Political Women

Hanabusa campaign off target on sexism accusation

I am writing this in response to Colleen Hanabusa’s campaign contention that Gov. David Ige’s ad that “criticism isn’t leadership” is being sexist. I find that absolutely ridiculous. (“Chad Blair: Did David Ige Tell Colleen Hanabusa To ‘Sit Down And Shut Up’?” July 30).

This is from a campaign that is allowing the Carpenters’ Union PAC to run its obnoxious ad so often that hopefully this will backfire on them, that is entirely based on negative criticism much as it did with Ben Cayetano when he was running for Honolulu mayor.

Other candidates have distanced themselves from that PAC’s ads, but not Hanabusa. Interesting that when the missile crisis actually happened, there was absolutely no comment of any sort from Hanabusa at the actual time or immediately thereafter. Quite the hypocrite to make such a big deal of this now that she is running for governor.

As Chad Blair mentioned in his article, Hanabusa is long on criticism and very short on details about how she will improve things as governor, much less what those specific “things” are that need improving. After years of watching Hanabusa look out only for Hanabusa and where she wants her career to go, I find the entire gender issue absurd. This is a woman who thought because she was Dan Inouye’s protege she would automatically take his senate seat after he died, just because that was what he wanted. Brian Schatz has done an excellent job of representing Hawaii and won reelection on his own.

Hanabusa has missed several votes in Congress because she was in Hawaii running for governor. When she had the chance to do something to help fix the rail mess, she only stayed with HART five months and then immediately ran for Congress after the death of Mark Takai, and now has once again decided to leave Congress to run for governor. I notice she did not do what Neil Abercrombie did when he decided to run for governor and resign her seat in the House; so Hawaii could have a full time legislator instead of a part time one who misses votes. Seems to me she wants to keep all of her options open, but is not considering the best interests of the state which is what she was elected to do.

I also have noticed that since she decided to run for governor, I have started getting written responses to issues that I have contacted her about through petitions, etc., which normally she ignores.  Both of our senators always respond.

I am appalled that Civil Beat actually put a screen shot of Della Au Belatti’s request for Hanabusa donations as part of their article. A mention of Belatti making this request would have sufficed without giving Hanabusa free campaign publicity. Our mailboxes are already being inundated daily with requests for votes and money from the Hanabusa campaign. I actually got three in one day!

I completely agree with Laura Thielen’s response to Belatti’s contentions, and didn’t find Belatti’s reply to Thielen particularly enlightening. This is all about political smoke and mirrors much in the same tone as the Carpenters’ PAC ad. This is not the type of person I want to be governor of Hawaii or even to continue to represent me in Congress.

— Katharine Owen, Honolulu

Vacation Rentals

New taxes and fees won’t keep neighborhoods safe

I read today about Mayor Caldwell’s new bill to dramatically change the way the city regulates short-term vacation rentals. (“Mayor Proposes Sweeping Changes In Vacation Rental Rules,” July 26).

I have been a resident of Honolulu since early 2005. I have several neighbors who have been renting rooms in their homes to tourists through Airbnb and other websites, for the past few years. This trend has changed the character of our neighborhood significantly. One never knows anymore who lives here and who is a transient. I had to build fences around my property to safeguard my privacy and for my safety.

Imposing registration fees and increasing taxes are not going to solve the problem. People are renting a room in their house, even with a shared bathroom for over $100 a night. So, imposing fees is not going to stop them. They will just increase the rent.

Furthermore, the increase in occupancy is choking the roads with additional cars parked on both sides now, and it gets worse in cul-de-sac properties, like mine. Visitors do not have a sense of the neighborhoods where they are staying, they don’t understand the rules about parking. They often arrive late at night and leave very early in the morning, which significantly impacts ones sleep.

We should urge the mayor to stop the expansion of B&Bs in Oahu’s neighborhoods. It is really ruining the sense of ohana in our communities.

— Shadia Habbal, Honolulu

City Council Race

Ozawa not the right choice

I don’t think it’s a difficult choice for the Honolulu City Council position in District 4. (“Personality Rather Than Policy Shrouds East Honolulu Council Race,” July 30).

When I moved into the district (returning to Oahu from the Big Island) I wanted more information about Trevor Ozawa. I had seen some of his positions that led me to believe he was conservative and probably a Republican. I asked and was refused an answer. That said it all for me. Learning that Charles Djou was helping his current campaign has sort of confirmed my suspicions.

Since that time I’ve found it extremely difficult to get through to his office and when I do talk to staff they don’t seem interested in helping. They just want to tell me why there’s nothing that can be done. That speaks volumes about the councilman.

I’m not a big fan of the other two candidates, but either would be better than Mr. Ozawa.

— Craig Rasmussen, Waikiki

Campaign Finance

Following the money is helpful for voters

Aloha. I am writing to let you know that your article today, “Hawaii Islands Quarter Million Dollar Campaign” (July 30), was refreshing. It’s nice to see the truth exposed.

I wish you would do the same for the representative, Mark Nakashima, running for re-election in District 1 against Koohan Paik-Mander. Mark Nakashima is supported by corporate interests (Hu Honua, Helco, Monsanto, RJ Reynolds etc). In comparison, Koohan Paik-Mander is not supported by corporations.

Koohan is fighting for the preservation of Hawaii Island, its environment,  it’s agriculture, and it’s people. I think this, too would make an interesting comparison and a good follow up story.

— Golde Walliingford, Laupahoehoe

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