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Letters for Monday, June 3, 2019

Lumahai man was a good friend

This letter is in regards to the dead man found at Lumahai Beach. Lumahai is our daily beach. We bring our dog, swim and walk this beautiful beach.

We became acquainted with this man 15 years ago. We saw him every time we walked the beach. He lived deep in the trees. He took care of the beach as well. He did not want trucks to drive down the beach. He made elaborate sculptures with driftwood. They were to prevent trucks from driving down the beach. He also dug large circular holes to prevent trucks from driving on the sand. I started planting coconuts along the beach. After a while he followed my lead and started planting coconuts, too. Someday the coconuts will be tall and thriving.

He was a very private man who acknowledged us with a nod and nothing else. He would pet our dog every time we passed his way. Sometimes you would hear him howl up in the brush where he lived. He would walk into Hanalei town in his board shorts and long beard to pick up supplies.

We haven’t been to Lumahai since the rains of last year. I always wondered how our friend was doing. I am sad to hear of his death and want to acknowledge this man and his love of Lumahai. I know there are people who had some confrontations with him. After respecting his special space he became our Lumahai friend.

I just want to send him off with knowledge that he will be missed.

Richard Porto, Princeville

Reflections on Memorial Day and what really matters

I recently read an article titled, “Getting lei ready for Memorial Day” (TGI May 24) that takes place in Lihue. It contributes to the veterans who served our country, and they were honored at the Kauai Veterans Cemetery in Hanapepe. That happened on May 27. Paying your dedication and tribute to the veterans who served for our country is something that is so important as if you could never see them return from the war again.

Memorial Day is a day where we all honor the fallen soldiers who contributed so much to our country. It is a day where we mourn for the families that lost their family members in the war. It is an important day, so it should be taken seriously, instead of being taken as an extra day off or a day to go to the beach, etc.

When I visited the Memorial Day ceremony at the Kauai Veterans Cemetery, it made me think how important it was to me because of how much time that the soldiers risked on the battlefield. My dad is a veteran and I’m blessed that I have him as my father.

Hearing people making lei for veterans is a great community thing to do, as it honors the veterans who saved and served our country. It also beautifies the veterans cemetery and makes it look wonderful. More than 500 lei were made by multiple Kauai schools, and they’re being dedicated to the veterans on Kauai instead of being shipped to Oahu.

Wendell Batangan, Hanapepe

Do research on types of snorkel masks

Tuesday, a woman was rescued offshore of Ke‘e. Lifeguards found her unresponsive. Reports are she had been using a full-face snorkel mask.

One year ago, our family was visiting Po‘ipu and witnessed a drowning. The man was using a full-face mask.

I returned the next day to ask the lifeguard if he faulted the design of the mask. He said “yes.”

A possible explanation: exhaled CO2 was collecting inside the mask rather than being fully exchanged, as with a normal, straight-line snorkel. This could result in light-headedness and eventual loss of consciousness.

The lifeguard then informed me that the previous day’s victim had been revived in the hospital and was expected to recover.

That week, I read a report in The Garden Island of the then-current controversy about this innovative mask design. I began to caution any snorkeler I saw with a full-face mask that they would need to stay alert and frequently lift the mask to take breaths of fresh air. And I returned the mask I had bought for a full refund.

The Garden Island would do well to again print an article about the perils of the full-face mask. We can all take responsibility for alerting friends and strangers of this potential risk.

Chip Sharpe, Bayside, Calif.
Source: The Garden Island

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