Monday, August 22, 2005

Beware the Unkempt

You Make the Call in Monroe Park:
Hobo, Terrorist or Babe?

There have probably been hobos and winos congregating in Monroe Park since who-knows-when, maybe even the Reconstruction Era? No doubt, property-owners and business people in that neighborhood have been plotting to run that same ilk off ever since. Over the years such efforts have met with little lasting success.

Now VCU has adopted that green space, Richmond's oldest public park. And, perhaps a government terrorist alert from the US Attorney's office has just revealed a strategy the university might use to sweep Monroe Park clean of the homeless, er, terrorist elements that lurk there.

Here's a preview of the AP story about that alert: "The warning is similar to one issued by the FBI before July 4, 2004 that said terrorists may attempt surveillance disguised as homeless people, shoe shiners, street vendors or street sweepers. The e-mail stresses that there is no threat of an attack and that it is intended to be 'informative, not alarming.' Homeless people easily blend into urban landscapes, the message said."

Click here to read the rest.
(Credits: Model -- Brett Lewis. Photo -- F. T. Rea)


Anonymous said...
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Scott said...

The real problem is that there is little coordination among the feeding programs. Even if you are homeless, how many meals do you need a day?

The litter problem is huge and it effects the ability of others to use the parks.

I am not anti-homeless by any means, but something does need to change. I don't want VCU using the homeless issue as a excuse to grab the whole park.