Waikiki Get Down - Honolulu, Hawaii
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Waikiki Neighborhood Board Meeting March 2020 Minutes
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
TUESDAY, MARCH 10, 2020
WAIKIKI COMMUNITY CENTER
CALL TO ORDER: Chair Robert Finley called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. A quorum was established with 14 members present. Note: This 17-member Board requires nine (9) members to establish quorum and to take official board action. Chair Finley informed attendees that if they are feeling ill they should remain at home.
Board Members Present: Jerome Bautista, Robert Boyack, Lisa Cabanero, Helen Carroll, Louis Erteschik, Robert Finley, Walt Flood, Mark Garrity, Kathryn Henksi, Jeffrey Merz, John Nigro, Patricia Shields, Mark Smith and Michael Brown.
Board Members Absent: Kenny Wilder.
Guests: Captain Lee Marquez (Honolulu Fire Department); Gayson Ching and Steve Ozoa (Department of Land and Natural Resources); Richard Aoki (Hawaiian Dredging and Construction Company); Councilmember Tommy Waters; Senator Sharon Moriwaki; Jennifer Ropiak, Midori Trent, Jacob Wiencek, Tim Garry, Shannon Noda-Carroll, Chelsi Arashiro, Pam Walker, Denise Boisvert, Choon James, Ray Freese, Franklin Chung and Phyllius Dendle (Residents); Casey Ishitani (Neighborhood Assistant). Name was not included if not legible on the attendance sheet.
FILLING OF VACANCIES:
Two (2) Vacancies Sub District 2: Hearing no appointees, Chair Finley deferred this item to the next meeting.
CITY MONTHLY REPORTS
Honolulu Fire Department (HFD): HFD Captain Lee Marquez reported the following.
• February 2020 Statistics: Captain Marquez read the statistics for February 2020.
• Safety Tip - Fire Sprinklers: Fire sprinklers respond quickly and effectively to fire. The National Fire Protection Association reported that sprinklers reduced fire deaths by 83 percent and property loss in homes by 69 percent.
Questions, comments and concerns followed.
1. Elevators: Smith inquired if HFD responds to stalled elevators and Captain Marquez responded that they do but are not alarm calls and that he will bring the number of stalled elevators to the Board.
2. Surf Rack Fire: A resident inquired and Captain Marquez confirmed that an HFD arson investigator will be collaborating with HFD.
Honolulu Police Department (HPD): HPD representative Lieutenant Jon Nakashima reported the following.
• February 2020 Statistics: There were seven (7) robberies, 10 burglaries, 138 thefts, 23 unauthorized entries of motor vehicles, 25 assaults, one (1) sex crime, 39 citations for bicycling on the sidewalk, 10 citations for skateboarding on the sidewalk, three (3) speeding, 676 parking violation, 14 park closure warnings, 89 park closure citations, two (2) park closure arrests and 3,882 total calls for service.
• Surf Rack Fire: Lieutenant Nakashima reported that the there is a suspect in custody and the investigation is ongoing.
• Special Olympics: Director of Development Tracey Bender reported that the Law Enforcement Sports Run will take place on Friday, May 29, 2020 from Waikiki to the University of Hawaii for the opening of the Special Olympics. Events are pending delays due to Covid-19.
Questions, comments and concerns followed. Surf Rack Fire: A resident requested that HPD install security cameras in Waikiki.
Board of Water Supply (BWS): There was no BWS representative. Chair Finley read from a memo provided by the Neighborhood Commission.
• Main Breaks: There were no main breaks in February 2020.
• WebSmart Web Portal: BWS customers can access information regarding household usage at honolulu.watersmart.com. Enter billing information and an e-mail address to sign in.
• Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) Update: HECO will be open only to residential traffic due to trenching from Monday, March 16, 2020 to Friday, May 29, 2020 and Friday, June 12, 2020 to Tuesday, July 14, 2020.
207 Paoakalani Avenue: A resident reported that Mayor Kirk Caldwell will meet with him to dedicate a garden to slain HPD officers.
Hobron Lane: A resident reported that there is litter and bulky items at the HECO station on Hobron Lane.
Mayoral Candidates: Choon James and Tim Garry announced their mayoral campaigns.
Ala Wai Golf Course: A resident raised concerns regarding the United States Corps of Engineers (USACE) possibly using the Ala Wai Golf Course for flood mitigation purposes.
PUBLIC EVENTS: Chair Finley reported the following public events in Waikiki, subject to change due to Covid-19.
• Sunday, April 5, 2020 from 4:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Hapalua Honolulu Half Marathon
• Wednesday, April 15, 2020 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Salute to Youth Parade
• Saturday, April 18, 2020 from 2:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., Waikiki Spring Festival
• Saturday, April 25, 2020 from 1:30 p.m. to 12:00 a.m., Waikiki Spam Jam
APPLICATIONS FOR LIQUOR LICENSES: Chair Finley reported the following hearing dates for liquor licenses.
• Thursday, April 9, 2020, Hawaiian Aroma Caffe, 350 Royal Hawaiian Avenue, Category 3
• Thursday, April 9, 2020, Kawagoe, 226 Lewers Street, Category 2
ELECTED OFFICIALS AND OTHERS
Mayor Kirk Caldwell's Representative: A representative was not present. Chair Finley reported responses from a public memo.
• Homelessness: The Board and residents requested updates regarding trespassing at the HECO substation. Residents and Board members also raised concerns regarding homeless individuals harassing tourists at the Waikiki Beach pavilions. Checks were made by HPD for any trespassing reports and none were located. Additional checks were made for calls made by anyone reporting suspicious activity in the area but only a few calls were made. HPD encourages the complainants to immediately call 911 when the suspicious activity is occurring so that the responding officer can observe the violation and take enforcement action. The District 6 (Waikiki) Community Policing Team is familiar with the homeless individuals and had addressed various violations with them when observed. However, due to the pavilions being open to all members of the public, there are no particular measures to minimize the presence of the homeless since they are afforded the same civil rights protection as all individuals to remain in public places. HPD officers have made numerous attempts to get these homeless individuals connected to social service providers, but the individuals frequently refuse to get help. HPD officers are currently working with the Institute for Human Services (HIS) in trying to get one (1) of the individuals to seek further assistance with the case management and housing. The City and County of Honolulu is planning to commercialize the pavilions. Pavilion No. 3 is the most recent example. The City and County of Honolulu is looking to commercialize both Pavilion Nos. 2 and 4 in the near future.
• Cartwright Street: Residents and Board members reiterated concerns regarding suspicious activity on Cartwright Street near the food carts. They have also reported carts in disrepair. HPD checks were made for calls made by anyone regarding suspicious activity in the Cartwright Road area, but most of the calls were for parking and noise complaints. Cartwright Road is privately owned so the HPS officers are limited in what they can do in terms of enforcement. The information from the Board meeting will be passed on to the patrol beat officers. Again, HPD encourages the public to call 911 whenever they observe any suspicious activity occurring so that an officer can be dispatched to check the area or to meet with them.
• Moped / Motorcycle Noise: The Board and residents continue to raise concerns regarding moped and motorcycle noise. HPD responded that one (1) of the requirements for a moped's exhaust system to pass inspection is to not emit a noise louder than 100 decibels at half throttle. This is based on the inspection guide provided on the City Department of Customer Services' website for Moped Registration information. Similarly for motorcycles, the inspection guideline states that one of the factors for a motorcycle's exhaust system to pass inspection is it cannot "emit a much louder noise than that emitted by the vehicle as equipped from the factory." Based on how both are determined to be "acceptable" by the inspection process, this can make enforcement of moped and motorcycle noise difficult at times.
• Construction by Former Food Pantry: Residents and Board members requested updates regarding seawater seepage at 225 Kaiulani Avenue. The Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) responded that on Friday, February 21, 2020, a follow-up investigation by the DPP, Building Division, revealed the construction site is located two (2) blocks away from 225 Kaiulani Avenue at 2370 Kuhio Avenue. The contractor, Nordic PCL, is maintaining their construction site with dewatering pits to ensure the seawater seepage does not overflow into the neighboring properties. If the seawater was to ever exit the construction site, it would enter the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) which is the City's storm drain system, designed for collecting or conveying stormwater only, and discharges to US waters before it would reach the complainant's property. At the time of inspection, there doesn't appear any evidence that the construction activities at 2370 Kuhio Avenue have any direct relationship to the apparent seepage at 225 Kaiulani Avenue. The "sea level rise" is not an addressable issue at this time. There is no building code violation at this time.
• 1717 Ala Wai Boulevard: Board requested updates regarding the abandoned property at 1717 Ala Wai Boulevard. On Friday, February 21, 2020, the DPP, Customer Service Division (CSD), Commercial and Multi-Family Family Code Enforcement Branch, revealed there is a thirty-one story, multi-family, 283-unit apartment building at 1717 Ala Wai Boulevard. The property is not abandoned and there was no overgrowth, trash, or discarded debris observed.
• Cast Iron Pipes: The Board raised concerns regarding the cast iron water mains corroding over time. BWS is currently utilizing a risk-based tool to help prioritize which water mains to replace first. The evaluation is done for all water mains island-wide. Water Main replacement projects are crafted based on a water main's risk grade. The water main material type, like cast iron, is one of many factors that the tool utilizes.
• Ritz-Carlton Public Parking Lot: The Board requested updates regarding signage to let drivers know that the parking lot is available. The Board also requested that back-pay funding be refunded back to Waikiki. The Waikiki Transportation Management Association and the Department of Transportation Services (DTS) jointly installed on Friday, March 23, 2020 a parking sign for the Kuhio Kaiolu Parking Lot. Requests for refund, of the lease rent for the Right of Entry Non-Exclusive Lease Agreement between the City and PACREP2, LLC should be referred to the Department of Budget and Fiscal Services (BFS).
• Kalaimoku Street: The Board raised concerns regarding two (2) lanes being blocked and causing traffic jams. DTS checked and no permits were issued to close 2 lanes on Kalaimoku Street. DTS did a field check of Kalaimoku Street and did not see any lane closure.
• Bulky Item Pickup: The Board raised concerns of the effectiveness of Bulky Item Pickup in Waikiki. They requested that the Waikiki area be reverted back to the weekly pickup. Environmental Services (ENV) crews are currently collecting bulky items with appointments every Saturday. At the end of January 2020, the program showed success and has been continued indefinitely. The current statistics from the pilot indicate we are seeing on average 3.5 bulky item units and 1.4 white goods collected per appointment, which is well under the five (5) item limit threshold.
Questions, comments and concerns followed. Construction at Former Food Pantry: A resident reiterated reports of water seepage at the construction site of the former Food Pantry at 225 Kaiulani Avenue and inquired if permit was granted. Chair Finley confirmed that permit was granted.
Governor David Ige's Representative: Steve Ozoa of the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and Richard Galanto of Hawaiian Dredging reported that there will be wall repairs to the Ala Wai Canal. Phase I will begin on Monday, March 30, 2020 in which test columns will be placed. In August 2020, Phase II will begin. One (1) lane will be closed on Ala Wai Boulevard from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Questions, comments and concerns followed.
1. Foundation: Smith inquired if there is bedrock under Ala Wai Boulevard and Ozoa responded that there is only coral foundations that will be unstable without repairs.
2. Lane Closure: Smith inquired which lane will be closed on Ala Wai Boulevard and Ozoa responded that it will be the Kalakaua Street exit.
Councilmember Tommy Waters: Councilmember Waters reported the following.
• Townhall: Councilmember Waters and Senator Sharon Moriwaki attended a townhall on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 to discuss Board's HPD inquiries.
• Resolutions: Councilmember Waters introduced Resolution 20-65 regarding the abandoned property on 1615 Ala Wai Boulevard. Resolution 19-329 proposes a youth commission.
Questions, comments and concerns followed.
1. 1615 Ala Wai Boulevard: Henski requested updates regarding 1615 Ala Wai Boulevard and Councilmember Waters reported that he placed signs at the property to alert the owner of violations. Merz raised concerns regarding out of state property owners leaving derelict properties.
2. Homelessness: Smith raised concerns regarding homeless individuals along the Diamond Head hillside moving into the residential neighborhoods.
3. HPD Shortage: A resident raised concerns regarding HPD officer shortages
Senator Sharon Moriwaki: Senator Moriwaki handed out a newsletter and reported the following.
• Ritz Carlton Parking Lot: The Ritz Carlton is working with the City and County of Honolulu to let the public know that the parking lot is open.
• Resolutions: Senator Moriwaki reported that Senate Concurrent Resolutions (SCR) being proposed are SCR 206 for Senate Resolution (SR) 173 and SCR 205 for SR 172.
• Homelessness: Senate Bill (SB) 2505 was drafted with the State Department of Health (DOH) to combat homelessness.
• Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor (ASBH): Hawaii Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement (DOCARE) performed sweeps of ASBH.
Questions, comments and concerns followed.
1. Ritz Carlton Parking Lot: Flood inquired where parking fees are sent to and Senator Moriwaki responded that they will go to the City and County of Honolulu.
2. Refuse Collection: Merz suggested that refuse collection vehicles turn off their reverse beeping and Senator Moriwaki responded that the trucks are required to leave the beeping mechanism on.
3. Covid-19: Chair Finley raised concerns regarding the economic impact of Covid-19 on Honolulu. Senator Moriwaki reported that she will bring that up with Governor Ige. Henski suggested banning cruise ships.
Representative Tom Brower: Representative Brower handed out his newsletter and reported the following.
• Homelessness: Representative Brower will investigate Hobron Lane and Ena Road.
• Covid-19: The House will monitor the spread of Covid-19 and its effects on Honolulu.
• Airline Emissions: Representative Brower criticized the City and County of Honolulu and the State of Hawaii for continuing to appeal to the tourism industry while pushing for environmentalist goals.
Questions, comments and concerns followed.
1. Covid-19: A resident inquired if the State Legislature had a plan to mitigate effects of Covid-19 on the economy and Representative Brower responded that the State will need to concentrate on local markets instead of tourism.
2. Transit Fee Increases: Shields raised concerns regarding transit fee increases of seniors and Representative Brower responded that he feels increases would be problematic.
Waikiki Improvement Association (WIA): WIA President Rick Egged reported the following.
• Clarification: Egged clarified an error in a Honolulu Star-Advertiser editorial. He did not claim that the City and County of Honolulu was slow to put up a sign. The Transportation Management Association was created to quickly deal with matters in Waikiki.
• Kuhio Beach Pavilions: The City and County of Honolulu has plans to occupy the pavilions at Kuhio Beach due to repeated resident and Board concerns regarding homeless individuals.
Questions, comments and concerns followed. Ala Wai Golf Course: A resident reiterated his concerns regarding Ala Wai Golf Course.
Federal Representative Ed Case: A representative was not present. No report was given.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Tuesday, February 11, 2020 Regular Meeting Minutes: The Board reviewed the minutes for approval.
Hearing no objection, the Board adopted the Tuesday, February 11, 2020 Regular Meeting Minutes.
NEW BOARD BUSINESS
Public Park Improvement: Garrity reported that he would request a Capital Improvement Project (CIP) fund for improvements to the Ala Wai Promenade by the Hawaii Convention Center. The CIP would be in collaboration with the Ala Moana Neighborhood Board.
Legislative Report: Erteschik distributed a handout with Bills for the Board to consider for support. Erteschik raised interest in the red light bill, House Bill (HB) 1676. Nigro raised opposition to the cleaner vehicle bill Senate Bill (SB) 3055, citing a lack of infrastructure for electric vehicles. Smith raised support for SB 2607, which increases penalties for public urination.
Smith Moved and Erteschik Seconded to support HB 2607 which establishes the offense of urinating or defecating in public within business districts. The Motion was ADOPTED BY UNANIMOUS CONSENT, 14-0-0 (Aye: Bautista, Boyack, Cabanero, Carroll, Erteschik, Finley, Flood, Garrity, Henksi, Merz, Nigro, Shields, Smith and Brown; Nay: None; Abstain: None).
Henski Moved and Smith Seconded to support SB 70 which would appropriate funds to the DLNR for increased enforcement at ASBH. The Motion was ADOPTED BY UNANIMOUS CONSENT, 14-0-0 (Aye: Bautista, Boyack, Cabanero, Carroll, Erteschik, Finley, Flood, Garrity, Henksi, Merz, Nigro, Shields, Smith and Brown; Nay: None; Abstain: None).
Treasurer's Report: The remaining budget for the Waikiki Neighborhood Board was $155.31.
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 encouraged attendees to follow Federal and State health guidelines in regards to Covid-19.
• The next Waikiki Neighborhood Board No. 9 meeting is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, April 14, 2020 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 9:30 p.m.
Submitted by: Casey Ishitani, Neighborhood Assistant
Reviewed by: Jackson Coley, Public Relations
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