Archery Range Off It's Mark

Lester Muraoka
Lester Muraoka

(KHNL) - Construction on a new archery range is almost done, but rather than supplying targets, it has become one.

"This is one of the most scenic drives in the whole state from Hanauma to Sandy Beach and this is just an eyesore, it's just ghastly," said protester Sarah Keahi.

"People were not aware that this was going to be outside the crater walls," said Dr. Mele Welte.

The range is along Kalanianaole Highway, at the entrance to the site of the current Koko Head Shooting Complex. The massive dirt patch is obvious from the road, but it's not done yet.

"The plans are indeed to have it landscaped," said Lester Muraoka, chair of the Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board.

"Obviously when you start a project, it's bare, it stands out a bit more." The range was part of the Koko Head District Park master plan, and has been in the works for 6 to 8 years. Welte says plans have been "under the radar," and believes the city was trying to trick the people.

"I read the whole document from the state Department of Land and there's nothing that said this is gonna be on the highway," said Welte.

Muraoka says the proposal has come up at countless meetings. "We just encourage the community to participate in this process, and let us know before it comes up for vote and plans are finalized," he said.

Welte is gathering signatures on a petition, to ask the city to restore the hillside. Even though the range is almost done, Muraoka says it could be moved if the people want it.

"However, I think we have to look at the money that's already been spent and is the other possible alternative just as effective," he said.

Both sides are willing to compromise. Muraoka plans to get the artist rendering, to show people what the range should look like when it's done. He says it should fit in with the natural environment.