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

Downtown Chinatown Neighborhood Board No. 13

 

August 2022 Minutes

 

DRAFT REGULAR MEETING MINUTES

THURSDAY, AUGUST 4, 2022

6:00 P.M. HYBRID

Kapalama Hale

CALL TO ORDER: Chair Ernest Caravalho called the Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board No. 13 meeting to order at 6:01 p.m. Quorum was established with eight (8) 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, Sean Fitzsimmons, Ara Laylo, Kevin Lye, Lori McCarney, Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock, Laura Sturges, and Kevin McDonald (6:22 p.m.).

Members Absent: None.

Guests: Deputy Fire Chief Jason Samala, Captain Sean Arakaki (Honolulu Fire Department); Lieutenant Arnold Sagucio (Honolulu Police Department); Iris Oda (Board of Water Supply); Director Lori Kahikina, Harry Cho, Joey Manahan, Johnny Reid (Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation); CEO Gregory Dunn (Hawaii Theatre Center); Isaiah Sato, Christine Camp (R.M. Towil Corporation); Michael Magaoay (Catholic Charities Hawaii); Kathleen Merriam (Out of Darkness Walk); Director Sandra Pohl (Downtown Art Center); Mark Hashem (Hocking Building LLC); Johnson Pham (Congressman Case's Office); Deputy Director Ian Santee (Mayor Blangiardi's Representative); Lynell Yuu (Councilmember Fukunaga's Office); Senator Karl Rhoads; Greg Payton (Mental Health Kokua); Patrick Watson (Honua Consulting Company); Beth England, Willis Moore, Traci Toguchi, Connie Yu-Pampalone, Noe Tanigawa, Steven Kothenbeutel, Marlene De Costa, Rick Keene, Dan Mestas, Cassie Ordonio, Greg Kawakami, Alec Harrison, Nestor Garcia (Residents); Executive Secretary Lloyd Yonenaka, Deputy Dylan Whitsell, and Dylan Buck (Neighborhood Commission Office). Note: Name was not included in not legible. There were 52 total attendees.

PUBLIC SAFETY REPORTS

Honolulu Fire Department (HFD): Captain Arakaki reported the following.

• July 2022 Statistics: There were three (3) nuisance fires, nine (9) activated alarms (no fire), 102 medical emergencies, four (4) motor vehicle collisions, and one (1) hazardous materials incident.

• Safety Tip: Back to School & Kupuna safety tips include implementing fire and fall safety practices. Visit https://fire.honolulu.gov/ to learn more.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed.

1. Community Meeting: Lye asked if HFD Fire Station 1 can pledge to hold a community meeting in the near future about the potential relocation of Station 1 and Captain Arakaki responded that he will follow up on it. Deputy Fire Chief Samala responded that there are currently no plans to relocate Fire Station 1.

2. Kamali'i Mini Park: Laylo asked and Deputy Fire Chief Samala responded that the prior administration acquired the park to hopefully expand the footprint of Fire Station 1, but the layout currently does not fit the needs of Fire Station 1 so HFD is working with other City departments to find a better suitable use for the park. Laylo asked and Deputy Fire Chief Samala responded that HFD does not have any plans to revitalize the park, but they are working with the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to maintain it.

3. Historic Building: Armstrong commented that HFD is allowed to modify Fire Station 1, but because it is classified as a historic building there are specific limitations in place to maintain the historic nature.

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

• July 2022 Statistics: There were 10 motor vehicle thefts, six (6) burglaries, 36 thefts, 17 unauthorized entry into motor vehicle (UEMV), 41 assaults, three (3) sexual assaults, one (1) graffiti case, four (4) drug offense cases, and 2,356 total calls for service.

• Safety Tip: Refrain from speeding on roadways, as 33% of all traffic fatalities were the result of speeding.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed.

1. Criminal Activity: Shubert-Kwock reported multiple crimes that occurred recently as well as the gathering location of the potential suspects.

2. Homeless Transportation: Lye asked and Lieutenant Sagucio responded that HPD is not transporting homeless individuals to Kailua because that is illegal.

3. Encampments along Iwilei Road: Lye raised concerns with the growing number of homeless encampments set up along Iwilei Road which block the entire sidewalk and asked what HPD do to resolve this issue. Lieutenant Sagucio responded that the area of concern is under HPD District V jurisdiction, but HPD would request that Sidewalk Nuisance Ordinance/Stored Property Ordinance (SNO/SPO) Officers conduct enforcements at the location.

NEW BUSINESS / PRESENTATIONS

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) Latest Updates: Director Lori Kahikina presented on the Honolulu Rail Transit Projects updates, which can be found at:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1LEZ6qECNtCKzuiEqRjqKUjBaVOyhfg9H. HART submitted the 2022 Recovery Plan to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) on Friday, June 3, 2022 and is currently under review by the FTA. The Recovery Plan included proposed amendments to the FTA's Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) scope: (1) truncated system with temporary terminus at the Civic Center Station which is 1.25 miles and two stations short of Ala Moana Transit Center, and (2) the deferral of the Pearl Highlands Parking Garage (Bus Transit Center & H-2 Access Ramp will be built as planned). The overall plan to reach Ala Moana Transit Center does not and will be completed in a separate phase. A new technical issue of "hammerhead" cracks on some of the guideway columns has been identified and the path moving forward is to review the hammerhead cap design calculations, confirm that loads provided by the station designer were accounted for in HNTB's design, and check records to confirm that station contractors did not exceed the construction loads provided to HNTB. The next Downtown Utility Relocations meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 10, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. To receive Downtown Utility Relocations project updates: http://eepurl.com/h1g2W5. To sign-up for HART newsletter: https://honolulutransit.org/media/eblast/. For more information visit: https://honolulutransit.org/

Questions, comments, and concerns followed.

1. Investigation: McDonald commented that the Rail Project was sold to the people of Oahu for $4 billion and it is now projected that the truncated project will cost about three (3) times that amount, and asked who the people of Oahu can hold accountable. Director Kahikina responded that she is new to HART and her goal is to correct the project and do what is right for the taxpayers, and added that there are two (2) active federal investigations.

2. Frogs: Armstrong asked and Director Kahikina responded that when she joined HART the wheels for the train cars did not fit the tracks because the tracks and the cars were not purchased by the same entity.

3. Chinatown Station: Shubert-Kwock asked and Director Kahikina responded that the Chinatown Rail Station design will be up to the design-build contractor and that City Center Guideway Station Contract will be awarded in 2023. McCarney requested that the Downtown Rail Station design plans be shared with this board when they become available in addition to the Chinatown Rail Station.

4. Cracks: Lye asked and Director Kahikina responded that HART will ensure that the cracks are repaired and the system is safe before loading any passengers. Mestas raised his concerns with the location of the foundation cracks in the rail system and urged the significant of accelerating these repairs. Director Kahikina agreed that repairing these cracks are of the utmost importance to HART.

5. Deficit: Lye asked and Director Kahikina responded that the Rail is expected to run on a deficit, similar to the City's public bus service.

Hawaii Theatre 100th Birthday Celebration and Stage Performance of "Through the Years": Gregory Dunn (President and CEO of Hawaii Theater Center) presented the following. The Hawaii Theatre turns 100 years old on Tuesday, September 6, 2022 but the centennial celebration will be held on Saturday, September 10, 2022. The Hawaii Theatre Center applied for a street closure permit that would close Bethel Street between Hotel Street and Pauahi Street for most of the day and night to hold multiple ceremonies and performances.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed.

1. Hawaii Theatre Achievements: Laylo asked and CEO Dunn responded that over the past several months the Hawaii Theatre was be able to reopen post-covid, welcomed over 10,000 students to their Children's Education Program, hosted artist residencies, and most recently the 5th local artist is being recognized nationally in New York.

2. Moon Festival: Shubert-Kwock commented that the Chinatown Improvement District (CID) has been working with local business to pass out lanterns for the Moon Festival on Saturday, September 10, 2022 and CEO Dunn responded that he has been working closely with CID.

3. Open House: Armstrong asked that the Hawaii Theater Center hold open houses for the community to visit the theatre as it has been closed for over two (2) years due to Covid-19.

Catholic Charities Housing Development Corporation on Fort Street Mall Mixed-Use Development: Isaiah Sato (R.M. Towill Corporation), Michael Magaoay and Christine Camp (Catholic Charities) presented on the Fort Street Mall Affordable Senior Rental Housing project, which can be found at:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1LEZ6qECNtCKzuiEqRjqKUjBaVOyhfg9H. The applicant is Catholic Charities Housing Development Corporation (CCHDC), and they propose to develop a 17-story affordable senior rental housing building with 66 affordable residential units, one (1) manager's unit, and approximately 15,000 sq.ft. of Catholic Charities Hawaii (CCH) administrative and program uses. CCH has grown into one of Hawaii's largest human services nonprofit organizations through over 40 programs and services statewide. CCHDC created the following senior residences: Meheula Vista (Oahu), Kahului Lani (Maui), and was just approved to begin Hale Pilina (Maui). CCHDC is requesting the following exemptions: density (FAR), loading stalls, bicycle stalls, lighting and ventilation, park dedication requirement, and permit/review/utility connection/facility fees.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed.

1. Demographics: Laylo asked and Sato responded that only seniors within the 30-60% AMI range will be allowed to apply and the surrounding area is very dense and walkable for this demographic. Armstrong asked and Sato responded that there are several projects with different AMI requirements and this project wanted to focus on the 30-60% AMI for seniors.

2. Public Facilities: Lye asked and Sato responded that there will not be any street-level facilities available to the general public.

3. Green Space: Lye asked and Sato responded that in order to reach the 30-60% AMI for seniors, CCHDC is asking for an exemption to the park dedication requirement. Armstrong asked and Sato responded that there will be some green space on the 4th level for the residents, and they will consider including an open space on the roof as well.

4. Inflation: Armstrong asked and Sato responded that all projects have been affected by inflation.

5. Bicycle Exemption: McCarney asked and Sato responded that the bicycle stall exemption was requested due to limited project space.

6. Window Exemption: Shubert-Kwock asked and Sato responded that the current design of the building does include windows on the North wall, but there is no opportunity for additional windows to be constructed on the East-West walls.

Out of Darkness Walk: Kathleen Merriam presented to the Board and asked for their support regarding the ‘Out of Darkness" walk, which is sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The event is scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 10, 2022 at 8:30 a.m. between Honolulu Hale and Frank F. Fasi Municipal Building. The walk will be a 1-mile loop, approximately. The event coordinators anticipate a crowd of about 300 people are not requesting any street closures.

Shubert-Kwock MOVED and Armstrong SECONDED the motion to support the Out of Darkness Walk scheduled for Saturday, September 10, 2022. Hearing no objections, the motion PASSED by Unanimous Consent.

HEART of Honolulu Street Festival: Sandra Pohl presented to the Board and asked for their support to regarding the HEART of Honolulu Street Festival. The festival is scheduled for Saturday, October 8, 2022 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. HEART stands for Heritage Entertainment Arts Restaurants & Theatres, and this will the first HEART Street Festival in the last three (3) years due to Covid-19. The purpose of this street festival is for the community to rediscover how interesting our Chinatown Art District is and how walkable this neighborhood is. It will be a family friendly, day-time event with no liquor sales. The coordinators have applied for permits to close Nuuanu Avenue between King Street and Chaplain Lane. There will be about 10 nonprofit organizations setting up different activities for the public to participate in and a crowd of 500-800 people is expected.

Armstrong MOVED and Lye SECONDED the motion to support the HEART of Honolulu Street Festival scheduled for Saturday, October 8, 2022. Hearing no objections, the motion PASSED by Unanimous Consent.

Hocking Building LLC Draft Environmental Assessment (DEA) for Hocking Hale: Mark Hashem (Hocking Building LLC) presented on the Hocking Hale development project, which is an adaptive reuse for affordable housing and community center. The Hocking Building is over 100 years old and currently vacant, as the only recent tenant was First Hawaiian Bank and they permanently shut down their operations at this location during the Covid-19 pandemic. Using the oldest know photograph of the building from 1949, Hocking Building LLC will restore the building and rebuild the original entryway. The three (3) existing floors will be able to create a total of 40 units: 23 studio, 8 single-bedroom, and 9 two-bedroom units. The Hocking Building LLC is working with several organizations to provide pop-up services to the residents such as workforce training, keiki reading, tax preparation, and computer training.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed.

1. Disclosure: Lye asked and Hashem disclosed that he is a State Representative in the Hawaii Kai-Kahala area and a licensed commercial real estate agent.

2. Updates: Lye asked and Hashem responded that the original plans were focused around creating senior housing, but the City would most likely not approve the use of drop-off/pick-up services on North King Street or Nuuanu Avenue as it would impede traffic.

3. Attendance at Meetings: McDonald asked and Hashem responded that as an elected official, he did attend his district's most recent neighborhood board meeting.

4. Conference Room: Shubert-Kwock asked and Hashem responded that it is possible for Hocking Hale to include a large conference area that could be utilized for community meetings such as neighborhood board meetings.

5. Mayor's Announcement: Armstrong asked and Hashem responded that this was the same project that the Mayor recently spoke about, and they were awarded $3.9 million in affordable housing funds.

6. Parking: Sturges asked and Hashem responded that no parking is available on site, but they intend to partner with nearby parking facilities and bike racks are available.

7. Income Limitations: England asked and Hashem responded that the units would be available to those in the 30-50% Area Median Income (AMI) bracket.

Shubert-Kwock MOVED and Sturges SECONDED the motion to the Hocking Hale development plans. Discussion followed. Hearing an objection, the board took a roll-call vote. The motion PASSED; 7-1-0 (Aye: Armstrong, Caravalho, Fitzsimmons, Lye, McCarney, Shubert-Kwock, Sturges; Nay: McDonald; Abstain: None).

PUBLIC CONCERNS: None.

ELECTED OFFICIALS

Governor David Ige's Representative: No representative present.

Congressman Ed Case: Johnson Pham [johnsonpham142@gmail.com] provided the report, which can be found at:

https://case.house.gov/uploadedfiles/2022_third_quarter_neighborhood_board_report.pdf. Pham highlighted that the House Appropriations Committee approved 12 measures totaling $1.6 trillion for FY2023, Congressman Case will be hosting the annual Congressional App Challenge for middle and high school students, and Congressman Case will be hosting another virtual talk-story on Thursday, September 1, 2022 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Mayor Rick Blangiardi's Representative: Deputy Director Ian Santee (Honolulu Emergency Services Department) provided the report on the Mayor's monthly newsletter, which can be found at: https://www.oneoahu.org/newsletter. Santee also reported follow up responses to questions raised at the last meeting and was available to take questions.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed.

1. Investigation: Lye requested an update from the Managing Director regarding the status of his request made on Tuesday, June 7, 2022 for the Mayor to conduct an investigation of the Neighborhood Commission and of the Neighborhood Commission Office for malpractice. McDonald echoed Lye's concerns and requested that statements be provided at the next meeting detailing how these complaints are being dealt with. Armstrong echoed Lye's concerns and commented in opposition to holding these meetings at Kapalama Hale.

2. Parking Lot Repairs: Shubert-Kwock commented that the parking lot at 1171 Maunakea Street is eroding and needs to be repaired.

3. Feral Pigeons: Shubert-Kwock commented that the increasing feral pigeon population is a serious problem for the community. Armstrong echoed Shubert-Kwock's concerns and commented that it has affected the quality of life of the residents in this community.

4. Walkable Community: McCarney asked if the City and County of Honolulu could provide a presentation to the board on how to make our community more walkable and rideable, which would increase business activity.

Councilmember Carol Fukunaga (District 6): Lynell Yuu provided the report, which can be found at: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1LEZ6qECNtCKzuiEqRjqKUjBaVOyhfg9H. Yuu highlighted that the Primary Election period ends on Saturday, August 13, 2022, please continue to exercise caution regarding Covid-19, the Small Business Fair returns on Saturday, September 17, 2022 from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Leeward Community College, and no-cost mediation for tenants and landlords.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed. Feral Pigeons: Lye asked and Yuu responded that Councilmember Fukunaga submitted Research Investigation Service Requests (RISR's) to various agencies regarding the feral pigeon issues.

Fitzsimmons left the meeting at 8:26 p.m.; eight (8) members present.

Senator Karl Rhoads (District 13): Senator Rhoads reported the following. $1,536,397 in construction funds were recently awarded to Kauluwela Elementary School for improvements to the playground and the covered walkway. Covid-19 vaccines are now available for everyone 6 months and older, and boosters for everyone ages 5 years and older, if eligible. This week, the Department of Health (DOH) reported 3,689 new Covid-19 cases with a 7-day average of 528 cases and 21 deaths. To contact Senator Rhoads's Office call 808-586-6130 or email senrhoads@capitol.hawaii.gov

Questions, comments, and concerns followed. Judge Appointment: McDonald asked and Senator Rhoads responded that it was a tough situation to be in as Chair of the Judiciary Committee, but Judge Myers was appointed regardless of the alleged witness tampering accusations as there are specific deadlines that must be met.

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

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

MONTHLY REPORTS

Board of Water Supply (BWS): Iris Oda provided the report on good conservation practices as multiple wells were shut down due to the Red Hill Fuel Storage Facility crisis. BWS is asking all of their customers to reduce their water usage by 10% using the following tips: shorter showers, full loads of laundry, full dishwasher loads, and check irrigation systems for leaks.

Safe Haven: Greg Payton [gpayton@mhkhawaii.org] provided the report, which can be found at: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1LEZ6qECNtCKzuiEqRjqKUjBaVOyhfg9H. Payton highlighted that a total of 45 homeless individuals have been placed into permanent supportive housing facilities from January-June 2022, Mental Health Kokua (MHK) no longer operates a homeless daily drop-in center, and MHK's Safe Haven facility is still working to identify a new location outside of Pauahi Hale.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed. Relocation Update: Lye asked and Payton responded that it is unclear what will happen to the Pauhai Hale building after MHK Safe Haven relocates.

Chinatown Business Community Association (CBCA): Shubert-Kwock provided the report, which can be found at: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1LEZ6qECNtCKzuiEqRjqKUjBaVOyhfg9H. Shubert-Kwock highlighted a list of items that were discussed during the last CBCA meeting. The next CBCA meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 9, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. at Golden Palace.

Chinatown Improvement District (CID): No representative present.

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.

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART): Harry Cho (HART) deferred his report as Director Kahikina presented earlier on the agenda. Patrick Watson (Public Information Manager at Honua Consulting Company - HCC) is representing Frank V. Coluccio Construction Company (FVCCC) on the work that they are about to commence on the City's Center Utilities Relocation (CCUR) Phase III contract. Watson announced several construction locations outside of the district that impede traffic. Watson invited the public to join HCC's next monthly CCUR Phase III Business and Community Meeting on Wednesday, August 10, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. via Zoom. You can register at: 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.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed. Total Cost of Rail: McDonald commented that he asked Cho at the last meeting to clarify the total cost of the rail project as it was originally proposed to end at Ala Moana, and Cho responded that he is unsure of which estimate he provided and will follow up at the next meeting.

Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization (OahuMPO) Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC): Chair Caravalho reported the following. Jo Jordan was elected as the new Chair of the Citizen's Advisory Committee (CAC), Ken Farm was reelected as the Vice Chair of the CAC, Complete Streets is active in Kaneohe, OMPO discussed the crosswalk timing issues along Keeaumoku Street, and there is an upcoming bike ride in Ewa.



BOARD BUSINESS

Election of Officers - Vice Chair: Caravalho nominated Fitzsimmons for Vice Chair, but due to his departure from the meeting Fitzsimmons could not accept the nomination. Shubert-Kwock nominated Sturges for Vice Chair, Sturges declined. Hearing no other nominations, this item was deferred to the next meeting.

Election of Officers - Secretary: Hearing no nominations, this item was deferred to the next meeting.

Additional Appointments by the Board [Parliamentarian, Sergeant-at-Arms]: Deferred to next meeting.

McDonald MOVED and Shubert-Kwock SECONDED the motion to defer all remaining business until the next meeting. Hearing no objections, the motion PASSED by Unanimous Consent.

Determination of Board Recess Schedule: Deferred to next meeting.

Approval of Regular Meeting Minutes: Thursday, July 7, 2022: Deferred to next meeting.

Treasurer's Report: Deferred to next meeting.

Future Items for Board Consideration: Deferred to next meeting.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Next Regular Meeting: The next Downtown - Chinatown Neighborhood Board meeting is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 1, 2022 at a location to be determined.

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 at: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1LEZ6qECNtCKzuiEqRjqKUjBaVOyhfg9H

ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 9:01 p.m.

Submitted by: Dylan Buck, Neighborhood Assistant

Reviewed by: Dylan Whitsell, Deputy

Finalized by: Ernest Caravalho, Chair

Like Our Facebook

  • RELATED LINKS

    Please send questions about this website to
    Copyright© 2006 - 2022 FirstFridayHawaii.com. All rights reserved.
    Terms of Use / Legal Disclaimer / Privacy Statement
    Site Designed and Managed by MacBusiness Consulting