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Neighborhood Board #13 Downtown 2020 Minutes March 5th, 2020
THURSDAY 5 MARCH 2020
ONE ALOHA TOWER, MULTI PURPOSE ROOM 2
CALL TO ORDER - Chair McDonald called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Quorum was established with eight members present. Note: This nine-member Board requires five members to establish a quorum and to take official Board action.
Board Members Present - Robert Armstrong, Roxie-Anne Kamoshida, James Logue, Kevin Lye, Sandy Ma, Kevin McDonald, Dolores Mollring, Willis Moore (arrived at 7:03 p.m.), Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock
Board Members Absent - None
Guests - Captain Glenn Hayashi, Lieutenant Brian Taniguchi, and Sergeant Darryl Jones (Honolulu Police Department); Captain Sean Arakaki (Honolulu Fire Department); Damien Elefante (Governor David Ige's representative); Councilmember Carol Fukunaga; Claire Ronquillo (Senator Karl Rhoads' office); Lee Stack (Chinatown Improvement District); Fran Butera (Chinatown Watch); Pat Lee (Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation); Greg Payton (Safe Haven); JJ Johnson (Hapalua Half Marathon); Janice Owens, Rob Miyasaki, Ronald Higa, Ave Kwok, Charessa Fryc, Ernest Caravalho (community members); Harry Cho (Neighborhood Commission Office). Name was not included if not known or if illegible on the sign-in sheet.
PUBLIC SAFETY REPORTS
Honolulu Police Department (HPD) - Lieutenant Taniguchi reported the following:
• February 2020 Statistics: There were 9 motor vehicle thefts, 3 burglaries, 36 thefts, 12 unauthorized entries into motor vehicles (UEMV), 19 assaults, 2 sex assaults, 1 graffiti incident, 17 drug offenses, and 2,432 total calls for service.
• Safety Tip: Safety tips were provided on vehicle theft.
• Events: The next HPD Meet the Major event will take place Friday 13 March 2020 at 6:00 p.m. at the Ko‘olani condominium at 1177 Queen Street. Funeral services and final roll call ceremony for fallen officer Kaulike Kalama will be held Saturday 7 March 2020. The next HPD Remembrance Walk is planned for May 2020.
Mollring moved to support the HPD events. The motion was adopted by unanimous consent, 8-0-0 (Aye: Armstrong, Kamoshida, Logue, Lye, Ma, McDonald, Mollring, Shubert-Kwock; Nay: None; Abstain: None).
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Incident: Logue asked for more information regarding the incident on 4 February 2020 at Maunakea Liquor.
2. Smoking in city parks: Lye asked if smoking is permitted within City parks; Taniguchi responded that it depends on the signage at the park.
3. Bills: McDonald asked about bills before the legislature or council that the Board can support.
4. Foot Patrol: A community member noted that he has seen an increase in foot patrols in Chinatown and enforcement of the sit-lie law.
5. Pauahi Street: A community member noted that there has been a decrease in assaults at Pauahi Street and requested for more security.
Honolulu Fire Department (HPD) - Captain Arakaki reported the following:
• February 2020 Statistics: There were 2 nuisance fires, 8 activated alarms (no fire), 136 medical emergencies, 3 motor vehicle collisions with pedestrians, 2 motor vehicle crash/collisions, and 1 hazardous materials incident.
• Safety Tip: Safety tips were provided on home fire sprinklers.
Neighborhood Citizen Patrol (NCP) - Mollring reported the walks have been quiet and have monitored construction for rail along Nimitz Highway. Lye recounted a shipside visit by the Patrol to the missile telemetry vessel Pacific Collector at Aloha Tower.
Governor David Ige's Representative - Damien Elefante reported the following:
• Capitol Connections: This month's Capitol Connections highlight COVID-19, reducing the cost of living in Hawaii, and the 2020 Census.
As representatives from the City's Office of Housing arose prematurely and were midway through a presentation scheduled as new business before recognition of the error, Armstrong moved to amend the agenda to take agenda item VI. C out of order. The motion was adopted by majority vote, 5-3-0 (Aye: Armstrong, Lye, Ma, McDonald, Mollring; Nay: Kamoshida, Logue, Shubert-Kwock; Abstain: None).
Discussion of Issues Regarding Homelessness - Representatives from the City's Office of Housing provided a report.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Homeless: Armstrong noted that beds need to be provided for homeless individuals suffering from mental health issues. Shubert-Kwock raised concerns with the increase of homelessness in Chinatown and senior citizens who are targeted for harassment. A community member noted the importance of recovery for homeless individuals. A community member noted that security cameras need to be used and security guards need to be present.
2. Coronavirus: A community member asked if the Office of Housing has plans to prevent the spread of the coronavirus if it becomes an issue with the unsheltered population.
ELECTED OFFICIALS (resumed)
Senator Karl Rhoads - Claire Ronquillo reported the following:
• US Census: Participation in the census is required by law. Beginning this month, households will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail. For more information please call (800) 923-8282 or visit 2020census.gov.
• Bills: Senator Rhoads introduced Senate Bill (SB) 2793 to reduce certain drug-possession offenses now classified as felonies to misdemeanor offenses. Senator Rhoads also introduced SB 2631 which would permit avoidance of incarceration should a defendant have a serious and persistent mental health illness.
• Capital Improvement Project Funds: $3 million in capital improvement project funds was released to the Hawaii State Library for repair of the interior and exterior surfaces of the building and to replace electrical and plumbing systems.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Senate Bill (SB) 2636: Lye raised concerns about the government mandates regarding board composition of publicly held companies within SB 2636, its encroachment into corporate management and equity distribution, and the slippery slope it represents towards interfering with closely held companies.
McDonald passed the gavel to Logue.
2. Bills: McDonald raised concerns with bills regarding the lack of prison space and reducing the size of block parties.
The gavel was returned to McDonald.
Councilmember Carol Fukunaga - Councilmember Fukunaga provided a report presented as an Annex. For more information, please email email@example.com.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Cameras: Shubert-Kwock asked about the possibility of replacing the cameras in Chinatown.
2. River of Life: Shubert-Kwock asked about the timeline regarding the relocation of River of Life.
3. Punawai Rest Stop: Logue asked what is holding up the release of funds for the Punawai Rest Stop expansion.
4. Telephone Stanchions: Armstrong noted that the telephone stanchions at Fort Street Mall have not been addressed.
Moore arrived at 7:03 p.m. Nine members present.
5. Bill 25: Lye asked if any portion of Bill 25 passed by the Council in 2013 prohibiting smoking in all City parks starting on 1 January 2014 (regardless of signage) had been rescinded.
6. Vandalized Property: Kamoshida asked how the community can report graffiti and vandalized city property. Councilmember Fukunaga suggested using the 311 app.
7. Enforcement: McDonald asked what the City is doing to enforce their laws. Councilmember Fukunaga responded that the best way to enforce the laws would be to demand a full and complete police force.
8. Security Guard Services: A community member asked if the Mayor's budget includes extending services for security services. Councilmember Fukunaga responded that the Mayor's budget does not include continuation so the City Council will be submitting an amendment to the budget.
9. Bus Passes: A community member raised concerns that the bus fares may increase.
• Agenda: A community member suggested including the name of streets, time, and date of events for street closures on the agenda. She also raised concerns with McDonald requesting written reports prior to the meeting. A community member also suggested including this information on the agenda. A community member raised concerns that some event coordinators are asked to attend the Neighborhood Board meeting before and after the event while others are not.
• Hawaii Department of Transportation: A representative from HDOT provided an update regarding the road usage charge project and the possibility of using it as a funding solution. Approximately 2,000 volunteers, statewide will be recruited to test various technologies and reporting methods.
• Power Washing Schedule: A community member asked what the weekly power washing schedule is for Chinatown.
• Board Member Conduct: A community member suggested that conduct against a person's race, gender, ethnicity, age, housing status, and sexual preference should be prohibited. A community member encouraged the board to continue working for the community.
• Hotel Street: A community member suggested turning Hotel Street into a pedestrian walkway.
• Cement Blocks: A community member noted that there are cement blocks in the middle of a crosswalk ramp at the intersection of Pauahi and Smith Streets.
• Chairperson: A community member suggested that the Neighborhood Commission Office look into McDonald's legal address to verify that he resides in the district, and recommended a vote of no confidence.
• Chinatown Improvement District (CID): Lee Stack reported the following on behalf of CID: Community Patrols: CID revised the community patrol schedule to complement the City Guard Security program, which is now a month old. The community patrols used to patrol the Maunakea and Pauahi Street areas but now, with the City Guards patrolling those areas, we have asked the community patrol to cover areas of North King, Nu‘uanu, Pauahi, Hotel, and Smith Streets. This community project of the CID takes approximately five hours of volunteer time each week to track and coordinate. Sit-Lie Hours: CID submitted to members of NB 13 draft language for a resolution to extend Sit-Lie prohibition hours for the Downtown and Chinatown districts to better complement business and transportation hours. Meeting with DLM: CID coordinated and organized community comments regarding the City Guard Service program and participated in yesterday's follow up meeting to keep refining and improving the program. We hope this project can continue because not only has it helped in the targeted areas, but it also frees up resources (like the services we coordinate) to be used in other areas and at other times. It was impressive to see the commitment on the part of the City and community volunteers to make this collaboration work.
NEW BUSINESS (resumed)
Presentation on Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) - Natalia Hussey-Burdick provided a presentation about RCV.
Cinco de Mayo Block Party - Kelsey and Ashley reported that the Cinco de Mayo block party will take place on Tuesday 5 May 2020 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and admission is free for all. The footprint of the event is Nu‘uanu Street between Pauahi and King Streets, and Hotel Street between Bethel and Smith Streets. Buses will be diverted from Hotel Street. Special duty HPD officers will be hired for traffic control and private security will be hired to secure the entire footprint. An EMT/security headquarters tent will be established for emergency needs along with an information tent to answer any questions and concerns. A handout of the footprint was provided.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed - Concerns: Shubert-Kwock raised concerns with trash, security, and music in previous years. Lye asked if any quantifiable measures will be undertaken to ensure compliance with noise-level statutes, regardless of the position of the stage closest to Chinatown Gateway Plaza; no commitment was voiced. Lye also reminded the representatives to prevent shortages of hand sanitation within the portable toilets, which had been reported to the organizers within the first hour of the 2019 event. Ma raised concerns with how trash will be secured.
Moore moved to support the Cinco de Mayo event. After discussion, McDonald moved to defer this vote to the next meeting. The motion was adopted by unanimous consent, 9-0-0 (Aye: Armstrong, Kamoshida, Logue, Lye, Ma, McDonald, Mollring, Moore, Shubert-Kwock; Nay: None; Abstain: None).
Hapalua Half Marathon - JJ Johnson reported that the event will take place on Sunday 5 April 2020 at 6:00 a.m.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Participants: Ma asked how many people are expected to attend; the representative responded that there will be roughly 7,000 participants.
2. Concerns: Shubert-Kwock raised concerns that the agenda does not include the street closures. A map of the marathon route was displayed on the projection screen. Mollring noted that this event has never had issues in the past.
3. Support: Logue noted that he is in support of the event.
Armstrong moved to support the Hapalua Half Marathon event. The motion was adopted by majority vote, 8-1-0 (Aye: Armstrong, Kamoshida, Logue, Lye, Ma, McDonald, Mollring, Moore; Nay: Shubert-Kwock; Abstain: None).
Resolution 2020-006 - REGARDING SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS IN CHINATOWN.
Armstrong moved to adopt the resolution. Lye moved to amend the resolution. The motion to amend the resolution was not adopted, 2-7-0 (Aye: Lye, Mollring; Nay: Armstrong, Kamoshida, Logue, Ma, McDonald, Moore, Shubert-Kwock; Abstain: None). Armstrong moved to amend the resolution to strike "immediately spend a minimum of $100,000" from the Resolved clause. The motion to amend the resolution was adopted by majority vote, 8-1-0 (Aye: Armstrong, Kamoshida, Logue, Lye, Ma, McDonald, Mollring, Moore; Nay: Shubert-Kwock; Abstain: None). Shubert-Kwock moved to amend the resolution to add "modern upgraded" in the Resolved clause. The motion to amend the resolution was adopted by majority vote, 6-2-1 (Aye: Kamoshida, Logue, Lye, Ma, Mollring, Shubert-Kwock; Nay: Armstrong, McDonald; Abstain: Moore). The amended resolution was adopted by unanimous consent, 9-0-0 (Aye: Armstrong, Kamoshida, Logue, Lye, Ma, McDonald, Mollring, Moore, Shubert-Kwock; Nay: None; Abstain: None).
COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION REPORTS
Safe Haven - Greg Payton reported the following:
• February Statistics: There were 3 Safe Haven discharges/intakes, 2 activity center placements, 2 returns to the mainland, 2 Oahu Case Management Housing placements, and 9 total permanent housing placements. The grand total for 2020 through February is 45 placements.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) - Pat Lee provided a report presented as an Annex. For more information, please visit the HART website at www.honolulutransit.org, call the project hotline at (808) 566-2299, or email a question to email@example.com.
Chinatown Business and Community Association (CBCA) - Shubert-Kwock provided a report presented as an Annex. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Personal Security Alarms: Lye commended the effort to distribute the devices but asked if the 1200 devices now reported as having been distributed were in addition to the 800 devices noted as having been distributed last month; Shubert-Kwock acknowledged the discrepancy and stated that 1500 devices in total had been distributed to date.
CHINATOWN WATCH - Fran Butera provided a report presented as an Annex. For more information, please email email@example.com.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mollring moved to amend the February minutes. The motion was adopted by unanimous consent, 9-0-0 (Aye: Armstrong, Kamoshida, Logue, Lye, Ma, McDonald, Mollring, Moore, Shubert-Kwock; Nay: None; Abstain: None). Logue moved to approve the amended minutes. The amended minutes were approved by unanimous consent, 9-0-0 (Aye: Armstrong, Kamoshida, Logue, Lye, Ma, McDonald, Mollring, Shubert-Kwock, Moore; Nay: None; Abstain: None).
• Shubert-Kwock's name was amended.
Shubert-Kwock departed at 9:15 p.m. Eight members present.
• Next Meeting -The next meeting of the Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board 13 is scheduled for Thursday 2 April 2020 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 - McDonald adjourned the meeting at 9:20 p.m.
Drafted by Harry Cho, Neighborhood Assistant
Edited by NB 13 Secretary Roxie-Anne Kamoshida, Kevin Lye, and Kevin McDonald
Councilmember Carol Fukunaga -
• Graffiti Cleanup: The Chinatown graffiti-busting cleanup will be held on Saturday 21 March 2020 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.at the Smith-Beretania parking garage exit to paint out graffiti on the exterior of the Smith Beretania Parking garage elevator lobby and a section of the Dan Liu building near the corner of Smith and Hotel Streets. We'd also like to thank Department of Facility Maintenance for providing paint and supplies to clean-up these two city properties, and Departments of Land Management (DLM) and Transportation Services (DTS) for their assistance in organizing this effort. Mahalo also to Downtown-Chinatown property owners and small businesses who spearheaded efforts to clean up and beautify the neighborhood to boost public safety, sanitation, and visitor traffic. Light refreshments will be served. If you are willing to participate in the clean-up, please call or email Senior Advisor Kimberly Ribellia at (808) 768-5045 or kribellia@honoluIu.gov by Friday 13 March 2020.
• City's Expansion of Private Security Services in Chinatown: DLM and Chinatown community stakeholders met on 4 March 2020 for updates and feedback on the City's expanded security guard services in Chinatown. Funded as one of the initiatives proposed by Chinatown business leaders after meeting with area legislators Fukunaga, Holt, Rhoads, and Lieutenant Governor Green last February, the pilot project has been strongly supported by DLM and HPD. Feedback on the security guard pilot project has generally been positive: HPD's Fourth Watch is working with contractor American Guard Services (AGS) by walking the patrol area with guards to provide assistance and guidance in dealing with individuals sitting, lying, and loitering on Pauahi and North Hotel Streets. Residents living at Winston Hale or RHF's Pauahi Street senior housing and businesses on Pauahi Street report a dramatic decrease in homeless disturbances. Feedback from the community demonstrates a desire for (a) a change in the hours of security services to address the need for patrols at 5:00 a.m. or up to 8:00 p.m., and (b) designating security to patrol in pairs rather than individually. Requests have also been made to extend enforcement of Chinatown sit-lie prohibitions from 11:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m., and for removal of bus stop stools on North Hotel Street. My staff and I will bring complaints that the services from the Joint Outreach Center appear to have been curtailed in February to the Hawaii Homeless Healthcare Hui (H4) this week. Please refer questions regarding the security services to DLM Administrative Specialist Gerald "Jerry" DeGuzman at (808) 768-4295 or gerald.deguzrnan@honoluIu.gov.
• COVID 19 Impacts on Downtown-Chinatown Businesses: With the recent emergency proclamations issued by Governor Ige and Mayor Caldwell regarding the threat of coronavirus outbreaks on our community, I urge residents and businesses to keep track of daily Department of Health updates on steps to take to prevent the virus from spreading: https://health.hawaii.gov/docd/advisories/novel-coronavirus-2019/. We are also working closely with U.S. Representative Case's staff regarding Small Business Administration assistance that will be available to help small businesses impacted by a downturn in business during January and February. We joined Chinese community leaders and Mayor Caldwell at the 15 February 2020 Kekaulike Mall press conference to encourage residents and visitors to patronize Chinatown markets, retail outlets, and restaurants.
• Fiscal Year 2021 City Budget: During the Council's review of Mayor Caldwell's FY21 budget requests, I am seeking increased power washing and sanitation measures in Downtown-Chinatown and supporting Chief Ballard's push for additional HPD foot-patrols in Waikiki, Chinatown, and Kailua. Councilmember Koba¬yashi and I will also propose funds to restore HPD's Weed and Seed detail, which effectively reduced property crime and violent assaults in the Chinatown-Ala Moana-Kakaako area between 2003 and 2008. Since the previous Weed and Seed initiative relied primarily on federal funding, we will focus on funding to rebuild the "Weed" component of the program between Honolulu Police Department, Honolulu's Prosecuting Attorney, the U.S. Attorney, and the nonprofit Weed and Seed organization. We have learned that Chief Ballard's predecessor reassigned previous Weed and Seed detail members to urban Honolulu community policing teams, while the Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney's office delayed prosecuting illegal drug/gambling cases referred by HPD. In the meantime, I encourage NB 13 to consider scheduling a Candidate Forum to discuss Downtown-Chinatown issues with 2020 mayoral and prosecuting attorney candidates (filing deadline is 2 June 2020). My staff and I are working with community stakeholders to address additional issues. Burned-out Lights in Smith-Beretania Parking Garage: We filed a Request for Investigation and Service Report (RISR) complaint in January, and Department of Transportation Services has reported that corrective electrical work is needed to restore proper lighting; its follow-up report is due 25 March 2020. Hazardous Chinatown Sidewalks: The following five areas have been identified as needing repair: 50 N. Hotel, 126 N. King, 1128 Smith, and 1029 and 1120 Maunakea Streets. Department of Planning and Permitting will determine whether HECO must repair utility boxes contributing to some of the sidewalk hazards (or whether the sidewalks should be repaired by Department of Facility Maintenance) and report on a timeline for completion for repairs.
Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) -
• The Honolulu rail system will operate the trains from 4:00 a.m. to midnight each day. After the days run, trains return to the Rail Operations Center in Waipahu near Leeward Community College and Waipahu High School for cleaning and servicing. The 43-acre Rail Operations Center and Maintenance and Storage facility includes four major structures. The operations and servicing building contain the operations control center to operate the trains via a computer system, a vehicle maintenance section, and inspection and repair facilities. The Maintenance of Way building contains specialized equipment that is used to inspect and repair the guide way, stations, and tracks. The Train Wash facility cleans the exterior of the train vehicles. The Wheel Truing building houses specialized equipment to maintain the steel wheels of the trains. Hitachi Rail Honolulu (HRH), the contractor that will operate the Core System which includes the ROC and MSF as well as the train vehicles, plans to hire about 200 people for their operations. HART has partnered with LCC, which offers an Integrated Industrial Technology program, to prepare students for future work in rail operations.
• Annual HART Poster Contest: Open to all Oahu high school students in 9th to 12th grades attending public, charter, private, or home school, contest posters are due on Friday 13 March 2020. Entries may be mailed or dropped off to HART at 1099 Alakea Street, Floor 17, Honolulu, HI 96813. Entries may also be dropped off at any Hawaii Public Library on O‘ahu before 13 March 2020. For more information, 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.
• Community Meeting: A construction update meeting is planned for Tuesday 31 March 2020 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Hawaii Pacific University Multi-Purpose Room 4.
Chinatown Business and Community Association (CBCA) -
Shubert-Kwock reported that the CBCA monthly meeting was held 10:00 a.m. on 11 February 2020 at Golden Palace. Commander Nishibun and Major Hayashi attended and updated us on the Micronesian youth gangs targeting seniors with purse snatching. Alan Hakoda and I passed out 1200 personal security alarms to seniors at various locations and explained how these $3 gadgets work. Folks were delighted someone cared to spend money worrying about their safety. Chinatown issues continue to have an increase in homeless individuals with substance abuse, mental health issues, and some have violent episodes that include sit-lie violations, drunkenness, and fights. We started American Guard Service in City buildings, but also included guard coverage on Pauahi and North Hotel between River and Maunakea Streets. The Rail/HART work plans for the Chinatown rail station were discussed and Chinatown asked for ramps in place of stairs. CBCA continues to monitor patrol Kekaulike Mall, as well as Hotel, Pauahi, and King Streets, and reports to our Chinatown Team where we share info and data with each other and HPD. We had incidents of illegal trash dumpers and this has led to some unsanitary conditions which the Department of Environmental Services eventually took care of. We are working with Connie Mitchel of the Institute for Human Services to see if she can place some folks into the ACT program as more action is needed on this front to provide drug and mental health treatment to chronically sick people. The next CBCA meeting will be held at 10:00 a.m. on 10 March 2020 at Golden Palace.
Chinatown Watch -
• City Guards Service: Private security guards hired by the City have been patrolling the public spaces around certain City-owned properties in Chinatown since 3 February 2020. Illegal activity at these sites is reduced, and residents and users of these City buildings report feeling safer when the guards are present. The City Guards, contracted by DLM, patrol daily from 5:00 a.m. to midnight. Currently, they cover known problem areas along North Hotel and North Pauahi Streets. Reports from Pauahi Street are positive. Staff at Pauahi Senior Rec Center noted an immediate, significant drop in violence, swearing, and human waste around the building. The manager of a nearby residence said their residents say "it is more peaceful and definitely safer, though some still hear loud screaming and fighting at night. However, the majority no longer feel fearful to step outside." Hotel Street is reporting some improvements, but there are some procedures that need clarification and tightening. A citizens' working group made up of CID, CBCA, Chinatown Watch members and others will meet with our HPD commander and the DLM team on Wednesday 4 March 2020 to review progress and discuss improvements needed. We appreciate DLM's willingness to incorporate our feedback to help ensure that the City Guards program works as intended. Getting this pilot phase right will make it easier for the City to keep funding greater Chinatown security in fiscal year 2020-2021.
• Poor Sanitation Fuels Coronavirus Fear: Chinatown citizens already struggle with blight in our community. Now, the threat of an infectious disease pandemic coming to Hawaii makes it even more urgent to solve Chinatown's sanitation problems. Community members are expressing concern that a potential coronavirus outbreak will be made worse by the large homeless population living on our streets without sanitation. Our state Department of Health and the CDC urge citizens to practice good hygiene to avoid contaminating self and others and to stay home if ill. However, by definition, unsheltered people are unlikely to follow CDC guidelines. How can someone who lives at a bus stop self-quarantine at home? Someone who defecates in a doorway is probably not washing his or her hands afterwards. Further, many of the Chinatown homeless are mentally ill and/or addicts. They are generally not making healthy choices for themselves or for society. When they leave human waste and contaminated trash in our public spaces, it not only causes economic harm; it puts everyone else at risk for diseases caused by human transmission. What are our government leaders doing to prevent unsheltered populations from vectoring COVID-19 and other infectious diseases throughout our communities? Along with immediate medical outreach and a far more robust cleaning regimen, we urge the City to stop letting people use our public and private spaces as toilets and rubbish cans.
• Graffiti: The City-owned elevator building on Pauahi Street has been covered with graffiti since last spring. A photo of the defaced City building was first posted to ChinatownWatch.com on 28 June 2019. The poster of the photo noted that it had been in this condition for months. Nothing has changed since then, except now the glass door is broken and has a board taped to it. We urge the City to consider the signal you send to residents and visitors as well as the vandals when you neglect your own property for so long, especially one that is so visible and used daily. We urge the City agency that manages this property to correct this situation without further delay.
• Actions that City Administrators Can Take: Inform the public of your action plan to prevent community transmission of coronavirus via unsheltered populations. Mobilize sanitation crews to thoroughly clean Chinatown's public spaces daily. Do not continue to let homeless / mentally ill / substance abusers live like animals on the streets. Fund stabilization beds, psychiatric facilities, treatment centers, and supportive housing away from Chinatown. Provide all additional funding needed to support HPD in protecting Chinatown's citizens. Move River of Life Mission's feeding operation to Iwilei this year. Revoke the licenses of liquor stores that sell alcohol to homeless and mentally ill substance abusers. Clean graffiti from City properties as soon as it is discovered. Be an active, present landlord at your Chinatown properties. Find and vet responsible tenants for your vacant spaces. Lease to tenants who support a healthy neighborhood, not diminish it. Actively manage the properties. Be on site at least weekly. Fix the broken things. Keep it clean. Make it safe. Listen to tenants and community concerns and act on them. Work with the Chinatown community to truly understand and collaboratively solve our district's problems.
• Actions that Concerned Citizens Can Take: Call 911 to report violations. Talk to your neighbors about the problems. Encourage them to call 911, too. Post incidents anonymously to ChinatownWatch.com. Urge the City Council and Mayor Caldwell to fund private security patrols for all of Downtown-Chinatown's public spaces. Contact Councilmember Fukunaga's office to report incidents in your area. Email email@example.com or call (808) 768-5006. Support HPD deploying police foot and bike patrols 24/7 throughout Downtown-Chinatown. Get some neighbors together to meet with the HPD's Community Policing team. Call the CPT office at (808) 732-3927. A strong community partnership with HPD is good for everyone. 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. To order Chinatown Watch window signs for your business, email ChinatownWatch@gmail.com.
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