I have read a distressing article in the Washington Post ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/17/AR2...) that indicates the Mall in Columbia is targeting our local homeless population and trying to ban them from the Mall. ANyone have more to share? can someone from HoCoMoJo get an "approved" interview with the Mall Management? (apparently the Washington Post reporter was asked to leave citing that interviewing in the Mall without permission is considered solicitation).
To ban those who are truly troublemakers is in keeping with the posted Rules, but to target these people because they come and sit and keep warm or cool is discrimination. If those who are just coming to sit and drink a cup of coffee and read the paper will be banned, then many senior citizens will be out ... and if those who just come to sit and chat or people watch are not welcome, let's start removing teens as well.
I need more facts (not just what the Mall Management wants us to hear) and then want to encourage a public outcry - a protest - against this action by the Mall Security.
OR does Columbia/Howard County truly want to close its eyes and ignore the fact that one of the richest counties in the U.S. indeed has a homeless population?
Mrs. Woods, I am still awaiting a response from Mr. Bittner. I have a feeling that I should not hold my breath! What I DO intend to do is to write a letter of support for the Security Officers @ the Mall because their own company, IPC , as well as Mrs. Essing have "thrown them under the bus" to take the blame for this mess. The culprits are none other than Tom Joyce, Director of Security @ the Mall & Mrs. Essing of GGP. At a joint meeting held over a year ago Mr. Joyce announced that "if it was the last thing he did, he'd get the homeless out of the Mall!" When I heard about the armed robbery @ Edward Arthur Jewelers, my initial reaction was, "Well thank God they weren't homeless!" But I was astounded @ Essing's statement that the Mall is a safe place to shop & that she wants everyone to have a pleasant shopping experience! One of the managers of one of the vendors I frequented reported to me that on one Saturday night, a young family was afraid to leave the store because of the number of raucous teens outside the entrance. The vendor called Essing to let her know of the problem w/ the teens & then had to arrange for an escort for the family.
Howard County Police have expressed their outrage & anger that they can do nothing "about the teenagers who come in the Mall w/ a little bit of money in their pocket & cause all kinds of problems and they ban YOU for "disturbing the peace"! If you would like to see the hordes of teenagers in action please visit the Mall on Friday & Saturday evenings around closing which is 9 pm. And then I trust that you will wonder as I do; WHERE are the PARENTS?