Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Saturday, December 12, 2009

B&B bill helps local business

Fact No. 1: B&Bs are legal in Hawaii.

Fact No. 2: Honolulu cannot make “;illegal”; something that is legal under state law.

Fact No. 3: Zoning prohibitions passed 20 years ago were not effective.

Fact No. 4: Undocumented short-stay rentals are everywhere on Oahu in the thousands. Only 10 percent are local, owner-operated B&Bs.

Fact No. 5: Complaints about B&Bs are hogwash. The city cannot justify its zoning restrictions on fears for public safety.

Fact No. 6: Local, owner-operated B&Bs are run by locals.

Fact No. 7: B&Bs provide services and fellowship for travelers who need a place to rest. This is not a crime.

Fact No. 8: B&Bs are small-business enterprises that are responsible for the well-being of others.

Fact No. 9: B&Bs provide a good and genuine service welcomed in neighborhoods with no complaints.

Fact No. 10: Licensing of B&Bs provides regulation, taxation and safeguards.

Vote “;for”; Bill 7 in the City Council.

Will Page






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B&Bs causing community strife

Bed and breakfast legislation passed in 1989 was a mistake. It offered a compromise that allowed existing illegal vacation rental businesses to continue to operate in residentially zoned neighborhoods while at the same time prohibiting any new ones. Rather than control short-term rentals, the 1989 B&B bill led to illegal “;copycat”; businesses that now pit neighbor against neighbor and erode the social fabric of our residential communities.

If passed, Bill 7 will add 4,000 mini-hotel rooms to our residential communities. A well-known adage asserts: “;Those who do not learn from past mistakes are destined to repeat them.”; Does anyone believe that those who are blatantly defying the law today will cease such activity if not granted one of the coveted permits?

Bill 8, designed for enforcement, needs to be addressed by the City Council before it introduces any new B&B legislation.

Francine Hagstrom



Greenhouse gas not part of EIS

How seriously are we supposed to take a rail study from people who don't know the environmental review process? Panos Prevedouros criticized the rail draft environmental impact statement because it didn't include information on greenhouse gases (”;Pollution from rail feared,”; Star-Bulletin, Dec. 9). Neither federal nor state law currently requires a transportation environmental impact statement to study greenhouse gases.

Panos is either playing dumb or he doesn't know the law. Neither is acceptable from someone who professes to be a transit expert.

Jerry Sakayanan



Maglev superior to steel wheel rail

The Star-Bulletin should not have published Ronald Wong's letter without a factual check (”;China rail lines forging ahead,”; Letters, Dec. 10). He is thankful that Honolulu abandoned magnetic levitation because of noise and fear of radiation. He is obviously not aware that the HSST urban Maglev has no radiation concerns and would, in fact, be much quieter than any steel wheel on steel rail system.

The city purposely avoided noise comparisons with the Maglev when it issued its “;disinformation”; circular prior to the November 2008 election because the administration knew that even noise-mitigated (i.e., sidewalls on the guideway) steel wheels would still be twice as loud as unmitigated Maglev.

The HSST (or Linimo as it is known in Japan), vis-a-vis steel-on-steel, also is faster, more reliable and safer, and its operations and maintenance costs would be 20-30 percent less per year.

Its guideway would be much less imposing physically and would cost about 20 percent less than the steel wheels “;bridge”; to construct. That would be enough to extend the system to UH-Manoa and into Waikiki within the current system's budget and timelines. The city's rush to steel—without an open competition among all qualified systems—will eventually leave us with an inferior system at a higher cost.

Frank Genadio