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Manilow sings to get rid of unruly teens

THE city of Christchurch in New Zealand hopes that putting American crooner Barry Manilow's smooth and gentle tones into the mix of music to be broadcast through the central mall district can pacify unruly teenagers who congregate there ?? or at least convince them to go elsewhere.

"The intention is to change the environment in a positive way, so nobody feels threatened or intimidated," Central City Business Association manager Paul Lonsdale said. "I did not say Barry Manilow is a weapon of mass destruction."

A group of several dozen young people regularly spread rubbish, spray graffiti, get intoxicated, use drugs, swear and intimidate patrons at the outdoor mall.

The city council, police and local property owners covering 410 businesses agree that music such as Manilow's "Can't Smile Without You" and "Mandy" might change the teens' behavior.

But one 16-year-old said unfashionable music wouldn't deter them. "We would just bring a stereo and play it louder," Emma Belcher said.

Lonsdale countered that the city would then hit them with anti-noise laws.


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