If there is a way to further burden the people of Hawaii, our elected officials will find it.  Sadly it appears to be the Hawaii way.  

On August 1st a law went into effect that had far reaching and chilling affects.  Suddenly potential visitors who had plans to visit Hawaii are finding out that their accommodations have been cancelled.  

So who benefited from this sudden move?  It appears that some hotels are upping their prices, taking advantage of the situation, after all this change benefits them, or so they hope.  As one of the visitors in the article below shared.  “…Why on earth would I spend a lot of time in Hawaii when there are other places I can go for a fraction of the price…” note that it also affects our local residents, perhaps those that were planning on bringing their families to Oahu.

It may have been a lackadaisical law that has been on the books for decades that was not enforced …. however a courtesy or grace period should have been given for sake of those who had already booked in good faith.  After all where is all that island love, all that Aloha. 

Then the Rail Transit, HART, some of its employees were individually served subpoenas. “We have no idea,” HART Executive Director Andrew Robbins said Thursday, not much else to read! 

NOW!  Let’s not take our eyes off the Honolulu City Council and that Bill 37 RELATING TO COMMUNITY WORKFORCE AGREEMENTS, they are fast tracking!  It has already passed two hearings. 

We see this bill as doing the following:

· Obviously benefits Unions with the potential for the increase in dues being collected by these unions.

· Hawaii has approximately 4,500 professionally licensed contractors, according to the Grassroot Institute this bill would affect approximately 2/3 of them =  3,000 of them, taking them out of any opportunity to bid on these job!

· What about the numerous qualified tradespeople, electrician, plumbers, painters etc. they would be locked out as well.

· We are all very well aware that competition is healthy especially for us tax-payers who are footing the bill.  As for a monopoly, it benefits the chosen few!

Tax payers should be concerned because we are all well aware, that there are many good reputable licensed contractors, sub-contractors and tradespeople who are being targeted by this bill as being less than professional, qualified and trustworthy … simply because they are non-union!  

What our elected council members need to remember, is that they promised to represent the people in their districts, the Honolulu County taxpayers and not special interest.

If you haven’t already seen it, go here to read the excellent detailed testimony submitted by Joe Kent, from the Grassroot Institute.

Let’s try and keep our eyes on this … your involvement is needed.  

Your Sister in Christ

But select capable men from all the people—men who fear Godtrustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Ex. 18:21

Tourists Scramble As Oahu Vacation Rentals Disappear Under New Law By Christina Jedra  August 12, 2019

Amid mass Airbnb cancellations, one local bride said two of her bridesmaids can no longer attend her wedding.

Marlena Rundquist thought everything was squared away for her Sept. 4 wedding on Oahu. 

It had been months since the Tucson bride-to-be booked her flight and a short-term vacation rental for her bridal party. So she was shocked when her VRBO host contacted her about a week ago to cancel her reservation.

“I was like, ‘What’s going on?’” she said, “They said a new law was passed and that they could be fined. I said: ‘Is there any way you can rent to us and keep it between us?’ They were like: ‘Yeah, we can’t risk that.’”

As Honolulu cracks down on illegal vacation rentals, hosts of Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway units are canceling their bookings and altering their business models, leaving potentially thousands of tourists scrambling to find new accommodations…some within weeks of their flights to Oahu. 

Renting units for fewer than 30 days outside of resort zones has been illegal for decades, but the city failed to enforce the law. The crackdown, which took effect Aug. 1, allows the city to use advertisements as evidence of illegal activity – a move that threatens the shutdown of about 5,000 rentals. Violators could face fines of as much as $10,000 a day. The day after the law took effect, the city said there was a nearly 37% decrease in listings compared to two weeks prior.

Honolulu officials, rental operators, neighbors and lobbyists have been following the short-term vacation rental saga for years. But for tourists planning their weddings, anniversaries and vacations in the Aloha state, cancellations are coming as an unpleasant surprise.

“I had a full-blown anxiety and panic attack,” Rundquist said. “It was literally a month away. I couldn’t find anywhere to go. The people still willing to take a fine had hiked the prices: $200 a night went to almost $500 a night. Hotels were upping the price.”

Tommy Szymanski is visiting Oahu this month from Oregon to celebrate a friend’s wedding as well as his own anniversary. Within the past two weeks, his rentals in Waikiki and the North Shore both contacted him to deliver the news.

“The Waikiki reservation canceled Saturday and was like: ‘Yup, that’s it. We’re closing up shop on four different places and are trying to figure out what to do,’” Szymanski said. “I’m sitting here going ‘Really?’ My initial reaction – and this is from an outsider not knowing the stuff behind Hawaii’s politics – the resorts are getting exactly what they wanted with this bill.”

Szymanski tried to find a hotel room through Travelocity, but the options weren’t appealing.

Some Locals Squeezed By New Rules – the new enforcement law doesn’t just affect visitors.

Mililani resident Kristen Sutton is planning her October wedding in the Waimea Valley. She was looking forward to seeing friends and family from neighboring islands and her hometown of Hilton Head, North Carolina. Most of her 60 guests were planning to stay in Airbnbs, she said. 

“October is coming up, and some of them are just now learning they don’t have a place to stay so they’re clambering to find something,” she said. “I was like, oh they’re really enforcing this. I was upset.” 

When it comes to future vacations, Szymanski said he’s more likely to book a trip to Mexico than Honolulu, “Why on earth would I spend a lot of time in Hawaii when there are other places I can go for a fraction of the price?” 

Full article:  https://www.civilbeat.org/2019/08/tourists-scramble-as-oahu-vacation-rentals-disappear-under-new-law/?utm_source=Civil%20Beat%20Master%20List&utm_campaign=088b570fba-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_08_12_06_38&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_51c2dd3cf3-088b570fba-401757649&mc_cid=088b570fba&mc_eid=ca7ca21b7e

Honolulu Rail Officials Won’t Say Much About New Round Of Subpoenas By Marcel Honore / August 8, 2019

The latest federal orders were served to an unspecified number of HART employees. The rail agency won’t say who or how many staff members got them.

As the federal criminal investigation involving Honolulu rail widens, city and project leaders are growing more tight-lipped on the matter.

On Thursday, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation confirmed in a statement that some of its employees were individually served subpoenas last month, seeking their testimony as part of the probe.

As to what information the feds are seeking from these staff members? “We have no idea,” HART Executive Director Andrew Robbins said Thursday.

What’s known for sure is that Corporation Counsel has recommended hiring an outside attorney with special expertise to help navigate HART’s federal subpoenas.

During a City Council committee meeting late last month, Councilwoman Heidi Tsuneyoshi asked whether the city has spent any of the $50,000 planned for that outside attorney.

     “I’m not going to answer that in open session,” a Corporation Counsel representative told her.

For Councilman Tommy Waters, a bigger concern than who foots the bill is that HART needs a criminal defense attorney, he said at that meeting.

More:  https://www.civilbeat.org/2019/08/honolulu-rail-officials-wont-say-much-about-new-round-of-subpoenas/?utm_source=Civil+Beat+Master+List&utm_campaign=b1b61ad809-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_08_09_04_05&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_51c2dd3cf3-b1b61ad809-401757649&mc_cid=b1b61ad809&mc_eid=ca7ca21b7e