Star Advertiser: 2 homeless bills stall in committee

(Via Star Advertiser)


Homeless on the sidewalks in Kakaako.

Two bills making it illegal for people to “lodge” or otherwise obstruct pedestrians on city sidewalks islandwide were deferred by a City Council committee Wednesday after homeless advocates and council members questioned whether they pass legal muster.

Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga, chairwoman of the Public Works, Infrastructure and Sustainability Committee, called for the deferral to allow time for Corporation Counsel Donna Leong and other Caldwell administration staff to provide more answers.

The two measures represent a shift in policy for the administration, which has supported sit-lie measures in narrowly targeted business zones but had steadfastly refused to support an islandwide prohibition, arguing they would not stand up constitutionally.

Bill 51 makes it a violation punishable by a fine of up to $100 to obstruct or impede a city sidewalk between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Bill 52 makes it illegal to “lodge” on a public sidewalk or other public area at any hour of the day.

City Managing Director Roy Amemiya said Honolulu has “a bit of a problem here in our city with people occupying our sidewalks and our streets and our parks and our doorways. These two measures help to free the sidewalks of obstructions as well as people lodging on our sidewalks in an attempt to make sidewalks what they were intended and that is to traverse our city.”

In some areas, Amemiya said, the sidewalks are so crowded that pedestrians have to take the risk of walking onto a street or highway to travel.

Mateo Caballero, legal director for the ACLU of Hawaii said that Hawaii has the highest cost of living in the U.S. and a lack of affordable housing is a major contributor for the state’s large homeless population.

“We encourage your committee to further consider the causes of homelessness and the effectiveness of the city’s approach, which is not working,” Caballero said. “Looking at the evidence, it will show that criminalization of poverty is incredibly destructive and counterproductive.”

Bill 51 does not stipulate that people will not be cited unless there are sufficient shelter beds available, only Bill 52. There are nearly 2,145 unsheltered individuals on Oahu and not enough beds to accommodate them all, he said.

Several people testified in support of the bills, including residents of Waianae, Chinatown and Waikiki.

Waianae resident Tam Reef said “the explosion of the homeless problem … over the last seven to eight months” is troubling for West Oahu residents. “Our beaches — Pokai Bay, the surrounding areas, Makaha — are simply getting to the point where they are not safe to visit anymore.”

Reef said he finds human waste and drug paraphernalia on the beach and “we deal with violence among the homeless community.”

Waikiki resident Dave Moskowitz said health, safety and sanitation are the key reasons he supports expansion of the sit-lie bans.

Source:  Star Advertiser

Star Advertiser: Biki touts success and plans expansion in Honolulu

(Via Star Advertiser)

By Dan Nakaso


A Biki rack in Waikiki on Kalakaua Avenue near Paoakalani Avenue in October.

After its first year of operation, Honolulu’s Biki bikeshare program exceeded its ridership goals and is hoping to expand into Iwililei, the University of Hawaii at Manoa and as far east as Kapiolani Community College by the end of the year.

When Biki launched on June 28, 2017, the goal was to see at least 1.7 daily trips for each of Biki’s 1,000 bikes, which would match the average of similar bike programs around the country.

Instead, with 838,662 total trips in its first year, Biki averaged 2.3 trips per bike per day.

And it hit a record of 3.6 trips per bike May 1 during Japan’s “Golden Week,” which coincided with a major convention at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.

“We were more pleased than surprised and gratified that our homework paid off,” said Lori McCarney, CEO of Bikeshare Hawaii, the nonprofit organization that manages Biki, on Monday.

Biki has 100 docking stations from River and Beretania streets near Chinatown to Monsarrat and Kanaina avenues near Diamond Head.

In response to more than 500 requests for more stations, plans are underway to add 30 to 50 new ones — plus 300 more bikes, which would expand Biki’s presence from Dole Cannery to KCC.

The expansion is possible through donations and $1.8 million in federal transportation funds, McCarney said.

In a statement Monday, Mayor Kirk Caldwell saluted the first year of Biki.

“In order for our city to thrive, we need to become a multimodal society and Biki is leading that charge by proving that ‘pedal power’ is not only an environmentally friendly and healthy option, but also convenient and cost-effective,” Caldwell said in a statement.

At Hawaii Pacific Health, Biki members get prorated discounts depending on what plans they’re on as part of the organization’s mission to promote healthy lifestyles.

Among Hawaii Pacific Health’s 7,000 employees, “at least a couple hundred” take advantage of the Biki discounts, said Gail Lerch, the organization’s executive vice president.

“So far I’ve only heard positive things,” Lerch said. “There are some employees that are using it to commute to and from work, like if they live in Waikiki they’ll commute to Harbor Court. Some employees have started using Biki between our Harbor Court office and Straub. Or if you have to go to the Capitol for a meeting, it’s easier to take the Biki rather than to find parking. Some use it more for recreation on the weekends or after work. We have a lot of foodies who go to Chinatown restaurants, and it’s impossible to find parking on the weekends. One of the guys who works for me is in his 50s and takes Biki to go to Straub or other places in the downtown area. So no it’s not just the millennial workforce. It’s for everybody.”

Out of Biki’s current 100 stops, the 20 most used are in Waikiki, the Ala Moana/Kakaako area and Moiliili/McCully.

The most popular Biki stop is near the Honolulu Zoo at Kalakaua and Paoakalani avenues.

But since January, Biki’s eighth most popular stop is on Auahi Street in Kakaako near the “Salt block” of shops and restaurants, McCarney said.

“Biki can support small businesses,” she said. “People who work downtown can easily go to lunch at the Salt block in five minutes.”

A survey, released Monday, of members who signed up for different payment plans — including a one-time single ride — found that 64 percent of Biki riders were Oahu residents.

And 50 percent of members said they use Biki to commute to work.

Some 70 percent of survey respondents did not consider themselves cyclists.

At the same time, 58 percent reported saving money since joining Biki; 55 percent discovered or visited new businesses; 52 percent exercised more; 50 percent said they drive or carpool less; and 27 percent lost weight.

McCarney also is interested in improving the numbers revealed by the survey that found 21 percent of Biki riders are age 50 or older.

McCarney, who is 64, is trying to get people over 50 more involved in Biki through a grant from AARP that likely will result in organized group rides.

“Maybe as they further age they’ll have more healthy transportation in their lifestyle, more affordability,” McCarney said. “There’s opportunity there. Working with AARP we’re going to try some social rides with a purpose — ‘Let’s go get coffee and use Biki to get there.’”


Source:  Star Advertiser

Dillingham Boulevard reopened after pedestrian crash

(Via KHON)

Honolulu police reopened roads in Kalihi following a pedestrian crash.

It happened around 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Emergency officials say a 73-year-old woman was hit by a car fronting 2043 Dillingham Boulevard.

Police say she was in a marked crosswalk.

She was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Police say Dillingham Boulevard was closed in the westbound direction from Mokauea Street to Puuhale Road until just before 8 p.m.

Police say drugs, alcohol, and speed do not appear to be factors.

Stay with KHON2 News on air and online for the latest.

Source:  KHON

Bus fares set to increase Jan. 1

(Via Star-Advertiser)

Honolulu bus fares are going up, starting Jan. 1, 2018.

The one-way fare for an adult will increase by 25 cents to $2.75, as well as $10 more to $70 for a monthly pass, which is good for unlimited usage on regular and Express! service during the month purchased.

Monthly, one- and two-year bus pass rates will change starting Wednesday, Dec. 20, with the sale of the passes valid on Jan. 1, 2018. Annual adult passes, available from TheBus’s pass office at Kalihi Transit Center, will increase to $770 from $660.

Te Honolulu City Council approved the increase in bus fares earlier this year to help recoup funds as well as to comply with a policy requiring between 27 percent and 33 percent of its revenue come from bus fares.

The one-way fare for youth ages six through 17 will remain the same at $1.25. The monthly youth pass, however, increases from $30 to $35 starting Jan. 1. Children five years and under are still free when accompanied by a fare-paying passenger and not occupying a seat.

No changes were made to one-way fares for seniors and persons with disabilities, who pay $1. However, monthly fees for seniors and persons with disabilities will go up to $35 from $30 for the one-year pass, and to $70 from $60 for the two-year pass.

Transfers were discontinued Oct. 1, and replaced with a one-day pass good for rides all day. The price for a one-day pass will increase to $5.50 from $5 starting Jan. 1.

For more information, visit

Source: Star-Advertiser

Mayors pledge 100% ground transportation powered by renewable energy by 2045

(Via KITV)

Hawaii is now the first in the nation to commit to a 100% renewable transportation future.

Hawaii’s four mayors came together on Tuesday to sign proclamations aboard the historic voyaging canoe Hokule’a, committing to an all renewable transportation system by 2045.

“We honor the meaning of this wonderful floating classroom.  This education opportunity for our young people and for people throughout the world.” Explained County of Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho.
The mayors teamed up with President of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, Nainoa Thompson to call for an end to fossil fuels.  Thompson’s travels showed him first hand the damage we’re doing to the environment.

“We’ve known about the problem for such a long time.  It’s not a new problem and we know we’re at peak oil.  It’s going to run out and we know that right now there’s no options, but today was a day when Hawaii’s leadership took a stand.”  Said Thompson.

“The next step is to get the public, the private sector to convert their vehicles to sources that are not fossil based.” Said City and County of Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

Also in Tuesday’s signing, the City and County of Honolulu, the County of Maui, and the County of Kaua’i pledged to transition all fleet vehicles to 100% renewable power by 2035.

“Maybe we don’t know the pathway, but you’ll never know the pathway until you make the commitment.  Today is a day of courage by leadership.  That I’m proud of.” Said Thompson.

HART Lane and Sidewalk Closure

Kam Hwy Closure Flyer

Please find attached above a copy of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s (HART) Lane and Sidewalk Closure Notice for Dillingham Boulevard.  HART’s public outreach team will be canvassing area residents and businesses this week for the upcoming construction work, which is scheduled to begin Monday, July 17 and continue through Friday, August 11.  Please refer to the attached flyer for further details.
If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact our 24-hour project hotline at 566-2299.


UPCOMING EVENTS – Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Morale, Welfare and Recreation

(Via Ho’okele News)

Teen Employment Program job fair will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. today at Peltier Conference Room. This event is open to teens ages 14 to 18 and family members of active-duty, retired military, Department of Defense and contractor employees currently enrolled in high school. For more information, call 448-0418.

Free float night will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. today at Scott Pool. Participants can bring their own floats. For more information, call 473-0394.

Easter brunch buffet at Restaurant 604 will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 16. The buffet is $45 for adults and $20 for kids 12 and under. A dinner buffet (without the breakfast foods) is also available from 4 to 9 p.m. For more information, call 888-7616.

Easter brunch buffet and egg hunt at The Lanai at Mamala Bay will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 16. The cost is $32.95 for adults and $16.95 for ages 6-12. The egg hunt will be held before the brunch, with 9 a.m. time for ages 5 and under, and 9:30 a.m. for ages 6-12. For more information, call 422-3002.

Easter Sunday popcorn will be provided at 2:30 p.m. April 16 at Sharkey Theater. With every paid movie ticket, patrons can receive a free small bag of popcorn. For more information, call 473-0726.

Free Teen Center family night: Month of the Military Child will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 18 at the Joint Base Teen Center. This is open to all families of teens ages 13-18. For more information, call 448-0418.

Free Liberty’s Barracks Bash will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. April 20 at Wahiawa Annex Barracks. This event is for single, active-duty E1-E6 only. For more information, call 473-2583.

Teen Employment Program job fair will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. April 21 at Peltier Conference Room. This event is open to teens ages 14 to 18 years old and family members of active-duty, retired military, Department of Defense and contractor employees currently enrolled in high school. For more information, call 448-0418.

Camping in the park will begin at 4 p.m. April 21 and will end at 8 a.m. April 22 at MWR Outdoor Recreation at Hickam Harbor. Families can spend the night out underneath the stars and watch a movie once the sun sets. Registration only reserves camp space. Gear and equipment are not provided. If camping gear is needed, participants can visit the Outdoor Adventure Center to rent. The cost is $30-$35. For more information, call 449-5215.

Free movie in the park for all ages will begin at 7 p.m. April 21 at MWR Outdoor Recreation at Hickam Harbor. Patrons can bring some blankets and sit on the grass to watch a movie under the stars at Hickam Harbor waterfront. Patrons can bring drinks and snacks. The movie is to be announced and it will be suitable for all ages. Check the movie listings on Facebook at “Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Outdoor Recreation.” For more information, call 449-5215.

Superhero movie day will begin at 10 a.m. April 22 at Sharkey Theater. Kids can watch “The Incredibles” and dress up in their favorite superhero costumes. The movie is presented by the Military and Family Support Center in partnership with MWR. For more information, call 474-1999 or 473-2651.

Free Earth Day Celebration at Hickam Harbor will begin at 11 a.m. April 22 at MWR Outdoor Recreation at Hickam Harbor. There will be food trucks, events, a bounce house for the kids, information booths and more activities for the entire family to help the community learn about caring for the land and waters. For more information, call 449-5215.

Honolulu’s homeless enforcement policies earn failing grade

(Via KITV)

Honolulu ranks among the worst in the nation when it comes to dealing with the homeless, that’s according to a new national report.
The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty said Honolulu is in the business of criminalizing homelessness and has earned a place in its “hall of shame” for bad policies.

The report criticized the city’s sit lie ban, an ordinance that prohibits people from sitting or lying on sidewalks.
It’s in place in a number of neighborhoods, including Waikiki where officials have handed out 16,000 warnings to violators since 2014.

City councilman Joey Manahan is thinking about expanding the controversial ordinance and he’s looking at Iwilei where a tent city is rapidly growing.

“It really is a last resort for us because we really have no other means to be able to address this issue. There’s reports of drug use prostitution and those type of activities around these camps, unfortunately,” said Councilman Joey Manahan.

Manahan says each week outreach workers try to get people to check in to shelters here. Area businesses tell KITV their primary concern is safety.

“My assumption is the street is for driving on or riding on but I’m seeing pedestrians in the middle of the street because they cannot access the sidewalks,” said Philip Richardson, owner of Current Affairs.

Residents at a nearby senior living condominium are fed up with filthy conditions accumulating in the area.

“They throw their trash, they let their dogs run, they don’t clean up after themselves. They urinate, defecate…the smells horrible. We have a lot of people in this building that have immune problems cause they’re older,” said resident Larry Brown.

In June, the city acquired a four-story building in Iwilei to convert into a drop-in center equipped with housing and homeless services.
It’s set to open late 2017.