Advertisement - Click to support our sponsors.

Thursday, December 14, 2000

By Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
Jim Asato takes aim on his target Tuesday during a
practice session at Kapiolani Park Archery Range.
Archers collected more than a thousand signatures
to keep it open.

Archers say city’s
safety plan on target

The mayor has agreed to install
fences and effect other measures
instead of closing down a range

By Pat Gee

Archery enthusiasts soon will be able to recite Longfellow -- "I shot an arrow into the air, it fell to earth, I knew not where" -- and not worry about hurting anyone at the Diamond Head Archery Range.

Island archers are relieved that the city's archery range, a fixture at Kapiolani Park since the 1960s, will not be shut down because of safety concerns.

Instead, steps will be to taken to make the area safer from stray arrows.

The arrows reportedly have found their way to the nearby Diamond Head Tennis Center parking lot, a nursery storage yard behind four target bales, and even on the tennis court nearest the range.

But there have not been any "reported injuries, accidents or deaths because of stray arrows," according to George Kong, state director of the National Field Archery Association.

When archers heard rumors in August that the city was planning to close the range, the Archery Coalition -- made up of two representatives each from four archery organizations -- collected 1,242 signatures in protest, Kong said.

A meeting with some 30 archers on Nov. 29 apparently convinced Mayor Jeremy Harris not to close the range, one of only two public archery facilities available on Oahu, Kong said. Harris visited the range with staff, including Gary Yee, head of the city Department of Design and Construction.

"It was amazing. ... It all fell into place. We couldn't believe what we were hearing," Kong said, referring to the mayor agreeing to install fences and implement other measures instead of closing the range.

Yee said the measures would include a new rule that should also protect archers and their companions. It will require everyone to shoot at the same time and walk up to retrieve their arrows together, he said.

The city plans to extend an existing dividing fence toward the tennis courts, raise it from 4 feet to 10 feet, and build a new fence behind the archery targets to keep passers-by out of danger, Yee said.

The fence also will be covered with an impenetrable netting or a fine mesh chain-link material to control errant arrows. "We don't expect arrows to go there; it's just for peace of mind," Yee said.

The shooting lines for the short targets will be staggered and moved farther back from their existing location. The sole long-shot target will be kept next to the cliff on the mauka boundary of the park, farthest away from the tennis courts, and the shooting line will be moved farther back than the rest, Yee said.

Kong said archers plan to donate their "time, labor and materials" to build three additional target frames, increasing the number of targets to seven.

Plans also are in the making for a new "dojo" -- a building for Japanese-style archery -- on the Koko Head end of the range. Japanese archery involves the use of bamboo bows and arrows, which are aimed toward a sand pit housed in a dojo, Kong explained.

More than 3,500 archers on Oahu have only two public sites at which to shoot -- Diamond Head and Kapolei, the latter open only on weekends and holidays.

The city plans to open a new pistol range near the Koko Head Shooting Center in the future.

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2000 Honolulu Star-Bulletin