OSF asks for removal of fountain, planter from square where homeless gather
There are 2 comments on the The Ashland Daily Tidings story from Jul 10, 2014, titled OSF asks for removal of fountain, planter from square where homeless gather. In it, The Ashland Daily Tidings reports that:
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival has asked the city of Ashland to remove a broken fountain and a cement planter from a small plaza in front of the Black Swan Theatre downtown where panhandlers often gather.
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#1 Jul 11, 2014
I hope OSF can change the flavor of that spot. I always cross the street to avoid the panhandlers and their dogs (unknown if they have had shots). Across the street isn't much better as the young bums gather on the bench. Ashland will go down quickly if tolerance and services keep being provided for these "homeless by choice" annoying people.
#2 Jul 21, 2014
I visit OSF every summer and I find that the street youth adds to the energy of downtown Ashland. It is a more interesting place and in alignment with a theatre town. There are always a small group of people who fear anyone who looks different and sin of sins, appear poor. Begging is not a crime and I can't help but think of some famous beggars portrayed by the bard such as Edgar in King Lear, or King Lear himself for that matter. The whole point of the Storm scene is that unadorned man subject to the elements is a weak thing--no matter if he be king or beggar we are all the same at bottom. Let's not forget Christopher Sly from the induction scene of The Taming of the Shrew--the whole point of that scene is to show that the difference between "lords" and beggars is not much more than the clothing on their back. I hope Ashland and OSF do not forget about how many people have lost homes and jobs in the Recession--I for one remember how in 2009 the economy was a theme of the festival. If a city or a theatre forgets about what is most real--human beings and community and love--then both are destined to die. Poor people in your downtown won't hurt; rather, an attitude of intolerance, fear, and hatred will.
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