[Hpn] Las Vegas marshals ticket 7, arrest 3 amid homeless protests

William Charles Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Tue, 01 Aug 2006 06:11:17 -0400


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July 31, 2006=20

Las Vegas marshals ticket 7, arrest 3 amid homeless protests=20
By KEN RITTER
ASSOCIATED PRESS=20

LAS VEGAS (AP) - City marshals blocked a radio personality from feeding =
homeless people at a City Hall park Monday, and issued summonses to a =
television news crew covering a publicity protest against a ban on =
"mobile soup kitchens."=20

Three people were arrested and seven were issued summonses at two parks, =
city officials said, including a reporter and a cameraman ticketed for =
trespassing while covering the protest for KLAS-TV, the CBS affiliate in =
Las Vegas.=20

Beth Monk, a KKLZ-FM radio morning show personality, became the first =
person to receive a summons under a new city law that makes feeding the =
homeless a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $1,000 and six months in =
jail.=20

"The idea was to go out there and show the mayor this ordinance makes no =
sense whatsoever," said Monk, 24, a traffic reporter and radio comedy =
team sidekick who has engaged in publicity stunts including mud =
wrestling on the job.=20

Monk said city marshals confiscated food and water she set on a cement =
wall at Frank Wright Park - a patch of green wedged between a downtown =
bus terminal, a historic post office building and Las Vegas City Hall. =
She was threatened with arrest if she did not leave.=20

"I think right now everyone's realizing how outrageous this is," Monk =
said in a telephone interview.=20

Two people also were arrested Monday for trespassing before 7 a.m. at =
Huntridge Circle Park, city spokesman Jace Radke said. Huntridge is an =
urban park several blocks east of downtown where city officials first =
acted against so-called soup kitchen meals for homeless people.=20

"The ordinance makes it illegal to run mobile soup kitchens or feed the =
homeless in city parks," Radke said. "Marshals are going to enforce the =
law."=20

Bob Stoldal, vice president of news for KLAS, said he had not decided =
whether to fight trespassing summonses issued to reporter Kyla Grogan =
and photojournalist Jorge Montez.=20

"We're going to continue to cover the story very aggressively at all =
public parks," Stoldal said.=20

The staged protest came less than two weeks after the Las Vegas City =
Council passed a law criminalizing charity in parks, and a month after =
the city began rounding up homeless people for 72-hour mental health =
evaluations.=20

Officials, led by Mayor Oscar Goodman, say they want a long-term =
solution to homelessness rather than stopgap measures in a city with =
limited resources for those living on the streets.=20

"Rather than giving someone a sandwich once a day, the city supports =
efforts to end the cycle of homelessness and address the issues that =
keep these individuals on the streets," the mayor's office said in a =
statement Monday. It calls for the homeless to seek aid at social =
service agencies.=20

Activists and civil libertarians called the crackdown unfair and =
unconstitutional.=20

"They are treating people in public spaces in a way that is inconsistent =
with the First Amendment and our nation's history," said Lee Rowland, =
American Civil Liberties of Nevada public advocate in Las Vegas. She =
promised a lawsuit challenging the city law.=20

Linda Lera-Randel El, longtime executive director of Straight from the =
Streets, a Las Vegas area homeless advocacy group, said she distributed =
water, sandwiches and bus tokens at the City Hall park Monday, but was =
not issued a summons.=20

"I'm not saying feeding people in the park is the answer," she said. =
"But I don't think people in power can just pass an ordinance every time =
they don't like something or they're frustrated by the inability to fix =
it."=20



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<DIV><SPAN class=3Dsiteheadlines2justified>July 31, 2006</SPAN> </DIV>
<P><SPAN class=3Dsiteheadlines2justified>
<H3>Las Vegas marshals ticket 7, arrest 3 amid homeless protests </H3>
<DIV></SPAN><SPAN class=3Dsiteheadlines2justified><B>By KEN =
RITTER</B><BR><FONT=20
size=3D-2>ASSOCIATED PRESS</FONT> </DIV>
<P>
<P>LAS VEGAS (AP) - City marshals blocked a radio personality from =
feeding=20
homeless people at a City Hall park Monday, and issued summonses to a =
television=20
news crew covering a publicity protest against a ban on "mobile soup =
kitchens."=20
<P>Three people were arrested and seven were issued summonses at two =
parks, city=20
officials said, including a reporter and a cameraman ticketed for =
trespassing=20
while covering the protest for KLAS-TV, the CBS affiliate in Las Vegas.=20
<P>Beth Monk, a KKLZ-FM radio morning show personality, became the first =
person=20
to receive a summons under a new city law that makes feeding the =
homeless a=20
misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $1,000 and six months in jail.=20
<P>"The idea was to go out there and show the mayor this ordinance makes =
no=20
sense whatsoever," said Monk, 24, a traffic reporter and radio comedy =
team=20
sidekick who has engaged in publicity stunts including mud wrestling on =
the job.=20

<P>Monk said city marshals confiscated food and water she set on a =
cement wall=20
at Frank Wright Park - a patch of green wedged between a downtown bus =
terminal,=20
a historic post office building and Las Vegas City Hall. She was =
threatened with=20
arrest if she did not leave.=20
<P>"I think right now everyone's realizing how outrageous this is," Monk =
said in=20
a telephone interview.=20
<P>Two people also were arrested Monday for trespassing before 7 a.m. at =

Huntridge Circle Park, city spokesman Jace Radke said. Huntridge is an =
urban=20
park several blocks east of downtown where city officials first acted =
against=20
so-called soup kitchen meals for homeless people.=20
<P>"The ordinance makes it illegal to run mobile soup kitchens or feed =
the=20
homeless in city parks," Radke said. "Marshals are going to enforce the =
law."=20
<P>Bob Stoldal, vice president of news for KLAS, said he had not decided =
whether=20
to fight trespassing summonses issued to reporter Kyla Grogan and=20
photojournalist Jorge Montez.=20
<P>"We're going to continue to cover the story very aggressively at all =
public=20
parks," Stoldal said.=20
<P>The staged protest came less than two weeks after the Las Vegas City =
Council=20
passed a law criminalizing charity in parks, and a month after the city =
began=20
rounding up homeless people for 72-hour mental health evaluations.=20
<P>Officials, led by Mayor Oscar Goodman, say they want a long-term =
solution to=20
homelessness rather than stopgap measures in a city with limited =
resources for=20
those living on the streets.=20
<P>"Rather than giving someone a sandwich once a day, the city supports =
efforts=20
to end the cycle of homelessness and address the issues that keep these=20
individuals on the streets," the mayor's office said in a statement =
Monday. It=20
calls for the homeless to seek aid at social service agencies.=20
<P>Activists and civil libertarians called the crackdown unfair and=20
unconstitutional.=20
<P>"They are treating people in public spaces in a way that is =
inconsistent with=20
the First Amendment and our nation's history," said Lee Rowland, =
American Civil=20
Liberties of Nevada public advocate in Las Vegas. She promised a lawsuit =

challenging the city law.=20
<P>Linda Lera-Randel El, longtime executive director of Straight from =
the=20
Streets, a Las Vegas area homeless advocacy group, said she distributed =
water,=20
sandwiches and bus tokens at the City Hall park Monday, but was not =
issued a=20
summons.=20
<P>"I'm not saying feeding people in the park is the answer," she said. =
"But I=20
don't think people in power can just pass an ordinance every time they =
don't=20
like something or they're frustrated by the inability to fix it."=20
</P></SPAN>

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