Downtown Neighborhood Board discusses crime, rail, member eligibility

Jamie Winpenny

HONOLULU—The Downtown Neighborhood Board held its final meeting of 2010 on Thursday, December 2. Acting Honolulu Fire Department Captain Clay Madrona reported HFD responses to four structure fires and 109 medical emergencies for the month of November. Among the reponse statistics that Honolulu Police Department’s Sgt. Y.K. Chan reported were 15 assaults, 14 DUI offenses, and three sex assaults. Chan also noted that a recent 2.5 hour prostitution sting resulted in five arrests on Kukui Street.

As there were 58 pedestrian fatalities on Oahu in 2010, Chan stated that District 1, which includes Downtown and Chinatown, will be enforcing a “zero-tolerance” policy regarding failure to yield for pedestrians, jaywalking, disregarding traffic signals, and cell phone use while driving.

HPD also reported that all video surveillance cameras in the area are now functioning properly.

Regarding Honolulu Rail Transit, representative Gary Omori indicated that the Public Transit Authority, established by ballot initiative in the November election, will take effect on July 1, 2011. It will not have the authority to impose taxes on residents or businesses. The City hopes to break ground on the rail project in early 2011.

The meeting also featured a lengthy discussion regarding member Carlton Middleton’s residency, and member Lynne Matusow brought to light the fact that Middleton’s landlord has indicated that Middleton has not lived at the address he provided to the Neighborhood Commission Office since November 5, 2010. Minutes of the meeting indicate that there was “verbal sparring” regarding Middleton’s eligibility to serve on the Board. Middleton’s residency issues will be discussed at the next meeting of the Downtown Neighborhood Board.

Hawaii Theater Manager Burton White was unanimously appointed to fill the Board vacancy created by the resignation of member Frank Lavoie. When questioned, White stated that he has no political aspirations.

It was also noted at the meeting that City Councilmember Rod Tam’s term ends January 2, 2011.

Minutes of the December 2 meeting have been made available here.