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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Park to honor Mink: Waipi'o or Central O'ahu?

By Robbie Dingeman
Advertiser Staff Writer

City officials say the late Patsy Mink former congresswoman, City Council member and champion of equal rights for women deserves to have a park named in her honor but it may shift from the Waipi'o Soccer Complex to the Central O'ahu Regional Park.

Council Parks Committee Chairman Nestor Garcia said he would postpone action on the original proposal to name the Waipi'o park after Mink after hearing the Central O'ahu park put forth as an alternative.

Max Sword, who lobbies for Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, spoke in favor of substituting Central O'ahu for Waipi'o.

Sword, who is active in soccer, said Mink's contribution to gender equity in sports is unquestionable. "If you wanted to name a sports park to someone who has contributed so much to all women's sport, Central O'ahu Regional Park would be the park."

Sword said the multi-sport park would be a more fitting tribute rather than a park primarily used for soccer, which could someday be named for someone more closely connected to that sport.

Jack Sullivan, a longtime soccer booster in Hawai'i, also backed Central O'ahu, with its variety of playing fields, as a better choice for honoring Mink.

"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.

City parks deputy Dana Takahara-Dias said the administration favored the Waip'io honor but would consider other sites.

Council Chairman Donovan Dela Cruz said he knows Mink's family approved of the Waip'io choice and said he would like to hear from them on the new idea.

Mink's brother, Eugene Takemoto, thanked council members for considering the honor for his sister and said he would explain to Mink's daughter, Wendy, so the family could be consulted.

In other action, planning and intergovernmental affairs committee chairman Romy Cachola had asked city attorneys to update the council on the status of the Waimea Valley settlement. Deputy Corporation Counsel Donna Woo said the attorneys for the various organizations are still working on details of the agreement. They are looking at a March 15 deadline, she said.

Reach Robbie Dingeman at rdingeman@honoluluadvertiser.com.