The vacation rental industry is predictably up in arms at the city Department of Planning and Permitting’s new proposal to keep short-term rentals out of residential neighborhoods.
They frame it in terms of protecting multinational hotel interests over local mom-and-pop owners just trying to get by, keeping tourist dollars in Hawaii.
But wait: These local owners have teamed up with multinational companies like Airbnb, Vrbo and Expedia to do business, while turning our neighborhoods into resort areas without resort zoning or resort amenities.
Moreover, many of these rentals are not owned by Hawaii residents, but rather are investment properties for offshore buyers. How does that help our local economy?
How can we sustain losing a significant proportion of housing to the vacation rental industry when we already do not have homes enough for our own families?
The current Hawaii Tourism Authority thinking is to manage our visitor numbers, and the best way to start is by keeping vacation rentals in resort areas, not residential neighborhoods.
And then, enforce that law!
Restaurant should weigh cost of ignoring rules
Regarding the owners of Baci Bistro, who chastised the person who complained about their restaurant not checking a patron’s vaccine status, requiring their business shut down for a night (“Over 160 Oahu businesses violate new COVID-19 mandates,” Star-Advertiser, Sept. 29): We loved eating at their restaurant and have had a couple of special occasion celebrations there in the past, but no more.
Instead of blaming public complaints for their violation of the law, why don’t they accept responsibility for violating laws that are meant to keep people safe? Why didn’t they consider the ramifications to their business, employees and customers for the violations?
I have underlying conditions that could have very bad consequences for me if I got a breakthrough infection.
$3.5 trillion spending bill hardly extravagant
I am annoyed by how the media mention the $1 trillion roads-and-bridges infrastructure bill and the $3.5 trillion social infrastructure bill in one breath, without mentioning that the $3.5 trillion is for 10 years. That’s an average of $350 billion per year, which is less than half of what Congress cheerfully spends on the military every year, and it would produce a broad range of social benefits.
Vaccination status should be 1 tiebreaker
I think there is a general misunderstanding around the issue of age being a tiebreaker in the Crisis Standards of Care Triage Allocation Framework (“Older patients could be denied treatment under Hawaii’s ‘crisis standards of care’ plan if COVID-19 cases continue to surge,” Star-Advertiser, Sept. 12).
My interpretation is that a patient’s age is to be considered at the end of a clinician’s decision-making process, rather than at the beginning, in order to decide who gets care first. Consider two patients who are equally ill. One is 65, the other 64, and both need a ventilator. If there is only one ventilator available, who gets the ventilator?
The standards indicate that the younger patient has a better prognosis, and the line needs to be drawn somewhere to help the clinicians in these extremely difficult situations. But what if the 65-year-old is vaccinated and the 64-year-old is not? Statistics shift drastically, giving the 65-year-old a better prognosis.
The governor and lieutenant governor should at least clarify why the standards are silent on vaccination status. If there is no good reason, then vaccination status should also be included.
Regulate 5G towers to protect community
If you think radiation from cell towers and antennas is safe, think again. Last year the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) looked at its wireless safety guidelines, set in 1996, and said they are still effective today. Did anyone even own a cell phone 25 years ago?
Thankfully, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit ruled that the FCC’s decision to retain its ancient safety limits was “arbitrary and capricious,” and that the FCC’s process was “a complete failure to respond to comments concerning environmental harm.”
The case involved a whopping 11,000 pages of scientific evidence detailing biological effects and environment harms including increases in cancer, damage to DNA, altered brain development and much more.
We are not being protected. Oahu currently has 93 5G towers — and growing. Please take action now. Contact your county council members today and ask them to enact legislation regulating towers and antennas to protect us.
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