Mayor Caldwell talks parks, rail and sewers in State of the City - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Mayor Caldwell talks parks, rail and sewers in State of the City address

Dr. Baird Fleming Dr. Baird Fleming
Gary Nakata Gary Nakata
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell delivered the State of the City address Tuesday morning  at the Foster Botanical Gardens.

Caldwell discussed a number of topics, including sewers, roads, parks, and rail.

Mayor Caldwell's also announced the appointment of Acting Zoo Director Dr. Baird Fleming as the new Honolulu Zoo director. "We need a zoo director who is committed in the long run," Caldwell said during his speech. Fleming also served as assistant zoo director. 

The announcement comes after Wilkinson announced his resignation as zoo director in early January. He was the fourth in five years and the second in a row with no previous experience.

In his speech, Caldwell also announced the appointments of Roy Amemiya as the city's managing director and Gary Nakata as the director of community services. 

Here are some of the topics Mayor Caldwell spoke about:

PARKS:

Mayor announced a major push on parks – a new community initiative called E Paka Kakou, to engage communities to take ownership of their parks. Caldwell gave an example of Haleiwa Alii Park on the north shore, where the community did a major sprucing up, and now park users there are passionate about preventing vandalism or damage.  He also announced an additional $2 million in the coming budget for improvements to park comfort stations.  The parks department will begin next month repairing and microguarding two comfort stations a month, reaching 24 within one year.  And in the coming fiscal year, DPR will refurbish or repair 16 sets of playground equipment.  

BUS:

Later this week, Caldwell will unveil Honolulu's first hybrid electric bus.  This 60' articulated bus will deliver significant fuel savings, a quieter environment, smoother rides and emission savings. 

HOMELESSNESS:

Mayor Caldwell also provided an updated total number of people who have been housed under city's Housing First program, mention Pauahi Hale restrooms, update totals for SPO/SNO waste removal efforts.  He also announced that he signed on to US HUD Secretary Julian Castro's pledge to end chronic homelessness among veterans by the end of this year. 

 We will have much more on Mayor Caldwell's State of the City Address tonight on Hawaii News Now.

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