How to learn whether a B&B is legal
My family and I have been frequent visitors to the islands and have always been greeted and treated with much aloha. Like many island residents, we are concerned with the issue of "illegal B&Bs." I've checked with what I thought was a reputable agency but found later that it was representing accommodations that were not in compliance. How would someone determine if staying at a B&B does not perpetuate a problem for the local residents?
Answer: Call the city Department of Planning and Permitting's Customer Service Office, 768-8117.
The office maintains a current listing of "Non Conforming Use Certificates," which are needed to legally operate transient vacation rentals, said Henry Eng, director of planning and permitting.
He said bed-and-breakfasts are included in the category of transient vacation rentals.
Q: My son is shipping his car to Seattle. When the Hawaii registration expires, is there any way to renew it while it is on the mainland? He wants to keep his Hawaii license plates.
A: If your son is going to school or is an active-duty military member stationed in Seattle, he might be allowed to retain his Hawaii license plates.
If not, he could be required to obtain a Washington driver's license and register his vehicle with the Washington Department of Licensing, said Dennis Kamimura, administrator of the city Motor Vehicle and Licensing Division.
His advice is to contact the Washington agency to find out its requirements.
If your son is allowed to have Hawaii plates, he can download a copy of the resident form required for renewing a vehicle "temporarily located" outside Hawaii at www.honolulu.gov/csd/ satellite/cslmvr64.pdf.
That form allows your son's vehicle to be exempt from the annual Hawaii safety inspection.
For more information about motor vehicles, check online with the city Department of Customer Services at www.co.honolulu.hi.us.
To Dr. Clifton Hashimoto and the staff at VCA Family Animal Hospital in Pearl City. On Feb. 9 my girlfriend and I made the difficult decision to put our pet rat, Babaghanoush, to sleep. We took him to the animal hospital, and he was put down quickly and peacefully with the help of Dr. Hashimoto, one of the most competent vets I've had the pleasure of meeting. Everyone was warm, understanding and, most of all, comforting during the process. One tech even gave him a brownie before the end, for which we are grateful. The real surprise came a few days later, when we received a lengthy handwritten, personalized card expressing the condolences of the staff. It was one of the most beautiful and kind gestures I'd ever seen, and certainly the most unexpectedly wonderful. It did more for us than they could possibly know. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts. -- Michael Trathen and Jennifer Schultz
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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