LETTERS for the March 5 issue
League forced to cancel basketball all-star games
Why does the Parks and Recreation Department administration keep messing with the West Maui Youth basketball program run by the West District?
Now they have to cancel the All-Star Saturday planned for March 14, because the workers from the West Side have to go to Kihei to help with the Menehune tournament.
The league has been around for 36 years and has almost 400 boys and girls playing basketball at Lahaina Civic Center from December through the middle of March. All-Star Saturday is the final day of the league.
A game is played in each division, grades 1-2, 3-5 and 6-8. Yes, there are usually problems picking an all-star team – why that player, not this one? – but it all goes away after the day.
The game is not the most important thing happening that day. At halftime in each game, all the coaches from that division get called out on the court to recognize them for their dedication to their team and the league. Then a plaque is given to the Coach of the Year for that division, voted on by the coaches in that division.
Then the biggest award is given out for the Sportsmanship Player of the Year for each division. It may not be the best player, but someone whose sportsmanship is over and above the rest.
The league has players come back to officiate, coach and work for the county because of the way the league is run.
If this league with 32 teams and almost 400 players can be run with four county workers, why can’t the Menehune League do it without them?
Also, the plan for All-Star Saturday was four months before the Menehune tournament dates were decided.
STEVEN B. ASHFIELD, Lahaina
Hawaii’s families need a stronger minimum wage
The decision by the House Finance and Labor Committees to move forward with a $13 minimum wage by 2024 will leave hundreds of thousands of Hawaii workers in poverty.
A Hawaii worker needed more than $17 an hour to be self-sufficient in 2018; therefore $13 an hour – or $27,000 a year – by 2024 will be far less than what is needed to survive.
One in three Hawaii workers – some 200,000 of our friends, relatives and neighbors – earns less than the minimum survival wage of $17 an hour. Providing only a $13 per hour minimum wage by 2024 will guarantee their struggle continues.
During the 2018 campaign cycle, most Democratic legislators, along with Governor Ige, backed a $15 minimum wage. This $13 an hour bill betrays these campaign promises.
It’s imperative that a bill putting us on track to achieve a living wage is brought to a final vote. At the very least, Hawaii’s voters deserve to know exactly where each legislator stands on this issue.
Gov. Ige and the Democratic leaders in the House and Senate aligned to propose housing and wage bills that continue to fall far short of what the people truly need.
Just as Sen. Stanley Chang took a stand for the people of Hawaii against the $800,000-plus housing units the majority package proposed to build on state land with Senate Bill 3104, we need our legislators to push back against the $13 wage offer in House Bill 2541, which is a betrayal of the working class in Hawaii.
YOUNG PROGRESSIVES DEMANDING ACTION, Honolulu
Liberal presidential candidates should be quarantined
I think the Coronavirus is God’s political contribution to the Democratic Party. What a sick ward of contenders for the White House in the Democratic Party’s presidential petri-dish. They should all be quarantined indefinitely!
The “petries” call President Trump a racist and unfit for office for doing what he promised the American people he would do if elected president… while doing nothing themselves in the House but trying to undo his election for their own personal benefit.
President Trump is no saint – except when compared to his gun-grabbing, anti-life, tax and tax Democratic rivals (and Mitt Romney on an off-day).
MICHAEL W. JARVIS, Salt Lake City, Utah
Give home schooled students access to sports programs
The Coalition for Responsible Home Education (CRHE), a national nonprofit founded by homeschool alumni to advocate for homeschooled children, is urging Hawaii lawmakers to support House Bill 2149, which would grant homeschooled students access to public school athletics programs.
Currently, the Hawaii High School Athletic Association (HHSAA) requires student-athletes to be enrolled in the public school for which they compete, barring homeschooled students from participating. HB 2149 would change this.
HB 2149 would allow any homeschooled student who “meets the participation requirements and restrictions for an individual sport, including maintaining appropriate grade point averages, paying appropriate fees, and signing a release and express assumption of risk waiver” to participate on the team of the school they would have otherwise been required to attend.
Critics frequently allege that allowing homeschooled students to participate in public school athletics programs takes opportunities away from other students.
A 2012 survey of athletic associations in states that allow homeschooled students to participate in athletics at their local public schools found that this policy had not created problems for either students or schools.
Currently, 30 states grant homeschooled students access to public school athletics programs, putting Hawaii in the minority.
COALITION FOR RESPONSIBLE HOME EDUCATION