Letters to the editor: 04-16-18

Rude comment out of place

Either I am getting really old and cannot stand these rude people, or there are just more rude people here residing on our island paradise.

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At a funeral service, there were enough parking spots at the Lutheran church on Lako Street but there was this man who could not wait to get into a stall near the sidewalk. I had a hard time getting out of my stall on the gravel because there was a huge truck in back of me. He obviously saw my struggle as he tried to get into his spot before I got out of mine but as I drove out, there was a car with a hitch sticking out (looked like a wheelchair carrier) so I could not go further. As two cars in the back of him that did not give me room to pass so we were stuck for less than a minute.

I could see him talking so I rolled down my window and he just rudely told me that I was holding up traffic. I was too slow to react but should have told him: What is the rush? We were there to pay our last respects for a lovely lady taken too early in life!

I take up just a little air space on this planet, 107 pounds worth for that matter, but I try not to pollute the airspace around me with unkind words. I think if one has to pollute our airspace without compassion, please move over to a place where you have no say.

I feel a little bit better now. That person hurt my tender soul.

Carol Zakahi

Kona

Short-term rentals affecting island economy

I just saw the headline re: hiring in robust economy. The real reason isn’t primarily that. I speak to tourists all day and easily 60 percent are staying at an Airbnb or VRBO.

Now, anyone in our tourist area (or any other vacation spot across the nation) is experiencing the exact same problem. In a completely unregulated and un-taxed section of the rental pool is converting all long-term rentals into the Airbnbs. I looked for two and a half months and there is nothing at any price. So, where are renters supposed to stay?

I’ve lived in the same place for 13 years. Since they are selling the condo, I am left with only one option, moving back to my house on the mainland. It’s not just the hotels/resort, merchants and displaced renters who are affected. Eventually, the whole economy will suffer.

The state is always looking for a way to increase income. Why can’t Hawaii — like some other states — tax these people? At the same time there should be some regulations and limit of how many there can be in a specific area? Forcing them to report income and penalizing those who don’t might be difficult but if that was happening, many would choose to revert them back to a long-term rental, which is already taxed.

Hawaii is losing money. No bed or occupancy tax is being collected as every other stay in a hotel or rental pays. Restaurants and bars are losing business. It’s maddening for anyone caught in this (whatever you want to call it). It’s fortunate I have the resources and a place to go on the mainland but what about all the other people caught up in this?

I love living here. This is home. Now this Airbnb thing is forcing me to leave. I have to quit my job and completely uproot my life simply because every greedy person is getting rid of their longtime rentals for fast cash. The wear and tear on the apartment or studio is going to be much higher than that of a long-term person, I can promise you that.

Maybe it will change once the hotels and resorts start to loudly express their outrage at this because they are losing their employees and wait staff. Of course, because they have fewer guests, maybe it doesn’t matter. Lower occupancy and income does matter to their corporate owners.

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Joy Sommer

Kailua-Kona