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Victor Frost cited for violating sit-lie ordinance

Original post made on Apr 16, 2008

Long-time Palo Alto panhandler and a perennial City Council candidate Victor Frost received a citation Tuesday as he sat at his usual spot along Homer Avenue -- nine months after the city's "sit-lie ban" was extended to include his sitting place.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, April 15, 2008, 8:50 PM

Comments (100)

Posted by jill, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 16, 2008 at 9:02 am



Good, He should be cited every time he sits there begging.

He should pay the fine promptly or be put to work picking up trash.

I see his true litigious nature has come through

it is way past time for him to move away, Palo Alto has done him no favors by enableing his dysfunctional behavior for too many years



Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2008 at 9:21 am

It is time someone was actually cited for violation of this. Perhaps someone as visible and well known as this will be a good thing as it will send a message to the rest that we do not want vagrants and beggars fouling up our downtown.

I hope he gets everything that can be thrown at him and the press cover it in such a way that every beggar, vagrant and homeless person on our streets discovers that they are not wanted here and to go away. Yes, let them go to their shelters, but their presence on our streets is illegal.


Posted by Brandon Hall, a resident of University South
on Apr 16, 2008 at 10:31 am

If he's blocking the entrance to the parking lot, then yes, he should be moved. But he's not hurting anyone by just sitting there asking for donations. I always give him a little change if I have any. Woe to the city that is unfriendly to the poor and the homeless.


Posted by flash, a resident of another community
on Apr 16, 2008 at 10:54 am

I'd like to run a goat ranch in the wooded hills of northern California too. Never thought of begging as a way to fund that dream.


Posted by jill, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 16, 2008 at 11:09 am



We could buy mr frost a oneway ticket to a country with a lot of goats.

its great that that woman is calling the police to report these beggars and vagrants.





Posted by jerry, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2008 at 11:24 am

don't tell me this town ain't got no heart-


Posted by Suzie, a resident of another community
on Apr 16, 2008 at 11:44 am

I was so happy to read that Victor Frost has been cited. Happiness was short lived....Palo Alto will do NOTHING, NOTHING about him. It does'nt matter that he is breaking the law......Palo Alto does not care.
Perhaps he can be an attraction for Destination Palo Alto!!


Posted by mike w b, a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 16, 2008 at 12:12 pm



Mr frost could move to Petes Coffee, they have a bench outside and he would be out of the way.

Then we will see how the bleeding hearts like sharing a bench with him.




Posted by resident, a resident of another community
on Apr 16, 2008 at 12:55 pm

hey mikey- try being nice - you might like it!


Posted by Palo Alto Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2008 at 12:59 pm

I'm tired of the constant loitering and panhandling on the benches that line University Avenue. These people add nothing to our economy. They often smell bad and frankly scare the heck out of kids. These people need to take a shower and get a job. They are an eyesore and nosesore.


Posted by Good Luck, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2008 at 1:49 pm

Giving Victor a citation is one thing, actually removing him for violating the sit/lie ordinance is another. I bet this time next year he'll still be sitting right where he is today.


Posted by jill, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 16, 2008 at 1:53 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]




Posted by Jack, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 16, 2008 at 1:59 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by jane, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 16, 2008 at 2:10 pm

Sorry Jack but Jill does reflect the feelings of many PA residents. The beggars are ruining Palo Alto and need to go! It's giving our kids the wrong message on how to be productive and contribute to society.


Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 16, 2008 at 2:19 pm

Panhandlers represent the beggars and lepers of old. Try giving them a smile; stop your busy day to say a few kind words. It will make you both feel better.

That said, something does need to be done to keep city parks, benches, and sidewalk tables available to *everyone*.

This is one of those recurring problems of urbanization that has no easy answer. Somehow, I think the answer points in the direction of better communication, and charity.


Posted by SUMD, a resident of Stanford
on Apr 16, 2008 at 2:31 pm



In a sense there is a justice in Palo Alto being plagued by these vagrants.

The fact is that most of them are mentally ill, but the junk science by the Mental Research Institute( MRI ) in Palo Alto claimed that mental illness was a myth and the fault of evil mothers.

This nonsense research was part of the justification for closing the state mental hospitals, where the mentally ill had food, shelter, health care and mainly well meaning staff.

And thats why we have the problem with the homeless, maybe they should sue MRI for malpractice!



Posted by SL, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 16, 2008 at 2:50 pm

Sorry SUMD but many of the homeless are educated and have degrees and CHOSE to drop out of society. Don't assume they are all mentally ill. About 3 years ago there was a documentary on the homeless here in PA. Many of them were interviewed and it was very interesting to see how educated most of them are.


Posted by Jane, a resident of Professorville
on Apr 16, 2008 at 2:51 pm

Panhandlers do not send our children the wrong message. It gives us the opportunity to tell our children that not all are as fortunate as us. And helps us show our children how to be charitable by being polite or sharing a bagel. If you don't like the panhandlers because it messes up the pretty streets, go and help solve the causes of homelessness and poverty. Don't just move people on, so it's someone else's problem.


Posted by Kate, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 16, 2008 at 3:03 pm

Beggars really send the wrong message to our children. I sure don't want my child to opt for sitting on the street and begging for money rather than going to college and learning to provide for themselves. By supporting these people it shows our kids that it is ok, and in my opinion it's not ok.


Posted by sue, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 16, 2008 at 3:05 pm




Educated people can and do develop mental illness and try to self medicate with drugs and ETOH


I agree with SUMD that whole anti-psychiatry movement was a fraud and did a great deal of damage that we are now seeing on our streets.


I do not think it is good for our children to to exposed to so may vagrants.

Beside the fact that some of their health and hygiene practices make them vectors for diseases such as MRSA Web Link

and TB.




Posted by Leslie2, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 16, 2008 at 3:11 pm

Talk about hygiene, the other day my son and I were walking to whole foods and a homeless man urinated on the side of the whole foods building and we literally had to step over the stream of urine to continue walking on the sidewalk. I was appauled and had to figure out a good way to explain this to my 4 year old son.


Posted by Thoughtful, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2008 at 3:20 pm

Recently, a friend of mine in her 40s/50s lost her last surviving parent. She was shocked when tidying up her parents affairs to discover that she had unbeknown to her, an older sibling who had spent her entire life in a mental institution. This had happened because of the previous generation's reluctance to talk about mental health issues, and hiding them away in institutions. She has since visited her sister, and sadly found a woman who knew nothing about who she was and why she lived where she did, but she was well looked after and very content in her life. This sister had been hidden away for all the wrong reasons, but she had been treated humanely and was living in dignity. If she was the type of person who had been denied mental healthcare, she may be one of our homeless in Palo Alto.

Instead of being on the streets and a problem, she was in an institution where she was clean and well looked after. True, she had had no contact with her family, but in recent months she has, even though to her it is immaterial as to who the friendly face belongs to as a friendly face is a friendly face.

When it comes to discussing the homeless and mental health issues, we should ask ourselves how we would feel if this was a relative of ours living on the street that we don't know about. True, they may be there by choice, but that choice may have been through reasons of ignorance rather than choice of lifestyle. When it comes to compassion, we should try and find out some of the whys and then maybe we can come up with some of the answers.


Posted by Palo Alto Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2008 at 3:31 pm

Thoughtful,

That's a heartwarming story. The real story there is of a family that didn't face their own issues. If my family member was mentally ill I wouldn't abandon them in an institution or leave them on a bench in Palo Alto.

Perhaps you're not aware of the special 1% mental health tax that anyone that makes over $1 million pays on every dime of their annual income. This unfair tax was levied on me by our California welfare state. I've paid into the solution. Now I'm asking Palo Alto to do it's part.

-Palo Alto Resident


Posted by So Sad, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 16, 2008 at 3:33 pm

Kudos to Whole Foods for finally doing something about Victor Frost. Knowing Victor's persistence he will not move on without a fight. Have you read his sign lately? He is now asking for fresh organic food! Come on, that is really pushing the limits of begging. He would rather have an organic apple that is much more expensive than a non-organic apple.


Posted by Brandon Hall, a resident of University South
on Apr 16, 2008 at 3:39 pm

The claim that the sight of beggars will encourage one's children to emulate them is frankly ridiculous. I'd argue that it in fact has the opposite effect and lends the perfect learning opportunity to Palo Alto parents who wish to reinforce bourgeois values in their children -- "that's what await those who don't follow our example, sweetie."


Posted by paul, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 16, 2008 at 4:00 pm



What we have in Palo Alto is an open air equivalent of Bedlam Web Link


Where wealth people could watch the antics of the mentally ill for a small fee.

I was not aware that a place in Palo Alto, The Mental Research Institute (id never hears of it, where is it exactly?) was responsible in part for open air Bedlam, it should be held to account for the horror it has unleashed on our town.

As the Rev Wright and ex professor Churchill say The Chickens Have Come Home To Roost.




Posted by JL, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 16, 2008 at 4:00 pm

Brandon - So you're saying that we should use the beggars as an example of what we don't want our kids to be? Then you must be saying that beggars are not a good thing but we should keep them around as a learning opportunity. That is frankly ridiculous.


Posted by Flower Power, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2008 at 4:10 pm

The elderly street people in Palo Alto are the left over flower children on the 1960s!!!


Posted by Sue, a resident of University South
on Apr 16, 2008 at 4:19 pm

"Yet citations are rare, Larkin and Brown said. Usually, officers enforce the sit-lie ban by asking violators to move. They nearly always do."

Why are the officers not citing these people and just telling them to move? To me, this is the real problem. It took many complaints for the police to finally issue Victor a citation? That is ridiculous! Why have the ordinance in the first place if it is not going to be enforced?


Posted by James, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2008 at 4:35 pm

Victor,
Yes, we knew each other in the 1960s. Alot of grass passed our way back then. Keep up the good work. Flower Power to you Ace.



Posted by ohwell, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 16, 2008 at 4:36 pm

The sad ending to this article is that it doesn't sound like anyone's efforts to get rid of Victor will work. The court will just give him probation rather than a monetary citation and he will not be sent to jail. PA's weak system. If he had to pay a fine then he would be quick to end his panhandling career.


Posted by resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2008 at 4:57 pm

the sad part about is
your lack of imagination
and creative solutions
don't hate the player
hate the game
and stop hiding
behind your computer screen
and do something
tangible


Posted by Lisa, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 16, 2008 at 5:25 pm

Resident - If even Eileen Richardson, the director of the streets team, couldn't make a difference then who can? She sure doesn't lack in creative solutions. Victor needs to stop hiding behind his sign and do something tangible. Public support is not going to solve his problems.


Posted by Tim, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 16, 2008 at 7:02 pm

About time.


Posted by Lawyer, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 16, 2008 at 7:06 pm

I'd take his case and sue the crap out of our rich city and citizens but what has this to do with global warming?


Posted by Bob, a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 16, 2008 at 8:02 pm

When he ran for City Council, Victor Frost said he wanted a job. But now he wants it on his own terms. I admire Ms Richardson for her work, but it's apparently no use trying to help Mr. Frost.

Question: If he gets a goat farm, who will do the work? I had a vision of him sitting beside the pasture gate and the goats coming by to drop something in his begging bowl.


Posted by Walter E. Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 16, 2008 at 8:40 pm

Those who admire Vic are welcome to invite him to sit in their front yard and urinate on the side of their house. Based on conversations with my goat lady, Vic would not be a successful goatherd.


Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 16, 2008 at 9:23 pm

Charity begins at home


Posted by Chris, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 16, 2008 at 9:39 pm

This guy thinks he's Micheal Moore. Bet he's lovin' his name in the papers now. To see the downtown streets team in action each morning is great. I thank as many as I can when I see them working. Help build their self esteem. Help them view their work as valuable. The sooner you folks who give this guy money/food/attention realize you're just part of his next movie and tell him he's filmed the final cut, the sooner he'll find another location to film.


Posted by pat, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 16, 2008 at 9:49 pm

Frost used to sit in front of Printer's Ink bookstore on California Ave. One very cold night I saw him barefoot. I bought him a pair of shoes, but he kind of blew them off and said he said he was saving for a pair of Doc Martens.

If he refuses to work, how come he has an apartment at the Opportunity Center? Seems like he wants -- and gets -- everything his way.


Posted by Tim, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 16, 2008 at 9:59 pm

Vic Frost is the ultimate civic fraud and con artist and he's getting away with it. Maybe he's writing a book. Where does he park his old Mercedes?Don't give this guy money. If you do, you are feeding the problem.


Posted by Matthew, a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 17, 2008 at 12:03 am

Victor is not "these people" (mentioned many times above), nor a saint...nor, I think, any worse sinner than most of us. And he
is a human being. Like all of us, he has obligations and rights.

When I moved to the area in 1992, Victor used to sit in front of
Printer's Inc on California Avenue. His cardboard sign back then
said he wanted a 286 processor so he could work. He slept in a red
Toyota pickup truck he parked a few blocks away (by the road out of
the south end of the train station parking lot).

Victor's usually had a following. I've never spoken to him,
but have nodded on occasion.

I have no idea whether Victor is capable of working, mentally
or physically. I don't believe I've ever seen him standing or
walking in all of these years.

My children don't think it's a good way to live, but are also not
being taught to harshly judge someone else for being in that situation,
whether chosen or otherwise.

Cheers,
Matthew


Posted by ThunderRoad, a resident of Southgate
on Apr 17, 2008 at 1:12 am

One thing that's always amused me about Foster is his sign that says, I'm Hungery. Here's a guy that's one donut shy of 400 lbs claiming he's "hungery". At his weight he could easily go a month without eating.


Posted by SpaceJam, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 17, 2008 at 1:25 am

Ever visited the downtown of Los Altos or Menlo Park? You'll find very few if any "homeless" beggers there. Why....because the police don't coddle and enable them the way the Palo Alto police do. As it says in the article, "citations are rare".


Posted by HillbillyHell, a resident of Southgate
on Apr 17, 2008 at 1:29 am

The article says that Eileen Richardson "spent more than a year trying to get him to take a job". MORE THAN A YEAR!!...if that isn't the definition of ENABLING, I don't know what is.


Posted by Walter E. Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 17, 2008 at 2:13 am

I would like to see Vic's tax return.


Posted by Simone, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 17, 2008 at 4:33 am

SpaceJam,

To counter your point, neither Los Altos or Menlo Park offer the multitude of social services that Palo Alto does. Palo Alto also is the home of two major medical facilities, VA Hospital, as well as being a transit hub for the Peninsula. All of these factors add up to greater numbers of poor and needy. It's certainly not solely a police issue.


Posted by SUMD, a resident of Stanford
on Apr 17, 2008 at 10:10 am




Mr Frost seems to need a good psychiatric evaluation to determine his competence and appropriate treatment.

Earlier in this thread someone mentioned drug use, there is very good evidence from the UK that high dose grass usage can predispose users to schizophrenia.


Posted by Susan, a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2008 at 10:46 am

It would help if people would STOP giving Victor Frost money. That seems to me would be the fastest way to get rid of him. So, stop giving him money!


Posted by SpaceJam, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 17, 2008 at 12:50 pm

Simone,

Good point. However, I still think the PA police could do a better job of enforcing the law.


Posted by Clark Kent, a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2008 at 1:33 pm

The statement in the article, "blocking public right-of-ways during heavily trafficked times, creating a safety hazard, isn't covered by the U.S. Constitution" should be attributed to someonw other than the article's author.


Posted by joyce, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 17, 2008 at 1:37 pm

What happened to the idea of letting people do their own thing? And leaving other people alone if they're not bothering you? This issue is SO Palo Alto. A town of busy bodies trying to manage the lives of others. Maybe he's nuts. Maybe his health is in danger. That's his choice. Leave him alone.


Posted by joyce, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 17, 2008 at 1:40 pm

One more thing -- why is this a news story? You're writing about an individual, not an elected official or some important figure in the community. It seems to be a massive invasion of privacy and has little or nothing to do with public policy. I guess the Weekly become the Palo Alto Enquirer, but since there are no celebrities here, you're spotlighting the homeless. Sheesh!


Posted by Annie, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 17, 2008 at 2:13 pm

Joyce: Victor Frost turned himself into a TV celebrity by getting at least two segments of TV coverage on "5 Day News" on Channel 32.


Posted by jill, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 17, 2008 at 2:40 pm




The problem with beggars and vagrants has gone too far, my mother is afraid to walk down University Ave anymore.

There are 2 schools close to OC, who knows what the criminal history of some of these vagrants are.

Those who are mentally ill should have inpatient treatment at a state facility the rest should be encouraged to leave town.


Posted by Jane, a resident of Professorville
on Apr 17, 2008 at 3:30 pm



25% of cannabis users faces a tenfold higher risk of mental illness

Jenny Hope, the medical correspondent in the British Newspaper "The Daily Mail", reported today on research which suggests that 1 in 4 cannabis users faces a tenfold higher risk of mental illness due to their genetic profile.

The researchers, led by Professor Avshalom Caspi of the Institute of Psychiatry in London, will publish their study in the journal Biological Psychiatry.
They investigated whether susceptibility to psychosis triggered by cannabis could be linked with a particular gene, known as COMT, which makes people more prone to schizophrenia.
COMT is involved in the breakdown of dopamine in the brain, and has two variants, or alleles, called val and met.
The val allele has been linked with the risk of schizophrenia.

Research showed that those with two forms of the val allele were 10.9 times more likely to develop psychosis following cannabis use.

Source: The British Medical Journal Daily Health Alerts


Posted by ., a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 17, 2008 at 4:08 pm

most school shooters were on drugs that you propose for ''mentally ill'. the real problem is overpopulation of materialistic ''americans'' who leave little room for fresh air and healthy animals


Posted by just thinkin, a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 17, 2008 at 4:45 pm

What is the legal definition of "vagrant"?


Posted by Shopper at Whole Foods, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 17, 2008 at 5:23 pm

Is that one ticket a day? Perhaps one ticket a week?
How about one ticket at 9AM, one at 10AM, 11AM, Noon etc.
It's like everything else. The penalty keeps going up and up until you either conform or move on. I believe that's called pressuring Mr. Frosty to "de-frost" from his comfy but disturbing spot in front of Whole Foods and move to a place where he can meditate, smell and be an eyesore all to himself (= California Wilderness).
Our property taxes (= police salaries) should not be wasted making sure we don't trample on his rights. Does he pay any property tax? Our property taxes are high enough in Palo Alto for higher standards and higher social behavior. Because we choose to live amongst people of similar standards and conduct we live in Palo Alto and not the Tenderloins of San Francisco.
To the PAPD; take off the gloves and show some backbone.


Posted by BeetleNut, a resident of The Greenhouse
on Apr 17, 2008 at 5:43 pm

Joyce,

Victor Frost IS a "public" person. He has run for public office a number of times. Over the years he has give numerous interviews to print and television media to expound his views on the "homeless". He has stated that he plans on suing the city. This is a man who has actively solicited the spotlight.

And the question is not that "he's not bothering anyone", but that he seems to feel that he's above the law. Palo Alto's no sitting or lying on the sidewalk law is in place for a varitey of reasons. And it should apply to everyone equally.


Posted by No more cons, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Apr 17, 2008 at 5:56 pm

Victor Frost is a minor league con. Regretably, Palo Alto is taken in by his type of bum. It is called liberal guilt.

If you all keep giving him his 26 cents, you will feed his con act. In case you have not figured it out yet, 26 cents is not a quarter, therefore you will problably just give him a buck, so you don't need to dig into your purses to provide the exact change. A sucker is born every minute, and Victor knows this. It is a better con than three-card monte.

His endless runs for city council are part of his scheme. So is his threat of law suits. If you really want to deal with him, don't give him a cent. However, you might consider givng him a baby goat.

This entire theatre is SO Palo Alto! We need to do better, but we will not get there until we wake up to the guilt factor.


Posted by Badlands, a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Apr 17, 2008 at 6:01 pm

Shopper at Whole Foods,

Right On! You hit the nail on the head.

What gets me is Frost's complete arrogance. He thinks Palo Alto owes him a living. He only wants "organic" food...Give me a break! He's going to sue the city....Sheesh!


Posted by Badlands, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 17, 2008 at 6:07 pm

Jane,

Way too much information. You're on the wrong thread. I think you were looking for "The New England Journal of Medicine".


Posted by missing-point, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 17, 2008 at 7:42 pm

>>Palo Alto's no sitting or lying on the sidewalk law is in place for a varitey of reasons. And it should apply to everyone equally.<<

BeetleNut, you are right, but the point that you are missing is that the extension of the sit-lie ordinance was created because of Victor Frost. The extension was nicknamed by city officials as the Victor Frost ordinance. And he has been the only one to this dates sited for it.


Posted by C, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 17, 2008 at 10:31 pm

Finally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I hope the Police give him a citation every day. I am in total agreement with those that see what an arrogant con artist he is. And I love the idea of giving him a one way ticket to another country full of goats! Good riddance.


Posted by Ayn Rand, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 18, 2008 at 1:04 am

It is all economics. I am sure that both Victor and the guy who is now a regular at Embarcadero at Middlefield make at least three times more selling us 21st century versions of "indulgences" than the minimum wage they would earn if they took an entry level job. Tax free as well. The guy on Embarcadero seems to get a bill every couple of signal cycles(he looks like hell, but he is no dummy, and knows it is too hard to hand over change from a car during the light cycle). I fully support safety nets, but all studies show that giving panhandlers lots of cash doesn't work.

I wish these haters of people who aren't worthy of their image of Palo Altans would quit bashing the non-cash support offered by the OC. I don't know if it is one jerk (Jill), but it seems to be a recurring them here. I am not aware of any serious incidents resulting from its clients. The clients may not be perfect role models, but just because you paid $2M for a house doesn't mean you get to exclude those who can't.


Posted by Ayn Rand, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 18, 2008 at 1:08 am

Oh yeah, Jill re: your comment "There are 2 schools close to OC, who knows what the criminal history of some of these vagrants are." We don't know your criminal history either, and I bet you live by a school, by your standard does that mean that we should encourage you to leave town?


Posted by paul, a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 18, 2008 at 9:17 am



ayn rand

In many communities through out the USA, certain criminals, ie sex offenders are not permitted to live near schools

That makes sense to me


Posted by another whole foods shopper, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 18, 2008 at 10:24 am

I was at Whole Foods at opening time today (Friday) and saw Mr. Frost sitting comfortably as usual, happily ordering a friend to go get him a nice breakfast. His car was parked right there on the street. This really is the strangest thing, one would think some prospective PA residents would be put off by seeing this on a major downtown street.


Posted by Susana, a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2008 at 10:38 am

At 9:30AM Friday morning,keeping Mr. Frost company, on the other side of the street, right in front of the "Whole Foods" front door- was another panhandler. He is a "regular" also.....I'm glad that the Los Altos Whole Foods is "panhandler free"


Posted by Fight Fire with Fire, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 18, 2008 at 12:34 pm

Why doesn't the city get smart about this and fight fire with fire?

In clear view of Mr. Frost's panhandling sign the city should post some big signs of our own declaring the truth: that Mr. Frost has been offered help including housing and jobs, but that he prefers to violate a city law instead. The sign should not name Mr. Frost, but instead just say "Please Don't Encourage Panhandling Behavior" -- and it should be a large sign or more than one and in smaller print it should have all the details about the services offered to Mr. Frost and others like him and explain clearly how good citizens make these problems worse by encouraging this behavior by giving money. For much less than the cost of the legal proceedings now being contemplated the city could even assign a "legal compliance worker" to stand next to Mr. Frost, or even two or three of them, to discourage donations to him and explain their impact. Two or three weeks of surrounding him with truth tellers and Mr. Frost would move on -- maybe even to Los Altos. Ms. Richardson has been great. Clearly, she has done what she can -- and helped many others. But now is the time for other city officials to step in with some creative thinking of their own. Have we anyone on our well-paid city staff up to the task?


Posted by quick_questions, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 18, 2008 at 1:12 pm

How many people here would accept a job that pays less than minimal wage?

Maybe some of us can do volunteer work, but I don't think that is the case for Victor Frost. He has no place to go.

And, from what I read, he was not offered a job at Whole Foods. He was offered a "chance to apply" for a job.... can anyone explain??? He is not even allowed to go inside the store. And a chance to apply for a job, well, everyone has a chance "to apply" for any job, right?


Posted by Co Pan handler, a resident of Green Acres
on Apr 18, 2008 at 3:25 pm

I say we give Victor a seat on City council. He can help with
making city government stronger and understanding the importance of
pandhandling 101. Let us not forget he is the pioneer of sit and lie
ordinance so he has past a few bills in the palo alto council. Now
he wants to pass legislature for a goat ranch meaning that every
Palo altan provide 26 cents to help him with his goat ranch. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by TheEgg, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 18, 2008 at 3:31 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Parent #2, a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Apr 18, 2008 at 3:46 pm

I'm glad someone finally cited Victor. He's breaking the law.

I have stopped shoping at Whole Foods and Peet's. I encourage others to do the same. They should be leading the charge against this man, not sidestepping the issue.


Posted by Merle, a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2008 at 4:34 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by sick of it, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 18, 2008 at 6:04 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] There are too many other people willing to work, to change, to do something other than to maintain a rent free begging business on a public sidewalk. (And I bet his car could never pass a smog check. Get both Frost & his car off of the street.)

Since there are several confused individuals here willing to enable Mr. Frost's pathetic public displays, I suggest one of you invite him into your home for bed & board. Just don't forget to make it organic only.

Come on, Palo Alto police..... do your job & write the citation. The community has spoken.


Posted by bill, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 18, 2008 at 9:37 pm

The police could cite Mr. Frost every hour, but the police management and City Council have to back up the officer's efforts. They should direct the City lawyers to follow up in the court system.

There is reluctance at all city and county government levels to touch the lightning rod of civil rights. Please Council, don't pass legislation and then not follow through by supporting the police. If too many laws are not enforced, no one will feel it necessary to obey any of them.


Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 18, 2008 at 11:03 pm

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every
man is a piece of the continent, a part of the
main. If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory
were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or
of thine own were: any man's death diminishes
me, because I am involved in mankind, and
therefore never send to know for whom the bells
tolls; it tolls for thee."

-John Donne
Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, no. 17
(Meditation) 1624 (published)


Posted by KrazyKat, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Apr 19, 2008 at 1:41 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by mmmmMom, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 19, 2008 at 8:45 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by another_question, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 19, 2008 at 12:51 pm

Does anyone know if the former CEO of Napster, Eileen Richardson, is working as a volunteer for the Downtown Street Team? Or does she have a paying job? Thanks.


Posted by Sports lover, a resident of Green Acres
on Apr 19, 2008 at 1:01 pm

another-question, why should it matter to you? and what have you done for humanity lately? btw, how much do you make?


Posted by another-question, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 19, 2008 at 3:26 pm

Sports lover, please, don't be offended by my question. Lot's of people volunteer their time for good causes. Some people get paid to work for a good cause. I am just wondering if the former CEO of Napster is a a volunteer or not at the Downtown Streets team. Does anyone know? Thanks.


Posted by Teddy, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Apr 19, 2008 at 4:26 pm

I really don't understand why people give these panhandlers a few quaters or even a few dollars. Why do you think these people are out there b/c people give them money. I saw a guy out on Embarcadero and Coleridge across from a school, sign in hand looking for the "guilty" feeling souls who feel that a couple of cents is really going to do him or any other panhandler any good. PLEASE, donate your money to 2nd Harvest Food bank or the many other good organizations out there who are feeding families and individuals who are trying to get help. Assure yourself when you donate money that it is going to feed someone, not just to continue the chain of failure that has lead them to stand or sit on a street corner or at an intersection. The only way the panhandlers are going to go away is if people stop giving them money.


Posted by Mr Justice, a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 19, 2008 at 6:08 pm

Based on Constitutional Law, Victor has a right to his Freedom of
speech as long as he is not violating any laws. Victor has a legal
right to sit as long as he is respecting the rights of others. The
question to all legal scholars is what is the true agenda of sit and
lie ordinance and is it being used as a tool for discrimination against Mr Frost. Is this sit and lie ordinance used for the right
reason in an equitable way. Is sit and lie odinance used to exploit Mr Frost's constitutional rights. A judge have to be very careful
and look at case law to ensure that Mr Frost civil rights are not being violated. Do you know what being poor is like! Why not look at
the positive side of things and embrace Mr Frost and help him to reach his goals. Maybe he can help others in understanding societal
issues that his situation is common in American cities. I say leave
this man alone he is not hurting anyone. I think Victor can be a
valuable asset to society if you give him a chance.


Posted by A, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 19, 2008 at 6:26 pm

Mr Justice, you have the right questions! Good.

Victor Frost has been trying to get a lawyer for a long time. One of the signs that he uses says that. And I find it interesting that in a city like Palo Alto, no lawer or law student has offer to help him.


Posted by No more cons, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Apr 19, 2008 at 7:14 pm

Mr Justice (AKA Victor),

Nice try, but your con is up. Try some Internet scams.


Posted by danny, a resident of Professorville
on Apr 20, 2008 at 1:33 pm

I notice that the Palo Alto Online staff here has removed several reader postings. If your posting has been removed you can repost in the Usenet newsgroup alt.society.homeless which is unmoderated. If you do not have regular Usenet capabilities from your internet account then you can post there from the web at

Web Link


Posted by A, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm

"No more cons," I find it interesting that you believed that Victors posted the message above. By the way, I believe that he was at his usually spot when the message was posted. And since he is no longer at the OC, I don't think he has been online lately.


Posted by Curious, a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 20, 2008 at 11:29 pm

I don't live in Palo Alto anymore, but the sheer number and tone of "anti-Victor" posts are fascinating and inadvertently reveal something about human nature. There is a common thread of tense and deep anger in these posts, considering that their contact with this fellow is minimal. They are very tribal; they seem to wish to harm this man if they only lawfully could; at the very least they wish him ill. I think there is a genetic component here: as an outsider, Victor is some type of provacateur and triggers a powerful attack reflex in these characters. They are reined in by ordinance and criminal statutes, but there's something very "Lord of the Flies" about them all. They'd love to get at Victor; you can just feel it. I wonder whom they actually take out this animus upon in their personal lives? I can guess: other drivers on the road.... the person in the next cubicle... people who don't speak English as a first language... their kid who didn't achieve enough this year... anyone weak, poor or helpless who presumes "above their station".... the chronically ill... the obese.... That intense intolerance is fascinating to me, actually. What eats at you folks?


Posted by H. N., a resident of Midtown
on Apr 20, 2008 at 11:29 pm

Re: Victor Frost

For a long time Victor had a sign asking for 25 cents. But one day he had a new white board with red writing on it saying: "26 cents (twentysix) will help". I just had to ask him why twentySIX? Indignantly he said: "Well, corporate expenses are going up and up, so finally we had to raise prices!". - I gave him a dollar and said he could keep the change, for his corporate coffers.

PS. Here is a novel idea: why don't you leave him alone. Aren't we all walking by him with our full shopping bags purely by the Grace of God? Be grateful that YOU are not sitting on his crate. Nature will take its course, anyway.


Posted by Diff Mike, a resident of Green Acres
on Apr 21, 2008 at 2:11 am

Curious,

I think you may be a little to much in la la land here. Yes there are a few people that are angered to see a delinquent bum receive so much attention but don't turn it into some metaphysical signifier of a deep rooted animosity amongst Palo Altans towards this man and people like him. Just because some Palo Altans are snobs certainly doesn't mean all of us are. I don't personally mind bums sitting on the streets as long as they're peaceful, but it is certainly not pleasant to smell urine and see a drunken, perhaps temporarily loony person when you're walking with your highly uncomfortable little sister. Bums were an integral part of my youth, without them who would've bought my booze and cigs?

I don't think anything beyond normal is wrong with most of us folks. I think there's something wrong with your logic though...

Live long and prosper commie ;)


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2008 at 5:10 am

HN says: "I gave him a dollar and said he could keep the change" This is the problem he/she says she gave Victor a dollar. Many other people give money to Victor that's why he sits there. Much of the problem is caused by passersby just giving him money, it's not Victor fault, he wouldn't stay there if he couldn't make money.


Posted by jill, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 21, 2008 at 8:48 am




Victor appears to be chronically mentally ill as do many of the the other beggars in Palo Alto.

They need to be on medication and in supervised care in some other community.

The changing demographics in Palo Alto will mean even less tolerance for such people moving forward.

The only decent thing to do is to get them in care and out of here.


Posted by Mr Justice, a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 21, 2008 at 11:38 am

The constitution of the US enables Mr. Frost to Sit at his spot as long
as he respects the rights of others. Victor is not a fool and people
need to listen to his video at the url below:
copy and paste the url and then click on his picture to invoke video.

Web Link

Make no mistake Mr Frost is quite charismatic in his speech.


Posted by Professional Social Worker, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 25, 2008 at 10:44 am

I just had to comment, speaking from a professional stance.

The debate regarding the legality of the sit/lie ordinance is not something I will comment on, although I will let my opinion be known: the ordinance could pass review.

I will, however, enter this thread by saying in no uncertain terms that Mr. Frost is not being helped by those continuing to give him spare change, or groceries. The term is enabling. Mr. Frost can only improve his unfortunate situation through therapy, & the focused efforts of the numerous organizations in Palo Alto that exist for that purpose. (The fact that he consistently refuses their assistance should be of primary note to everyone.)

It saddens me that Mr. Frost continues in his course of action, but he must also be held accountable as a citizen. If you really care about the homeless, the mentally ill, and others in our community struggling with socio-economic issues, please contribute to the organization of your choice. Do not give money to street beggars - you are not helping.


Posted by shawn michael shenker, a resident of another community
on Jul 2, 2008 at 10:51 am

Once upon a time Victor was a very intelligent, resourceful and insightful person. Sitting on the streets all these years have hardened him considerably, i hardly recognize him today. He should be the first person to recognize that uppermiddle class american is on a crusade to criminalize poverty, and the homeless.


Posted by Rudy, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 2, 2008 at 11:24 am

Elect Obama, who truly cares about the unfortunate, and our homeless problems will disappear. We have a way to solve almost all of our problems this november.

End Homelessness. Elect Obama.


Posted by A. F., a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 28, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Victor sits in front of my place of employment just about every day. I see people dump money in his dish all day long. This is a hard time for any small business. We are doing all we can to stay here and earn a living. Customers complain about Victor, they see him peeing, washing himself, and some avoid walking our way. That hurts business and personally effects me. According to a report from "The Post", Victor has a studio apartment in Redwood City. I think Victor will continue to use us as long as we allow it.


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