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Letters for Sept. 23, 2015

• Coral damage at Tunnels • Air riflery on target

Coral damage at Tunnels

On Sept. 17, while snorkeling at tunnels I came upon a large coral head that had been smashed on the top with something heavy. Parts of the broken segments lay on the sand alongside of it. It appeared to have some pieces missing, so it looked to have been done purposely to take chunks of it as souvenirs.

In the last week I’ve snorkeled across that same part of the reef three other days and this coral was not damaged then. Nor have I ever seen that kind of damage done on any part of that inshore reef over the past many years. This section of reef is over the underwater tunnels that are frequented by scuba divers. At the time I saw the smashed coral there were indeed divers in the tunnels and their air bubbles were floating up through the crevices.

A white diving van was parked at the first Tunnels access alley, divers were directly below the damaged coral at the time and probably also had been over the past few days as it’s their normal diving spot. Also, snorkelers aren’t normally carrying anything heavier than a camera.

There was no rock or heavy object near the damaged coral. That part of the reef is too shallow and wide for a boat to have caused it. Here is my assumption, I think there is a good chance this was possibly done by paying scuba customers.

Whether by accident or intent we now have this damage to look at each time we cross that section of reef when we snorkel. If our beautiful reef is used to generate income I would ask that the dive companies make it known that this unacceptable and these divers need to be guided on the dives by the company to be sure this does not happen again.

Paulo Tambolo, Wailua Homesteads

Air riflery on target

It is so refreshing to see Kauai’s youth involved in and excelling in the sport of air riflery. And that’s just what it is. A sport. A sport that teaches discipline,respect, safety and the techniques necessary to excel in this demanding form of shooting.

I spent a few years on Oahu involved in competitive air gunning and I can tell you it’s pretty tough. Not only needing to learn the basics in ballistics butlearning breath control, trigger control and sight picture. These young shooters also use some pretty sophisticated air rifles and support gear. A far cry fromthe Daisy Red Ryder BB gun I grew up with.

With so much negativity toward firearms these days I love to see the positives (the respect for firearms and air guns) in this sport and it’s great to see Kauaiproduce some outstanding sportsmen and sportswomen in this demanding form of shooting. Hats off to all those involved especially the coaches andparents who are steering the young ones in the right direction. Mahalo to you all.

Stephen Shioi, Kapaa

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