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February 26, 2007

Panhandlers threatening

The lady who casually shrugged off complaints against panhandlers (2/20, Letters) is unable or unwilling to distinguish between mimes and street musicians and those dirty, aggressive addicts who use their threatening appearance to extort money to support drug and alcohol habits.
Sometimes it is not possible to simply “walk on the other side of the street.”
I have been approached while fueling my car. In one case the aggressor had a knife in his belt.
While not all panhandlers are dangerous, a significant number do become profane and violent if their demands are not met.
People come to Westport and the Plaza to shop and enjoy the entertainment opportunities. Street magicians and fiddle players are a part of the ambience that make visitors want to come back. But aggressive, foul-mouthed vagrants will send tourist dollars elsewhere.
City authorities had better take control of this situation before the Plaza and the new Sprint Center go the way of Indian Springs and Bannister Mall.
Patrick McWilliams



Amen to that, Patrick.

Why don't I have the right to walk down the street without being harassed?

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