• December 2018 Statistics: There were 8 motor vehicle thefts, 2 burglaries, 58 thefts, 36 unauthorized entries into motor vehicles (UEMV), 22 assaults, 6 sex assaults, 1 graffiti incident, 5 drug offenses, and 2,429 total calls for service.
• Safety Tip - Burglary Prevention: Make sure to keep your doors locked, 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 them as well, catalogue your valuables, and keep track of where important documents are stored. Get to know your neighbors on each side of your home and the three directly across the street. Place valuables in a safe and mark for identification. Secure other valuables such as social security cards, passports, and drives licenses in a secure area.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Cameras: Caravalho asked if HPD is in favor of increasing cameras in the area and Shubert-Kwock stated that cameras would be helpful.
2. Break-ins: Fred White raised concerns with the recent break-ins through windows and asked if they have been assessed.
3. Homeless: Lee Stack raised concerns with enforcement of ordinance 18-35 apropos the homeless encampments along River Street. McDonald also raised concerns with homeless individuals, vagrants, and crime in the area.
4. Sex Assaults: Mollring raised concerns with the increase in sex assaults. Lieutenant Ferrell stated that a sex assault is not always an aggressive assault. It can also be public nudity or indecent exposure.
5. Alcohol: Shubert-Kwock raised concerns with establishments selling alcohol to already intoxicated persons.
Neighborhood Citizen Patrol (NCP) - Mollring reported that the NCP usually walks every Tuesday, but did not walk the past two weeks due to holidays. They noticed that the pavers along Fort Street Mall are in bad shape and need to be replaced. People are tripping and falling over them.
Public Concerns - Street Closure: Lee Stack raised concerns with organizations not giving adequate notice to Neighborhood Boards about public events and street closures.
Walk on the Wild Side, National Kidney Foundation - Sandra Pohl reported that the event is free and open to the public and will take place on Saturday 23 March 2019 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Fort Street Mall. There will be free prizes, live entertainment, health information, arts and crafts, keiki games, foods, lion-dancing, kidney and vision screenings, fashion shows, Taiko drumming, a Historical Mystery Walk, and more. To register now, the public may visitwww.kidneyhi.org/wows.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Support: Mollring voiced her support for this event.
2. Attendance: Lye asked how many attendees were anticipated. Pohl stated that last year, roughly 4,000 people attended the event.
Mollring moved and McCarney seconded to support the Walk on the Wild Side event. The motion was adopted by unanimous consent, 8-0-0 (Aye: Caravalho, Lye, Logue, McCarney, McDonald, Mollring, Shubert-Kwock, Tom; Nay: None; Abstain: None).
Chinatown Merchants Association Events - Kalfred Chang reported the following:
• Choy Ching Chinese New Year Kickoff: The event will take place on Friday 1 February 2019 from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
• Chinatown Block Party: The event will take place on Saturday 2 February 2019 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Send a text message NICREG to 95577 and receive information updates and notifications.
• Chinese New Year Parade: The event will take place on Saturday 2 February 2019 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The public may visit https://www.chinesenewyearinhawaii.com/ for more information.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed ??? Support: Tom asked and Chang explained why the events were only 90% likely to occur. Board members voiced their support for the event and stated that it will hopefully take place this year. Chang stated that these events are very costly due to street closure permits, HPD special duty officers, and insurance.
McDonald moved that the Board support the noted Chinatown Merchants Association events and encourage the legislature to approve any funds which may be requested. A friendly amendment was offered by Shubert-Kwock to defer requests for annual funding from the City Council and State legislature for a separate motion and was tacitly accepted by McDonald. The amended motion was adopted by unanimous consent, 8-0-0 (Aye: Caravalho, Lye, Logue, McCarney, McDonald, Mollring, Shubert-Kwock, Tom; Nay: None; Abstain: None).
McDonald moved and Mollring seconded that the Board urge the City Council and State legislators to support the noted annual Chinatown Merchants Association events to avoid uncertainty in their recurrence by providing $100,000. A friendly amendment was offered by Lye to strike the request for taxpayer funding. Shubert-Kwock moved to amend the motion to remove the request for $100,000 for the event but to retain the request for support through funding from the legislature and City Council for these annual cultural events. The motion was seconded. The motion to amend the motion was adopted, 7-1-0 (Aye: Caravalho, Logue, McCarney, McDonald, Mollring, Shubert-Kwock, Tom; Nay: Lye; Abstain: None). The amended motion was adopted by unanimous consent, 8-0-0 (Aye: Caravalho, Lye, Logue, McCarney, McDonald, Mollring, Shubert-Kwock, Tom; Nay: None; Abstain: None).
Safe Haven - Greg Payton reported the following:
• December 2018 Statistics: Although there were no placements in December, the grand total for all of 2018 is 100 placements.
• Punawai Rest Stop: The Punawai Rest Stop grand opening will take place on Tuesday 8 January 2019 at 9:30 a.m. This is a project by the City and County of Honolulu, operated by Mental Health Kokua. Hours of operation will be from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., seven days a week. Services provided will include showers, toilets, laundry services, lockers, mail services, and kennels. There is no plan for a needle exchange program at this time.
Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) - Pat Lee reported that according to an analysis of census data by the Pew Research Center, as Honolulu's population has grown, the number of residents that commute an hour and a half or more rose to 63 percent from 2010 to 2015. Most workers on Oahu now have an average one-way commute time of more than 29 minutes. The average commute may be getting shorter in distance, but it's growing longer in terms of time. The population in the affordable areas west of Honolulu's urban core grew 50 percent faster in this five-year period than the pricier areas around downtown Honolulu, so working families live further from job centers in town, and their commutes are getting longer. And when there is a traffic accident or bad weather, travel times get even longer. Once completed and operating, rail will become an integral part of Honolulu's public mass transit system. Rail will provide residents with an alternative to driving, and an option to being caught in traffic congestion every day. Rail transit can be used for all kinds of travel: to commute to and from work and school, for trips to shopping malls, the airport, and public venues such as the Aloha Stadium, Ala Moana Park, the Neal Blaisdell Center, and other popular destinations and events, such as the Night In Chinatown. Rail will also enable transit-oriented development (TOD) along the route that would encourage more livable communities and affordable housing. For more information on the rail project, the public may visit http://www.honolulutransit.org, call the project hotline at (808) 566-2299, or email a question email@example.com.
Chinatown Business and Community Association (CBCA) - Shubert-Kwock reported that the CBCA's monthly meeting was held on Tuesday 11 December 2018 at Sunflower Café. The CBCA was disappointed that Chinatown continues to have issues with homeless disturbing the community with alcohol and drug abuse. HPD has been on board and helpful, but the problem is with lack of foot patrol. The Chinatown Improvement District (CID) started their private security but more resources are needed as reported back by the Chinatown Watch. We will continue to ask the City to provide power washing, increase foot patrol, and also clear the sidewalks filled with homeless tents. The next meeting is on Tuesday 8 January 2019, 9:30 a.m. at Sunflower Cafe on 1157 Maunakea Street. All interested parties are welcome to the open meeting.
Chinatown Improvement District (CID) - Lee Stack stated that the Chinatown Improvement District is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization which works to improve conditions in the greater Chinatown area and to encourage and promote the preservation and enhancement of the ethnic, cultural, and historical character and significance of Chinatown. CID has a district-wide focus and support and participation in our programs across the district. These programs range from park clean ups, to graffiti prevention studies, to community events like the Taste of Chinatown, and to the creation of a district-wide business directory, an endeavor never previously done and which highlighted the district's 300 independent street-level businesses, at no cost to them. Currently, the CID is assisting owners and businesses across the district on a security patrol pilot project. With the closing and security patrols of A‘ala Park, the CID???s patrol project has proved timely. The project has participation and support from business and property owners from River Street to Nu‘uanu Street and from Nimitz to North Pauahi Street; over 70 small Chinatown businesses benefit from this project. Property and business owners have contributed to fund the project and other contributions from residents and the public are welcome. Contributions can either be made through the CID website portal www.cidchinatownhawaii.org or mailed to the CID organization. Please see the information on the website's "contact us" page. With more participants the costs go down and the hours and days of coverage increase. The project has been in place for about two weeks and two trespass warnings have gone out as of this time. The CID's grant to test the effectiveness of different graffiti coatings on historic structures is wrapping up. Three different coatings have been tested with mixed results and a report should be issued shortly. It has been challenging to find coatings that work well and suit the special conditions of historic structures and materials. The CID looks forward to continuing our work in the community in 2019 to create a better Chinatown for all stakeholders, residents and visitors.
Chinatown Watch - Fran Butera submitted a report that stated the following:
• Brief: The Kuwili Street hygiene center opens this Monday 7 January 2019. It is time to close the Pauahi Street hygiene center and move Safe Haven to a secure location elsewhere. Mental Health Kokua (MHK) is unable to manage the Pauahi Hale facility in a manner consistent with public safety. The City has not provided funding that MHK and others requested for security services on the Pauahi Hale block.
• Discussion: The neighborhood has tried to coexist with Safe Haven and the hygiene center. We know now from three years??? experience that it does not work. Homeless magnets like Safe Haven, the hygiene center, and River of Life Mission are incompatible with a healthy live/work community of small businesses that depend on foot traffic. There is a constant tug of war between the ordinary citizens (e.g., shopkeepers, shoppers, residents, and tourists) and the homeless citizens. The ordinary citizens need order, cleanliness, safety, and a positive community "vibe." Many homeless citizens want the same. Yet many other homeless citizens are mentally ill and/or substance abusers. They have needs and standards that conflict with those of the ordinary citizens. Where all kinds of homeless people gather unsupervised, there is often disorder, garbage, danger, profanity, fights, psychotic outbursts, and criminal activity. This is not describing our neighborhood's vague NIMBY fear. It is describing the daily reality in our neighborhood where the homeless services are clustered such that the homeless, mentally ill, and addicts mix with the general population. Following are typical scenes from the past three weeks: Woman drinking beer by River of Life, man urinating at Pauahi parking garage, street fight on Pauahi Street, addicts on Maunakea Street, sleeping on Pauahi Street, drinking beer on Pauahi Street, and feces on Pauahi Street, next to hygiene center.
• To the City Administration: The Chinatown Watch requests to close the Pauahi Street hygiene center, relocate Safe Haven out of Chinatown, and let the community heal. Please fast-track negotiations with River of Life so they may move their feeding operation to Iwilei this year. The Pauahi Block will continue to need additional security while the neighborhood stabilizes. Please provide the funding needed to support HPD in protecting Chinatown's citizens.
• To all Chinatown Residents, Merchants, Shoppers, Property Owners, Workers, Visitors, Etc:
o 1) Call 911 to report violations. Don't think you're inconveniencing the police by calling. They want you to call 911. Doing so gets the violations into their database and helps HPD help you.
o 2) Talk to your neighbors about the problems. Encourage them to call 911, too.
o 3) Post incidents to ChinatownWatch.com. Please encourage your neighbors to post, too. It's an unofficial but visible way to build our community's case for more support. Please note that posting to ChinatownWatch.com is not a substitute for calling 911.
o 4) Get some neighbors together to meet with the HPD's Community Policing team. Call CPT office at (808) 732-3927. A strong community partnership with HPD is good for everyone.
Tom departed at 7:48 p.m; seven (7) members present.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell's representative - Megan Muramatsu submitted a report that stated the following:
• Follow-Up on Concerns:
o Bus Stop: Department of Transportation Services (DTS) stated that they will take the request to place seating at the Smith Street/Hotel Street bus stop into consideration.
o Request for Representative: DTS stated that the Chinatown Bulb-outs are included in the Department of Design and Construction's (DDC) Street Rehab Phase 12D project. Please refer inquiries to the project manager, Kevin Kenny at (808) 768-8781. DTS will take this request under advisement. Staff is unable to attend January's meeting. Please provide specific questions or discussion points. Rules for the issuance of Event Street closure permits can be found at www.honolulu.gov/dts; select "Parade and Activity Rules."
o Power Washing: Department of Facilities Maintenance stated that the City's Clean Team provides power washing of City sidewalks in the Chinatown and Downtown area as resources are available. Increased issues regarding frequent feces removal and urine cleanup requires the limited Clean Team staff to divert resources from their normal power washing routine.
o Abandoned Bicycle: Department of Customer Services stated that they do not pick up abandoned bikes. Please contact HPD. HPD stated that on Wednesday 19 December 2018, Sergeant Vincent Gonzales of District 1 (Central Honolulu) was unable to locate the stripped bicycle. Sergeant Gonzales confirmed with security that the stripped bicycle was no longer there. Please encourage community members to call 911 to report suspicious activity as this would result in a more expeditious response.
Tom returned at 7:53 p.m; eight (8) members present.
Councilmember Carol Fukunaga - Councilmember Fukunaga the following:
• Inauguration: On Wednesday 2 January 2019, incumbent Councilmembers Elefante, Fukunaga, and new Councilmember Tsuneyoshi were sworn in for four-year terms (2019-2022) commencing that day. Councilmember Ozawa and his family were present for the inaugural ceremonies, but he did not take the oath of office due to an appeal of the results of his race. As the Supreme Court reviews the additional information submitted for the appeal of Council District 4 election results, the remaining eight Councilmembers recessed the January inaugural ceremonies to await a final outcome. A special Council meeting will be convened after the Supreme Court's ruling on the Council District 4 appeal to select the new organization for the 2019-2020 term.
• Bill 52: Councilmember Fukunaga distributed to the Board and public copies of Bill 52, CD2, FD1, relating to illegal lodging.
• Homeless Solutions: Councilmember Fukunaga distributed to the Board and public copies of the City's budget highlights for homeless solutions from 2012-2018.
• Minutes: There were corrections needed within the December meeting minutes. On page 5 of 6, the minutes should read "The recent approval of the State Department of Human Services (DHS) request to amend the Medicaid program to provide supportive housing services to those Medicaid-eligible beneficiaries who are chronically homeless, and the State Legislature's $30 million appropriation in Act 209, SLH 2018, should help 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."
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Homeless: Caravalho raised concerns with the safety of homeless people lodging on public sidewalks since it is near the street where vehicles are driving.
2. Bill 52: Board members voiced their support for Bill 52 and hopes that it will be strictly enforced.
Senator Karl Rhoads - Senator Rhoads reported the following:
• Capital Improvement Funds: Governor Ige released $5 million of capital improvement funds for construction, maintenance, and various improvements to the State Capitol.
• Session: This year's Legislative Session will begin on Wednesday 16 January 2019. Senator Rhoads is working on a Bill to enforce trespassing. Senator Rhoads will also be introduce a Bill to improve substance abuse treatment.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Homeless: McDonald raised concerns with public urination by homeless persons.
2. Treatment: Logue asked if it is possible to enforce stricter treatment requirements to ensure patients are seeking treatment before financial benefits are received.
3. Cigarettes: Lye asked if legislation could ever address second-hand smoke escaping from motor vehicles which then enters surrounding or nearby vehicles.
4. Weed and Seed: Shubert-Kwock asked if Chinatown is still a Weed and Seed district.
McDonald moved to amend the agenda to reflect an intent to review and approve the Thursday 6 December 2018 regular meeting minutes. The motion was seconded and adopted by unanimous consent, 8-0-0 (Aye: Caravalho, Lye, Logue, McCarney, McDonald, Mollring, Shubert-Kwock, Tom; Nay: None; Abstain: None).
APPROVAL OF THURSDAY 6 DECEMBER 2018 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES - McDonald moved and McCarney seconded to approve the Thursday 6 December 2018 regular meeting minutes as printed and to be further amended to include additional changes requested above by Councilmember Fukunaga. The motion was adopted, 7-1-0 (Aye: Caravalho, Logue, McCarney, McDonald, Mollring, Shubert-Kwock, Tom; Nay: Lye; Abstain: None).
• Next Meeting - The next meeting of the Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board 13 is scheduled for Thursday 7 February 2019 at Hawaii Pacific University, One Aloha Tower Drive, Multi-Purpose Room 2 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 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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