Friday, July 27, 2007
Our Plaza Brethren
One commissioner won't speak with us regarding the panhandling/ homeless situation in the Plaza, claiming that pending legal action against Art In The Market artists prevents him from doing so. No, commisioner you are incorrect, unless you are either the judge, the prosecutor or jury on the September 26 case. (City of St. Augustine vs Plaza Artists.) Public Affairs Director Paul Williamson claims that he doesn't read this blog though the public use of the Plaza De La Constitucion is one of his projects. Finance Director Mark Litzinger ignored us when we ran into him in the Government House restroom (yes, we artists all go at the same time....there's safety in numbers). Commissioner Errol Jones has the courtesy to return phone calls made to him and shows an interest in our plight, though we believe that he does not understand the whole freedom of speech issue.
We have been banished, arrested and defamed. We are .......are you ready for this favorite word.....an anathema to the functionaries in City Hall. Frankly, here is our description of what we are...........We are citizens who are exhibiting in public places and permitting the public to purchase our artworks as guaranteed by the U. S. Constitution. We are nothing more, nothing less. We are not (most of us,that is) anarchists, godless heathens nor counter cultural radical anti authoritarians. Come down to the Plaza and talk with us. Find out why the out of town visitors like us and leave here with a work of art and positive feelings for this beautiful city. Without us the visitors are accosted by the Plaza bums and this is done in a very aggressive manner. We are protective of our visitors and our (and your) Plaza.Our vehicles have been targeted by some of the troublemakers since we take a proactive role ( our presence, phone calls to the police and rarely..... a sharp word) in keeping the peace in the Plaza. We also bring food and clothing for some of those in need. There are those who cause no problems and those of the criminal element that do cause problems by preying on the weaker ones.
Nashville, Tennessee has posters and handouts for t downtown visitors who may feel magnanimous in giving cash to the "street people". This is a suggestion made at the last community meeting of Innkeepers. OK, so let it happen. Link here for the posters and handouts.
Those of you who feel good buying one of those plaited palms from "sweet little old lady"Marge should know this: The boys make 10 or eleven of these in the morning and the Marge heads down St. George St. with her inventory. About 90 minutes later she returns with approximately 30 dollars. Then the party starts. Someone is sent for the beer and (sometimes vodka). It is stashed in the trees. Within an hour there are harsh words and fists start flying. The ambulance comes someone goes to the hospital and someone is on the run into the marsh area, lying low for a few days.
If you bought one of Marge's palms.........you helped assault that guy.
Posted by Karl at 11:21 AM