(Editor's Note: A previous version of this article indicated that Wayne Yoshioka spoke at the meeting. This is incorrect and we apologize for the error.)
Message from Wayne Yoshioka: “I didn’t even make a presentation at the meeting. The angry crowd resulted from a conflict between two factions at the NB meeting. The conflict degenerated into a shouting match that broke out during agenda item II-F-Councilmember Tom Berg’s monthly report. This caused NB Chair Yamamoto to adjourn the meeting and call HPD. My agenda item was item VI-B, so I didn’t have a chance to say anything at the meeting.” – July 2, 2012
Gabbard: Anonymous Flyer was Moronic, Childish
July 3, 2012 Dear Editor,
I want to clear up some incorrect information in Victoria Cannon’s article/Editor’s Note about what took place at the Kapolei Neighborhood Board meeting on June 27th.
First, Wayne Yoshioka of DTS was scheduled to give a presentation, but didn’t because the meeting was adjourned at 8pm. (I see you’ve made the correction in the caption under the videoclip.)
Second, it’s also important to point out that area state legislators, Reps. Sharon Har and Karen Awana, and I, were asked by the Board to make a 45 minute legislative session wrap-up, each of us speaking for 15 minutes. This happens every year. Nothing in our planned presentations was geared in any way to promote our campaigns for re-election. As in the past, we were going to talk about key bills and construction projects that resulted from the 2012 legislative session, then take questions from the Board and community.
Councilman Berg did object to this at the meeting and asked Board member, Kioni Dudley, to make a motion to allow him to make a presentation covering Honolulu City and County activities for the same amount of time. However, the Board declined this proposal.
With all due respect to Councilman Berg, It would make the most sense for him to send a request to the Chair of the Board, George Yamamoto, to also make a 15 minute presentation at a later date.
Finally, circulation of the anonymous flyer with nasty accusations against Board member, Evelyn Souza, was moronic, childish, and so lacking in aloha that it’s nauseating and despicable. Whoever did this owes the Souza family and our community a public apology, hopefully at next month’s Board meeting.
Sen Mike Gabbard
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Kapolei Board Meeting Quickly Ends With Police Intervention
by Victoria Cannon
The Wednesday night monthly Kapolei-Makakilo Neighborhood Board meeting got off to a bad start when attendees and some board members objected to District 1 Councilman Tom Berg receiving only three minutes to make a report while other Kapolei board chair favored pro-rail politicians that were being allowed 15 minutes to make essentially their own campaign presentations.
Many did not believe it was fair and equal treatment and felt that Berg should be allotted an equivalent amount of time to present a report on the significant amount of Honolulu City Council business that had transpired since the last monthly board meeting.
However, the issue that quickly brought the Kapolei meeting to a boil and dead stop was the circulation of an unsigned statement making extremely libelous and abusive personal accusations about Kapolei board member Evelyn Souza and her immediate family. Souza is also a member of Councilman Tom Berg's staff handling legislative issues and is often seen at his side during committee meetings.
At the same meeting was the leader of a pro-rail group and a very highly paid HART "public outreach" contractor.
A mass copied and circulated anonymous message distributed through the board's public information table brought about a quick angry response from attending Souza family members questioning who was responsible for the very personal attack on Evelyn Souza and her immediate family. Berg, and now his staff member Evelyn Souza, have become a focal point of pro-rail personal attacks, along with mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano.
Pro Rail paid union members have been circulating throughout the Ewa and Kapolei communities this week with clipboards asking every homeowner questions on wither or not they support rail, in a manner reported as "very intimidating." Those against the rail believe they may be targets of implied future retaliation by pro-railers.
The Kapolei board chair noting the public reaction then called a meeting recess which was followed by someone also calling the local police.
Kapolei Neighborhood Board members then began leaving as police entered the building and asked everyone to disperse and leave.
Many gathered again in the parking lot as more police arrived and flaring tempers were separated by additional HPD officers and again they asked everyone to disperse and go home, which everyone did.
Considering the very personal attack and allegations made against board member Evelyn Souza's attending family, by someone apparently intent on "tossing a bomb" and disrupting the monthly community forum, it was fortunate that the brief meeting ended without any scuffles.