City proposal targets aggressive panhandling
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June 17, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm #67436
The Dispatch wrote City proposal targets aggressive panhandling
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
BY BOBBY PIERCE
Columbus’ panhandlers might have to watch their step to continue soliciting in the city.
Aggressive panhandling was the topic at a City Council public hearing tonight. Councilman Andrew Ginther moderated the testimony of 12 Columbus residents, as well as the deputy safety director, assistant city attorney and a police officer.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“You can’t simply throw panhandlers in jail,Ã¢â‚¬Â Ginther had said last week. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Some are following people for blocks; in the University area, people feel badgered and threatened; they are coming up to people at the ATM.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Related Story:June 17, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm #209981
And this is fascinating and too bad!:
Alex Khvalsky of Alexander’s Fine Jewelry and Watches said he most likely will move his business from the Short North because of panhandlers.
And this is even more unbelievable:
Donald Strasser, director of the Columbus Coalition for the Homeless, said relying on legislation alone won’t solve anything. He said that he knows of no research showing that beefed-up statutes reduce panhandling, and the best way to address the problem would be to create a task force that included panhandlers in the decisions.June 17, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm #209982
So basically its fine to exclude the people who this legislation affects the most?
Panhandling is pretty annoying through much of our urban area and it is sad to see a business potentially leaving because of it. Legislation won’t do a thing though, other than to shift the problem elsewhere. Address the root causes and you might see some positive change.
It amazed me working at OSU food service for a year just how much went to waste by the end of the night. The general policy was to simple toss out any leftovers. No attempt to work with Mid-Ohio food bank or any other organization. OSU could probably start a day shelter pretty easily in that area. Collect food from the dining halls, as well as canned food drives in the dorms and class rooms. You have law students already providing legal advice to students on housing, why not legal advice for the homeless? You have dental and medical students that could help assist in basic care. Enough of a student population to provide volunteers.
Sad to see potential go to waste…June 17, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm #209983
lifeonwheels, you have a valid point. But to me, homelessness and panhandling are not the same. I live 1/2 block from High Street and have for 7 years, and I see extremely aggressive panhandling happen every single day, scaring patrons half to death. They know who I am and leave me alone, but when businesses decide they’ve had enough and move out to other areas, there is a serious problem.
Speeders don’t get to sit at the table for new proposed laws when they break the law. Pandering to law-breaking panhandlers who are going far beyond their free speech rights is ridiculous to me. Helping them is entirely another issue, but enough is enough with the following, getting in people’s faces, and aggressive behavior. On the other hand, sitting and playing a guitar and asking for change hurts no one.June 18, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am #209984
I used to have empathy for the panhandlers in the Short North and used to often give them money. I don’t have any empathy and I don’t give them any money anymore.
I wouldn’t say we have a homeless problem here in Columbus. It’s the same 6 – 10 guys out there harassing people. They get in fights with each other over who is allowed to sit their ass on the brick walls and they DO harass and intimidate people who are in their cars for money and then they get trashed and drugged up on the street and become an even bigger nuisance.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen them right next to some old ladies car who can barely open her car door and yes, they do intimidate inexperienced suburbanites for money.. And yes, it hurts business. That’s not rocket science. And quite frankly, I simply don’t care about 5 – 10 assholes that somehow assume it’s mine and every other visitor’s job to fund their sickness. I’m over it.
If this is THE model growth district for this city then these quality of life issues do matter and we should be doing something about them. Hopefully City Council will give police the tools to stop it.
They also create garbage and throw it right on the streets. Visitors here do the same I get that and that’s another issue for me. Anyhow, here are some pictures from a typical night before.June 18, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am #209985
Yep, Jon, it’s the same 10 people who’ve been groovin’ in that Mac’s lot with the parking pimps, and I’m over it as well. And I used to feel bad for them, gave them untold dollars over the years too. They have to be seriously hurting business in the SN, and if I were a suburbanite with choices, I wouldn’t come here and would high-tail it straight to the mall. Mom doesn’t need to be accosted by an aggressive drunk. And I get irritated by people who say, “Well, it’s the city after all.” For those people, I’d like to see how you handle this situation if it were right outside your business in a strip mall or across from your house on the cul-de-sac– it would NEVER be tolerated for even one day. Why do city businesses and residents have to tolerate it as natural and normal? No way, no more.June 18, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am #209986
columbus wrote . And I get irritated by people who say, “Well, it’s the city after all.”
I’ve had many a country bumpkin use that one on me. I would say most people who say that don’t or haven’t lived in a city. I never remember this level of irritation with panhandlers while living in NYC. Other cities are different of course. San Francisco is a soft, touchy feelie city on this issue and it shows. Dealing with pan handlers there is a major pain in the ass.June 18, 2008 1:29 am at 1:29 am #209987
as far as I’m concerned as an artist, if Alex Khvalsky can’t hack it as an artist with something simple as panhandlers, then he doesn’t deserve a spot in the SN to begin with. Goodbye weakling.
Stand up to the damned pandhandlers and stop letting them rule your lives, since the city obviously is not going to do it. Why give up YOUR spot that you pay for because of a bum?!June 18, 2008 8:40 am at 8:40 am #209988
I had some guy berate me for not giving him money the other day on my way into Cafe Napolitana. Something to the effect of, “oh I wish I had your fancy clothes” or something like that. He wasn’t your typical pan handler, he had a girl friend with him (or some kind of female acquaintance).June 18, 2008 8:45 am at 8:45 am #209989
columbus wrote But to me, homelessness and panhandling are not the same.
I have, not once, seen the guy who digs through our trash daily out on high st panhandling.
Also, panhandlers are getting lazy. I remember when they used to provide a service (singing, dancing, comedic effect, painting, etc.) Now THAT’s a panhandler.June 18, 2008 8:48 am at 8:48 am #209990
Just last night, wrenching on my bike on Park Street I see this guy (that I see all the time) run from across the street towards me to start telling me about his six year old in the hospital and his car broke down on 670.
Like dude I fucking see you all the time, get the fuck out of my business, I’m not stupid.June 18, 2008 9:09 am at 9:09 am #209991
Ndcent wrote Just last night, wrenching on my bike on Park Street I see this guy (that I see all the time) run from across the street towards me to start telling me about his six year old in the hospital and his car broke down on 670.
Like dude I fucking see you all the time, get the fuck out of my business, I’m not stupid.
I used to fall for that shit in college, but no more. Fuck ’em. I’ve been giving those guys money for years & it doesn’t seem to have helped their quality of life one bit. Except I think some of them have convinced themselves that panhandling is now their job and they are somehow providing some service to the communityÃ¢â‚¬Â¦like the “parking attendants” in the short north.June 18, 2008 9:22 am at 9:22 am #209992
Maybe just because it doesn’t really affect me, but this seems like a non-issue and a waste of time. Are any of you more likely to call the cops on a panhandler if he’s standing within 25 feet of an ATM instead of within 20 feet? Are the panhandlers even going to get the memo and move the 5 extra feet?
Maybe all these people should pool their efforts into something worthwhile like raising 1.2 million dollars to remove a dam so people stop dying in the river. Or pay the panhandlers to monitor the dam so people don’t die.June 18, 2008 9:26 am at 9:26 am #209993
Motorist wrote Maybe just because it doesn’t really affect me, but this seems like a non-issue and a waste of time. Are any of you more likely to call the cops on a panhandler if he’s standing within 25 feet of an ATM instead of within 20 feet? Are the panhandlers even going to get the memo and move the 5 extra feet?
Maybe all these people should pool their efforts into something worthwhile like raising 1.2 million dollars to remove a dam so people stop dying in the river. Or pay the panhandlers to monitor the dam so people don’t die.
I want to know more about these so-called dam killings.June 18, 2008 9:28 am at 9:28 am #209994
We want empty-nesters to buy these high end condos……do you think they want to be harrassed by panhandlers everytime they walk down to the Short North for dinner?
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