Kahala park to be used as parking for Sony Open
Mayor Mufi Hannemann announced yesterday the city will allow Sony Open spectators to park at Kahala Community Park ball fields during golf tournament later this month.
His decision was made despite objections by some community members who are concerned the cars will damage the grass fields they have maintained.
In exchange for using the park, the Friends of Hawaii Charities has promised to install metal fences along the baseball field foul lines; relocate a park storage facility; and aerate, fertilize and top-dress the grass areas beginning Jan. 16. The baseball and softball fields will be closed Jan. 12-15 when the Sony Open is held at Waialae Country Club.
One Little League coach, Dwight Makalena, e-mailed a city councilman saying the primary users of the park were never consulted and neither were area residents. "Coaches and parents have volunteered an inordinate amount of time and labor to maintaining the parks," Makalena wrote, adding that they spent more than $10,000 in membership fees for the upkeep of Kahala and five other parks in 2004 and 2005.
Waialae-Kahala Neighborhood Board members said no opportunity was given to discuss the matter with residents.
Tony Guerrero, Friends of Hawaii Charities president, said the organization contacted Kalani High School and a senior softball league.