Paul Tyksinski’s letter about “Bones of Contention,” which ran in our November 2007 issue, generated this response.
A “relative newcomer” can be forgiven a certain amount of ignorance, but Mr. Tyksinski shows startling naivete in his views on “the local obsession with buried bones.” This is unexpected from someone who was born in Poland, known for its rich and tragic history. How can Catholic burial traditions rooted in Slavic culture be compared to Hawaiian traditions? Hawaii is half a world away from eastern Europe, an isolated island where land use and attitudes toward ancestors were and still are totally different. A lot more is at stake here than a “local obsession.”
|WAIMEA WILLIAMS, AUTHOR,
“Scrapyard: Should bed and breakfasts be legalized?” 12/07
Tonic Bille, president of the Bed and Breakfast/Transient Vacation Units Association of Oahu, wrote in favor of the B&Bs, while Larry Bartley, executive director of Save Oahu’s Neighborhoods, wrote against them.
I don’t like bed and breakfasts in my neighborhood. Larry Bartley is correct. They do destabilize neighborhoods. The neighborhood watch point was well made. I remember years ago that our then-teenage daughter did not want to enjoy the beach 100 yards from our house. She was uncomfortable because the Europeans “in their Speedos” staying at the bed and breakfast at the end of our street ogled her. Residential neighborhoods have zoning for a reason. Enforce the laws on the books.
I live in Lanikai, and on either side of my home are two legal vacation rental properties. The guests have always been respectful and quiet neighbors. Both properties are professionally managed. The tenants are vetted. I also am aware of one illegal B&B in our neighborhood. The tenants of this property are also vetted and the property is professionally managed and the owners are present.
The types of people who rent the homes adjacent to mine are the same people who shop and dine in Kailua; they should be encouraged, as the benefits to our community are substantial. Although I’m not a big fan of more government regulations, I do think in the case of B&Bs we would be well served to have legally registered units than not. This is a positive development for our community, not a negative one.
|ELIZABETH RICE GROSSMAN,
I coordinate a grassroots network called Na Hale Hookipa O Hawaii Nei (Homes of Hospitality of Hawaii). Our network numbers 400-plus B&Bs as well as vacation home owners, neighborhood businesses, property managers and supporters on the island of O‘ahu. Not all members are rental owners.
Our mission is first and foremost to maintain the small-town character and integrity of our neighborhoods; second, to maintain the quality of life of our residents, and finally, provide the intimate neighborhood experiences that some visitors desire. Providing for visitors doesn’t appear until third on our list because we know that without the character of town and neighborhoods, there would be no visitors. We certainly want to maintain the quality of life in our neighborhoods because frankly, they’re our neighborhoods, too.
The number of bed and breakfasts and transient vacation units (TVUs, which are vacation homes, cottages and condominiums renting for less than 30 days) operating now, according to the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, is less than the number certified in 1989. This number includes both certified B&Bs and TVUs and those asking for certification. The Department of Permit and Planning says it loses an average of 40 certified B&Bs and TVUs every two years. We don’t know where Mr. Bartley got his numbers.
We are gratified that the City Council believes B&Bs have a place in Hawaii’s tourism mix.
COORDINATOR, NA HALE HOOKIPA O HAWAII NEI
“Bar Town” 12/07
On his editor’s page, A. Kam Napier noted that times have changed since Michael J. Fox’s booze-soaked film Bright Lights, Big City was made.
I still say [Fox’s best film is] Doc Hollywood. I will enjoy discussing with friends over a drink next time I’m on Oahu at one of the “Best Bars” you suggested. We enjoy the magazine every month! Keep up the good work.
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