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Vagrants/Panhandlers Have Taken Over the Honey Baked Ham on Buford Highway

Why have panhandlers been allowed to take over the Honey Baked Ham location on Buford Hwy, driving away customers and endangering the safety of the HBM staff and customers?

DeKalb County is not making a significant effort to attract businesses that are compatible with the lives and hopes of the citizens in North Dekalb County, and despite the county’s stated duty to provide a safe community,1 it continues to allow crime-drawing businesses to be concentrated on Buford Hwy and along Clairmont Road.

The last few months, I have been driving and walking Buford Hwy from the Sun Tan Shopping Center (just south of N. Druid Hills Rd.) north to Cancun Plaza (just north of Dresden Dr.) talking to businesses and residents. While doing that, one of the people I talked to was April Gresham on Thursday, August 2, the general manager of the Honey Baked Ham at 2909 Buford Hwy.

The visit that day acquainted me with another problem in this area that qualifies as a “nuisance” since nuisances are “activities and conditions (that)may be associated with illegal criminal activity that has also been proven to have a demonstrable adverse impact on community residences and results in neighborhood blight.“2

Ms. Gresham is having a difficult time managing the business because of a cadre of panhandlers who have taken over the location. While I was there on August 2 at around 3:30 pm to 4:15 pm, several panhandlers loitering in front of the Honey Baked Ham (HBH) accosted cars, asking for money and in effect blocked the driveway into the business. The HBH manager told me they were a common fixture at the business. Several of them boarded a small orange bus going north on Buford Hwy after they were unsuccessful panhandling at the HBH for 15 or 20 minutes.

However, one panhandler remained and sauntered back and forth across the driveway of the HBH – again preventing traffic from entering the business. At least 2 vehicles pulled into the parking lot of the empty building next door, and the occupants got out and came over to the HBH, probably to pick up ordered hams. By parking next door, they avoided the panhandler blocking the driveway. The assumption that potential HBH customers did not stop because they did not want to contend with panhandlers does not require an enormous logical leap.

The panhandler blocking the driveway eventually shuffled over to the wooden deck on the HBH side of the empty building next door, where there were large foam pieces and carpet padding remnants. I watched while he gathered together some of them, made himself a bed, laid down, and went to sleep. Snacks, food, and drinks were stacked on a nearby electrical box at the side of the empty building.

 The HBH manager told me that HBH Corporate was considering pulling that store out of there, and just abandoning the location because of the panhandlers and vagrants.

A few weeks later on Tuesday, August 28, the HBH property manager, Matt Meisels, called me twice from CA asking for my impression of the situation and any information I might have about it. He told me he has visited the store, as well as the CVS and Red Roof Inn, both across the street. The Red Roof manager told him when guests ask about nearby places to eat, he never recommends HBH, although it is right across the road, the food is very good, and Ms. Gresham supplies them with HBH coupons. He does not recommend HBH because of the panhandlers and vagrants that are always hanging around the HBH. I emailed Mr. Meisels some of the photos I took while I was at the HBH on August 2.

So, on August 28 at about 2:00 pm, I went back to HBH to see the manager, Ms. Gresham. The panhandler who had bunked down on the deck of the empty building next door when I was there last, again was cozied up on his nest of foam and carpet padding on the deck next door. More accoutrements had been added to the deck space, and another man was napping while sitting up on the other side of the deck railing off the deck itself. Besides the piles of food, snacks, and drinks stacked on the electrical boxes and deck railing, now a black plastic bag containing things unknown was dangling from the electrical boxes. 

The HBH manager said when she came to work that morning, five of the panhandlers/vagrants were lying asleep on the cement at the entrance way. She had to rouse them awake to get them to move so she could at least open the front door. I asked if she called the DeKalb Police. She had not because on previous visits, the DeKalb County Police had told her that if she wanted the panhandlers to be moved, they should be cited, and to be cited, she would have to go to the DeKalb County Jail on Memorial Drive and fill out papers.

We’ve been given the excuse that late night establishments, pawn shops, check cashing offices, and other crime-attracting businesses3 bring income into DeKalb County. These businesses cannot be a positive fiscal element if they drive away other types of businesses that are not crime magnets and do not disrupt neighborhoods. The stability of our neighborhoods depends on stable businesses that serve residents in the neighborhoods, as well as people who work in the area, and are a positive contributor to the community. We have to at least make an attempt to keep those businesses in our community. If the Honey Baked Ham leaves, that will lessen stability in the area, and encourage more blight. These days, Buford Hwy is synonymous with blight. That association can be turned around with conscientious efforts made by county and Brookhaven officials, county and Brookhaven police, and support from businesses and residents.

DeKalb County seems to have decided to abandon Buford Hwy to the bars, pool halls, night clubs, pawn/title shops, check cashing stands, massage parlours, gambling machines installed in convenience/fuel shops, and whatever sleazy business applies for a SLUP or zoning change. Why is DeKalb encouraging these tacky places while making it more and more difficult for stable, positive businesses like Honey Baked Ham to stay in the area? The majority of residents on and around Buford Hwy, whether low, medium, or upper middle class (they are all there), are not willing to give in to crime and blight. We expect DeKalb County to take actions that follow its stated goals to protect citizens, neighborhoods, and businesses, and promote their well-being.

Why have panhandlers been allowed to take over the Honey Baked Ham location, driving away customers and endangering the safety of the HBM staff, as well as that of the customers who park next door in order to come onto the store premises to pick up ordered hams? No one goes there to eat, although individual portions of food and sandwiches are sold there. No one wants to stay on the premises and watch the panhandler/vagrant activities surrounding the store while they eat, or be accosted by panhandlers/vagrants.

DeKalb County has no aggressive panhandling ordinance on its books. It has NO panhandling ordinance on its books that I could find, save one prohibiting begging on County property.4 Gwinnett County has a panhandling law that sets strict limits on when and where homeless people can ask for money, and violators face fines of up to $500 and/or 10 days in jail. The urban camping ban holds a fine of $1,000 and incarceration for 60 days.5

Cities around the country are trying to deal with panhandling and vagrancy, including passing legal bans on sleeping outdoors or loitering. More cities are trying to redevelop their downtowns and clean up other areas, and they are putting legal instruments into place to combat panhandling and vagrancy. The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, as well as the American Civil Liberties Union, argue that begging is free speech and is protected by the First Amendment.6 But, what of the rights of businesses, their clients, and area residents? Don’t they have a right to live and work free from harassment; free from disgusting sights, smells, and language, e.g., individuals unwashed for months with dirt encrusted face, hands, and feet; discarded soiled underwear; stale beer or whisky smelling vomit; filthy “nests” fashioned from dirty scrap cardboard, foam, carpet, and whatever.

Aggressive panhandling could be treated as simple assault. Laws against soliciting, lying down on property not owned by the person, sleeping on property without permission, loitering, and other reasonable ordinances could be enacted by the Commissioners to give some relief to the victims of panhandlers and vagrants.

In Atlanta metro, panhandling and vagrancy creates additional expenses for the
property owners, including security, housekeeping, and building maintenance.
Because of panhandling and vagrancy, Atlanta has experienced failed real estate
deals that have resulted in loss of potential income from $10,000 to $1 million, which ultimately results in less taxes collected and jobs created in the city, state and county.6 Those activities are a detriment to growth and revitalization in North DeKalb County, particularly along Buford Highway.

The DeKalb County Police, and DeKalb County Code Enforcement have failed the owners of this Honey Baked Ham, as well as other stable, non-crime attracting businesses in the area. They have failed the staff and customers of this HBH. But, most of all, they have failed the area residents who want a safe, stable place to live with stable businesses to patronize and that enhance Buford Hwy. If this Honey Baked Ham pulls out and relocates, there will be another empty building on Buford waiting for the next sleazy “joint” to get a SLUP and move in. Positive, stable businesses do not move in next door to sleaze, nor do they move to where they will be inundated by unkept, aggressive, threatening panhandlers and vagrants. Why do business operators and residents have to have their safety, quality of life, and prosperity sacrificed in order to preserve the free speech of persons who only have a negative effect on our community?

----------------------------------------------

1 An Ordinance to Amend the Code of DeKalb County, As Revised 1988,
to Require Certain Businesses to Obtain Special Land Use Permits from the Board
of Commissioners, and for Other Purposes. December 29, 2011. Page 1.

2 DeKalb County, Georgia, Code of Ordinances >> - CODE OF
DEKALB COUNTY
>> Chapter 18 - NUISANCES >> ARTICLE I. - IN GENERAL

3 DeKalb County, Georgia, Code of Ordinances >> - CODE OF
DEKALB COUNTY
>> Chapter 16 – MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS AND OFFENSES >> ARTICLE V. – OFFENSES AGAINST GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS Sec. 16-91

4 http://americancityandcounty.com/news/georgia-outlaws-panhandling

5 http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-01-22-panhandle_N.htm

6 http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-forward/2012/09/06/panhandling-pressure
downtown/?cxntfid=blogs_atlanta_forward

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Rick September 28, 2012 at 01:48 AM
What does any of that have to do with them disrupting business at HBH?
Enuff Govt Already September 28, 2012 at 01:55 AM
@Steve, No one is taking the side of "criminals" and no one is unappreciative of Ms. Thomas work. She has brought this into the light where all can offer commentary and possible solutions. And I have one; get hired as a security agent by the property owners. Issues the trespass warning and when not obeyed go to the court and swears out the warrant. Upon seeing the smelly sleeping trespassers call the sheriff who will surely respond with a posse to arrest the vagrants. Problem solved and community hero is born! @William B., what should the commissioners do? Outlaw homelessness? body odor? general bumness? Every special activist group out there would love to see a gov't pass an unconstitutional ordinance. Trespassing is a crime and the solution to this problem lies with the property owners not gov't.
Emmie Majors September 28, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Local government will have better ability to handle this issue, a perfect example of how Brookhaven will benefit. DeKalb is too large to handle this issue, there are even worse problems elsewhere, the County cannot get this done. Your County Commissioners are helpless, they don't have any power over this, it's a CEO [problem. Y'all don't even know how the County works. As to Maven, you are a compassionate soul, G'd Bless you, please be careful, as well.
Brian Crowe September 28, 2012 at 02:23 AM
"what should the commissioners do? Outlaw homelessness? body odor? general bumness?" Good point. As long this is a country that allows people to be homeless, guess what? We have to allow them to be homeless. Of course that means they are going to sometimes be a nuisance; what else would you expect from people who have fallen that far through the cracks?
Enuff Govt Already September 28, 2012 at 02:23 AM
Exactly how does local gov't better handle? ..here's my take..Brookhaven is too small to handle this issue, there are even worse problems elsewhere, the city cannot get this done. Your city councilmen are helpless, they don't have any power over this, it's a mayor's problem. Y'all don't even know how the city works.
Brookhaven Maven September 28, 2012 at 02:46 AM
All -- (404) 447-3678 is the Task Force hot line. You don't have to identify yourself. Just tell them a street address or a specific location of where you see homeless people living, and they will send an outreach team out to help these folks. To Rick @ 9:48pm -- Disruptive behavior such as panhandling and vagrancy are not the cause of being homeless --- they are consequences. You don't solve a problem by attacking the symptoms. You fix the root problem and the bad behavior goes away. If we can help these folks find shelter, it's a start toward helping them get back on their feet. The Task Force provides food and temporary shelter, and offers referral services such as counseling and treatment for mental and physical problems. They also have rehabilitative training programs. You can get them off the streets and out of panhandling by arresting / jailing them, in which case they are likely to be back out there in a couple of weeks doing the same thing --- or you can get them off the streets by helping them, which has a much lower recidivism rate. Each of us has a choice on how to react to these situations. I elect to help. -- The Maven
Emmie Majors September 28, 2012 at 11:06 AM
Enuff, What you will learn is that a local Police force does have the time and more importantly the limited focus to address local problems. You are not able to see this now for whatever reason; i.e. your politics prevent you from accepting it, you have not really looked hard at how cities operate, or you are simply obstreperous. Sandy Springs, Norcross, Dunwoody have addressed similar issues with great success. Homelessness and crime are never going away, as long as people can live off others, criminally or due to the horror of untreated mental illness. But allowing a situation like this to fester is also unacceptable. You really ought to get out more, sweetie.
Emmie Majors September 28, 2012 at 11:14 AM
And when help is scoffed at, unwanted, and unappreciated, what then? There will always be an element of society that aspires to not be any better than they have to be, by choice or mental defect. These unfortunate, wretched souls will learn to take advantage of social services or become an inmate. The latter is not preferred, I am not heartless. But there are those that will literally walk in the opposite direction of help, and if you don't believe that, you are not being honest. Ideally, homelessness is stopped well before one reaches hopelessness, but neither a City, nor a Saint can resolve this issue. And thank you, sincerely, for trying to help, first.
Enuff Govt Already September 28, 2012 at 11:27 PM
@Emmie-again exactly how does a "local" police force better handle this. Homelessness is not a "police" problem. Ok and how is the north precinct not our local police? With DeKalb County operating as a municipalized gov't already how will another muni gov't be different. And please point to the exact program(s) instituted by S-Springs, Norcross or Dunwoody that have address this specific problem. Also in my "getting out more" I've learned that the county police have a mental health unit that consist of a mental health nurse and a police officer. The cities of S-Springs, Norcross and Dunwoody don't. I've looked very hard at how cities operate and see no benefit to balkanizing our area. Obstreperous-is that how you view other's comments or opinions?
Brookhaven Maven September 29, 2012 at 03:39 AM
To Emmie Majors @ 7:14am -- Took a bag of McMuffins and some cups of McCoffees to the vagrants this morning. Those guys were hungry! One is a Gulf War vet named William who has PTSD and doesn't really know who he is half the time. Another one is a former big rig driver who was at fault in a traffic fatality years ago and cannot / will not forgive himself for killing someone. He lost his job, went to jail for a couple of years, his wife left him, etc. A couple of others didn't want to talk, but they ALL wanted to eat! To answer your question, about being scoffed at etc --- That's on them, not me. Like the little boy and the multitude of starfish, I can't save them all, but I may help one! (You DO know that starfish story, right?) -- The Maven
Son of Emmie September 29, 2012 at 01:42 PM
So for one meal you 'helped' these poor souls? According to most social service experts giving a meal or a couple of bucks to the homeless enables them to exist on the fringes for another day. No a criticism, your action is both noble and courageous, but like the myth of recycling, it only makes you feel better. And, thank you it was a nice thing to do. If you follow-up with recommendations to social services somebody might get off the street.
Brookhaven Maven September 29, 2012 at 05:16 PM
To Son of Emmie or whoever you are @ 9:42a - Of course it helped, you putz. At least five homeless guys didn't start the day off starving and begging for food or money. I also called the homeless hot line as I indicated above. They will send an outreach team. Meanwhile, I will continue to feed them as I can. Perhaps that will slow down their panhandling and getting into people's way until the outreach folks can get to them --- and isn't that what everyone's complaint was to begin with? Maybe YOU should get involved. I'm sure that the guy who recommended using a water cannon on these guys would be glad for some company when he goes out to do that. It would probably be just the thing to gladden your sour weekend. -- The Maven
Son of Emmie September 29, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Don't be such a jerk you have no idea who you are speaking to -- whomever you may be. Most people think the holier-than-thou attitude of a do-gooder is more annoying than a panhandler. Glad you did this, to be sure, and I am neither sour, nor swayed by your rudeness.
Mike September 29, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Hi Maven, I applaud you for going out there and talking to and bring them food. Everyone has a story as to why they are homeless and on the street. Bringing food or a few dollars may not take them off the street but it will provide a little comfort and maybe they won't bother the "wrong" person and get themselves into more trouble that day. There used to be a guy who would hang out kinda near Chin Chin in the Kroger plaza and I would always give a few bucks when I got my take out. I know, a kinda "tax" but I knew all my "donation" would be put to use 100%. Don't pay mind to the other people mad at you on this website because you did a kind gesture they wouldn't dream of doing while they text away on their latest smart phone completely self absorbed and indifferent to the real world around them.
Eric H September 30, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Sounds like the empty building next door is the problem. Surely its in violation of some building code.
Son of Emmie September 30, 2012 at 11:47 AM
The Havana and Fuzzy's, that whole corner was 'in play' awhile back with, get this, Vernon Jones! Fuzzy's became a title pawn shop, never a positive business for an area. And after Havana burned, the owners set up shop elsewhere. The current property owner is in violation. Once that issue is resolved, the homeless will get the 'bum's rush,' and have to find a new place to crash. Salvation Army SE HQ is literally right across Buford Highway from their current location, BTW.
Enuff Govt Already October 01, 2012 at 11:58 PM
Some fact checking on this OP/ED: The article emphasized an opinion that the county is allowing “crime-drawing” business on Buford Hwy or “late night establishments, pawn shops, check cashing offices, and other crime-attracting businesses” to populate Buford Hwy. The article stated the “ county.. abandon Buford Hwy to the bars, pool halls, night clubs, pawn/title shops, check cashing stands, massage parlors, gambling machines installed in convenience/fuel shops, and whatever sleazy business applies for a SLUP or zoning change” I checked on some of these assertions. I went to the HBH and found no vagrants there or next door, hmm. So I decided to check for Clubs/Billiard Halls, Pawn & Title Pawns, Check Cashers, Massage parlors and gambling machines. I divided my search up into 4 parts. The first being the unincorporated area of Buford Hwy that will become the City of Brookhaven, the second is the area of DECA, the third the City of Chamblee and the last being the City of Doraville. In the area of unincorporated DeKalb that will become the City of Brookhaven I found only 8 bars & billiard halls ( all but 1 catered to r a specific minority ethnic group), only 2 pawn or title pawn shops, only 3 check cashers (2 catered to the Spanish population), no massage parlors . In the area of unincorporated DeKalb that has been defined as DECA I found 10 bars (all but 1 catered to a specific ethnic group), 1 pawn or title pawn, 1 check casher and no massage parlors.
Enuff Govt Already October 01, 2012 at 11:58 PM
In the City of Chamblee I found 5 bars or billiard halls (they also catered to specific ethnic groups), 10 pawn or title pawns, 4 check cashers, 7 massage parlors, and no gambling machines. I also discovered that a large population of sex offenders is living at 4775 Buford Hwy. In the City of Doraville I found 1 Spanish club and what I suspect are numerous late night Asian karaoke clubs that serve alcohol, 6 pawn or title pawns, 2 check cashers, and 8 massage parlors. I did not see any gambling machines while I was out. Where are they? The unincorporated area does have to many bars but with only 2 not catering to ethnic minority groups I’m beginning to wonder why the same outcry isn’t being directed to the clubs on Peachtree that cater to mostly yuppie patrons? The outrage about pawn shops and massage parlors seems too misdirected as the over whelming majority are located in the cities. If DECA votes for annexation will the massage parlors and pawn shops come racing down Buford Hwy out of the cities?
Brookhaven Maven October 02, 2012 at 01:16 AM
To Enuff Gov @ 7:58 -- When I went by to bring the guys some food today, they were not around. I called the Homeless Task Force folks this afternoon, and they told me an outreach team had visited those guys, but they weren't sure what their current status was. They may have been brought to the shelter or they may have gone somewhere else on their own. Either way, maybe they won't be lying down in the HoneyBaked driveway and "bothering" people for a while. If any of you other posters see them back out there, please let me know by posting an update on any of the threads you see me. Thanks. -- The Maven
pat thomas October 02, 2012 at 03:41 AM
As for Enuff Govt Already’s self-conducted survey of Buford Hwy, he/she missed a lot or did not know what to look for. There are 13 late night establishments between where Clairmont crosses Buford up to where they both lie just less than a block north of Dresden. I have posted the photos on my blog taken at 3:30-4:00 and time-stamped. The gambling machines are not set out in the middle of the floor, they are shielded in various ways. Some of the owners and or managers of a few late night establishments alerted me to where they are located. You need to get with the insiders to really find out what is going on. “(C)atered to a specific ethnic group.” So, as long as they “stick to their own kind” who cares? Who do you think calls me in the middle of the night to try to get something done about some specific late night establishment? Those “specific ethnic group(s)” also have children and families and jobs that start early the next day. The majority of them do not want to deal with the “crime related secondary effects” of those “specific ethnic group” late night establishments even if they belong to the “specific ethnic group” that frequents the business. (Activity Theory of “Hotspots,” Criminological Theory of Secondary Effects, Theoretical Role of Alcohol: CRIME-RELATED SECONDARY EFFECTS; TEXAS CITY ATTORNEYS ASSOCIATION, JUNE 2008; and National Center for Alcohol Law Enforcement (NCALE), April 2006; etc.)
pat thomas October 02, 2012 at 03:42 AM
“I’m beginning to wonder why the same outcry isn’t being directed to the clubs on Peachtree that cater to mostly yuppie patrons?” Maybe it is because, for the most part, the yuppies don’t wonder into residential neighborhoods throwing up, peeing, discarding used condoms and/or syringes, pilfering from yards and porches, and passing out on carports. Want to learn about the effects of these various businesses on property values? SURVEY OF APPRAISERS, FORT WORTH & DALLAS, EFFECTS OF LAND USES ON, SURROUNDING PROPERTY VALUES Submitted to CITY OF FORT WORTH, TEXAS; September 2004
pat thomas October 02, 2012 at 03:48 AM
"I went to the HBH and found no vagrants there or next door, hmm." By Sept 28 the North Precinct had responded to the plight of the businesses in the area of Buford Hwy and N. Druid Hills Road dealing with aggressive panhandlers and vagrants on their properties. The businesses say the situation was improved dramatically.
Nick Maltese October 02, 2012 at 10:39 AM
Adverse secondary uses are well documented. La Paz on Roswell Road, a burgeoning chain of nice Mexican restaurants closed it's the doors on it's first location after the strip club moved in up front. NE Atlanta's Friday's Plaza is a ghost shopping center, with several sketchy tenants as the Oasis is adjacent. BTW, the restaurant co-located to the Oasis closed and that prime location sits vacant ever since. The Pink Pony sits well sway from most of Buford Highway businesses, so it's not as noticeable. Don't get me wrong, I like the 'shoe shows,' I really do. in Atlanta, they are exceptional. Control of YOUR zoning and Police are the first step toward creating a place that allows freedom to choose your style of debauchery AND protect mainstream businesses. Maven efforts are notable as a gesture of kindness, but they are neither a solution to homelessness, nor are they accurate as to the adverse secondary use issue. Final comment: Dedicated Police working with local Zoning officers to an area the size of Brookhaven, everyday, is going to have a huge and positive impact. It works in Norcross, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, elsewhere, and it will work here.
Nick Maltese October 02, 2012 at 10:40 AM
Non sequitur Alert, Roger That.
Enuff Govt Already October 02, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Pat, I think its great that you might of had something to do with the removal of the vagrants at HBH and I think you deserve some kudos for all of your effort. I checked your blog and counted 8 locations and 1, the Cephora Lounge is now closed. I did see then note about the time stamp on your camera and I believe you about the time but the photos themselves do not show violations. The photos only suggest violations. Here are the locations I located in DECA: DECA area Jett Lounge-3900 Clairmont Rd (mostly Ethiopian patrons) Addis Lounge/Kana-3665 Clairmont Lounge (mostly Ethiopian patrons) Lions Lounge-3979 Buford Hwy (mostly Ethiopian patrons) Club Mansion-3595 Clairmont Rd (mostly black patrons) MTV Cafe-4186 Buford Hwy (mostly Vietnamese patrons) Club Sledge-4186 Buford hwy (mostly black patrons) La Rumba-4300 Buford Hwy (mostly Spanish patrons) El Trebo Billards-4337 Buford Hwy (mostly Spanish patrons) Em Saigon-4300 Buford Hwy (mostly Vietnamese patrons) Follies- 4075 Buford Hwy (mostly male patrons) PAWN or TITLE PAWN, I found 1: Cash America -4200 Buford Hwy CHECK CASHING; I found 1. USA Package-3964 Buford hwy NO MASSAGE PARLORS and no gambling machines observed.
Enuff Govt Already October 02, 2012 at 02:49 PM
I agree with you that there seems to be too many clubs and that they are probably a nuisance to the residents in the area but I'm also glad they're not accompanied by the massage parlors we see in Chamblee and Doraville. Also merely suggesting you know some secret location of gambling machines is not enough. Where are the machines, did you give that information to the police and did you actually see these machines and some money changing hands? I also read you post on DECA and I got to say you must have some pull at DeKalb. You call 911 and get 3 officers and a supervisor, get 2 tickets written and get a private party shut down and that was only the first night. The second night you get 2 more officers and a supervisor, get 2 tickets written and a baptism party shut down. Dang! For me it boiled down to the county has clubs but NO massage parlors in the area. The cities have clubs AND massage parlors.
Steve Walker October 02, 2012 at 02:55 PM
New Pan-handling ordinance City of Atlanta just adopted: Panhandling compromise wins passage Dave Williams - Atlanta Business Chronicle The Atlanta City Council unanimously passed a compromise ordinance Monday aimed at aggressive panhandlers who have drawn complaints from business owners and tourists for years. First-time violators of the new ordinance can be sentenced to perform community service for up to 30 days, but those who break the law for the second time must serve at least 30 days in jail. Those convicted of a third offense will have to be locked up for at least 90 days. Mayor Kasim Reed got behind the compromise ordinance last week after vetoing an earlier proposal that called for putting aggressive panhandlers in jail for up to 180 days. http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/blog/capitol_vision/2012/10/panhandling-compromise-wins-passage.html
Mike October 02, 2012 at 08:53 PM
I moved to Brookhaven about 5 years ago because I didn't want to live in a suburban nightmare like Johns Creek. Hopefully Brookhaven doesn't start looking as homogenous and "family friendly" as Johns Creek....that place scares me! I like a little grit in my grits.
Cybill October 12, 2012 at 12:09 AM
I say lets make a special batch of chocolate and give it out to the vagrants @ HBH. Melt down some chocolate Ex Lax mold them into some pretty molds & hand them out as gifts. Give the boys about 8 hours and they will figure out something they ate was bad that has made the go squirt squirt.
Nikki Stetson November 09, 2012 at 08:03 PM
I see in understand how some of these people would be frustrated about the goings-on on Buford Highway. But in the meantime nobody is addressing the main issue it is difficult to get a job when you wear your and underwear on the outside of your pants. no I don't necessarily say that as a joke. the reality is a lot of these people have serious issues medically as well as physical. with the recent closing of many sheltersit is no wonder why these people are looking for places to sleep. those of you recommending incarceration and or imposing physical violence upon these people are strictly out of line. I go to the Brookhaven LA Fitness several times a month and also visit the area in which you are speaking of. I have never felt threatened in the area. If local businesses really wanted to invest in their community they would apply their efforts to opening a new shelter in which would offer refuge for these people oppose 2 shuffling them from 1 side of the city to the other. doing so would offer some of them jobs and those with legitimate medical issues would have a place to seek treatment. for business owners this would be a 100 percent tax write off as they give back to the community in which they do business. in closing, we need to love and embrace the people that are around us and not just the ones that fall from our wombs.

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