Council mulls over way to honor Mink
Some oppose naming the Waipio Soccer Complex after the late congresswoman
Members of the City Council appear eager to name a city sports facility for the late U.S. Rep. Patsy T. Mink.
The big question now is which facility.
Soccer enthusiasts opposed legislation to rename the Waipio Soccer Complex for Mink, saying the complex should keep the same name or should be renamed for someone who contributed to soccer in Hawaii.
They suggested Central Oahu Regional Park. Mink co-authored the federal Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs -- including athletics.
"We see the naming of the Central Oahu Regional Park, rather than the Waipio soccer park, after Patsy Mink as a more fitting, prestigious and far-ranging tribute to her and all the things she accomplished," said Max Sword of Outrigger Hotels and Resorts, which has supported several Hawaii sporting events.
Said Jack Sullivan, a longtime soccer supporter: "It's a worthy tribute to a true Hawaiian warrioress who fought for all of us and all of the women of our country."
Sullivan said the soccer complex's current name helps to market soccer in Hawaii. "It has a mystique to it and I feel if I said the 'Patsy Mink Soccer Complex,' it really wouldn't go as far," he said.
The measure to name the soccer complex for Mink was supported by Mink's family and friends.
"She loved all sports, but I can recall occasions where there were soccer events and she was honored to be a part of it to toss that first ball," said Joan Manke, who was Mink's chief of staff at the time of Mink's death in 2002.
Manke, acting Neighborhood Commission executive secretary, also said the location of the soccer fields hits especially close to home since Mink lived in Waipahu.
While living in Waipahu in the mid-1980s, Mink was elected to the City Council and also served as its chairwoman.
Supporters of the soccer complex name change were apparently caught off guard by the opposition.
Mink's brother, Eugene Takemoto, said he wants to talk to Mink's daughter, Wendy, but whatever decision the Council makes, "we'll be very, very appreciative."
The Council Parks Committee deferred action on the soccer complex measure. Committee Chairman Nestor Garcia said a second resolution will be drafted to reflect the Central Oahu Regional Park choice so that the committee can review both options next month.