Anti-bullying Bill Being Considered As City Policy
Ron’s Corner …City Councilman Ron Menor
Fighting Back Against Crime
I attended National Night Out, a nationwide event Aug. 5 that celebrates partnerships between communities and law-enforcement officials in fighting crime.
The festivities were organized by HPD District 8’s Community Policing Team and Weed and Seed, and held at Boys & Girls Club’s Hale Pono Ewa Beach Clubhouse. The event heightens crime-prevention awareness, builds support and participation in local anti-crime programs, and sends a message to criminals that our neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
I presented certificates of merit on behalf of City Councilwoman Kymberly Marcos Pine and myself to dozens of Neighborhood Security Watch groups and Citizens’ Patrols from throughout Leeward Oahu, commending them for their diligence in serving as the community’s eyes and ears and reporting suspicious activities to the police.
Mahalo also to the many generous businesses for their sponsorship and for making this year’s National Night Out a big success!
Making Anti-Bullying A City Policy
On a related topic, I introduced Resolution 14-145, which urges the city Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR) and Department of Human Resources to develop an anti-bullying policy to protect children who participate in Summer Fun and other programs administered by the city.
I introduced the measure knowing that bullying, which includes cyberbullying, continues to be a serious problem among Hawaii’s children and young adults. A 2011 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that 41 percent of Hawaii’s middle school students reported being victims of bullying, and one out of 15 high schoolers missed at least one day of school each month for fear of being bullied.
While the state Department of Education has implemented an anti-bullying policy for our public schools, the city lacks a comprehensive policy, notwithstanding the fact that thousands of keiki are enrolled in its programs. The largest of these programs is Summer Fun, which serves 10,000 children and teens during June and July at more than 60 sites across Oahu.
As of this writing, I am confident that the full Council will pass Resolution 14-145. If approved, the city will work with nonprofit organizations such as Hawaii Youth Services Network and Mental Health America of Hawaii to formulate an effective anti-bullying policy.
Budget Includes Funds For Road Rehabilitation
I’m also happy to report that the Council passed the city’s Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Operating and CIP budget that will fund important core services. The budget includes $132 million for road rehabilitation and $5 million for the restoration of several bus routes island-wide, including Country Express Route E, which will benefit many West Oahu residents who work in the Ala Moana and Waikiki areas.
The budget also includes $80,000 for a pilot project to address feral chickens and crowing roosters; $452,944 in the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for the NSRA Weed and Seed Project that benefits Ewa, Ewa Beach, Waipahu and other communities; and $31 million for improvements at parks islandwide. My thanks to those who testified or submitted testimony on various bills and resolutions during the budget process, and best wishes for a successful school year!
City Councilman Ron Menor serves District IX (Waikele, Waipahu, Village Park, Makakilo, Kunia, Mililani). Call him at 768-5009 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.