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Local Stories by Local People
updated: Dec 12, 2012, 9:11 PM

Prickly plants uproot panhandlers.

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Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 09:14 PM

Good Idear...


 COMMENT 353515 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 09:28 PM

Love it!


 COMMENT 353528P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 01:51 AM

Undercover officers? I'll have to go downtown just to see if I can spot one or two. Good job, SBPD. Get these beggars out of town.


 COMMENT 353529 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 02:04 AM

I hate to be a buzzkill, but am I the only one who sees a lawsuit in the making? Not from one of the bums, but from a litigious parent whose child gets pricked. The charge, of course, will be that the city deliberately planted cacti, which are known to cause injury. It may not come to that, though, because I'm sure most bums carry knives and would be able to successfully destroy any plants that might be in their way. Nice try, though. It's nice to see the city is thinking outside the box.


 COMMENT 353532 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 06:07 AM

Thanks for the helpful instructions "how to beat the system". Not.

No help for our SB Police who prefer to think of more humane ways to address this problem other than draconically rounding up people for loitering and begging and putting them into wagons, as they do in some towns.

There are heavy fines for destroying property, public and private.

If a child or adult gets pricked they will not repeat the same mistake.


 COMMENT 353538P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 06:37 AM

Vendors need a license in order to sell their goods ... even the vendors who sell flowers or fruit on street corners, don't they?

As I passed another young and healthy-looking panhandler sitting outside a grocery store with his "hungry" sign and back pack the other day, I wondered if we couldn't make these people get a license to panhandle ...


 COMMENT 353544 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 07:18 AM

The cops have their hands tied in this City due to the fact that the City Attorney, Steven Wiley, refuses to stand behind the enforcement of tougher laws ENFORCING what is already on the books- Our City has no spine with regard to dealing with this ongoing issue that gets worse each year.


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 07:58 AM

Thanks Rex maybe I'll go downtown someday...heeheehee


 COMMENT 353558 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 08:04 AM

Sit\Lie Law NOW! This is a start but the plague of vagrants has noticeably diminished the quality of life here. SB is now well known among the prison community as a great place to go once you are paroled due to hands off policy regarding vagrancy. This is not the type of popularity we need for SB!


 COMMENT 353564 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 08:16 AM

The KEYT video doesn't seem to show that the plants protrude into the wall "seating" area. Looks like you can still sit on it without harm. Not sure how this will be a deterrent?


 COMMENT 353573 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 08:34 AM

If it's true that Steven Wiley won't enforce laws that are already on the books then let's get someone one who will. Was Steven Wiley's dad homeless or something? Why won't he enforce laws that are already on the books? Walking through the smoke cloud and the Meth-head bench just south of Yogurtland is a sickening. It's sickening to see these young people waste their lives. The last time I walked by them, one was exclaiming to another "You gotta a full cig, a full one!! Where'd you get that?! Where'd you get that?!" like he'd won the lottery.


 COMMENT 353577 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 08:50 AM

I walk downtown 4x a week and for some reason it's particularly bad right now. I also travel all over the country and haven't seen so many vagrants (especially per capita) so heavily concentrated anywhere. I try to be Zen but something has to be done to discourage this and NOW. Many communities require a panhandling permit and enforce no loitering laws. Or let's suggest they go camp out at Steven Wiley's house?


 COMMENT 353578 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 08:52 AM

Good idea. If they had to get a licence to panhandle that would be the last we see of a big majority.


 COMMENT 353593 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 09:31 AM

Its wintertime folks.It is to cold anywhere else to be houseless,so they come in droves to the west coast. Half of them will be gone by march.


 COMMENT 353595P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 09:33 AM

And by march the other half will be enrolled in Medi-Cal and SSDI by aggressive SB social workers.


 COMMENT 353610 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 10:00 AM

Regardless of whether by the prickly plants, the more frequent sweeps, or whatever other factors involved here, it sure would be nice that that scene stays gone. Clearly when a few of them were panhandling inside the parking garage they were casing cars.


 COMMENT 353624P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 10:35 AM

A lot of flowerbeds around town have thorny plantings for various reasons; for example, veterinary offices put them around the rims of their gardens to keep dog pee from ruining them, and the bougainvilleas that are everywhere have wicked thorns; so I don't think one more area of prickles would be actionable. That is a messy, sometimes aggressive, area.


 COMMENT 353651 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 11:31 AM

People forget that a significant proportion of those we love to hate - namely the "dirty homeless" - are former combat veterans, mentally and physically scarred by fighting for America. They served to protect our freedoms and way of life, which ironically, include the dubious "privilege" of getting punitively heavy-handed with those who have come upon hard times, whether combat veterans or simply those who are less lucky.

Perhaps being a good samaritan, rather than a judgmental snob, would be the civilized way of dealing with this issue. At this time of year, having spent thousands of dollars on arbitrary gifts for people who probably won't appreciate them on - account of expectation - maybe spare a kinder thought for the "unwashed" for whom a cooked meal, is a special event.

And for those who label themselves "Christian", ever heard of a guy called Jesus?


 COMMENT 353686 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 01:15 PM


The percentage of homeless veterans on the streets is proportionately low. The VA Adminisration does it's best to cope with the needs of the veteran. Regretably there are those for various reasons "slip through the cracks".

Why don't you be a good samaritan and consider the people who have to hose down their shop entrance every morning before they start a day's a day's work? Or the smells issuing from parking lots and areas around town. Even one's own lawn and property is not inviolable.


 COMMENT 353705 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 02:19 PM

The "homeless" types are here because we feed them. If they stay long enough, the Santa Barbara Housing Authority will house them. The homeless situation is here because we want it to be here.
There are probably 1000 jobs or more directly dependent on the "homeless" being here. Count all the employees in the County Social Services, Counselors, Drug/Alcohol Rehab programs, County Medical Services, CA$A E$paranza, Rescue Mission, Salvation Army, the list is endless and laughable for a City of 90,000 to take on the burden at this level...Why? Welcome to politically correct and liberal Santa Barbara- it is what it is and it ISN'T going to change-EVER... I, for one, am counting the days to leave this once "Golden State" I was born in.


 COMMENT 353722 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 03:30 PM

You were born here but do not want to share.

All the organizations mentioned provide hundreds of jobs for hardworking people, some who cannot afford to live in SB and have to commute each day.

You are lucky.

Please close the door on your way out.


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 03:36 PM

You know we all live in the same place kinda hard to leave.


 COMMENT 353749 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 04:40 PM

705 here; FYI,I commuted and lived in Santa Maria for 15 years before I could AFFORD to buy a house in SB... Now I just hope I can sell it for enought to escape the craziness.


 COMMENT 353780 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 05:35 PM

Yes, Roger, this is true. We have lived here nearly 50 years. and never had a lot of money to spare, but we think SB is a pretty good place to live. A lot of free entertainment. Beach, parks, country surrounding us and of course the mountains,

Our son left for San Diego 20 years ago to find work. and could not afford to buy a house there until now! It's hard everywhere.


 COMMENT 353835 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 08:10 PM

At first I thought it cruel but realised it is just one area. They cannot put Cacti all over town or along Shoreline Drive and Cabrillo Boulevard!


 COMMENT 353898 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-14 06:31 AM

I still wonder who all of you responders are. Especially at the holidays, where is your compassion? Why are these people on the streets? Do you know their stories? Have you thought to give them something warm on these cold nights? Have you thought to spend your time addressing why they are there in the first place (major budget cuts to mental health) and how we can help them before they get to the streets? Remember they are still people with potential, every one of them. Remember Dickens quote on "Ignorance and Want." It's so easy to turn our heads and go to sleep in our nice cozy beds after a hot meal. Okay, now you can go ahead and bash my good thoughts as you all usually do. Or maybe this time you'll go help someone in need instead. Merry Christmas and "God Bless us One and All" (Tiny Tim)


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