Ever since Pali Lanes was declared a Hawaii Historical monument and given another year of life, the atmosphere in team #SavePaliLanes has been ecstatic.

However, when Pali Lanes was given the nomination, it hurt our base. Many of our supporters thought that once we received the historical nomination, our fight was over, and Pali Lanes was saved forever. However, when Pali Lanes received the historical nomination and an extra year of life, it was just the beginning of phase two of team #SavePaliLanes.

On March 11 myself, Levani Lipton, vice chair of the Kailua Neighborhood Board, and Ms. Conceicao Gumpfer, a member of team #SavePaliLanes, met with newly elected Honolulu City Councilwoman Heidi Tsuneyoshi to discuss Pali Lanes. Even though Pali Lanes is not in her district she gave us the time of day to discuss the importance of Pali Lanes.

The meeting with her could have not gone any better. We were able to tell her stories, our issues, and our fight.

Randy Pedersen (bottom right kneeling) at Pali Lanes on March 10, 2018, with Pali Lanes Jr. Bowlers and coaches.

Christian Arakawa

We told Councilwoman Tsuneyoshi that at Pali Lanes there is a bowler named Mary Sabata. She is 96 years old, she still bowls and sometimes she wins the jackpot in her league!

Ms. Gumpfer told her that she was one of the first members of the Pali Jr. Bowlers when Pali Lanes first opened its doors back in 1961.

I talked to her about the many special needs groups, kids and adults that come into Pali Lanes to bowl. I specifically pointed out the WINGs group and the special Olympic bowling league that comes and bowls at Pali Lanes all the time. Levani talked about the historical nomination and how the people of Kailua really want to see Pali Lanes stay open.

Councilwoman Tsuneyoshi was thrilled by all the stories and information we told her. The first thing she did after we finished talking was thank all of us for our hard work and dedication to our efforts in saving Pali Lanes.

A Place To Hang Out

She told us that the City Council cannot do anything legally because Pali Lanes is on private land and operated as a private business. But she promised to make sure (by pressuring) that Alexander & Baldwin communicates with the owners and the community about Pali Lanes. She says if they at any time make a claim without notifying anybody or the claim is false, she will call them on it.

Councilwoman Tsuneyoshi is all about accountability and she is the perfect person to have on our side. Therefore, Pali Lanes is proud to have the support of Councilwoman Heidi Tsuneyoshi.

The reason we contacted Councilwoman Tsuneyoshi is that most of the bowlers at Pali lanes come from Kailua all the way to Kahuku. Pali Lanes already has the support from state Sen. Gil Riviere. Next, at team #SavePaliLanes we are working on getting the support from three state representatives, Sean Quinlan, Lisa Kitagawa and Scot Matayoshi.

We are looking for their support because many of their own constituents use Pali Lanes, whether it is for league bowling or to hang out with your friends and family. We want to make sure that our elected officials are fighting for what their constituents want, not the big cooperations.

While the support and endorsement from elected officials are good, we need support from individuals like you! That was the main point Councilwman Tsuneyoshi told us at the meeting. That is why at Pali Lanes we are looking at the possibilities of doing two big fundraiser events.

The first would be to start a GoFundMe page for Pali Lanes. The second would be to host a fundraiser bowl-a-thon event on the first Saturday or Sunday of July. The money raised from both events will allow us to do things we never could do otherwise.

With the money we could possibly make TV ads, radio adds, purchase save Pali Lanes items and sell them to the community and so much more.

But the main thing is we need to stay relevant. And the best way to do that is our supports. So please support Pali Lanes. We invite you to our monthly meetings, they are always on the last Sunday of the month, it starts at 5 p.m. and ends at 6 p.m., and meetings are held at the bowling alley. Please tell all your friends, family, and co-workers to support our effort in saving Pali Lanes.

To learn more about saving Pali Lanes, check out www.palilanes.weebly.com or contact us at savepalilanes@gmail.com.

Community Voices aims to encourage broad discussion on many topics of community interest. It’s kind of a cross between Letters to the Editor and op-eds. This is your space to talk about important issues or interesting people who are making a difference in our world. Column lengths should be no more than 800 words and we need a photo of the author and a bio. We welcome video commentary and other multimedia formats. Send to news@civilbeat.org. The opinions and information expressed in Community Voices are solely those of the authors and not Civil Beat.

About the Author