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POSTED: Monday, December 14, 2009

B&B bill won't strengthen rules

It was puzzling to me why the well-organized vacation rental operators have been in favor of Bill 7 since it has so many rules and regulations—which seem to restrict their operations—but now I have the answer.

They know the rules for both bed-and-breakfasts and non-owner-occupied vacation rental homes will not be enforced because they have seen how unenforceable the current zoning law has been. And even though Bill 7 provides for the B&B application fee to be applied toward enforcement, the chief enforcer (city Department of Planning and Permitting) says it's not enough, and its office will not be able to handle the additional work load.

So, Bill 7, if passed, will legalize thousands of B&Bs and, at the same time, allow the remaining thousands of illegal vacation rental units to continue operating, further destroying the residential character of our residentially zoned neighborhoods.

Dick Hagstrom

Kailua

 

               

     

 

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Accident delays should be shorter

The recent road closure for four hours at Waimea Bay for a nonfatal two-car accident is just the most recent in a long series of unnecessarily long road closures for “;investigation”; of accidents. As a result of these delays, thousands are seriously inconvenienced, missing work, leaving schoolkids stranded and causing a huge waste of gasoline.

Just a few weeks ago the police closed the highway at Makapuu for several hours because of an accident that occurred more than a hundred feet off the highway.

By comparison, last week the California Highway Patrol reopened a highway in two hours after a 28-vehicle pile-up that included 18-wheel trucks. Statistics have shown that California reopens highways within an average of two hours, versus four hours in Honolulu.

Police Chief Louis Kealoha could do a great service to Honolulu's driving public by requiring his officers to work toward an investigation process as efficient as California's. Surely Honolulu's accidents are not more complex than California's.

Tom Macdonald

Kaneohe

 

Read fine print in Lingle's proposal

Regardless of whom you blame for furloughs, few will downplay the governor's role. Recently she has tried to make it seem as if she never backed them, and in fact (at the time of the original contract), praised the teachers for taking an 8 percent pay cut and sharing in the burden. It was also most likely her media storm toward the public that convinced many teachers to vote “;yes”; for furloughs, because that is what they thought the public and governor wanted. The irony is, she is now doing almost exactly the same thing again. Parents, please bother to read the fine print: Under Gov. Lingle's plan, schools would operate “;with a skeleton staff, without a full complement of administrators and staff, including health aides, security personnel—as well as educational assistants, occupational therapists and other professional service providers who are required to care for the special needs children.”;

During the five to six months when the original contract was being negotiated, I told as many people as I could, “;Do you realize teachers aren't going to work for free; if the governor gets her way, schools will be closed almost every Friday?”; Sadly, no one listened. Please listen now: Under the new plan, there will be no security to stop fights and keep students safe, there will be no specialist to counsel students with problems and aggressive behaviors, there will be no administration to hand out discipline. The truth is, under the governor's new plan, schools cannot function. So please, parents, before you push an agenda just to get kids back in class, read the fine print.

Joseph DeMarco

Kapolei