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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 21, 2010

Chinatown friends adopt Kekaulike Mall

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Sue Law, owner of Cheap Market in Kekaulike Mall in Chinatown, arranges produce in aisles that have been recently widened. She says wider aisles make it easier to clean.

RICHARD AMBO | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Project C.L.E.A.N. — Community Lokahi to Enrich our Aina Now — will hold a community-wide cleanup and graffiti removal from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 5 from Açala Park to Fort Street and from Nimitz Boulevard to Beretania Street. For more information call 479-6192.

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Cleaned-up sidewalks, painted walls and more organized sidewalk vendors are just a few of the changes being made by The Friends of Chinatown at the Kekaulike Mall.

The group, a mixture of merchants, police and residents, began their work in January. They were disgusted by mountains of rubbish left behind by vendors — some legal, others not — and from negative publicity from a video about rats leaping from baskets of produce at one of the markets.

It got so bad late last year that residents were afraid to leave their homes after 5 p.m. said Barbara Hao, a resident of Kekaulike Courtyard, a public housing fronting Kekaulike Market.

"We're adopting this area," Hao said. "We're surveying the mall every day and remove the illegal vendors. So far it's been nice and clean."