Logs obstruct public's entrance to Haskell's.
Haskell’s Beach Is Our Beach
Bacara, Tear Down This Wall
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Although the super-warm days are not yet in sight, for a while I have been craving to go to the beach. So, finally, last weekend I gathered my towel, my sandals, sunscreen, and a big bottle of water, and I ventured to the Bacara Hotel’s Beach anyway.
Yes, I know I called it the Bacara Beach and not Haskell’s Beach. I purposely didn’t because our Haskell’s Beach is ours no more. Very few of us have been able to enjoy the beach or its ocean water for a while.
First, medium and large rocks appeared there. I was told that these were the result of storms. They are located at the top of the beach, and go along the entire length of it. Based on its present appearance, many may think that Haskell’s Beach has always been a “no sand” beach, meaning it only has rocks and water, and people cannot stroll there. However, I cannot count the hundreds of times that I went to that beach since the time I moved to Goleta in 1998. It always had a wide and beautiful sand beach. I guess Nature does these things at times.
Now the sand is back, but huge tree trunks are blocking one of the entrances to the beach. No one could explain the presence of these trunks to me. At the other entrance, a big, uneven, and dangerous step presents itself even before you get to the rocks, making it impossible for most little kids, seniors, and others to get safely to the beach and into the water.
As background information, for those who never knew or have forgotten, one of the main conditions under which the hotel was built was access to the beach. The Coastal Commission then ruled, and the City of Goleta enforced, that the Bacara had to provide access to the beach 24/7 and certain services to the public. The Bacara finally agreed, and to that end the hotel built a public parking lot and a beach trail, and offered some services to the public at their facilities. They made an investment, and in so doing they won the community’s approval (to some degree).
Wouldn’t it make sense then, for the Bacara to offer at least one clean pathway for the public from their facilities to the beach, now that the sand is back? Wouldn’t it show good will on its part to do this for all members of the community? How much could it cost? Can the Bacara not afford it?
As citizens of Goleta, we support private, clean businesses that create and maintain jobs for locals. However, it is also true that businesses should give back to the communities that embrace them. By creating a short, clean path to the beach, the Bacara would be partnering with and supporting the city’s efforts to maintain and improve the quality of life for all Goleta residents.
Haskell’s Beach has always been our community beach, and as a member of that community I know that I would love to have our beach back, by having easy and safe access to it. I’m sure others feel the same way.
Will the Bacara help us get there?