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Pandhandlers getting out of control and scary....

Original post made by C me around, Ventura, on May 30, 2008

Two nights ago about 9pm there were three young men, 2 about in their early twenties and one quite older, out side of Ernie's on El Camino (right near the Taco Bell store). As a young man was exiting Ernie's with his soda he just purchased, the older man put his hand out and asked for his "spare change". The young man shook his head and replied "Sorry, but with the price of gas, I need all I have" and proceeded to walk to his car. The two others gave a few strong tanting remarks and one flicked his cigarette onto the back of the young man's car. The young man then remarked that it "wasn't cool" to do that and retreived the lit butt off his car. As the young man turned around to get into his car, the one taunter was reaching under the front of his shirt, which seemed to be holding a weapon. Needless to say the young man left the El Camino as fast as he could. He arrived home and called the police to report the incident.
The next day I went up to eat at Taco Bell and when I finished, I decided to talk to the manager, who was at the counter. I alerted him about the incident and what had happened the prior night. His eyes got big and he then told me that he thinks it might have been the very same guys that were at his store on Tuesday night, pandhandling his customers. He confronted the pandhandlers and told them to leave or he would call the police. They finally took the hint, but were nasty to him. He thanked me for letting him know what was going on and that he would keep a better eye out for any future trouble, not hesitating to call 911.
I was wondering if there isn't a place on the web where we could get reported information such as this. I would like to know about possible problems in our neighborhood ....and I think that the other shop keepers in the area would and should also be aware of these problems....

Comments (12)

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Posted by Concerned Citizen
a resident of Ventura
on May 31, 2008 at 4:06 am

I came across Web Link recently and was very surprised at the number of incidents in the area.

Like this comment
Posted by jj
a resident of Midtown
on May 31, 2008 at 6:20 am

Web Link

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Posted by Kate
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 31, 2008 at 10:54 am

As a community we can thank the many homeless shelters, including the "Opportunity Center" here in Palo Alto for the increase in the homeless and vagrant population. Let's also send a big thank you to the Palo Alto Police Department and its decision to invoke a ineffective policy to this nonsense called "restorative policing". Wake up Palo Alto or we'll be known as the Berkeley of the South Bay before you know it.

Like this comment
Posted by Mom by Gunn High
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jun 1, 2008 at 3:49 am

The Opportunity Center is not spawning more homeless people! I am tired of hearing this. Wow, like there were NEVER homeless people before the Center was built??? Get a grip.
Seems like a lot of people like to try to blame the worlds troubles on the Center, when really it is there mainly for assistance and to try to help. If it were not for that program that is there, possibly the police would be having a hard time with the sit/lay law that they passed when Gary Fazzino was Mayor....
Bezerkley also has their problems. We have ours. Seperate issues.

It seems like times are getting harder, the economy of the Country is a mess. The poor are getting poorer. And some people are more desperate and despondant than others, which trigger a lot of mental stress and more things that go wrong in their lives~ some "snap" and can not deal with others. Yes, it IS going to get scary everywhere, not just in our town. Your right to say wake up Palo Alto.
PLease quit abusing the word "community".

Like this comment
Posted by Sam
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2008 at 6:35 am

Mom by Gunn High,

What a bunch of nonsense.

The poor are not getting poorer. Most of the poor in this country are hard working immigrants who are getting richer. Those with the work ethic have enormous opporunities to improve their lot in theis country. Those without the work ethic will float to the level they deserve, according to their lack of effort. Those who work are not morally compelled to assist those with a pity-potty attitude that you display.

The Opportunity Center did not create the homeless, but it did attract more homeless to Palo Alto. Our Downtown has more homeless now, than before the OC was built. The churches have food closets and overnight accomodations, attracting even more. These are facts which are very easy to establish, if one cares to: Just require a background check on every "client", and establish their home town (use the town where they went to high school).

The best way to take care of a homeless person, Mom, is to provide for one in your own home. However, if you do, it would be best to avoid transferring your self-pitying attitude to him or her.

Please quit disparaging the community of hard workers.

Like this comment
Posted by just thinkin'
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 6, 2008 at 3:01 pm

Sam -
Which churches offer overnight accomodation?

Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 6, 2008 at 3:45 pm

Sam "Our Downtown has more homeless now, than before the OC was built."

Might that have something to do with a faltering economy? Correlation is not causation.

Like this comment
Posted by Mom by Gunn High
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jun 6, 2008 at 11:03 pm

AH! Balonae, Sam!!! The poor that are working their tails off are those that also are paying out huge taxes and are left with almost nothing to live on...(not as lucky as some other white collar workers, whom we know take HUGE deductions).......legally AND illegally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Uncle Sam seems to keep poor people down. Unless they all huddle together and pool their pay, it's hard for any of them to buy into the market. Some find other avenues after sweating their brows for years and years just to save a tid bit and thinking that then they now have the American Dream wrapped up. (One in how many???) I feel sorry for those who kiss the bottoms of others . No. It actually makes me nausious. That type of game makes me sick to think about and I know it happens. Especially the women who end up taking abuse. Only to end up on a one way trip into submissiveness or drugs. The OC is also a haven for those wanting escape. And yes, there are LOCAL children that were BORN here in Palo Alto living there. Not all are from out of town.

I applaude Mike for his comment.

Like this comment
Posted by Sam
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 7, 2008 at 3:03 pm

just thinkin', you say, "Which churches offer overnight accomodation?". Answer: Hotel De Zink, a rotating overnight accomodation, among PA churches and temples, for the homeless.

It is a major magnet for the homeless in Palo Alto.

Mike (College Terrace), You are talkin' BS. The homeless situation in Palo Alto has almost nothing to do with the overall economy. Get real!

Like this comment
Posted by just thinkin'
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 10, 2008 at 2:25 pm

Does 15 beds (mats on the floor actually)really as "a major magnet for the homeless" in anyone's mind? And it is NOT 15 per chuch per night, isn't 15 per night for the program. And it is not first come -first served. And the limit is 90 days. And you need permission to miss a night. And you have to stay clean and sober.

Like this comment
Posted by just thinkin'
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 13, 2008 at 2:38 pm

Iguess Sam, for one, doesn't find it attractive

Like this comment
Posted by Mom by Gunn High
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jun 13, 2008 at 10:03 pm

"Magnet for the homeless"?? If I were that down and out like them, I too would opt for a safe place to rest my head at night...instead of possibly having to hide in the burrs in bushes or behind garbage cans where others urinate, etc, etc, very sad. To them, even sleeping on the HARD FLOOR is a blessing. How they ever get up to the next level without a permanant aching back is short of a miracle.
I wonder what the odds are. Can you imagine doing this for three months?
How does one go to work~ I can't imagine how they keep a straight wardrobe, etc. It must be like living in a bad movie. Day after day after day. God Bless those who are struggling and juggling.
Where the bold ones come from that "strongly" suggest a "donation" to themselves is a mystery. They need to go back under the rock that they crawled out from under. Hanging in front of a liquor store is the first clue what they are going to do with their "donations".

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