WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Archers hope their message on Monday night hit the target. A popular range has been off-limits for months due to a stray arrow, but the city will soon decide whether it is safe to re-open the facility with some changes.
A public hearing at Paki Hale brought out dozens of people. A couple of them wanted to shutdown the Kapiolani Park Archery Range, but most of them testified in support of the site. Kenwei Chong practiced there as a child. Now his daughter is following in his footsteps.
"With the 'Hunger Games,' my younger daughter, 11 years old, kind of got into it and we thought it would be a passing stage and she's on her third bow now. She's gotten so good and it and passionate about it," said Chong.
The targets have been taped off since April when a man pointed his arrow toward the sky and accidentally let go, nearly hitting a player at a nearby tennis court. It's not the first time stray arrows have been found.
"The Diamond Head Tennis Association or Tennis Court Association, they do have records of these things found, arrows found in the courts," said Department of Parks and Recreation Director Gary Cabato.
Cabato said the facility was built decades ago as a temporary range since others were in the works. He was pleased with Monday's turnout and all of the ideas offered.
"I liked the part about having a monitor who is a certified master or certified archer there to monitor, a permit system, an education system," Cabato said.
"The place has co-existed a long time between tennis and archery, and I think improved safety measures could continue that," Chong said.
The testimony from the hearing will be reviewed and Cabato will receive a recommendation. He said he is still considering several options.
"The option is to build a barrier or build a netting system or build something to protect the general public or even relocate or reposition the targets," Cabato explained.
A permanent closure would leave three archery ranges on the island, at Central Oahu Regional Park, Kapolei and Koko Head. Those who practice at Kapiolani Park said there is something special about the spot.
"It's the practice and the passion of the sport, but I think it's also that feeling of contributing, educating people and being part of the community," Chong said.
According to Cabato, the decision-making process could take up to a month.