Nicer view is not enough to force a trim
We are building a new extension on our home that would have a spectacular view of Diamond Head and Pearl Harbor from a new second-floor deck, except for two very large trees in my neighbor's backyard. Is there any city or state ordinance that would require them to trim the trees (mango and avocado) that could obstruct a view? We don't want to make anyone cut their trees down but would appreciate it if they could trim to below the level of our second floor.
Answer: You might ask your neighbors if they're willing to trim their trees, then offer to pay for the trimming.
There may be restrictive deed covenants to protect views for homes in subdivisions or planned unit developments, but there is no state law or city ordinance that could force a property owner to cut a tree just to enhance someone's view.
We also checked with the Outdoor Circle, which gets "a small but steady flow of calls from people who want us to pressure neighbors, businesses, resorts, government, et al., to cut down trees to enhance or create views," said spokesman Bob Loy.
But you'll get no sympathy from the organization, whose mission is "to protect and preserve Hawaii's scenic environment."
"The Outdoor Circle does not endorse removing trees on private property to enhance views and actively opposes the removal of trees on public property to enhance views," Loy said.
Q: I keep seeing ads for "Free Credit Reports" that turn out to be free only if you sign up for very costly credit protection. Isn't there a government e-mail address we can access to get a truly free one-time-only credit report? I remember reading about this a year or so ago. Is this offer still valid?
A: You can get free copies of your credit reports every 12 months from the three major credit reporting agencies by calling (877) 322-8228 or by going online at www.annualcreditreport.com.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, annualcreditreport.com is the only authorized online source for you to get a free credit report, under federal law.
It warns that other online sites claiming to offer free reports may charge you for something else if you end up accepting their "free" offer.
Under federal law, you can get one free report every 12 months from each of the three national credit reporting agencies.
To the anonymous person who found my son Norm Davis' wallet and mailed it back to him in Alaska. He was staying at a hotel in Waikiki with three high school friends. They had just graduated from West Valley High School in Fairbanks and were celebrating a two-week vacation to your fine state. He dropped his wallet on the bus and when the bus returned, it was gone. Thank you to the good Samaritan who mailed it home, complete with driver's license and credit cards. My son will have even fonder memories of his graduation trip because of you. -- Kim Davis/Ester, Alaska
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