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NATIONAL
October 7, 2013 | By Cindy Carcamo
An Arizona law that makes it a crime to beg for money or food in public is unconstitutional, a federal judge has ruled. The decision comes in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona against the city of Flagstaff, which has drawn national attention for its aggressive stance on panhandling by jailing some violators. Last month, the city changed course after the ACLU sued on behalf of a 77-year-old woman who had been arrested when she asked an undercover police officer for bus fare.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 2014 | By Joseph Serna
A homeless man who was involved in the fatal stabbing of a Lynwood woman last year on the Hollywood Walk of Fame has been sentenced to two years in prison. Jason Joel Wolstone, 34, pleaded guilty to assault likely to produce great bodily harm Wednesday in connection with the June 18 attack off Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue. During the attack, Wolstone pushed 23-year-old Christine Calderon then put her in a headlock after she refused to give him and a second homeless man a dollar for taking their picture as they held up signs asking for money that included profanity.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 25, 2001
Regarding "Chased by the Spare-Changers" (Voices, Jan. 20), may I suggest the perfect solution: Why not have the Los Angeles City Council declare that "panhandling" is a business, which would require a license and also be subject to zoning regulations? Then it could designate certain areas of the city for this activity, specifically not in front of businesses or restaurants. Those individuals who wish to give their loose change to the panhandlers would be able to go to the areas where this activity was authorized.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 2014 | By Kate Mather
The co-founder of frozen yogurt chain Pinkberry was sentenced Friday to seven years in prison for beating a homeless man with a tire iron, an attack a Los Angeles judge declared "fairly merciless" and "horrendous. " Dressed in an orange, jail-issued jump suit, Young Lee stared straight ahead as Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Henry J. Hall handed down the maximum penalty the 49-year-old faced. A jury in November convicted Lee - who helped found Pinkberry in 2005 but is no longer involved with the company - of assault.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 3, 2013 | By Andrew Blankstein
There's aggressive panhandling, and then there's the fearsome strategy allegedly employed by Trevor Ian Ruggles. Authorities said Ruggles was arrested Monday on suspicion of multiple misdemeanors after a Santa Barbara police community services liaison observed him tossing a 22-inch machete into the air while cursing and yelling to passersby, “Give me your ... money.” His tactic didn't win much sympathy or result in donations from pedestrians, who...
NATIONAL
September 24, 2013 | By Cindy Carcamo
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - An Arizona city that led the nation in its aggressive stance on panhandling reversed course Tuesday night, setting in motion the apparent demise of a century-old state law that criminalized begging. The Flagstaff City Council voted to settle a lawsuit launched this summer by the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona on behalf of a 77-year-old woman who had been arrested after asking an undercover police officer for bus fare. The ACLU argued that the state law and Flagstaff's enforcement of it were unconstitutional.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 14, 2012 | By Maria L. La Ganga, Los Angeles Times
SAN FRANCISCO - A plan to combat panhandling and animal shelter overcrowding in one fell swoop could be described as killing two birds with one stone. But here in the city of St. Francis, no one talks about offing our feathered friends. Instead, the latest municipal innovation - which will pair beggars with problem puppies to make life better for both - is simply called WOOF: Wonderful Opportunities for Occupants and Fidos. In August, carefully selected dogs from the city shelter will be given to screened and trained formerly homeless people, who will foster the animals until permanent homes can be found.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 19, 1992 | Compiled by Trin Yarborough / for The Times
'MYSTOR INCOGNITO', Homeless, 37, West Los Angeles. You have to avoid any negativity when you're panhandling. It's important how you carry yourself. You have to let people know you're sincere and you respect them, and aren't trying to run over them. You have to stay positive, because panhandling itself is negative. You know you're an outcast. Over the years the nature of homelessness has totally evolved. In 1979 it was mostly alcoholics.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 1, 1995 | ED BOND
The Sepulveda/Van Nuys Boulevard Business Watch, a recently merged crime prevention group, will discuss its campaign against panhandling at a meeting at 6:30 tonight. The Business Watch groups from the Sepulveda and Van Nuys boulevard areas merged about four months ago, hoping to create a more efficient group to fight crime. Chairman Flip Smith said he believes the idea of Business Watch groups are expanding, noting that others are forming in Sun Valley and Encino.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 26, 2010 | By Maura Dolan and Dan Weikel
Los Angeles and other California cities and counties may bar the Hare Krishnas and other groups from panhandling at airports, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled Thursday. The state high court, reviving a 1997 Los Angeles ordinance aimed at LAX, ruled that bans on soliciting at airports do not violate state constitutional guarantees of free speech. Lawyers for Los Angeles said that about 100 individuals representing at least 15 groups solicit money regularly at LAX. Thursday's ruling is expected to lead other airports to consider ordinances similar to L.A.'s law, which would ban solicitations in the interior terminals, parking lots and adjacent sidewalks.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 6, 2013 | By James Barragan
The fate of the co-founder of frozen yogurt giant Pinkberry depends on the answer to one question: Who had the tire iron? Young Lee, 48, is accused of assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly beating Donald Bolding with a tire iron in June 2011 while Bolding was panhandling on the side of an east Hollywood street. After becoming upset that Bolding flashed a tattoo to people in Lee's car - including his fiancee - showing a stick-figure couple having sex, Lee drove away - but he returned with another man and beat Bolding, prosecutors say. During closing arguments Wednesday, the defense attorney and prosecutor alike said the outcome of the case depended on whether the jury believed Lee was the one who wielded the tire iron.
OPINION
October 9, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
A war is being waged over panhandling, as cities and states pass tighter and tighter anti-solicitation laws to control transients and deal with chronic homelessness. A 2011 report by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty found that more than 100 cities had some kind of restriction on panhandling; 16 of those were in California. Along with the bans on begging have come fierce constitutional challenges. Last week, a federal judge in Arizona was the latest to weigh in, ruling that the state's law making it a crime to beg for money or food was an infringement of the constitutional right to free speech.
NATIONAL
October 7, 2013 | By Cindy Carcamo
An Arizona law that makes it a crime to beg for money or food in public is unconstitutional, a federal judge has ruled. The decision comes in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona against the city of Flagstaff, which has drawn national attention for its aggressive stance on panhandling by jailing some violators. Last month, the city changed course after the ACLU sued on behalf of a 77-year-old woman who had been arrested when she asked an undercover police officer for bus fare.
NATIONAL
September 24, 2013 | By Cindy Carcamo
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - An Arizona city that led the nation in its aggressive stance on panhandling reversed course Tuesday night, setting in motion the apparent demise of a century-old state law that criminalized begging. The Flagstaff City Council voted to settle a lawsuit launched this summer by the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona on behalf of a 77-year-old woman who had been arrested after asking an undercover police officer for bus fare. The ACLU argued that the state law and Flagstaff's enforcement of it were unconstitutional.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 14, 2013 | By Scott Gold
Not too long ago, I was walking along the strip in Venice and saw a man holding a cardboard sign. For 10 bucks, the sign said, you could kick the guy in the crotch. I had to ask: "How's business?" "Slow, bro," he said, as if he was trying to unload Popsicles in the dead of winter. Ah, Venice - where just about everything is for sale. Along Ocean Front Walk, you can buy beach stuff, of course - bodyboards decorated with dolphins, sunscreen jacked up to the price of shiraz.
NATIONAL
July 27, 2013 | By Cindy Carcamo
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Matt Evans realized Flagstaff's efforts to criminalize panhandling had reached new heights when a police officer intercepted him as he attempted to hand a $10 bill to a homeless family in a supermarket parking lot. "These people are breaking the law," Evans said the officer told him. She said that giving the money would be akin to facilitating a crime. Stunned, the 34-year-old PhD candidate looked again at the homeless couple with two young children in tow. "I have every right to give anyone I want money," Evans told the officer.
NEWS
November 24, 1985 | JEFF BURBANK, Times Staff Writer
The Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce has advised residents to make citizen's arrests of people who panhandle or commit other misdemeanors. The chamber said the campaign was prompted by the city's inaction in controlling troublesome vagrants. More than 10,000 brochures, entitled "A Guide to a Safer Community," have been published, offering instructions on how to make a citizen's arrest for such crimes as panhandling, trespassing and "lodging without permission on private property."
NATIONAL
July 27, 2013 | By Cindy Carcamo
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Matt Evans realized Flagstaff's efforts to criminalize panhandling had reached new heights when a police officer intercepted him as he attempted to hand a $10 bill to a homeless family in a supermarket parking lot. "These people are breaking the law," Evans said the officer told him. She said that giving the money would be akin to facilitating a crime. Stunned, the 34-year-old PhD candidate looked again at the homeless couple with two young children in tow. "I have every right to give anyone I want money," Evans told the officer.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 21, 2013 | By Andrew Blankstein, Marisa Gerber and David Zahniser
The killing of a woman in the heart of Hollywood's tourists district is bringing new calls for a crackdown against aggressive panhandlers. On Tuesday at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, a 23-year-old woman collapsed after being fatally stabbed across the street. Police arrested a transient who had allegedly demanded $1 from her after she took his photo. The death of Christine Calderon left the Hollywood tourist district stunned and on Friday prompted Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck and Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti to call for increased patrols, including by horse-mounted units.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 3, 2013 | By Andrew Blankstein
There's aggressive panhandling, and then there's the fearsome strategy allegedly employed by Trevor Ian Ruggles. Authorities said Ruggles was arrested Monday on suspicion of multiple misdemeanors after a Santa Barbara police community services liaison observed him tossing a 22-inch machete into the air while cursing and yelling to passersby, “Give me your ... money.” His tactic didn't win much sympathy or result in donations from pedestrians, who...
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