Monday, September 03, 2012

Four Corners News 'N Notes

Here's a special Four Corners edition of News 'N Notes...

- A sign affixed to the door of the The Corner Pub, the neighborhood bar which closed in July, indicates that the restaurant/bar will soon be re-opening under new ownership and a with new name - "The 4 Corners Pub".

The new establishment already has a Facebook page, which for unexplained reasons features a photo of erstwhile Redskins tight end Chris Cooley.

- Another arrival on the block is the Red Maple Asian restaurant, which has taken over the former Fajita Coast space. There's a new sign up on the building, but I'm afraid that's the extent of my knowledge at this point.

- One reader recently wrote that she's observed some activity in that area that leads her to believe that rather than just being a collection of independent "entrepeneurs", the panhandlers manning the medians at Four Corners' intersections are actually part of an organized panhandling ring:
I've also noticed activity that suggests that these panhandlers operate together: a red van dropping them off at their "posts" in the morning; one relieving the others' shift and using the same sign; "conferences" held on the side of the street between 2 or 3 of the panhandlers; even informal "break" areas where different panhandlers take a rest while another one covers their corner.
This wouldn't surprise me at all. Has anyone else noticed similar behaviors by panhandlers in Four Corners? We could have been rid of the red light panhandler scourge in Montgomery County last year had it had not been shot down at the state level by supporters of firefighters' "Fill the Boot" campaign. I don't see why we can't have a reasonable law that allows exceptions for groups with the appropriate permits.


Anonymous said...

I have seen the "pimp" pick up the panhandlers' stacks of bills a few times on that corner. I do not know whether the relationship is as abusive as pimp + prostitute, but I would not be surprised if it is. I would guess that most busy corners get taken over by some organized group, otherwise you would see fights over the corners. Probably too small-time for the MoCo mob though...

Anonymous said...

So, would the gypsy families that operate on corners in MoCo be considered a group, too? They are equally as organized.

Lebowski said...

The city of Orlando requires panhandlers to get a license and in Hillsborough County Florida, it's considered a misdemeanor. Don't know if that's feasible here, but would surely help the situation.

Anonymous said...

I've seen this "organization" of panhandlers at several area intersections, including the intersection of Viers Mill and Georgia Avenue. There two women and a man seem to work in an organized fashion and I saw them getting dropped off in a car by a fourth person on a Thursday morning a couple of weeks ago. I'd love to see a law that permits the fire fighters to canvas for money, but outlaws panhandling - it's just getting worse and worse.

am said...

can i just ask, where is the "four corners" area?

Sligo said...

Four Corners = Intersection of University Blvd & Colesville Rd.

Vagrarian said...

Paging the Artful Dodger...

Anonymous said...

Dude you are so elitist and snooty. Why don't you go to Baltimore for a weekend and see how freaking nice this area is, even with the one or two beggars on the street.

Sligo said...

So everyone should just overlook things like panhandling rings because somewhere else it is worse?

Isayaah Parker said...

So you people can give your money to greedy corporations yet you can't give money to needy families panhandling on the street because they are interrupting your version of Pleasantville? What pompous crap! Some of you need to travel the world to see how lucky we are here, how compared to many other places, we don't have as many starving people dying on the streets. Why cant you just give them a dollar and keep driving? DO HOMELESS PEOPLE REALLY BOTHER YOU THIS MUCH? When the crap hits the fan, you may have to join these people because the economy will only get worse. Any of us could loose our jobs. How dare you sit in judgment.

Anonymous said...

Get over yourself Isayaah.

Yes, panhandlers bother me. Every time I see that "Think you could help me out with a quarter" guy I want to punch him in the face. Just because I feel this way does not mean I haven't traveled the world, or grew up poor or don't feel fortunate to be living in the US. None of those are true, in fact.

But regardless, you clearly missed the point. You don't think something sketchy is going on when these panhandlers are so well organized, driven to and from locations, and work in teams? I guess you also think those little kids really are selling candy for their youth group.

"How dare you sit in judgment." No doubt the irony of this statement was lost in the furious indignation you must have been feeling while hammering out that post.

Anonymous said...

Right, Isayaah. Someone is concerned that homeless people are being taken advantage of in a panhandling ring so that means we're all bastards. Or, you know, the exact opposite. Whichever.

Anonymous said...

I also want to punch the quarter guy in the face. I settle for the look of F U though.

Anonymous said...

This blog is so hilariously full of zombie think it's amazing. Any time anyone has an oppossing opinion it is attacked and snidely derided.

Serious case of unearned condescension from most of the posters on this blog.

Is this post really legitimately about worrying about the homeless being taken advantage of by someone? Really? I see ONE guy who made that argument...

Anonymous said...

"Any time anyone has an oppossing opinion it is attacked and snidely derided."

What I attacked was his unnecessarily self righteous attitude, not his opinion.

"Is this post really legitimately about worrying about the homeless being taken advantage of by someone?"

No. I think it is about shysters posing as homeless people. Or maybe it is legitimate homeless people. Either way, I wish they'd leave me the hell alone. I will and do happily pay taxes to support government programs that help the poor, disabled elderly, whatever. I will and do happily support nonprofits that do as well. I will not, however, abide some random online tool presuming to scold me and judge me because I do not like being hit up for money, especially when I have no control or knowledge over what happens to that money after it leaves my pocket.

Vagrarian said...

It's not the homeless people that is the issue, but the exploitation of homeless people, and how can we assure they're actually benefiting from this in a meaningful way? Exploitation is exploitation no matter if you're in Baltimore or Detroit or Silver Spring and deserves to be looked into. It's just that simple.

Anonymous said...

i know this is off topic but does anyone know a good bar to catch the game tonight? im new around here and need a place in downtown that shows games so i can watch my cowboys with other fans

Anonymous said...

i know this is off topic but does anyone know a good bar to catch the game tonight? im new around here and need a place in downtown that shows games so i can watch my cowboys with other fans

Your best bet will be McGintys, Galaxy (both on Ellsworth) or Fire Station 1 (down Georgia Ave). I am not a particular fan of any of them, but any would suffice for watching the game if all you want is basic bar food and a beer.

Anonymous said...

Somewhere in Texas?

Anonymous said...

Those guys aren't homeless. They are professional panhandlers. I really wish we had a law against that.

I decided a while ago never to give to panhandlers but instead to give to organizations that help homeless people -- Central Mission, House of Ruth ....

At least that way you know that your money is going to people who actually need it.

Vagrarian said...

Anon 4:49 (sounds like I'm quoting the Bible)....yeah, you're right, give to the charities that help the homeless because you never know if the panhandler you meet really is homeless or along the lines of The Man With The Twisted Lip. (That's a Sherlock Holmes reference, btw.)

mongolmeesh said...

I am the person who wrote to Sligo about this issue, and I think we need to clear some things up in this debate. First of all, I live in Four Corners and pass through this intersection daily, on foot and in my car, so I have a particular vantage point to see the comings and goings of these panhandlers on a regular basis. My question was one of curiosity. Are these people really homeless as they claim, or is this a more organized group that is posing as homeless people in order to get money? I have volunteered in homeless shelters and food distribution centers most of my adult life, so based on what I know this activity certainly smacks of an organized ring that is not operating to the benefit of the men and women panhandling on corners. I have also lived in developing countries overseas for the past ten years, and have encountered the grinding poverty and hopelessness that exists there. Again, in those countries I have worked in volunteer organizations that have assisted those in need. I am far from heartless. But I am concerned that the people on these corners are not who they represent themselves to be, and that they are in a situation where whoever is organizing this activity does not have their best interests at heart. I would simply like to know if there are any others who have seen and could shed some light on this situation.

Lee Goldberg said...

This may be a tangent, but wish we could get rid of ALL people in the median seeking money. It's dangerous for them to be there and its a distraction for drivers. Also strikes me as fairer in the sense that it does not discriminate based on the content of what individuals are saying.

Anonymous said...

Can we please get back to the important topic: restaurant options in Four Corners? I want more info on when these places will open!!

Anonymous said...

Can we please get back to the important topic: Four Corners restaurant options!?!?!

Lee said...

I noticed signs in the window of the orthopedic doctor's office (Gilbert, I believe) at 8401 Colesville Road yesterday. The new tenants of that space are going to be Dunkin' Donuts.

Anonymous said...


Clancy said...

Lee, when I walked by that spot on Saturday, a crew was busy painting and installing fixtures. It was very clearly Dunkin Donuts wallpaper that was going up on the walls. While it's often difficult to tell based on construction progress, I would guess they'd be able to open in a few weeks or a month at most.

It's probably a good spot for a small shop. It will really only get foot traffic, but that location has a lot of foot traffic. . . However, I wonder if anyone has thought of what a boon it will be for Henry's Towing, who has the towing contract for the parking lot for the Rite Aid/FedEx Office/Starbucks/Einstein Bros. on the other side of the Metro station? I'm sure more than a few people will try to use that lot to pick up their morning donut & coffee fix only to return to the empty spot where their car once was.

Clancy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vagrarian said...

Hm...maybe if we had more bars and nightlife in DTSS, we'd have more drunk drivers mowing down the panhandlers in the medians. Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

Impressive incorporation of "nightlife" into the discussion. I hope that the guy who always brings it up is impressed as well.

Anonymous said...

only one person brings up the lack of a nightlife! no one else cares...STOP bringin it up

we got a great nightlife here. i love bars at restaurants and things that close at 11pm! thats my favorite so i live in silver spring!

Vagrarian said...

I was only joking. It sometimes seems as if various commenters ALWAYS bring up bars and nightlife as if DTSS is some sort of desert. It's hard to NOT make fun of.

Anonymous said...

DTSS is not a desert! its a party zone.anyone who thinks its boring is stupid. move over dc and nyc. DTSS silver spring in the house!

im gonna go to adega win cellar and get my party on tonight! finish the insanity off with a night out at galaxy this weekend!!!!!!! suck it haters!

Lee said...

Just wanted to correct my mistake: it was the Cordero-Bello office that is becoming the Dunkin' Donuts, not the Gilbert office.

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