Friday, Jan. 27, 2023 |
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Smile and enjoy our island
About a year ago, I returned to the Big Island after 20 years on the mainland. As expected, things are different, but what surprised me the most is the mainland style of driving here now.
When I left in 2002, people drove with aloha, and drove the speed limit, maybe a little faster. Now almost everyone drives 10 or 15 mph faster, and if you dare drive the speed limit, you’ll find some impatient driver right behind you. I have seen road rage on Queen Kaahumanu Highway, something I thought I’d never see here. People rushing everywhere, and I think, “did I move back to Hawaii or am I still on the mainland?” We need to be better than the mainland in our driving. Slow down everyone. Enjoy the scenery. Show aloha when driving. Smile and enjoy our island.
A balance must be achieved
Has anybody seen the commercial on TV for vacation rentals where the music is blaring the lights are spinning ,the drinks are flowing, the vacationers are dancing ? I think the was filmed in the house next door to me because that’s what’s happening in the unpermited vacation rental next door.
The house next to me is listed on county records as a two-bedroom/one-bathroom, 950-square-foot single-family house. The Silicon Valley owner lists it on Airbnb as a four-bedroom/two-bath house — which it is because of all the unpermited additions. The Silicon Valley owner allows eight persons to vacation there but has no way or interest of enforcing it since they don’t live here. (Anybody out there want to listen to eight people on the lanai next door after a hard day at the beach?)
If the County Council makes it mandatory that all short-erm vacation rentals must be hosted by the owner on site than that would cure a lot of problems. The ghost owners who claim to live on the property they own even claim a homeowner tax exemption, which they receive.
I know this is happening islandwide. A balance must be achieved to help responsible vacation rental owners keep up the good work and put a stop to the parasite vacation rental owners taking advantage of all of us.
Support our local charities
Does anyone remember the Charity Christmas tree competition at the Mauna Lani Resort? It was a wonderful way to get in the Christmas spirit and support local nonprofits by paying $1 per vote. We miss it.
This morning after church, we had breakfast at Cheers Tapa Bar on Kaiwi Street in the Old Kona Industrial Area. This locally owned tapas restaurant was new to us and it was a surprise that they are open on Sunday morning with a special breakfast menu. Like most public places in town, it is decorated with Christmas trees. But these trees are different. Each of the five beautifully decorated live trees is dedicated to a small nonprofit selected for their work in our Kona community. We had a hard time choosing the best tree, so we voted for them all. Proceeds from the competition go to Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of West Hawaii, Johnathan’s Foundation, Kona Task Force on Feeding the Hungry – Meet and Eat program, West Hawaii Humane Society, and West Hawaii Mediation Center.
We thank you, Kessi at Cheers Tapa Bar, for bringing a charity Christmas tree competition to Kailua-Kona. And we urge West Hawaii Today readers to support our local charities and restaurants. Stop by Cheers Tapa Bar to vote for a tree and stay for tapas.
Don and Shirley David
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