House Bill 1707: “We will be forced to sell”
Dear Editor, Feb 22, 2012
Proposed House Bill 1707 “Requires any nonresident owner who operates a transient accommodation located in the nonresident owner's private residence, including an apartment, unit, or townhouse, to employ a property manager approved by the real estate commission.”
We purchased a small condo in Kihei almost 2 years ago, a lifelong dream of ours. We love our family time on Maui and when we’re not using it we rent it out. We employ a management company to handle any emergency situations but we look after everything else ourselves. Because we do most of the work ourselves we’re able to keep our rental rates low which in turn allows many people who would otherwise not be able to afford a trip to Hawaii to come here and contribute to the economy. We put our blood sweat and tears into renovating a derelict unit into a beautiful vacation home for all to enjoy. We pay our taxes in full and on time.
If this bill is passed we will be forced to sell our dream and take our tax dollars elsewhere. Many new buyers considering a second home or income property will not purchase one since they will not be permitted to self manage. They will invest in other markets. Increased fees will cause us to have to raise our rental rates and will have a negative impact on tourism, and an adverse effect on owners, resulting in more properties on the market, driving down real estate prices even further.
The existing tax laws need to be enforced. This bill unfairly targets law abiding, tax paying owners and discourages investment in the Hawaiian economy.
I love Maui…I hope we can stay!
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RTTT: The Chicago Way?
Dear Editor, Feb 20, 2012
Big surprise! The Obama administration and the Chicago way strikes again. What happened to the teacher evaluation program? Looks like the DOE will get the $75 million and most of it will go to the public workers for a few extra hours of work. The citizens, including the kids, lose out again.
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HELCO Blames Solar Users for Latest Rate Hike
Dear Editor: February 12, 2012
I greatly appreciate your online publication and read most of the articles. I also admire the tenacity of your reporters, who clearly dig hard for their facts and publish stories that offer a refreshing, alternative perspective in comparison to the press-release pabulum found in the other local press. Since I live in Hilo, this other local press to which I refer is the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.
Last Wednesday the HTH published a HELCO story in which a HELCO spokesman was lamenting lost corporate profits from customers who have switched to solar power. Here is a copy of the letter to the editor (so far unpublished) that I sent to the HTH in response:
Your 8 February issue reported that HELCO's shareholders "are currently absorbing the lost income" from customers who have switched to solar power. Before we get all teary-eyed for these poor, sacrificing shareholders, let's consider a few facts.
First, HELCO's parent company, Hawaiian Electric Industries, has actually paid a 31-cent quarterly dividend every quarter since 2004, the last of which was paid on 13 December of 2011. Hmmm, doesn't look like much of a shareholder sacrifice. Rather, it looks like HELCO has managed to shift the real sacrifice on to the backs of its customers, having raised its electricity rates sufficiently to pay consistent dividends.
Second, HEI reported a 19.5% earnings growth in 2011 compared to an industry average of 5.4%. Hmmm. Once again, this doesn't look much like shareholder sacrifice.
Finally, let's consider the poor HELCO customer. I will use my personal experience as an example. In 2011, our electrical consumption was virtually the same as in 2010 (less than one percent KHW difference), yet our electricity bill went up over 30%. Thirty percent. In one year. To add further insult, HELCO rates in 2010 already dwarfed rates in every other state in the country.
What this suggests to me is that Hawaii needs to find competitive alternatives to its current state-sponsored monopoly and it needs to encourage investment and development in geothermal power. It is beyond ironic that we have this clean, cheap, home-grown power source available, yet it remains essentially untapped while HELCO continues to burn expensive imported oil and inflate its rates to maintain shareholder return.
M.D. Sims, Ninole
I copy the Hawaii Free Press on this letter to the HTH because of the HELCO story published in today's Sunday paper, the headline for which was HELCO PROFITS SURGE. This "surge" was a result of a "30% bump in electric service income last year". Isn't it curious that HELCO profits for the year are up 30% and my personal electrical rates are also up 30% for the same year?
Isn't it also curious that HELCO was publishing poor-mouth performance information, and suggesting the need for possible rates increases yet again, a few days before it published record profit information? I wonder if there is some stock manipulation going on there; I see that HEI stock closings went from $58.85 on 8 February to $57.97 on Friday…
Obviously the Hawaii Tribune-Herald won't investigate this curiosity; it simply publishes HELCO press releases and faithfully reports PUC acquiescence. I thought, though, that your publication might have more interest.
Thank you for your time and consideration. And thank you again for your fine publication.
Regards. M.D. Sims III
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Kauai Chief Perry Victim of Retaliation by Corrupt Mayor?
Dear Editor, February 2, 2012
Kauai Mayor Carvalho has a reputation of being bullish. His office is corrupt. Bernard Carvalho is well connected (enmeshed) with a number of local members of the community. The corruption is organized. I know first hand that Mayor Carvalho has gotten bullish with Chief Darryl Perry, as well--controlling what he can of this man and his post.
I am aware that--on a personal level--Mayor Bernard Carvalho does not care for Chief Darryl Perry, and, at times, Bernard has made Chief Perry's job difficult for him. For example, the mayor is refusing to allow the KPD a Public Information Officer. All press releases to any police matters come out of the mayor's office. This is unheard of. Mayor Carvalho will control what the media and public are informed.
Chief Perry is a constant source of irritation for a man like Bernard Carvalho. Chief Perry is ethical and collaborates with the FBI, Honolulu Unit. Carvalho is corrupt. Recently, one of Carvalho's top guys--Costello--was investigated by Honolulu FBI and dismissed from his position. There has been a recent change in command with the County of Kauai Police Commission. Soon following, Carvalho would meet with the newly appointed Chair and Vice-Chair (I believe both positions changed hands) in private to this matter of Chief Perry, and his two top ranking assistant chiefs, being placed on leave. This is a blatant violation of county charters by Carvalho.
When Vice-Chair Charles Iona was in position, no such thing happened over the stretch of 4 years. I believe the mayor may now have some of his people in place at the police commission, and he is using this power against the Chief of Police. This includes attempting to remove Chief Darryl Perry from office. At no time, in the passing 5 years in which Chief Perry has acted as police chief, has he been placed on a leave of absence. The timing is suspicious; the actions quite bold on Carvalho's part. I am convinced there is no foul play of the part of Chief Darryl Perry. I have come to know this officer well enough.