Saturday, July 30, 2016

Kaneohe Neighborhood Board Receives Comments On School Expansion, Hospital Conditions & More

Update: Complete minutes of our July meeting are available by clicking on this link or by pasting the following address into your browser:

We received comments on a wide range of issues at our July meeting. Here are some highlights.
St. Mark Lutheran School Expansion: We learned about the school’s plans to build a preschool facility on its campus. The facility would include three preschool classrooms, library, technology center, meeting rooms and administrative offices. The building would replace the current administrative offices, kindergarten room, and computer room. A resident told us he was unhappy with the school’s enforcement of parking on the resident’s private lane and about alleged poor tree trimming of trees that are leaning with the prevailing trade winds. 
The Goddard Building -- Work is
under way to replace it and ease
overcrowding at the State Hospital.
Hawaii State Hospital Conditions: Board Vice-Chairman Bill Sager reported on a recent meeting of the hospital’s Citizens Advisory Board. He said that serious overcrowding continues to be the major challenge for the hospital, which treats 220 patients in space designed for 160. Classrooms, offices, conference rooms and even the library are used to provide bed space. Currently, the hospital’s Goddard Building is in being demolished to make way for a modern facility that will alleviate the overcrowding.  Completion of the new facility will take about five years.
Despite the crowding, assaults have been cut in half over the past three years. Hospital Adminstrator William May credits the implementation of the Imua Program, in which staff members know each patient by name and go out of their way to understand how each patient is doing.  If something is bothering a patient, staff try to resolve the problem before it escalates. They also document the situation for all other staff, so there is continuity in treatment. 
Homelessness: We discussed this topic at some length. Our vice-chairman, Bill Sager, reported attending the first meeting of the Windward Homeless Coalition. K.C. Connors reported that William, a homeless man she has been trying to help, has died.  William was a 72-year-old gentleman who was trying to make do on Social Security but lost his home after his wife died. He had been living in an electric wheelchair at the bus stop by Windward Mall.
We discussed the governor’s report that homelessness was down significantly on the Windward side.  K.C. Connors was the only one who volunteered to participate in the 2016 Point-In-Time homeless count, and the decline is the result of inadequate documentation.  One of the primary goals of the Coalition is to develop accurate data in the future.
Traffic Calming For Anoi Road: Senator Jill Tokuda and a representative from the Mayor’s Office told us that planning is under way to build traffic circles to slow traffic on Anoi Road and Luluku Road. Numerous motorists use those roads to jump from the Likelike Highway to the Kamehameha Highway without going through congested traffic where the highways intersect. The plan is to build one traffic circle at Anoi and Uhilehua Street, and another at Luluku and Apapane Street.
Illegal Rental Housing: A resident brought up concerns over illegal short-term vacation rentals in her neighborhood. She expressed frustration over a lack of enforcement due to the City only having only one investigator to issue citations. Others testified on the impact of transient rentals on the price and availability of rental housing. We discussed how to enforce laws related to transient rentals. Board Chairman Mo Radke suggested forming a permitted interaction group to investigate and recommend solutions.
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