Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 25, 2008 at 6:01 pm
He has had his 15 minutes of fame, and now it is atrocious that once again taxpayer money is being wasted on his trial. The only thing worse than this is that taxpayer money will finance his time in jail.
Posted by Jim, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2008 at 2:36 pm
Bums in Downtown PA are there, becasue they are served there. By individuals who give them money; by churches who prove their faith to themselves by enabling poor folk to destroy themselves; by government agencies that are afraid to be strong.
In this particular case, if people will stop feeding the problem, the problem will move somewhere else, but if people at that new spot also refuse to feed the problem, then the problem will need to reform, in order to live. No more liberal guilt trips!
Posted by danny the homeless guy, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2008 at 4:05 pm
I was panhandling out there recently. I would have taken a job if Whole Foods would have offered me one pushing those carts around, but they didn't. I heard they needed someone too. This past week I applied at another Palo Alto business for a job I really would have liked. They had openings there too. Nothing. These business managers have a built-in "kiss my butt" attitude which is unrealistic. It makes me feel better about panhandling. I have bills to pay whether I have a job or not.
Posted by Walter E. Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2008 at 6:00 pm
I have long espoused caravansaries offering minimal shelter and sanitary facilities near major population centers, for those unfortunate or improvident enough to be unable or unwilling to spend for those facilities. Good folk would be encouraged to go there and offer whatever they wished. Rights of way would revert to their originally dedicated function of allowing travel, not repose.
Shenker, any relation to the head of the teacher's Union?
Posted by 2cents, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2008 at 8:12 pm
It is not just a matter of obeying the law or not. The city created a law to target an individual. The expansion of the sit lie ordinance that Mr Frost is fighting was created to remove HIM from his usual place in front of Whole Foods Market. It was nicknamed the "Victor Frost Ordinance" by a city council member. It was created because the the Palo Alto Business Association pressed city council members to approve it.
It is important to notice that Phil Lonardo, manager of Whole Foods Market, is one of the key members from the Palo Alto Business Association, and he was the one representing Palo Alto Business Association that went in front of the council to say that he could not please his costumers because of the presence of homeless people in front of his market.
I hope Victor Frost's lawyer gets to see the recording section in which the extension was approved.
Posted by Give to Food Banks, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2008 at 8:45 pm
I moved to Palo Alto in 1992. Victor Frost was sitting out front panhandling then and was using a lap top.
He commutes from the East Bay to sit in front of the PA Whole Foods.
Lazy and contrary. "I'll do it because I can" attitude.
I give to Second Harvest to help feed people in need. I hate being solicited by at least three people every time I shop at Whole Foods.
There is a "vet" at Mollie Stones that begs too. I bought him a meal once and he gave me his story of how he was passing through and on his way to see family and he was waiting on his monthly check to come in so he could get a bus ticket. He's been outside Mollie Stones for three months. My compassion is gone for those who lie about their situation.
I agree- if you don't encourage them they will go elsewhere.
Posted by fair wager, a resident of another community, on Jul 26, 2008 at 9:03 pm
How about the rotating PH'ers at left turn ECR to Alma from Menlo?
I never give them a dime, 'cause I'm thinking these guys make $20 plus her hour (good wage) just sitting there laying a guilt trip on the fools who give them a handout, but strikes me that if someone gave them a musical instrument to strum, fiddle or hum (harmonica) they might get some much needed respect from impatient drivers trying to get thru the green left turn light heading into PA.
Anybody got a guitar,harmonica, fiddle or something lying around the garage that we could give these same old guys?
Am I venturing into wishful thinking, that they would actually make an effort to "earn" a wage?
Posted by danny the homeless guy, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 27, 2008 at 3:52 am
"Give to Food Banks" writes:
> I moved to Palo Alto in 1992. Victor Frost was sitting out front
> panhandling then and was using a lap top.
> He commutes from the East Bay to sit in front of the PA Whole Foods.
Victor lives here in Palo Alto. He does not commute from East Bay. I've always known him to be camping here out of his vehicle. He's spent some time up north where he wants to get a 5 acre farm.
Remember the fundraisers for the so-called Opportunity Center who raised $25 million dollars claiming "There are 150 homeless people in Palo Alto who need our help!" As a homeless person, I never authorized them to do that fundraising. Where is my $166,666? Where is Victor's? Where did all that money go? Do you seriously think I'd be out there panhandling in front of Whole Foods if I had that money?
Posted by Walter E. Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 27, 2008 at 6:53 am
Danny, you don't like caravansaries? Try Hostels. How about hobo jungles - there was a real popular one between 12th and 16th streets, the railroad and the American River in the 30s and 40s. Louie's Camp, on North B street, rented 20x20 lots for $2, month where you could build a shack and have use of one of 2 chic sales and 2 water taps. Flop houses cost 50 cents a night, and Sneaky Pete a buck or so.
There is a public interest in insuring available sanitation and in insisting that it be used.
Posted by Fairbanks, a resident of Los Altos Hills, on Jul 27, 2008 at 5:28 pm
Constitutional law is applicable to the current issue at hand. The
1st and 8th amendment is enforcable making the palo alto sit and lie ordinance in violation of the 1st and 8th amendment regarding Mr Frost's rights. The extention of the ordiance is suspect if in fact
the following below is true. It also can be proven that a conflict of
interest has relevency to allow for a hidden agenda to take place
causing Mr Frost to be selectively excluded from across the street
from whole foods market. There is politicle motivation to remove
Mr Frost who is innocent. Too long homeless people have been the
target of politics and corruption.
Phil Lonardo, manager of Whole Foods Market, is one of the key members from the Palo Alto Business Association, and he was the one representing Palo Alto Business Association that went in front of the council to say that he could not please his costumers because of the presence of homeless people in front of his market.
You can't make homeless poeple in Palo Alto move just because you are
bias in you thinking. You cannot invoke tailored laws to satisfy
you own politicle agenda. Homeless people have a right to sit and
lie on the sidewalks just like other people. Victor is going to win
and sue the city of Palo Alto and Whole Foods for harrassment and
discrimination and violation of his constitutional rights and slander. In closing based on history never under estimate the the
under dog The roman empire fell, David beat Goliath, The US lost
Posted by Walter E. Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 27, 2008 at 8:10 pm
So, Constitutional Lawyer Fairbanks, I would be in my rights to pitch a tent in the street outside your house and set up my barbecue on your sidewalk? Negative, buddy, because the city's failure to enforce the reason the land was ceded to the city would revert that property to you.
Posted by danny the homeless guy, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 28, 2008 at 2:41 am
Hillbilly Hell writes:
> People, Victor needs our help. If every Whole Foods shopper gave him just $1 he would > quickly accumulate enough money to finally buy that goat farm up north. Sounds like a > win/win to me.
This is an irony of the whole problem. Right now I myself am only about a hundred bucks or so shy of what I have to raise soon. A full day wasted in hardship and panhandling might get me $10-20.
Capitalism, so to speak, deprives most people of the ability to make independent, rational, significant fiscal decisions. Those decisions are typically "in the hands of others" whose decisions are rarely questioned. There are people who won't hire me because they know they'd be giving money to me. They would hire someone else just to spite me as a "power thing".
Posted by Walter E. Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 28, 2008 at 4:22 am
I would sympathize with any goats that relied on Frosty for their daily bread.
Danny, down on the desert we used to say of prospectors like Seldom Seen Slim and Balarat Sam that they were either one foot from a million dollars or a million feet from a buck. Charlie Steen made it, Seldom did not; but at least prospectors offered a hope to their grubstakers.
Posted by danny the homeless guy, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 28, 2008 at 5:35 am
Walter E. Wallace writes:
> but at least prospectors offered a hope to their grubstakers.
I believe the analogy fails. Different society, different times.
Unfortunately for me, that sort of "hope" these days is derived from professionally commoditized human capital. As a person who isn't part of the "system", I do not represent that sort of "hope" as neither does Victor. Nobody is going to seriously consider investing, let's say several million into one of my own projects unless they can steal the ideas and give the money to someone else who seems on paper more appropriate.
Posted by anonymous, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Jul 28, 2008 at 10:40 am
OK, Victor Frost supporters, WHERE ELSE have you seen his equivalent set up on a sidewalk in perpetuity like outside P.A.'s Whole Foods? In Redwood City, Mt. View, Sunnyvale, San Jose, Santa Clara, Cupertino, Fremont...?? I have never seen such a thing.
Posted by BornToRun, a resident of the Fairmeadow neighborhood, on Jul 28, 2008 at 12:51 pm
Give Victor Frost a break, Palo Alto. He basicly sits peacefully on his crate and doesn't bother anyone. He's not aggresive nor does he act out like some of the University Ave. panhandlers. As for him not working and turning down job offers, I'm not a phycologist, but I think it's obvious that Victor has mental health issues and will probably never be a part of mainstream society. Those of us that live and work in this area have been blessed in many ways. We should be thankful for those blessings and be willing to share with those that are less fortunate. If you don't feel comfortable giving to individual panhandlers, you can donate to Inn Vision (innvision.org). Inn Vision helps with the multiple needs of the homeless and people in transition in Palo Alto and the South Bay.
Posted by Me Too, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Jul 28, 2008 at 1:13 pm
There are other long threads on this, so I won't belabor. But the idea that giving alms to street beggars is "compassion" is bogus. We defeat both the goal of having a clean, safe, and inviting town AND of providing help for the beggars - the only thing it does is provide a quick conscience fix for the giver.
Anyone who lived through the squeegee men period in NYC knows what it was like. And now SF and Berkeley are battling the fruits of their own "compassion." Support beggars and expect more (and likely more aggressive) beggars. No-one wins. And the idea that wanting a clean, safe, inviting shopping district equates to self-absorbed snobbishness - I wonder if the person who write that has ever worked hard to better the life of his family? Personally, I look down on snobs and beggars equally.
Posted by Walter E. Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 28, 2008 at 2:54 pm
In the 30's we knew the difference between a hobo and a bum. And danny boy, get a congregation. Investments are worthless unless at the end of the money someone produces something someone else is willing to pay for. Al Capp did a series a few years ago about entitlements. As I recall, the denouement was when Washington decided to thin the herd
Posted by Marvin L Foushee, a resident of another community, on Jul 28, 2008 at 4:07 pm
The intent of the law is to control pedestrian traffic flow, not to control street people. The public defender's office should not be supporting stupidity at the expense of reason. A dose of time should tweak Frost's legal mind. u-mon.blogspot.com
Posted by ThunderRoad, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jul 28, 2008 at 5:47 pm
Not many people know this, but Victor had a heart attack several years ago. He continues to experience heart "problems". His heart condition precludes him from doing most types of manual labor.
On another note....the real annoyance in front of Whole Foods is not the panhandlers, but the CALPIRG and other solicitors that accost you as you are entering the store. These guys, clip-boards in hand, aggressively harass shoppers to donate to their various causes. I'd like to see the city do something about them.
Posted by Mr Fairbanks, a resident of Los Altos Hills, on Jul 28, 2008 at 7:03 pm
I want to shed some light on the issue. Mr Frost is not in violation of sit and lie ordinance. 1)Mr Frost is not causing any blockage or safety issues. 2) His Panhandling is non agressive and he is protected under the constitution of the U.S. 3) When people
are setting up shop with tables to collect donations, the police say or do nothing to them for citations. 4) When people solicitate for global warming campaign nothing is said. 5) Victor is being descriminated against. 6) The public defender will bring out the facts and a discovery motion will be made based on other cases.
7) The ACLU will step in and handle the civil complaint and posibbly
a class action law suit the will knock the socks off city hall and
whole foods. 8) Victor is no fool: He is a graduate from Hubolt State
University and played football for the college of San Mateo. He was
also a heavy hitter in the corporate world when he was working. 9)
Soon Victor will be stepping in the court with his legal team and
Posted by Givin', a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jul 28, 2008 at 10:42 pm
ThunderRoad said this....."the real annoyance in front of Whole Foods is not the panhandlers, but the CALPIRG and other solicitors that accost you as you are entering the store. These guys, clip-boards in hand, aggressively harass shoppers to donate to their various causes. I'd like to see the city do something about them."
What ThunderRoad said. Also, Whole Foods is a good organization, but they should never put their cashiers in a role where they are asking shoppers to make contributions to charity, as they have been doing recently. The *worst* place to ask for a donation is in a cashier checkout line, where one has already dropped a bundle on merchandise. It's a goofy idea that should stop. Safeway does the same thing. I feel sorry for the cashiers who have to bear the burden of asking, and the (usual) rejection that follows.
Posted by Don't Like Whole Foods, a resident of East Palo Alto, on Jul 29, 2008 at 2:26 pm
Used to shop there a lot, but too crowded, overpriced, & the yuppie/crunchy aspect of it torches my socks. So am curious to know more about the checkers now asking for moola for causes. Can anyone expound a bit more on that? Please, oh please, don't make me buy an overpriced item just to experience it for myself! Thank you :)
Posted by Me Too, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Jul 29, 2008 at 3:43 pm
At Safeway (I don't do WF either) when you check out, they just ask "Would you like to donate $1 to [insert cause of the day]" - food bank, kids charity, disease charity, etc. I'm sure many say "sure" - it is like the election check off on your tax return - your wallet is already open, so why not feel good about yourself. And the store looks like it "cares" - at least it cares enough to ask for your money. As an old curmudgeon, of course, I have no problem saying "No thanks, and please double bag everything in plastic please."
Posted by JungleLand, a resident of the Palo Alto Orchards neighborhood, on Jul 29, 2008 at 11:24 pm
You bunch of young whipper-snappers....you know nothing of the world....or of panhandling. In my day, we took panhandling to an art form. My fiend Creampie Willie and I would would set up on University Ave. We'd have a piece of cardboard that read, "Spanish-American War Vet, Can You Spare 10 Cents". Of course, we had'd been in the war, but it was a quick way to raise cash. Once we had accumulated a few dollars we'd head straight to Duffie's Speakeasy behind the Chinese laudry on Emerson St. At Duffie's we'd drink beer, eat pig's knuckles (a Duffie's specialty), and laugh at the rubes that had coughed up for our beer money. Duffie was quite a character...everyone loved him...and he ran the best speakeasy in Palo Alto. A number of years later Duffie had an unforturate accident involving a wayward donkey and a beer keg. After his accident Duffie found religion, sold the speakeasy, and joined the priesthood. We never heard from him again.
Posted by Walter E. Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 29, 2008 at 11:36 pm
I've been wasting so much time on the compter lately that my domestic partner has kicked me out of the house for the day. He said that if Victor Frost can spend a whole day sitting on a crate in front of Whole Foods, I should be able to find something more productive than writing nonsensical and mostly indecipherable comments on paloaltoonline.
Posted by Curious, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Jul 30, 2008 at 4:37 pm
BillTucker, on what basis do you think the Constitution should protect panhandling? It's clearly not a political right - not like assembly, free speech, etc. Or a procedural - search and seizure, due process, cruel and unusual punishment, self-incrimination. Nor a matter of personal identify - religion, race, gender (not included in the constitution btw). Are you thinking people should have the right to block the sidewalk if they like, or more an affirmative right to beg?
I'm not clear why so many other activities can be regulated, but panhandling should be protected. It seems like the world turned upside down to me.
Posted by Jerry, a resident of the Embarcadero Oaks/Leland neighborhood, on Aug 1, 2008 at 5:16 pm
I agree with the law student that Victor is the victim of harrassment and discrimination and I hope you have a good attorney.
If he need a attorney I will ask my dad because he graduated from
Harvard Law school at the top of his class. My dad is a no nonsense in your face approach attorney and he do work pro bono for the less fortunate because he came from humble beginnings. My dad was homeless like Victor and he went through some of the same problems of discrimination. Hang in there Victor I am pulling for you and do not let those citations discourage you. You are a pillar
Posted by BillTucker, a resident of the Evergreen Park neighborhood, on Aug 11, 2008 at 3:11 pm
For the anonymous "Curious",
1. Right to panhandle: It is free speech. Also, the organizations listed in my post exercise that right without any interference from the authorities.
2. Re the right to block the sidewalk: If you walk down California Avenue, you will see numerous businesses blocking the sidewalk, without any interference from the authorities. One restaurant has established what amounts to a small "foret" there. However, since this is a feeding place where the elite meets to eat, I guess the idea of citing it has ever occurred to anyone in authority. Now, I'm not complaining about this, I don't mind having a few bushes and tables along the sidewalk, but if these establishments aren't cited for blocking the sidewalk, I don't think Mr. Frost should be either.
Maybe someone with a digital camera should take some photos of the plants and tables on California Ave. sidewalks. Then, post the photos, alongside a picture of Victor Frost, so we can all evaluate just who or what is taking up the most space on the sidewalk!
Posted by christiane cook, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Sep 22, 2008 at 3:12 pm
Whole Food fruit stands take up most of the sidewalks around the entrance of the store. The panhandlers are slight and unobtrusive. There is no reason to prevent them, nor Mr.Frost who is across the street from panhandling around the ntrance to Whole Food. the store is always full and those panhandlers are not slowing business. There is an ordinance in Palo Alto covering the problem of people or animals obstructing food traffic in any area of the city. The last time we had a debate about sitting=lying ACLU declared the new ordinance illegal. (The city attorneys are obviously wrong. The street belings to everybody and there is no reason to cater to the wishes of one resident. I am sahamed of my city.