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

Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board No. 13


February 2022 Minutes





CALL TO ORDER: Chair Pro Tem Laura Sturges called the Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board No. 13 meeting to order at 6:04 p.m. Quorum was established with seven (7) members present. Note: This nine-member Board requires five (5) members to establish quorum and to take official Board action.

Members Present: Robert Armstrong, Ernest Caravalho, Ara Laylo, Kevin Lye, Kevin McDonald, Lori McCarney, Laura Sturges, Sean Fitzsimmons (6:07 p.m.), Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock (6:15 p.m.).

Members Absent: None.

Guests: Captain Sean Arakaki (Honolulu Fire Department); Steven Norstrom (Board of Water Supply); Ian Santee (Mayor Blangiardi's Representative); Councilmember Carol Fukunaga, Janelle Villanueva; Brent Lopianetzky (Senator Rhoads's Representative); Layce Yamauchi (Representative Saiki's Office); Kara Miller (Piko Dance); Teri Skillman (Hawaii Arts Alliance); Marc Lowe, Cecilia Fong, Noe Tanigawa, Lea Hong, Maria Roth-Tijerina, Sami Akuna, Lloyd White, Ikaika Hussey (Residents); Executive Secretary Lloyd Yonenaka, Deputy Dylan Whitsell, Dylan Buck (Neighborhood Commission Office). There were 34 total attendees.


Election of Board Officers: Lye MOVED and Armstrong SECONDED the Motion to defer the Election of Board Officers until after the Public Safety Reports - HFD & HPD. The Motion PASSED by Unanimous Consent; 7-0-0 (Aye: Armstrong, Caravalho, Laylo, Lye, McDonald, McCarney, Sturges; Nay: None; Abstain: None).

Fitzsimmons joined the meeting at 6:07 p.m.; eight (8) members present.


Honolulu Fire Department (HFD): Captain Sean Arakaki reported statistics and a safety tip for visible home numbers, found at

Questions, comments, and concerns followed.

1. Kamali'i Mini Park: Lye asked and Captain Arakaki responded that he will provide an update on the fencing contract at the next meeting.

2. Monthly Statistics: Armstrong requested that future HFD monthly reports include the previous month's statistics to identify any trends. McCarney volunteered to create an annual trend graph if the statistics were provided to her. McDonald echoed Armstrong's request and focused on the previous year's statistics rather than previous months.

Honolulu Police Department (HPD): No representative present, statistics found at

Sturges MOVED and Caravalho SECONDED the Motion to add Executive Secretary Lloyd Yonenaka to the agenda to speak on the Election of Officers. The Motion PASSED by Unanimous Consent; 8-0-0 (Aye: Armstrong, Caravalho, Laylo, Lye, McDonald, McCarney, Sturges; Nay: None; Abstain: None).


Election of Board Officers: Executive Secretary Lloyd Yonenaka reported that the decision to allow for Board members to abstain from voting when electing officers was made by him and supported by the Neighborhood Plan. Yonenaka provided examples from past elections to further clarify his reasoning behind the voting process. Yonenaka concluded by stating that the Neighborhood Commission Office's mission is to let each Neighborhood Board decide what is right for themselves and for their communities.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed. Opposed: Lye expressed his interpretation of the Neighborhood Plan and welcomed further discussion on the issue with Yonenaka.

Shubert-Kwock joined the meeting at 6:16 p.m.; nine (9) members present.

Chair: Lye nominated McDonald for Chair, McDonald accepted. Sturges nominated Caravalho for Chair, Caravalho accepted. Shubert-Kwock nominated Sturges for Chair, Sturges accepted. Hearing no other nominations, the Board took a roll-call vote. Sturges was elected Chair and resigned from her Treasurer position; 6-2-1 (Sturges: Armstrong, Fitzsimmons, Laylo, McCarney, Shubert-Kwock, Sturges; McDonald: Lye, McDonald; Caravalho: Caravalho).

Secretary: Shubert-Kwock nominated Caravalho for Secretary, Caravalho declined. McCarney nominated Lye for Secretary, Lye declined. Hearing no other nominations, the item was deferred to the next meeting.

Treasurer: Lye self-nominated for Treasurer. Hearing no other nominations, the Board took a roll-call vote. Lye was elected Treasurer; 8-1-0 (Aye: Armstrong, Caravalho, Fitzsimmons, Laylo, Lye, McDonald, McCarney, Sturges; Nay: Shubert-Kwock; Abstain: None).


Neighborhood Citizen Patrol: Lye presented images and reported observations by the patrol during the prior month, including Lye inviting the public to walk with the patrol on Tuesday evenings, departing at 7:00 p.m. from the Diamond Head Tower lobby of Kukui Plaza. Please be advised that the departure time has been changed to 7:00 p.m.


Board of Water Supply (BWS): Steven Norstrom reported the following.

• Breaks: There was a 12 inch water main break on Ala Moana Boulevard on Wednesday, January 12, 2022.

• General Announcements: The BWS report, general announcements, and additional information can be found at:

Questions, comments, and concerns followed.

1. Gratitude: Armstrong expressed his gratitude for BWS's leadership with the Red Hill issues.

2. Service Fee: Lye asked and Norstrom responded that no service fees will be charged to customers when paying their bills with credit cards.

Safe Haven: No representative present.

Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization (OahuMPO) Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC): Caravalho reported that the Department of Hawaiian Homelands (DHHL) submitted a Bill that will turn over their roads to the City and County of Honolulu, making the City and County of Honolulu responsible for maintaining those roads. Caravalho noted that most of OMPO's focus lately has been on West O'ahu projects, and that complaints have been made regarding the lack of public notice and sufficient time for testimony submissions.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed. Neighboring Boards: Armstrong asked and Caravalho responded that he has reached out to the Nu'uanu and Kalihi-Palama Neighborhood Boards to share information with them.


Mayor Rick Blangiardi's Representative: Ian Santee [] provided responses for several questions asked at the previous meeting, and was available to take questions.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed.

1. Restrictions: Sturges asked and Santee responded that has all of the current Covid-19 restrictions listed.

2. Free Masks: Sturges asked and Santee responded that it is most likely the federal government who will be supplying the public with free masks.

3. Free Covid-19 Testing: Shubert-Kwock noted that the City and County of Honolulu has set up a free Covid-19 testing site located behind the Chinatown Police Substation, open from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

4. CORE Program: McCarney asked and Santee responded that the CORE Program currently has about 15 employees (identified by red shirts) that patrol the Chinatown area Monday through Friday to address the homeless' needs and mental health challenges. Armstrong noted that the program appears to be improving the community so far and thanked Santee for his participation in that. Lye commented that the integration of the program does not seem to be complete across the involved departments. Santee responded that the CORE Program can be reached at (808) 768-CORE, but emergencies should be directed to 9-1-1.

5. Creative City Event: Laylo asked if the Creative City Event on River Street will be in-person and what funds the City and County of Honolulu will be allocating to the event. Santee responded that he will follow up on that.

6. Potholes: McDonald asked and Santee responded that the Department of Facility Maintenance (DFM) handles pothole repairs and the Pothole Report Line is (808) 768-7777. Santee added that the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) handles the repaving of City roads.

Councilmember Carol Fukunaga (District 6): Councilmember Fukunaga [] and Janelle Villanueva reported that May 2022 is the deadline for older condominium properties (subject to the fire sprinkler requirement - Bill 37) to meet the requirements. Councilmember Fukunaga thanked the First Assembly of God Metro congregation for their beautification campaign in the heart of Chinatown, and provided updates on past concerns.

Senator Karl Rhoads (District 13): Brent Lopianetzky reported on Senator Rhoads's newsletter, feral bird removal, Hawaii Theatre's capital improvement project, the Omicron variant, Covid-19 booster shots, Covid-19 vaccination clinics, and the Department of Health launching in-home Covid-19 vaccinations.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed.

1. Attendance: McDonald commented that Senator Rhoads's attendance at these meetings are especially important since the Legislature is in session.

2. River of Life: Lye asked and Lopianetzky responded that the River of Life organization is moving out of Chinatown in the near future.

3. Past Comments: Tijerina asked about Senator Rhoads's comments at a previous meeting.

Representative Scott Saiki (District 26): Layce Yamauchi distributed Representative Saiki's newsletter to all the Board members and was available to take questions.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed.

1. Meeting Attendance: McDonald commented that Representative Saiki's attendance at these meetings are especially important since the Legislature is in session. Fitzsimmons noted that Yamauchi has attended the past several meetings as Representative Saiki's representative.

2. Targeting: Shubert-Kwock commented that this Board should not target our elected officials. Armstrong noted that the elected officials are paid a salary to represent their constituents and should be held accountable. McDonald commented that this is the venue for the elected officials to listen and respond to the public.

Representative Daniel Holt (District 29): No representative present.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed. Elected Officials: Armstrong requested that State Officials be included on the agenda.


CBCA Announcement: Shubert-Kwock announced that the Chinatown Business Community Association (CBCA) will be meeting at Golden Palace on Tuesday, February 8, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. The CBCA meets on the second Tuesday of the month and are joined by City Officials, HPD, Chinatown Stakeholders, and residents.

Piko Dance Arts: Kara Miller announced that Mark's Garage is hosting four (4) performances by Piko Dance Arts on Friday, March 4, 2022 and Saturday, March 5, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. The performance will be located on the Hawaii Theatre sidewalk with an audience of about 75 people.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed.

1. Safety: Armstrong asked about public safety concerns regarding traffic and HPD presence.

2. Gratitude: McDonald expressed his gratitude for the organization bringing events back to Chinatown.

3. Cost: Shubert-Kwock asked and Miller responded that there are three (3) parts to the show, including indoor and outdoor showings, and only the indoor showing will have a fee.


River of Life Mission: No representative present.

Laylo MOVED and Fitzsimmons SECONDED the Motion to add a presentation on the Arts Festival to agenda item VII.


1. Opposed: Lye noted the Neighborhood Plan's rules about adding items to the agenda during the meeting. Shubert-Kwock echoed Lye's comments. Armstrong asked and Laylo responded that the Arts Festival is on Saturday, April 23, 2022. Lye commented that if the Board decides to recognize the Arts Festival tonight that it should be listed under ‘Public Concerns' and the time limit should be extended.

2. In Support: McDonald noted that a speaker from the Hawaii Arts Alliance is prepared to address the Board.

The Motion PASSED; 6-3-0 (Aye: Caravalho, Fitzsimmons, Laylo, McDonald, McCarney, Sturges; Nay: Armstrong, Lye, Shubert-Kwock; Abstain: None).

Arts Festival: Teri Skillman (Executive Director of Hawaii Arts Alliance - HAA) presented that the HAA promotes observing the nationally designated months of April (Arts Advocacy Month) and October (Arts & Humanities Month) as the two (2) festival months. The event will take place on Saturday, April 23, 2022 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. along Nu'uanu Avenue from Chaplain Lane to King Street. The following streets will be closed for the festival: Nu'uanu Avenue from Chaplain Lane to King Street; Pauhai Street half block Diamondhead side and half block Ewa side. The Hawaii Arts Alliance is requesting the City and County of Honolulu's full support to orchestrate this event.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed.

1. In Support: Laylo noted that Skillman did her due diligence by submitting her requests months in advance.

2. Street Closure: McCarney asked and Skillman responded Nu'uanu Avenue, from Chaplain Lane to King Street, would be affected by the street closure.

3. Daytime Events: Shubert-Kwock expressed her gratitude for Skillman's efforts to facilitate a daytime Art Festival because it reduces alcohol-induced problems that have occurred at later events in the neighborhood. Laylo commented that afternoon events like these would encourage locals to enjoy the Arts Festival while supporting local businesses.

4. Bar/Restaurant Community: McDonald noted his support of this event, but reminded the public that this community is strongly supported by the bar and restaurant community.

5. Neighborhood Plan: Armstrong reiterated the rules laid out in the Neighborhood Plan regarding adding items to the agenda during the meeting and recommended that the Board vote on this issue at the next meeting. Sturges agreed with Armstrong's recommendation. Lye encouraged more information about this event to be distributed as to avoid the same presentation at the next meeting. Caravalho called for the vote.

Laylo MOVED and McCarney SECONDED the Motion to support the Arts Festival event on Saturday, April 23, 2022. The Motion PASSED; 5-2-2 (Aye: Caravalho, Fitzsimmons, Laylo, McDonald, McCarney; Nay: Armstrong, Lye; Abstain: Shubert-Kwock, Sturges).


Approval of Thursday, December 2, 2021 Regular Meeting Minutes: Lye MOVED and McDonald SECONDED the Motion to adopt the minutes as amended by Lye.

Discussion: Amendments: McCarney commented her support of Lye's amendments and noted that the grammatical errors do not change what took place at the meeting. Shubert-Kwock commented that Lye's amendments are extensive.

Armstrong MOVED and Lye SECONDED the subsidiary motion to defer the adoption of the Thursday, December 2, 2021 meeting minutes until the next meeting. The Motion PASSED; 8-1-0 (Aye: Armstrong, Caravalho, Fitzsimmons, Laylo, Lye, McDonald, Shubert-Kwock, Sturges; Nay: McCarney; Abstain: None).

Treasurer's Report: The remaining balance was $274.35.

Board Member Concerns

New Leadership: Armstrong expressed his eagerness to get the Board back on track now that a Chair has been elected. McDonald echoed Armstrong's comments and congratulated Sturges for being elected as Chair. McCarney echoed Armstrong and McDonald's comments and thanked Sturges for stepping up.

Minutes: Lye noted that the Neighborhood Assistant (NA) departs the meeting after three (3) hours and that the Chair assumes responsibility for drafting the remaining minutes. McCarney suggested that the Board adopt a cut off time at the three (3) hour mark. Lye added that previously amended minutes from 2021 have yet to be posted to NCO's website and NA Buck responded that NCO has a policy that Lye refuses to acknowledge.

Future Items for Board Consideration:

Upcoming Speakers: Lye noted that he had a list of interested speakers when his term as Chairman ended, and he will share that with Chair Sturges.

Red Light Cameras: Armstrong commented that the inclusion of the Red Light Cameras in the community is a significant issue that will require additional speaking time and a presentation from the City. McCarney noted that it is a State program.


Next Regular Meeting: The next Downtown - Chinatown Neighborhood Board No.13 is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, 2022.

Rebroadcast: Rebroadcasts of Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board 13 meetings are scheduled on ‘ lelo channel 49 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 upon searching on .

Neighborhood Citizen Patrol: The Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Citizen Patrol departs on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. from the Diamond Head tower lobby of Kukui Plaza. Please wear a mask, bring a friend, join the patrol, and help identify areas of concern within our Downtown-Chinatown community.

Archive: Find an archive of handouts and referenced materials apropos to Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board 13 here.

ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 9:18 p.m.

Submitted by: Dylan Buck, Neighborhood Assistant

Reviewed by: Dylan Whitsell, Deputy

Final approval by: Laura Sturges, Chair

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