[Hpn] Newspaper hawkers show their scorn for Aventura vending ban -- Aventura, FL Aventura, FL

chance martin streetsheet@sf-homeless-coalition.org
Sat, 10 Feb 2001 18:21:49 -0700


Published Thursday, February 8, 2001, in the Miami Herald

Newspaper hawkers show their scorn for Aventura vending ban

In a show of defiance against an Aventura ban on street vending at its
busiest intersections, Homeless Voice newspaper hawkers stationed at a
four-way stop sign just outside of the exclusive Williams Island condominium
Wednesday afternoon.

``Get out of the street,'' screamed one man in an SUV as he rolled through
the stop sign in the north Miami-Dade city.

``There are mean people here,'' complained hawker Irene Mamesh, 56, wearing
a Homeless Voice orange T-shirt. She hadn't sold a paper.

Tuesday night, the Aventura Commission voted 4-2 to enact an ordinance that
bans panhandling, begging and all other forms of street solicitation from
Biscayne Boulevard, Country Club Drive, Aventura Boulevard and Northeast
207th and 213th Streets.

In response, Sean Cononie, executive director of the Homeless Voice,
deployed homeless hawkers Wednesday on Northeast 191st Street and on
Williams Island Boulevard -- streets not banned in the ordinance -- to
``show that we won't back down.''

Cities can regulate the time, place and manner of protected speech, as long
as they do so as narrowly as possible.

But Cononie says the ordinance is too restrictive -- in two hours, six
hawkers had sold only a dozen papers, compared with the 200 normally sold at
busier intersections -- and promised the paper would challenge the
constitutionality of the ordinance in court.

Aventura police were called to both intersections -- four squad cars arrived
at one point to Williams Island, temporarily halting the flow of sparkling
sports cars and luxury sedans -- but left without incident after warning the
hawkers not to slow traffic.

``Whether they be a flower vendor, a Herald boy or the homeless, they are a
problem for traffic flow,'' Aventura police spokesman Lt. William ``Skip''
Washa said. ``Every time they appear, we get calls. They create a little
fear -- no one likes anyone walking up to their car.''

Copyright 2001 Miami Herald

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