Home > Arcata, Shane Brinton > Brinton speaks out for First Amendment

Brinton speaks out for First Amendment

Arcata City Councilman Shane Brinton responded to the city’s recent 4-1 vote that reaffirmed support for its controversial Panhandling Ordinance. The ordinance makes it a crime for any person to hold a sign that asks for money.

“The purpose of the First Amendment is to protect free speech, even speech that makes some people uncomfortable,” Brinton said in a press release. “Panhandling is a problem that we should address as a community, not by denying citizens their constitutional rights.”

Brinton said he was disappointed that his fellow councilmembers failed to take the opportunity to repeal the ordinance and work together to pursue real solutions.

Arcata may be facing a lawsuit by resident Richard Salzman who says the ordinance is unconstitutional.

    March 25, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Round Table advertizes from the sidewalk illegally too; but since Arcata is pro corporation for sales tax revenues, double standards exist. Check the business licens the city approved of. Check the Public Works Department for a list of permitees. No Round Table Pizza.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  2. High Finance
    March 25, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    What is going on with the Arcata City Council ?

    The city council baby is the only one who is right in this issue.

  3. March 25, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    HiFi, you have no room to complain about people calling you names.

  4. Anonymous
    March 25, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    I say, let Salzman bring a lawsuit. Let’s get this supposed legal question cleared up so we can make Arcata’s streets safe again. Free speech has limits. Even Shane should understand that.

  5. Anonymous
    March 25, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Henchman, Arcata has no Round Table Pizza. Check your facts. I dare you to drive by this supposed establishment and look in the window.

  6. Anonymous
    March 25, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Ohh, wait. Maybe you mean Valley West. It’s debatable whether that counts at Arcata, but OK. Check the definitions in the statute. What the pizza place is doing is not aggressive panhandling.

  7. SNaFU
    March 25, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    No Round Table Pizza in downtown? Arcata does have a “Red Square”…………

  8. High Finance
    March 25, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    I know he is a good buddy of yours Heraldo, but children like him and Kerrigan before him have no business on serious boards and councils until they have real world experience.

    They have not a clue as to real life and are just children pretending.

  9. Linda E.
    March 25, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    As an Arcata resident who lives and works near the plaza, I must state that although aggressive panhandling is extremely unpleasant, the majority of the Arcata City Council has it wrong on this one. Thank you, Shane, for sticking up for freedom of speech!

  10. March 25, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    I know he is a good buddy of yours Heraldo,

    You don’t know Jack Squat, HiFi, but that’s no surprise to anyone who reads your comments. As to your name-calling, you remain a hypocrite.

    March 25, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Good for Shane Brinton. I believe he’s quite correct, it is an infringment on free speech. I can’t see how someone holding a sign harms anyone.

  12. Plain Jane
    March 25, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    Since HiFi gets that this is a free-speech issue that Brinton got right and the rest of the council got wrong, maybe he should stop being a bigot about youth and recognize that age doesn’t guarantee wisdom and some people come to it early in life.

  13. High Finance
    March 25, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    It is sad Heraldo, that YOU of all people would call me a hypocrite on this issue.

    You the biggest name caller here, one that labels entire topics by calling specific conservative individuals some of the most vile names. YOU who sits by silently while posters here call other posters names all the time.

    YOU call me a hypocrite ?

  14. March 25, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Examples, please. What “vile” names do I call conservative individuals?

    And yes, since you complain about name-callers and then unleash that same bad behavior here, I call you a hypocrite.

  15. Mitch
    March 25, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Now wait a minute, HiFi. Someone runs for office, campaigning door to door, speaking with people. The people vote for the person in sufficient numbers that they are elected over other candidates. But you say he has no business on “serious boards?”

    How do you define having business on “serious boards?” Being old enough and wise enough to agree with you?

  16. Mitch
    March 25, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    And Heraldo,

    I call HiFi a shrubbery.

  17. March 25, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    That’s mean and low-down, Mitch.

  18. Mitch
    March 25, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Ni to you.

  19. Anonymous
    March 25, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    some people come to it early in life.

    Now you’re calling Shane wise. That is too funny. Say something else!

  20. Laughable
    March 25, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    When accosted by aggressive panhandlers in Arcata storefronts, I too exercise my free speech rights with a page from Plain Jane’s book. I just tell ’em to “Go F*ck Yourself!” Problem solved.

  21. Plain Jane
    March 25, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    I was referring to HiFi’s bigotry toward youth, not any particular youth. Brinton’s wise decision in spite of his youth compared to his elder’s unwise decision is just an example. No punch line but you probably laugh at everything you can’t understand anyway.

  22. High Finance
    March 25, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Heraldo, perhaps you call conservative members of the city council and don’t realize what you are doing out of ignorance or are you just being cute ?

    When you have topics that question the intelligence or honesty of Bass/Newman/Brady or the honesty of RA, the Chamber and others you are calling them far worse names than I just did Briton.

    I don’t know how to access past topics you have had here otherwise I could come up with many examples.

    I repeat, YOU are the hypocrite and you insult the intelligence of everybody here by denying it.

  23. March 25, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    You insult other peoples’ intelligence but can’t perform a simple search on a blog you use every day. That says something.

    perhaps you call conservative members of the city council and don’t realize what you are doing out of ignorance or are you just being cute?

    That doesn’t make any sense. Did you leave out a word?

    HiFi surely finds descriptions of candidates he spent good money to elect described in ways he disagrees with. But I disagree that I call them “vile” names.

  24. High Finance
    March 25, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Nevertheless Heraldo, we both know that your sanctimonous preaching is nothing more than b/s.

    I’ll remember your denials here today and call you on it every time you insult others from now on.

    You’ll notice that nobody here is defending you on this, not even your amen chorus.

  25. March 25, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    I asked you to back up your claims of “vile” name-calling. You can’t.

  26. Mitch
    March 25, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    That’s sanctimonious, HiFi, you shrubbery you. But thank you for recognizing that sitting in public and asking people for assistance is constitutional.

  27. High Finance
    March 25, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    I love you too Mitch.

    You’re right Heraldo, I don’t know how to access your past topics and you don’t dare tell me how. Otherwise you would be exposed for what you are.

  28. March 25, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    HiFi, I hide the search box in the sidebar just below the recent comments widget. Sneaky of me, I know.

  29. skippy
    March 25, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    and now a relaxing interlude from Monty and the boys…

    “ARTHUR: O, Knights of Nee, we have brought you your shrubbery. May we go now?
    HEAD KNIGHT: It is a good shrubbery. I like the laurels particularly. But there is one small problem.
    ARTHUR: What is that?
    HEAD KNIGHT: We are now… no longer the Knights Who Say Nee. We are now the Knights Who Say Ecky-ecky-ecky-
    ecky-pikang-zoom-boing-mumble-mumble. Therefore, we must give you a test.
    ARTHUR: What is this test, O Knights of– Knights Who ‘Til Recently Said Nee?
    HEAD KNIGHT: Firstly, you must find… another shrubbery!
    [dramatic chord]
    ARTHUR: Not another shrubbery!
    HEAD KNIGHT: Then, when you have found the shrubbery, you must place it here beside this shrubbery, only slightly higher so you get a two-level effect with a little path running down the middle. A path! A path! Nee! Then, when you have found the shrubbery, you must cut down the mightiest tree in the forest… with… a herring!
    [dramatic chord]
    ARTHUR: We shall do no such thing!
    HEAD KNIGHT: Oh, please!
    ARTHUR: Cut down a tree with a herring? It can’t be done!
    BEDEMIR: My liege, it’s Sir Robin!
    MINSTREL (singing): Packing it in and packing it up
    And sneaking away and buggering up
    And chickening out and pissing about
    Yes, bravely he is throwing in the sponge, Sir Robin…”

    Thank you. And now we return to our regularly scheduled Friday night spats…

  30. textwrapper
    March 25, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    “The city council baby…”

    Is his age at issue here, HiFi? How old are you, eleventy?

  31. tra
    March 25, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Way to go Shane!

    The other four councilmembers should be ashamed of themselves.

  32. tra
    March 25, 2011 at 11:17 pm


    I find it amusing that on the one hand you recognize that Shane is the only one of the councilmembers who was right about this issue, yet on the other hand you state that he has “no business” being on the Council. So they’d be better off without the one guy who was right?

    Yeah, he’s young, a bit “wet behind the ears,” and his ideology often comes off as a bit too predicable and left-dogmatic for my taste. But he’s smart, capable, enthusiastic about democratic participation, and was duly elected by the voters.

    And, if this case is any indication, he seems quite willing to stand up and call out his colleagues when he thinks that they are making a serious mistake.

    In my opinion, when it comes to elected officials, integrity is more important than experience, because inexperienced people can and usually do become more experienced, whereas people who are lacking in integrity rarely seem to improve in that regard when elected to public office.

  33. March 26, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Anon 7:58 – valley west being ‘debatable’ as being part of arcata is only for the self rightous sacklickers, wanting to stoke their egos by claiming their city is better because it has ‘no fast food’ tough shit it is arcata. Same as the hospital is in arcata,almquist lumber is in arcata,etc..

    March 26, 2011 at 7:42 am

    Guess what,

    reality PROVES loitering is MORE PREVALENT than panhandling:-)!

    Wow, who woulda thunk,, err saw, err experienced that one……like loitering as a business entity on a public sidewalk advertizing for increased corporate concentrations of wealth and profit, illegally too.

    Shush, don’t tell that certain Arcata councilwoman who is a Plaza business owner that factoid cuz she might THEN ask about “equal protection standards” for business licenses that this very same councilwoman supports, just not sure if the support is for abuses of the business license or not.


  35. Mark Sailors
    March 26, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Arcata has a history of ignoring the law, and rights, to install local ordinances that are illegal.
    They seem like they listen to the loud minority and ignore the constitution and the non vocal majority.
    (Think Medical Cannabis ordinance)

  36. March 26, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Hi-fi- the highlight of my experience on the HH is being called ‘a jerk’ by you,an asshole

    March 26, 2011 at 7:58 am

    If HiFi is not a sock puppet of the Herald’s Imaginationary Characters that create fake dialogues …….,

    High Finance says:
    March 25, 2011 at 7:37 pm
    What is going on with the Arcata City Council ?

    The city council baby is the only one who is right in this issue.

    then the above statement makes sense increating back and forth fake conversations as only a multi-personality disorder could cause a humanoid to do for propagandas…..

    IF NOT


    do write what Mr. Brinton did to deserve the “baby” epitaph, amazingly in one word to dupe.

    Mr. Brinton appears to be a grown man, not a boy; maybe “green in politics”, but a grown man nonetheless. So, what is it that differentiates you both from each other, politically? It surely must be more than a one word epitaph.


  38. kale estanoche
    March 26, 2011 at 7:59 am

    To be contrary, not that that’s ever done on here, I disagree with 7:37am. Mitch’s lovable comment at 8:57pm led to a welcome intermission. Bringing MP into the mix brings anything up a notch, in my personal opinion.

    Oh yeah. Good work Shane!

  39. Not rich but comfortable enough
    March 26, 2011 at 7:59 am

    I don’t agree with Shane on some topics and would like to see the Council develop some plan to stop panhandling and to have a way to get the street people types to move on, BUT, back to Shane: he is quite experienced, having been involved in City politics for quite some time on a less visible level, attending meetings, etc and then his stint on the Northern Humboldt School Board.

    March 26, 2011 at 8:02 am


    “is”, not “is not” – 1st sentence, last response.


    March 26, 2011 at 8:19 am

    Anonymous says:
    March 25, 2011 at 7:56 pm
    I say, let Salzman bring a lawsuit. Let’s get this supposed legal question cleared up so we can make Arcata’s streets safe again. Free speech has limits. Even Shane should understand that.

    Response: Hey, the bomb squad has cleaned the streets of danger that was filtered through a local business that copies stuff, sends stuff, receives stuff….ya know, the all-in one- copy stop shop that bombs can be put into packages and left on the sidewalk; or, how about these “NEW AGE” games where some artifact or tool or device or piece of that game is thought ot be a harmful bomb (ex. McKinleyville circa late 2010). Hey, even the homeless dude on the Arcata Plaza park bench that caught the plaza vandalism perps in the 4×4 pick-em-up truck and helped catch ’em along with a cab driver who heard the description over the citizens band radio….Yes, local, true events like this suggest that all “walks-of-life” (since politically, abusers are using a certain method configured to “type casting” SPECIFICALLY to counter opposing arguements by others that “types” is not an acceptible categorization, humanly) of people are trying to do their part for a better community that which is safer. So, I have yet to read facts about a panhandler assaulting and battering someone else ….at least in the reasons for the ordinance; then again, I did not see discretionary reasons such as sight, smell, taste, sense, etc…. of a human being being classified as disgusting or proper, so I am unsure as to exactly how to differentiate between what panhandlers are doing, exactly, that is any different than what Round Table Pizza is doing or any other business with, oh let’s say, sandwich board signs on and within and encroached upon public sidewalks – hey, who has got rubbed up against or hit by the swinging sign displayers Round Table employs that blocks the sidewalk?

    If a dissenting person were to get upset, they could argue……. to hope karma occurs AND that homeless people trip on those hazzards and sue the heck outta the hypocrit businesses only……… how is that for “equal protection”?

    How ya like me now?


    March 26, 2011 at 8:31 am

    tra says,

    “In my opinion, when it comes to elected officials, integrity is more important than experience, because inexperienced people can and usually do become more experienced, whereas people who are lacking in integrity rarely seem to improve in that regard when elected to public office.”

    Response: That extracted “tra” quote should be considered for “quote of the year”!


  43. Down the Road
    March 26, 2011 at 9:25 am

    I say a business license with a I.D. picture to be
    worn on the front of the clothing. I also want a
    background check on the person applying for this
    business license. They are in the business of
    procuring money. It is one thing to be young and
    not bothered by aggressive panhandlers, it is another
    thing to be old and walking with a cane and be very
    intimidated by aggressive panhandling. A license
    does not stop free speech.

  44. Johnny Cambridge
    March 26, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Whether or not this law is unconstitutional, the fact remains that the bane of Arcata are the panhandlers. They are rude, pushy and commonly seem to be under the influence of various drugs–leaving them incoherent, or worse, on the verge of violence.

    Arcata has become a destination for beggars. Of all the types of tourism we would like, that is not one of them.

  45. Anonymous
    March 26, 2011 at 10:08 am

    I stopped shopping in Arcata about 6 years ago. I took my best friend a teacher from Portland to the farmers Market. We were screamed and cussed at by panhandlers. We had to step over the unwashed laying on the sidewalk. She was disgusted. So was I.

  46. Not rich but comfortable enough
    March 26, 2011 at 10:14 am

    I know it’s frustrating for the shop owners. It happens all over. Don’t penalize the Arcata shops for what they can’t control. All the local businesses in Humboldt County need our support.

  47. tra
    March 26, 2011 at 10:17 am

    I’ve been to the Arcata Farmers’ Market many times, and never experienced anything like what you described 10:08.

    If it was really anything like what you described, no one would come and the Farmers’ Market would be like a ghost town. Yet, quite to the contrary, the Arcata Farmers’ Market draws large crowds every week during the active season.

    Either you had a highly unusual experience, or else your just making shit up. Frankly, I suspect the latter.

  48. Coda 4jr
    March 26, 2011 at 10:21 am

    There was an earlier post on the HH about a social worker not receiving adequate pay for her job.

    Alas, I was amazed when I stopped by for ice cream and Shane Brinton was working behind the counter and he scooped it into the cup for me. Yes, he has a day job to make ends meet. Why aren’t Arcata city council members paid a livable wage for their duties?

    BTW, he did a great job in scooping out the ice cream! He served it with a smile.

  49. Cutie
    March 26, 2011 at 10:46 am

    He’s qualified for one of his jobs.

  50. Not rich but comfortable enough
    March 26, 2011 at 10:48 am

    I believe 10:08 was talking about the Portland Farmers’ Market, tra.

  51. Not rich but comfortable enough
    March 26, 2011 at 10:49 am

    No, I see, the friend was from Portland. I read it wrong.

  52. Anonymous
    March 26, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Tra. I tell the truth and you call me a liar. Nice.

    I am not penalizing the businesses in Arcata. My choice is due to the misguided direction Arcata has taken and I am sincerely sad about it. I didn’t like being yelled at nor called a bitch nor spat at. I disliked the rudeness. That behavior isn’t progressive its just rude. Tra ignoring reality doesn’t change things.

  53. Anonymous
    March 26, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Oh and I didn’t make this choice because an “unusual experience”. It was a pattern over time. This is I believe what concerned the City Council when they passed this ordinance and what businesses have complained about so, tra quit ignoring reality.

  54. connect the dots
    March 26, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    shane was a dud on the school board ,just like he was on waist board. he is a nice guy but simple to the core and a follower of a very nasty political cabal. panhandlers are a real problem in Arcata but much worse is the progressive BS that believes it’s groovy. shane is not able to do the real work necessary to keep a city,a community or a relationship viable. hopefully with time he may learn but with the fools he runs with , it’s doubtful.

  55. HiFi The Trpglodyte
    March 26, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Evidently “HighlyFried”‘s miniscule brain is drowning in last night’s alcoholic revelry.
    IU support Heraldo’s contentions on this issue.
    For HighlyFried to be accusing ANYONE of posting b/s is ludicrous-his mental and emotional zip code puts his residence smack dab in the middle of Bullshit Avenue.

  56. March 26, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    …panhandlers are a real problem in Arcata but much worse is the progressive BS that believes it’s groovy.

    I don’t know that any so- called progressives think panhandling is “groovy”. I’m nothing close to a progressive and I don’t appreciate panhandling, but I consider it a human right to ask for aid of whatever kind. It’s akin to asking someone for a job. How anyone can suggest that a person shouldn’t be able to beg is beyond me.

    If you want to deal with aggressive panhandling, or panhandlers interfering with businesses, have at it, but someone just standing on a street corner with a sign asking for either work or money should be off limits.

    And that’s from someone who has decided not to buy meals at a certain Eureka fast food place on occasion because of the bums hanging out in front waiting to hit me up for money. If that restaurant doesn’t mind the bums hanging there, I appreciate their sympathy. But sometimes I’m not in the mood to deal with the bums.

  57. felix
    March 26, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Connect the Dots- your inability to spell a simple word like ‘waste’, undermines the rest of your post!

    His cabal? LOL LOL LOL

  58. Anonymous
    March 26, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    The dude uses a hand held. BFD Felix. Come in now.

  59. tra
    March 26, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Anon 10:08, 11:51, 11:56.

    I shouldn’t have included the sentence “I suspect the latter,” refering to the idea that you could have been “making shit up.” It didn’t add anything to the discussion, and obviously it distracted and detracted from the point I was trying to make.

    So, I apologize for that. For the purposes of this discussion, I should have just taken your word that you had the experience that you said you had.

    The reason I had such strong doubts is because your experience of the Farmers’ Market was so completely different than the experience that I’ve had there literally dozens of times in the past few years. Not once have I been called names or spat at. Nor have I ever had to step over anyone lying on the sidewalk, “unwashed” or otherwise (which, given the hundreds of people who show up for the Farmers’ market, seems like a pretty dangerous place to lie down).

    But, assuming those things really did happen to you, and that similar thing occured to you several other times (such that you experienced wha tyou perceived to be a “pattern”) I still think that your experiences were really the relatively rare exceptions to the rule as far as the scene at the Farmers’ Market.

    Otherwise, as I said above, I would expect that more people would react as you did, by not coming back to the Farmers’ Market and not shopping in downtown Arcata. Yet downtown Arcata businesses appear to be thriving, and certainly the Farmers’ Market is always very well attended. In fact it seems to me that the crowds at the Farmer’s Market continue to grow larger every year. If things were usually, or even often, as bad as what you say you experienced, and this is part of pattern, and things are getting worse, how do you account for the ongoing success of the Farmers’ Market?

    Whenever I go to the Farmers’ Market at the Arcata Plaza, what I see are dozens of great vendors with a terrific variety of fresh produce and other products, lots of folks walking around browsing and buying, many, many families with children (who seem to be having a great time), wonderful musicians, a bunch of colorful jugglers and other unofficial performers, and in general about as wholesome, welcoming, and vibrant dynamic a anyone could ask for.

    Meanwhile, a tiny minority of homeless folks and “travelers” are there, too, but I’ve never really had a problem with any of them, except once or twice when someone asked me if I could spare some change, and I politely declined, they may have frowned and/or sighed or “sucked their teeth” with disappointment/frustration. Not a big deal. So I don’t feel that I’m “ignoring reality,” I’m simply reporting reality as I experienced and perceived it, based on my many trips to the Farmers’ Market. It sounds like you had some very different experiences, so the “reality” you percieved is way, way different.

    I’m sorry you had such a bad experience at the Farmers’ Market when you brought your friends from Portland, but I’d encourage you to try again sometime. You might be pleasantly surprised to find a scene that pretty closely matches the description that I’ve given in this comment.

    Have a good one.

    – tra

  60. Not A Native
    March 26, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    I’ve lived in Arcata for awhile and don’t appreciate that the conservative shift that people have takne while they smugly claim to be liberal. I attribute a lot of that to Bob Ornealas who demonstrated an ugly and mean side of liberalism which drove people into closet conservatism. Dave Meserve furthered that by promoting unrealistic goals, creating practical reasons for people to cozy up to a conservative form of ‘common sense’.

    As to the panhandlers, my experience is that the bad behaviors largely happen on ‘tavern row’, panhandlers I encounter everywhere else seem more pitiful than threatening.

    I do understand the unease that comes from seeing a person obviously much worse off that you are. I feel it too. But I have little sympathy for people who feel entitled to insulate themselves from feeling uneasy about reality, whether attempting to banish needy people from their sight or habitually distorting their minds and perceptions with intoxicants.

  61. March 26, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    What??? HiFi 9:05 You mean Bass/Newman/Brady/RA/ and the Chamber have intelligence and honesty? Who knew? They keep it well hidden.

  62. tra
    March 26, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    I basically agree with most of what Fred said in his 1:06 comment.

    If they want to take additional steps to deal with any “aggressive panhandling” — where someone is blocking other people from being able to walk by, shouting, threatening, or in any way putting their hands on other people without permission — well, I’m fine with that.

    But to outlaw even a polite request or someone just holding a sign — that’s just way over the top in terms of disrespect for the first amendment, not to mention lack of compassion for the truly desperately needy folks who make up at least a portion of those who engage in panhandling.

    It’s interesting to note that HiFi, our resident “mainstream conservative,” Fred, our resident “libertarian,” and a whole host of liberal/progressive/left commenters all seem to agree that this ordinance goes way too far. I mean, I wonder how often HiFi and Fred find themselves fundamentally in agreement with Shane Brinton, and with prominent left-politico Richard Salzman!?

  63. tra
    March 26, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    As to the panhandlers, my experience is that the bad behaviors largely happen on ‘tavern row’, panhandlers I encounter everywhere else seem more pitiful than threatening.

    That reflects my experience, too.

  64. March 26, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    My thought on the panhandling issue is, that since it is intended to be a money making enterprise, it should be subject to zoning laws, at least. There could be ‘panhandling zones’ where practitioners could set up and practice their trade. Cities in India have “Beggars rows” as do other places. It would contain the problem, allow you to avoid it, and allow those that wanted to give to do so with little fuss or stigma. Anyone could say whatever he/she wanted within the zone. Maybe HiFi has a space outside his workplace that would be appropriate?

  65. High Finance
    March 26, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Mouse, you’re such a card !

  66. Limey
    March 26, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    You mean ‘tard?

  67. Not A Native
    March 26, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    I think ‘Third Worlding’ poverty here is a lousy idea. Ghettoising and stigmatizing marginal people is a sure fire recipe for a subsequent need to ‘clean up’ a perceived cesspool.

    Should we handle our trash and sewage Third World style too? Going along isolated roads and river banks it seems plenty of folks in HumCo already do. Fred would love to get his burn barrel back.

  68. Random Guy
    March 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    I agree with NAN (for a change?) The $1,000 reward for catching roadside dumpers should be “dead or alive”…surprised nobody’s taken advantage of the possibility for some income that way. Homeless people could actually be employed to set up a clean and hidden spot near popular dumping sites (I’m sure we all know a few). Publicizing that they’re being watched, busted and prosecuted would at least curb the problem a little.

    March 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm


    if this panhandling issue turns out like Wisconsin union workers, oh boy, watch out!


  70. felix
    March 26, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    I read this thread earlier and chose not to comment, but as Shane is being so attacked, I’ll throw 2 cents.

    I think he deserves major kudos for having more compassion and a better understanding of the Constitution than all those “seasoned’ (ie. senior members of the council- given their performance and oppressiveness I wish they’d go away).

    What offends ME about Arcata is the extent to which these attempts to squash the poor have been taken. I cannot walk around the square with my dog on a leash! Much less go onto the grass, prepared to clean up after my dog or not. Last time I was aggressed upon by a cop- in my effort to comply with his fascist request (to remove myself and dog from the sidewalk) I was then threatened with a jaywalking ticket- though I wasn’t permitted to walk to the corner on that sidewalk.
    F____ked up.

    And I’m neither young, carrying a sign nor “unwashed”.

  71. Reinventing The Wheel
    March 26, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    The solution to panhandling has always been investments in a nation’s human resources via access to fundamental necessities of food, shelter, health care, education, job training and placement. If you want more, you have work harder, if capable! Once educated, most people do.

    Without this fundamental hand-up, complaints about poverty, homelessness and panhandling are pure bigotry. Pay NOW for these programs, or pay DEARLY later on. True conservatives used to understand this concept.

    All the other industrialized nations still invest in their human resources, just as we had 31 years ago, before the “Reagan Revolution” began the liberalization movement for regulations, tax-havens, job exports to foreign children, and Tariffs…etc, while cutting social programs.

    The taxpayers are now being handed the bill for a generation of this “free-market”, radical liberalism!

    Once a nation invests in a healthy, educated and skilled middle class, its citizens become more effective at challenging the plutocracy, hence, the lower income disparities in every other industrialized nation than ours.

    Mission accomplished!

    Anyone watching Shane in action has nothing but respect for him. Apparently, he’s still young enough to have the modesty and courage to become knowledgeable on issues from which he speaks with passion and eloquence at public hearings.

    As opposed to Eureka’s newest council members who’s local economic expertise precluded attending ANY county GP hearings until just last month…which best explains their tireless “frustration with the GP process”.

    We can thank their campaign contributors for these candidate’s faith-based economic agenda and sudden interest in the GP.

  72. knowsshane
    March 26, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Shane is right on this isssue. He is the most progressive politician in the county. He was campaign manager for Mark Lovelace, a first time candidate, who is the current sitting County Supervisor Chair. Shane is probably the smartest political consultant in the county, excluding Salzman. If you underestimate his power, you are ignorant to Humboldt County politics.

  73. High Finance
    March 26, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    By the way, knowsshane is Shane’s mom.

  74. Plain Jane
    March 26, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Why do you post such stupid shit that any fool knows you couldn’t possibly know, HiFi?

  75. March 26, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    That’s a fair question.

  76. tra
    March 26, 2011 at 8:24 pm


    I’m still puzzled by why you seem so focused on dissing Mr. Brinton, when he’s the one member of the City Council that you and I (and a broad range of others online and off) agree is taking the correct position on this overreaching anti-panhandling ordinance. Care to explain?

    Would it have been so hard to just say “credit where credit is due,” rather than having to include the childish insults? Ironically, despite Mr. Brinton’s youth, I haven’t heard him engage in the sort of immature, petty remarks that you’ve included in your comments in this thread.

    Essentially, you’re making a persuasive (if inadvertant) argument that immaturity, incivility and lack of good judgement are not necessarily confined to the youth — and that maturity, civility and good judgement are not always gained with age.

  77. Anonymous
    March 26, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    I have heard dozens of people say that they do not go to downtown Arcata because of the freeloaders. It is about time they did something about this problem. I have watched Shane show his lack of knowledge of the world- over and over. He is a childish sixty’s hippie wannabe. We should get a ban on panhandling in Eureka and enforce the smoking ban on the boardwalk while we are at it.

    March 26, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    I’ll say it on this issue,

    “credit where credit is due”

    Thanks Mr. Brinton.

    See, it ain’t so bad.


    March 26, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    although I disagree with exterior smoking bans in general, I do like the fact that less cigarette butts are lying about that would normally end up as toxins down the drains and into the marshes, wetlands, streamways, bay, etc…. not to mention blightful.


  80. tra
    March 26, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    I have watched Shane show his lack of knowledge of the world over and over.

    Well, his knowledge of the First Amendment seems to be much better than yours or his fellow councilmembers. Since the right to freedom of speech is required to secure all of our other freedoms, that’s pretty important.

    Sadly, it looks like educating the other four members of the City Council about basic free speech rights is going to require litigation. I strongly suspect that a lawsuit aimed at overturning the overreaching aspects of this ordinace on First Amendment grounds will ultimately be successful, and at the end of the day it will be Arcata taxpayers who will have to foot the legal bills for both sides.

    Of course this will be a significant loss of public money that could be better spent on improving schools, parks, public safety, street maintenance and all of the other important functions of city government.

  81. knowsshane
    March 26, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    I am not Shane’s mom. Heraldo knows who I am.

  82. Reinventing The Wheel
    March 27, 2011 at 12:23 am

    And once they’ve banned panhandling, they can begin firing all those “negative” employees!

    You see, the image we project to tourists and shoppers is far more important than a few tenuous rights that today’s most “successful, intelligent and positive leaders” know better than to use themselves.

    It’s how they got where they are.

    Enforce a little harmony, and EVERYONE can be suckcessful too!

    Who’s next?

  83. felix
    March 27, 2011 at 12:40 am

    Anonymous 2:27 – You cannot blame a misspelling of ‘waist’ and ‘waste’ on the use of a BFD. It’s careless, ignorant use of our rapidly degenerating language and unfortunately reflects the level of discourse as well.

    Thanks- I’ll stay out here.

  84. High Finance
    March 27, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Jesus Christ PJ & Heraldo, it was a fracking joke. The posters praise was so over the top it deserved comment. Why is it that almost all libs are so devoid of any humor ?

    And sorry TRA, I don’t meet your lofty standards. Not all of us can be so noble, so reasonable and so wonderful as you.

    Brinton is a joke. He was a school board member at the age of 18 and isn’t much older now. I don’t think he is dumb (although he is a self avowed Communist) or evil or dishonest. But he is a kid and kids do not have life experience. He shouldn’t be in a position that affects the lives of others and millions of dollars of taxpayer dollars until he gains that experience.

  85. Plain Jane
    March 27, 2011 at 8:24 am

    “Self-avowed Communist,” HiFi? Really? You got a published quote or a recording where he did that? Is he a card carrying member, HiFi? You DO know what “self-avowed” means, right?

    The HiFi’s of the world hate anyone with intelligence and integrity, both of which Brinton has in spades, because they can’t be bought or bullied, so they get smeared with crazy accusations just like HiFi is “joking” about here.

  86. High Finance
    March 27, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Poor Plain Jane, you tool.

    “18-year-old Shane Brinton, a self-proclaimed communist– blasted candidate Dan Johnson”

    From the North Coast Journal, August 11, 2005.


  87. Plain Jane
    March 27, 2011 at 8:32 am

    He’s was 18, HiFi. I was a Libertarian at 18. What were you? Brinton is a registered Democrat.

  88. High Finance
    March 27, 2011 at 8:40 am

    Brinton registered as a Democrat to further his political career and get in with the local Dem machine.

    You obviously know nothing about him or you would have know about his communist background.

  89. Plain Jane
    March 27, 2011 at 8:45 am

    Lots of people toy with radical political ideology at 18, especially those with curiosity and intelligence; no surprise that you don’t understand it.

  90. Plain Jane
    March 27, 2011 at 8:46 am

    Isn’t it funny that HiFi discounts Brinton’s political abilities due to his youth, but not his even more youthful political curiosity.

  91. High Finance
    March 27, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Do you even understand what it is that you just said PJ ?

    You said at 8.32am and again at 8.45am that we all do foolish things in our youth. And you are right, we do. I am ashamed to say that I myself was a Democrat at age 18. We do those things because we lack the judgement that can only come with experience. It doesn’t matter if your IQ is 130 or 80, we acquire more wisdom as we go through life. We are wiser at age 30 than 20, at 40 than 30 and 60 than 40.

    When you are the typical kid no real damage is done because you are not in any position of authority. That is why kids do not belong on school boards or city councils.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:01 am

    At least Mr. Brinton did not claim to be a witchcraftor or something at the ripe young age of 18. My gosh, stake burning, spells, bedeviled ceremonial freakinesses, etc… Good thing that is a midwest problem.


  93. Plain Jane
    March 27, 2011 at 9:02 am

    How many years did it take you to change from Democrat to Republican, HiFi? If a person is legally qualified for office and the people elect them, they are just as qualified as someone many years older. It must have really rankled to have an 18 year old Marxist beat a much older, better connected, better funded Republican. :D

  94. March 27, 2011 at 9:06 am

    The irony of this whole argument is that Hifi thinks Shane did the right thing while the older members of the council did not.

    Plenty of longtime adults voted Shane into office. They can take pride in their vote.

  95. tra
    March 27, 2011 at 9:09 am

    We are wiser at age 30 than 20, at 40 than 30 and 60 than 40.

    In general, I’d agree with that. But some individuals show more wisdom at age 24 than their colleagues do in their 40s or 50s.

    Case in point — Mr. Brinton showing more wisdom by opposing this overreaching anti-panhandling ordinace, while his elders on the City Council ware acting less wisely by supporting it.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:17 am

    High Finance says:
    March 27, 2011 at 8:59 am
    Do you even understand what it is that you just said PJ ?

    You said at 8.32am and again at 8.45am that we all do foolish things in our youth. And you are right, we do. I am ashamed to say that I myself was a Democrat at age 18. We do those things because we lack the judgement that can only come with experience. It doesn’t matter if your IQ is 130 or 80, we acquire more wisdom as we go through life. We are wiser at age 30 than 20, at 40 than 30 and 60 than 40.

    When you are the typical kid no real damage is done because you are not in any position of authority. That is why kids do not belong on school boards or city councils.

    Response: ah, some truth that relates perfectly (err, almost perfectly) to reasons why younger Americans today grow older and are beginning to understand the frauds that the very political public education system/college education system has been bamboozling for money off of those never guaranteed a career or employment future, all-the-while being taught stuff by enough manipulative educators and professors (pyramid scheme thing-a-ma-bob tactics again).

    Now, not to say skills are not taught, BUT, POLITICAL/ECONOMIC THOUGHT is manipulated in the most sacred areas of an individuals life for where that individual builds trust and confidence to “take on the world”. Once that area of trust begins to break down, well, the streets do have names.

    Now, how confident does it make people knowing that the very other people who took your money while teaching you something, taught you something ECONOMICALLY/POLITICALLY WRONG, INACCURATE, SCHEMED, DESIGNED, PLANNED, etc…. or otherwise just filler to fill the schedule to take your money to provide a better quality of life for those teaching others stuff that will only empower those who took your money for education to retain their prowess and control for a more sophisticated lifestyle filled with opportunities already financed ahead of time by partly gubbamint bailouts for student loaner types who renig on their debts (an interesting argument – you did not learn really a lick, but you also did not pay your debt….so, no professor feels that bad). Such the economic tooled game against youth, who as HIFI generally states, are too young to know what is right from wrong, politically and economically (this is actually quite true).


  97. E Percy
    March 27, 2011 at 9:30 am

    18 is old enough to vote and die for this country. If Shane has the smarts to run for office and win he has every right to serve weather idiots like you HF like it or not. Wonder how you would feel if he were a Young Republican exercising his constitutional rights. Your “life experience” argument is BS and the fact that he thought of himself as communist shows me he actually cracked a book and used his brain. I would love to see his whole generation become more politically involved and put an end to generational fucking the right wing boomers are giving them. I’d like to see a situation where every generation leaves the next one with a clean slate financially so they don’t have to pay the debt put on them by a bunch of thoughtless rich assholes that don’t want to pay any taxes, but enjoyed all the benefits that society gave them growing up because their parents did.

  98. connect the dots
    March 27, 2011 at 9:36 am

    AS USUAL, wrong/ proven wrong and then it;s just “o well” Progs to the end. It doesn’t matter that shane sad he was a commie/ what matters is that he doesn’t know what any of it means/ he is weak on all levels and a perfect tool for the AGENDA.

  99. High Finance
    March 27, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Us “weather idiots” wouldn’t want an eighteen year old Young Republican elected to anything important either.

  100. Plain Jane
    March 27, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Wrong, Doc. What it proves is that he has a brain and can’t be manipulated by fascists like YOU.

    When elected officials don’t understand that freedom of speech is the very foundation of liberty and that without which none can exist, it’s good to have people of integrity standing up for what they believe in regardless of how old they are or what political ideology they explored. I’d rather have someone in office who did some intellectual exploring before just picking his daddy’s politics like you undoubtedly did.

  101. Anonymous
    March 27, 2011 at 9:49 am

    I almost always disagree with HiFi and his ilk and I’m sure I would be considered a “prog”.
    I’ve dealt with Shane in a couple of capacities, including his schooling. He is a very polite and conscientious young man, but he never impressed me as being the sharpest tool in the shed. He is very literal and is not someone I would consult if a problem involved complexity and nuance. I’m not piling on here, but there is something to be said about maturity and experience dealing with a variety of issues.

  102. Plain Jane
    March 27, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Let’s remind ourselves that Brinton wasn’t elected dictator so the concern over his lack of experience is just hyperbole. In this instance he showed superior judgment over his older council members. What votes has he cast that you think were wrong and can blame on his youth?

    March 27, 2011 at 9:57 am

    I dunno about “daddy’s politics”; but, I would say Grand Parent voters are the most damaging since they are the most displaced through historical brainwashings; and, as they get older, the less they politically care because death is knocking at heavens door.

    Yes, I lack respect politically for older people who repeat their voting mistakes time and time again for the retention of a political dualopoly that allows for the Mike Thompsons of the country to be electable, The bush clansmen to be electable, the Clinton gulp swallowers to be the electorate for the electable, the Fed chairment to be seated, etc…. Thompson is a “great example” of a FRAUDULANT LIAR! Don’t be persuaded by local officials being “nice” toward Thompson – that is just political brown-nosing, not to mention he acts like some tough guy that I am sure that old lady representing Wendy’s “where’s the beef” could take him in less than a minute in round one of a classless boxing match. Thompson is a detroyer, not a healer.


  104. Not A Native
    March 27, 2011 at 10:00 am

    So Hi Fi, we’re to regard Brinton’s political affiliation as a cynical attempt to deny his past but celebrate Virginia Bass’ new afiliation as a principled revelation? Shane has well discussed his politics, and he’s not disgraced by being divorced. Anyway Hi Fi, save your Commie baiting smears for prayers over your fellow traveler Joe McCarthy, the great WWII hero.

    March 27, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Some of the greatest minds the world over has ever had were self-educated; thus, could not be brainwashed by the wealth, power and control freaks through false, institutionalized educations at earlier ages by those part of the systematic abuse of minds to re-direct the human species into a “newer guilded age” of economic slaveries.

    Over-population makes this reality so.


  106. Anonymous
    March 27, 2011 at 10:08 am

    “Superior Judgment” is your opinion.
    My opinion is this issue is more complex than being strictly freedom of speech – yes or no. It involves actions that interfere with freedoms of other individuals. That’s my opinion.
    Neither of us are Supreme Court judges that can make a final decision about which opinion is correct. My opinion is that Shane is not showing “superior judgment” but rather acting on a simplistic “either or” basis.

  107. Insider
    March 27, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Shane has repeatedly alienated himself from many on the Council by inappropriate comments and actions. Most Arcatan’s are weary of all the panhandlers. During the summer months it seems as if every other corner in downtown has a transient spare changing. It is out of this desperation that the ordinance was created. Of course the ordinance was not created to limit free speech, but to limit panhandling. In addition, many of the young traveling panhandlers take money away from our local homeless; who need help more than ever. I’ve always tried to help when i can, but with so many young travelers asking for money it does get tiring. That is why the ordinance was created, not to limit free speech. Of course most of “liberal” Arcata knows this can be a slippery slope! Instead of over the top statements like Arcata is limiting free speech, lets find real solutions.

    March 27, 2011 at 10:12 am


    what evidence did the council present to prove freedom was restricted or taken away from those not aggressive panhandlers, but against the aggressive panhandlers – on a case by case basis? Just an important thought, nothing new.


  109. Plain Jane
    March 27, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Yeah, Insider. Civil liberties can be a real annoyance when other people practice them. If only we could just reserve them for ourselves, right?

  110. Insider
    March 27, 2011 at 10:23 am

    PJ, I understand both sides of the issue. I give to homeless people i know. The problem is that Arcata is a destination for many travelers who spare change to make it to the next city. I know kids who have done it and from time to time i’ve been harassed by kids who do it. Instead of smart ass comments, why don’t you offer solutions? I suppose it’s easier to criticize and act holier than thou. Many Arcata “liberals” and democrats feel the same.

  111. Linda E.
    March 27, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Your post exemplifies that the ordinance is not about aggressive panhandling, it is about trying to limit panhandling in general. Adopting an unconstitutional ordinance that will have very little impact on the problem you identify is ridiculous.

  112. Plain Jane
    March 27, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Even the majority doesn’t have a right to restrict the civil liberties of others, Insider. Freedom of speech is far more important than the right not to be annoyed. SCOTUS just handed down a ruling that even the right to not be annoyed at your child’s funeral doesn’t trump free speech; but it’s always possible that the right to shop without annoyance will be given a higher priority. HAHAHA!

  113. Anonymous
    March 27, 2011 at 10:34 am

    My child went to Arcata High with Shane Brinton. Shane was the campus anarchist back then before he became a communist and before he became a democrat. My child who is a liberal democrat has an opinion of Shane that makes HiFi’s opinions look benevolent.

  114. Insider
    March 27, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Sure Linda, i understand what you are saying. Can someone please offer solutions? Status quo is not working and that is why the ordinance was created. What should Arcata do to address the problem? Nothing? Or to play devils advocate, should we provide every traveler with a stipend for food and housing?

  115. Anonymous
    March 27, 2011 at 10:40 am

    As long as we are playing constitutional lawyer –

    I think Arcata can defend this ordinance on the grounds of restricting advertising in public places, similar to not allowing billboards in certain areas. However, the instant they allow high school kids to wave around car wash signs or pizza places to distract drivers with advertisements of lunch specials, then they’ve lost that argument. Of course, a clever panhandler could create a sign that is more about personal expression: “Panhandlers have the right to ask for money!” Would that sign be allowed?

  116. Insider
    March 27, 2011 at 10:56 am

    And what is PJs solution? I assume you don’t think it is a problem. That would make sense since you don’t live in Arcata and experience it on a daily basis. It is easy to find problems in the world and much more difficult to find solutions.
    Several years ago, I was involved in surveying 100s of Arcata residents. The survey dealt with many community issues and while not a scientific poll, the results revealed that transits were one of the main concerns residents.

  117. Anonymous
    March 27, 2011 at 11:06 am

    What ever made you think this is about solutions?

    This is about highlighting flaws in the world and letting you know about our superior intellect.

  118. Plain Jane
    March 27, 2011 at 11:07 am

    I don’t think people exercising their right to free speech is a problem, Insider. I think a much greater problem is people like you who think you have a right to not be annoyed in public. Surveys done over the years demonstrate quite clearly that a majority would restrict speech they don’t want to hear, while still claiming that they believe in free speech. That doesn’t make them right or restriction of speech constitutional.

  119. Insider
    March 27, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Thanks for proving my point that it is easier to criticize than find solutions. Honestly PJ your arrogance and closed mindedness is only matched by HiFi. Really, “people like me” are the problem? I said i give and understand both sides of the issue. What would we expect from you? Extremist of the right and left only appreciate their own narrow viewpoint.

  120. Plain Jane
    March 27, 2011 at 11:16 am

    If you want to do a test, call up those you surveyed several years ago and ask them if they think Westboro Church has the right to protest at military funerals. Then refer to the SCOTUS decision. You might then want to save your city some money and drop this unconstitutional restriction of free speech. Or not, I hear Arcata is rolling in the dough.

  121. Plain Jane
    March 27, 2011 at 11:19 am

    What part of the tyranny of the majority can’t trump minority rights don’t you get, Insider? There IS no solution to people practicing free speech. Get used to it is my suggestion.

  122. Anonymous
    March 27, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Why bother with the supreme court – we can just ask Jane, she knows.
    Might there be a distinction between personal expression (SCOTUS) and trying to get money? Don’t ask a constitutional lawyer, ask Jane!

  123. High Finance
    March 27, 2011 at 11:40 am

    NAN 10am. Yes Virgina’s political change was as cynical as Briton’s. I have criticised Virgina for hers many times here.

  124. Plain Jane
    March 27, 2011 at 11:46 am

    HiFi: If (as you have so often claimed) Eureka is a majority conservative town, why would a switch to Democratic Party be of help to a Eureka candidate?

  125. Anonymous
    March 27, 2011 at 11:53 am

    How do we know these panhandlers are part of a corporate network? If they are, we could restrict them to Valley West and only allow nine to operate. This is a “restriction on freedom” that all of Arcata could support.

  126. EurekaModerate
    March 27, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Eureka is a Democratic Moderate hotbed.

  127. Mitch
    March 27, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    For starters, Insider, you could see if a business group or citizens group would be willing to sponsor a small fund from which people could be paid for doing small unsupervised chores on behalf of the city — picking up litter in a place city crews are never assigned, planting flowers, painting walls, etc…

    People who panhandle could then be invited by residents to choose a job from the city’s list in return for a reasonable payment from the fund. This would remove the guilt trip some might feel when not contributing.

    Information could be offered to HSU students explaining the existence and nature of this alternative to panhandling, encouraging them to contribute to the fund rather than to give to panhandlers.

    It would also help to distribute information on campus explaining the dangers that panhandling travelers subject themselves to, and offering positive reasons that giving to panhandlers may not be the most compassionate thing to do.

  128. Andrew Bird
    March 27, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    If there were a way to stop drunken asshats from bumming for money without trampling all over the First Amendment, I would endorse it. But there is not. I try turn the anger I feel into appreciation for the freedoms we enjoy in this country. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. But when you give it some thought, the annoyance of having to deal with these slobs is a small price to pay for having civil rights.

    Same with the “Stolen Valor Act,” which the Ninth Circuit just struck down on grounds it violates free speech. Lying about one’s military accomplishments to get laid is shameful. But if we make lying a crime in this country, we’re all in trouble.

  129. Not A Native
    March 27, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Personally, I doubt whether there will be any lawsuit, Salzman is just blustering.

    I really don’t care about identities but I’ll guess that INSIDER is Alex Stillman.

    I live in Arcata too and travel daily to the plaza and city hall area. I find Insider’s attitude truly offensive. To my mind, she’s a liberal poseur who justifies the accusations that Arcatans are hypocrites.

    She asserts that giving to panhandlers proves she not intolerant. At the same time she doesn’t like them ‘on every corner’. In other words, they’re fine as long as they keep to their proper and limited assigned place, that meets HER sensibilities.

    If there are more of them than she wants, well they should be banned by ordinance. Lastly, she’s unashamed of her benighted and parochial attitude that ‘travelers'(THEM) ‘take money away from’ OUR homeless. And just how do they do that, I’d like to ask? Are they panhandling our panhandlers? Oh yeah, Insider doles out her feel good money like its feeding crumbs to the pigeons. But she wants only HER pigeons to gratefully receive from her noblesse oblige.

  130. High Finance
    March 27, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    PJ, your question at 11.46am is actually a good one.

    Because she already had the conservatives. By switching parties it was a cynical ploy to get more moderate votes. At the very least it took one piece of ammunition away from the left in attacking her.

    Also I have said that Eureka is a conservative to moderate town not a conservative town. Believe it or not there are a lot of conservative to moderately conservative people out there who remain Democrats because that is what they always have been. They have fallen for the media hype that portrays all conservatives as Glen Beck nuts.

    March 27, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Sabbath Day question: “What do religious folks feel about this issue?”


  132. Anonymous
    March 27, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    The Sabbath was yesterday.

  133. Insider
    March 27, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    NAN,I am not Alex Stillman and i doubt you would know me, but who knows? Sounds like you have some real issues with her. I have voted for Alex in the past and would again, but i do not agree with everything she does or says! I wonder if you could endorse anyone on the city council? If so who?
    Mitch, i appreciate your suggestions, but isn’t that what the Arcata Endeavor tried to do? I speculating here, but wouldn’t think that most of our young transient population would be interested in working for spare change. Of course i could be wrong about that. It is funny to hear so many people who don’t live in Arcata act like experts on the issue.

  134. Plain Jane
    March 27, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Because in the sovereign nation of Arcata, free speech is limited to that which the majority doesn’t find annoying.

  135. Not A Native
    March 27, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Well Insider, yep I think Alex remains true to her Junior League roots, and is a poor role model for Arcata. You may not be Alex. But if you are, you certainly wouldn’t acknowledge it here, so your denial is pointless. I endorse Shane and Mike and before them Michael Machi and Dave.

  136. Mitch
    March 27, 2011 at 6:24 pm


    I don’t know whether that was the Endeavor’s approach or not — if it was, good on them.

    Sometimes things don’t work the first time but do work the tenth time. Often, creating a real solution takes unrewarded grunt work in high quantities, and the only thing lacking the first time or the ninth is the willingness of enough people to put in enough time and energy.

    That’s one reason it can be a mistake to say “we’ve already tried that.”

    You live in a university town with a good rep. It’s always going to be a haven for young travelers. You can treat them as criminals or reach out to them — it’s your choice where to stand on the spectrum between those alternatives.

  137. Mitch
    March 27, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Oh yeah. If the Endeavor tried the approach of offering travelers chores for cash, I’d be curious what percentage took them up on it. It won’t have been 100% because “young travelers” is plural, and people are different from one another. But unless it were 0% — in which unlikely case something would have been very wrong with the implementation — some people were actually helped. That’s great news.

  138. Anonymous
    March 27, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    I have to agree with Insider. Pick economic health for a town or perfect political correctness. Pushing the envelope in some ways seems to be important to preserve what keeps a town healthy for the majority. I just can’t see giving up what is working for the town for the few who break all the rules. Sorry.

  139. Anonymous
    March 27, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Wait, Jane has deemed this as free speech (because she is an expert in constitutional law). No one else should question her determination. Anyone who does is against free speech.
    Ignore anyone who may view this not as personal expression, but as an issue of advertising for income.
    No, no, no, Jane has deemed this as free speech. How can you deny someone else free speech? You must be against the constitution. How un-American… except when someone uses the same argument (free speech) to allow unlimited campaign contributions by corporations.
    No – that is a different use of the constitution to rationalize actions one disagrees with…

  140. tra
    March 27, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    The threatened lawsuit challenges the blanket ban on panhandling because that is a clear enfringement on freedom of speech . It does NOT challenge those aspects of the ordinace that address “aggressive panhandling,” like blocking someone’s path, threatening or unwanted touching, in other words conduct.

    In this country, we are supposed to have freedom of speech but no-one is guaranteed freedom of conduct especially not when that conduct harms or threatens others.

    So the “solution” is quite simple: Retain that portion of the ordinace that addresses inapproriate conduct (aggressive panhandling) and drop the rest. It’s the aggressive panhandling that people have the most concerns about, and sadly, some cynical individuals have attempted to use that concern to ban all panhandling, basically to “hide the poor” for aesthetic, business profit, and personal preference reasons.

    So, keep the “agressive panhandling” provisions of the ordinance, drop the rest. Anyone who is still insisting that Brinton and/or Salzman are standing in the way of an ordinance addressing “aggressive panhandling” is either woefully misinformed, or just plain dishonest. I suspect there’s some of each going on on this thread.

  141. tra
    March 27, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    Meanwhile, since out 18-year-olds are trusted with howitzers, tanks, assault rifles, rocket propelled grenades — not to mention life-and-death decisions made in split seconds — well I think that if the voters want to put an 18-year-old on the Board of Education, or a 24(?)-year-old on

  142. tra
    March 27, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    …the City Council, that’s just fine. Age and experience are great, but the youthful idealism, enthusiasm and energy offered by a young person can be an important complement to the different, but also important qualities offered by older colleagues.

  143. Anonymous
    March 27, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    tra – why is a blanket ban on panhandling a clear infringement on freedom of speech? Is it really that clear? This is not about freedom of expression, this is about advertising for funding. Can I put a billboard up anywhere and ask customers to come to my shop? Are regulations about where and how I’m allowed to advertise an infringement on my free speech? How is it different for someone to ask for money? It is not the same as personal expression when someone is asking for money? You may have a different opinion, but this is not so clear and I’m sure there would be lawyers to line up on both sides. The SCOTUS decision was about people expressing their opinion; it was not about someone asking for money.

  144. tra
    March 27, 2011 at 8:36 pm


    You raise some reasonable questions.

    No, freedom of speech is not absolute, and restrictions on “commercial speech” are generally more allowable.

    However, raising funds for charitable purposes has generally not been considered “commercial speech,” and begging is obviously an age-old and long-recognized activity which amounts to asking directly for an act of charity.

    For example, local governments can and do require licenses for for door-to-door salesmen. However, the courts have consistently held that going door to door to canvass for political support and for charitable donations could not be banned.

    Sorry, I don’t remember the name of the case, but at one time I was quite familiar with it, because as an environmental activist and organizer (in a long-ago youth) I had to explain this fact to more than one local police chief, plenty of overeager rookie officers and even a few attorneys who were representing municipalities that had ordinances against canvassing, in direct violation of the Supreme Court decision.

    Generally all that was really required was to fax a copy of decision to the town attorney, showing the large judgements obtained against several offending town, and the town attorney would give the police chief a little talking-to about how expensive it can get when you try to infringe on people’s free speech rights and they fight back.

    That’s something the majority of the Arcata City Council members seem foolishly unconcerned about. But to some politicians, those wasted tax dollars are just “other peoples’ money,” and they have no scruples about wasting other peoples’ money if it might buy them a little bit of “tough on the homeless” street cred to impress the local ignoranti.

  145. outsider
    March 27, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    So Not a Native endorsed a junior communist, a nutty professor and Dave the soap box? I have to admit i’m a little surprised.

  146. tra
    March 27, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if the city’s ban on panhandling at pretty much all the high-traffic locations where such panhandling might be successful, were to result in local homeless people changing their tactics and instead going door-to-door to do their begging? I’ll bet that city residents will really love that!

  147. Anonymous
    March 27, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Tra, In your comparisons, I don’t see panhandling being the same as someone going door to door for non-profit contributions or campaigning for a cause (non-profit endeavors). The panhandler is much more like the door-to-door salesman. They are doing this for profit, just like someone selling vacuum cleaners.

    So the real question is, has a municipality been successfully sued for banning panhandling where an individual stakes out an area, makes a sign, and asks each passerby for money?

    Does the city have to require a panhandling license? Then they can regulate how the “entrepreneur” operates. Cetainly Arcata has obtained a legal decision about their ordinance; it’s been in place for awhile now.

  148. tra
    March 27, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    A little more on Freedom of Speech, and its limits:

    There are obviously some exceptions to the right to freedom of speech, such as the classic example that shouting “fire!” in a crowded theater is not protected speech (unless there actually IS a fire, of course), threatening others with violence is not protected speech, etc.

    Nor are you allowed to do your house-to-house canvassing with a bullhorn, from a helicopter, at 3:00 in the morning.

    If I am remembering correctly, restrictions on free speech must satisfy BOTH the following two tests in order to be allowable:

    (1) The court must agree that there is a compelling governmental interest, which, despite the neutral-sounding phrase, has in fact been a very strict standard (which is why, for example, those Westboro Baptist jackasses are still allowed to picket military funerals with their hateful messages). Sorry, but “panhandlers annoy me, I don’t like to look at them, they make me ‘uncomfortable,'” and arguments like that…well those just aren’t going to cut the mustard.


    (2) Any restrictions that are designed to address those compelling interests must be tailored as narrowly as possible, must not be “overbroad,” as the courts say — in other words not restricting speech more than necessary to address any compelling governmental interests that the court may have found.

    It seems to me that Arcata’s far-reaching ban on panhandling fails both tests. There is no “compelling governmental interest” in banning non-agressive panhandling, at least I doubt that any court will agree that any of the arguments that have been put forth so far are anywhere near “compelling” enough to justify the restrictions on speech.

    And the ordinance is certainly NOT tailored as narrowly as possible, it’s a sweeping ban on panhandling in just about any spot in the city where panhandling could possibly be fruitful, and the ordinance bans the speech whether the person doing the begging is being agressive or not.

    The only part of the ordinance that would pass muster is the part that deals with aggressive behavior while panhandling, because those are issues of conduct anyway, not speech. This is why, again, Salzman’s threatened lawsuit would not challenge the “aggressive panhandling” provisions.

  149. skippy
    March 27, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    This is Councilmember Shane Brinton’s statement taken from the City of Arcata website:

    Installed in Office: December 9, 2008
    Term Expires: December 2012

    “I was born and raised in Arcata, and I love this city. As a grassroots organizer, I have worked for years to make our community and our society safer, more just, and more equitable. It is this desire to effect positive, transformative change that led me to public office, first as a local school board member and now as your council member.

    I’m an unrepentant idealist, but I’m also a realist. I know we have the capacity to meet the biggest challenges of our time here at the local level—from chronic homelessness and the shortage of affordable housing to climate change and environmental degradation—but it’s going to require innovative ideas, respectful persistence, and strategic planning.

    It’s also going to require your input and active involvement. After all, I’m working for you—and don’t ever let me forget it! Whether or not we agree on a particular issue, I will always listen to you and take your input seriously. Please feel free to contact me with your questions, ideas, concerns, and comments.

    Thank you for taking an interest in your community and your local elected officials. It is a great honor to represent you and to serve this remarkable city.”

    … the following post will note his service, involvements, and associations for your information…

  150. skippy
    March 27, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Arcata Councilmember Brinton’s service, involvements, and associations also from the City of Arcata website:

    Arcata City Council Service:
    Council Member: 2008–present.

    Customer Service–Arcata Scoop.

    Some college (still in progress).

    Member of City and Regional Governance Committees:
    •City Council Representative to the Humboldt Waste Management Authority (JPA) 2010
    •City Council Liaison to the Arcata Chamber of Commerce 2009—present
    •City Council Liaison to the Arcata Sister City Committee 2010

    Past Community Involvement and Service:
    •Council Representative to Humboldt Transit Authority (HTA) 2009
    •Council Liaison to the Arcata Endeavor 2009
    •Board Member, Northern Humboldt Union High School District
    •Member of NHUHSD Wellness and Sports Advisory Committees
    •Campaign Manager for Mark Lovelace’s Supervisorial campaign
    •Member, Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee
    •Volunteer for Democracy Unlimited and the Measure T campaign
    •Volunteer organizer for the Tenants Union of Northern Humboldt
    •Organizer of anti-war rallies and marches with Communities for Peace
    •Volunteer for youth recreational activities organized by the Placebo
    •Cook and server for Arcata Food Not Bombs
    •Front desk attendant for the Redwood Peace & Justice Center
    •Student Body President, Sunny Brae Middle School.

  151. tra
    March 27, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    So the real question is, has a municipality been successfully sued for banning panhandling where an individual stakes out an area, makes a sign, and asks each passerby for money?

    That’s an excellent question, because Arcata is obviously not the first place to try to pass a sweeping ban on virtually all panhandling (aka “begging”) and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

    Courts in different parts of the country have varied on the degree to which they have allowed restrictions, but in general they have struck down overbroad bans that prohibit all begging or begging at all or nearly all locations where there is high enough traffic where such begging might actually be fruitful (in other words, laws that are like Arcata’s new ordinance).

    On the other hand, bans on “aggressive panhandling” tactics are usually upheld, and certain other narrowly crafted restrictions on time, place, and manner have generally been upheld, such as banning begging in close proximity to ATM machines.

    As far as far-reaching bans like Arcata’s, which seek to, in effect, abolish beggars by criminalizing begging, well those have not fared well at all. Here’s one example, which seems particularly relevant, since it is both fairly recent and in California’s Northern District.

    Blair v. Shanahan, 919 F. Supp. 1361 (N.D. Cal. 1996).

    In 1991, plaintiff challenged a California state statute that prohibited “accost[ing] other persons in any public place or in any place open to the public for the purpose of begging or soliciting alms.”

    The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held the California state anti‑begging statute to be unconstitutional on its face, concluding that the statute violated the First Amendment because it was content‑based, was aimed specifically at protected speech in a public forum, and was not narrowly tailored to meet a compelling state interest.

    The court also held that the statute violated the plaintiff’s right to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment since it distinguished between lawful and unlawful conduct based on the content of the communication at issue.

  152. tra
    March 27, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    Certainly Arcata has obtained a legal decision about their ordinance; it’s been in place for awhile now.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think what you meant to say was that the City of Arcata has obtained a legal opinion about their ordinace. In other words, they paid an attorney to tell them that their ordinance was kosher (just as George W. Bush paid John Yoo and others in order to obtain legal opinions that said that waterboarding isn’t torture and that even if it was torture, that the Commander in Chief can order torture any time he feels like it).

    A legal opinion, obtained from an attorney paid for by the City is not at all the same as a legal judgement by a court of law. I assume that you can infer which one trumps the other.

  153. tra
    March 27, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    I should add that I am NOT an attorney, just a layman who is interested in free-speech issues.

    So I welcome any corrections or clarifications from actual attorneys (or for that matter anyone else) who can cite a recent case, in the relevant jurisdiction, that contradicts the interpretation that I have offered here.

    I wasn’t able to find such a caase during a brief search of internet sources, but someone with more expertise, time, and/or access to proprietary legal databases might be able to find a case that I didn’t come across in looking at news reports and websites covering the issue. So feel free to chime in folks, if you uncover something different.

  154. tra
    March 27, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Tra, In your comparisons, I don’t see panhandling being the same as someone going door to door for non-profit contributions or campaigning for a cause (non-profit endeavors). The panhandler is much more like the door-to-door salesman. They are doing this for profit, just like someone selling vacuum cleaners.

    No, I believe that courts have generally treated begging as more akin to other charity work, rather than as commercial speech more akin to door-to-door sales of vacuum cleaners or any other product.

    Apparently, the key difference is that both the beggar, who is soliciting a direct charitable gift, and the person who is soliciting for a more indirect form of charitable contribution are asking for a gift and are not offering anything of value in return. I know, it sounds a little weird, doesn’t it — that it’s O.K. to ask for money as long as you offer nothing in return, but as soon as you offer something in return, then it’s “commercial” — but apparently that’s the way it is.

    Similarly, you do not have to pay taxes on “gifts” (at least not until the dollar amount of the gift is over a certain threshhold), but you do have to pay taxes on income generated by selling a product.

  155. Not A Native
    March 27, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    outsider, contrary to your assertion, Mike Winkler isn’t a professor, and you duplicitly ignored my support for Machi. Guess that proves your chosen name is apt, you’re an outsider who is also ignorant of the facts and too stupid to know it.

  156. Anonymous
    March 28, 2011 at 1:19 am

    Mitch addressed a few possible solutions that could be workable rather than outright banning free speech. The reason that panhandling is so prevalent here is because it works to get the goods. Educating folks to put their money into a fund rather than directly in people’s hands makes sense.

  157. outsider
    March 28, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Is NAN Dan Hauser?

    March 28, 2011 at 8:36 am

    tra @ 10:33pm,

    God post about giving and “in return”. I venture at some point, the tax collectors will say that “a Thank You” or some other gesture is “something in return”.

    Gifts are still, I think, $12,500 per year before taxes kick in, I believe. The sad thing is that if all a person gets is donations, they can’t open or deposit into an IRA. Yet, one can open a cash account or margin account, etc… Go figure huh. Same thing if a person earns income, but rising costs takes all expendible cash away, thus, no IRA deposit either….NO DIFFERENCE, really.


    March 28, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Good, oops.


  160. 454
    March 28, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Plazoids are the beginning of the zombie apocalypse! Be very afraid.

  161. Eric Kirk
    March 29, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    It’s hard to imagine the anti-sign provision holding up in court. But the courts have changed dramatically over the past few decades. I guess it’s possible.

    March 29, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    After signs, will it be noise making bell ringers with money pots/kettles hanging from a metal frame. Then, it will be costumes that don’t represent the real person……..Some people just never stop trying to typecast and deny. Hey, maybe public restrooms will go in after panhandlers are gone?


  163. felix
    March 29, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    I haven’t continued to read every post (I can see how zombies came up – this just goes on and on….).

    I think some Devil’s advocate with money should get some T-shirts printed up that say “WILL WORK FOR FOOD” or some such and pass them out to the ‘bums’.

    Whadda’ya think would be done about that?

    And public restrooms would mitigate the whole ‘homeless’ ‘problem’ greatly! And we call ourselves civilized. Pah.

  164. Groan
    March 30, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Er, about Round Table Pizza. I can’t believe nobody pointed out that Arcata has one in the Union Town shopping center. It’s right next to Safeway, people. Very easy to see.

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