Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Important Legislation being considered at City Council

There will be two resolutions coming before City Council Committees on Thursday, January 25, 2018.   Would appreciate it if you could submit written testimony in support or come to Honolulu Hale to give live testimony--or just be there for a show of support.  These are two very important resolutions. One will be heard in committee at 1:00, the other starting at 2:30 p.m.

  1. Resolution 18-001 – Complete Streets Restriping.  Urging the City Administration to maximize the incorporation of Complete Streets restriping into ongoing repaving projects in order to benefit all users of its transportation system.  This will be heard in the Committee on Transportation on Thursday, Jan 25th at 1:00 p.m. at Honolulu Hale.  This resolution helps support our Blue Zones initiative to make our streets safer for pedestrians and bicyclists.

  1. Resolution 17-360 – The Blue Zones Project.  Recognizing and supporting the Blue Zones Project and urging the City Administration to recognize and support the Blue Zones Project.  Will be heard in the Committee on Public Health, Safety and Economic Development on Thursday, Jan 25th at 2:30 p.m. at Honolulu Hale.

Testimony is quick and easy:
  • Identify yourself
  • Say, “I am in support of this resolution because….”  Share a quick personal story, if possible.
  • Close with a thank you for being allowed to submit your testimony

Let me know if you have any questions.  If sending in written testimony, please do so by the end of day on Wednesday, January 24th.  Please feel free to forward this email to others who might be willing to submit supporting testimony.

With aloha,

Cherie Andrade
Community Program Manager-Koolaupoko
Blue Zones Project® - Hawaii
Cell:  808.439-7384

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Monday, January 22, 2018

Puohala Village Development Preservation land versus Residential

This is a letter I recently submitted to the Neighborhood Commission office as clarification and addition to the record as it relates to the Puohala Village rezone proposal.

Neighborhood Commission Office
Kapalama Hale,
925 Dillingham Boulevard, Suite 160
Honolulu, Hawaii 96817

January 19, 2018


To whom it may concern:

I am writing this letter as a concerned citizen of Kāne‘ohe to be included in the record from the January 18, 2018 Kāne‘ohe Neighborhood Board meeting.  The board voted on a motion to oppose a development and zone change from Preservation to Residential.  I am currently serving as the Kāne‘ohe Neighborhood Board Chair and as a member of the Kāne‘ohe Bay Regional Council, I am directly involved in these matters and share the following:

In this case, the landowner purchased land designated as Preservation land and has tried to develop as a cemetery, an authorized use for that zone.  In that 2017 cemetery brief, it was clear to the community members and neighborhood board members present that the process of operating a cemetery and issues like leeching chemicals, grading, flooding traffic and sustainment in perpetuity were not adequately explained and the board consequently and unanimously opposed the cemetery plan.   
Looking for a new opportunity to develop the land, the owner tried development of homes on the property which would require a zone change from P2 Preservation to R-7.5 Residential.
Developers conducted a survey sent to 576 nearby residents of which only 86 were returned.  I am unaware if the surveys had self-stamped return envelopes which may have contributed to the 15% return rate on such a contentious issue in the community. That return rate may also be affected by the wording of the survey in that there were no opportunities for respondents to oppose the project, only agree to different development possibilities.  

On January 18, 2018, the developer made a presentation at the Kāne‘ohe Neighborhood Board with the plans to develop homes.  Again, a great deal of concern from the community with wide-ranging concerns.  Community letter attached.  A motion for the board to oppose the development was 5 to oppose and six abstentions – the motion failed.  In my experience on this board, abstentions usually mean, “I need more data to make an informed decision”.   Kāne‘ohe board members are very thoughtful and don’t blindly vote one way or the other. They require input and data; as do I. Nothing more should be read into that decision other than more data is needed.

Reviewing TMK’s 450300490000 (Horseshoe Land Co. LLC), 450180490000 (DOHO LTD), 450180500000  (Parkside Grotto Ltd.) and 450280070000 (Waikalua Farms Inc.) All these properties connect to each other and three abut Kāne‘ohe  Stream.  All properties except Waikalua Farms are Preservation Lands and were all purchased around 2010.  The Waikalua Farms property is zoned both Residential and Preservation and I’m unable to determine why.  

Also, at the meeting on January 18, 2018, a gentleman announced that a cemetery was an authorized use and if agreement could not be reached, they “could just go ahead and build a cemetery.”  I reminded him that the previous cemetery proposal was not well-thought out and lacked a sustainability element and would need to be better developed to have board concurrence.

Another side note is that the Puohala village residents are highly sensitive to increased traffic.  Their neighborhood is subject to increased traffic load as people wanting to shortcut the Kāne‘ohe Bay Drive – Kamehameha Highway intersection will use Puohala Street and Pua Inia Street as well as Makalani and Pua Alowalo Streets to avoid lights and main arterial traffic. These are public roads and may be used by anyone, but the fact remains that in many cases, especially during peak hours and sometimes simply during a change of stoplights, a person can be stuck on a feeder street for many minutes waiting to turn onto a main road just to leave the subdivision.  I know because it’s happened to me when visiting Puohala.  So, when the developer announces that the number of cars entering and exiting the proposed properties is very minimal and is based on approved engineering metrics, it seems that the developer is only giving the best scenarios that support their desire to move ahead.  To the residents, the claim seems disingenuous because of extended ‘ohana living arrangements and number of vehicles per household and further steels the community’s resolve to stop the development.

An explanation from Department of Planning and Permitting indicates the following:
1.      After a zone application has been received and accepted as complete, a 45-day public comment period will take place and all property owners with 300 feet of the project will be notified.  Additional notifications will be made to:
a.      Kāne‘ohe Neighborhood Board
b.      State legislators
c.       City Council members
d.      News media
e.      Members of the public who’ve requested to be on the mailing list for zone changes for the Koolaupoko Sustainable Communities Plan area.

2.      All comments including NB minutes will then be reviewed and sent to other agencies (including federal, state, and city for their review)
a.      DPP will then consider all input and decide.

3.       Other opportunities to comment in addition to the 45-day comment period are:
a.      The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing before making a decision
b.      The City Council and its Zoning & Housing Committee

At the meeting I asked if a hui of residents and developers could form to work out the differences and/or possibilities and I offer some closing questions.
·        Would traffic calming somehow discourage people from using the village as a cut-through?
·        Is anyone interested in forming a hui where frank and honest discussion could ensue? I would volunteer to facilitate.
·        Is there any proposed use that the community would accept?
·        Why is the Waikaua Farms property zoned both Residential and Preservation?
·        What is the formula an organization uses to sustain its cemetery in perpetuity?
·        When two sides are diametrically opposed – try to reduce the gap of perception between the two. 

Respectfully submitted,

Mo Radke, Chair
Kāne‘ohe Neighborhood Board

Kāne‘ohe Bay Regional Council

Friday, December 29, 2017

HPD Asks for Community Support

After reading the HPD note to the public, I began to wonder what it sounds like to be on the other end of the phone when a call comes in.  Here is HPD's request for New Years's fireworks safety and reporting.  Have a safe and prosperous New Year.
Mo Radke, Chair, KNB

Honolulu Police Department Memo to the Public

Every holiday season, the Honolulu Police Department receives hundreds of calls regarding the illegal use of fireworks. The HPD brings in dozens of extra officers every New Year’s Eve to address the increase in calls for police service and to enforce fireworks laws. 

Many of these fireworks-related calls are not specific in location, which makes it difficult for officers to locate the violator.

Common, non-specific reports by callers include:

“There are fireworks going off on Kimo Street.”
“There are fireworks going off behind Kimo Street.”

In many cases, it can be hard to find the suspect as there are often multiple parties in the area. Providing a descriptive report gives officers a better chance of finding the illegal activity and stopping it.

If you witness illegal activity in your neighborhood, here’s an example of what you can say to better assist responding officers:

“There are aerial fireworks going off at 111 Kimo Street. There is a male wearing a Santa Claus hat, red T-shirt, and green shorts lighting aerial fireworks in the middle of the street.  He is retrieving the fireworks from the bed of a blue Chevy pickup truck, parked at the curbside with license number AAA111.

If an address is not posted or known, provide as much information as you can to help the officers determine your location:  

“The yellow house on Kimo Street, three houses Ewa/Koko Head of Lani Street, on the mauka/makai side of the road. There are aerial fireworks that go off every five minutes or so. I am willing to meet with an officer or have him or her contact me by phone for more information.”

In order to enforce the law, officers must observe a person igniting the fireworks. Receiving descriptive reports from the public can help officers prepare a better plan of action as they respond to calls.

Thank you for your partnership; you are the eyes and ears of our community. We want to wish you and your family a safe and happy new year!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Rat Lungworm Disease

Had a wonderful conversation with a Kaneohe resident tonight - we started talking about the state hospital and afterwards, she gave me some valuable information about a briefing she recently attended regarding Rat Lungworm disease and I thought I'd pass it along.

For those that use their computers to get data, click this link and read up!  Department of Health Fact Sheet 

I'd hate to simply summarize the the things I learned today because it's too important and I don't want to miss something. So here's a start and make sure you protect yourself and your keiki.

1.  Get rid of rats and the problem ceases to exist.  Hmmm. - probably not going to happen.
2.  The picture of the contaminated slug is on Jefferson's head on a nickel - that's small!
3.  So, don't handle slugs without disposable gloves, Don't simply sweep up or vacuum rat feces, I heard the solution is to lightly wet it down and scoop it up with gloves on and dispose of the gloves when pau.  I can't tell you how many slugs I've scooped up and thrown away.
4.  Wash your produce really well.  It's a good idea to do that anyway.
5.  Don't eat raw slugs - ewww - or freshwater prawns or shrimp without properly cooking them.

Best advice: take a peek at the Hawaii Department of Health website.  If you don't have a computer or smartphone, head over to the library and use theirs.

Stay safe and wash your vegetables!

Hawaii State Hospital Update

Welina me ke aloha,

I attended a meeting this week with HSH Administrator Bill May, Windward Community College Chancellor Doug Dykstra and WCC Vice Chancellor Brian Pactol.

The main reason for the meeting was to start discussions and brainstorm better and more efficient ways to notify the community of an escape.  We spent some time on background data and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) before actually doing any brainstorming.

Data Points

HIPPA prevents the HSH from releasing to the public, patient information except for a very bland physical description.  Law Enforcement is not bound as tightly under the HIPAA law and is able to issue a more extensive physical description and possible threat.

Two concurrent investigations are underway:  A criminal investigation into the escapee's decision to leave the hospital - which is a felony and carries a 5-year prison term - and the administrative investigation considering the reasons why over a 10-hour period, HSH employees did not properly report the whereabouts of the escapee.

The investigations are being conducted by two separate teams of the state Attorney General’s office.  I have no details as to when they might conclude their work and have reports available.

Because the investigations are underway, the HSH is unable to provide any real clarity about the issue.  

  • HSH did not know the patient was missing for almost 10 hours.  
  • The HSH was not "sitting on the information" and was not waiting 10 hours to make the proper announcements.  
  • After the patient was discovered missing by other HSH employees, the proper notification process started. 
  • It's significant to me that that seven HSH employees were placed on administrative leave without pay.  I don't believe HSH would act like this unless they felt there was an exceptional breach of security protocols.  
  • Because it took almost ten hours to discover the patient was missing, the proper notifications to HPD and then to NIXLE were not made in a timely manner.
  • We discussed what an escapee's threat to the community might be and how it might be announced.  - Going back to HIPAA, and the limited amount of information that might be put out, we discussed that if a patient left the hospital grounds for whatever reason, that person had committed a felony and should therefore be deemed dangerous.  That seems to make good sense not to approach an escaped patient and to notify the proper authority.
  • WCC has special circumstances of care since they are direct neighbors to the HSH.  Possible improvements could be:
    • enhancements to fencing by creating open but contained walkways.
    • increased fencing heights on the perimeters of the HSH with better deterrents to climbing.
    • use of monitoring devices for those permitted to walk the grounds.
    • using an exercise escape scenario that flex's the reporting protocols from within the hospital, outward to HPD and Sheriffs and a "drill" NIXLE alert.

We agreed to meet again soon – hopefully sooner, if the AG's office completes one or both of the investigations.

Aloha pumehana,
Mo Radke

Chair, Kāne‘ohe Neighborhood Board

Friday, November 24, 2017

State Hospital Escape of Mr. Saito

William May, Administrator, Hawaii State Hospital, responding to the Kaneohe Neighborhood Board at the 11/16/17 Neighborhood Board Meeting

Mr. Saito’s escape should never have happened.

An investigation is under way and until that is complete we will not know the details behind how Mr. Saito got to California. We do know that Mr. Saito caught a cab from Kaneohe to a private airstrip where he boarded a charter flight to Maui. He flew from Maui to California. Obviously his trip was well planned and paid for in advance.

There was a delay before the State Hospital recognized that Mr. Saito had not returned to his unit as scheduled. He had on-grounds privileges. He did not check in hourly as required. Seven staff members are under investigation and have been placed on 30 days leave without pay.

Security procedures are under review. Mr. Saito had achieved the privilege of being on the hospital grounds without supervision. He did not check in with staff when he was required to do so. The Board and the public expressed strong concern that the required reporting failures were ignored resulting in an unacceptable delay in notifying the authorities.

The public must understand that the Hawaii State Hospital is not a prison. It is a psychiatric hospital. Their mission is to help their patients become integrated into the community as productive citizens. Patients earn privileges as they show they can be responsible citizens in the hospital. Those privileges include supervised visits to local churches and recreational visits within our community. Patients can earn higher privileges based on their behavior at their current privilege level and on a periodic psychiatric review. Mr. Saito had been at the State Hospital for nearly 40 years and had achieved the second highest level of privilege.

Mr. May asked the Board and the Community to participate in providing ideas for improvement. The community was most concerned about their safety. The press portrayed Mr. Saito as a dangerous person intent on repeating his original horrific crime at the first opportunit. Many people were  frightened.

Mr. May has surveyed his peers at hospitals throughout the western states for information on how they notify both the public and the authorities about patient escapes.

Community suggestions ranged from leg irons and ankle bracelets to a wailing siren or a bullhorn. One citizen complained about the Nextel warning being inadequate because not everyone had a smart phone.

  • -Board member Cypher wants to know if the hospital can be moved to Halawa.
  • May responded that new facility is projected to be completed by 2021 on the site of the former Goddard building.
  • -Accountability, Chair Radke asked how the community can feel safer about the hospital.
    Mr. May respond that there have been fewer escapes in recent years. He added that one escape is one too many. May emphasized that the notification system worked as planned. The breakdown was in not recognizing there was a problem sooner.
  • -Gloria asked about federal mandates to allow patients individualized treatment.
    May responded, only patients who show over time that you are a Good Citizen at the facility can gain privileges. Patients have to show a track record of improvement to get privileges.
  • -John Long asked about patients he sees in the community.
    Mr. May responded, people you see at the bus stop are not hospital patients.
  • -Bob Weback, we need a timely warning when things go wrong.
    Nextel warnings don’t work, I’m not of the generation that sleeps with my phone. Can we get a warning sign that comes on when there is an escape.
  • -Nancy, asked when was Mr Saito last evaluated? Specific patient information is private.
  • -What happens when he comes back here?
    May: he will be extradited to Hawaii; to OCCC, if he is fit to stand trial, he will. If not, he will be returned to the State Hospital. He could serve an additional 5 years if convicted. When he serves his time for escape and if he is deemed unfit to stand trail for his original crime he will return to the state hospital. 
  • -Daniel expressed concern that it took ten hours to get the word out,
    We need more than security fences, at the heart of the situation is a breach of trust. What assurances do we have that this will never happen again.
  • May: It did not take ten hours. The notification went out as soon as we knew Mr. Saito had violated the terms of his on-grounds privileges. Can I give you an assurance it won’t happen again, no I can’t.
  • -Alice Lee: Why don’t the patients have uniforms. Why don’t they use a bull horn.
    May: the goal of a hospital is to normalize the patients. 
  • -Dr Oxford, prof at the college: My concern is safety of students. Girls were crying, their Moms afraid to let them come to school.

The hospital cannot release any information about the patient, not even their name. Only the HPD can do that. Mr. May agrees there must be a better way to get information to the public and is looking for ways to get the word out more quickly.

Chair Radke thanked Mr. May for coming. “We know it pains you to have to deal with this.” Mo thanked the community for being civil.