Anti-Homeless Laws and @HiddenCash: What's Ruining Our Cities This Week

Illustration for article titled Anti-Homeless Laws and @HiddenCash: What's Ruining Our Cities This Week

Legislation that criminalizes the homeless in Maine. A report that recommends bulldozing a fifth of Detroit. And treasure hunters digging up a California park. Plus an update: One man's plan to ruin an entire state by carving it up WITH LIES. It's What's Ruining Our Cities.

Anti-homeless legislation is ruining Portland, Maine

This is one of those "this is not The Onion" stories: In the city of Portland, Maine, a new law was passed that makes it illegal for people to ask for money while standing on medians. If someone's caught doing it, they could be fined... which makes absolutely no sense because they were asking for money? A federal judge has ruled the law unconstitutional and advocacy groups are angry because laws like this and other bans against living in cars or camping criminalize the homeless instead of making efforts to help them. [NPR]


Bulldozers are about to ruin Detroit

Detroit's rose-colored rebirth was documented in this week's New York Times Magazine, but a new report recommends bulldozing a full one-fifth of the city. One-fifth? A watchdog group that calls itself the Detroit Blight Removal Task Force claims that 22 percent of the city's buildings are blighted, many of them occupied by squatters, and taking those buildings down would allow the city to start fresh. Meanwhile, the city has its own plan, Building Detroit, which helps by auctioning vacant properties for low, low prices. Seems like that might be a better alternative than steamrolling the place? [New Statesman]

A scavenger hunt ruined a California park

San Francisco real estate investor Jason Buzi hides envelopes of money throughout the state and drops clues to their whereabouts at @HiddenCash. Sounds innocent and fun, right? A recent clue sent people running, It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World-style, through a Southern California park. "Roughly 1,000 people trampled on plants, destroyed fences and sprinklers and even tried to uproot a newly planted tree believing cash was hidden in the fresh dirt," according to the Los Angeles Times. @HiddenCash will give the park $5000 to repair the damages—which is $5000 less that he'll be able to hide in the future. [LA Times]


Update: That Six Californias dude is still ruining California

We already knew that VC guy Tim Draper had a wacky idea to divide California into six mini-states. Now, it seems that his team will stop at nothing to get his idea on the ballot—including lying to voters and saying it's about raising the minimum wage so they'll sign the petition. [Valleywag]


Photo: Betsy Blaney/AP

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I feel like the @hiddencash story is completely unjust. @HC has consistantly tweeted to followers to be respectful of property, to be mindful, to be safe, to always 'pay-it-forward' and to share with others. For all the good he and his partner did they had one bad night, and are lbasted for that? Yes, that was admittedly a poor choice of location, BUT the people looking for money??? They are the fools that destroyed the property, yet @HC apologized, shouldered responsibilty, and paid for damages. Unlike the greedy vandals who are ultimately responsible. If you were there in Whittier at Penn Park and have dirt on your feet you should have donated your 'found money' to repairs. Ah, but then you shouldn't have trampled the hell out of the park in the first place. How anyone thought that was okay is beyond me. For the media to point the finger at @HC is typical. For @HC to shoulder responsibilty shows what a class act this group is. Btw - I follow them on Twitter but haven't made it out to a drop - I juat like to read the joyous tweets from people who are sharing with each other. Peace.