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“The Bed and Breakfast Battle,” September 2011
Associate editor Tiffany Hill took a look at the issue of illegal vacation rentals, and the city’s inability to enforce the current regulations.
I would appreciate being allowed to make a few corrections. The residents of Maui did not “applaud” previous Mayor Charmaine Tavares’ closedown of the vacation-rental industry. Tavares led a massive shutdown of vacation rentals in 2007, causing a great deal of hardship for many citizens at a time that was already poised for economic downturn. An independent economic study estimated the impact to Maui’s economy caused by the shutdown to be $318 million.
Currently, citizens living in residentially zoned areas on Oahu who desire to rent their places to vacationers have been legally prohibited from doing so by a small, vocal minority. Yet accountants, lawyers, beauticians and other small-business owners are legally permitted to conduct business as usual from their homes, with customers coming and going. It’s legal to operate a wedding chapel out of the home you live in, but you cannot offer that same home for rent on a short-term basis? Where is the logic in that, especially considering that weddings bring more noise, traffic and visitors into a neighborhood in a single month than does any short-term rental in a single week.
Since 1989, no one on Oahu has been able to receive a certificate to rent for fewer than 30 days. The hearings, meetings and spending of taxpayer money have gone on too long. As on Maui, enforcement and reasonable permitting should be addressed. Maui tried cracking down, with disastrous economic consequences to residents. Each island has different concerns; however, we need to remember that tourism drives our economy and we should welcome responsibly run alternative accommodations that attract visitors to our Islands.
—ANGIE LARSON, PRESIDENT HAWAIIAN VACATION RENTAL OWNERS ASSOCIATION
“Fatal Promises,” October 2011
In his Editor's Page, A. Kam Napier took the Democratic party to task for the long-standing poor condition of Hawaii’s public housing.
I am shocked that an editor would take such a political attitude against the Democrats. Why not use this editorial to encourage cooperation and commitment of politicians to improve these deplorable conditions? You, myself and the entire state are responsible for correcting this problem and giving people a safe and healthy place to live. Political rhetoric does not solve the problem. Maybe I am mistaken, but didn’t we have a Republican governor? I wonder if she did anything to correct the problem. I doubt that a photo op would have been something that she would do because even though Democrats are not perfect with the poor and needy, the Republicans are only interested in profit and money for their high rollers. All politicians should stop their fingerpointing, stop expensive wars and resolve the problems of the people. That is their job. All the politicians in this state have failed the people. Not just the Democrats. Wake up.
—SUE NOVELLI, WAIKIKI, HI
Ahana koko lele
In the September feature, “What Can You Get for $1 Million,” the Royal Summit house listed is located in Aiea, not Pearl City, at 98-797 Ainanui Loop. In our August Dining column on whiskey drinks, we misspelled the name of Town’s bartender, Dave Power.