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Archive for Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Proposed ban on panhandling protested

A ban against panhandlers in downtown Lawrence faced opposition Tuesday from street musicians who claim it violates freedom of expression.

November 18, 2009

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Talk of a crackdown on panhandling in downtown brought out protesters to City Hall on Tuesday.

A group of about 30 street musicians, panhandlers and their fans held a brief rally in front of Lawrence City Hall in an effort to convince commissioners to drop any ideas of a complete ban on panhandling in downtown.

Commissioner Aron Cromwell last month brought up the idea of a total panhandling ban for downtown, although he said street musicians likely would be allowed to apply for a city license. But commissioners have not taken any steps to enact such a ban. Instead, commissioners directed staff members to research the issue and its constitutionality.

Protesters — some who held signs that read “Don’t take away choice” — said they wanted to make their opposition to the idea known early.

“There is absolutely nothing wrong with someone asking for help,” said Nicole Manriquez, an organizer of the protest.

Manriquez and other protesters said they supported the city’s current ban on aggressive panhandling, and believed greater police presence would address most of the concerns surrounding panhandling.

Comments

nbnozzy 5 years, 1 month ago

For the good of the community.... ban panhandling. B'sides, the Obama administration needs your pocket change more.

John Hamm 5 years, 1 month ago

No, I need the pocket change more - thanks to the Obama administration.....

Alyosha 5 years, 1 month ago

"Then [Jesus] will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least among you, you did not do for me.'"

Matthew 25:41-45


"There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land."

Deuteronomy 15:11

januarygirl 5 years, 1 month ago

alyosha, GOD ALSO SAID "" God helps those who help themselves."

Boeing 5 years, 1 month ago

“There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.”


It's one thing to help people in need. It's another thing to get accosted by people on the street when you are just trying to get some dinner or do some shopping. I don't think The Bible thought of that one...

Stuart Evans 5 years, 1 month ago

Alyosha.. have you asked any of these strangers into your home? If not, is it that you don't have enough room, enough food, are you scared that they'll steal from you? Your god should be able to handle those problems for you. just pray a little more.

dinglesmith 5 years, 1 month ago

'god also said “God helps those who help themselves.”'

If you are referring to the Bible as the word of God, then God in fact did not say this. It's not in there.

walkthehawk 5 years, 1 month ago

Would there be an exception for Dan Kozak? His music is for everyone, and he's out there with more regularity than the postal service. He is truly a Lawrence fixture--evening walks on mass st. would not be the same without the "sax man."

Deb Stavin 5 years, 1 month ago

I personally have never had a problem with panhandlers. I smile and say hello and tell them I don't have any spare cash. I've never been accosted or threatened by any of these people. My own experience has been that if you don't treat them like garbage, they won't treat you like garbage.

chargdup 5 years, 1 month ago

januarygirl: That is incorrect. It's a common fallacy that that phrase is found in the bible. However, that isn't found anywhere in the bible.

promitida 5 years, 1 month ago

Healthcare Moocher:

Did you just compare human beings to COCKROACHES? You should be ashamed of yourself. I wish there was a surefire way to rid the community of hateful people.

monkeyhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

I hired someone from SA to do some work for me. He was polite, a hard worker and appreciative. Eventually, he was able to get a place to live and about a year later, I saw him at WalMart getting into his "ride". It was a very old, beat up station wagon, but he was so proud of it, you would have thought it was a Mercedes. He actually had a confident air about him that he had managed to change his situation.

I have the feeling if my "friend" had been enabled at the wet shelter, he may not have found his way back.

Fixed_Asset 5 years, 1 month ago

I believe the bible says something about how we treat the least of us, is how we treat God. Something to think about for all you christians.

Lenette Hamm 5 years, 1 month ago

Asking for help is one thing ~ through proper channels. Playing music on the sidewalks of downtown anywhere isn't what I'd consider "panhandling". Having some guy on a bike soliciting money for a "bus ticket" in various parking lots across town, or the folks that have "lived" in Lawrence (aka LSC guests) for years damn near accosting unsuspecting victims for "coffee" money is assuredly something that needs to be stopped.

Jean1183 5 years, 1 month ago

The Bible does say that if a man does not work, he should not eat.

Vic 5 years, 1 month ago

The Bible asks us to help those who need help and who can't do so for themselves. There is a big difference in helping the helpless and giving money to the lazy. I will give to the truly needy rather than those who are too drunk or too stoned to go out and get a real job.

letsgetwise 5 years, 1 month ago

dstavin: I have never treated anyone like garbage, and panhandling as a job substitute is annoying at least. My teenage sons were meeting to teenage girls for wings one early evening downtown and were, I WILL use the word, confronted, by a panhandler who threatened the girls if the the guys did not cough up some money. Yes, I know that is "aggressive" panhandling, but it should never have happened in the first place. I have no problem helping people, and this is a complex problem, but as in most scenarios, the rotten apples spoil it for all concerned. There are places to attain help and assistance.

awas1980 5 years, 1 month ago

Dan Kozak is the best. He adds so much to the atmosphere of downtown; it would be sad if they forced him out or restricted his ability to perform on a regular basis.

However, I had someone ask me for "money to get food" and instead I offered to buy them something to eat. This response was not what the individual had in mind, and I was told to "go f___ myself."

This experience has hardened me to the plight of the down(town) and out.

the_captain 5 years, 1 month ago

These street people are only doing what comes naturally in Lawrence. They have come there in response to the nationally known center of liberal permissiveness and if they are KU students, are only fulfilling the ideals that are being taught there. Lawrence, you are only reaping what has been sewn in your community for generations. This culture is the result of liberal attitudes that have always existed at KU to defend and support those who are different from you, even if what they do offends you. The fault lies with those who permitted it in the first place. Now you will have to live with it or have a war of sorts to change it. Down with political correctness.

Conor Brown 5 years, 1 month ago

I do not support handing out more freebies anymore than any of you partisans. However, telling everyone to "go get a job" and calling for more bans is really not helping the situation, and I think most everyone knows that. What the city really needs to do is leave people alone when they build encampments! For God's sake, in the woods near the river, people had built livable structures, with heat, in the woods near Lawrence. Letting this happen is not enabling, it is allowing for a little bit of autonomy. When the city bulldozed this settlement, it became obvious to me that the homeless population is just a disposable variable to them. How often has KU or the Oread neighborhood been shutdown because of a drug or alcohol related death?

p.s. There is something ironic about a bunch of people who spend good portions of their day commenting on news stories online telling people to get to work!

MrShades 5 years, 1 month ago

Sorry, January. That was Ben Franklin. A cool dude, but not God.

Alyosha 5 years, 1 month ago

Jesus said "I was ... in prison and you did not look after me." Clearly he did not differentiate between those who somehow "deserved" their fate, through their own actions, and those who didn't.

It does not matter the how or the why of someone's circumstances.

It's quite simple: as you treat those panhandling on the streets of Lawrence, so you are treating Jesus.

LoveThsLife 5 years, 1 month ago

I have no problem with street musicians playing their instruments, we had them in Virginia Beach, it was really neat. However, I do have a problem with people asking for money whenever you walk down Mass St.

50YearResident 5 years, 1 month ago

Is Aloyosha calling Jesus a panhandler too?

promitida 5 years, 1 month ago

Yes Moocher, "Loosers" are a real problem around here...just what are they "loosing" upon us?

bwebcorp 5 years, 1 month ago

If a conservative doesn't like guns, he doesn`t buy one. Instead he will support groups that want to deregulate guns so any wacko in the street can get a bazooka at the drop of a hat.

If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn`t eat meat. He just support subsidizing corporate farms to maximize the most product for the cheapest price. And disbanding of the FDA.

If a conservative is homosexual, he quietly leads his life. He just supports constitutional amendments to ban marriage or any other civil union. He also ends up picking up guys in bathroom in the airport.

If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation. He just supports deregulating the banking industry because who need regulation when you can have derivative default swaps.

If a conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels. He just tries to add laws censoring shows and games that might just be too edgy.

If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church. Instead he forms a group like C Street to attempt to convert everyone in the world to Christianity.

If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it. Until he actually has something major happen to him or he loses his job and the insurance refuses to cover it or reaches his lifetime max and he can no longer get health insurance because of an existing condition. Then he joins the millions saying GIVE US SOME FREAKING INSURANCE!!!!

kugrad 5 years, 1 month ago

A poster wrote ". Jesus turned water into wine for celebration not inebriation." It doesn't say that in the Bible. In fact, according to the Bible, the guests had drunk quite a bit of wine before Jesus performed his miracle. Recall the comments about saving the best for last. It never says a word about the wine being "for celebration, not inebriation." This is just your cultural biases guiding your interpretation toward your desired result.

somedude20 5 years, 1 month ago

This is the TRUTH rightists (btw good job bwebcorp)

bwebcorp (Anonymous) says… "If a conservative doesn't like guns, he doesn`t buy one. Instead he will support groups that want to deregulate guns so any wacko in the street can get a bazooka at the drop of a hat.

If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn`t eat meat. He just support subsidizing corporate farms to maximize the most product for the cheapest price. And disbanding of the FDA.

If a conservative is homosexual, he quietly leads his life. He just supports constitutional amendments to ban marriage or any other civil union. He also ends up picking up guys in bathroom in the airport.

If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation. He just supports deregulating the banking industry because who need regulation when you can have derivative default swaps.

If a conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels. He just tries to add laws censoring shows and games that might just be too edgy.

If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church. Instead he forms a group like C Street to attempt to convert everyone in the world to Christianity.

If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it. Until he actually has something major happen to him or he loses his job and the insurance refuses to cover it or reaches his lifetime max and he can no longer get health insurance because of an existing condition. Then he joins the millions saying give us some freaking insurance"

Newell_Post 5 years, 1 month ago

Jesus also said....

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.

-- Matthew 10:34

EXks 5 years, 1 month ago

If Jesus were around today, you wanna be Palinocchio conservative teabaggers would be calling Jesus a socalist or commie

Jim Phillips 5 years, 1 month ago

So, explain something to me. The arts people screamed for years that we needed to spend money for banners and to beautify downtown to attract people into the shops and to "save" the business district. Now you want to allow those who cannot stay clean or sober or practice good personal hygiene to be center stage and accost those same visitors you want to attract? Which do you want?

puddleglum 5 years, 1 month ago

guardian, I want the art part-but I do not want the dirty panhandler part.

and i am a WAY WACKO-left republican boot-licker

monkeyhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

Or maybe you could ask them for some spare change before they have a chance to ask you.

geekin_topekan 5 years, 1 month ago

With all the cuts in educational funds, we're going to need a big homeless shelter and legalized panhandling.

Darwin 5 years, 1 month ago

Hippies and religious fanatics. Gee...don't you just love Lawrence. I remember being a kid and we never had all this BS going on in downtown Lawrence. I'm for freedom of expression and all, but why should 30 protesters decide what's best for all of Lawrence.

boothillbilly 5 years, 1 month ago

If the homeless/panhandlers do not want to work/cannot work, why not put them to work beautifying the city? sweeping streets, picking up garbage, pulling weeds, patching potholes? y'know the stuff the city doesn't do?

Bladerunner 5 years, 1 month ago

The sign in the photo says, "Will play for food...." I say we dump a can of chili in his guitar case!

sustainabilitysister 5 years, 1 month ago

I am really surprised at Mr. Cromwell. I didn't expect this from him and wouldn't have voted for him if I knew he'd be wasting time on taking away first amendment rights.

benanhalt 5 years, 1 month ago

If a reasonable person doesn't like giving money to panhandlers, he says "No" and keeps walking. If a cry baby doesn't want to give money to panhandlers, he cries to the government to ban panhandling.

I guess the so-called nanny state is not so bad when you need someone to hold your hand because you saw a scary hobo downtown.

ScottyMac 5 years, 1 month ago

Pilgrim2 says: "I have a better idea. Offer them money in exchange for real work. Rake the leaves, paint the house...."

I just got back from downtown. Met my wife for a bit of unwind time.

The number of beggars we saw? Zero.

The number of times we saw Pilgrim2 chasing away the non-existent beggars with his non-existent job offers? Zero.

Hudson Luce 5 years, 1 month ago

Here's a compromise: There's this little park north of 6th Street between Massachusetts and Vermont Streets - the one with the cannon in it. I think it's got several park benches, lots of sidewalk space, trees for shade in the summer, grass to sit on, and maybe a drinking fountain. Let the panhandlers and buskers/street musicians hang out there. If people want to hear music and hang out and get spanged, that would be the place to go to, or if they're looking for cheap labor, or whatever. Anywhere else in downtown Lawrence, people doing this without a license from the city would be subject to arrest and confinement in the county jail for a week. The sax player (and others of like talent, with demonstrated artistic ability) could get a license, licensing being contingent on recommendation from at least 20 permanent residents of the City of Lawrence and payment of a yearly license fee of $20.

This should pass scrutiny as a reasonable restriction on time, place, and manner of this kind of activity.

Hudson Luce 5 years, 1 month ago

By the way, the people in the park would be restricted to conducting their activities within the borders of the park, and not on the sidewalk on 6th Street, or within 6 feet of any of the roadways on the sides of the park.

TopJayhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

I have known Dan Kozak for yrs. He is origanally from NY. But did not learn the saxaphone until he moved to Topeka many yrs ago. I think he should be run off because he is a Topeka guy. Just kidding.

TopJayhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

Most homeless folks can help themselves and are just lazy. The Bible does not include lazy folks in it's proclamation. Most of these folks are just lazy. Not deserving of help.

jonas_opines 5 years, 1 month ago

"I guess the so-called nanny state is not so bad when you need someone to hold your hand because you saw a scary hobo downtown."

Haha

jonas_opines 5 years, 1 month ago

"The Bible does not include lazy folks in it's proclamation."

Are you sure? I've heard that all Jesus did on his last day was hang around.

Kris_H 5 years, 1 month ago

Why do folks keep giving the panhandlers money if you don't want them on the streets? Obviously it's working for some of the panhandlers or they wouldn't be there.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Pilgrim,

The Biblical quotations are not exactly promoting "voluntary" actions, if they "command" the followers, and threaten eternal damnation if the commands aren't followed.

And, for those who like to throw the Bible around, we're not a theocracy.

If your religious beliefs lead you to charitable actions, that's great.

If not, that's also part of the diversity of our nation.

geekin_topekan 5 years, 1 month ago

If downtown was not productive for the panhandlers they would not be there. Make it illegal to give. It would affect a larger number of people, people who could/would probably pay the fine which would increase the coffers instead of jailing those who obviously can't pay the fine and thus taking away from the coffer at a rate of $100/day per person. Why are so many people intent on turning toontown into,oh..Ottawa? Instead of enforcing your will upon Lawrence it would be better and cheaper for all if you would just move to Ottawa or Eudora.

rcb187 5 years, 1 month ago

"Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard." (Leviticus 19:27)

"Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones." (Psalms 137:9)

Hooray for out-of-context Bible quotes!!!!

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