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Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board Meeting OCTOBER 2022 Minutes
DOWNTOWN / CHINATOWN NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD NO. 13
October 2022 Minutes
DRAFT REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2022
6:00 P.M. HYBRID
Kapalama Hale & WebEx
CALL TO ORDER: Chair Ernest Caravalho called the Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board No. 13 meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Quorum was established with six (6) members present. Note: This nine-member Board requires five (5) members to establish quorum and to take official Board action.
Members Present: Ernest Caravalho, Ara Laylo, Kevin Lye, Kevin McDonald, Lori McCarney, Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock, Robert Armstrong (6:02 p.m.) and Laura Sturges (6:05 p.m.).
Members Absent: Sean Fitzsimmons.
Guests: Acting Assistant Chief Kevin Mokulehua, Acting Captain Kirk Williams (Honolulu Fire Department); Executive Director Makanani Sala, Kiele Amundson, Janelle Saole (Mayor's Office of Culture & the Arts); Irene Banao (Department of Transportation Services); Sabina Kupa (La Kuoko'a 2023); David Uchiyama (REGENT Craft); Glen Young (Senator Rhoads's Representative); Steven Norstrom (Board of Water Supply); Deputy Director Ian Santee (Mayor Blangiardi's Representative); Johnson Pham (U.S. Congressman Case's Representative); Lynell Yuu (Councilmember Fukunaga's Office); Greg Payton (Mental Health Kokua); Harry Cho (Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation); Patrick Watson (Honua Consulting Company); Sydney-Hanilei Spencer-Cullen (For Kids, By Kids, About Kids); Evelyn Cullen, Travis Thompson, Kenneth Banao, Maria Tijerina, Austin Salcedo, Nicole Reid, Traci Toguchi, Gary Toba, Chang Chang (Residents); Dylan Buck (Neighborhood Commission Office). Note: Name was not included if not legible. There were 35 total attendees.
PUBLIC SAFETY REPORTS
Honolulu Fire Department (HFD): Acting Captain Williams reported the following.
• September 2022 Statistics: There were two (2) structure fires, (3) nuisance fires, one (1) cooking fire, 11 activated alarms (no fire), 97 medical emergencies, and eight (8) motor vehicle crash/collisions.
• Safety Tip: Holiday Decoration Safety - While themed decorations make the holiday season festive, consider fire-resistant, noncombustible materials for decorations. Visit https://fire.honolulu.gov/ to learn more.
Armstrong joined the meeting at 6:02 p.m.; seven (7) members present.
Honolulu Police Department (HPD): No representative present.
Sturges joined the meeting at 6:05 p.m.; eight (8) members present.
NEW BUSINESS / PRESENTATIONS
Update on Central Fire Station: Acting Assistant Chief (AAC) Mokulehua presented an update to the board, as requested, on the current plans for the Central Fire Station. AAC Mokulehua announced that the existing Central Fire Station is fully operational, maintained, and currently meets all of the response time goals as they are strategically located in the best location for this community at this time. AAC Mokulehua noted that the previous administration had prioritized relocating and building a new Central Fire Station, but the current administration has prioritized the relocation and development of new fire stations in other neighborhoods, such as: Kailua, Pearl City, and the HFD Aircraft Hanger. At this time, there are no immediate plans for HFD to expand the footprint of the Central Fire Station which is why they are working with the Department of Land Management to remove Kamali'i Mini Park from HFD's inventory.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed.
1. Previous Statements by HFD: Lye asked and AAC Mokulehua responded that HFD is always analyzing the data of their 43 stations and the population growth of each community, but at this time it was determined unnecessary to prioritize the expansion of the Central Fire Station footprint/relocation.
2. Population Statistics: Laylo asked and AAC Mokulehua responded that no significant adjustments to the Downtown-Chinatown population were identified in 2020-2021, when HFD was investigating the expansion/relocation proposal. AAC Mokulehua added that HFD considered the expansion/relocation of Central Fire Station because of its age and the number of calls for service they respond to, but fortunately HFD was able to secure funds that were used to upgrade the Central Fire Station to increase their response times.
3. Cost of HFD's Investigation/Research: McDonald asked and AAC Mokulehua responded that he will attempt to identify the total amount of money spent by the City and County of Honolulu on their investigation/research of expanding/relocating the Central Fire Station.
Honolulu City Lights - City & County of Honolulu and Friends of Honolulu City Lights: Executive Director Makanani Sala, Kiele Amundson, Janelle Saole (Mayor's Office of Culture & the Arts), and Irene Banao (Department of Transportation Services) presented on the Honolulu City Lights Public Workers Electric Parade event to be held on Saturday, December 3, 2022. A handout of the parade route and traffic schedule can be found at: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1F4DdI9R8Er12TNf6Bl-yb4p4EW0-68vu
Armstrong MOVED and Laylo SECONDED to offer the board's support of the Honolulu City Lights Parade on Saturday, December 3, 2022. Hearing no objections, the motion PASSED by Unanimous Consent.
La Kuoko'a (Independence Day) 2023: Sabina Kupa presented to the board on her proposal to begin a new annual tradition, consisting of a parade and block party in Downtown Honolulu. The event would be the La Kuoko'a Parade and Ho'olaulea Block Party, and both events are projected to take place every year on November 28th, beginning on Tuesday, November 28, 2023. The goal of the events are to celebrate Hawaii's Independence Day. Kupa noted that she is in the early stages of planning these events and that she will be requesting the permit for alcohol consumption at the Ho'olaulea Block Party. Kupa is seeking the board's general support of these proposed events so she can proceed with road closure permits, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), and other City/State offices to ensure that La Kuoko'a and the Ho'olaulea Block Party can be annual events.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed.
1. Conflicting Schedule: McCarney asked and Kupa responded that she would like to honor the historic date of November 28, but she is open to any type of adjustments requested by the community that would allow for the event to take place.
2. Intended Representation of the Event: Lye asked and Kupa responded that the purpose of this event is to celebrate and bring awareness to the historic Hawaiian Independence Day, in the same fashion we celebrate other holidays such as the United States' Independence Day, and added that this event is not intended to take any political position on Hawaiian Sovereignty. McDonald asked and Chair Caravalho clarified that it was on Tuesday, November 28, 1843 that Hawai'i was formally recognized as an independent nation by Great Britain and France.
3. Particular Street Closure: Lye asked and Kupa responded that the reason she proposed the use and closure of S King Street is because it connects to Iolani Palace, Kawaiahao Church, and the King Kamehameha Statue. Armstrong asked and Kupa responded that she has worked with Banao (DTS) on past events and Kupa has no problem adhering to the recommendations made by DTS if they disagree with the request to close S King Street. Shubert-Kwock recommended using/closing Richard Street instead of S King Street.
4. Type of Organization: Lye asked and Kupa responded that she is an independent person and not a 501(c)(3) organization. Kupa noted her history of organizing community events in good faith.
5. Alcohol Consumption: Lye asked and Kupa responded that alcohol is not required for this event to take place and she is open to feedback from the community. Shubert-Kwock recommended that if alcohol consumption is permitted for the event that it be designated to a fenced off area that is 21+ years of age, like a beer garden.
Lye MOVED and McDonald SECONDED to request that Sabina Kupa return with a formal written plan outlining the proposed event, including the elements discussed tonight, before the board render an official decision. Hearing no objections, the motion PASSED by Unanimous Consent.
McCarney MOVED and Laylo SECONDED to offer the board's general support of the event at this time for the purpose of providing Sabina Kupa with enough evidence of support from the board to move forward with the City's permitting process, with the expectation that Sabina Kupa will return to the board with an updated presentation. Hearing an objection, the board took a roll call vote. The motion PASSED; 6-1-1 (Aye: Armstrong, Laylo, McCarney, Shubert-Kwock, Sturges, Caravalho; Nay: Lye; Abstain: McDonald).
A Sustainable Maritime Mobility Solution for Coastal Communities: David Uchiyama (REGENT Craft) presented the following. REGENT Craft is an electric powered sea glider, intended as a sustainable maritime mobility solution for coastal communities. REGENT Craft is an original equipment manufacturer selling vehicles to operators for passenger, freight, tourism, emergency services, air ambulance and defense. After completion of the Type 1 certification, led by the US Coast Guard and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the sea glider would enter service around 2025-2026. The sea glider has three (3) modes of operation: float, foil, and fly. The sea glider can fly up to 180mph and has a range of 180 miles using existing battery technology. Sea gliders fulfill multiple goals for island communities, including: sustainable inter-island passenger service, freight transportation, emergency services/medical evacuation, and tourism. REGENT Craft has met with hundreds of people across private, public, and civil groups to understand how to improve their services and they received mostly positive feedback for providing a cheap service that is environmentally friendly compared to tradition means of transportation.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed.
1. Concerns: Cullen raised concerns with humpback whales and inquired about any recent accidents regarding passengers, freight, and/or wildlife. Uchiyama responded that this vehicle is not in operations yet and REGENT Craft is working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to develop avoidance systems for both marine mammals as well as sea birds.
2. Ports and Routes: Lye asked and Uchiyama responded that REGENT Craft is currently conducting the feasibility study and more information will be available in the near future. McCarney commented that she cannot imagine more traffic coming into our ports with the existing infrastructure but it hopeful that this project will be successful given the environmental benefits and positive impacts on the local communities.
3. Tax Dollars: Lye asked and Uchiyama responded this project is underwritten by the private sector, and the only thing that the public sector may contribute to is the modernization of the port areas and being able to bring renewable energy to the ports.
4. Environmental Impact Statement (EIS): Laylo reiterated the significance of the EIS results when they become available.
5. Solar Farms: Laylo asked and Uchiyama responded that REGENT Craft intends to establish partnerships with local solar farms to be able to power these vehicles.
6. Competition: Armstrong asked and Uchiyama responded that these vehicles will travel at a speed which is close to that of the existing commercial airlines for inter-island travel, and added that he believes the largest benefit of these vehicles is the freight service due to the low operational costs (which should lower the costs of goods).
Cap Park Presentation: Glen Young (Senator Rhoads's Representative) presented on the proposal to construct a Cap Park (also known as Highway or Deck Parks) over the H-1 Freeway to extend between Liliha Street and Queen Emma Street. Under the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program, grant funds are being made available to qualified projects such as this one. The Department of Transportation (DOT) is requesting $2 million in federal funds for planning purposes, and if granted, would require the state to provide $400,000. A copy of the presentation is available at: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1F4DdI9R8Er12TNf6Bl-yb4p4EW0-68vu
Questions, comments, and concerns followed. In Support: Thompson commented in support of the project as it would address the noise pollution from the freeway and would connect communities that are divided by the freeway.
McCarney MOVED and Lye SECONDED to oppose the proposal to construct a Cap Park over the H-1 Freeway between Liliha Street and Queen Emma Street. Discussion followed. Hearing an abstention, the board took a roll call vote. The motion PASSED; 5-0-2 (Aye: Laylo, Lye, McDonald, McCarney, Caravalho; Nay: none; Abstain: Armstrong, Shubert-Kwock).
Keiki Market Announcement: Sydney-Hanilei Spencer-Cullen announced that a Keiki Market Swap Meeting Fair will be held on November 11-12, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Ke'elikolani Middle School Lawn. The event is brought to you by: For Kids, By Kids, About Kids. Sydney is looking for keiki vendors to participate in the event. To register for the event, visit: www.forkidsbykidsaboutkids.com.
Non-Felony Shoplifting Plans for the City: Lye raised concerns of the potential for Hawai'i to mimic some of the non-felony shoplifting plans that we see in some of the other states, where someone could steal up to $1000 worth of merchandise and the consequences for such actions are very minimal.
Noise Complaint - Leaf Blowers: Lye raised noise concerns regarding the downtown mortuaries' consistency to deploy leaf blowers well before 8:00 a.m. on weekdays.
HOLO Cards - Free Fare Week: Lye announced that a representative from the HOLO Card desk confirmed that the cards were to be given away at no cost during the two (2) week period in August 2022, with no charges for card activation.
Board Member Concerns: Lye commented that he is hopeful that the board will decide to reinstate the agenda item ‘Board Member Concerns', as he has an important letter that he'd like to read at the appropriate time.
Governor David Ige's Representative: No representative present.
U.S. Congressman Ed Cases's Representative: Johnson Pham [email@example.com] provided the report, and highlighted that Congressman Case continues to support efforts to curb criminal activity and keep our community safe. In September 2022, Congressman Case voted in favor of a Public Safety Package of a number of measures to combat rising crime, especially in Hawai'i. Pham also announced that the Department of Defense identified U.S. Navy Admiral John Wade as the commander of the joint task force on Red Hill.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed. Inflation Reduction Act: McDonald asked and Pham responded that Congressman Case voted in favor of the Inflation Reduction Act, and Pham can follow up with the specific provisions in the bill Congressman Case believes will help reduce inflation.
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. Fort Street Mall - Broken Water Fountain: Lye reported that there is a broken water fountain at Fort Street Mall that has a slow leak and attracts feral pigeons who drink from it. Lye requested that the water fountain be repaired and that the water be completely shut off in the meantime as to not add to the increasing feral pigeon problem.
2. Jersey Barrier: Lye reported that a portion of a jersey barrier is still blocking the sidewalk near the intersection of River Street and South King Street.
3. Kamali'i Mini Park: Chair Caravalho expressed interest in the idea of transforming the Kamali'i Mini Park into a community garden, and asked what the process would be and which department(s) need to approve such a request.
Councilmember Carol Fukunaga (District 6): Lynell Yuu provided the report, which can be found at: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1F4DdI9R8Er12TNf6Bl-yb4p4EW0-68vu. Yuu highlighted that the Honolulu City Council adopted Resolution 22-172, FD1 for the beautification of five (5) damaged telephone kiosks at Fort Street Mall into painted murals. The beautification project will take place on Saturday, October 22, 2022 at 9:00 a.m.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed. Crosswalk Improvement: Lye asked and Yuu responded that the potential improvement of the crosswalk at the intersection of Miller/Punchbowl was referred to another agency and she will follow up on it.
Senator Karl Rhoads (District 13): Glen Young provided the report, which can be found at: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1F4DdI9R8Er12TNf6Bl-yb4p4EW0-68vu. To contact Senator Rhoads's Office call 808-586-6130 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions, comments, and concerns followed.
1. State vs. Obrero: Tijerina commented on the State vs. Obrero decision and asked how much responsibility Senator Rhoads's office is willing to admit to after constantly confirming judges who are way too soft on crime.
2. Covid-19 Vaccine: McDonald asked what Senator Rhoads's current position is on the recent announcements made by several European countries that they are no longer requiring people to get the vaccine, but also recommending against it. Young responded that Senator Rhoads's is pro-vaccination.
3. Little League Parade: McDonald asked if Senator Rhoads supported the City's decision to host the recent parade in honor of the multiple Honolulu Little League World Championship teams.
Representative Scott Saiki (District 26): No representative present.
Representative Daniel Holt (District 28): No representative present.
Board of Water Supply (BWS): Steven Norstrom provided the report, which can be found at: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1F4DdI9R8Er12TNf6Bl-yb4p4EW0-68vu. There was an 8-inch water main break at 830 Punchbowl Street on Sunday, September 11, 2022. Norstrom announced that BWS is hosting their ‘Imagine A Day Without Water' observance from Monday, October 3, 2022 through Wednesday, October 19, 2022. For more information visit: www.onewaterhawaii.com & https://www.boardofwatersupply.com/
Safe Haven: Greg Payton [email@example.com] provided the report, which can be found at: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1F4DdI9R8Er12TNf6Bl-yb4p4EW0-68vu. Payton highlighted that a total of 54 homeless adults with mental illness have been placed into permanent supportive housing facilities from January-September 2022, and Mental Health Kokua (MHK) currently has 67 tenants in the Pauahi Hale building.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed. Gratitude: Shubert-Kwock expressed her gratitude towards Payton and MHK for their efforts to help as many people as possible and commented that she hopes the building can be repurposed to better serve the community.
Chinatown Business Community Association (CBCA): Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock provided the report, which can be found at: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1F4DdI9R8Er12TNf6Bl-yb4p4EW0-68vu. Shubert-Kwock announced that CBCA will be hosting a Chinatown Heroes Banquet to honor 10 heroes on Saturday, October 22, 2022 at Golden Palace at 6:00 p.m.
Chinatown Citizen Patrol: Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock provided the report on behalf of the Chinatown Citizen Patrol. The Chinatown Citizen Patrol conducts two (2) patrols every other Thursday at 8:30 a.m. and typically gather around 20 volunteers to identify and communicate areas of concern to HPD and elected officials.
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 provided the HART report, which can be found at: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1F4DdI9R8Er12TNf6Bl-yb4p4EW0-68vu. 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 reported traffic updates, which can be found at: https://honolulutransit.org/hart-traffic/city-center-week-of-october-9-2022/. Watson invited the public to join HCC's next monthly CCUR Phase III Business and Community Meeting on Wednesday, October 12, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed.
1. Cost of Rail to Ala Moana: McDonald asked and Cho responded that the total cost for the rail to reach Civic Center, including financing, is $9.93 billion and the total cost to reach Ala Moana is $11.30 billion.
2. Repaving Dillingham Boulevard: Lye asked and Cho responded that the Department of Facility Maintenance (DFM) is currently repaving Dillingham Boulevard between Kapalama Canal and King Street. Cho added that each HART construction project contract includes a road restoration phase.
3. Flange-Bearing Frogs: McDonald asked several questions about HART's decision to use flange-bearing frogs versus standard tread-bearing frogs. Cho responded that the concerns raised are past issues that have been resolved.
Election of Officers - Secretary: Hearing no nominations, this item was deferred to the next meeting.
Consideration of a New Meeting Location: Neighborhood Assistant (NA) Buck announced that some members of the board would like to find a new meeting location and explained some of the requirements of a feasible location that is likely to receive approval from the Neighborhood Commission Office (NCO).
Questions, comments, and concerns followed. New Location: Armstrong raised concerns with NCO's concept of using "meeting hubs" to satisfy the physical meeting location requirements for several neighboring boards in close proximity. Armstrong suggested City Hall as a meeting location. McDonald raised concerns with the NCO's requirement for meeting locations to have sufficient internet connection. Lye encouraged the board to submit recommendations to Chair Caravalho. Chair Caravalho noted that he provided a few potential meeting locations to the NCO, such as Gateway Plaza's City & County office, Ke'elikolani Middle School, and a nearby church that they are considering. Shubert-Kwock commented that historically this board has met in a location that is convenient for a majority of the residents. McCarney commented that she participates virtually because Kapalama Hale is too inconvenient of a location, and added that the composition of people who attend these meetings has declined over recent years. McCarney asked and NA Buck responded that he will email the board the list of NCO's standards for meeting locations. Lye noted that this board passed a resolution in 2020 requesting that the NCO secure available funding for additional resources required to facilitate hybrid meetings.
Consideration of Additional Positions and Appointments [Parliamentarian, Sergeant-at-Arms]: Shubert-Kwock MOVED and McCarney SECONDED that this board not create a Sergeant-at-Arms position for the remainder of this term, ending on Friday, June 30, 2022. Discussion followed. The board took a roll call vote. The motion WAS NOT passed; 3-2-1 (Aye: McCarney, Shubert-Kwock, Caravalho; Nay: Armstrong, Lye, McDonald; Abstain: Laylo).
Approval of Regular Meeting Minutes - Thursday, September 1, 2022: Lye MOVED and Armstrong SECONDED to approve the minutes as amended by Lye and to request that the backlog of board approved minutes, beginning from February 2022, be posted to the NCO website by Tuesday, November 15, 2022. Discussion followed. Hearing no objections, the motion PASSED by Unanimous Consent.
Treasurer's Report: Neighborhood Assistant Buck announced that NCO is revising the concept of a treasurer's report by aiming to provide the boards with sufficient funding for community outreach.
Consideration of item ‘Board Member Concerns': Armstrong announced that the Department of Transportation (DOT) declined the board's resolution, from 2021, requesting that signage be installed around the neighborhood informing drivers of "quiet zones" to combat a history of noise disturbances experienced by the community.
Consideration of item ‘Future Items for Board Consideration': Deferred to next meeting.
Next Regular Meeting: The next Downtown - Chinatown Neighborhood Board meeting is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 3, 2022, at Kapalama Hale and via WebEx.
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 .
Archive: Find an archive of handouts and referenced materials apropos to Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board 13 at: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1F4DdI9R8Er12TNf6Bl-yb4p4EW0-68vu
ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.
Submitted by: Dylan Buck, Neighborhood Assistant
Reviewed by: Dylan Whitsell, Deputy
Finalized by: Ernest Caravalho, Chair
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