What hope can baseball have in St. Pete when the newspaper sues for panhandler reinstatement? Answer: none.
- Instead of showing concern for terrorized residents and persons visiting St. Petersburg, the owner of the St. Petersburg Times is suing the city to have city wide panhandling reinstated as a free speech issue. A recent ban took effect Sunday, 6/13/10.
- "I just don't appreciate the Times suing the city for a valid ordinance," said Jeremiah Rohr, 56, who held a sign saying "Drop the suit or Drop the Times."
Some protesters, like Rohr, live in Historic Kenwood and blame the homeless for
- degrading their neighborhood and tarnishing the community's image.
The City Council unanimously passed the ban June 3 in an effort to stem panhandling that has troubled neighborhood leaders.
- Four days later, Times Publishing Co. sued the city in federal court, claiming the ban violates a constitutional right to free speech."
- "Zingg said the move will backfire. Others who rely on panhandling for income may turn to purse snatching or other crimes to make ends meet, he said, ...
Besides, he said, "if we don't do it here, we'll do it somewhere else."The pair thought it might be worth taking a bus to Tampa, where panhandling is legal."...(from St. Pete Times, "Panhandlers say street solicitation ban will make things worse," 6/5
- 6/8/10, "Banned in St. Pete, panhandling on upswing in Tampa," My Fox Tampa Bay