9 raisons pourquoi vous devriez investir en immobilier

Vous êtes nombreux à croire que l’immobilier n’est plus bon, qu’il existe bien d’autres moyens que l’immobilier pour faire fortune. Vous n’avez pas tort ! Il existe en effet plusieurs moyens de prospérer, de s’enrichir ou de faire fortune, mais je ne connais aucun autre véhicule d’investissement qui offre autant d’avantages que l’immobilier.

Certes, vous pourriez compter sur vos placements REER, mais avec les rendements des dernières années, le vieillissement de la population et les caisses de retraite de moins en moins garnies, laissez-moi douter de la validité de cette stratégie.

Un autre choix possible serait de redoubler d’ardeur et de travailler davantage d’heures par semaine afin de pouvoir amasser votre million. Mais soyons honnêtes ! Depuis combien de temps travaillez-vous et combien d’argent avez-vous réussi à amasser jusqu’ici ?

Vous pourriez investir à la bourse, mais vous seriez soumis aux fluctuations yo-yo de ce genre d’investissement, sans compter que vous ne pourrez bénéficier de l’effet de levier qu’offre l’immobilier, sauf quelques exceptions. Mais ne nous leurrons pas, plusieurs ont tout de même fait fortune à la bourse. Je ne prétends pas qu’il n’y a pas d’argent à faire à la bourse.

Vous pourriez découvrir une idée de génie qui fera de vous un millionnaire instantané ou encore espérer gagner à la loterie ! Bonne chance.

Je me permets donc cette semaine de vous dresser une liste de diverses raisons pourquoi l’immobilier devrait faire partie de votre stratégie d’enrichissement dans le temps. Je sais par expérience que tout n’est pas rose et que l’immobilier, comme n’importe lesquelles des entreprises, comporte ses désavantages et inconvénients, j’en conviens, soyez rassuré !

1 Tous doivent se loger

Au même titre que se nourrir, se vêtir et dormir, se loger est un besoin essentiel de l’humain qui cherchera toujours à avoir un toit, quel qu’il soit. Conséquemment, le marché immobilier est un secteur qui sera toujours en demande.

Il y aura bien évidemment plusieurs aspects à prendre en considération lors de vos analyses et prises de décisions tels que l’économie, le vieillissement de la population, le développement urbain, les tendances du marché, etc.

Gardez toutefois à l’esprit que la localisation de vos immeubles restera toujours l’un des points déterminant dans le succès de vos investissements. Un bel immeuble mal localisé pourrait vous coûter très cher à long terme. À l’inverse, tout comme un immeuble laid pourrait vous rapporter énormément s’il est bien localisé.

2 L’effet de levier

Voici un terme qu’on entend fréquemment dans le domaine de l’investissement : l’effet de levier. Celui-ci vous permet d’acquérir des actifs avec peu, voir aucunement de vos liquidités. Tous ont déjà entendu l’expression ADA, soit l’argent des autres. Le principe est fort simple et encore plus merveilleux si vous emprunterez 100 % des fonds.

Pour illustrer le propos, prenons par exemple l’achat d’un quadruplex qui peut être acquis avec 10 % de mise de fonds si le prêt est assuré par un assureur hypothécaire tel la SCHL, la Société Canadienne d’Hypothèques et de Logements (SCHL).

Or, vous réussirez à acquérir un actif de l’ordre de 500 000 $ avec seulement 50 000 $ de liquidités. Connaissez-vous beaucoup de placements qui permettent ceci ? Et si vous achetiez le quadruplex en question sans devoir sortir d’argent de vos poches ?

Sur les médias sociaux, il est fréquent de lire qu’il n’est plus possible d’acheter sans comptant. Toutefois, ce n’est pas parce que vous ne l’avez jamais fait qu’il est impossible de le faire.

Utiliser l’effet levier au maximum rend donc l‘investissement immobilier accessible à tous et à toutes.

3 L’immobilier a toujours traversé le temps

Les plus grandes fortunes, depuis le début des temps, ont toujours comportées de vastes portefeuilles immobiliers. L’immobilier occupe et occupera toujours une grande place dans l’économie. C’est l’un des piliers.

Même si les marchés et les taux d’intérêt fluctuent, le marché de l’immobilier demeure relativement stable. Si vous désirez également passer aux à travers les fluctuations de marché et vous enrichir «passivement» durant la durée de détention de vos actifs, vous devrez payer vos immeubles le bon prix, c’est-à-dire faire le plus de profits à l’achat possible afin de vous protéger de la baisse éventuelle des valeurs.

N’oubliez pas que tout est une question de cycle et que tout ce qui montent, redescendra un jour pour remonter de nouveau. Soyez patient !

4 Les «flips» permettront de remplacer rapidement votre emploi

Maintenant populaires et médiatisés, les flips immobiliers existent pourtant depuis très longtemps. Le principe d’acheter un bien et le revendre à profit est à la base même du commerce. Appliqué à l’immobilier, ceci vous permettra de générer plus rapidement des liquidités en comparaison avec l’achat d’immeubles locatifs, et par le fait même, pourrait vous permettre une transition plus rapide vers l’immobilier.

Les flips sont le meilleur moyen de vivre rapidement de l’immobilier. Les revenus générés sont tangibles plus rapidement que l’enrichissement via l’accumulation d’immeubles à long terme, mais rappelez-vous, les grands bâtisseurs ont toujours choisi l’enrichissement à l’argent rapide. La patience a ses vertus.

5 Trois rendements combinés incroyables

Si les flips permettent de générer rapidement des liquidités, l’achat à long terme d’immeubles à revenus pour sa part, génère des flux de trésorerie récurrents encaissés mensuellement. Voilà donc un premier rendement sur votre comptant investi, le cas échéant.

De plus, vous bénéficierez d’un deuxième rendement lorsque vos locataires rembourseront le prêt hypothécaire lié à l’immeuble. La portion de capital remboursé sera de plus en plus grande et l’enrichissement sera exponentiel avec le temps. Il s’agit du même principe que l’intérêt composé qui augmente avec le temps lors de placements.

Comme on entend souvent l’expression populaire : « Le temps fait son effet en immobilier. »

Finalement, vous réaliserez un troisième rendement dû au fait que votre bien immobilier prendra de la valeur avec le temps. Les immeubles valent-ils actuellement plus chers qu’il y a 25 ans, 50 ans, 100 ans ? Poser la question s’est y répondre.

En résumé, il faudra plus de temps avec l’immobilier locatif pour générer des liquidités dans votre compte de banque mais soyez patient. Vous vous enrichissez grâce à ces trois rendements soit :

  1. le surplus de trésorerie,
  2. la capitalisation des prêts
  3. la plus-value de vos immeubles.

Tout comme votre valeur nette, le flux de trésorerie grandira avec le temps et vous permettra peut-être un jour d’atteindre l’indépendance financière. Qui sait ?

6 Vos fonds de pension seront-ils suffisants ?

Beaucoup de gens préparent leur retraite aveuglement ou pire encore, ne la planifie pas et se fient uniquement sur le gouvernement espérant ainsi bénéficier d’une retraite dorée. Se fier seulement sur votre employeur pour assurer vos vieux jours est souvent insuffisant. L‘investissement immobilier peut vous permettre de profiter pleinement de la vie sans avoir à vous priver, toute chose étant relative. L’investissement immobilier offre l’avantage de pouvoir vous enrichir, même à temps partiel.

7 L’investissement en groupe

Mettre à profit ce en quoi vous êtes le meilleur ! Voici l’un des merveilleux avantages du partenariat en immobilier. Que vous ayez de l’argent à injecter, des talents de négociateur, que vous soyez bon en recherche, en construction ou autre, le partenariat est une avenue utilisée par plusieurs afin de faire leurs premiers pas, de réaliser de meilleures transactions et/ou d’augmenter leurs rendements.

Toutefois, les attentes, les obligations et les responsabilités de tous et chacun doivent être clairement définis dans une convention d’actionnaires ou autre contrat légal de partenariat. Faites vos devoirs avant de vous associer, car ce ne sont pas tous les partenariats qui fonctionnent bien ! Certaines personnes peuvent se retrouver en fâcheuse situation causée par l’excitation d’un projet précipité. Prenez le temps de bien choisir vos associés.

8 Parce que l’immobilier c’est passionnant

Ironiquement, je rencontre souvent des gens passionnés par l’immobilier mais qui en ont jamais fait. Selon moi, ils sont passionnés du rêve que l’immobilier peut représenter.

Par contre, la plupart des gens que je côtoie sont de vrais passionnés. Autant ils peuvent aimer visiter les immeubles, rencontrer les vendeurs, négocier, régler des problèmes de locataires, se trouver dans des situations privilégiées qui leur amènent des transactions extraordinaires, se créer une liberté, être leur propre patron, etc. Autant de motifs qui passionnent les gens à faire de l’investissement immobilier. Quels sont les vôtres ?

9 Le contrôle sur l’investissement

L’immobilier c’est tangible ! Vous possédez un bien, un actif et avez un pouvoir de décisions sur plusieurs facteurs déterminants. Je pense entre autres au prix que vous payerez l’immeuble, dans quel secteur vous achèterez, la personne qui gérera l’immeuble, quel genre de clientèle entrera dans vos immeubles, quel prix paieront-ils les loyers , qu’elles seront les inclusions et les exclusions de l’entente, pour ne nommer que ceux-ci. Le contrôle sur vos investissements est important et l’immobilier offre cet avantage indéniable.

Je sais que certains apporteront l’argument qu’il y a la Régie du Logement qui freine les augmentations de loyers. Mais gardez à l’esprit qu’il ne s’agit là que de suggestions et non d’obligations. Si vous développez vos talents de négociateur et achetez des immeubles à forts potentiels d’augmentations de loyers, vous ferez des miracles !

Sur ce, je vous invite à lire mes articles précédents et à les partager sur vos réseaux sociaux.

Local woman finally accepted into physical rehab after 28 rejections, working to walk again

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — In May, 10 On Your Side first told you about 30-year-old Charea Armstrong.

In March 2018 while in New Orleans, Charea suffered an attack from an untreated overactive thyroid. Complicating that, she went into cardiac arrest with insufficient oxygen levels for about 40 minutes. The brain damage causes mobility issues. She can’t walk and has limited arm movement, but she is not paralyzed.

Her aunt Tonnica Armstrong flew her home at great expense, and put her hospital bed up in the living room. Armstrong has neither the resources, nor the handicap-accessible facilities to properly care for her.

Tonnica called us for help, and in May we reported on Charea being rejected from rehab. But following our report, Charea’s story changed.

The last time we saw Charea on May 23, she was crying, flat on her back at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. She was there for treatment of intestinal blockage. Almost two months later, it was a different picture as she was receiving physical rehabilitation at Lake Taylor Transitional Care Hospital. Charea is now smiling.

We walked in her Lake Taylor room, and could not believe it. She looks fantastic, especially taking into account what she’s been through. “I think I have improved a lot. I feel better. I feel more healthy, more limber, more flexible.”

Charea’s problem was she simply needed someone to believe she could get better.

Tonnica again showed the list of 28 rehabilitation centers that rejected Charea. “They say she doesn’t qualify for skilled rehabilitation … where am I suppose to take her?

Lake Taylor agreed to take Charea, and then AetnaHealth Insurance agreed to cover the cost of physical rehabilitation. Tonnica, who has taken care of Charea for months in her own home, now has help.

“I think it was you contacting the facilities, and that sort of put them under a little pressure to get the ball rolling a little faster, and to get them to say we will take her. I really think it was 10 On Your Side,” Tonnica said.

And now there is hope for Charea now that Lake Taylor believes in her. “I’m working on getting stronger and stretching out my hand. I’m stretching out my arms and muscles to get them loose too.”

Her hands in splints are now straightening out. The dots are getting connected.

Lake Taylor Director of Admissions Kim Limbaugh helped make it happen. “We created a plan that gave a better picture for Aetna to see what her potential actually was,” Limbaugh said.

So now every day Charea takes a wheelchair to the Lake Taylor Rehab gym, “I am able to bend my knees now a lot better in progression, and one day will walk,” Charea says with confidence.

“Let’s try to turn your leg a little bit. OK, right there,” says Charea’s physical therapist Suzanne May. “Can you try pushing down your foot into my hand? There you go, good.”

You can tell Charea’s long journey is painful as she winces with pain. “We are trying to help loosen up some of the tissue and the tightness and muscles and everything is kind of tightened up,” May says. Muscle atrophy has certainly set in after a year of being bedridden.

Charea was reminded by Suzanne that a little bit of progress is good progress. “We are working right now getting her a power chair, one that is customized for her so that she can use it with her hands just to help her quality of life and to help her with her independence.”

Charea calls it her work in progress. Suzanne says, “The best thing about her is her motivation, and her being positive throughout the whole thing makes all the difference.”

Charea is improving on her core strength, with a stronger hand grip. She’s able to use her hands to call for help on the call bell for assistance, instead of using her cheek. Charea says “10 On Your Side was absolutely on my side. You have tremendously helped me change my life and blessed me with the chance to improve daily … in the long run, I hope to be able to stand and walk and at the end of this journey that there is light at the end of the tunnel. If I keep working hard, it will happen.”

Leader McCarthy: House Democrats Dead Set on Erasing Economic Gains

Over the last 18 months, the American economy has grown at a
record-breaking rate, and the results have had a far-reaching positive impact
on communities nationwide.

Since January 2017, 5.6 million jobs have been created with
the help of Republican-led tax reform, deregulation, and other pro-growth
reforms. The unemployment rate is near a 50-year low with 224,000 jobs added to
the economy last month, surpassing economists’ expectations.

At the same time, wages have risen over 3% for an astounding
11 consecutive months. Even The New York Times has admitted
that wage growth is in a “higher gear” and is “going to those who need it
most.”

Our nation is in the midst of enjoying the best economy we
have seen in a generation.

These results did not occur by accident. They transpired
because policymakers made an intentional choice to allow free enterprise to
flourish and remove unnecessary burdens on families and businesses.

But our economic progress can, and will, be overturned if Congress tries to control the economy from within its bubble in Washington, D.C., as Democrats are attempting to do today.

Their latest Washington-centric proposal is the Raise the
Wage Act, legislation
that would artificially raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour—over
twice its current amount.

This bill is another misguided attempt by Democrats to impose one-size-fits-all policy on the American people. It is backward-looking and proves that Democrats are dead set on erasing the progress our economy has made since President Donald Trump took office.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office recently released
a study that indicates a $15 minimum wage could result in jobs lost and hurt
the very people Democrats claim to want to help.

According to the study, a $15 minimum wage could lead to the
loss of as many as 3.7 million jobs. Those losses would fall disproportionately
on entry-level workers. Younger workers could account for 46% of the job losses.

Individuals without high school degrees could account for 38%.
This means that our most economically disadvantaged population will find it
even more difficult to break into the job market, hindering their ability to
achieve financial independence.

This disastrous policy would also hurt our working families.
About 42% of families with a minimum-wage earner would see a net reduction to
their family income. The same Congressional Budget Office report estimates that
total real family income could be reduced by $9 billion. That means less money
for things that matter: bills, essential expenses, or perhaps the occasional
meal out. 

There are already real-life cases of local economies being
hurt by minimum wage increases.

In Oakland, child care providers, restaurants, and grocery stores either scaled back on staff or closed entirely after the city’s minimum wage went from $9 to $12.25 an hour in 2015. Likewise, after Seattle passed a $15 minimum wage, higher labor costs for child care led to increased tuition costs for families and fewer hours for employees.

As the residents of cities like these know, when government
raises the minimum wage, the harms are not just estimations, but carry demoralizing
consequences.

I had the privilege of starting my own deli business when I
was younger. One of the most important things being a small business owner
taught me was that you are the first to work, last to leave, and the last to
get paid. I also know how thin the margins are, which makes it easier to
understand firsthand how unnecessary regulations, taxes, and mandates can
prevent businesses from hiring and expanding.

Throughout our nation’s history, financial independence has been the essence of the American dream. As lawmakers, we have a responsibility to ensure government does not impose economic barriers that interfere with that independence.

History tells us that heavy-handed Washington policies, for all the good intentions of their advocates, only limit opportunities for the individuals who need them most.

Even Alan Krueger, the former chairman of President Barack Obama’s
Council of Economic Advisers, has warned
that “a $15-an-hour national minimum wage would put us in uncharted waters, and
risk undesirable and unintended consequences.”

Why risk “undesirable” consequences when we already know the
positive economic trends of the last 18 months have brought greater prosperity
for all Americans?

The Raise the Wage Act would jeopardize those incredible gains by increasing the costs for businesses and consumers. Ultimately, it would mean the difference between a few individuals getting a modest pay raise while others are left with no paycheck at all.

The most effective way to continue to unleash our country’s economic potential is by keeping Washington bureaucrats out of Americans’ paychecks.

Can AI help Singapore’s workers find happiness?

To grow, ASEAN needs its human capital. However, humans are not robots that can work without rest. Artificial Intelligence (AI) could boost worker happiness in ASEAN while achieving the growth desired.

By Joelyn Chan

The World Health Organisation
(WHO) recently recognised burnout as an occupational syndrome resulting from
chronic work stress. It is characterised by feelings of energy depletion or
exhaustion, increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativity
or cynicism and reduced professional efficacy.

Out of all the workforces in
ASEAN, Singaporeans face the greatest risk of burnout. This is especially so
for Singaporeans working in certain professions, such as doctors, lawyers and teachers.

Despite working shorter hours, the 2019 Cigna 360 Well-Being Survey found that 92% of working Singaporeans report feeling stressed. This is higher than the international average of 84%. 13% said their stress levels were unmanageable.

Happy employees are less likely to experience burnout

Businesses utilise technology to improve their key performance indicators (KPIs) but should also consider how AI can benefit employees as well. Investing in employee happiness has a positive impact on firms’ bottom lines. Happy workers are 37% more productive and four times more creative than their unhappy counterparts.

Although happiness is not
quantifiable, there is behavioural data to indicate one’s happiness. This data
can be collected via existing wearable technology.

AI can be used as a tool to monitor happiness

On 9 July 2019, Dr. Kazuo Yano, Fellow and Corporate Officer at Hitachi Ltd., spoke on how AI can increase human happiness and workplace well-being.

Dr Yano speaking at the Hitachi Young Leaders Initiative.

He analysed five billion records gathered over 5,000 workdays, from 468 people working in 10 organisations. Using the behavioural data collected using accelerometers, Dr. Yano could determine if an organisation’s workforce is happy or unhappy.

“Our research also found that the happier the organisation, the higher its productivity.” In happy organisations, employees exhibit more diverse behaviours. Conversely, employees in unhappy organisations, usually stop their activity after 10 minutes and engage in longer periods of inactivity.

It is time for organisations to change their
old ways of thinking

For organisations looking for
a quick fix, they could simply suggest a reduction of working hours to
alleviate burnout or increase staff happiness. However, the issue is far more
complex.

Revisiting the role of technology in the
workplace could help unlock the path to building a happy, productive workforce.
Managers and employers need to shift away from conventional rules and start
adopting outcome-oriented rules.

Conventional rules are governed by past
assumptions, possibly set by traditional processes or protocols. By focusing on
the desired outcomes, employees will have the flexibility and space to utilise
technology to improve performance and work shorter hours. This beats futile
efforts to fit new technology into old corporate modus operandi.

AI is undoubtedly a useful tool to amplify capabilities. AI can release companies and people from their standardised rules and open doors to limitless new possibilities. But first, ASEAN needs to embrace it and use AI in a way that benefits employees as well as employers.

Angola teen missing

Evans Police are trying to locate Tyler Fleming, 16, of Angola. He was last observed Monday afternoon wearing a blue Buffalo Bills T-shirt, red shorts and white sneakers. He does not have his phone and was observed carrying snacks and a beach towel. Anyone with information on the youth’s whereabouts is asked to call the Evans Police Department at 549-3600.

Angola teen missing

Evans Police are trying to locate Tyler Fleming, 16, of Angola. He was last observed Monday afternoon wearing a blue Buffalo Bills T-shirt, red shorts and white sneakers. He does not have his phone and was observed carrying snacks and a beach towel. Anyone with information on the youth’s whereabouts is asked to call the Evans Police Department at 549-3600.

15 4-H kids practice horsemanship working cows

SHERIDAN — A beautiful woman disguised in puffed and padded sleeves, patterned with outrageous colors and paired with a helmet with a comb on top holds an axe by her side. Inés Suárez is a Spanish conquistador arriving to the Americas in 1537 in search of her husband, who left Spain in hopes of a future in the New World.

After filling the role of a true Spanish conquistador, Suárez adopted the Spanish horsemanship practices. She began breeding and hosting some of the first formal teachings on her small piece of land to anyone who deemed themselves diligent enough to learn. Suárez trained horses so sensitive to her signals, they were known as “hair-triggered” or “whisper” reined horses.

Working cow, once a form of training horses for war, has now become famous for its elegance, precision and difficulty with working cattle. Fifteen Sheridan County 4-H members met at the Sheridan County Fairgrounds to practice the time-tested horsemanship skills taught by Paul VanDyke and Chad Justice on Tuesday.

“It’s significant in this day and age that we hold the tradition of handling stock with finesse and skill level that the Spanish conquered North America with, ” 4-H volunteer Paul VanDyke said.

“It’s an adrenaline rush that very few people can achieve effectively because it takes someone truly handy,” Paul VanDyke, a cowboy and father said. “It’s an appreciation for the art and it’s significant in this day in age to hold the tradition of handling stock with finesse and skill level that the Spanish conquered North America with, but if I talk too much about that the kids glaze over because they’re here to get to work.”

As the Wyoming sky turned black and the wind started to blow, children ages 8 to 19 saddled up and trotted around the arena ready for business. Modern day working cow horse competitions are split into three parts: reining pattern, herd work and fence work.

Horses and their riders compete based on accuracy, timing, responsiveness and their ability to handle a single cow into a herd and discreetly ‘cut’ it from the herd.

“This is definitely their favorite event and we see the best of the best here,” said Heidi Justice, co-superintendent of the horse program. “They’re dedicated and show up to every single practice because when it comes to working cow horse, it’s like a job to do. They take these skills home to the ranch because it’s practical.”

Working cattle is a high-pressure situation whether it’s for practice or not. The atmosphere the two cowboys have created is nothing like a corral at home.

There’s no discreet cuss words spilled out of anyone’s mouth as a cow gets by them, there are no tears of frustration. Justice and VanDyke ride with ease and precision, making it clear this is not a hobby — this is the cowboys’ livelihood.

“I’ve seen Paul’s quality of work through his kids, his sale horses, and I think he has an ability to bring down this complex thing to a basic level for kids of all divisions to understand and to be able to do the leg work,” Katie Bammel, a senior horseman from Lucky 7 4-H club, said. “Between him and Chad it’s so individualized that I feel comfortable coming even if I might be the oldest one here.”

The two men became involved when their children started the horse program three years ago with a little persuasion from their wives, who are active in 4-H leadership. VanDyke and Justice have invested more than just their Tuesday nights because they are passionate about the youth.

“Kids are the future,” Chad Justice said.

Horsemanship practices are hosted at the Sheridan County Fairgrounds every Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. Any child with a horse is invited regardless if they are a member of 4-H.

Israel businessman working with army has his eye on Syria oil

An American-Israeli businessman has been granted permission to export oil extracted from Kurdish areas under the control of Syria’s pro-Washington Democratic Forces. Arab news sources have cited Moti Kahana as the person charged with facilitating the sale of crude oil produced in oil fields controlled by the Kurds in eastern Syria to Israel.

Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar, which published the story said its claim was based on leaked documents. Kahana however has swiftly came out to reject the story but admitted to Israel Hayom that he has in fact tried to end Syrian oil sales to Iran. On his Facebook page, Kahana wrote that he opposes the Iranian presence in Syria, which he says belongs to the Syrian people.

The leaked Al-Akhbar document contained a letter from the joint president of the Executive Committee of the so-called Democratic Syria Council which is said to have authorised Kahana to represent the Council on all matters related to the sale of Syrian oil in areas controlled by Kurdish militias.

The United States has given strong backing to the Kurdish groups in its fight against Daesh forces, angering Turkey, which considers these militias a terrorist group.

READ: Rising oil prices caused by Mexico storm, Gulf geopolitical tensions

Explaining his presence in Syria, Kahana told Israel Hayom: “It’s important for me to explain that I do not serve any side in this story because I have one goal – for Syria to be democratic, free and live in good neighbourliness with Israel. I don’t serve Israel, I am an American citizen, but everyone can benefit from this.”

His remarks to the Israeli daily did however suggest that Kahana at least sees himself as having a vital role in the export of Syrian oil if he hasn’t been granted permission already. “The moment the Trump administration gives its approval, we can begin to export this oil at fair prices, and to use it to build and defend democratic Syria, push Iran and ISIS [Daesh] out of the country and usher in progress and democracy,” said Kahana.

A profile of Kahana by the Israeli American Council describes him as “philanthropist who has donated considerable money and time providing support for the Syrian opposition.” It also says that he works in “tandem” with the Israeli army and in “recovering ancient Jewish artifacts, including Torah scrolls in danger of destruction, from synagogues in Syria.”

READ: Eyes on Iran as Britain seizes oil tanker over Syria sanctions

Hawaii Struggles To Maintain Its Worn-Out Hiking Trails

Editor’s Note: “Tourism’s Tipping Point,” is an ongoing series that looks at the future of the vacation industry in Hawaii. 

By almost any standard, Hawaii’s hiking trails are a world-class recreational resource. The state’s trail system alone encompasses 855 miles of trails and access roads, from epic, remote routes like the Kalalau trail on Kauai’s Napali coast to easily accessible day hikes like the 2.5- mile Makiki loop trail.

And that doesn’t count trails run by the counties or the National Park Service.

But hordes of tourists have made the system increasingly difficult to manage. The number of visitors to Hawaii is expected to top 10 million this year. Those numbers, combined with the increasing popularity of hiking and the popularization of even the most remote trails, are creating lots of stress for trail managers.

The results are well-known to residents: cars clogging residential streets around trailheads, eroding trails, hikers getting lost or injured or simply ignoring no trespassing or warning signs.

Signs posted by the Department of Land and Natural Resources, like these at Manoa Falls, often do little to discourage hikers from visiting spots deemed dangerous by the state.

Stewart Yerton/Civil Beat

It’s a struggle to keep up, said Mike Millay, who runs the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Na Ala Hele trails management program, which manages some 850 miles of trails statewide.

In a first sign of taking more aggressive steps to reduce the impact of hikers, the state has started prohibiting parking at the trailhead for the Kalalau trail on the North Shore of Kauai. But so far officials haven’t taken major steps to restrict access to trails.

“Honestly, we’re just trying to keep up with demand,” Millay said.

One major new initiative could help state officials at least quantify the demand, which for now remains largely unknown. Although there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that many trails are growing increasingly popular, gathering data is difficult. With only a few exceptions, trails don’t typically have monitors or attendants counting people at the trailheads.

Millay said the state might consider limiting the use of some trails, but first it needs to know how many people are using them.

”Those are indicators that we need to know,” Millay said.

An initiative the Hawaii Tourism Authority has launched might provide some answers. In June, HTA finalized a contract with UberMedia of Pasadena, Calif., under which UberMedia will use cell phone data to track specific locations that tourists visit.

Debbie Newton, a recent visitor from Amarillo, Texas, says her group got lost near Oahu’s Valley of the Temples. Now, the hike is memorialized on her Facebook page.

Charlta King

Gladys Kong, UberMedia’s chief executive, said the company will report data in aggregate, but still provide enough detail that HTA can see patterns. For example, she said, the data will show how many people from a region like New England visited a certain area during a certain time period versus people from another market.

Curt Cottrell, who runs Hawaii’s state parks system, said UberMedia’s system could be used to count hikers on certain trails and figure out where they are from, without the need for staff or automated traffic counters.

“The data will just confirm what we already viscerally know as managers.  It’ll just just give us numbers to leverage across the street,” he said, referring to the Hawaii State Capitol.

For now, trail managers, at least for Oahu trails, rely on a far less scientific metric to figure out what trails are the most popular: rescue information from the Honolulu Fire Department.  Paradoxically, some of the easiest hikes have the most rescues. That’s because they are easy and accessible, which attracts a lot of people, some of whom come unprepared.

The map above shows “hot spots” where the Honolulu First Department conducts the most frequent rescues. Take Diamond Head, for instance, which is marked with a target-shaped spot on the southeastern edge of Oahu.

The Honolulu Fire Department rescues on average one person a week from Diamond Head, the iconic volcano, said Socrates Baratakos, an assistant fire chief.

But the data on fire department rescue hotspots is limited, Millay said, because it doesn’t document actual trails, just the general area.

“You don’t know exactly what the precise location is,” he said.

Social media also can create headaches for people trying to manage trails.

The Haiku Stairs trail is a case in point. Managed by the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, the trail is supposed to be off limits to the public. But that doesn’t stop people from not only wandering into the area but also chronicling their adventures on sites like Instagram.

One recent post by someone named adventuresofthetravelingyogi, for example, shows a woman climbing the long vertiginous stairs, which her post calls “possibly the greatest attraction on the entire island.”

Kathleen Pahinui, a public information officer for the Board of Water Supply, said the issues involve not only public safety but also concerns for the watershed where the staircase trail is located.

“When people go up there in droves, it really can affect the watershed,” she said.

The Haiku Stairs trail remains a popular hike even though it is supposed to be closed to the public.

Nick Grube/Civil Beat

Pahinui said the board has asked people to take down advertisements and even, in one case, a newspaper article promoting the trail. That’s “made a dent” in the people trespassing on the trail, she said.

But it’s still a problem.

“It’s locals, too,” Pahinui stressed. “Let’s not just pick on the poor tourists.”

So far, Hawaii lawmakers have been unwilling to provide more funding to help manage the trails. The funding system for Na Ale Hele is complicated even by government budget standards. It gets bits of money from a variety of sources: a portion of the state gasoline tax, federal grants, private contributions, user fees and a portion of the state hotel tax.

But the money doesn’t go directly to Na Ala Hele. Instead, it goes into a special fund used for all kinds of things, including buying land, paying off debts and protecting the state’s water resources.

This isn’t to say Na Ala Hele doesn’t have money to spend.

According to a report submitted to the Legislature for the 2017-18 fiscal year, DLNR had $6.9 million budgeted to cover a wide range of forest and recreation activities, but only one of those was trail maintenance. Still, the department met the goal spelled out in Gov. David Ige’s budget request of doing trail maintenance to 75% of the state’s trails.

But some believe the trails need more funding — and a more clear source of funding.

In a bill introduced in 2019, Sen. Laura Thielen, a former DLNR chair known for her stances to protect the environment, laid out the issues. Heavy use and limited resources have curbed the level of maintenance needed, the bill said.

The Honolulu Fire Department is having to conduct three times as many trail rescues as it did a decade ago, the bill said. People living in the residential neighborhood near trailheads are suffering from “blatant littering, tracking of mud on neighborhood residents’ lawns, and illegal parking.”

The measure requested that $1.8 million be earmarked for the trails program. But after passing out of the Senate Water and Land Committee, the measure died in the Ways and Means Committee, without a hearing.

One trail singled out in the bill was the Manoa Falls hike. Located in the back of Manoa Valley, the trail is close enough to Waikiki that the tops of the tourist district’s high rises can be seen in the distance from near the trailhead.

Alonzo, left, Vicki, center, and Skye Ocaranza of Turlock, California pose for a requisite selfie after hiking to Manoa Falls.

Stewart Yerton/Civil Beat

The trail, which leads to a 150-foot waterfall, is just over 1.5 miles long with relatively little elevation gain. It’s an easy hike, close to thousands of hotel rooms with a decent payoff at the end.

That explains why the trails attract about 850 hikers a day, according to Millay, and why DLNR is closing the trail intermittently over the summer to perform maintenance funded by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

On a recent Sunday afternoon, the trail was characteristically crowded with hikers.

Despite the changes set to close the trail the next day for maintenance, the hikers seemed to be having no problems. Some were hiking in bare feet or rubber slippers; one young mom carried a toddler on her hip. Among those on the trail were Debbie Newton and Charlta King, English teachers from Amarillio, Texas.

The trail seemed to be in good shape to them.

Bt they couldn’t say the same for the Puu Maelieli trail on Oahu’s Windward side, which they had joined a Meetup group to hike a couple of days before.

The hike up to the pillboxes overlooking Kaneohe Bay was fine, Newton said. The trip back: not so good. The trail was overgrown in places with little signage, King said. And the group leader got everyone lost, Newton said. Really lost.

“We thought we were going to have to eat each other,” she said with a laugh.

In the end, that wasn’t neccessary  But what was supposed to be a two-hour hike took four hours.

“It could have been so much worse,” she said.

“Tourism’s Tipping Point” is part of Civil Beat’s year-long series, “Hawaii’s Changing Economy.” That work is supported by a grant from the Hawaii Community Foundation as part of its CHANGE Framework project.