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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 2:59 p.m., Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Night closures extended at Ala Moana Park

Advertiser Staff

The city has decided to extend the night closures at Ala Moana Park at least through mid- to late June, citing "favorable comments" from the public.

That means an estimated 200 homeless who were staying nightly at the park will need to continue to find shelter elsewhere.

City Parks Director Lester Chang first ordered the park closed from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. nightly beginning March 27. At that time, Chang cited the need to close the park to allow city workers to prepare for a three-day, around-the-clock shutdown for major maintenance work.

The work is scheduled to take place April 25-27.

"We've had a lot of positive feedback about the nightly closures," Chang said, in a press release. "Many people are commenting that the park feels cleaner and safer and we should keep up this practice. Closing it for another 60 days will allow us to determine whether we should make those nightly closures permanent."

Many of the homeless who had been living at the park have since taken advantage of temporary shelters set up at Central Union Church and Kawaiaha'o Church.

Church officials have stressed that those accommodations are not permanent.