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Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board Meeting May 2019 Minutes
DOWNTOWN--CHINATOWN NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD 13
May 2019 Minutes
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
THURSDAY 2 MAY 2019
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 nine 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, Kevin McDonald, Dolores Mollring, Willis Moore, Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock, Laura Sturges, and Bob Tom.
Board Members Absent -- None
Guests -- Major Nishibun, Lieutenant Liu, and Sergeant Corpuz (Honolulu Police Department); Firefighter Mark Bates (Honolulu Fire Department); Raelynn Nakabayashi (Mayor Kirk Caldwell's representative); Councilmember Carol Fukunaga; Senator Karl Rhoads; Damien Elefante (Governor David Ige's representative); Pat Lee (Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation); Greg Payton (Safe Haven); Lee Stack (Chinatown Improvement District); Fran Butera (Chinatown Watch); Wes Fong (Chinatown Community Center Association); JJ Johnson (Honolulu Triathlon); Troy Kendall, Clint Kalaola, Don Hibbard, Amy Hammond, Ronald Higa, John Donaldson-Selby,(community members); Harry Cho (Neighborhood Commission Office). Name was not included if not known or legible on the sign-in sheet.
PUBLIC SAFETY REPORTS
Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) -- Firefighter Bates reported the following:
• April 2019 Statistics: There was 1 structure fire, 1 wildland/brush fire, 8 nuisance fires, 2 cooking fires, 4 activated alarms with no fire, 144 medical emergencies, 1 motor vehicle collision with a pedestrian, 4 motor vehicle crash/collisions, and 1 hazardous materials incident.
• Safety Tip: A safety tip was given on how to hike safely.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed -- Pedestrian Accidents: Tom asked if the pedestrian accidents are recurring at a specific crosswalk. Bates said that he has no specific information regarding that.
Honolulu Police Department (HPD) -- Lieutenant Liu reported the following:
• April 2019 Statistics: There were 13 motor vehicle thefts, 12 burglaries, 33 thefts, 19 unauthorized entries into motor vehicles (UEMV), 33 assaults, 8 sex assaults, 2 graffiti incidents, 7 drug offenses, and 2,530 total calls for service.
• Safety Tip: Due to the recent increase in UEMVs, HPD would like to remind the public to lock your doors, do not leave valuables in your vehicle, keep your vehicle clean, stash before you park, park in a visible area, use car alarms, and report suspicious activity.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Sex Assaults: Mollring raised concerns with the increase in sex assaults on Merchant Street.
2. Increase Patrol: Lye relayed concerns from Kukui Plaza residents to request increased patrols at Kamalii Mini Park. Caravalho requested to increase patrols at the 7-Eleven store on Bishop Street due to drug use and homeless panhandlers. A community member stated that HPD did not arrive after being called to the 7-Eleven. Donaldson-Selby requested to increase patrols on Bishop Street at night due to homeless and crime. A community member requested to increase patrols at the liquor store by the police sub-station in Chinatown due to public intoxication and consumption of alcohol.
3. Homeless and Crime: Mollring raised concerns with panhandlers at Bishop and King Streets. Shubert-Kwock raised concerns about an increase in theft and alcohol use by youth gangs.
4. Sit/Lie Enforcement: A community member suggested extending the hours of the sit/lie law to 24/7.
Neighborhood Citizen Patrol (NCP) ??? Mollring reported that the NCP has been patrolling every Tuesday night and that the area has been quiet.
Governor David Ige's Representative -- Damien Elefante reported the following:
• Capitol Connections: This month's Capitol Connections focuses on taking statewide action to become sustainable. This means growing more of our own food, focusing on clean energy solutions, and nurturing a new generation committed to protecting our islands and island Earth from climate change.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell's representative -- Raelynn Nakabayashi reported the following:
o Neighborhood Board Elections: The online voting period for the 2019 Neighborhood Board Elections will be open until Friday 17 May 2019. Voters may request a paper ballot by calling the Neighborhood Commission Office at (808) 768-3710.
o Liquor Commission Hearing: There will be a public hearing for the renewal of Maunakea Liquor and Grocery on Thursday 16 May 2019 at 4:00 p.m.
• Follow-Up on Concerns:
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Phone Booth: Caravalho raised concerns with a vandalized phone booth at Alakea and Hotel Streets.
2. Liquor Violations: McDonald asked what action was taken by the Honolulu Liquor Commission (HLC) regarding those who purportedly received violations and citations. Nakabayashi stated that specifics on punitive action and information of the violators cannot be provided.
3. Sidewalks: McDonald asked if the public can wash and clean sidewalks on their own. Nakabayashi stated that may be a program for adopting sidewalk segments.
4. Repaving: Moore asked what the Complete Street plans are to repave King Street from Chinatown to Honolulu Hale.
5. Crosswalks: Moore stated that most of the crosswalk lines in Chinatown are faded and not visible.
6. Liquor Licenses: Shubert-Kwock asked that the liquor licenses for Best Market, CJ Market, Fred's, Happy World, and Maunakea Liquor and Grocery be denied a renewal, and to revoke same due to the selling of alcohol to already intoxicated persons. Major Nishibun stated that HPD is working with HLC to address these issues. A community member asked how the public may submit testimony anonymously. Nakabayashi stated that people can make anonymous calls to HLC.
7. Homeless: McDonald raised concerns with people exposing themselves, urinating, and defecating in public. A community member suggested extending the hours of enforcement of the sit/lie law.
8. Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Park Gate: McDonald disclosed that he is the owner of Sin Lounge and stated that the gate at the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Park needs to remain open at night because it is the fire exit and ADA entrance to the building. He noted that homeless were locked in the park after hours and they had to leave through his business. He also asked if a business impact study was done before this gate-locking plan was finalized.
Senator Karl Rhoads -- Senator Rhoads reported the following:
• Bills: This legislative session, Senator Rhoads introduced 120 bills and 14 passed. Bills regarding the Assisted Community Treatment Act passed, which allow the court to order a severely mentally ill person to be put on a medical program. Senate Bill (SB) 567 also passed which appropriates funds for program ID HTH420 for the Department of Health to contract for legal assistance with petitions for assisted community treatment and related court proceedings. Other bills that passed relate to trespassing on private property, building-applied and building-integrated photovoltaics, and pedestrian crosswalk safety.
• Liquor Licenses: Senator Rhoads encouraged anyone who has a concern to submit testimony regarding the liquor stores.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed ??? Immigration Bill: McDonald asked about a bill regarding deportation of immigrants. Senator Rhoads stated that the bill died, but was introduced to prohibit state and county law enforcement agencies from complying with federal immigration detainers or honoring requests for non-public information unless specifically required to do so by a warrant signed by a judge or provisions of federal, state, or county law.
Councilmember Carol Fukunaga -- Councilmember Fukunaga reported the following:
• Bill 10: Mahalo to Neighborhood Board 13 members and Downtown--Chinatown business leaders for endorsing the CD1 amendments to Bill 10, the city's Fiscal Year 2020 Executive Operating Budget. Last week, the Council increased the proposal for private security services from $200,000 to $250,000 to the Department of Land Management. However, the challenges that Downtown--Chinatown businesses and residents face are two-fold: not only are they dealing with public safety/sanitation issues associated with homeless encampments in front of businesses, but these individuals often have severe mental health/substance abuse or addiction issues (or both). On the mental health services front, kudos to Senator Rhoads, IHS, and other homeless/health care providers for their amendments to the state Assisted Community Treatment (ACT) laws. The conference versions of SB 567 and SB 1124 will be a big help in assisting difficult-to-treat homeless individuals with mental health needs. With respect to those homeless with addiction/substance abuse issues, the Council's Public Safety and Welfare Committee adopted Resolution 19-95, urging the City Administration to support State Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Programs as part of its Actions to Address Homelessness. Lieutenant Governor Green's homeless solutions plan includes medical triage services with MAT strategies. MAT has demonstrated impressive results in Rhode Island's corrections system during the past 3 years; it involves the use of FDA-approved medications, including methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone, in combination with counseling, behavioral therapy, and other interventions for the treatment of opioid use disorder and other substance use disorders. Councilmember Fukunaga is also proposing CD2 amendments to add $500,000 to the City's FY20 Operating Budget to establish two additional Joint Outreach Center sites in locations serving Chinatown--Kakaako and Ala Moana--McCulIy. These funds would be appropriated to HPD for contracted services through the H4 coalition of healthcare providers, as well as healthcare facilities that are being asked to provide additional crisis/detox beds to move homeless individuals off the streets.
• Federal Opportunity Zone Investment: Councilmember Fukunaga is also pursuing federal/state/local investment incentives to hasten redevelopment and revitalization of Chinatown. Bill 23, which Councilmember Fukunaga introduced last week, proposes real property tax exemptions for sale of city-owned properties in the Chinatown Opportunity Zone. The city tax exemptions can be combined with federal Opportunity Zone incentives, as well as federal New Markets Tax Credits, state Enterprise Zone credits, and related tax incentives. A copy of DBEDT's FAQ on the Downtown--Chinatown--Kalihi Opportunity Zone program was distributed.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed -- Sit/Lie Ban: A community member, McDonald, and Shubert-Kwock asked to extend the hours of the sit/lie law enforcement. Councilmember Fukunaga stated that the City is not enforcing it and is currently working on issues with that legislation.
• Homeless: A community member raised concerns about an increase in aggressive homeless individuals harassing females in public.
Caravalho moved and Logue seconded to amend the agenda to add discussion regarding the Maunakea Liquor and Grocery liquor license renewal. The motion was adopted by majority vote (Aye: Caravalho, Logue, Lye, McDonald, Mollring, Shubert-Kwock, Sturges, Tom).
Hearing no objection, a resolution that the Downtown--Chinatown Neighborhood Board 13 supports the Thursday 16 May 2019 Honolulu Liquor Commission hearing to not grant liquor license renewal to Mauna Kea Liquor and Grocery was adopted by majority vote (Aye: Caravalho, Logue, Lye, McDonald, Mollring, Shubert-Kwock, Sturges, Tom).
Shubert-Kwock introduced a resolution that the Downtown--Chinatown Neighborhood Board 13 request the Honolulu Liquor Commission to not grant any new liquor licenses to stores between Chinatown from Nimitz Highway to Beretania Street and Smith Street to River Street. After discussion, the resolution was withdrawn.
103rd Annual King Kamehameha Celebration Floral Parade -- Amy Hammond reported that the event will take place on Saturday 8 June 2019 from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Rolling street closures will follow the parade route beginning at King Street in front of ‘Iolani Palace, makai on Punchbowl Street, left onto Ala Moana Boulevard and Kal kaua Avenue, concluding at Monsarrat Avenue and Queen Kapi‘olani Park. The Ho‘olaule‘a will be back in Chinatown at Aloha Tower Marketplace from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
McDonald moved and Mollring seconded that the Downtown--Chinatown Neighborhood Board 13 support the 103rd Annual King Kamehameha Celebration . The motion was adopted 8-0-1 (Aye: Caravalho, Lye, Logue, McDonald, Mollring, Moore, Shubert-Kwock, Sturges; Nay: None; Abstain: Moore).
Honolulu Triathlon -- JJ Johnson reported that the event will take place on 12 May 2019 from 4:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Street closures will be on Ala Moana Boulevard and Nimitz Highway.
Mollring moved and Caravalho seconded that the Downtown--Chinatown Neighborhood Board 13 support the Honolulu Triathlon event. The motion was adopted 8-0-1 (Aye: Caravalho, Lye, Logue, McDonald, Mollring, Moore, Shubert-Kwock, Sturges; Nay: None; Abstain: Moore).
Mighty Wo Fat LLC -- Don Hibbard requested that Chair Shubert-Kwock sign a form notifying the Department of Planning and Permitting that a presentation was given at a previous board meeting and no further presentation is necessary. Lye asked the Chair to confirm that the proper notifications pursuant to the requested signature had indeed been executed. Hearing no objection from the board, Shubert-Kwock agreed to sign the paper.
Chinatown Community Center Association (CCCA) -- Wesley Fong reported that he would like to thank the Downtown--Chinatown Board, Councilmember Carol Fukunaga, the community, and organizations for supporting the CCCA. The CCCA was formed to initiate the building of a community center and affordable senior housing. Due to the initiative of members of the CCCA and Senator Karl Rhoads, a signalized crosswalk will be installed on Vineyard Boulevard. These improvements should increase foot traffic and tourism in Chinatown.
Kekaulike Mall -- Shubert-Kwock provided an update regarding the partnership between the Department of Parks and Recreation and HPD to enforce ordinances regarding Kekaulike Mall and Chinatown sidewalk produce displays.
Unsafe Handicapped Sidewalks in Chinatown ??? Shubert-Kwock provided an update regarding the unsafe sidewalks.
Safe Haven -- Greg Payton reported the following:
• April Statistics: There was 1 Safe Haven discharge/intake, 1 activity center placement, 2 Mental Health Kokua Oahu Case Management Housing placements, and 4 permanent housing placements. The grand total for 2019 is 48 placements through April 2019.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed -- Questions on Statistics: A community member asked why discharges and intakes are not differentiated and if the community is notified when someone is being released back into the community. Payton stated that it is not differentiated because they are always at 100% occupancy and whenever someone is released, another individual is taken in. Discharges mean the individual went on to permanent housing.
Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) -- Pat Lee reported that in 2009, the City Council adopted Resolution 09-158 which urged the City to provide Hawaiian names for the rail stations. This preceded HART, which was created in 2010. At the direction of the HART board, a working group consisting of Hawaiian cultural practitioners and scholars have proposed names which bring back place names and significant sites in Hawaiian culture. Following the same process as the first nine stations on the west side, Hawaiian names have been proposed for the 12 stations from Pearl Harbor to Ala Moana. For the Chinatown station, the proposed name is "Holau" and for the Downtown station, the proposed name is "Kuloloia.??? These Hawaiian names will be supplemented by the location names of the stations, such as "Holau -- Chinatown station." Wayfinding signage will also assist rail users. For more information on the rail project, please visit the HART website at www.honolulutransit.org, call the project hotline at (808) 566-2299, or email a question to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chinatown Business and Community Association (CBCA) -- Shubert-Kwock reported that the CBCA held its monthly Dim Sum Breakfast Meeting on Tuesday 9 April 2019 at Golden Palace at 10:00 a.m. Deputy Director of Environmental Services Ross S. Tanimoto attended and we discussed a myriad of issues on opala affecting our Chinatown and finding solutions. Deputy Director Tanimoto is returning this month for the Tuesday 14 May 2019 meeting to share some ideas we all had. CBCA Directors worked hard in Chinatown on Kekaulike Mall, Kekaulike Market, North King Street, and North Hotel Street on sidewalk ordinances, opala, and merchant education on sidewalk safety. Homeless sit and lie was also addressed with HPD and community leaders. Citizen's Patrol walked around Downtown and Chinatown with Sergeant Valaroso and his Community Police team. CBCA is aware that our City Council needs to amend the sit--lie issue to effect enforcement to include the instep as part and parcel of the sidewalk. We have attended a few important events including River Street Housing, Pauahi Senior Housing, and Lum Sai Ho Tong, Lok Tong Kuen, and Ket On Society (the latter of which is 150 years old). Our Chinatown community business climate is still bad, and danger or violence from some of the homeless criminals and mentally ill homeless pose a serious threat to shoppers, residents, and merchants. Open cursing, swearing, drunkenness, and individuals high on drugs are daily public safety threats. CBCA supports Bill 10 which is coming up for full council vote next Wednesday. We remain grateful HPD has deployed more police cars and bodies to deal with issues in Chinatown. We thank Lieutenant Governor Josh Green for the first of two power washers received and will coordinate with others to power wash our streets. The next CBCA Chinatown Dim Sum Meeting is on Tuesday 14 May 2019, 10:00 a.m. at Golden Palace. All are welcome to help support our Chinatown.
Chinatown Improvement District (CID) -- Lee Stack noted that the report for the graffiti study is available for viewing and downloading on the CID website: www.cidchinatownhawaii.org. CID would like to thank the Atherton Foundation, Mason Architects, and Lance Higa Painting for funding and conducting the testing for the study. For the River Street beautification project, CID has almost completed the formulation of the panel which will guide the project. Next steps will be to finalize the themes for the project and devise a call for artists. The community security patrol service is going along with the help of our volunteer intern, Kainoa Adolpho, who we would like to thank for all of his work on this project. We are still tweaking the program to best serve the needs of the community.
Chinatown Watch ??? Fran Butera reported the following:
• Security Funding Urgently Needed: The large, uncontrolled homeless population and opportunistic criminals continue to overwhelm Chinatown neighborhoods with public health and safety threats including
o urination and defecation in public spaces and on private property
o public drinking, drug use, and drug sales
o aggressive panhandling, pedestrians being harassed
o fights, psychotic outbursts, f-bomb barrages, shouting matches
o sitting, lying, camping, littering on public sidewalks and in city parks
o vandalism, theft, purse snatchings, and assaults by gangs on kupuna and other vulnerable people
Every day in Chinatown, lawless, aberrant behavior feeds a climate of fear and disgust that debilitates our community economically, socially, physically, and mentally. It affects everyone including visitors. Public reviews of Chinatown on Tripadvisor showed negative feedback and comments from visitors. City-funded security is desperately needed as an emergency measure to keep citizens safe and prevent further degradation of what Mayor CaIdwell called "one of Oahu's greatest gems." The City's budget for the fiscal year beginning Monday 1 July 2019 is now being amended by the City Council. Thanks to Councilmember Fukunaga, the budget includes $200,000 for private security guards to patrol Chinatown's public spaces. It is essential that the City Council retain and even increase this funding throughout its review process, culminating on Wednesday 5 June 2019 when the full Council votes to approve the Budget and the Mayor spends the funding on security as intended once the Budget is approved. We encourage all area citizens to keep sending incident reports to Councilmember Fukunaga, to prove to the Council and the Mayor that security funding is not a luxury but an urgent necessity.
• Liquor Store License Review: Our neighborhood welcomes the City's scrutiny of Maunakea Liquors at 1161 Maunakea Street. It is quite baffling that the City continues to renew Maunakea Liquors' license year after year despite volumes of complaints by neighboring residents, businesses, and property owners piling up in the offices of our elected officials. We sincerely hope that this time the City will give serious attention to the community???s long record of red flags about Maunakea Liquors' activities. We also hope this renewed oversight will also extend to the other disruptive liquor stores in our district.
• To the City Administration: The community would like the City to immediately begin to fund private security patrols for Chinatown, with special emphasis on the known crime zones surrounding the homeless services and liquor stores. Provide all additional funding needed to support HPD in protecting Chinatown's citizens. Close the Pauahi Street hygiene center and relocate Safe Haven out of Chinatown. Fast-track your negotiations with River of Life Mission so they may move their feeding operation to lwilei this year. Close the liquor stores that sell alcohol and drugs to the homeless and mentally ill substance abusers who congregate in disproportionately high numbers in Chinatown.
• To Chinatown Residents, Merchants, Shoppers, Property Owners, and Visitors: Call 911 to report vio-lations. 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. Talk to your neighbors about the problems. Encourage them to call 911, too. Post incidents anonymously 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. To order Chinatown Watch window signs for your business, go to ChinatownWatch.com, click the About link, then send a message via the Contact link. Please allow a few days for a response as the site is run by volunteers. Get some neighbors together to meet with the HPD's Community Policing Team (CPT). Call the CPT office at (808) 732-3927. A strong community partnership with HPD is good for everyone. Support legislation to fund private security patrols for Downtown--Chinatown's public spaces. Contact Councilmember Fukunaga's office for details. Email email@example.com or call (808) 768-5006. Merchants and property owners, please join the Chinatown Improvement District's neighborhood security patrol. Call Lee Stack at (808) 589-9927, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website: cidchinatownhawaii.org.
APPROVAL OF THURSDAY 4 APRIL 2019 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES ??? Edits were proposed to the posted minutes from the April 2019 meeting of the Board from the floor; additional amendments shared with the Board by Secretary Lye by email earlier on 2 May 2019 were projected on-screen and made available for discussion and review. The Thursday 4 April 2019 regular meeting minutes were approved as amended, 8-0-0 (Aye: Caravalho, Lye, Logue, McDonald, Mollring, Moore, Shubert-Kwock, Sturges; Nay: None; Abstain: None).
• Next Meeting -- The next meeting of the Downtown--Chinatown Neighborhood Board 13 is scheduled for Thursday 6 June 2019 at Hawaii Pacific University, One Aloha Tower Drive, Multi-Purpose Room 2 at 6:00 p.m.
• July 2019 Meeting -- Lye proposed a change in date for the subsequent meeting of the Downtown--Chinatown Neighborhood Board 13 away from 4 July 2019; Mr. Cho will query HPU to see if any multi-purpose room at Aloha Tower Marketplace will be available for use on Thursday 18 July or Thursday 25 July 2019 and will advise the Board of such at the June 2019 meeting.
• 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 8:43 p.m.
Submitted by: Harry Cho, Public Relations Assistant
Reviewed by: Kevin Lye, Downtown--Chinatown Neighborhood Board 13 Secretary
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