Sparsely attended town hall provides vital community updates
May 30, 2009
<b><i>Crime and housing issues dominate</i></b>
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - Residents who did not attend the Oahu North Town Hall meeting, Tuesday evening, missed out on getting a great amount of information specifically compiled for their benefit.
U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii (USAG-HI) regularly hosts a town hall for North and South Oahu communities so Soldiers and their family members can learn what's happening in their neighborhoods and get answers to their pressing questions.
"We can resolve quite a few things here," said Col. Mark Boussy, commander, U.S. Army Garrison-Oahu, who hosted the meeting. "The (directorates) are working very, very hard to support you ... to try to resolve the issues that you have."
<b>Directorate of Emergency Services (DES)</b>
Boussy and Tony Hintz, North Region operations director, Army Hawaii Family Housing (AHFH), began by addressing unresolved issues from the January town hall regarding traffic signs, road conditions, loitering and excessive noise.
Then Lt. Col. Thomas Denzler, director, DES, provided the latest Oahu North crime statistics. He reported 342 incidents happened at Schofield Barracks, 28 at Wheeler Army Airfield (WAAF), 48 at Helemano Military Reservation, and three at Mendonca Park during the last four months.
The numbers look high, he said, because they encompass a broad range of statistics and cover a longer period of time than normally reported.
"There's one main take-away," Denzler said. "The large majority of our larcenies have one common theme. ... People are not securing their property, their quarters, their vehicles, and they're leaving their scooters and bicycles out on their front porches. ... I've said it before," he continued, "unfortunately, we don't live in Mayberry."
Statistics indicate that juvenile family members are the culprits of many of the larcenies.
"Maj. Gen. (Raymond) Mason is not happy with what he sees," Denzler said, pointing out that the U.S. Army-Hawaii (USARHAW) senior commander wants "safe and respectful communities for all of us to enjoy."
"We need to tell folks what 'right' looks like," Denzler said. He briefly discussed Mason's strategy to enhance and strengthen communities.
<b>Army Hawaii Family Housing</b>
Fencing replacement projects (in WAAF, Canby and Sante Fe areas) and housing exterior color schemes (in Kalakaua, Porter, Kaena and Moyer communities) were among top items Hintz discussed for AHFH.
He reported three new "tot lots" have been constructed in the Porter community, and residents who renew their leases by Aug. 31 will be entered to win two season passes to Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park. The AHFH Web site has full details at <a href="http://www.armyhawaiifamilyhousing.com">www.ArmyHawaiiFamilyHousing.com</a>.
Concluding, Hintz said a $500 reward incentive is still available for any resident who gives information leading to the arrest and conviction of criminals responsible for damage and graffiti in AHFH areas. Even the new Moyer community, he reported, has been damaged by graffiti.
<b>Army Community Service (ACS) </b>
Updates from ACS and its Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR) wrapped up presentations. Steve Takekawa reminded the audience about FMWR's Waikiki party bus, Fourth of July plans, and Tropics and Pililaau Army recreation centers' activities.
Brandy Gray explained the many services provided by ACS. She highlighted several new offerings, such as a Cooking & Coping class at Schofield, a Stroller Strong support group at Tripler Army Medical Center and an Art in the Park program at Helemano Military Reservation.
<b>"Ask the Commander"</b>
"In an effort to bring you new ways to get your questions answered, we have our 'Ask the Commander' program," explained Ophelia Isreal, with Customer Management Services, part of USAG-HI's Plans, Analysis and Integration Office.
Isreal said two components comprise the new service - a dedicated e-mail address and TV2 tapings. Community members can submit questions to the garrison commander at <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">AskTheCommander@hawaii.army.mil</a>. Selected answers will be provided in the Hawaii Army Weekly newspaper and online; however, all questions will receive responses.
Community members can personally ask a question at the first TV2 taping for the program, June 8, 11 a.m.-noon, at the Aliamanu Military Reservation community center.
More details about the "Ask the Commander" program are forthcoming, Isreal explained.
The town hall concluded with a question-and-answer period. A dozen participants addressed various concerns. Most contentious topics included fencing, housing maintenance and follow-up, street parking, speeding and other irresponsible driving.
The next Oahu North Town Hall Meeting is Sept. 22 at 6:30 p.m.
<b>Crime Prevention Points of Contact</b>
Aca,!AcTo deter crime and make communities safer, call Cpl. Mindy Dye at 808-655-5170.
Aca,!AcTo provide anonymous crime tips, log onto <a href="http://www.militarycrimetips.com">www.MilitaryCrimeTips.com</a>.
Aca,!AcTo immediately report suspicious activity to the Schofield Police Station, call
808-655-5555 or 808-655-7114.
<b>Senior commander's strategy</b>
The Objective: A safe and respectful community & environment.
Aca,!AcSoldier and community awareness (standards).
Aca,!AcNoncommissioned officer support channel and chain of command.
Aca,!AcDirectorate of Emergency Services enforcement.
Aca,!AcSenior leader engagement.