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

DOWNTOWN - CHINATOWN NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD NO. 13

 

August 2023 Minutes

 

DRAFT REGULAR MEETING WRITTEN SUMMARY FOR VIDEO RECORD

THURSDAY, AUGUST 3, 2023 at 6:00 P.M.

PRINCESS RUTH KE‘ELIK LANI MIDDLE SCHOOL CAFETERIA - 1302 QUEEN EMMA STREET, HONOLULU, HI 96813

AND VIA WEBEX TELECONFERENCING

Video recording of this meeting can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAbzw5XynEw

Reports & other meeting materials can be found at: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1F4DdI9R8Er12TNf6Bl-yb4p4EW0-68vu

I. CALL TO ORDER - [0:00:01]: 6:01 p.m.

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, Ross Isokane, Kevin Lye, Lori McCarney, Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock, Travis Thompson, and Kevin McDonald (6:11 p.m.).

Members Absent: None.

Guests: Firefighter Jeren Perez, Firefighter Mark Bates (Honolulu Fire Department); Lieutenant Arnold Sagucio (Honolulu Police Department); Manager and Chief Engineer Ernie Lau, Steven Norstrom, Joe Cooper, Barry Usagawa, Iris Oda (Honolulu Board of Water Supply); Chief Housing Officer Nani Medeiros (Office of the Governor); Shawn Hamamoto (Governor Josh Green); Deputy Director Ian Santee (Mayor Rick Blangiardi - Honolulu Emergency Services Department); Richmond Luzar (Councilmember Tyler Dos Santos-Tam); Greg Payton (Safe Haven); Lee Stack (Chinatown Improvement District); Harry Cho, Johnny Reid (Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation); Patrick Watson (Honua Consulting Company); Karen Ng (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention); Raelynn Nakabayashi, Laura Sturges, Willis Moore, Rick Keene, Charles Jonsson, Kurt Ishiki, Cheryl Wong, Alan Texeira, Christine Trecker, Thomas Brandt (Residents); Dylan Buck (Neighborhood Commission Office). Note: Name was not included if not legible. There were 49 total attendees.

II. PUBLIC SAFETY REPORTS - [0:00:52]

Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) - [0:00:53]: Firefighter Perez reported the following, which can be found at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xySZqwFIBqvqoul6nchxRG46M_BSkDTs/view?usp=drive_link

• June 2023 Statistics: There were two (2) structure fires, five (5) nuisance fires, 16 activated alarms (no fire), 114 medical emergencies, and eight (8) motor vehicle crash/collisions.

• Safety Tip: Fire and Fall Prevention - Implementing prevention and preparedness practices will promote independence and reduce frequency of injury or death from home fire and falls. Learn more at: https://fire.honolulu.gov/fire-and-life-safety/kupuna/

Honolulu Police Department (HPD) - [0:05:19]: Lieutenant Sagucio reported the following:

• June 2023 Statistics: There were six (6) motor vehicle thefts, three (3) burglaries, 41 thefts, 10 unauthorized entry into motor vehicles (UEMV), 19 assaults, three (3) sexual assaults, one (1) graffiti case, eight (8) drug offenses, eight (8) robberies, and 2,232 total calls for service.

• Safety Tip: Skimmers - When paying with a credit/debit card at a machine, be aware of potential devices that may have been illegally installed on top of the payment system and ask the cashier when was the last time the machine was checked.

Questions, comments and concerns followed - [0:07:54].

McDonald joined the meeting at 6:11 p.m.; nine (9) members present.

III. UNFINISHED BUSINESS ¬- [0:21:54]

Resolution 2023-006 - Regarding Preliminary Social Media Tenets for the Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board No.13 - [0:22:05]: Isokane introduced the draft resolution, which can be found at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tFhB9W5tQORdhUWVCDB2PDBHQbUxg3xK/view?usp=drive_link. [0:23:03] - Isokane MOVED and Shubert-Kwock SECONDED to adopt the resolution as written. Discussion followed.

[0:29:57] - McCarney MOVED and Shubert-Kwock SECONDED to amend the resolution by striking out and replacing "administrator" with "administrators" and if there are conflicts with a particular post it shall be corrected by the Chair. Discussion followed. Hearing no further discussion, the board conducted a roll call vote. The motion to amend WAS ADOPTED; 6-3-0 (Aye: Isokane, McCarney, Lye, Shubert-Kwock, Thompson, Caravalho; Nay: Armstrong, Fitzsimmons, McDonald; Abstain: None) - [0:31:25].

[0:32:57] - Isokane WITHDREW the main motion, with the understanding that the draft resolution will be revised and considered at the next meeting.

Approval of Regular Meeting Minutes - Thursday, May 4, 2023 - [0:33:09]: Lye introduced the topic of approving meeting minutes as there are several past minutes on the table for discussion and action. [0:34:14] - Shubert-Kwock MOVED and Armstrong SECONDED to approve the minutes as amended by Lye. Hearing no objections or abstentions, the motion WAS ADOPTED; 9-0-0 (Aye: Armstrong, Fitzsimmons, Isokane, McDonald, McCarney, Lye, Shubert-Kwock, Thompson, Caravalho; Nay: None; Abstain: None) - [0:34:30].

Approval of Regular Meeting Minutes - Thursday, June 1, 2023 - [0:34:37]: [0:34:43] - Lye MOVED and Shubert-Kwock SECONDED to approve the minutes as amended by Lye. Hearing no objections or abstentions, the motion WAS ADOPTED; 9-0-0 (Aye: Armstrong, Fitzsimmons, Isokane, McDonald, McCarney, Lye, Shubert-Kwock, Thompson, Caravalho; Nay: None; Abstain: None) - [0:34:58].

Approval of Regular Meeting Minutes - Thursday, July 6, 2023 - [0:35:03]: [0:35:39] - McCarney MOVED and Shubert-Kwock SECONDED to approve the minutes as amended by Lye. Discussion followed. Hearing no objections or abstentions, the motion WAS ADOPTED; 9-0-0 (Aye: Armstrong, Fitzsimmons, Isokane, McDonald, McCarney, Lye, Shubert-Kwock, Thompson, Caravalho; Nay: None; Abstain: None) - [0:36:50].

Amendments to Adopted Regular Meeting Minutes - December 2021 through March 2023 - [0:37:00]: Lye introduced the topic and explained that while these minutes have been adopted as amended, they have not been officially published on the Neighborhood Commission Office (NCO) website for several reasons. [0:38:55] - Lye MOVED and Shubert-Kwock SECONDED to amend motions previously adopted reflecting adoption of meeting minutes from December 2021 through March 2023. Discussion followed. Hearing no objections or abstentions, the motion WAS ADOPTED; 9-0-0 (Aye: Armstrong, Fitzsimmons, Isokane, McDonald, McCarney, Lye, Shubert-Kwock, Thompson, Caravalho; Nay: None; Abstain: None) - [0:39:50].

[0:39:57] - Lye MOVED and Shubert-Kwock SECONDED to adopt the amended meeting minutes from December 2021 through March 2023. Hearing no objections or abstentions, the motion WAS ADOPTED; 9-0-0 (Aye: Armstrong, Fitzsimmons, Isokane, McDonald, McCarney, Lye, Shubert-Kwock, Thompson, Caravalho; Nay: None; Abstain: None) - [0:40:15].

IV. PRESENTATIONS - [0:40:24]

Board of Water Supply Proposed 5-Year Rate Increases - [0:40:27]: Manager and Chief Engineer Ernie Lau (Honolulu Board of Water Supply - BWS) provided a detailed presentation on the BWS proposed five (5)-year rate increases for their customers. The BWS is seeking community input on the proposals at this time before they submit their official proposal to the BWS Board for consideration in September or October 2023. Manager and Chief Engineer Lau highlighted that: (1) the BWS is a semi-autonomous agency of the City and County of Honolulu; (2) BWS is solely funded by ratepayers; (3) BWS receives no funding from property taxes; (4) the proposed rates only apply to water, not sewer; (5) water rates are approved by the BWS Board; (6) wastewater (sewer) charges are determined by the Department of Environmental Services (DES) and approved by the City Council. A copy of the presentation can be found at:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/147kc-MekbseL6mbXoBJx0yakUrOlp8r1/view?usp=drive_link

Questions, comments, and concerns followed - [1:13:18].

Fitzsimmons left the meeting at 7:32 p.m.; eight (8) members present.

Fitzsimmons returned at 7:34 p.m.; all nine (9) members present.

Governor's Emergency Housing Proclamation - [1:36:20]: Chief Housing Officer Nani Medeiros (Office of the Governor) spoke to the Governor's Emergency Housing Proclamation, which can be found at: https://governor.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/2307072-1.pdf. Housing in Hawai'i has: (1) the highest level of regulations in the nation; (2) the highest median home prices (roughly $850,000); (3) the highest cost of living; (4) the most unaffordable market in the nation (to afford a home in Hawai'i, the average household annual income must be $250,000). Medeiros noted that Governor Green, and his staff, met with stakeholders (County, State, Community, Developers) to identify how an emergency proclamation could help them address the housing crisis, and with all of the feedback they received they developed the proclamation. Medeiros highlighted that the Governor's Proclamation relating to Housing will streamline approval processes, helping to build housing more quickly for local residents.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed - [1:52:54].

V. NEW BUSINESS - [2:19:19]

Resolution 2023-009 - Generally Supportive of the Governor's Emergency Proclamation Relating to Housing - [2:19:24]: Isokane introduced the draft resolution, which can be found at:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1B4qaPct44lw9Cy2lh9j78UsXwZeZP1il/edit?usp=drive_link&ouid=112972764551395013814&rtpof=true&sd=true. [2:20:55] - McCarney MOVED and Armstrong SECONDED to adopt the resolution as written. Discussion followed.

[2:23:44] - Lye MOVED and Thompson SECONDED to amend the resolution by striking the first five (5) "Whereas" clauses and the first "Be It Resolved" clause. Discussion followed. Hearing no further discussion, the board conducted a roll call vote. The motion to amend was NOT ADOPTED; 4-5-0 (Aye: Armstrong, McDonald, Lye, Thompson; Nay: Fitzsimmons, Isokane, McCarney, Shubert-Kwock, Caravalho; Abstain: None) - [2:27:58].

Hearing no further discussion, the board conducted a roll call vote on the main motion to adopt the resolution as written. The motion WAS ADOPTED; 7-2-0 (Aye: Armstrong, Fitzsimmons, Isokane, McDonald, McCarney, Shubert-Kwock, Caravalho; Nay: Lye, Thompson; Abstain: None) - [2:29:10].

Resolution 2023-007 - To Prevent Trash Pick Up in Waikiki Before 6:00 A.M. - [2:29:54]: Chair Caravalho introduced the draft resolution, which can be found at:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1JadMEcz1fn5EAdfApknMqoteZ014iDOD/edit?usp=drive_link&ouid=112972764551395013814&rtpof=true&sd=true. [2:31:42] - Thompson MOVED and McCarney SECONDED to postpone this item to the next meeting. Hearing no objections or abstentions, the motion WAS ADOPTED; 9-0-0 (Aye: Armstrong, Fitzsimmons, Isokane, McDonald, McCarney, Lye, Shubert-Kwock, Thompson, Caravalho; Nay: None; Abstain: None) - [2:32:01].

Resolution 2023-008 - Continuing Support for Kauhale Respite Resources in Downtown Honolulu - [2:32:12]: Armstrong introduced the draft resolution, which can be found at:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wPSrN4RwWQxqlbabLgLG3KxiqFV0tr4e/edit?usp=drive_link&ouid=112972764551395013814&rtpof=true&sd=true. [2:33:43] - Public testimony followed. [2:42:23] - Armstrong MOVED and Shubert-Kwock SECONDED to adopt the resolution as written. Discussion followed. Hearing no further discussion, the board conducted a roll call vote. The motion was NOT ADOPTED; 4-4-1 (Aye: Armstrong, Isokane, Shubert-Kwock, Thompson; Nay: Fitzsimmons, McCarney, Lye, Caravalho; Abstain: McDonald) - [2:46:53].

VI. PUBLIC CONCERNS - [2:47:59]

Out of the Darkness Community Walk - [2:48:20]: Ng (American Association for Suicide Prevention) announced that the annual "Out of the Darkness" Community Walk to fight against suicide is scheduled for Saturday, September 9, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. at Sky Gate (Honolulu Hale). More information and registration can be found at: www.afsp.org/hawaii

Pedestrian Safety - Chinatown Cultural Plaza - [2:51:02]: Stack raised a pedestrian safety concern on behalf of a resident who tripped and fell on an uneven section of the sidewalk next to the Chinatown Cultural Plaza along the Sun Yat Sen Mall on Sunday, July 23, 2023. The resident wanted to bring this to the attention of the Mayor's Representative because the resident is concerned for the safety of all pedestrians walking around the "river side" of the plaza.

Proposed Amendments to Agendas - [2:52:15]: Lye noted that both locations on the agenda for meeting information (one at the top and another at the end of the agenda), which include rules of speaking and other information, has been updated and requested that the previous verbiage of prior agendas be reinstated. Lye also noted that the rebroadcast schedule of these meetings has changed and should be updated to reflect the new schedule. [2:54:49] - Caravalho responded that the previous verbiage was used by Lye during his term as Chair, and the current Chair is solely responsible for creating the agendas. [2:55:16] - McDonald commented that this section of the meeting, "Public Concerns" is for the public to speak on non-agenda items and the board should refrain from discussion.

Needle Exchange Program - [2:52:58]: Lye raised concerns with the operations of the "Needle Exchange Program", and suggested that the program operate at least 300 feet away from schools. Lye also raised concerns that the Hawai'i Health & Harm Reduction Center (HHHRC) was considering distribution of squares of tinfoil and glass pipes to people who want to smoke fentanyl. [2:54:05] - Armstrong commented that Lye's comments were not entirely truthful as both of them, and Chair Caravalho, attended a recent meeting on the subject.

VII. ELECTED OFFICIALS - [2:55:50]

Governor Josh Green's Representative - [2:55:50]: Hamamoto provided the report, which can be found at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YZ73MuBiBRhTw6va2CSePAPP03pbliq1/view?usp=drive_link. Hamamoto also reported follow-up responses to questions raised at the previous meeting. To sign up to receive Governor Green's newsletters, contact: (808) 586-0034 or gov.communications@hawaii.gov.

Questions, comments, and concerns followed - [2:56:25].

Mayor Rick Blangiardi's Representative: Postponed to the next meeting. A report was submitted, which can be found at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/11eIX_m8qqJbCPOTQ0tvqys5RdDnyD47O/view?usp=drive_link

Councilmember Tyler Dos Santos-Tam (District 6): Postponed to the next meeting. A report was submitted, which can be found at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OPL57KeOLL5l_fphxNNvfPkpLss4y9eT/view?usp=drive_link

Senator Karl Rhoads (District 13): Postponed to the next meeting. A report was submitted, which can be found at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/15BfopObtFLw3dzmQRTc8wqmWZzhNoUEb/view?usp=drive_link

Representative Scott Saiki (District 26): Postponed to the next meeting. No representative present, no report submitted.

Representative Daniel Holt (District 28): Postponed to the next meeting. No representative present, no report submitted.

VIII. MONTHLY REPORTS

Board of Water Supply (BWS): Postponed to the next meeting. A report was submitted, which can be found at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1H9cs-C1pGHjF8Js4rGfqEmohfUAPXECs/view?usp=drive_link

Safe Haven: Postponed to the next meeting. A report was submitted, which can be found at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/15XpbSx3JbMLCZEZuAhgFGSrqfO9eqSLX/view?usp=drive_link

Chinatown Business Community Association (CBCA): Postponed to the next meeting. A report was submitted, which can be found at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-b303Wc2_-grc2NqUi5fCK-RISBci2KX/view?usp=drive_link

Chinatown Improvement District (CID): Postponed to the next meeting. A report was submitted, which can be found at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/12EiKvgPT3RfoC9-cICMkLmv2q5ckUWXl/view?usp=drive_link

Neighborhood Citizen Patrol: Postponed to the next meeting. A report was submitted, which can be found at:

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART): Postponed to the next meeting.

IX. ANNOUNCEMENTS - [2:57:12]

Next Regular Meeting - [2:57:27]: The next meeting of the Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board No.13 is scheduled for Thursday, September 7, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. at Princess Ruth Ke‘elik lani Middle School Cafeteria and via Webex.

Rebroadcast - [2:57:39]: 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 9:00 a.m. on the third Saturday of each month. An archive of past meetings may be found on https://olelo.org/olelonet/ upon searching on .

Archive - [2:57:50]: Find an archive of handouts and referenced materials for Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board 13 at: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1F4DdI9R8Er12TNf6Bl-yb4p4EW0-68vu

X. ADJOURNMENT - [2:58:02]: The meeting was adjourned at 8:59 p.m.

Submitted by: Dylan Buck, Neighborhood Assistant

Reviewed by: Dylan Whitsell, Deputy

Finalized by:

 

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