Just a note on an aggravating city problem which doesn't seem to get better.

Central Avenue has one main, heavily used, pedestrian crossing in front of the Towne Theatre. For years now an increasing number of people tend to sit on and congregate around the brick planters on the east and west side.

Typically, six or seven men gather under the shade of the trees, sitting on the planters for most of the day. Usually bicycles, shopping carts or other personal property are tucked into the mix congesting both the sidewalk and crosswalk.

It's usually a congenial, low-key group, quick to tip containers in paper bags to travelers with a smile. But city council members have heard complaints as well about unwelcome comments addressed to female pedestrians walking by.

This is a nuisance problem for the city and a definite turn-off for tourists. The city has made efforts in the past to discourage groups from loitering in high-traffic public areas. If enforcement of a nuisance ordinance isn't working I think a little more brick to make the area uncomfortable for loungers may do the trick.

It's ironic that after spending millions on our beautiful city park, complete with fountain, and comfortable benches under shade trees, located one block away, that the Central Avenue Loungers don't use it.

This is more than a simple nuisance and the council should solve the problem as soon as possible.


Just a shout-out for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu! Thank God he has won a new term. He's a brilliant and courageous leader. He would make a great mentor for President Obama - but it's too late.