Kona Seniors Locked Out and Need Help
Dear Editor, Sept 18, 2023
In light of the Lahaina fires and recent fire alerts, the Lei Kupuna Resident Organization took action and arranged a meeting with the Hawaii County Fire Prevention Dept. We held the meeting off property in the street because management accused us of not being a “recognized” Resident Organization per HUD law. That is not true, HUD law and our House Rules clearly state we are a legitimate Resident Organization.
One of the concerns brought up by seniors was that all 30 of the fire extinguishers in our building hallways have been marked “failed” since August. Our landlord, Michaels Management Affordable (MMA), is aware of it and has not informed residents when our fire extinguishers will be replaced. Nor have they offered an evacuation plan in case of a fire.
In addition, for years seniors have asked MMA to remove the dry bushes up against our buildings that is a fire hazard. Miraculously on the day of our Fire Prevention Meeting some of those bushes were cut back.
Both of these concerns are serious violations of County, State and HUD Fire Code, Federal OSHA regulations and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program.
Our seniors are being neglected and locked out of the Lei Kupuna office. On the front door a notice has been posted since March stating, “No Walk-ins,” and “Office staff available only by appointment.”
Seniors are required to have an appointment to speak with staff, even to get a rent receipt. But most of the time residents can’t get through to staff on the phone and staff doesn’t always return our calls. This is a costly problem when staff claims they didn’t receive our rent checks and we end up paying the fees involved.
The residents at Lei Kupuna Senior Housing are in desperate need of counsel.
We expect Michaels Management Affordable will continue to deny their wrongdoings as they have in the past, but our kupuna and community know the truth.
Co-founder of Lei Kupuna Resident Organization
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Empty Rental Better than Bad Tenant
Dear Editor, Sept 13, 2023
Have you ever heard ‘an empty rental home is better (less expensive) than a rental with a bad tenant”?
Hawaii’s rules/laws on tenant protection go way beyond sensibility and there is nothing to help the landlord deal with property damage and rent loss due to a bad tenant.
Thanks for reading.
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Dear Editor, Sept 8, 2023
Dave Shapiro wrote an editorial severely criticizing local government officials for being "half ass" in so many of their actions in the past and present Hawaii. He believes that some of these "half ass" moves contributed severely to the deadly Lahaina disaster. It should be noted that not all local government officials are bad. Some are very good and dedicated servants.
But he does make good points that local government has failed Hawaii in many aspects.
However, we can blame the politicians all we want. BUT WE VOTED FOR THEM.
The real problem though is that we vote the same people in over and over and rarely hold them accountable.
We never left the plantation. We simply exchanged the plantation owners and lunas for politicians who promise, election after election, to "take care" of us, but do not.
With Hawaii's absolutely atrocious lack of voter participation, what kind of government did we expect?
Given the statistics, it would seem that some Hawaii voters have gone even LESS than half ass as voters.
One could say that some HI voters take voting as a nuisance that takes up too much time, instead of the right, privilege and honor that others have given their lives for and others around the world are dying for.
Given how much we have let special interests own so many politicians, maybe we should really be worried if they went full ass on us.