I see that rental advocates are asking the governor to extend the prohibition on evictions for months.
All evictions are not equal. I am a retiree who happens to be a landlord. My tenant has not paid rent for three months by taking advantage of the lack of ability to evict. He has a good-paying job but elects not to pay his rent because I cannot evict him.
I pay a mortgage, two AOAO dues, insurance and even the electric bill of nearly $300 a month. I can’t even cut the electricity because it is prohibited. I normally have a net of about $200 from the rent, but now face a $2,100 loss each month.
I am sure I am not the only landlord with this problem. The state has the Section 8 program to assist in rent. Why can’t it be extended to those who are unable to pay because of unemployment? The only thing I ask is the opportunity to present my case to a judge. All evictions are not about unemployment caused by COVID-19.
State needs a plan for economic development
Lee Cataluna’s column on our stalled economy amplified one significant point (“A timeline for Hawaii to return to normal doesn’t exist,” Star-Advertiser, June 12). We have no real plan to reopen our economy.
Prior to COVID-19, we have never really had a cohesive, well-structured economic development plan here in our state. I say this not only as an observer, but as someone who visited economic development organizations in other states, including Washington, California, Illinois, Utah, Michigan and Texas. They have very strategic and well-thought-out plans tying development to state resources such as free land, employee training, university economic development (ED) courses and tax relief for new businesses.
Many ED programs are still available at major universities. Coupled with local Chambers of Commerce and state resources, the benefits boosted business in every state I visited. The businesses came, thrived and stayed.
Where is our Plan Hawaii?
Surfboard lockers should be fixed by now
Thanks for the article, “City’s Waikiki surfboard racks remain moribund” (Star-Advertiser, June 17).
To surfers on the south side of Oahu, summer is the best time of year for bigger waves. The swells have already started to arrive. Unfortunately, many surfers can’t take advantage of the conditions because the surfboard lockers in Waikiki are still not repaired. Between 400 and 500 boards were torched in a fire in February. My family lost three boards. Two were custom- made standup boards.
According to the mayor’s office, work is “ongoing.” What, exactly, does “ongoing” mean? It has taken more than three months to pick up the debris and repaint the metal structure. I’ve walked by the locker area at least two dozen times and have never seen anybody working there. Ongoing? Baloney.
The flagstones need repair, and new wood planks need to be installed to support the boards. At that point the lockers would be functional. Temporary lighting could be installed and video surveillance as well. It doesn’t involve rocket science. A single handyman with diversified skills, working alone (pandemic, remember) could have done all this inside of a month.
Public input needed on Ala Moana towers
City Councilman Tommy Waters is correct to suggest the city should ask for public input regarding the development of 400-foot towers at Ala Moana Center (“Amendments to a plan could create 400-foot towers at Ala Moana Center,” Star-Advertiser, June 19). It appears that the Canadian-based owner of the shopping mall has given due consideration to the planned rail station being built next to the center. With access to mass transit, why not maximize profits on its investment?
Taxpayers who are funding the rail, however, should feel like they’re being used. Enriching a foreign company is not why it is being built. Maybe the rail should be diverted to the University of Hawaii-Manoa campus, where our children and future generations will derive real, long-lasting benefit from it.
To ease traffic woes, ban rental cars on Oahu
It’s time we discuss something big, bold and beautiful. Let’s follow the example of Bermuda and not allow tourists to rent cars on Oahu. It would be great to have no change in our traffic once the tourists start coming back to our island because there are no additional cars on the road.
The tourists can use taxis, Uber or Lyft, mopeds, Biki bicycles, shuttles, tour buses, the bus and the rail. The 30,000 tourists visiting our island every day don’t also have to be on our roads in rental cars.
All it takes is political will. Contact our City Council members and tell them you want them to outlaw rental cars on Oahu. Yes, the rental car companies will lobby like crazy, but the taxi drivers, Uber and Lyft and Biki will love it. The rail and the bus will benefit.
Did you see the picture of all the rental cars at the Aloha Stadium parking lot just sitting there because we have no tourists (“Aloha Stadium becomes new home for unused rental vehicles,” Star-Advertiser, March 23)? And that’s just a fraction of the cars sitting there.
Let’s get rid of them all.
In Hawaii, racism has lessened over time
Many of us can retell stories from our grandparents and parents about pronounced and ever-so-hurtful ethnocentric and racist experiences encountered in everyday life in Hawaii, at a time when skin color, eye shape or last name were the badges of systemic racism.
They can tell vivid stories of employment preference for some over others; denial of the opportunity to take university entrance exams; being stopped during curfew; and refusal to rent to families. They can tell stories about disingenuous characterizations of local people. They recall the vivid details of injustice in the Massie case.
Time has passed, attitudes have changed. We are all more respectful of each other. We are trying harder to listen. We implement structural policies founded on democratic principles.
We will be the state of Hawaii, the Aloha State. Imua!
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