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

Downtown Chinatown Neighborhood Board No. 13

 

May 2022 Minutes

 

DRAFT REGULAR MEETING MINUTES

THURSDAY, MAY 5, 2022

6:00 P.M. HYBRID VIA WEBEX

CALL TO ORDER: Chair Laura Sturges called the Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board No. 13 meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Quorum was NOT established with four (4) members present. Note: This nine-member Board requires five (5) members to establish quorum and to take official Board action.

Members Present: Robert Armstrong, Kevin Lye, Lori McCarney, Laura Sturges, and Kevin McDonald (6:03 p.m.).

Members Absent: Ernest Caravalho, Sean Fitzsimmons, Ara Laylo, and Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock.

Guests: Firefighter III Nathan Lee (Honolulu Fire Department); Lieutenant Arnold Sagucio (Honolulu Police Department); Greg Payton (Mental Health Kokua); Lynell Yuu, Traci Toguchi (Councilmember Carol Fukunaga's Office); Senator Rhoads; Clint Kalaola (King Kamehameha Celebration Commission); Sandra Pohl (Downtown Art Center); Harry Cho, Patrick Watson, Johnny Reid (Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation); Lauren Taylor (American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii); Ikaika Hussey, Lloyd White, Maria Roth-Tijerina, Chance Na'auao-Ota, Alicia Salta (Residents); Executive Secretary Lloyd Yonenaka, Travis Saito, and Dylan Buck (Neighborhood Commission Office). There were 32 total attendees.

PUBLIC SAFETY REPORTS

Honolulu Fire Department (HFD): Firefighter III Lee reported the following.

• April 2022 Statistics: There were two (2) structure fires, four (4) nuisance fires, five (5) activated alarms (no fire), 126 medical emergencies, and two (2) motor vehicle collisions.

• Safety Tip: Fire sprinklers save lives and property. Visit https://fire.honolulu.gov/ to learn more.

McDonald joined the meeting at 6:03 p.m.; Quorum was established with five (5) members present.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed.

1. Statistics Link: Lye asked if HFD could provide a hyperlink that takes the viewer directly to their monthly statistics report on their website to include in the minutes. FF3 Lee responded that he will follow up.

2. Kamalii Mini Park: Lye inquired about the ownership status of the Kamalii Mini Park as HFD announced at a previous meeting that they are no longer interested in owning the park due to associated costs.

Honolulu Police Department (HPD): Lieutenant Sagucio reported the following.

• April 2022 Statistics: There were 11 motor vehicle thefts, seven (7) burglaries, 65 thefts, 26 vehicle break-ins, 34 assaults, one (1) sexual assaults, four (4) graffiti offenses, 12 drug offenses, and 2,188 calls for service.

• Safety Tip: Be aware of your belongings and surroundings to avoid being a victim of theft. Visit https://www.honolulupd.org/ to learn more.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed.

1. Security Cameras: Armstrong commented that it is time to fix the broken security cameras.

2. Graffiti: Armstrong commented that this Board adopted a Graffiti Resolution that would treat spray paint in stores the same way they treat cough medicine, by locking it up so that it is not shoplifted.

3. Trespassing: Lye asked if every time HPD responds to a trespassing complaint the trespasser is given a warning by HPD and allowed to leave freely and Lieutenant Sagucio responded yes.

4. Assault on Security Gaurd: McDonald asked and Lieutenant Sagucio responded that the recent assault case is being invested and details cannot be shared at this time.

5. Legislation: McDonald asked what the public can do to help HPD in their efforts to keep repeat offenders off the streets and Lieutenant Sagucio responded that the community should work with their elected officials to create better laws. Roth-Tijerina asked if the community should focus on contacting the Judiciary Committee and Lieutenant Sagucio responded that it is a collective effort of all parties.

6. Background Checks: White asked and Lieutenant Sagucio responded that HPD Officers need probable cause in order to request someone's identification and run their name through the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).

7. Bail Bill: Taylor opined that bail does not address the issue of holding people accountable and seems to target people with less money than others. Lieutenant Sagucio responded that bail exists as a means of ensuring that these people show up to court.

Lye MOVED to amend the agenda to include the approval of the Thursday, December 2, 2021 Regular Meeting Minutes in agenda item VIII.C. As a motion to amend the agenda requires a 2/3's vote of the Board, unless duly noticed at the previous meeting, and the Board does not have enough members present for a 2/3's vote, Neighborhood Assistant Buck advised against the Board taking action on this motion at this time. Lye deferred consideration of this motion until enough members joined the meeting to take action.

ELECTION OF BOARD OFFICERS [Secretary]: Hearing no nominations, this item was deferred to the next meeting.

MONTHLY REPORTS

Board of Water Supply (BWS): No representative present.

Safe Haven: Greg Payton [gpayton@mhkhawaii.org] reported that Mental Health Kokua (MHK) Safe Haven program is making progress with the City to relocate Safe Haven out of Chinatown within the next few months. An official announcement of the relocation should be distributed mid-summer 2022. From January 2022 through April 2022 MHK has placed 38 residentially challenged people suffering from mental health issues off the streets, plus the 25 individuals living at Safe Haven. MHK typically places about 100 people off the streets per year. The Punawai Rest Stop in Iwilei currently serves about 240 people every day and about 2,500 unduplicated people per year.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed. Unidentified Building: A resident inquired about a building that was constructed to serve the residentially challenged population, but was built poorly and therefore is not able to serve its purpose. Payton could not comment on the alleged building because the resident could not provide the name or location of the alleged building.

Chinatown Business Community Association (CBCA): No representative present, a report was submitted.

Chinatown Improvement District: No representative present, a report was submitted.

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 the second Tuesday of every month, departing at 7:00 p.m. from the Diamond Head Tower lobby of Kukui Plaza. Please bring a friend, join the patrol, and help identify areas of concern within the community.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed. Beautification: Armstrong echoed Lye's one-way trash can proposal and suggested that they should be attractively designed to reflect the culture of Chinatown.

PUBLIC CONCERNS

Street Closures: Don Murphy (Murphy's Bar & Grille) announced that he will be on the June 2022 agenda to ask for the Board's support of the temporary closure of Merchant Street, between Nuuanu & Bethel Street, for Murphy's Bar & Grille to host three (3) separate fundraising events. The first event is a Saturday in June 2022 for the Hawaii Children's Cancer Foundation Fundraiser. The next event will be in August 2022 to support the University of Hawaii's Football Program. The last event will be the Ronald McDonald Gift Wrap Night.

ACLU: Lauren Tyler announced the following. The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii (ACLU) is a private, non-profit, non-partisan organization that has been protecting the civil rights and civil liberties of the Hawaiian Islands, Guam and American Samoa since its inception in 1965. With help from community partners and volunteers, the ACLU of Hawai‘i works to ensure that the government does not violate fundamental constitutional rights of everyone, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, gender expression, sexual orientation, or anything else. ACLU's policy priorities this legislative session are focused on no new jails, a clean slate opportunity for those who have been formerly incarcerated, pre-trial bail reform, and parole and probation reform. According to the Department of Public Safety (DPS), about 90% of OCCC's population is being held pre-trial or has been revoked from probation largely due to non-criminal violations. For more information visit: https://www.acluhi.org/en or email Lauren at: ltaijeron@acluhawaii.org

HART Announcement: Harry Cho and Patrick Watson announced the following. The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) recently awarded a portion of the City's Center Utilities Relocation (CCUR) contract to the Frank V. Coluccio Construction Company (FVCCC). Construction is anticipated to begin in the Downtown-Chinatown area as early as mid-June 2022. The main objective of the contract is to perform the necessary utility relocation work that must be completed prior to construction of the future Guideways and Stations contract. HART requested that they be added to this Board's agenda for future meetings and they will be providing monthly updates. Watson (Public Information Manager at Honua Consulting Company - HCC) is representing FVCCC on the work that they are about to commence on the CCUR Phase III contract. Watson invited the public to attend HCC's first CCUR Phase III Business and Community Meeting on Friday, May 20, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. via Zoom. Registration Link: https://bit.ly/HARTPhase3. Sign up for the CCUR III eBlast: http://eepurl.com/h1g2W5. You can also email ccur3@honuaconsulting.com for more information.

Campaigning: Robert Armstrong announced that he is running as a Democrat for House Seat 28.

Neighborhood Boards Working Together: Ken Farm, Chair of the No.15 Kalihi-Palama Neighborhood Board, announced that he would like to work with this Board in order to establish synergy between the neighboring communities because some presentations are shared with the No.13 Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board that are not shared with the No.15 Kalihi-Palama Neighborhood Board, even though it will dominantly affect the No.15 Kalihi-Palama Neighborhood Board.

ELECTED OFFICIALS

Governor David Ige's Representative: No representative present.

Mayor Rick Blangiardi's Representative: No representative present.

• Mayor's Newsletter: https://www.oneoahu.org/newsletter

• Fiscal Recovery Fund Information: https://www.oneoahu.org/frf

Councilmember Carol Fukunaga (District 6): Lynell Yuu reported on Councilmember Fukunaga's monthly newsletter, which can be found at: https://tinyurl.com/CMFukunagaNB13RptMay

Questions, comments, and concerns followed. Cinco De Mayo: McDonald noted hearing that Councilmember Fukunaga submitted testimony against the Cinco De Mayo Celebration street closures and asked why she would submit testimony against an event that brings activity and commerce to Chinatown.

Senator Karl Rhoads (District 13): Senator Rhoads reported the following: $350,000 in Capital Improvement Project funds was released for renovations and improvements to the Iolani Palace; $180,000 in Capital Improvement Project funds was released for replacement of the fire suppression system at the Archives Division of the Kekauluohi Building; $70,000 in Capital Improvement Project funds was released for a backup generator for the Archives Division of the Kekauluohi Building; $4.73 million in Capital Improvement Project funds was released for athletic field improvements at McKinley High School; $151,000 in Grant-In-Aid for Fiscal Year 2023, was awarded to the Downtown Art Center; $250,000 in Grant-In-Aid for Fiscal Year 2023, was awarded to the Hawaii Theatre Center. Senator Rhoads also reported follow up responses to questions asked at previous meetings. To contact Senator Rhoads's Office call 808-586-6130 or email senrhoads@capitol.hawaii.gov

Questions, comments, and concerns followed.

1. Legislation: Armstrong asked if Senator Rhoads could identify two (2) or three (3) things from this legislative session that he was disappointed did not move or get passed that he worked on. Senator Rhoads responded that he was disappointed with the lack of funding for the Department of Health's focus on assisting the mentally ill, and with the failure of House Bill 1823, relating to medically assisted death, to pass.

2. Feral Bird Contraceptive: Lye asked for an update on the House Concurrent Resolution 78 (HCR78), regarding an oral contraceptive for feral birds, and Senator Rhoads responded that he believes it did not pass.

3. HB1567: Lye asked, in regards to House Bill 1567, how can we promote or maintain the concept that there is some form of disincentive to do bad things in the first place. Senator Rhoads responded with reasons why bail is a form of pre-trial punishment. Lye asked if ankle monitors would be effective and Senator Rhoads responded yes but they are not free.

4. Addressing the Homeless: McDonald asked what laws Senator Rhoads worked on to help reduce the amount of crime and homelessness in the community and Senator Rhoads responded that he was largely responsible for the Assisted Community Treatment (ACT) program, sides with prosecutors 80% of the time, and supported affordable housing projects.

5. Conflict of Interest: Roth-Tijerina inquired about a potential conflict of interest for Senator Rhoads to verbally support his former employer and Senator Rhoads responded that he has not worked for his former employer in 20 years, and has not spoken to him in over 15 years, so there is no conflict of interest.

6. Food Stamps: White noted how Florida handled their surge of out-of-state homeless individuals with required criminal background checks, in order to receive food stamps and asked why Hawaii doesn't do the same thing. Senator Rhoads responded that food stamps fall under federal jurisdiction and he tried to enact a one (1) year waiting period for food stamps but his proposals were denied.

Representative Scott Saiki (District 26): No representative present.

Representative Daniel Holt (District 28): No representative present.

NEW BUSINESS / PRESENTATIONS

King Kamehameha Celebration: Clint Kalaola, King Kamehameha Celebration Parade Chair, presented the following. The Annual King Kamehameha Statue Lei Draping will take place from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Friday, June 10, 2022 at Ali iolani Hale. The 105th Annual King Kamehameha Celebration Floral Parade will take place at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 11, 2022. As in years past, the parade will take a route beginning at King Street fronting Iolani Palace. Participants will then head down Punchbowl Street, before making a left on to Ala Moana Boulevard and eventually Kal kaua Avenue. The parade comes to a finish at Monsarrat Avenue and Queen Kapi‘olani Park. Streets will begin to close in Downtown Honolulu at 7:30 a.m., with closures coinciding as the Parade moves along the route, several blocks before its approach. The Parade is expected to reach Kapi olani Park around 11:30 a.m. The patience and consideration by residents, retail establishments, and the public along the parade route during this process is greatly appreciated. Following the parade, the public is invited to enjoy live music, food and more at the King Kamehameha Celebration Ho‘olaule‘a at Kapi olani Park from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed.

1. Staging Closures: McCarney asked if the early staging process will require additional street closures before the parade begins and Kalaola responded that they are working with the City to build the floats at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center, escort them to Aloha Tower Marketplace at 7:00 a.m., and send them down Bishop Street at 8:00 a.m., which will require Bishop Street to be closed from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. McCarney asked if the residents affected by these street closures have been notified and Kalaola responded yes.

2. Website: Armstrong asked and Kalaola responded that more information can be found at: https://sfca.hawaii.gov/resources/king-kamehameha-celebration-commission/

3. Organization's Location: Lye asked if the King Kamehameha Celebration Commission (KKCC) office is located at King and Iwilei and Kalaola responded yes. Lye asked how the Iwilei Civic Center will affect KKCC and Kalaola responded that the question should be directed to the Executive Director, Amy Hammond.

Mural Project on Fort Street Mall Telephone Kiosk: Sandra Pohl presented the following. At Fort Street Mall there are five (5) kiosks, originally designed to house public pay phones, which have fallen into disrepair over the years. The community has proposed to paint attractive murals on these kiosks as a beautification effort. This is a $12,000 project funded by citizens, nonprofits, and organizations. The Mayor's Office of Culture and the Arts (MOCA) has already approved the project and recommended that the organizers receive approval of this Neighborhood Board.

Armstrong MOVED and Lye SECONDED the motion to support the Mural Project on Fort Street Mall Telephone Kiosks.

Discussion:

1. Graffiti: Lye asked and Pohl responded that Sherwin Williams Anti-Graffiti paint will be used which means that a simple power washing will remove any unwanted graffiti.

2. QR Codes and Hashtags: McCarney asked and Pohl responded that she will take back the QR code and hashtag ideas as part of the planning process.

3. Mounting: Lye asked and Pohl responded that a 4 foot by 8 foot sheet of plywood will be painted with the mural and mounted onto the kiosk.

4. On-Going Costs: Lye asked and Pohl responded that the on-going costs will be assumed by the Fort Street Mall Business Improvement District Association.

Hearing no further discussion and no objections, the motion PASSED by Unanimous Consent.

BOARD BUSINESS

Conference of Chairs - Appoint a Designee: Chair Sturges noted that this item was originally added to the agenda because she was not certain that she could make it to the Conference of Chairs (CoC) meeting on Saturday, May 14, 2022, however, she is now certain that she will be attending the CoC. In the event that Chair Sturges cannot make it, she asked if anyone from the Board would like to volunteer to represent her. Lye volunteered and Chair Sturges appointed him as her designee.

Red Hill Fuel Tanks Decommissioning - Resolution: Deferred to next meeting.

Approval of Regular Meeting Minutes: Thursday, March 3, 2022 & Thursday, April 7, 2022: Lye provided amendments to both of the drafted minutes.

Lye MOVED and Armstrong SECONDED the motion to approve the Thursday, March 3, 2022 minutes as amended by Lye. Hearing no objections, the motion PASSED by Unanimous Consent.

Lye MOVED and Armstrong SECONDED the motion to approve the Thursday, April 7, 2022 minutes as amended by Lye. Hearing no objections, the motion PASSED by Unanimous Consent.

Treasurer's Report: Lye noted an error in the Treasurer's Report as the calculations were off by one (1) cent. The remaining balance was $222.63.

Board Member Concerns

1. Rebroadcasting: Lye raised his concerns with the physical absence of the audio-visual contractors at this meeting. Armstrong opined that the Board should request a rebate from the contractors for not receiving the full services they pay for.

2. Time Keeper: Lye suggested that Chair Sturges utilize Sergeant-at-Arms McDonald as the time keeper for future meetings.

3. Order & Decorum: McDonald thanked Chair Sturges for stepping in and taking control of the meeting when conversations got out of hand.

Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization (OahuMPO) Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC): No representative present.

Motion to amend something previously adopted: Cinco De Mayo Cultural Celebration Fundraiser Block Party - Kevin Lye: Lye announced that the information presented to this Board by representatives of Hank's Café Honolulu may not have been entirely true. Lye noted that this motion should not be a reflection of the event at hand but instead be used to set the standard for future presenters to report nothing but the truth.

Lye MOVED and Armstrong SECONDED the motion to amend the Board's previously adopted support of the Cinco De Mayo Cultural Celebration Fundraiser Block Party.

Discussion: Violation: Lye noted that the representatives from Hank's Café Honolulu told the Board that there were no fines issued to them by the Honolulu Liquor Commission (HLC) as a result of their 2019 Cinco De Mayo Festival, however, the HLC's website shows that a fine of $1,000.00 was issued on Sunday, May 5, 2019. Armstrong commented that there has to be a penalty for the misleading information presented to this Board by Hank's Café Honolulu. McDonald raised his concerns with the motion and inquired if the HLC dismissed the fine after a hearing was held. Armstrong echoed his previous comment that there must be repercussions for misleading this Board. McCarney commented potential solutions to this problem and noted that she does not want to rescind her vote of support until all the facts are presented.

Lye MOVED and McDonald SECONDED the motion to withdraw consideration of this item until the next meeting in June 2022. Hearing no objections, the motion PASSED by Unanimous Consent.

Motion imploring the City & County of Honolulu Managing Director to ensure that the Neighborhood Commission abides by the Neighborhood Plan - Kevin Lye: Lye opined that the rights of the citizens and constituents of this district may have been restricted. Lye cited Neighborhood Plan Section 2-11-401, which states that if a question arises about an action of the Neighborhood Commission that they are permitted to file a request for an explanation of that.

Lye MOVED and McDonald SECONDED the motion imploring the City & County of Honolulu Managing Director to ensure that the Neighborhood Commission abides by the Neighborhood Plan.

Discussion: Proposed Remedy: Lye noted that the Neighborhood Commission advised him that instead of filing complaints he should try to act within the Board itself to find a remedy, so the proposed remedy (without filing a suit against the City) is to request that the Managing Director investigate the concerns raised with the Neighborhood Commission and to let the Boards know that the Neighborhood Plan is intact. McDonald noted his support of this motion and commented that the Neighborhood Commission does not let people speak at the meetings and cuts people off in the middle of their testimonies.

Hearing no objections, the motion PASSED by Unanimous Consent.

Future Items for Board Consideration

1. Lack of Presentations: McCarney raised concerns with the fact that several events affecting the community have recently occurred without a formal presentation or notice to this Board.

2. HPD Legislative Liaison: McDonald inquired if Chair Sturges could reach out to HPD's Legislative Liaison requesting that they attend one of these meetings to provide information on how the Board can help HPD make this community safer.

3. HFD Fire Chief: Armstrong inquired if Chair Sturges could arrange for the new Fire Chief of HFD to attend one of these upcoming meetings for the Board to voice their opinion of the current fire station.

4. Pending Presentation: Lye reminded Chair Sturges that Mary Finley, Red Cross of Hawaii, has been waiting for almost two (2) years to present to the Board on hurricanes.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Next Regular Meeting: The next Downtown - Chinatown Neighborhood Board meeting is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 2, 2022 at Mission Memorial Auditorium.

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 https://olelo.org/olelonet/ 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 8:22 p.m.

Submitted by: Dylan Buck, Neighborhood Assistant

Reviewed by: Dylan Whitsell, Deputy

Finalized by: Laura Sturges, Chair

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