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Victor Frost on KMTP Channel 32 Five Day News

Original post made by Judy on Nov 2, 2007

Congratulations to Victor Frost for his appearance on KMTP Channel 32's "Five Day News", a PBS national news program. Victor explained his side of the "sit/lie ordinance", and why he continues to remain sitting across the street from Whole Foods Store. The program showed segments from the City Council debate and also interviewed both police Sgt. Sandra Brown and City Manager Frank Benest about the ordinance.

To my knowledge he is the only candidate running for City Council who has made it onto a national PBS news program.

Comments (30)

Posted by Sparky, a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 2, 2007 at 9:34 pm

Great job Victor, making an name for homelessness and panhandling in Palo Alto. That plus the rapist story - so glad I'm here.

Posted by turtle, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 2, 2007 at 9:48 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by jane, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 3, 2007 at 12:13 am

it is time for this indegent to move on my kids are frankly scared by his being across the road from where we shop i have and will continue to request his removal he is a vagrant in violation of the law next time i willl call the papd and city hall untill he is gone enough is enough

Posted by Ann, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 3, 2007 at 1:33 pm

Jane, I am sorry to hear that you are not teaching your children to be tolerant and respectful about diversity. I is sad to hear that you are raising children to be scared of a people like Victor Frost. He is not an aggressive panhandler, on the contrary, he is a very nice man who has helped in his own way other folks that need help.

Posted by jane, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 3, 2007 at 4:38 pm


I teach my children American values--- E PLURIBUS UNUM---- you may have

heard of it and seen it on every dollar and quarter in your purse.

The great seal of this country states OUT OF THE MANY ONE that's my

approach to diversity. Look where multi cultureism and diversity got

Europe---- EURABIA-- a childless gerontocracy.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by midtown mom, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 3, 2007 at 10:56 pm

I agree that it is WAY past time for Victor Frost to move on! Frankly, I find it outrageous that the police, & city council tolerate the situation. Just WHO is in charge here??? Mr. Frost isn't just panhandling - he is a complete public nusiance. He has, for all intents & purposes, set up shop & office on a public sidewalk. So where is his vendor's license? Do I feel any sympathy for him? Of course...... he obviously has severe mental health issues, or would not be continuting as he does. And he is not helping himself at all, nor is the city for allowing the situation to continue.

This city & area has tremendous resources available for people who TRULY want to come to grips with reality, & do something about their problems. Although he seems to get enormous gratification out of making a public spectacle of himself, he is obviously in need of intesive counseling/guidance. So many of the homeless, & indigent have mental health issues, & they do NOT attempt to so grossly & obnoxiously draw attention to themselves. They are the ones who REALLY need our assistance and concern. Not an freeloader the city is merely enabling. (And how arrogant that he thinks he should be entitled to "organic" foods, & all the other priveledges of WORKING.)

Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 3, 2007 at 11:02 pm

midtown mom, here's a definition of the word "work", for your edification

work |w?rk|
noun 1 activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result

Victor is working...

Posted by midtown mom, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 3, 2007 at 11:20 pm

Mike, your comments are not quite worth a full response.... except to say that if giving you the theatrical "suspension of disbelief," regarding WORKING, my earlier point is certainly verified & reinforced. That is, Mr. Frost must immediately obtain a vendor's license, and begin paying taxes & rent on his space. And while he is at it, he can pay someone who isn't "working" to clean up all the trash he consistently leaves. While you're wasting time making excuses for him (and not REALLY helping him @ all), don't forget to remind him to set up a health care plan for himself. Wonder who paid for his week long stay in the hospital recently?

Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 4, 2007 at 12:52 am

I'm not defending Victor, but he's not breaking any laws. I dare say that most Palo Altans generate far more garbage in a day than Victor does. I frequent Whole Foods (on Homer), and rarely see Victor leave any trash.

As for his vendor's license, he's not selling anything.

As far as helping Victor, who are you - or anyone else - to tell him how to live? Victor isi certainly "different" than most people I know, but I would not classify him as mentally ill.

Typically, when I encounter a homeless person who is asking for money, I find it kind of annoying, but I usually fight the impulse and give them some change, or a dollar. I know that some people object to that, because they think that enables those who are mentally ill, and homeless. I don't know that that's the case.

IN fact, there are a few homeless people that make me downright mad - like the woman who hangs out in front of Whole Foods sometimes, with a sign that says "have cancer, have kids, need help". Well, she's been around for years, and seemingly doing fine. I give her money, anyway.

There's another older woman, who begs for money with her young, 20-something daughter. I find that kind of infuriating, but I give her money.

I've seen people who beg with little kids and pets at their side. I give them money, and point them to child services and food banks. I also call the cops on anyone begging with a kid...that's unforgiveable.

What am I supposed to do, walk past someone like that and not give then a dollar because someone says that they will be made better, and whole, because I (and others) didn't give them any money?

Some people believe that not giving money to the homeless is the best way. I don't agree.

Not all homeless persons are mentally ill, alcoholics, or Vietnam vets suffering from PTSD.

In the Middle Ages, giving alms to the poor was seen as a reminder of how close we all are to poverty.

I don't have any answers to this problem; I don't think anyone does - we all just do our best. I think my dollar helps make the day of someone less fortunate than I - maybe that's misguided, but I don't think so.

Here's a look at Medieval paupers, who, it turns out, could be quite fierce as auxiliary helpers to the Crusaders.
Web Link

from the above link...
"How Did medieval Society React to the Constant Presence of the Paupers ?

"Christians had an obligation to help the poor. Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of my brethren, you have done it to me. The Church administered a 10% tax on Europe's total annual production (the tithe) to help the poor. But many felt that God had made the poor to give them the opportunity to gain merit through charity, so they did not attack causes. Instead, they took refuge behind the scriptural statement that The poor will always be with you. But as population grew in the 11th - 13th century, so too did the number of the poor. By the 1100's, the middle class came to the aid of the Church with added endowments and with the establishment of private and municipal charitable institutions. With the Avignon papacy, however, the Church was no longer capable of adequately assisting the rapidly growing class of indigent, not even, given the break-up of the guilds and rise of capitalism, with the aid of the middle class. By about 1200, the matter had gotten entirely out of control. Many concerned people, both clerics and laity, called for the Church to give up all of its wealth to aid the paupers, but most knew that this would not be a permanent solution. The Christian obligation to care for the poor and the impossibility of doing so adequately was a serious problem in the minds of many, since scripture, particularly Jesus' words in the 25th chapter of the Gospel according to Matthew, emphasized that charity was essential for salvation. The Franciscan movement was at least partly a response to this dilemma, but it was a weak response. In a sense, the message of the Franciscan movement said that being poor was a good thing because the poor were closer to God than the rich. In addition, the early Franciscans brought in troubadour ideals and acted as if Our Lady Poverty should be pursued like a lover pursues his beloved. In a sense, it was a game for many in which they acted out the role of a beggar, but without any real chance of starving. Few stopped to consider that the Franciscans who were wandering around taking odd jobs in exchange for a beggar's crust of bread were also doing the jobs that the beggars might have been able to do and were eating the crusts that real beggars might have eaten."

Posted by trudy, a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 4, 2007 at 6:34 am

I'm baffled by the hostility towards homeless people who are not bothering anyone by aggressive panhandling.

How can someone who probably lives in a monster house, in a household with an income no doubt well in to the six figures, and never has a moment's thought or fear that they might be homeless, hungry, or dependent on charity some day, begrudge someone a few feet of sidewalk space.

When I see a homeless person, I think, there but for the grace of God, go I.

Posted by Judy, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 4, 2007 at 8:34 am

To all those who criticize the City and our Police Department for allowing Victor Frost to remain sitting outside Whole Foods Stores. This was explained in the piece on Channel 32.

Victor is running for a seat on the City Council. As such he is legally allowed to remain because he is advertising his credentials to become a member of the city council. He is allowed to do what any other person running for council can do.

The interesting thing will be after the election next week. If he fails in his bid for elective office, will our sit/lie ordinance be legally binding to force him to stand. The extension of the sit/lie ordinance throughout downtown does not ban people from standing.

Posted by Terry, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 4, 2007 at 10:37 am

Trudy, I don't judge the homeless - I just expect our community to enforce our standards. "Aggressive panhandling" is not something that I want to encourage in my community, especially since allowing it draws other panhandlers and potentially worse.

Having lived through the nightmare of the "squeegee men" in NYC in the 1980s, and the related rise in crime, dirtiness, and decline in quality of life, I don't want to go through it again. Enforcing the laws against petty crimes, including loitering and panhandling, turns out to be a necessary defense against the that slippery slope.

Interesting that you judge the people who object. Hmm...

Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 4, 2007 at 11:44 am

Terry, why are you drawing inacurrate comparisons? Victor is not an "aggressive" panhandler. Thus, your characterization fo Judy's statement is your attempt to create a straw man, to support your argument.

I don't like aggressive panhandling, either. And, I think that we should *firmly* supress anti-social behavior in our city - whether it's the homeless doing it, or not.

I don't like walking through parks that have been soiled by human waste, or having to deal with an unwashed person's fouling up an entire section of the library, or threatening behavior by panhandlers.

I don't like th eidea that certain persons can lie on a public bench, sullying it up with a foul smell, etc. etc.

We need to do something about this, in a humane way, but all of this has *nothing* to do with Voctor's presence in front of Whole Foods.

Posted by Terry, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 4, 2007 at 12:16 pm

Mike, always ready to jump, eh? I misread Trudy's post - I thought she was writing that aggressive panhandling as not a bother. Sorry Trudy!

Posted by Bob, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 4, 2007 at 10:33 pm

Judy: Your understanding of the law is at best rudimentary; mostly inaccurate. What Victor Frost has been doing for several years now is not related to his running for city council - itself a sad event. Or are you, Trudy and Mike going to vote for him? Really people - your PC reactions are clouding your reaching logical, realistic methods for dealing with all kinds of people living in povery. One size knee-jerk reaction just does not fit all.

And Mike, while you are paging through the dictionary, check out the definitions for panhandling and begging. And you completely missed Midtown Mom's point about permanent occupation of a city sidewalk for personal gain.

Midtown Mom - you've hit the nail on the head. Right on! I'd vote for you for city council anyday.

Posted by Ann, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 5, 2007 at 1:04 am

Just a reminder: Panhandling is a constitutional right in America.

Posted by Supporter, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 5, 2007 at 7:36 am

Victor Frost is asking for money to run his campaign for City Council.

Posted by Bob, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 5, 2007 at 8:27 am

Ann, you are also displaying a less than accurate, educated understanding of the law. In fact, that is why numerous cities across the nation are looking @ the abuses of begging.
Clearly, the case of Victor Frost's encampment across from Whole Foods is one of them.

And "supporter" - he is not asking for money for his campaign year round. Read his signs.
And where is your name? Are you embarassed to admit your support? Why? Are you actually going to vote for him? Do you have the courage to admit that his running for city council is a pathetic joke - and everyone knows it? Come on, all you PC cowards, get real. You are not helping Victor Frost. Spend you time & tears where it could actually do some good.

FYI, my last post.

Posted by julie, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 5, 2007 at 10:28 am

The City and people of Palo Alto have been unwittingly enabling Victor
Frosts behavior for years. Where has it got him.

It is time for us to stop enabling and for him to move on.

If we do not start taking action in the "one broken window" philosophy Palo Alto will increasingly turn into a gated community a la wealthy areas in Los Angeles.

Is this what we want? if not we need to clean up the streets particularly University Avenue and the areas around Petes Coffee and Whole Foods

Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 5, 2007 at 11:40 am

julie, at this point, Victor Frost is campaigning for City Council. That is his right. As for the sit'lie ban, when the Council campaign is over, then the law should be applied to Victor, as to anyone else who *consistently* violates that ban.

We must be humane in our treatment of the homeless, but we must find measured ways to insure that the rights of the homeless do not trample on the rights of others.

For instance, it is grossly unfair to merchants who pay a goodly sum for rent in this town to have to endure someone occuying a bench right in front of their store for an entire day - especially if that person is not bathed and is aggressively acting for money from passersby.

Another for instance is pure antisocial behavior, by the homeless, or anyone else. How many are aware that a good deal of public urination takes place just after the downtown watering holes close down, with many visitors to those places releiving themselves in doorways and parking structures as they make their way back to their vehicles? What about keeping an eye out for that?

Frankly, I think it's time that our city considered the strategic placement ofo security cameras, so that perpetrators of these antosocial behaviors will think twice before committing disgusting acts under the full protection of anonymity.

All that said, we must keep working to find workable solutions for the homeless. They are us.

Posted by Mike, a resident of Ventura
on Nov 5, 2007 at 11:42 am

To be clear, Victor is clearly NOT an aggressive panhandler. That said, he may, in fact, be in violation of the sit/lie ban after the campaign is over.

Posted by just thinkin, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 5, 2007 at 4:36 pm

Also remember, Victor has not been homeless for over a year and a half. BTW, "5 Day News" is local, not national. I like it, but they are local.

Posted by Carolina, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 5, 2007 at 4:45 pm

Hello. I am the producer of 5-Day News/Pan African News on KMTP channel 32, and I would like to let the readers of this message board know that the 2nd segment of the special feature on Victor Frost airs tonight at 8:30 PM.

Posted by Judy, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 5, 2007 at 8:50 pm

Carolina, your 2nd segment on Victor Frost was very interesting and explained clearly why he is not being cited as he remains sitting in front of Whole Foods Store.

I await with interest your 3rd segment which I presume will be shown soon.

Posted by julie, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 6, 2007 at 8:29 pm

Mr Frost has got 2% of the vote 444 votes in all so I guess he will

standing on Wednesday and moved on by Thursday

Posted by just thinkin, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 7, 2007 at 4:09 pm

Who says he has to move - legally I mean. All he has to do is stand and he can be there all day according to the law.

Posted by Ana, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 7, 2007 at 8:40 pm

I hope someone donates a wheelchair to Victor. I believe that he may need one for health reasons... and, with a wheelchair no one will be able to ask him to leave. Again, panhandling is a constitutional right :).

Posted by An attorney, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 8, 2007 at 10:10 am

Ana, your understanding of Constitutional rights needs some refinement.
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] As Bob said, these issues have been examined in towns all over the country, & it is clear that the majority of people - no matter how sympathetic to the plight of mentally ill, extremely poor, etc. - do not want their streets permanently occupied in the manner that Mr. Frost has done @ Whole Foods.

BTW, over a year and a half ago (yes, Mr. Frost has been there that long!), my wife had a conversation with Mr. Frost to kindly attempt to let him know about services available in the city for him. She does quite a bit a volunteer work, & knows the services well. She said he was not interested in her discussion @ all, & she left his "office" in the firm opinion that he was not interested in actually working to improve his life situation, & was using his perch there in a passive-agressive way.

Posted by jane, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 9, 2007 at 1:32 pm


I see he is GONE hope it stays that way. Let us make it stay that way!

Posted by MM, a resident of another community
on Nov 21, 2007 at 6:35 pm

Great job Victor! I saw your video when being interviewed for the City council position & ir was great! I appreciate your honesty.

Best of luck to you in your endeavours.

Happiness always!

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