Friday, May 20, 2022 |
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• Gimme shelters
• Kaua‘i’s war on TVRs
• Schools need improvement
• Look out
I am writing on behalf of the people of Kaua‘i who utilize our daily bus system. A lot of our kupuna, our keikis, mothers with babies, and working citizens of Kaua‘i are trying to help the economy and lessen busy highways.
Most bus stops on our island offer no shelter. I have witnessed a mother and baby, and on many an occasion, a grandma waiting for a bus without shelters while standing in the rain. Isn’t there something the County of Kaua‘i can do for these citizens?
Pamela Andrade, Kapa‘a
Kaua‘i’s war on TVRs
In a recent article in The Garden Island, we learn that two members of Protect Our Neighborhood ‘Ohana have become the self-appointed civilian enforcers of Kaua‘i’s new vacation rental ordinance. (“Vacation rental owners ‘beg’ county for help,” Sept. 14)
Trespassing issues not withstanding, one thing is certain; it is a sad scenario when neighbor turning against neighbor is supported as a just pursuit.
In Kaua‘i’s war against TVRs, vacation rental owners have been painted with a very broad stroke as rich Mainlanders who are taking in thousands of dollars a month in rents. Not so. Ask any realtor if operating a vacation rental is a profitable venture.
Consider the following; a 25 percent management commission, an average 50 percent vacancy rate, state and local taxes, landscaping, cleaning and upkeep. Some are just middle-income people who fell in love with the island and are trying to pay their mortgage and taxes until it is financially feasible to make Kaua‘i their permanent home.
The battle against TVRs began at the height of the real estate boom. Vacation rental owners were an easy scapegoat for local politicians otherwise powerless to stop what was a national bubble. Well, we all know now that bubble has popped.
I received an email the other day from a real estate agent trumpeting the fact that Kaua‘i had more than 400 homes in foreclosure. More are undoubtedly on the way.
How does a once well-maintained, but soon-to-be-vacant vacation rental down the street with a browning lawn help anyone? Isn’t it time to rethink the assumptions that got us here?
If the Kaua‘i County Council had followed the plan originally discussed by grandfathering in and preventing any new vacation rentals, the issue would be resolved with natural attrition. There’s not a big real estate market for second homes these days and chances are there won’t be for years.
Hopefully the people of Kaua‘i will be able to see through the agenda of a vocal few as well as the politicians using the issue as their soap box. And hopefully these same politicians will be held responsible when for years to come, local tax coffers are depleted as a result of collecting fewer occupancy taxes, what promises to be certain lawsuits — and from such worthy endeavors as keeping Kaua‘i safe from all those extra sinks.
It’s not too late. Let the Planning Department and the county Prosecutor’s Office get back to the work they were charged with before being handed this ill-conceived ordinance.
Stacy Vesta, Los Angeles, Calif.
Schools need improvement
Growing up here in Hawai‘i, but born on O‘ahu, my children had gone to school for most of their lives on O‘ahu and when we moved here it was a culture shock. Especially for my 14- and 13-year-old. They were overly shocked that their school was not AYP Level in their education.
They are both academically strong — As, Bs and Cs. The schools here need major improvement to compete with the O‘ahu DOE. No wonder a lot of families move away. Sports, unfortunately, are not everything. But I can see why there’s nothing for these poor kids to do except sports or go to the beach.
On O‘ahu that’s when the Department of Parks and Recreation would set up to the plate and help out the parents after school with free classes for the children. Such as archery, basketball, clay class, holiday art (during the winter), ping pong, cooking class (the only one you had to pay), video games, how to be a better player.
So each park director had come up with their own classes with their co-directors. Along with the UH college students as the teachers. Plus the Summer Fun was worth it along with the price. It was $90 for 6 weeks, not $90 for one week.
Everyone would probably tell me to move back to O‘ahu and maybe one day we will. By then it’ll be too late. My children are completely bored and almost out of school.
Melissa Pasadava, Kilauea
Know this, ACLU: When we are finished exposing and dismantling ACORN for the corruption and decadence it harbors, you’re next.
Bob Clemmons, Wailua
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