Letters for Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Queen’s Bath visit put people in danger

The defense put forth by Sarah Hill and Rick Bundshuh illustrate a gross misunderstanding of what needs to be done with our youth of today. The Kauai Lifeguard Association while working in conjunction with the County Fire Department and Ocean Safety Bureau and Kauai Visitors Bureau has tried to dissuade all activity at Queen’s Bath, regardless of the time of year. One tidal change is all it takes on the flattest of days to get a broken leg, cracked spine or head injury. The County, KLA and community in general has communicated these potential dangers.

For a Christian group to thumb their nose at such efforts disturbs me. And then post your adventure on social media only encourages all to do the same thing — for the world to see! Yet it I feel it is actually the blind leading the blind because your excuses are worthless. We are “local.” We do more than just Queen’s Bath — we sit by the bedside of others never justifies the seeds you are planting in others when it comes to Queen’s Bath.

We’ve had more than 29 deaths over the years at Queen’s Bath…we’ve have countless rescues that have put our first responders lives in jeopardy because they have not paid attention to our warnings.

I hope this letter causes you not to turn the other cheek and take your group to Shipwreck Beach next week to illustrate how not to jump from the cliffs … at low tide.

Andy Melamed, KLA board member

Appreciate wallet being returned

Hey Bobby, read your letter in The Garden Island (about lost wallet being returned). Same thing happened to me. I dropped my wallet in the parking lot of Walmart and ladies turned it in to a cashier who held it for me. Thank you ladies! Please call me at 332-8546 or 652-4348. I want to thank you personally and show my appreciation.

Valentine Hataishi, Kalaheo

  1. Ka'aona Kipuka June 19, 2019 8:58 am Reply

    “We’re saving the youth of Kaua’i “. So let’s celebrate that by taking them to one of the most dangerous places on the island…That makes perfect sense. All it takes is one bad jump and there you go, paralyzed for the rest of your life… But who are we to say anything…or all the signs warning everyone of the potential dangers that exist for that matter…All falling upon deaf ears…And plus God & Jesus said it was okay…Cringe worthy at best…

    1. Pete Antonson June 19, 2019 5:42 pm Reply

      Is Ka’aona Hawaiian for “little old judgmental lady?”

      1. Ka'aona Kipuka June 20, 2019 3:12 pm Reply

        And “pete antonson” must be another name/definition for ignorant haole…

  2. Rick Bundschuh June 19, 2019 9:26 am Reply


    In response to your open letter, here is an open response.
    You are correct in observing that doing good in one context is not an excuse for doing wrong in another although I do think that such examples demonstrate genuine care for the well being of others and speaks to heart motives and responsibility.
    To the issue you write about, we green lit the Queens Bath outing (which we have done every summer of several dozen years) after researching if that location was actually closed or open, since we were aware of the erection of a gate.
    From the best information we could gather, dated April 21, 2019, we understood that the locked gate (which by the way we completely support when conditions are dangerous) would be opened to the public when conditions were safe to access the site. (“Signs say the gate is locked when the area is unsafe and crossing the fence is trespassing. County officials say they open the gate when the treacherous conditions have passed.” – The Garden Island)
    This led us to believe that access was not an issue if conditions were safe.
    After carefully checking the surf conditions for the day to insure that it was calm, our group parked on private property and entered in via a different route never going near the gate but logically presuming it was open.
    From the gist of your letter to the editor it is apparent that the intent of the county is to forbid year round access to this spot for everyone regardless of the conditions due to the tragic upswing in (mostly) tourist deaths. Does this suggest that the gate was never intended to be opened?
    If this is a fact, we were not aware of it.
    Clearly from the various reactions to this years outing there is a public debate as to what constitutes the appropriate limiting or denial of long used resources.
    I understand a pull towards the abundance of caution is one side of the coin but taking away the rights of access to local people is the other.
    And it is a difficult and thorny dilemma that probably needs much more discussion (I would be happy to be part of that conversation) if we want buy-in from a huge swath of the local community.
    That said, I can assure you that there was no disrespect intended nor “thumbing the nose” towards the hardworking and important folks guarding our beaches. Rather, it seems to me to be a case of a new paradigm on the use of that area which was either misunderstood, poorly communicated, poorly designed or poorly implemented.
    And frankly I am still not sure if in your letter you are speaking for the county, for the lifeguards or for yourself.

    1. numilalocal June 19, 2019 8:45 pm Reply

      What part of a CLOSED GATE do you folks not understand?

  3. Doug June 19, 2019 10:01 am Reply

    well written letter Andy. Thank you.

  4. pointfisha June 19, 2019 10:24 am Reply

    Same could be said about putting your own kids in your own car.

    “How dare you thumb your nose at all we know about traffic deaths on Kauai?!? Call Child Protection Services, this guy is putting his kids at risk by driving them around on streets where someone gets hurt or killed everyday! He even let’s ’em go out in the sunlight, with all that we know about skin cancer risks!! The nerve! of that guy! Make the kids stay in a locked room with the doors and windows closed!”

    Every ocean experience is a “risk.” Check the conditions, have help nearby watching and ready to respond, and maybe have a large flotation device… oh, they got that.

    You a lifeguard, or a marketing guy on the KLA board so you can be a political activist?

  5. Rev Dr. Malama June 19, 2019 2:37 pm Reply

    Thank you Andy, and I concur with the observation that the “church group ” has an elitist and self entitled attitude that is the demise of many native cultures by MISSION er, aires like mercenaries there leaders wrote “we came to QB and conquered it” and do they even pray for the Hawai’ian Kingdom people and our unsuspecting Guests who have died here?
    I am humbled and ashamed by the words and actions of the church people…. we may be family but I don’t have to like the way they live on our Island….
    Jesus Christ would certainly act much more PONO .

  6. concierge11 June 19, 2019 4:29 pm Reply

    Andy we can hardly compare the summer conditions that they enjoyed to the times where our rescue personnel have been put in jeopardy. No one likes to hear about that, however you can get hurt anywhere on Kauai at any time. You can’t protect everyone. Let’s tell the hikers it’s too slippery, tell the big wave surfers they can’t do tow ins because the little folks will want to try it too, tell the kids not to ride bikes and skateboards because they might fall, no jumping off the pier, no body surf at Lumahai because the tourists might try it. Stop trying to baby sit everyone. That gate was for the purpose of protecting the unwise from high surf conditions. It shouldn’t be closed right now. And you shouldn’t judge their ability to take the kids anymore then I should tell you the surf is too big to out in, I don’t know your abilities and I wouldn’t be presumptuous enough to tell you what you can and can’t do.

  7. Pete Antonson June 19, 2019 5:37 pm Reply

    A typical “Hey, look at me” letter by Andy Melamed. Actually, he did leave out the usual “I’ve lived on Kauai for one hundred years” part.
    One of the best ways to instill save use of a resource or activity, or item is to educate and demonstrate the safe and correct use, whether it be Queen’s Bath, driving, or a weapon.
    Rick Bundschuh is roughly 30 times more qualified than you, Andy, to carry out any such program.
    If you really love total bans on things then get thyself to Maui.

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