Friday, July 31, 2015
Kaneohe Neighborhood Board Authorizes Separate Inquiries Into Crime, State Hospital Plan
The Kaneohe Neighborhood Board is taking a closer look at late-night crime and the future of the Hawaii State Hospital. The separate inquiries were approved during the Board’s July meeting.
The Board voted to have its Health and Safety Committee look into the crime issue and recommend corrective actions. A community volunteer will lead the effort. The Board had heard community complaints at its June meeting about violence and drug deals along Kahuhipa Street. One concern is that the activity may be linked to the 4 a.m. closing time for bars.
Board member Bill Sager pointed out that Neighborhood Watch organizations from the Ko’olaupoko area, which includes Kaneohe, meet quarterly to discuss problems and activities related to crime. He said the meetings take place at 9 a.m. on the first Saturday of each quarter at Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens. He also encouraged audience members to get involved with the Neighborhood Watch program in their areas and to use a social media platform called Nextdoor to help organize neighbors.
Also during the July meeting, the Board voted to form a Public Information Group to review the State Hospital’s master plan and its potential impact on Windward Community College.
A new update of the plan includes building a 150-bed long-term care unit on hospital land at the southeastern edge of Windward Community College’s campus. The project would include demolishing an existing hospital structure known as the Bishop Building.
WCC would like to trade 6 acres at the college entrance for the 5 acres on which the Hospital plans to build. The college values the Bishop Building for its architecture, which matches that of many other WCC buildings, and because it wants to expand its campus to the southeast.
The Board re-elected Mo Radke as chairman, while choosing Bill Sager as vice-chair and Jonathan Hanks as secretary. Mr. Sager replaces Chad Kaukani, who remains on the Board. Mr. Hanks replaces Mr. Sager as secretary.
Board members discussed community outreach and how to get more community involvement. Some people recommended videotaping Board meetings. However, it was pointed out that the rules require a gavel-to-gavel presentation with no editing, which could be boring, and that each video session would cost $200. Given those concerns, the Board decided to focus instead on a newsletter and other forms of community outreach.
The Board also approved participation of the Emergency Preparedness Committee in the Windward Ho’olaule’a, October 3 at Windward Community College. In the past, the committee has sponsored organizations such as the American Red Cross that did not have a budget to rent a table at the event. The Board will decide at its August meeting how to budget for the event and which organizations to sponsor.