Saturday, June 23, 2001

Land board OKs proposal
to close Iolani Palace
grounds 11 p.m.-6 a.m.

By Nelson Daranciang

Iolani Palace grounds will be closed to cars and pedestrians from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. to improve security of the palace and its artifacts under a proposal approved yesterday by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources.

"By posting that the grounds are closed at night, it allows for the removal of trespassers," said Alice Guild, Friends of Iolani Palace executive director. The palace alarm was set off 142 times last year, and records indicate that most incidents occurred between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. as individuals attempted to enter the palace lanai or moat areas. Guild hopes to complete adequate public notification and have the details worked out with all of the state agencies involved to close the grounds overnight before the end of the year.

"Before any closure takes place, we'll be meeting with various organizations, especially native Hawaiian groups, who use the grounds, to let them know that permitted activities, including overnight vigils, will still be allowed," Guild said.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of State Parks has jurisdiction over the palace grounds. The Department of Accounting and General Services controls parking around the palace.

The Friends of Iolani Palace manages the palace through a lease agreement with the state.

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