Driving range balls take daily beating
The driving range balls at the Ala Wai Driving Range are deplorable! If this was a private driving range, then I can go elsewhere. However, this is a city-and-county range operated by a private contractor. Does the contract have any provisions regarding the condition of the range balls? If so, what are they, and how often are they inspected to ensure compliance with the contract? If not, why not? About 50 percent of a full bucket of range balls have hardly any dimples.
Answer: Garrick Iwamuro, golf course systems administrator for the city Department of Enterprise Services, personally inspected the range balls after hearing your complaint.
After filling several baskets from the ball dispenser, he found "all the balls have some level of wear on them," but they were still considered "acceptable."
He said the concessionaire will remove balls that do not have dimples on them because of wear.
"The range balls are inspected, and if they appear to be worn, then the concessionaire is instructed to replace them," he said. "The color of the balls may not all look new due to wear, but they are still considered to be acceptable."
Regarding the Ala Wai range, Iwamuro said:
» The concessionaire is required to provide a minimum of 45,000 new high-performance, two-piece range balls.
Badly soiled, out-of-shape, cut or split balls are required to be culled daily and not used.
» The concessionaire replaces 12,000 balls every three months. There currently are more than 100,000 range balls, "but not all are brand new."
» An average of 500 to 600 baskets, each holding about 70 balls, are sold daily. That adds up to 35,000 to 42,000 golf balls used daily.
Any golfer with questions or concerns can call the Golf Courses Division at 733-7381.
Q: I am going to the mainland next month and plan to take chocolate macadamia nut candies. Apparently, chocolate packed in baggage appears to be something else in X-rays. If I pack them in my suitcases, instead of my carry-on, will there be problems?
A: It's more a matter of how dense an item is rather than what it is.
Regarding chocolates, "it just really depends on how much (passengers) pack," said an official with the Transportation Security Administration.
If you're taking one box of chocolate macadamia nuts, it shouldn't be a problem.
But having many boxes -- or books or other items -- stacked up or lining the top or bottom of your suitcase will result in a "density" problem.
The X-ray image will not be clear, so chances are "it is going to cause an alarm" and prompt inspectors to open the baggage, the official said.
That is why you are advised to spread out books and magazines, because if they are stacked, they'll be "dense" and trigger the alarm, he said.
Check the TSA Web site, www.tsa.gov, for more tips.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to email@example.com
. See also: Useful phone numbers