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Ian Lind • Online daily from Kaaawa, Hawaii

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Longtime residents of Kahala Avenue are a rare breed

September 1st, 2015 · 5 Comments

In response to my “Kahala Trivia” post yesterday, Denby Fawcett raised a question.

Check out Kahala Avenue residents to see how many have lived there for a long time.
As a former Kahala Avenue resident. I consider Kahala and Waialae-Kahala two separate areas.

Fair question. So I took a look at property records.

According to the data I have access to, there are 390 properties with Kahala Avenue addresses.

By my count, 95 of those claim the home exemption on their property tax, meaning that they are owner occupied.

Just 21 owner occupied properties have not been sold in the past 15 years.

So that’s just 5.4% of Kahala Avenue residents who have lived there for 15 years or more.

For Kahala as a whole, the figure was about 33%.

So Denby’s right. Kahala Avenue is a world of its own.

And pushing back another decade, real estate records show that only 11 oowner occupants living along Kahala Avenue have owned their homes for at least 25 years, or just 2.8% of the total.

Next round, I’ll check how many have their tax bills delivered out of state, indicating they aren’t Hawaii residents. And perhaps I’ll try to check how many are owned by corporations or other businesses rather than by individuals.

Any other questions you would like me to be asking the data?

[I just finished this post while sitting in the McDonald’s at Kahala Mall, nursing a cup of iced tea while utilizing their public wifi. But relief is in sight. We were able to reschedule the installation by Hawaiian Tel for Friday morning, so hopefully I’ll be back in the land of the internet within a few days!]

→ 5 CommentsTags: Business · Economics · Politics

Kahala trivia: Who lives here?

August 31st, 2015 · 3 Comments

There’s an impression, which I shared, that most of Kahala has been bought up by relatively recent investors.

So I did a search on property records for Old Kahala.

If found 1344 properties which listed “Old Kahala” as their location.

Then I searched for owner occupied properties, where the most receht sale was at least 15 years ago.

I was quite surprised by the result.

Of the total, 457 properties were owner occupied and owned by the same person for at least 15 years.

That’s just a hair over one-third of all the homes in Kahala.

I had guessed it might be as little as 10%, but the data show otherwise. That’s why more data is always good.

And I think the news data are good news for Kahala. At least a third of residents have lived here for at least 15 years. That’s the core of a community, for sure.

Over the next week or so, I’ll try to dig deeper into these data and see what other interesting tidbits emerge.

→ 3 CommentsTags: Consumer issues · General

Computer issues may delay posts for a few days

August 31st, 2015 · 7 Comments

I didn’t need to have a glitch with my main computer while much of our collective lives are still in boxes in the garage, including much of my troubleshooting software, backup drives, etc.

So resolving those issues will take a little longer than normal.

Luckily, I’ve got a backup computer mainly used when traveling, so I’ll be able to get the basics done.

But if I’m a bit slow in posting or moderating comments over the next few days, please be patient.

I can get to comments via my phone, so will try my best.

And did I mention internet access, or more correctly, its absence?t

We have decided to switch providers to Hawaiian Tel, after much review and discussion. I’ll have more to say about that later.

We were scheduled to have the whole Hawaiian Tel service package installed last Friday, but hit a snag. It seems our renovated house is now nicely wired for…Oceanic’s cable, and not ready for the Hawaiian Tel’s fiber.

To avoid drilling to run wires through the new walls, the Hawaiian Tel technician advised us on the alternative. This involves installing Hawaiian Tel’s equipment in an external, wall-mounted box sort of like the electrical meter, which then feeds into the already installed cable that runs through the house. The intermediate equipment translates from fiber to the coax cable, as near as I can figure it. So now we’re waiting for our electrician to get the box ready, and then reschedule our Hawaiian Tel installation.

In the meantime, I’ve burned through data using a mobile hotspot that normally gets minimal use when I need internet access and no wifi is available.

So that’s another factor in the delays of the next few days. I’ll try to post when I’ve got access to wifi, which will mean an irregular schedule.

Ah, moving!

→ 7 CommentsTags: Blogs · Computers · General

Oh, those walls!

August 30th, 2015 · 3 Comments

When I was growing up in the area known as “Old Kahala”, there were very few pretentious homes that were hidden behind walls.

Regular people had hedges. Panax seemed to be the most popular, as it seemed to thrive and took little care beyond somewhat occasional trimming. Mock orange seemed to be another favorite. Some had wonderful hibiscus hedges.

But walls, not so much.

That started to change in the 1980s. At that time we lived in an apartment at Tropic Gardens, a development mauka of Kahala Mall. We would take evening walks, and we started noticing as walls started going up. It bothered us at the time, indicating a change in the relationships between these residences and the community around them.

Now, it feels like walls have become the norm, at least in our part of Kahala. We’ve renovated the old house where my parents lived for over 70 years, and we’re among the wall holdouts. Walls and what they say to the world just don’t seem like a good match for Hawaii, at least in our opinion.

And we just had a rather rude introduction to one impact of all the walls.

Romeo During the thunderstorms on last Sunday night, our yard got pretty flooded, as you can see in this photo of the front yard on Monday morning. It had been worse during the peak of the rain.

It seems that water runs down Kealaolu Avenue, and runs past those properties with walls out front. And it accumulates as it runs down towards the ocean. Then it hits our yard. No wall, easy access. and the water rather happily flowed through the hedge and down the driveway, then around either side of the house into one corner of the back yard.

The flow seemed to be only a couple of inches, but it was a steady sheet of running water as it hit our yard.

The good thing is that the sandy soil seems to drain quickly. We’ll see.

But we’re now shopping for some additional landscaping in front of the hedge, including a small decorate wall perhaps 6 inches high. That should be plenty to ward off this type of rain, although more serious flooding will be a different story.

I do recall a few rare days when I was little, before flood control projects that put drainage canals through Kahala, when our yard would flood and my dad would paddle around on his long, hollow, canvas-colored paddle board.

Hopefully we’ll soon be able to put an end to this casual flooding.

→ 3 CommentsTags: General · History

Feline Friday on Saturday: Adjusting

August 29th, 2015 · 6 Comments

It’s taking our cats quite a long time to adjust to the new surroundings.

During the first 48 hours, only Duke ventured out in daylight to explore, and that quite tentatively. Toby took a turn as well, but then retreated. Slowly, all emerged. Annie was the last to crawl out of her safe space under one of the chairs in our living room. And, although Romeo has been around the house, he still is spending his days hidden back behind clothes hanging in our new closet.

Without many cat sightings, I had almost no cat photos as of Friday, so Feline Friday had to roll over until this morning.

Duke and Toby in KahalaThere have been a few more cats out and about this morning. I caught Duke and Toby in the living room this morning, cautious but present.

Annie has been very visible today, Kili has wandered through, Toby is on his chair, and Romeo is missing in action.

None is going to get to be outside, and luckily none of them have shown any interest so far.

Progress? Slower than I expected.

–> See all of today’s Friday Felines on Saturday (except for Romeo, who is still hiding)!

→ 6 CommentsTags: Cats · Photographs