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Letters for Monday, April 22, 2019

Time to raise minimum wage

As a student attending the University of Hawaii, I have seen firsthand the struggles that individuals and families go through trying to make ends meet here in Hawaii. I have testified multiple times at the state capital in support of raising the minimum wage to a living wage of $17 an hour.

I urge lawmakers to pass this bill for the good of all Hawaii families, as they are counting on it to survive. During my research for a seminar on family matters at the University of Hawaii honors program, I looked into single mothers and the economic and financial struggles they face trying to support themselves and their families.

According to Hawaii Appleseed, a Hawaii worker would need to earn $27.44 per hour in 2018 to rent a one-bedroom home. This means that a current minimum-wage worker earning $10.10 an hour would have to work over 15 hours a day with no days off in order to afford that one-bedroom home. This is unacceptable. $10.10 an hour is not a living wage. $17 an hour is absolutely necessary for hardworking Hawaii families to make ends meet.

The wellbeing of countless Hawaii families depends on the passage of SB 789 so, again, I urge lawmakers to do the right thing and enact a living wage. Doing so will be good for all working families and for the state of Hawaii.

Caroline Cech, UH student

Misguided appreciation

To the author of “Not feeling the love anymore, Kauai,” published in the April 14 edition of The Garden Island, I would like to share these thoughts.

Having first ventured to Kauai 20 years ago, I too fell in love with the island and have returned many times. The beauty of Kauai has inspired me to care deeply about the environment and all creatures that are entitled to exist on this Earth. I sincerely hope that all travelers to this spectacular place are inspired to feel the same.

You are correct, Dr. Minkus. There are laws that protect public beach access. I am not aware of any laws that require “easy” access or that entitle any non-handicapped persons to parking spaces or lots.

It disheartens me that your perception of “responsibility to respect and take care of this special place” involves a sense of entitlement to roads, parking and traffic that will damage Kauai’s beauty and negatively impact the environment in which all its creatures thrive.

Because I actually do feel a responsibility to respect and take care of this special place, I fully support limited development and access to Kauai and her North Shore. It has been my deeply appreciated privilege to have experienced Ke‘e, Lumahai and Tunnels Beach.

They belong to the sea life and to those humans who know how to respectfully inhabit or to quietly pack in and out of their space. Should Kauai continue to grant me the honor of visiting, I want my tourist tax dollars used to restore the quiet, remote beauty I fell in love with 20 years ago.

Nancy Turek, San Jose, California
Source: The Garden Island

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