Waikiki Get Down - Honolulu, Hawaii
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Waikiki Neighborhood Board Meeting August 2019 Minutes
INITIAL CONVENING MEETING MINUTES
TUESDAY, AUGUST 13, 2019
WAIKIKI COMMUNITY CENTER
CALL TO ORDER: Chair Robert Finley called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. A quorum was established with 12 members present. Note: This 17-member Board requires nine (9) members to establish quorum and to take official board action.
Board Members Present: Jerome Bautista, Robert Boyack, Lisa Cabanero, Helen Carroll (arrived at 7:30 p.m.), Louis Erteschik, Robert Finley, Mark Garrity, Kathryn Henski, Jeffrey Merz, John Nigro, Patricia Shields, Mark Smith, Kenneth Wilder, and Michael Brown (appointed at 7:15 p.m.).
Board Members Absent: Jeff Apaka and Walt Flood.
Guests: Franklin Chung (Libertarian Party of Hawaii); Chelsie Arashiro (Millwood Ohana Productions); Senator Sharon Moriwaki; Councilmember Tommy Waters; Rick Egged (Waikiki Improvement Association); Westley Chun and Jeffrey Herzog (United State Army Corps of Engineers); Timothy Houghton (Deputy Director of Environmental Services); Marvin Fukuchi, Tim Garry, Robin Henski, Denise Boisvert Jorgensen, Pam Walker, Carol Wertheim, Dave Watase, James Browne, Steven Thompson, Susan Thompson, Sky Chun-Matsukawa, Amy Brinker, Aurelia Gonzelez, and Kalena Thatcher; Casey Ishitani (Neighborhood Assistant). Name was not included if not legible on the attendance sheet.
FILLING OF VACANCIES:
Merz Moved and Henski Seconded to Appoint Michael Brown to fill the vacancy in Sub-District 3. The Motion was ADOPTED BY UNANIMOUS CONSENT, 12-0-0 (Aye: Bautista, Boyack, Cabanero, Erteschik, Finley, Garrity, Henski, Merz, Nigro, Shields, Smith, and Wilder; Nay: None; Abstain: None).
At 7:15 p.m., Neighborhood Assistant swore Brown in. 13 Board members present.
CITY MONTHLY REPORTS
Honolulu Fire Department (HFD): HFD Representative Kyle Aldridge reported the following:
• July 2019 Statistics: There were no structure fires, one (1) wildland fire, three (3) nuisance fires, no cooking fires, seven (7) activated alarms, 144 medical emergencies, one (1) motor vehicle collision with pedestrians, four (4) motor vehicle crashes, no mountain rescues, one (1) ocean rescues, two (2) hazardous materials incidents.
• Fire Safety Tip - Children and Fire: HFD provided the following tips to keep children safe. Residents can keep matches and lighters in a locked cabinet and out of children's reach. Closely supervise children and ensure they are kept away from other fire sources, including bonfires, lit candles, cigarettes, and stoves. Answer children's' questions regarding fire safety. Teach children to never touch matches or lighters. Teach children to resist peer pressure to misuse fire.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Cooking Fires: Shields inquired who will be held responsible for cooking fires and Aldridge responded that responsibility depends on renter's insurance for the property.
2. Hotel Fires: A resident inquired about fires in three separate hotels and if a fire in the Aston at the Waikiki Banyan was linked. Aldridge responded that all fires are linked to a suspect in police custody.
Honolulu Police Department (HPD): HPD Sergeant Jason Nakamejo reported the following:
• July 2019 Crime Statistics: There were nine (9) robberies, nine (9) burglaries, 176 thefts, 34 unauthorized entries of vehicle, 37 assaults, five (5) sex crimes, 10 bicycle citations, five (5) skateboarding citations, 18 speeding citations, 580 parking citations, four (4) loud muffler citations, 16 park closure warnings, 154 park closure citations, three (3) park closure arrests, and 4,104 total calls for service.
• Meet the Major: HPD would like to welcome the members of the community to meet the Commanders of District 1, Central Honolulu on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Hawaii Federal Credit Union, 1226 College Walk. Major Ryan Nishibun and Captain Glenn Hayashi will be on hand to answer questions, comments, and concerns.
• Crime App: Information regarding crime statistics and digital apps can be found at http://www.honolulupd.org/.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Traffic: Wilder inquired about a traffic bottleneck on Ala Wai Boulevard on Saturday, August 10, 2019. Sergeant Nakamejo responded that residents will need to adjust travel time to reports of traffic.
2. Property Damage: Henski inquired about a male suspect who threw a rock through the window of a car near the Waikiki Denny's. Sergeant Nakamejo responded that he will get back to the Board.
3. Number of Officers: Henski inquired if HPD will hire more officers and Sergeant Nakamejo responded that he will get back to the Board.
4. Mauna Kea Anti-TMT March: Henski inquired if the Anti-TMT marches were permitted and, if not, why they were allowed to march. Sergeant Nakamejo responded that the marchers complied with traffic laws and were part of a peaceful protest. Chair Finley also added that the march was considered a First Amendment Event.
5. Traffic Fatalities: Smith inquired if HFD can provide traffic fatality statistics for Waikiki and Sergeant Nakamejo responded that he will need to get back to the Board.
6. SWAT Presence: A resident inquired about SWAT presence at the corner of Ward Avenue and Queen Street and Sergeant Nakamejo responded that it most likely involves drug offenses or prostitution.
7. Bulky Item Pickup: A resident raised concerns regarding noise levels of trucks making bulky item pickups and Sergeant Nakamejo responded that if trucks are violating sound ordinances for any area the residents may report them for citation.
8. Bicycle Traffic: A resident raised concerns regarding bicycle riders flouting traffic laws and Sergenat Nakamejo responded that residents may call 911 to report individuals who are no complying with traffic laws.
Board of Water Supply (BWS): A representative was not present. An informational sheet was provide to the Board with the following report.
• Main Breaks: There were no main breaks in July 2019.
• Summer Water Conservation / Weather-Based Irrigation Controller: BWS reminded residents to avoid wasting water. A way to stop over-watering at home is to purchase a weather-based irrigation controller. The smart controller automatically adjusts residents sprinklers based on weather conditions in the area and can conserve up to 7,600 galls of water per year. Rebates for purchase can be found at www.boardofwatersupply.com/rebates.
• Water Emergency Preparedness: Due to recent storm activity, BWS reminded residents that an emergency preparedness kit should be available in residents' households. Information regarding how best to store drinking water is available online at www.boardofwatersupply.com/emergencypreparedness. To receive alerts via email or text message, subscribe to BWS at www.hnl.info.
Carroll arrived at 7:30 p.m. 14 Board members present.
Ala Wai Watershed Flood Plan: Design and Construction (DDC) Director Robert Kroning and Jeff Herzog of the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) provided a handout and reported the following updates.
• Current Status: The USACE has not signed a partnership with the State of Hawaii, but there is no current expiration of funds. The decision regarding partnerships is not at the USACE level.
• Changes to Existing Model: The USACE Hydraulic Engineering Center (HEC) model was updated with consideration to divergent elevations of terrain. The project's purpose is to protect Makiki and Moiliili areas from flooding as they have different depths due to different elevations.
• Contact Information: Herzog provided contact information. Jeffrey.firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; CEPOH-PA@usace.army.mil; and (808) 835-4004.
Questons, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Terrain: Smith inquired about a large designated space in the map provided in the Watershed Plan. Director Kroning responded that the space represents a large gathering area for water. Smith raised concerns that the area represented in the map contains high rises with elderly residents.
2. Ala Wai Golf Course: A resident raised concerns regarding the effects of the Ala Wai Watershed Project on the Ala Wai Golf Course, citing a Danielle Tucker report The Golf Club Radio Show from Saturday, August 3, 2019. Another resident inquired if the Ala Wai Watershed Project has factored in sea level rise that could damage the golf course. Director Kroning responded that inquiries to golf courses may be directed to Enterprise Services.
3. Alternative Models: A resident inquired if there are alternative models to the current watershed project and Herzog responded that an alternative model is in place but all plans must regard native freshwater fish upstream migrations.
4. Current model: A resident raised concerns that if the current model will not be in place before the "100 year flood", it will be a waste of funds. Another resident inquired if there is a measure of failure/success for the current model and Kroning responded that USACE will let the City and County of Honolulu know if the project stays on target. A Palolo resident inquired about the amount of funds factoring into the quality of the project and Herzog responded that the current plan is relegated to surveying the minimum impact to vehicles and homes. Erteschik raised concerns regarding status of current model and Herzog responded that the project is being adjusted due to community concerns, stating that community interactions are required to mitigate impact on local residents. Senator Sharon Moriwaki added that with not project partner, the watershed project cannot move forward.
5. Residential Feedback: Residents Sean Connelly and Dave Watase reiterated concerns regarding the aesthetics and negative impacts to the upstream communities as retention basins may be placed there. Resident Watase suggested a floodgate within the Ala Wai Canal to reduce the need for a wall along the Makai side, to which Herzog responded that a floodgate and pump system were considered before being found to be environmentally unacceptable due to the sediment runoff on coral offshore. Herzog also advised that any concerns based on Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) must also consider updates to the current model. Resident Connelly suggested that the flood mitigation should model itself after the Charles River Dam in Boston. Chair Finley requested updates from Herzog and Director Kroning.
RESIDENTS AND COMMUNITY CONCERNS
Surf Contests and Beach Closures: Resident Tim Garry raised concerns regarding surf contests in Waikiki. Resident Garry stated that the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) only allows 16 beach closures per year for North Shore surf contests. Queens Beach was closed for 34 days for surf contests. Resident Garry requested that the Board contact DPR and Mayor Kirk Caldwell's office in order to regulate the amount of days that Waikiki beaches are closed to the public. Chair Finley responded that the Board will place this item on a future Agenda.
PUBLIC EVENTS: Chair Finley reported the following public events in Waikiki.
• 2019 Duke's Oceanfest, Saturday August 17, 2019 to Sunday, August 25, 2019
• Waikiki Fall Festival, Saturday, September 14, 2019 from 2:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
• Aloha Fesitvals Waikiki Hoolaulea, Saturday, September 21, 2019 from 4:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
• Aloha Festivals Floral Parade, Saturday, September 28, 2019 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
• Honolulu Century Bike Ride, Sunday, September 29, 2019 from 5:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
APPLICATIONS FOR LIQUOR LICENSES: Chair Finley read the following applications for liquor license.
• Uncle's NY Pub & Grill LLC - Special Event Application
ELECTED OFFICIALS AND OTHERS
Mayor Kirk Caldwell's Representative: Mark Yonamine reported the following.
• Noise Issues on Ala Wai Boulevard: The Board raised concerns regarding loud motorcycles on Ala Wai Boulevard. More than 38 citations were issued for various muffler violations for mopeds and motorcycles during the period from Tuesday, January 1, 2019 to Wednesday, July 31, 2019. In addition, eight (8) citations were issued to motor vehicles with loud mufflers during the same time frame. Officers assigned to the Waikiki district will continue to monitor the area and take appropriate enforcement action when violations of the time are observed.
• Crossing Signal Law: Residents and Board members raised concerns about the enforcement of the crossing signal law. Department of Transportation Services (DTS) responded that the bill revises an existing law, which is under the Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS). It states under HRS 291C-33 (2), "No pedestrian shall start to cross the roadway in the direction of such signal, whether flashing or steady, but any pedestrian who has partially completed the pedestrian's crossing on the Walk or Walking Person signal shall complete the crossing to a sidewalk or safety island while the Don't Walk or Upraised Palm sign is showing"; and (3) Countdown timer. If the pedestrian-control signal is equipped with a countdown timer, any pedestrian who begins to cross the roadway shall complete the crossing to a sidewalk or safety island before the countdown timer ends."
• Waikiki Sidewalk improvement Project: Board members requested status update of sidewalk construction in front of Aston Waikiki. DDC reported that the estimated completion time for the sidewalk construction fronting Aston Waikiki is mid-August 2019. The delay at Aston Waikiki is primarily due to lack of man-power. The City construction management team (CM) continues to remind the contractor to increase their man-power. In addition, coordinating and scheduling with Hawaiian Electric for their services with adjusting several utility boxes to the new sidewalk grades has slowed the work progress
• Hobron Lane: A resident raised concerns with Representative Tom Brower regarding the lack of crosswalks on Hobron Lane, particularly in-between the Chateau Waikiki and Food Pantry Area. DTS responded that a design contract for a speed table on Hobron Lane fronting the Food Pantry and the Chateau Waikiki Condominium has just been awarded to a consultant. Estimated construction time line is two (2) years.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Kapiolani Park Benches: Wilder raised concerns regarding Kapiolani Park benches being constantly covered in bird excrement and thus detrimental to tourists.
2. Crosswalks: Carroll raised concerns regarding crosswalks being too far apart and Yonamine responded that speed tables are being considered for those areas. A resident inquired if there will be signage or postings on the crosswalks.
3. Pavilions: A resident raised concerns regarding the Waikiki Beach pavilions being enclosed by a gate. The resident inquired about the costs and materials and Yonamine responded that the enclosure will be using cost effective materials.
Bulky Item Pickup Program Update: Department of Environment Services (ENV) Deputy Director Timothy Houghton reported the following updates regarding the bulky item pickup.
• Status: In the third month of the pilot program, ENV has reported a 24 percent increase of soft goods, 33 percent increase in discarded furniture, and 21 percent increase in refrigerators and stoves.
• Resident Issues: Regarding concerns about multiple-unit dwellings, Deputy Director Houghton reported that properties with more than six (6) units may manage their item pickups as a whole, but if the property owner opts out then each individual dwelling may schedule individual pickups. Reports of illegal dumping should be reported to HPD at 911, with HPD input that pictures of license plates of individuals would help file citations to violators.
• Contact: Residents can find more information or report violations of bulky item pickup at www.opala.org.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed: Illegal Dumping: Shields reported that piles of bulky items remain in front of her address, which is a multi-unit property. A resident reported that there was trash on Aloha Drive and no bulky item pickup has collected from it. Chair Finley raised concerns regarding Mayor Caldwell's comments regarding Waikiki requiring education about bulky item pickup, citing that the weekly Saturday pickup was preferable.
Governor David Ige's Representative: Office of Environmental Quality Control Director Scott Glenn reported the following:
• Hurricane Season: Glenn urged residents to monitor storms as Hawaii enters Hurricane Season.
• Washington Place Augmented Reality: A 360 degree view of Queen Lili`uokalani's piano was created in augmented reality for Washington Place by Jeff Galicinao and Sharla Hanaoka of the University of Hawaii at West Oahu's Creative Media Department.
Questions, comments, and concerns: Environmental Trigger Exemption: Erteschik inquired if Waikiki will continue to remain within the EIS trigger exemption. Director Glenn responded that Waikiki maintains enough affordable housing to qualify for trigger exemption.
Councilmember Tommy Waters: Councilmember Waters handed out a newsletter and reported the following.
• Bulky Item Pickup: Councilmember Waters reiterated the Board's suggestion to return to Saturday bulky item pickup if the pilot program is unsuccessful.
• Ala Wai Watershed Project: Councilmember Waters, Councilmember Carol Fukunaga, and Councilmember Ann Kobayashi have formed a Permitted Interaction Group (PIG) to attempt to schedule public testimony for the Ala Wai Watershed Project.
• Short Term Rentals: Councilmember Waters referred to questions in his newsletter regarding short term vacation rentals. Residents who have received a letter regarding illegal vacation rentals expressed concern but Councilmember Waters informed residents that the letter was a courtesy to inform them that illegal rental activity may be in their neighborhood.
• Helicopters: Councilmember Waters urged the Federal Aviation Administration to regulate helicopter activity.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
• Short Term Rentals: Smith raised concerns that rentals advertised by parties other than owner may not be reported to DPP and Councilmember Waters responded that residents need to put the ownership of property into writing when reporting. A resident raised concerns regarding Bill 89, pointing out that the law appears to only benefit hotel industry. Another resident raised concerns regarding mixed-use properties that have rentals and owned units.
• Bulky Item Pickup: A resident reiterated the Board's stance that the bulky item pickup should revert back to a weekly Saturday pickup scheduling.
Senator Sharon Moriwaki: Senator Moriwaki handed out a newsletter and reported the following.
• Traffic Congestion: Senator Moriwaki raised concerns regarding the traffic on Walina Street, citing it as an area of contention for residents and tourists due to heavy congestion. Senator Moriwaki expressed willingness to work with the hotel industry, residents, the Waikiki Improvement Association, City Administration, and other elected officials to mitigate congestion on Walina Street and in Waikiki as a whole.
• "Eyesore" Hotels: Senator Moriwaki reiterated communtiy concerns regarding "eyesore" hotels in Waikiki - properties in disrepair and unpaid leases that do not adhere to Waikiki aesthetics.
Representative Tom Brower: Representative Brower handed out his newsletter and answered questions, comments, and concerns.
Waikiki Improvement Association: Rick Egged reported that September 2019 is Aloha Festivals month with the following events.
• Aloha Festivals Concert on the Beach, Saturday, September 7, 2019
• Sunset on the Beach, Saturday, September 14, 2019
• Sunset on the Beach Premieres of Hawaii Five-0 and Magnum P.I., Thursday, September 19, 2019
APPROVAL OF THE TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2019 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
The approval of the Tuesday, July 9, 2019 regular meeting minutes were deferred to the September 2019 meeting.
NEW BOARD BUSINESS
Congressman Ed Case's Resolution on Tour Aircraft: Chair Finley forwarded a copy of a Resolution supporting Congressman Ed Case's proposed regulation of tour helicopter and other small aircraft operations.
Henski Moved and Smith Seconded to Adopt the Resolution supporting Congressman Ed Case's proposed regulation of tour helicopter and other small aircraft operations. The Motion was ADOPTED BY UNANIMOUS RESOLUTION, 14-0-0 (Aye: Bautista, Boyack, Cabanero, Erteschik, Finley, Garrity, Henski, Merz, Nigro, Shields, Smith, Wilder, Carroll, and Brown; Nay: None; Abstain: None).
Treasurer's Report: The remaining budget for the Waikiki Neighborhood Board was $435.84.
Sub District 1 Report: No report was given.
Sub District 2 Report: No report was given.
Sub District 3 Report: No report was given.
Chair Report: Chair Finley inquired with Senator Moriwaki about the status of City and County of Honolulu Bill 38, which would enable more control over loading zones in Waikiki. Senator Moriwaki reported that she would get back to the Board.
• The next Waikiki Neighborhood Board No. 9 meeting is scheduled for Tuesday September 10, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
• View this meeting on Olelo Channel 49 at 9:00 p.m. on the 4th Tuesday each month, and at 6:00 a.m. on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month. View online at: http://olelo.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=30
ADJOURNMENT - The meeting adjourned at 9:35 p.m. due to facility closure.
Submitted by: Casey Ishitani, Neighborhood Assistant
Reviewed by: Harry Cho, Public Relations
Final Review: Chair Robert Finley
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