Letters to the editor: 02-06-19

Short-term argument short on truths

I cannot let the short-term vacation rental opinion column by Keli’i Akina of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii slide by without being challenged.


He starts in his column printed in West Hawaii Today Jan. 13 by claiming that Ordinance 18-114 (Bill 108) is “trying to thwart or contain the phenomenon of short-term vacation rentals.” Not true, “the purpose of this ordinance is to manage the impacts of these short-term vacation rentals.” There is a difference.

Secondly, he characterizes the ordinance as imposing burdensome regulatory regimes on residents who wish to rent out rooms in their homes. He also uses the word “home-sharing.” Misinformation again. The ordinance is specific to short-term vacation rentals where the owner or operator is not present on site. Very different than home sharing or renting a room in your home.

The true goal of Mr. Akina and his lack of concern for neighborhoods puzzles me. Perhaps there is a push here by the Grassroot Institute and Mr. Akina to support economic freedom over the property rights of individuals. We need to remember that zoning rules were created due to past abuses and we now have Ordinance 18-114 because STVR have impacted neighborhoods in a negative way.

Mr. Akina’s opinion that we need to just roll over and accept the inevitability of short-term vacation rentals because it is good for the local economy is wrong and his use of misinformation to support that opinion needs to be challenged.

Phillip Koszarek

Captain Cook

But Trump said Mexico would pay

Responding to the letter to the editor by Jim Koubelg, the people who voted for Trump weren’t voting to pay for the wall, because Trump — often, frequently, repeatedly and on many occasions — promised that Mexico would be doing that.

Remember, Trump got elected because of the Electoral College, not because the majority of voters wanted him to be president. By the way, Obama has been out of office for over two years, so it’s time to stop blaming him for whatever you don’t like today.

Phyllis Hanson


Of asylum-seekers and aloha

In a letter to the editor in West Hawaii Today (Feb. 2) Jim Koubelg made a number of interesting comments about President Trump’s proposed border wall.

First, he states that “if the wall does not work why is there a wall around Obama’s house?”

There is no wall around Obama’s house.

Second, he states that Trump got elected because voters want the wall.

According to a recent CBS poll, 59 percent of Americans oppose building a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border.

Third, he states that “many people want to come to the USA. They should clean up their own areas, not run to the USA.”

Many of those seeking asylum are fleeing dangerous, life-threatening conditions in their own countries. Do you really think that asylum-seekers, many of whom are women and children, are capable of “cleaning up” the poverty and violence that pervades their countries?

Jim, you really need to stop reading fake news and get your facts straight. Also, please recall that Hawaii is the Aloha State where we welcome people of diversity. Apparently, you didn’t get the memo.


Dennis Brown