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LETTERS for October 15 issue

By Staff | Oct 15, 2015

Keiki coach, players now forced to pick a sport

I have been coaching youth basketball and Little League Baseball in West Maui for 15 years. I love teaching children the basics of two of my favorite sports. I try to instill in them a love of the game, sportsmanship and teamwork.

This year, it looks like I won’t be able to do that – not both sports anyway. The board of directors of West Maui Little League has decided to move their season to run concurrently with the long-established West Maui Youth Basketball League season. Now I must decide which players to abandon. I will not be able to coach two basketball teams and a baseball team at the same time.

Even more upsetting is the fact that children, who used to be able to play both sports, will now have to pick which one to play. Children should be able to play as many different sports as possible. They should be able to have a chance to try them all and then, when they are older, decide which sport they want to focus on.

It seems to me like the board is trying to get the children of West Maui to play baseball year-round. Everything I have read and researched online suggests this is a dangerous endeavor. Professional coaches, athletes and top-level sports doctors have denounced this practice as harmful to children. This leads to burnout and even greater chances of serious sports injuries.

Youth sports should be fun, competitive and educational. They should be wonderful childhood memories.



Soccer club benefit a big success

Na Koa West Maui Soccer Club would like to send out a big mahalo to those who helped make our last fundraiser at the first annual Ho’oulu event for the West Maui Hawaiian immersion programs such a success.

First, I would like to thank our players and their families. Without them, we would not have such a stellar soccer club. I especially want recognize those who donated their time at this event.

Secondly, kudos to Nikki’s Pizza in Kaanapali for donating their delicious pizzas for our food booth – they went fast. Most importantly, I would like to thank Cool Cat Cafe for their generous donation of not only their mouthwatering hamburgers and hot dogs, but also for the use of their equipment. Their kitchen manager, Arturo Flores, was a huge help, cooking the food at our booth all day long.

Mahalo nui Na Leo Kalele for allowing us to participate in such a wonderful Hawaiian event. It not only benefited our soccer club but the Hawaiian Language Immersion Program itself.

DEIDRE RUIZ-ROCKETT, Na Koa Coach and Parent


Council attempting to weaken community plans

Our community plans are under attack once again. The latest proposed revisions to the Maui County Code (PC-21) are a blatant attempt to reinterpret and trump all of our existing community plans at once!

After a strong showing by concerned citizens in June, the first attempt at this “technical amendment” was sent back to the drawing board. The latest version of this bill has different language but would have the same effect – to gut the community plans – by saying that all of our community plan land use designations will be merely “representative,” and therefore would not rule over the zoning.

During years of dedicated work, Citizen Advisory Committees and concerned citizens were clearly and repeatedly told that land use zoning must comply with the community plans. This ordinance would turn that on its head and would violate Hawaii state law.

E-mail comments to the Planning Committee, pc.committee@mauicounty. us; Don Couch, don.couch@mauicounty.us; Robert Carroll, robert.carroll@ mauicounty.us; Gladys Baisa, gladys. baisa@mauicounty.us; Elle Cochran, elle.cochran@mauicounty.us; Don Guzman, don.guzman@mauicounty.us; Mike Victorino, michael.victorino@mauicounty.us; and Mike White, mike.white@ mauicounty.us regarding Amending Community Plan Requirements Relating to Land Use Designations (PC-21).

Ask the County Council’s Planning Committee to respect the hard work of the community plan Citizen Advisory Committees. Ask them to FILE County Communication 15-154 and other related action.

The community plans are your voice and should have the force of law. IMUA!



A Medicaid myth-buster

A constant complaint about Medicaid is that fewer healthcare providers take patients on public insurance programs, and the resulting quality of care suffers.

The facts, however, tell a different story. According to the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey, nearly all Medicaid (95 percent) and private coverage patients (94 percent) have a regular source of healthcare. The quality of care (rated excellent or very good) is higher for Medicaid patients (55 percent) than for those with private insurance (53 percent).

Unfortunately, uninsured people are severely disadvantaged in both respects. Only 77 percent of those without insurance have a regular source of health care. And only 40 percent of uninsured rate their care as excellent or very good, compared to 55 percent of those with Medicaid.

Those with private insurance are slightly better able to schedule a same day or next day medical appointment (58 percent) compared to those on Medicaid (53 percent) or uninsured (43 percent). But those on Medicaid have physicians and physician staff who know their medical history; 86 percent for those on Medicaid compared to 84 percent for those with private insurance and 77 percent of the uninsured.

Those who oppose expanding Medicaid, as provided in the Affordable Care Act, use these myths to support their arguments. But the facts tell us that the right choice, the only moral choice, is to extend Medicaid coverage to the hundreds of thousands who fall into the coverage gap, for working Americans who don’t currently qualify for Medicaid and whose income is too low to participate in the new health insurance marketplace.