Dayton panhandler law- it’ll cost us.

With a serious shortage of police on the street, no new hires in sight, we’re going to make holding a sign up on the corner illegal? Really?

Besides the slight problem with the U.S. constitutional protection of free speech, the city is going to “fine” or “incarcerate” panhandlers? Why not just give them minimum-wage jobs cutting grass on vacant lots instead? Between the wasting of time of valuable police officers making- oh around $30 an hour, and the cost of paperwork, court time, jail- the fines that will be levied and not collected…

Only from the wizards the citizens of Dayton elect:

Dayton’s new ordinance, which could be voted on next Wednesday, would require a soliciting permit to hold any sign asking for money, just as a panhandling permit is currently required to actively ask for money. The new ordinance also would restrict the times, places and manner that a person can hold such a sign.

Cook said the ordinance would make most offenses a fourth-degree misdemeanor.

“It’s an arrestable offense instead of just a ticket, and the maximum penalty is 30 days in jail and a $250 fine,” Cook said. “Because of overcrowding, will they spend serious time in jail? Probably not. But I would like to think the arrests will make a difference (in stopping the cycle).”

via Dayton’s crackdown on panhandlers may intensify.

Free Hugs panhandlers in the Oregon District

Are these criminals? Holding a sign- panhandling?

Laws that can’t be enforced are laws we don’t need. The legal defense on this one, when the ACLU steps in, will cost the city thousands.

Let’s just think about this for a minute- is wearing a shirt that says “I’m homeless please help” illegal too?

Or- holding a sign that says “Free hugs*” in big type- with smaller type “*donations appreciated” illegal?

Or, having a bottle of windex- and offering window cleaning- like in LA- for a donation?

Is this the most important thing our city leaders can do?

Too bad you can’t recall them.

Donations still being accepted to the legal fund to challenge the petition process in the charter if you think this kind of legislation is asinine.

The City Commission should only be working on a solution to our safety forces hiring issues right now- and not be allowed to go home until they come up with a solution. We can’t afford to have a city without adequate police protection.

Those pan-handlers sure keep me awake at night- how about you?

 

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39 Responses

  1. Gary June 16, 2011 / 8:27 pm
    The problem with this that I’m hearing is the pandhandlers sometimes go out in the streets and roads to get money from drivers causing risk factors for other motorists and the pandhandlers themselves.  That would cost us, for ambulance services.

    Smackdown!. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 7

  2. bill June 16, 2011 / 10:03 pm
    If you cant enforce laws…then why create them???? Sounds a little hypocritical….much like politics!(just has a funny odor)
    In fact this new “law” smells of politics! LETS ENACT A NEW LAW PROHIBITING PANHANDLING, because it bothers us to look at them, when we stop at the corner of Wayne Ave. and and Keowee St.. Before long we can enact laws to prohibit everything we do not like to see………And imprison all those who fall prey to those laws! And the we can pay for those we have imprisoned, because we don’t want to look at them!!
    Make sense doesn’t it??????
    Lets think i the long term….Atleast the panhandlers are not collecting Unemployment Compensation? Perhaps they are entrepreneurs at the lower level….but not the lowest!
    For those who want to incriminate drugs and panhandling…get your wallets outs. The long term dictates creating jobs and vibrant urban areas….not laws restricting movement or violating basic freedoms.
     

    Smackdown!. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  3. truddick June 16, 2011 / 11:17 pm
    There is the kernel of inspiration in the blog post.  I walked thru Wayne Ave. today and was, as usual, amazed at the amount of trash.  It seems to me that once upon a time, able-bodied people who needed welfare might be put to work sweeping streets and picking up litter.  Why is that not an option today?  Give them work at a fair salary, not a dole, and let’s see if it inspires.

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  4. Gary June 17, 2011 / 12:48 am
    OMG, this past Wednesday’s City Commission meeting almost made me {sic} sick to my stomach, for a couple of reasons: First, the tension in the air was thick enough to cut with a knife, when the Mayor and his wife found a loophole in the Amendment, saying the panhandlers are smart, and have freedom of speech to hold up a sign, as long as they are not soliciting!  Dang, are the beggars now prostitutes standing on the corners, but no, they have to be on the right of way!  I missed who the blond lady was, but as Bill says here, it does appear to be politics as usual …
    The citizen from the Oregon District was the most professional out of all the Commissioners, although Joey usually is quite elegant in his demeanor and speech; but I sensed Nan was upset, uptight and moody, whatever, but;
    The worst of the meeting was watching the BIG (City man?) man sitting back behind the podium trying to hide his iPod with a piece of paper!  We pay him to go to those meetings, and he was clearly laughing at his Internet or whatever he was reading!  He needs to be fired!  That’s our tax money we are paying him to pay attention at the meeting; did anyone else see him?  Is he a City worker?
    But anyway, it was quite nice at the beginning of the meeting to see the first female, White firefighter working on the west side most of her 25 years, was well deserving of her award.  But the fat man made me [sic] sick, I’m sorry but it’s not fair to us!

    Smackdown!. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

  5. Alex June 17, 2011 / 5:19 am
    David, I personally am not against the new measures.

    As an Oregon District employee 4 nights a week, I can’t quantify how often I hear complaints, or personally have to run off aggressive panhandlers harassing my customers for money/beer/cigarettes at my patio or front door, or even attempting to walk inside when my back is turned to ask people who are just trying to enjoy a meal and a beer.  In years past it was a minor nuisance, but in recent months, panhandling has reached a point where it is out of control, and I believe it has become detrimental to our business and to the Oregon District/Downtown Businesses as a whole.

    Just as an example, this last tuesday night, a group of ladies in their early 20’s asked me if a member of staff could walk them to their vehicles to avoid a certain panhandler who was being overly aggressive in their eyes.  Was he likely to do anything to them?  No, I’ve seen him around for years.  Do those girls know that?  Absolutely not.  And will they consider their experience with him the next time they decide where to go on their next night out?  I can guarantee you they will.

    Do I really think the laws will have teeth, probably not.  Would hiring more police help.  Absolutely.  Is that likely?  You tell me.  But in the meantime, should we sit idly by and let an obvious problem continue merely because you don’t think it’s “enforceable” or because hiring more police is the only means to the end?  Absolutely not.

    If anything, the law will allow me some sort of threat when attempting to keep them from harassing my patrons.
    We have a hard enough time combating the whole “downtown is dangerous” stigma while battling our competitors in the suburbs.   And lets be honest with ourselves, as much as I despise the Greene, I’ve never once heard of someone being hassled and intimidated into giving money to someone.

    Well-loved. Brilliant: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 2

  6. Deborah Cool-Llorens June 17, 2011 / 9:30 am
    David,
    I’m curious to know what your response or suggestion would be to business owners and Dayton citizens who have legitimate complaints about the panhandlers. I agree that it is not the most important item that the city needs to face.  However, it is a concern that is brought to City Hall.  If you were a commissioner, what would be your response?

    Respectfully,

    Deborah Cool-Llorens

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  7. David Lauri June 17, 2011 / 9:41 am
    I was on vacation in Puerto Rico earlier this year and spent part of my time in Ocean Park, outside San Juan. There were police everywhere, cruising the streets but also walking the beat. The guy who owned the house my friends and I rented told us that there’d been a perceived crime problem in Ocean Park and so the powers that be, wanting to preserve it as a tourist destination, invested heavily in upping the police presence. My friends and I didn’t encounter any panhandlers while in Ocean Park.
     
    Was it because there was a law targeting panhandlers, or was it because of the heavy police presence? Somehow I think if there’s only been a law against panhandling with no one to enforce it, it wouldn’t have made a difference. And even if there was no law against panhandling but there were enough police around to make people feel safe, the lack of a panhandling law wouldn’t matter.
     
    It’s a shame downtown Dayton no longer has the horse patrols. That was kind of a nice touristy attraction but more importantly a way to make sure Dayton’s finest were visible downtown.

    Well-loved. Brilliant: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 4

  8. David Esrati June 17, 2011 / 10:30 am

    @Alex and Deborah- there already are pan-handling laws on the books. This is to add the it’s illegal to have a sign.

    As part of the current pan-handling ordinance- you must have a permit. You cannot ask for money- talk to people- approach them- so Alex- the simple answer is- your issues should be addressed with the current ordinance- and, or other laws-such as menacing.

    The idea of banning signs is just looney.

    Instead- we could establish a day labor depot- where people register for day work- what they can do- and a rate they are willing to work for. Minimum wage and up.  They would show up for work at the day labor pool- and wait for people to come hire them for things like yard work, trash pickup, manual labor, demolition, house cleaning etc-

    You would be able to rate their work- upon return. We could even collect legal wages- Social Security, City tax etc- and pay them above board. We would even accept illegal aliens- no questions asked-

    If they are indeed incapable of working- as the guy in the “fake wheelchair” according to someone on my facebook post of this page- you put them in charge of answering the phones at the labor pool- or doing paperwork.

    Every day- the city would spend X dollars hiring out of this pool- for doing things like vacant land management- picking up trash along roadways, etc. It is cheaper to put them to work than it is to try to arrest and prosecute and process paperwork- with no chance of collecting a fine.

    This depot could also be used as a community service location for restitution- with the people convicted of crimes and sentenced to community service to report here.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  9. Gary June 17, 2011 / 10:58 am
    Great idea David, but will they go to this depot; make it a law that they must, or they can rot in jail.  One such pandhandler was shot recently!  And also remember, pay your water bill or you will receive 2 in the mail, :-).  There is already a Labor World on Salem, looks barren whenever I drive by it.  People are just lazy, mentally ill and/or giving up it seems … Many people are recycling though, which is a good thing.  Adopt a highway is working.
    Habitat for Humanity just got robbed.
    What happened to cops on bikes, bikes don’t leave shit like the horses?

    Well-loved. Brilliant: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

  10. Alex June 17, 2011 / 12:39 pm
    @David – I was speaking more towards Karl Williamson’s idea of outright making panhandling illegal.  I guess I should have directed it towards that.

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  11. Hall June 17, 2011 / 2:16 pm
    “If you cant enforce laws…then why create them?”

    That’s not the governing body’s “problem” to enforce the laws. They can claim they “listened” to their constituents or are “cleaning up the city”, etc, etc. When nothing’s done, they point their finger at the police. In this scenario and similar ones, the hypocrisy is council is the one that votes to cut spending of the police force, who “can’t” enforce this law. If they DO enforce it, their priorities are out of place !!
     

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  12. Gary Leitzell June 17, 2011 / 3:04 pm

    David,

    The current ordinance reads

    Sec. 137.14. – Definitions Panhandling, for the purpose of this chapter, shall mean to beg, ask, or solicit personal financial assistance to obtain an immediate donation of money or other item having value. Purchase of an item for an amount far exceeding its value, under circumstances where a reasonable person would understand that the purchase is in substance a donation, is a donation for the purpose of this chapter. Panhandling does not include passively standing or sitting with a sign or other indication that one is seeking donations, without addressing any solicitation to any specific person other than in response to an inquiry by that person.
    (Ord. 28432, passed 11-13-91; Am. Ord. 29896-00, passed 12-27-00)

    Sec. 137.16. – Place of panhandling.
    No person shall panhandle by soliciting a person in any of the following places:
    (A)At any bus stop;
    (B)In any public transportation vehicle or facility;
    (C)In any vehicle within the public right-of-way;
    (D)Within 20 feet of any entrance or exit of any bank, savings and loan association, credit union, or check cashing business during its business hours or within 20 feet of any automated teller machine during the time it is available for customers’ use;
    (E)In or at any sports stadium owned or operated by a political subdivision;
    (F)In or at any hall or theater owned or operated by a political subdivision;
    (G)In or at the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park;
    (H)In or at the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center;
    (I)On private property, unless the panhandler has permission from the owner or occupant.

    Then there are sections on manner of panhandling and registration requirements and penalties.

    The new ordinance reads
    Sec.137.14 Definitions
    (A) “Solicit,” for the purposes of this chapter, shall include, without limitation, the spoken, written or printed word or such other acts or bodily gestures as are conducted in furtherance of the purposes of immediately obtaining money or any other thing of value.
    (B) “Right-of-Way”, as used in this chapter shall have the same meaning as in O.R.C. Section 4511.01 (UU)

    The rest of the new ordinance is almost identical to the original one except that the word panhandle has been changed to solicit and one item was removed under section 137.17 manner of soliciting. You can view current ordinance here

    http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientID=13723&stateID=35&statename=Ohio

    and search “section 137”. The new ordinance is here under item #5

    http://www.cityofdayton.org/cco/Commission%20Agendas/2011/06-15-11%20Agenda.pdf
    This new law does not stop people from standing on the sidewalk soliciting pedestrians. It will prevent them from standing in the median with a sign soliciting donations from cars though. It won’t prevent street entertainers from performing for cash (as long as they have a permit), it won’t prevent non-profits from soliciting on private property with permission. This is an effort to contain a problem that has gotten out of hand and tarnishes the image of our city. Every day, in rain, sun or snow, when you exit a major road you are greeted by someone declaring that they need your money. Most of these people are part of a ring that is exploiting the generosity of mostly young people, poor people and caregivers. This is their daily job. They don’t have to pay taxes on this money because they are not providing work for it. Like I stated at the commission meeting, these people are actually very smart. Cunning would be a better word. They have found a legal way to exploit our existing panhandler law, make a career out of it AND not have to pay any taxes on the income. They have pushed their ability to a limit that citizens will no longer tolerate so we have to push our envelope back without actually denying freedom of speech.
    Will this end the problem? Not likely, these people will move to the sidewalks or another area. What will happen though (because Karl Williamson came before us and suggested alternative options), is that we will seriously consider some of those options to further contain the problem and make certain that people who want to give their spare change to the existing social services can do so and know full well that their money is being used to support the people who actually need the support.

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  13. Gary June 17, 2011 / 4:52 pm
    It’s all a scam that Dean Lovelace is doing so he can get the homeless votes for his next and last term, so he can get his city retirement; that’s why he gives the solicitors a buck a day–now through November … :-( He will also ask you to sign himself a receipt, too, for his taxes, and give you free tax service advice … :-)  Sorry Dean ol’ boy, couldn’t resist a joke …

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  14. Brad June 17, 2011 / 6:52 pm
    It is absolutely ridiculous and embarrassing that the first thing people see when they enter downtown Dayton via any major route (75 or 35) is a bunch of homeless guys with signs on the exit ramps.

    “Bringing your suburban family downtown for the Lion King?  Maybe a Dragons game?  Well welcome to Dayton!  Here are our drunk bums!”

    I think the new law is fantastic.  I hope more like it are on the horizon.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  15. Hall June 17, 2011 / 8:13 pm
    137.16, D-H — how did those get included ? I suspect it was before your time Gary, so you likely don’t know. 

    And where is the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center ? Google says it’s in Wilberforce!

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  16. Truth June 17, 2011 / 9:44 pm
    This needs to be looked at as a situation that was brought forth by politicians representing citizens in an effort to clean up the city, not violate civil rights and free speech.
     
    The ordinance is there to keep business owners happy, citizens comfortable, visitors comfortable, and hopefully…enable future businesses the opportunity to hit the city limits looking for their next destination without seeing the less fortunate standing on every corner begging for money.
     
    This problem isn’t just isolated to the city.  It is at any suburb along any interstate.  Huber Heights for example, has a panhandling issue that receives tons of complaints.  Most often, these panhandlers aren’t struggling citizens trying to feed themselves or their families…they are most often drug users from Miami County coming down to join in the lucrative dope trade in the Dayton area.  This detracts from the image and breeds crime.  If they don’t get their money, the decide to go shopping from people’s vehicles in the area…this is easily taken care of with citations, arrests, or a friendly ride elsewhere.
     
    Like it or not.  Deterring panhandling isn’t going to hurt development and the possibility of cleaning something up.. It will only help.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  17. Pat Offenberger June 18, 2011 / 2:25 am
    A “ring of panhandlers?” Really? No, let’s go all out and call them a “panhandler cartel”, that’s much more scary. And guess what Oregon District businesses, face it, the only reason they come to your neighborhood, and ask for money, is because it’s pretty close to where all the services for homeless are. Panhandlers at the Greene? I doubt many of the homeless have cars to drive there, if they do, they’re using them as their home.
    Do we have the resources to arrest and incarcerate those found in violation of this new and improved law? Nope! A little hint to the mayor and commission, passing a law does not end a problem. People break laws daily. Homeless people don’t have the cash to pay fines, we don’t have the cash to incarcerate them in lieu of the fines. Matter of fact, this law, if enforced, likely will add to the problem come winter, which is worse, freezing on the street while starving, or violating the “law” and getting “3 hots and a cot?”
    And I agree, it is an issue that needs dealt with, I carry those nifty packages of tuna salad and crackers in my truck while on the road, and have handed them to people in other cities holding signs saying “homeless and hungry, any help is appreciated.” And saw the tuna salad thrown away as I drove off. I’ve been hit up for money to buy McDonald’s while at the BP on South Main, and offered to take them across the street to the location and buy them a meal. And got a very angry homeless person quickly tell me they just needed the money, they didn’t want me to buy them a meal.
    I did have a positive experience a few years back down at “Chicken Louie’s”, when a young (to me anyway) asked me to buy him something to eat while I was inside, as the management refused entry to panhandlers. I came back out with a 3 piece dinner and drink for the young man, was told “God bless you” by the young man, who immediately sat on the curb and dove into his meal.
    Maybe I’m jaded, but I was taught as a child to offer kindness instead of rude behavior to all you encounter in life, you never know, that person who asked for small change or a few dollars might just be God testing you. I’m sure some of you recall the scripture where Jesus said “whatever you do for the least of people, you do for me” (slightly paraphrased for this life long Catholic, who grew up in days my church didn’t encourage the laity to actually read the Bible).
    But what the hell, pass the law, I could be wrong, it may work like a charm. If it does, maybe you could pass a law forbidding people from killing other people, let’s legislate that tiny issue away. Oh, they already have a law against that? Well, it ain’t working very well in my opinion.

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  18. David Esrati June 18, 2011 / 7:51 am

    And as predicted- the ACLU will fight this law- and we will spend tens of thousands of dollars on a legal fight (or more) on a lawsuit that we may possibly win- but still end up with more people in jail (which costs us too- see Pat’s comments above)

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/dayton-news/panhandling-proposal-blasted-1187821.html

    “The First Amendment protects all peoples’ right to speak, or hold a sign, and that includes asking for money,” said Christine Link, executive director of the ACLU of Ohio. “This is a transparent attempt to backdoor restrictions on the free speech rights of the poorest people in Dayton.”

    and later

    “This is way, way over the line,” Link said. “We’re hoping (the city) doesn’t do this so we don’t end up in federal court.”

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  19. David Lauri June 18, 2011 / 11:03 am
    Thanks, Pat Offenberger, for reminding us of “the scripture where Jesus said ‘whatever you do for the least of people, you do for me'” (for those who want to read that verse in context, you’ll find it in Matthew 25:31-46).
     
    It always amazes me how many people want to say, on the one hand, that America is a Christian nation but also say, on the other hand, that we’re not responsible for the well-being of our neighbors.
     
    On Facebook just the other week someone said to me, ” i myself am a christian and i hold my religion dear to my heart and i do love my fellow neigbor but no were in the bible does it say give my belongings to my neighbor.” The person who said that was ignorant of the Bible which forms the basis of the religion he professes. That person, surprisingly, didn’t know about Luke 12:33, “Sell your possessions and give to the poor,” (also in Matthew 19:21, Acts 2:45 and 1 Timothy 6:18).
     
    The teaching to care for those among us who are worse off is not limited to Christianity. For example, the 19th century Hindu guru Swami Vivekananda said, “He who has served and helped one poor man seeing Siva in him, without thinking of his cast, creed, or race, or anything, with him Siva is more pleased than with the man who sees Him only in temples.” Interesting, isn’t it, how both Jesus and Siva are hanging out amongst us in the guise of the poor?
     
    That doesn’t mean that Jesus or Shiva or your deity of choice commands us to tolerate aggressive panhandlers, but those of us who claim to follow one of these teachers would do well to consider the difference between, for example, people who come up to people at ATMs asking for money and people who simply stand on street corners holding signs.
     

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  20. truddick June 18, 2011 / 11:33 am
    David, I’m not particularly influenced one way or another by scripture.  In other parts of the Bible it says you can beat your slaves so long as they don’t die immediately.

    My considered opinion is that charity has been tried for millenia.  Jews, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Confucians are encouraged to be charitable in their scriptures.  In the end, it doesn’t work; the people who are poor today are still poor tomorrow.  Moreover, it facilitates fraud, from the high-end charity that uses a big chunk of its funds to overpaying administrators, to the fake fireman at a street festival collecting money in a Wellington “for 9/11” which he later will put into his own bank account.

    That’s not to say that, given current conditions, I am never donating to anyone; however I weigh requests for charity carefully and try to avoid any that will fail to keep their promises (like United Way or WYSO have done) and I try to select causes that are rather successful and necessary under current conditions–Daybreak is a long-term favorite in that regard.

    Therefore I think the real solution to panhandling is this: nobody gives cash to anyone, and nobody gives to individuals but instead only to registered, established organizations that can be checked out.

    Iin the long run, if we want to give real, fair service to the poor and needy and reduce or eliminate poverty, I prefer government programs.  I prefer them because (a) participation isn’t voluntary–everybody is expected to pull the same weight (b) they are free from religious proselytization–a genuinely needy person ought not have to enter a house or worship, be exposed to dogma, nor hear sanctimonious speech in order to get help (c) government programs are better at screening out those who aren’t really needy (d) public programs have public records, making it easier to investigate mismanagement and fraud.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  21. Dad June 18, 2011 / 3:00 pm
    One of my favorite series of articles in Celina was when a woman came into The Daily Standard to complain that he husband was dying of a heart condition and the county welfare department and the Heart Fund would do nothing to help. I contacted the Heart Fund’s local leaders and they told me that the fund existed to “educate” the public about heart problems, not to help patients.
    The next day, a delegation of Heart Fund officials flew into the tiny Mercer County airport to complain about me to my boss. But they did not know Parker Riley Snyder, who bluntly asked them who paid for the plane they had come in and what they had done for heart patients. The more Parker heard, the less he liked the Heart Fund. When the bigwigs let, he ordered a series of articles on all the charities in the Mercer County United Fund. The Cancer Society was just like the Heart Fund, although they had ladies who made bandages. Also worthless were the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. Surprising us all was the Salvation Army, ostensibly a Protestant charity, which was run locally by a Roman Catholic woman who helped all comers in every way possible.
    I never gave a dime to the Heart Fund after that (I’ve had two heart attacks and have congestive heart failure).
     

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  22. Hall June 18, 2011 / 4:05 pm
    “…and have handed them to people in other cities holding signs saying “homeless and hungry, any help is appreciated.” And saw the tuna salad thrown away as I drove off.”

    Hmmm, I think that would tempt me to make up my own sign that says “Don’t give him anything. I gave him food and he threw it away. He only wants cash. What will he do with it? You decide. Not buy food, I’ll bet…” and stand near him.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  23. Civil Servants Are People, Too June 18, 2011 / 6:41 pm
    This is an issue in every big city, and now spreading to smaller ones, too.    While there is probably some people with a legitimate need, most seem to be simply finding the easiest possible way to make money – just asking for it.
     
     
    We already have temp agencies.   We have job training programs.   We have loans and grants for education.   We have programs for veterans.   We have credit unions and savings banks.    We have social services and homeless shelters.   We have churches and charities.
     
     
    Are you telling me that the majority of the panhandlers are truly just down on their luck with no way out?    Doubtful.   Offer them a hand up, rather than a hand out.
     
     
    Dayton absolutely should crack down on this behavior.     None of our suburban communities would tolerate it.    Private property owners (like the GREENE) would not tolerate it.    Why should Dayton?
     
     
     
     

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  24. David Esrati June 18, 2011 / 6:55 pm

    To all of you- today I saw the panhandle brigade in action at Keowee and Wayne- 3 sitting in the shade- one with the sign. They were taking turns. One guy jumped in a truck- a landscapers- I overheard “Want to work today”- as they drove off- the ones on the stoop seemed ticked that I’d taken a picture as the guy jumped in the pickup.

    I’m not saying that panhandling isn’t bogus- what I was warning about was the law won’t solve the problem- and this version will cost us in court.

    Put together a day labor pool- and hand out cards to the public to hand to the panhandlers with the info on how to get there. You sell the cards to the public for $1 a piece- and when the bums show up at the panhandling station- they get the buck- when they go out to work.

    If it bugs you that much- and you want to provide charity- would you buy $20 worth to hand out? Is this a better solution than trying to arrest, ticket, fine them? And- let’s not forget- when you start making laws about signs- next- you won’t be able to hold a sign saying “end the war” or “the end of the world is coming” and then what?

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  25. Will Brooks June 19, 2011 / 9:06 am
    @David – at least what you are offering is a step or two towards a solution w/o expanding government powers in a likely unconstitutional manner.
     
     

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  26. David Lauri June 20, 2011 / 9:48 am
    truddick says, “David, I’m not particularly influenced one way or another by scripture.  In other parts of the Bible it says you can beat your slaves so long as they don’t die immediately.”
     
    I’m perfectly fine with people not being influenced by scripture.  I’m not one to advocate for theocracy.  I do think many religious people are hypocritical, however.
     
    You might call me hypocritical if you say I believe in Matthew 25:31-46 but not in Exodus 21:20-21 (that’s your rule about how hard you may beat your slaves), but I’m not a Biblical literalist nor someone who believes Christianity is the only way.  Yep, I pick and choose.  I believe God is Still Speaking (a clever motto of my denomination, the United Church of Christ).  I don’t believe an omnipotent omniscient God dictated the Bible in King James English to scribes.  Rather I believe people create God, which is why God is still speaking.  Might make more sense if we didn’t use the label “God” but rather something like “the Divine” to describe that connectedness between people.
     
    So for those who find no value whatsoever in organized religion or in Christianity in particular, great.  Do what works for you.  However, if one professes to be a follower of Jesus and then picks and chooses Jesus’s difficult words (such as those above but there are plenty more), perhaps one shouldn’t be a follower of Jesus after all.

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  27. Pat Offenberger June 20, 2011 / 3:48 pm
    I know full well there are some who panhandle for a living, and do quite well. They’re not homeless, they just refuse to get a job. Though, standing along the road somewhere for 8 hours a day likely seems like a job.
    I personally thought the first law, creating a “license”, was stupid, and feel this one is as well. I see panhandlers nationwide holding signs asking for help, usually along streets, at intersections. Up in Detroit, at the final intersection before you enter “duty free” and the bridge entrance, they’re working all 4 sides of the intersection. If you choose to give, fine, if not, no big deal. And I’d wager someone living on the streets of Detroit would be a lot more aggressive in “asking” than here in Dayton.
    Do they make some people feel threatened? I’m sure that’s some folks perception. I’d say it’s also a little feeling of shame that our society has people unable to take care of themselves, either through lack of employment, through addictions, or mental illness, or simply not wanting to work to provide for one’s self.
    I still say, it’s impossible to legislate behavior. This revised law is simply a “feel good” law, meant to appease some residents and business owners. Enforcement of it will take away funds for real criminal acts, at a time when the system is severely underfunded. We don’t have empty cells to jail violators, hell, they release non-violent offenders all the time for lack of space.

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  28. David Lauri July 3, 2011 / 2:02 pm
    Yesterday’s Dayton Daily News features an article titled “Repeated arrests don’t stop prostitutes“:

    Local authorities have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in the last five years jailing the same prostitutes again and again while making minimal gains against street-level prostitution, a Dayton Daily News investigation has found.
    The expensive merry-go-round is causing some judges and elected officials to encourage police to be more aggressive in going after the men who are buying sex.

     
    Interesting parallels between prostitution and panhandling.
     
    Of course with prostitution, the whole problem would go away if it were legalized and regulated (and taxed). Don’t want hookers on the street? Let them work in brothels. Or we can continue to waste money trying to stop it, which seems to be working as well as outlawing alcohol did and as outlawing marijuana does.

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  29. Ice Bandit July 3, 2011 / 10:19 pm
    Of course with prostitution, the whole problem would go away if it were legalized and regulated (and taxed). Don’t want hookers on the street? Let them work in brothels. (David Lauri)
     
    …problem? What problem, dear DL? Two adults entering a voluntary agreement for a service for a predetermined price doesn’t sound problematic, merely nuts-and-bolts (bad pun intended) capitalism. Of course, it wouldn’t be Esrati.com unless there was a call for regulation and taxation, even for streetwalkers. Furthermore, where are these houses-that-ain’t-exactly homes going to be located? South Park? Oregon District? Perhaps the city fathers of Oakwood, who have seen their nursing home boom go bust with the abolition of Ohio’s Death Tax, will give granny the heave-ho and turn those “assisted living centers” into revenue generating cathouses. Methinks, dear DL, that the working gals wouldn’t be the best tax source since most of them are low on accounting skills and prone to spend every last peso on drugs. Nah, DL, we don’t want to add tax collection to the gals duties. And we don’t want their customers to get screwed twice….

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  30. David Esrati July 3, 2011 / 10:29 pm

    Awe, Ice- don’t lie- I know you used to frequent the old “Charlies Angel’s” on N. Dixie back in the day.

    We’ve torn down a few hotels that could have made a good business as a house of heavenly delights.

    Frankly, this country is in the stone ages when it comes to prostitution and judging by the article the David L. linked to- we’re wasting a lot of energy on the low level stupid hookers- while the big money ones are all using the internets to offer “Girl Friend Experiences”- at a much higher rate.

    Street walkers in this country are the equivalent of the lottery- a tax on stupid people. Unfortunately- this “enforcement” costs us all- and the public health risk is high. Better to learn from Nevada- and regulate and tax it.

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  31. Ice Bandit July 4, 2011 / 7:15 am
    Awe, Ice- don’t lie- I know you used to frequent the old “Charlies Angel’s” on N. Dixie back in the day. (David Esrati)
     
    …hmmm. Charlie’s Angels on North Dixie? Back in the day? Why, of course, dear David, the recollection comes vividly. Charlies Angels were those five novice Nuns from the Sisters of Charity under the stewardship of Father Charles from Queen of Martyrs Church off the Dixie Strip (bad pun intended). Yes, the Old Bandito met with the Sisters from prayer, vespers and activism, including picketing a particularly pernicious  massage parlor near the Traffic Circle. The Sisters’ goal was to take hookers off the street. However, the Old Bandito misunderstood the directive, and took working girls off the street several times a week….

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  32. David Lauri December 4, 2011 / 7:42 pm
    Via Andrew Sullivan I came across a blog post by Dan Ariely, entitled “Can beggars be choosers?,” that tells of an experiment in the best ways to beg for change:

    Daniel got to work, scrounging for money. He stayed on his corner for a while, trying the different approaches. And it turned out that both his position and his eye contact did, in fact, make a difference. He made more money when he was standing and when he looked people in the eyes. It seemed that the most lucrative strategy was to put in more effort, to get people to notice him, and to look them in the eyes so that they could not pretend to not see him.

     
    The comments on the blog post are interesting as well.

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  33. Gary December 4, 2011 / 7:53 pm
    I can think of a better method dear David (also a very good writer). If I was a voluptuous woman with great legs, I’d stand on the corner flashing my stuff and earn a million in one day! If only, but I like being a man much better!  :-)

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  34. Bubba Jones December 7, 2011 / 6:09 pm
    >>> If I was a voluptuous woman with great legs, I’d stand on the corner flashing my stuff and earn a million in one day! <<< – Gary
     
    Gary – you a such a slut!!
     
    (hopefully this post is not against DE’s “no name calling rules”!!)

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  35. gary December 7, 2011 / 9:00 pm
    Thanks for the comment Bubba, but it was only a joke, guess you did not get it; nor can you write a complete sentence … Please go back to third grade.  Or were you joking, too?
    The pandhandlers are still around, saw one at Colonel Glen Highway and the exit ramp by Grange Hall.  It’s a really sad world anymore, especially in the eastern countries …
    God help us if you can hear us–all people want to do anymore is bicker and complain, kill and ridicule one another.

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  36. friend January 10, 2012 / 7:42 am
    I am one that thinks our justice systems in better words is bad for this i know some of the people holding the signs are not in need as others and ill get to that.  the people out there are not safe and are in danger for one and the fact that dayton has put the need for police in the lowest part in there mind. if you have been watching the new there are people getting attacked and killed by the public everywhere in the usa. i think dayton could have done better in this but no fines for those need help that will hurt them more, dayton could offer a ride to a homeless shelter st. vincent hotel is one. and i want to put this in there they need all the help they can get they do so many great things for people in need.

    bottom line no they should not be out there and services that help with open arms help get them a place and dishes and help in putting their lives back they need them too be
     

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  37. Gary January 10, 2012 / 8:08 am
    @ friend–the bottom line is–do they really want help? Do they want to help themselves? Can we help them? I think we can, Mother Teresa did! Some panhandlers may have mental health issues, too, and many of those folks don’t get help, sadly, because they don’t want it!

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  38. Capie4 February 8, 2016 / 7:36 pm
    Some of you are suggesting that these people be offered minimum wage to pick up trash. ALOT of these people are suffering from disorders that are very, very mild yet very, very devastating as non-sufferers ONLY believe what they see: A shiny, brand new Cadillac that is alllll theirs…and when they get in, they get frustrated that it does not get the 0-60 in 21 seconds. They only see a Cadillac that looks like a Cadillac, almost sounds like a Cadillac, smells like a Cadillac–so it MUST meet the expectations of a Cadillac. Non-sufferers do not imagine to look under the hood to discover that there is a refurbished 1968 Volkswagen Beetle-Bug engine running the car.
    They ONLY see a Cadillac–and MUST expect the ten-fingers and ten-toes human to meet their expectations. No difference.
    Most of these peoples handicap is not just in their performance, but of what others expect of them that is not reality.
    So they panhandle because they keep being fired for not meeting others’ expectations that are not reality–only the norm.
    These suffers are tired, demoralized, and self-depreciating because they really want to please, but the handicap of others is destroying their worth.

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