On Aug. 3, a front page article in The Bakersfield Californian was “Commercial real estate emerges as front line in homelessness issue,” and within the article, the comment was made “customers have grown less sensitive to the sight of someone sleeping on a sidewalk or asking passersby for spare change.”
What kind of nonsense is this? I don’t enjoy being panhandled, and I really don’t like stepping around and over the mess that homeless people leave in the streets and on the sidewalks. If I have the option, I avoid areas where homeless people congregate to set up bivouac, hassle passersby and dump their trash. Look at what has happened to the Kern River Parkway in part due to the homeless. Sections of vegetation along the river bank have been burned from fires started by the homeless. Encampments along the river have turned sections into garbage dumps. Also, some of the once nice parks along the river have turned into dirty drug-invested havens for all kinds of unscrupulous characters. San Miguel Park near Manor Street is just one example.
This laissez-faire attitude toward the homeless is not good for the city of Bakersfield. Unless something is done about the homeless situation, problems that we read and see in San Francisco, LA, etc., are coming to Bakersfield. The good citizens of Bakersfield should not tolerate the current homeless situation.
Thomas Payne, Bakersfield