Posted by: isa | July 8, 2010

Letter to Waioli Corp. about trail safety

Dear Waioli Corp,

As you may know, I started the Rescue Tube Project and the Kauai Beach Guardians (basic citizen training volunteer lifeguards). We have 85 Kauai citizens now trained and more to come, and over 60 tubes now in place at unguarded beaches. I believe you were quite helpful to our efforts in boosting safety at Kipu Falls. Thank you.

Larsen’s beach was the first place a rescue tube went up over 2 years ago. To date, that tube has been used to save at least 4 people’s lives there–all unsuspecting tourists, all at that beach’s central channel rip current. Up to this point in time, beach goers have had use of the lateral trail as well as the proposed new steeper “middle path” easement that’s being offered. If the lateral trail is shut off by fencing, all the beach goers then will be directly funneled to the most dangerous part of the beach: the central channel rip current, where the proposed access terminates.

As a lifeguard instructor for over 17 years, I professionally foresee the likelihood of this causing more preventable deaths from drownings of our visitors and/or locals who attempt in good heart to save them. Inadvertently causing more preventable deaths is not something Mr. Laymon nor your Corp, nor anyone would want on their conscience I believe. I strongly advocate for asking for historic lateral trail access to remain open, as it has always been to save future lives, and that saving lives is a higher priority than a tenant being morally offended by some legally protected nude sunbathers (Kalama v. state of HI, HI Supreme Court decision) or some gays sunning on that beach. As all of us know, the illegal camping/parties has been dropped to near nothing in the last 2 years, and I too appreciate Mr. Laymon for that. Yet today, Mr. Laymon does not need the lateral trail’s extra 16 acres or so fenced off, added to the 600+ acres already for his cattle use. This act is seen by many as a personal moral agenda crusade by your tenant which could cost families lives.

I ask for your awareness of the consequences of closing off the lateral trail, and seek a higher ground be taken here, and the community all getting along here with tolerance. It will be very good PR, and may invoke the beach going community there to step forward and help the overall cause of respecting every one’s rights and truly being kind to Mr. Laymon.

For the record, my family owns several properties, including being the landlord of a 160 acre farming parcel, so I appreciate property owner rights as well. I truly see a moderate, “middle path” available if it can be taken.

Respectfully, John Tyler Cragg

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