Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Kaneohe Neighborhood Board Supports Funding New State Hospital Unit For High-Risk Patients

The Hawaii State Hospital, noisy mopeds, roadway design and meeting times all drew attention as the Kaneohe Neighborhood Board held its monthly meeting on March 17.
State Hospital: The Board voted to send a letter to legislators urging them to fund construction of a new forensic unit for high-risk patients.
Governor David Ige had proposed spending $160 million on the project, which would build a 144-bed facility on the hospital campus in Kaneohe. However, a Governor’s Office representative told the Board that the state budget approved by the House does not include the money.
And the Board learned that State Representative Ken Ito supports a resolution, HCR 81, that would study relocating the forensic unit to a new correctional facility that is being planned for Oahu. Board Vice Chairman Bill Sager said the study could delay construction of a forensic facility by 10 years.
The Senate is working on its own state budget, so the fate of the facility in this legislative session remains undecided.
The Goddard Building
The Board has stated previously that it strongly supports the new forensic facility, which would replace the Goddard Building on the hospital campus. The support is based on concerns about security and treatment capacity. Demolition of the Goddard Building began in late February.
However, the Board opposes construction of a long-term care facility on the Great Lawn southeast of the Windward Community College campus. Instead, the Board passed a resolution on February 18 asking the State Department of Health to meet with Windward Community College to discuss the possibility of a  land exchange. The exchange would position the care facility next to the Windward Community Mental Health Center northeast of the campus.

Within a week, Governor Ige held a meeting in his office and decided the project is too far advanced and must proceed as planned. 
However, the Kaneohe Neighborhood Board stills believes that the Great Lawn is an important architectural feature of Windward Community College and the view plane of the great lawn should be preserved.  At its next meeting, Board members will consider a letter to the Governor asking that the long-term care facility be designed to minimize its impact on the view plane of the Great Lawn.
Noisy Mopeds: Board members heard a presentation from Manoa resident Bill Kern, who urged them to support a resolution to reduce excessive moped noise. The Legislature is considering a measure that would require mopeds on Oahu to have regular safety inspections, which would identify vehicles with mufflers that are modified or removed to improve performance.
Mo Radke
Board Chairman Mo Radke noted later: “As the board started to discuss the topic, it was clear that the community does not appreciate the fact that people buzz their illegally configured mopeds through our peaceful neighborhoods at indiscriminate times during the day and night.  
"Relating to the resolution discussion, which included community members, there was a lot of discussion on the effectiveness and enforcement practices, not to mention the considerable administrative burden placed on an already overburdened registration system that would now have to add in thousands of mopeds into the mix.”
Eventually, there was no motion to adopt, and the resolution died. 
Chairman Radke adds: “My personal opinion is that when any person restricts the liberties of another through thoughtless and careless acts of selfishness - revving a modified engine at 2am - police should have the tools to perform an inspection and ticket an offender.  
"Decibel meters are simple to use and easily calibrated.  Police should be outfitted with this device and used based on the judgement of the officer.  The resolution seemed to be another unenforceable regulation which puts additional burden on law-abiding moped operators based on poor behavior of others.
Roadway Design: The Board voted to support complete streets planning for the future repaving of Kamehameha Highway from Windward City Shopping Center to Windward Mall. The City and County of Honolulu would conduct the planning.
Complete streets seeks to provide roadways that are “safe and convenient for all people whether traveling by foot, bicycle, transit, or automobile, and regardless of age or ability.”  The strategy is required by state law and City ordinance.
Meeting Times: The Board voted to change the date and location of its monthly planning meetings on a trial basis. The trial will start the final week of April and run for three months.
The Board currently holds its planning meetings on the first Tuesday of the month at the Kaneohe Community and Senior Center, 45-613 Puohala Street. Under the trial program, the planning meetings  will take place the fourth week of the month in a meeting room at the Kaneohe District Park, 45-660 Keaahala Road. The meeting time will remain unchanged at 7 p.m.
The Board will hold one more planning meeting under the current schedule, on Tuesday, April 5, at the Community and Senior Center. The first planning meeting under the new schedule will be held the fourth week of April, with the day of the week still to be determined.
The timing and location of the Board’s monthly business meeting will not change.

We welcome your comments, in person and online

Please join us for all of our meetings. If you are unable to attend, you may provide testimony online and contact Neighborhood Board members directly.
Comments on this blog are welcomed. To add a comment, please click on the link below. Also, please like us on Facebook and comment there.

No comments: