Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Notes on the Aug 16 Kaneohe Neighborhood Board Mtg

The Kaneohe Neighborhood Board had a lively meeting Thursday evening August 16. The audience expressed concerns about noise generated by the Marine Base, the recent pedestrian death Pahia Road and the strong orders affecting residential long Waikalua Road.

Capt. Pamela Marshall made a report on behalf of the Marine Corps and received many strong complaints from the public about aircraft noise and the announced basing of Osprey and other aircraft at the Marine Base. People are very concerned about the potential impacts of expanded training on their lives. Those that have read the final EIS realize it says training will be conducted 24 hours a day 7 days a week. That means aircraft flights will be greatly increased. Capt. Marshall responded that the Marine Corps has no plans at the present time to change their hours of operation. Noise complaints should be reported to the "Noise hotline" at 257-8832.  To be most effective you message should include the time and date of the noise incident and if you want a call back leave your name and number.

Captain Marshall announced the Blue Angles will be here for Bay Fest and will be flying from 9/24 through 9/30

One of the most controversial subjects to come before our neighborhood board is always permits for residential halfway houses. According to our current laws, an applicant who wants to establish a halfway house must inform the neighborhood board of their intent, but residents cannot influence the establishment of a halfway house in their community. Legislation was introduced in the 2012 legislative session to establish rules that would govern how halfway houses are distributed within our community. That legislation was vetoed by Gov. Abercrombie.

A meeting to discuss how clean and sober halfway houses should be regulated will be held Thursday, August 30 from 10:51 AM in room 309 of the state capital.

The presentation was made describing the C&C Rental Assistance Program for low income families. The speaker indicated that one of the road blocks to fully implementing the program is finding landlords willing to participate in the program.  You can find more information at http://www1.honolulu.gov/dcs/cityaid.htm.

The Ha`iku Baseball Field has be renamed the Alice Stewart Baseball Field.  Congratulations Alice.

The problem of pedestrian safety at the crosswalk at Pahia Road and Kamehameha Highway is particularly vexing. The Kaneohe Neighborhood Board  has been asking the city to improve the safety at this crossing for years.  The response from the city is  they have checked the  Police  Department incident reports and there is no justification for improving this crosswalk. they obviously did not talk to business owners located near the crosswalk. One business owner testified to the board that he sees several near misses every day. I personally have stopped for pedestrians in this crosswalk and have cars speed by me totally ignoring the fact that I was stopped for a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk. In one case engrossed a pedestrian totally engrossed in her cell phone was saved from injury and possible death when I honked my horn and alerted her in time for her to jump out of the way of an oncoming vehicle.

I was raised in Oregon. In the Pacific Northwest people  respect crosswalks. Those who don't are frequently ticketed. Enforcement is a strong teacher. In Hawaii it is rare that a car will stop for me when I stand in a crosswalk. After an off-duty police officer ran me down while I was standing in the curb lane of a punch bowl street crosswalk I decided that a crosswalk in Hawaii is a death trap. Cars ignore pedestrians and crosswalks and pedestrians ignore oncoming traffic.

In previous cases of dangerous crosswalks the city has simply eliminated the crosswalk. That is not the solution for Pahia Rd. it's a 2 block walk to the traffic lights at either Kahuhipa Rd or William Henry Rd.  People are going to cross Kamehameha  at Pahia  Road whether there's a crosswalk or not. Suggestions for making this crossing safer range from eliminating the left turn into Pahia Road and creating a pedestrian island so that a pedestrian only has to cross 2 lanes at a time to installing a lighting system that flashes to illuminate the crosswalk when a pedestrian presses a button.

We need 2 things: Engineering safety improvements at the Pahia Road and consistent police enforcement of crosswalk violations.

 The  problem of sewage odor along Waikalua Road  was addressed by Athan Agashi of the  Environmental  Services Department.  He said the county has sealed the manhole covers and  installed charcoal filters to absorb the odors. when a resident complained that sulfur added to the sewage was compounding the problem Mr. Agashi stated that they were not adding chemicals to the sewage but were considering using a castle nitrate additive to help  combat odor causing bacteria.

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