Press "Enter" to skip to content

Letters for Monday, March 9, 2020

Minimum wage is out of balance

Hawai‘i state lawmakers, please move forward with a minimum-wage increase that is substantial enough to make a difference in the lives of our hard-working community members.

I have lived in the state of Hawai‘i for 43 years and have watched families struggle, working multiple jobs in order to barely make, or not quite make, ends meet. I have worked with many families and university students throughout the state as an educator. I know the struggles they face. I’ve seen families without enough food and children who rarely see their parents because they work multiple jobs. The minimum wage in relation to the cost of living in Hawai‘i is very out of balance.

Parents working for minimum wage are constantly stressed. All children in Hawai‘i deserve to have a better life with parents who can enjoy time with their children.

Surely you have heard the statistics that show the benefits of wage increases are far-reaching. Doing the right thing will be beneficial for all. Stand up for the workers who do their important part in our society. They deserve to feed their children a healthy meal and live with parents who are not constantly worried and stressed due to living right on the edge.

Please support our families in need by passing a substantial raise of at least $15/hour that will begin in 2021, not in the distant future. Strengthen our communities by offering support to our brothers and sisters in need of a reasonable raise.

$13/hr. will not benefit the families enough to make a substantial difference. The self-esteem of our working people needs to be strengthened. Turning your backs on the people who are most in need does not build a strong society. We are one. Mahalo.

Noreen Dougherty, Kapa‘a

Yes to TMT good for Hawaiians

To my Hawaiian friends,

My wife and I arrived on your magical shores 20 years ago. I instantly knew that I was a stranger in a strange land. I knew nothing. I realized that I needed to acquire knowledge of my new home. My wife and I set out on a journey to learn everything possible of Hawaiiana. Blessed with a wonderful library system and a few mentors, we acquired a good deal of knowledge, re: Hawai‘i, its people, history, geology, hula, plants, trees, grasses, animals, cetaceans, fish, corals, monk seals, insects, bats, birds, canoe manufacture, wayfinding, astronomy, etc.

This research has hopefully led me to understand the Hawaiian mind and spirit. Your people have been flimflammed, lied to and deceived of much. Many wrongs were perpetrated by your own greed, sold or given away by short-sighted leaders. This is all history and cannot be changed. The important thing is the future.

The Polynesian has for thousands of years been the master of his/her environment. Exploitation of the land, sea and heavens are a few examples of the brilliance of the kanaka. Your seafaring skills are the envy of the planet. There now exists the chance to hone this expertise with the TMT completion. Yes, of course, Mauna Kea is sacred, as is every square foot of our wonderful home. My grandmother had a saying: “Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.”

You have an opportunity to extract many concessions from the powers that be:

Five telescopes removed, assistance in building a Hawaiian-designed he‘iau available to all kanaka. Do not let your power go to waste. Use it to advance your knowledge. Knowledge and power are inextricably linked. The power provided will benefit all Hawaiians. Insist on Hawaiian participation in construction jobs and in employee and student involvement. You have them by the short and curlies. Don’t block. Participate for yours and mankind’s benefit. In my opinion, to do otherwise is folly. Think pono, what will improve the lives of majority.

With love and kinship toward all,

Tomas “‘Opala Keo” Myers
Source: The Garden Island

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    %d bloggers like this: