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Wednesday, July 19, 2000

Sacred Falls memorials
are removed

The state removed the 8 crosses
after questions of their
appropriateness arose

By Gregg Kakesako


The state removed eight white crosses memorializing the victims of the 1999 Mother's Day rockslide at Sacred Falls, after concerns were raised about their appropriateness.

State Parks Administrator Ralston Nagata said today the 3-foot-high crosses at the entrance of the still-closed Punaluu landmark were removed last week after "somebody questioned" why they had been up so long.

The crosses had been erected by a relative of one of the victims.

Memorials are placed alongside roads and at other places, but "eventually they all are taken down," Nagata said.

A rockslide on May 9, 1999, killed eight people and injured 50 others. Several lawsuits have been filed by survivors and family members.

The park, tucked in the back of Kaluanui Gulch, is still considered dangerous.

Rocks that have fallen since the tragedy have been found along the trail. In November, a falling rock almost hit a state worker.

However, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, which will working with the community on the future of the park, believes it could be open later this year.

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