South community shares concerns, stays informed at town hall
June 12, 2009
ALIAMANU MILITARY RESERVATION, Hawaii - Nearly 100 people packed into the chapel, here, June 3, for the latest Oahu South Town Hall meeting, eager to share their concerns and listen to the advice of agency representatives from various directorates.
Col. Mark Boussy, commander, U.S. Army Garrison-Oahu, conducted the meeting and asked those in attendance to follow his standard rules of engagement. The meeting would begin with community briefings from agency reps, he explained, and conclude with a question-and-answer period.
"We've got about a 50-50 split between residents and support staff here tonight," Boussy said. "I ask that you be respectful."
Hosted by U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii (USAG-HI), town hall meetings are held three times a year for Soldiers and their families in the North and South Oahu communities. The meetings are intended to keep residents up to date on the latest happenings in their neighborhoods, as well as allow them an opportunity to voice any concerns before USAG-HI senior leadership and agency representatives.
<b>Directorate of Emergency Services (DES)</b>
Antonio Williams, deputy provost marshal with DES, notified residents that 69 property crimes, 14 crimes against persons and 22 larcenies of private property were reported within Oahu South communities between Jan. 26 and May 9.
Despite those numbers, Williams said, there is evidence that police are making significant progress in enforcement, deterrence and service to the community.
Col. Matthew Margotta, commander, USAG-HI, added that there was no indication that "outside parties" were responsible for the reported incidents.
In other DES-related matters, resident Robin Moon questioned the rationale behind the posting of 10 mph speed limit signs on portions of Aliamanu and Bougainville drives, areas she claimed did not lend themselves "to driving at that speed."
Williams explained the changes were made for safety reasons.
"Statistically, speeding citations have dropped tremendously," he noted. "It's been a deterrent."
Resident Mellissa Jackson told Williams she witnessed several youth vandalize a neighborhood home and reported the incident to military police at Fort Shafter.
Boussy thanked Jackson for her efforts and asked DES to look further into the matter. At previous town halls, director, DES, Lt. Col. Thomas Denzler, has said that juveniles who are military family members are responsible for several criminal acts on the installation.
"I do appreciate the fact that you took down the names of the youth," Boussy said. "This gives (the DES) something to latch onto."
<b>Army Hawaii Family Housing (AHFH)</b>
South Region operations director Vickie Domingo encouraged residents to continue feeding positive suggestions to the Resident Advisory Board.
Aside from communicating directly with their community managers, residents should also submit neighborhood-improvement ideas to their respective board representatives.
"We're looking for partners in communication," Domingo said. "Within a half-month, e-mail service will be available. When that happens, you can have communication with these people directly."
Domingo also provided construction updates: Construction turnover for Rim Loop residents and new AHFH homes for Plumeria residents begin July 1.
<b>Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR)</b>
FMWR representative Kelly Andrews reminded service members about the availability of the Waikiki Party Bus, a free service that's provided every other Friday.
The bus leaves at 9 p.m. from the Schofield Information, Ticketing and Reservations office, and at 9:30 p.m. from the Richardson Theatre, Fort Shafter. Drop off is at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, with a return trip offered at 3 a.m. from Fort DeRussy's Hale Koa Hotel, in Waikiki.
Residents were also asked to mark their calendars for a couple events:
Aca,!AcThe upcoming Fourth of July Spectacular event, which will be held at Sills Field, Schofield Barracks, from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Aca,!AcThe Sunset Concert in the Park slated for July 18, from 4-6 p.m., at Favreau Field, Fort Shafter.
"It's our one southside event," said Andrews of the Fort Shafter-staged concert, which will feature music from the 312th Army Band.
The next Oahu South town hall meeting is scheduled for Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m.