Waikiki Get Down - Honolulu, Hawaii
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Waikiki Neighborhood Board Meeting September 2019 Minutes
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 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 11 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, Lisa Cabanero, Helen Carroll, Louis Erteschik, Robert Finley, Walt Flood, Kathryn Henski, Jeffrey Merz, John Nigro, Patricia Shields, and Kenneth Wilder.
Board Members Absent: Robert Boyack, Mark Garrity, Mark Smith, and Michael Brown.
Guests: Dominic Dias (Board of Water Supply); Lieutenant Jon Nakashima and Officer Troy Yamada (Honolulu Police Department); Captain Lee Marquez (Honolulu Fire Department); Senator Sharon Moriwaki; Councilmember Tommy Waters; Deputy Director Tim Houghton (Department of Environment Services); Deputy Director Andrew Garrett (Department of Human Resources Development); Franklin Chung (Libertarian Party of Hawaii); Tae Kim, Denise Boisvert Jorgensen, Jennifer Ropiak, Tim Garry, Dave Moskowitz, and Amy Brinker (Residents); Casey Ishitani (Neighborhood Assistant). Name was not included if not legible on the attendance sheet.
FILLING OF VACANCIES:
Sub District 2: Hearing no appointees, Chair Finley deferred this item to the October 2019 meeting. Chair Finley also announced that Board member Jeff Apaka resigned via e-mail on Sunday, September 6, 2019 and there will be two (2) vacancies for Sub District 2.
CITY MONTHLY REPORTS
Honolulu Fire Department (HFD): HFD Captain Lee Marquez reported the following:
• August 2019 Statistics: There were four (4) structure fires, two (2) wildland fires, four (4) nuisance fires, one (1) cooking fire, six (6) activated alarms, 132 medical emergencies, three (3) motor vehicle collisions with pedestrians, one (1) motor vehicle collision, and five (5) ocean rescues.
• Fire Safety Tip - Senior Citizens: HFD has the following guidelines for senior citizens: call 911 first for any emergency; have a list of medications and medical history ready; have knowledge of where advanced directives are (Comfort Care, Do Not Resuscitate, physician orders for life-sustaining treatment, etc.); ensure adequate access to HFD; and ensure address is clearly marked and easy to see.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Kapahulu: Henski inquired about statistics regarding motor vehicle accidents on Kapahulu and Captain Marquez responded that he would get back to the Board.
2. HFD Forms: Chair Finley inquired if there are forms that can be distributed from HFD to elderly residents regarding whether they live alone and with health issues. Captain Marquez responded that he will get back to the Board and that residents can contact HFD Community Relations at https://www.honolulu.gov/hfd/communityrelations.html or (808) 723-7139.
3. Access: Shields raised concerns regarding HFD officers being unable to access buildings for medical emergencies without being physically let in.
Honolulu Police Department (HPD): HPD Lieutenant Jon Nakashima reported the following:
• August 2019 Crime Statistics: There were 12 robberies, 27 burglaries, 186 thefts, 23 unauthorized entries of vehicles, 44 assaults, six (6) sex crimes, six (6) citations of bicycles on sidewalks, six (6) citations for skateboards on sidewalks, three (3) speeding citations, 625 parking citations, 38 warnings for park closure, 130 citations for park closure, two (2) arrests for park closure, and 4,230 total calls for service.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Hobron Lane: A resident raised concerns regarding a trespassing vendor on Hobron Lane and Lieutenant Nakashima responded that if the vendor is disruptive residents should call HPD at 911.
2. Skateboarding and Loud Muffler Citations: Carroll inquired about the low numbers of citations for skateboarding on the sidewalk and loud mufflers. Lieutenant Nakashima responded that officers can only cite a certain amount of offenders when they are present. A resident inquired how they can report officers who neglect to cite offenders and Lieutenant Nakashima responded that residents can report to the supervisors but to remember that HPD officers are able to catch only a certain amount of offenders.
Community Policing Project at Jefferson Elementary School: Estria Johnson reported that community project Mele Murals is planning on conceptualizing and painting a mural at Jefferson Elementary School that will face Ala Wai Boulevard.
Henksi Moved and Bautista Seconded to Support Mele Murals conceptualization and painting of a mural at Jefferson Elementary School. The Motion was ADOPTED BY UNANIMOUS CONSENT, 11-0-0 (Aye: Bautista, Cabanero, Carroll, Erteschik, Finley, Flood, Henski, Merz, Nigro, Shields, and Wilder; Nay: None; Abstain: None).
Board of Water Supply (BWS): BWS representative Dominic Dias reported the following.
• Main Breaks: There were no main breaks in August 2019.
• 2019-2020 Halawa Xeriscape Garden Workshop Schedule:
• 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.
RESIDENTS AND COMMUNITY CONCERNS
Vehicular Noise: Residents raised concerns about the prevalence of engine and muffler noise in Waikiki, inquiring where vehicles receive certification and how their business licenses can be inspected.
Tae Kim: Attorney Tae Kim announced his entry into the City and County of Honolulu Prosecutor race. More information can be found at http://www.votetkim.com/.
Refuse Collection: Residents raised concerns regarding refuse pickup being too early, sometimes as early as 3:00 a.m., with reverse signal beeping waking residents. Henski responded that residents should file a noise complaint if the instances occur.
Ebbtide Hotel: A resident raised legal concerns regarding an ATM operating in front of the Ebbtide Hotel.
PUBLIC EVENTS: Chair Finley reported the following public events in Waikiki.
• Waikiki Fall Festival, Saturday, September 14, 2019, 2:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
• Hawaii 5-0 and Magnum P.I. Season Premier, Thursday, September 19, 2019, 5:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
• Aloha Festivals Waikiki Hoolaulea, Saturday, September 21, 2019, 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
• Aloha Festivals Floral Parade, Saturday, September 28, 2019, 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
• Waikiki Bazaar Festival, Saturday, October 12, 2019, 2:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
• Komen Run for the Cure, Sunday, October 13, 2019, 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
• Honolulu Pride Parade, Saturday, October 19, 2019, 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
APPLICATIONS FOR LIQUOR LICENSES: There were no liquor license applications for September 2019.
ELECTED OFFICIALS AND OTHERS
Mayor Kirk Caldwell's Representative: Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Deputy Director Mark Yonamine and Environment Services (ENV) Deputy Director Tim Houghton reported the following.
• Crosswalk: The Board reported a lack of informational stickers at the crosswalks. HPD District 6 has increased its initiatives to educate visitors and residents alike through various means, including strategically placed message boards/vehicle speed trailers, traffic safety awareness campaigns with community partners, and educational safety talks with community stakeholders. DTS (Department of Transportation Services) responded that, except for California, all other states have similar laws on pedestrian crossing during the pedestrian interval. Enforcement of various laws implemented through legislation (speeding, parking, etc.) is under HPD.
• Bulky Item Pick-up: Residents and Board members inquired if ENV would go back to Saturday morning bulky item pickup. Residents also raised concerns about the noise levels of the pickup crews in pre-dawn hours. The Bulky Pilot Project will be in effect till January 2020. As of Thursday, August 1, 2019, multi-unit residences are allowed to schedule their own pickup. ENV is in the Waikiki area collecting bulky every Saturday, this has not changed. City and County of Honolulu Bulky Item collection starts at 6:00 a.m. Most of the refuse collection noise complaints ENV receives is the result of private refuse companies who operate in the area prior to 6:00 a.m. As stated by the HPD representative, HPD can cite Refuse Collection companies if the noise level is excessive. Please call 911 if you are experiencing excessive noise levels in your area.
• Hotel Fires: Board members and residents requested updates regarding the hotel fires / arson incidents in August 2019. A CrimeStoppers Bulletin was released to the media on Wednesday, August 7, 2019, showing surveillance photographs of a person-of-interest in these arson cases. Tips identifying a possible suspect were received, but no witnesses came forward. The suspect was arrested for unrelated charges; however, he refused to speak with HPD detectives in regards to these arson cases. The arson cases are currently pending further development.
• Ala Wai Watershed Project: The Board requested a list of updates to the original proposed Ala Wai Watershed Project and DDC had no updates available.
• Vacation Rentals: Residents raised concerns regarding Bill 89 vacation rental law, inquiring about mixed unit residences such as the Aston Banyan. Board members and residents also requested specifics as to where the resort area ends in the Waikiki area. Due to a pending litigation regarding the Aston Banyan (Waikiki Banyan) the Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) are unable to respond to this request. For the boundaries of the Resort Mixed Use Precinct in the Waikiki Special District, please refer to the DPP website at: www.honolulu.gov/dppstr.
• Pavilions: A resident raised concerns regarding a proposed nightly enclosure at the Waikiki Beach Pavilions. Resident requested updates and budget proposed for project. The Waikiki Beach Pavilions are under closure hours between the hours of 2:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. The Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) is working with DFM on the possibility of installing security gates around the pavilions at Kuhio Beach Park. However, there has not been a finalized proposal or cost at this time. Park closure hours will not change; however, access to pavilions could if security gates are installed.
• Surfing Contests: A resident raised concerns regarding the number of days Waikiki beaches are closed for surf contests, citing that they far exceed the number of dates on the North Shore. DPR reported that it permits surf contests at Kuhio Beach Park, usually around eight (8) contests per year, and usually during the summer months. DPR has never closed the entire beach area, and only allows organizations to permit a portion of the beach area for their event/activity. DLNR has jurisdiction in the ocean waters.
• Kapiolani Park Benches: Board members raised concerns regarding bird excrement on the benches at Kapiolani Park and added that they need to be cleaned before events. DPR staff cleans all of the benches fronting the Kapiolani Bandstand before all permitted major events take place.
• Broken Traffic Light: Board raised that a pedestrian traffic signal light crossing Kuhio Avenue and Ohua Avenue on the Ewa side is out of service and needs to be fixed. DTS Traffic Signals Division sent crew to investigate and repair signal light.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Traffic Lights: Shields raised concerns regarding faulty traffic lights that at the corner of Liliuokalani Avenue and Kuhio Avenue. Deputy Director Yonamine responded that he will forward to DTS.
2. Bird Excrement: Wilder disputed DPR claims that bird excrement was cleaned from park benches.
3. Pavilions: A resident raised concerns regarding homeless individuals at the Waikiki Beach Pavilions and Deputy Director Yonamine responded that the area is a public facility and they have the right to stay at the pavilions when open.
Bulky Item Pickup Pilot Program: ENV Deputy Director Houghton reported the following.
• August 2019 Statistics: For soft goods, Waikiki had a 55 percent increase in appointments from July 2019 to August 2019. For white goods, Waikiki had a 34 percent increase in appointments from July 2019 to August 2019. There were 194 soft good appointments totaling 15.16 tons.
• Multi-Unit Change: Six (6) condominiums have opted out of the multi-unit change in waste disposal.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Pilot Program Timeline: Henski inquired when the pilot program will end and Deputy Director Houghton responded that it will end in January 2020. Wilder inquired what happens after January 2020 and Deputy Director Houghton responded that future plans include extending pilot, making the program permanent, or extending pilot to the rest of Oahu.
2. Reverting to Original Refuse Collection: Shields inquired about options to revert back to the original Saturday refuse collection program and Deputy Director Houghton responded that it depends on the success of the current collection planned.
3. Success Metric: Bautista inquired about ENV metrics for success and Deputy Director Houghton responded that it will depend on whether pickups are on schedule and if there is a noticeable reduction in illegal refuse.
4. Alternative Refuse Transfer: Bautista inquired if Waikiki has an alternative refuse transfer program and Deputy Director Houghton responded that the Saturday pickup is still in place.
Governor David Ige's Representative: Department of Human Resources Development Deputy Director Andrew Garrett reported the following:
• Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT): The TMT has undergone unprecedented legal and community scrutiny. Governor Ige continues to seek reconciliation with the Native Hawaiian and astronomy community.
• Environment Impact Statement (EIS): On Friday, August 9, 2019, the Office of Environment Quality Control (OEQC) and the State Environmental Council completed the State of Hawaii's EIS Rules. The rules clarify the process of allowing exemptions for building certain affordable housing. They also consider sea level rise and greenhouse gas emissions, requiring public meetings at the beginning of the EIS process. More details can be found at https://health.hawaii.gov/oeqc/.
Councilmember Tommy Waters: Councilmember Waters handed out a newsletter and reported the following.
• Resolution 19-182: Resolution 19-182 authorizes the Mayor or Mayor's Designee to receive and expend limited purpose monies from the State of Hawaii for the Ala Wai Flood Risk Management Project and to convey project property and improvements to the State of Hawaii. Councilmember Waters supports the Resolution due to the possible benefits to the Waikiki area.
• Noise Issues in Waikiki: Councilmember Waters reiterated concerns regarding loud muffler noises and added that leaf blowers are also an issue.
• Tour Helicopters: Councilmember Waters referred to a Resolution from Congressman Ed Case regarding the regulation of tour helocopters.
• Surf Contests: Councilmember Waters inquired the about the Board's position on surf contests.
• Refuse Pickup: Councilmember Waters raised concerns regarding the frequency of bulky item pickup and noise issues with early morning pickup.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Refuse Truck Noise: Erteschik raised concerns regarding noise volumes of refuse trucks collecting dumpsters early in the morning, particularly the beeping from reversing. Nigro raised concerns regarding disdain for the beeping as it is used as a safety countermeasure for pedestrians. Councilmember Waters inquired and ENV Deputy Director Houghton confirmed that the trucks are from a private company and ENV will need to look into their pickup policies as ENV vehicles are barred from pickups before 6:00 a.m.
2. 1615 Ala Wai Boulevard: Henksi inquired about updates on the status of an abandoned building at 1615 Ala Wai Boulevard. Councilmember Waters responded that the City and County of Honolulu is in negotiations to purchase the property from the owner and needs to establish a public purpose in order to bid for it.
3. Street Parking: Wilder raised concerns regarding new street parking rules and inquired if residents can be granted parking permits. Councilmember Waters responded that permits may be too expensive. Chair Finley responded that the Waikiki Transportation Management Association has been working to reduce parking costs for residents.
4. Ala Wai Watershed Project: A resident raised concerns regarding the aesthetics of a proposed wall for the Ala Wai Watershed Project.
5. Community Benefit Program: Chair Finley inquired about a rumor in Waikiki about the City and County of Honolulu putting stop to funds being placed into a Community Benefit Program. Councilmember Waters responded that he will get back to the Board.
Senator Sharon Moriwaki: Senator Moriwaki handed out a newsletter and reported the following.
• 2019 Senate Special Session: On Tuesday, September 10, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. the Senate Committee on Judiciary held a hearing on judicial appointments for Big Island.
• Waikiki Congestion: Regarding congestion on Walina Street due to construction, Senator Moriwaki has been in discussions with Brookfield Properties to construct pedestrian safety fencing on the Diamond Head side of Walina Street. Department of Transportation (DTS) suggested a temporary closure of the sidewalk due to safety concerns.
• Waikiki Pedestrian Safety Campaign: On Friday, August 30, 2019, Waikiki Safe Walk volunteers sign-waved at the corner of Kalakaua Avenue and Kuhio Avenue. The Waikiki Safe Walk project is based on feedback from Waikiki Community Center members.
• 1615 Ala Wai Boulevard: Senator Moriwaki reiterated that the property owner of 1615 Ala Wai Boulevard is holding out for the highest bidder before relinquishing his property.
• Ala Wai Watershed Project: Senator Moriwaki reported that Mayor Caldwell is ready to sign the 121 million dollar contract, with Governor Ige close to supporting the project with a Certificate of Partnership.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed: Waikiki Small Boat Harbor: Resident Dave Moskowitz inquired about development at Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor. Senator Moriwaki responded that in 1990, DTS placed the harbor in Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) purview, but DLNR is not equipped to run harbors.
Representative Tom Brower: Representative Brower handed out his newsletter and reported the following.
• Vacation Rentals: Representative Brower reported that stricter enforcement will need to occur in order to curb illegal vacation rentals in Waikiki.
• Refuse Pickup: Representative Brower raised concerns regarding dumpster waste spills from private refuse pickup companies.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed:
1. Homelessness: Henski raised concerns about the length of time it took the City and County of Honolulu to provide aide to a homeless individual on Kuhio Avenue and Paoakalani Avenue.
2. Biki Bike: Erteschik inquired about how to enforce bike laws on Biki Bike users. Chair Finley responded that the five (5) year Biki Bike contract with the City and County of Honolulu will need input and feedback.
Waikiki Improvement Association: Chair Finley reported that September 2019 is Aloha Festivals month with the following events.
• Sunset on the Beach Premieres of Hawaii Five-0 and Magnum P.I., Thursday, September 19, 2019
Congressman Ed Case: Asami Kobayashi of Congressman Case's office reported the following.
• Olelo 49: "Congressman Ed Case Reports to Hawai‘i" airs on ‘ lelo channel 49 every third Sunday of the month at 6:00 p.m. and again the Tuesday after at 10:00 a.m. Residents can also find each episode currently published on Congressman Case's YouTube channel.
• Bills: Congressman Case introduced House Resolution (HR) 2406, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Commissioned Officer Corps Amendments Act of 2019, which would help the NOAA Corps improve recruitment, retention and diversity to attract more qualified commissioned officers. Congressman Case introduced HR 3949 in support of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC). Congressman Case also supported Filipino veterans' family reunification and coral reef sustainability.
• Helicopters: Congressman Case raised the issue of tour helicopters to the National Park Service with the House Committee on Natural Resources.
• Short Term Rental: Congressman Case spoke to the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Member Day hearing on the impacts of short-term rentals on Hawai‘i and how Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA 230) allows internet platforms to knowingly violate laws seeking to regulate short-term rentals.
• Talk Story Events: Congressman Case will be doing five (5) general district-wide Talk Story with Congressman Case events in early October 2019 in Hawai‘i Kai, Moiliili, Pearl City, Mililani, and Kapolei.
Questions, comments, and concerns followed. Clean-Ups: Shields inquired if Congressman Case will participate in clean-ups and Kobayashi responded that he wants to ban plastic bags at a national level.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Henski Moved and Cabanero Seconded to Adopt the Tuesday, July 9, 2019 and Tuesday, August 13, 2019 regular meeting minutes with option to Amend in the future. The Motion was ADOPTED BY UNANIMOUS CONSENT, 11-0-0 (Aye: Bautista, Cabanero, Carroll, Erteschik, Finley, Flood, Henski, Merz, Nigro, Shields, and Wilder; Nay: None; Abstain: None).
NEW BOARD BUSINESS
Board Recess in December 2019: Cabanero Moved and Henski Seconded to Adopt a Board Recess in December 2019. The Motion was ADOPTED BY MAJORITY VOTE, 10-1-0 (Aye: Bautista, Cabanero, Carroll, Erteschik, Finley, Henski, Merz, Nigro, Shields, and Wilder; Nay: Flood; Abstain: None).
Surf Event Scheduling and Numbers Per Year: Resident Tim Garry raised concerns regarding the quantity of surf events that close a portion of Queens Beach. In a 120 day period, Resident Garry reported that Queens Beach was closed for 34 days. This in contrast to the 16 days per beach on the North Shore or Oahu. Resident Garry has corresponded with Mayor Caldwell, Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), and DLNR. He has also reported being chased out of the water off of Queens Beach. Resident Garry also raised concerns regarding corporations at events that are relegated for non-profit organizations, adding that the Ed Underwood of the DLNR promised to keep the Duke Surf Festival off only for it to proceed. Wilder inquired if the 16 closures on the North Shore are for the whole region and Resident Garry responded that it is relegated for each beach. Resident Garry requested a Board resolution to support a petition for less beach closures per year at Queens Beach. Henski responded that the Board will need to review the petition before adopting it or a resolution in support of it.
Treasurer's Report: The remaining budget for the Waikiki Neighborhood Board was $397.26.
Sub District 1 Report: No report was given.
Sub District 2 Report: Flood reported that Life Alert systems are useful tools in emergencies.
Sub District 3 Report: No report was given.
Chair Report: Chair Finley reported the following:
• Wednesday, September 11, 2019 marks the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks
• Oceanit will be meeting to discuss flood mitigation and consultation with experts.
• Sub District 2 has a vacancy due to Apaka's resignation.
• WIA is currently looking to adopt six (6) mini-parks in the Waikiki area
• The next Waikiki Neighborhood Board No. 9 meeting is scheduled for Tuesday October 17, 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 9:15 p.m.
Submitted by: Casey Ishitani, Neighborhood Assistant
Reviewed by: Harry Cho, Public Relations
Final Review: Chair Robert Finley
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