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Old 10-25-2009, 11:35 PM
PochoPatriot PochoPatriot is offline
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Default L.A. Officials Aim to Crack Down on Illegal Vendors

From the LA Antonia Times:

Quote:
They began arriving late Sunday morning, dozens of vans pulling up around the northeast corner of Echo Park Lake. Out came black trash bags overflowing with clothing. One woman spread a tarp on a strip of grass and neatly laid out children's clothes that she hoped to sell for 25 or 50 cents each.

By 11 a.m., the merchants had turned Echo Park into a virtual swap meet. They displayed used clothing, VHS videos, toy trucks, dolls and baseball bats on each side of the sidewalk. One man displayed dozens of Hot Wheels. Another offered a pile of worn shoes for sale.

The makeshift market at the popular public park has grown during the economic downturn, vendors said. Now Los Angeles officials are looking to crack down.

"We've gotten complaints from the community about the fact that there's less space for families to picnic, for kids to run around," said Julie Wong, spokeswoman for City Councilman Eric Garcetti, whose district includes Echo Park.

Street vendors need a city license to operate, and police sporadically issue warnings and tickets at the park. But the infrequent patrols have not deterred sellers.

Garcetti's office is working to coordinate a more consistent approach involving police and other city agencies -- including the Department of Recreation and Parks and the Bureau of Street Services. Fines vary depending on the number of violations, and repeat offenders can face jail time, Wong said. Avoiding tickets has become somewhat of a game over the last few months, vendors said.

No one leaves after the first warning. If vendors see an officer making a second round, the vendors grab their things and go. Later in the day they return after police are gone. "We're just here trying to make a living," said Margarita Martinez, 44, who sat with a pile of children's clothing. She said she made a decent income selling Herbalife nutritional products until the recession hit.

Now she cobbles money together by vending and doing odd jobs. Martinez lives with her seven children in a four-bedroom apartment not far from the park. With the first of the month approaching, she is not sure she will have enough to pay the rent.

"We're not doing anything bad here," she said. "We're not selling drugs. We're not living on the streets."

Sunday afternoon, runners and dog-walkers, shoppers and families filled the park.

One family sat on a blanket eating corn and pupusas while a woman next to them sold bacon-wrapped hot dogs from a cart. Shoppers casually walked from tarp to tarp, picking up and eyeing a blouse here, a pair of shoes there. On a good day, a vendor can make $20 or $30, sellers said. Sometimes, however, they leave without making a dime.

Maria Juarez walked the crowded pathway. Her 7-year-old granddaughter wrapped her arms around a Barbie doll in an old box.

Juarez, a 59-year-old Echo Park resident, has diabetes and comes to the park to exercise. Her grandchildren see the trinkets and get excited, she said. The market doesn't bother her, she said. "People need to make ends meet."

Adrian Reyes, 35, has lived in the neighborhood since he arrived in Los Angeles nearly 20 years ago, he said. There have always been vendors, but lately there are more than ever.

Like many at the park, he has sympathy for the vendors, but he thinks it might be a good idea to have some regulation so the situation doesn't get out of control.

A few feet away, Jose Luis Berra, 55, stood in front of a collection of things from his home -- several pairs of old jeans, older cellphones and a few pairs of black boots that he hoped to sell for $8 each. He hadn't sold a thing all day.

"This isn't a business," he said. "It's just a way to get things out of our home."

paloma.esquivel@latimes.com

Copyright 2009, The Los Angeles Times
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Old 10-25-2009, 11:44 PM
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Ayatollahgondola Ayatollahgondola is offline
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Crack 'em down. Illegal vendors hurt legal vendors, and contribute to the underground economy. Myself and a few others here have been making a dent in their activities, so I know it can be done.
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Old 10-26-2009, 12:40 AM
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Jeanfromfillmore Jeanfromfillmore is offline
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Why would someone have seven children? Doesn't this woman know how to keep her legs crossed and say no to sex. Why should she, because the more you have the more you can cry for sympathy, entitlements (welfare) and handouts. You can break the law and excuse it by saying you're just trying to feed your seven kids. It's a win win situation.

You can't have more animals than you can afford to feed and care for, or they'll site you for it and take the animals away. Yet, you can have as many kids as you want and be rewarded for it. Yes it's third world mentality, but even in the third world having more children than you can care for has its consequences. But not here in the USA, no, we reward them. They can break our laws and go out on the streets, ignore what the police tell them and thumb their nose at them.

Why should anyone pay for a business license and rent on a storefront? That revenue is to be paid for by those dumb Americans who obey the law. These third worlders just set up shop and claim they 'are just trying to feed all those kids they couldn't stop having' and of course that makes it ok.
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:01 AM
Rim05 Rim05 is offline
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Do you know that if you want to do a neighborhood yard sale you need a permit and pay for it. When my mother in law died and I had a yard sale, after it was over there was a city tag on the door knob addressed to Resident, telling me about having to pay a fee for the event. I am not sure how the city knew about the Sat event but since I did not live there I was surprised..
We go about our lives living by the laws and rules but these 'other' people believe if they want it or need it then it is theirs.
Lets see if Tony Thug will allow anything to be done.
Those fees bring a little more in to the city in the form of taxes that most of those people use for everything they get in free this and that.
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:03 AM
Rim05 Rim05 is offline
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Also, who wants to go to a park and stumble over that germ filled junk?
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Old 10-28-2009, 04:38 PM
LAPhil LAPhil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeanfromfillmore View Post
You can have as many kids as you want and be rewarded for it. Yes it's third world mentality, but even in the third world having more children than you can care for has its consequences. But not here in the USA, no, we reward them. They can break our laws and go out on the streets, ignore what the police tell them and thumb their nose at them.
And then when they're 18 they can go out and elect all the wrong people to office.
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echo park, eric garcetti, illeagal vendors, los angeles

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