NEWS | Council District 7 – Honolulu City Council |

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.

Renovation on state housing project slowed by construction problems

(Via KHON)

A state owned high-rise has been empty for close to two years and it could be at least another year before renovations are finished.

People that live in the neighborhood contacted us via our Report It feature on our website to ask what was going on.

We found out residents were relocated free of charge by the state in early 2015 so that the 28-unit building at 2907 Ala Ilima Street could undergo renovations. But after about a year of construction, the project was put on hold.

Now it’s been 10 months since construction crews have been able to work on the building.

For close to a year, the project was moving forward as scheduled, but that’s when construction crews started to run into problems.

Hakim Ouansafi of the Hawaii Public Housing Authority said that “When we started this project towards the end of 2014, we started going full speed ahead. A lot of progress has been done, as you see, and then all of a sudden, as we tested the pressure of the water, challenge number one, there is not adequate pressure.”

After testing the water pressure in the building and ripping out the drywall, crews found that the pipes running through the entire building weren’t up to code — not only that, further inspection showed issues with mold in some units.

“Any old building, you really don’t know what’s going on until you open those walls,” said Ouansafi. “This one was specifically challenging because it triggered a lot of additional design that is needed.”

The laundry list of issues facing the building prompted the state to go back to the drawing board, turning the building into a complete remodel, which the state says will extend the property’s life by another 35 years.

“I think a lot of people don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes,” Ouansafi said. “Number one priority is to make sure whatever we build is safe to the residence that’s going to be there, so we’re not going to ignore safety issues. Unfortunately, that will cost us more money, and it does cost us more time to make sure that whatever we put there is according to all the codes.”

The state said the final price tag of the remodel will come in at $5.7 million. Construction should start up by the end of the year, and according to the state, will take 10 to 12 months to finish.

The city plans to turn a four-story building in Iwilei into a hub for the homeless

                                The city plans to use a four-story building at 431 Kuwili St. in Iwilei for permanent housing as well as a “hygiene center” for the homeless.


    The city plans to use a four-story building at 431 Kuwili St. in Iwilei for permanent housing as well as a “hygiene center” for the homeless.

                                Barbara Yamashita, deputy director of the city Department of Community Services, shows a third-floor room at 431 Kuwili St. in Iwilei that is now used for storage, but is slated to be converted into permanent supportive housing units with running water.


    Barbara Yamashita, deputy director of the city Department of Community Services, shows a third-floor room at 431 Kuwili St. in Iwilei that is now used for storage, but is slated to be converted into permanent supportive housing units with running water.

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The city plans to turn a four-story industrial building in Iwilei into the first all-in-one homeless project of its kind in the islands that will provide showers, laundry machines, two floors of permanent housing, and social services pertaining to mental illness and alcohol and drug abuse.

The announcement this morning by Mayor Kirk Caldwell comes as Iwilei businesses are complaining about a spike in the area’s homeless population, which they maintain is accompanied by an increase in vandalism and daily deposits of human feces on their doorsteps.

The 43,000-square-foot, 40-year-old building — located just around the corner from homeless squatters in Aala Park and near the Institute for Human Services’ shelters — had been used as a factory for Malihini Sportswear.

Now it’s the city’s newest tool to encourage homeless people to get social service help that could get them off the street.



>> Bathrooms

>> Showers

>> Laundry machines



>> Management for mental and physical health care

>> Counseling

>> Substance abuse treatment

>> Job training and placement



>> Minimum of 35 permanent supportive housing units


Caldwell said the project also spotlights the progress of a pledge of cooperation from state and county governments to reduce the nation’s highest per capita rate of homelessness.

The so-called “hygiene center” is the result of “the marriage of our resources that we both bring to the table,” Caldwell told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Tuesday.

The city spent $6.3 million to buy the property, with the City Council providing $2 million in capital funds and $1 million in operational money to run the hygiene center, Caldwell said.

Gov. David Ige’s latest homeless emergency proclamation will expedite the process to select both a contractor to renovate the building and to pick a service provider to run the hygiene center, Caldwell said.

The state also will provide the necessary mental health services for homeless clients that the city does not offer, he said.

“I’m really, really excited about this,” Caldwell said. “We’re doing it with the state. There’s been a lot of discussion of, ‘Let’s get out of our silos and work together.’ This is a way we come together.”

In a statement, Ige said, “This project underscores the power of the state’s Emergency Proclamation on Homelessness. It is the most recent example of the way the state can facilitate increased efficiency and collaboration. The fifth supplemental emergency proclamation, which I signed on Monday, extends the momentum for another 60 days and enables projects like this one to more rapidly become a reality.”

The city’s only existing hygiene center, which is in Chinatown, opened in March 2015 at a cost of $120,000. The separate men’s and women’s 8-by-12-foot rooms each feature one shower, toilet and sink, and are used every day by an average of 60 to 70 people.

But the hygiene center, on North Pauahi Street, will be dwarfed in both size and scope by the massive hygiene center planned for Iwilei, which will provide 35 studio “Housing First” apartments upstairs where homeless people will get treatment for mental health problems and drug and alcohol abuse.

“We’re going after the hard core,” Caldwell said. “These are people who have been on the street for a long time.”

He called the project “a game-changer. … It really is truly a first of its kind.”

“Homeless folks can come in, use the bathroom, wash your clothes, feel better about yourself,” Caldwell said. “They can get counseling and case management on the second floor and, perhaps, move up and into permanent housing.”

The idea was inspired by a trip to Seattle last year by Council Chairman Ernie Martin and Councilmen Joey Manahan and Trevor Ozawa that followed a reporting trip by the Star-Advertiser to review homeless projects in the Emerald City that might work in the islands.

This week, Manahan had planned to join Council members Carol Fukunaga, Ann Kobayashi and Ron Menor on a follow-up trip to review Seattle’s homeless projects, including hygiene centers and government-sanctioned tent cities.

But Manahan instead will join Caldwell and state officials this morning for a news conference announcing the new hygiene center in his Iwilei district.

Manahan, who has criticized the city’s Chinatown hygiene center as too small and uninviting, welcomed today’s announcement as well as state and city cooperation galvanizing around homelessness.

“I’m happy and I’m proud that we’re opening up the first hygiene center of its kind in Iwilei,” Manahan said. “This is amazing. I want to thank the mayor, the governor and the (City) Council. More than anything, I’m excited about the all-hands-on approach. This project really represents that partnership with the state that we’re going to need to do more of to address homelessness. If we can work through our issues with the state here in Iwilei, then we can do it in Kakaako and anywhere statewide. That’s a huge step in the right direction.”

Manahan said the Iwilei hygiene center “could be a model even at the national level. It’s pretty cutting-edge.”

Caldwell said he’s “anxious to see” what other homeless-related ideas Fukunaga, Kobayashi and Menor might find in Seattle.

The Council funded $2 million for each of the nine council districts to help explore ways to alleviate homelessness and Caldwell said he’s willing to add more money “if there’s a Council member who has a bigger idea. There are common issues and there are some basic models that work. But you see best practices in different jurisdictions.”

Details on the Iwilei hygiene center that still need to be worked out include the floor plan and the number of people who could be served each day.

There is no timetable yet when the renovations will be finished — and the first homeless clients will be able to take a shower.

But Caldwell’s eager to see the first homeless clients being served at the hygiene center. “Everything takes longer than I want it to,” Caldwell said. “I wish it was sooner.”

Foster Garden anticipates crowds for blooming ‘corpse plant’

(Via KHON)

Image (1) corpse-olena-edit.jpg for post 31363

A “corpse plant” is set to bloom at Foster Botanical Garden any day now.

An update posted to Facebook announced that the sheathing on one of its Amorphophallus titanum dropped Monday, which indicates that blooming is imminent.

However, the garden’s horticulturalist said blooming did not begin by 3 p.m. as originally expected, and thus the flower will not bloom Tuesday.

When the “corpse plant” begins to bloom, the garden typically remains open until 6 p.m. to allow for extra viewing time. (The garden’s regular schedule is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, except for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.)

These short-lived flowers are an endangered species native to Sumatra, Indonesia and bloom only once every two to five years. Contributing to the plant’s exotic allure is its pungent odor of rotting flesh, which serves to attract the carrion beetles that pollinate the flower.

The plants are at Foster Botanical Garden’s Orchid Conservatory, which is home to 10 mature specimens.

General admission is $5, $3 for Hawaii residents with state ID, $1 for children six to 12 years old, and free for children five years old and under (must be with adult).

Call 522-7066 for more information.

Preparations underway to mark 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack

(Via KHON)

It’s still months away, but plans are already in the works for the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and six other military bases on Oahu. More than 2,400 Americans were killed, half the U.S. fleet was lost and all eight battleships that were in dock were damaged or destroyed.

“A date which will live in infamy” marked the United States’ entry into World War II.

Several events will lead up to and follow the actual remembrance day, including movie nights, a gala, and a survivors’ tribute.

“Those folks that were 18 on Dec. 7, 1941, are 93 now. This probably our last really big opportunity to recognize their sacrifice,” said Adm. Thomas Fargo, who is retired from the U.S. Navy. “We’re expanding this to make sure we recognize all the folks that have served their country over the last seven decades.”

Organizers aim to honor the past while inspiring a peaceful future.

“We need to touch as many people as we possibly can,” said Adm. Fargo. “We’re talking three generations of Americans. A lot of those folks never get an opportunity to come out to see something like the Arizona Memorial or the Pacific Aviation Museum. We’ve got a special responsibility here to reach out to all of those generations.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority released a $500,000 grant to help market and promote the event, which is expected to draw in thousands of people.