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  1. #41
    sharkey is offline Senior Member
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    Default Graffitti and the 1st Am.

    Quote Originally Posted by DCnPhilly View Post
    The problem is the phrase "well maintained condition." It's too easy to interpret. Allowing the graffiti to remain under the First Amendment would mean the illegality of graffiti is unconstitutional. That's not the case. The law should state that the newspaper stands must remain unaltered from their approved condition or within some qualifiable condition. Freedom of Expression has limits in public, especially when it comes to corporate placement.

    What makes graffiti illegal is the fact that it is placed on property without the owner's permission. If I allow someone to spray paint a slogan on my wall, that is not grafitti and is within the protection of the 1st Am. Is tha mural arts program grafitti? They paint on building walls, don't they? Is it not grafitti because they have "approved" subjects? You are hung up on some magic term of "approved condition." What is the basis for approval? What if I put out an arts paper and put it in blank boxes with the instrucion to the public in general "decorate these boxes?"

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharkey View Post
    What makes graffiti illegal is the fact that it is placed on property without the owner's permission. If I allow someone to spray paint a slogan on my wall, that is not grafitti and is within the protection of the 1st Am. Is tha mural arts program grafitti? They paint on building walls, don't they? Is it not grafitti because they have "approved" subjects? You are hung up on some magic term of "approved condition." What is the basis for approval? What if I put out an arts paper and put it in blank boxes with the instrucion to the public in general "decorate these boxes?"
    That's true except when the newspaper boxes are placed on public property. You obviously can't police tagging a box or bench placed on a coffee shop's private patio, but doesn't the city have the right to regulate the condition of private vendors place on public property as much as it has the right to allow those vendors to be there in the first place? I'm not being a rhetorical dick, I honestly don't know.

  3. #43
    sharkey is offline Senior Member
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    [QUOTE=DCnPhilly;506697]That's true except when the newspaper boxes are placed on public property. You obviously can't police tagging a box or bench placed on a coffee shop's private patio, but doesn't the city have the right to regulate the condition of private vendors place on public property as much as it has the right to allow those vendors to be there in the first place? I'm not being a rhetorical dick, I honestly don't know.[/QUOTE

    The gov't has some discretion to regulate commercial speech, but newspapers are not considered commercial speech even if they charge for a copy or have paid ads (unless they are strictly all ads such as "auto shopper" type publications.) Could the City of Phila. "regulate" the paper boxes by prohibiting the display of headlines critical of City gov't? Just because a forum is located on City property does not mean the 1st. Am. does not apply. If the City is going to allow a forum for free speech, it cannot discriminate as to subject matter, and, even worse, viewpoint. As another example, I believe the banner-on-streetpost program highlighting various events going on in the city is a lawsuit waiting to happen when the "wrong" group wants its event publicized and gets turned down.

  4. #44
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    Default

    [QUOTE=sharkey;507205]
    Quote Originally Posted by DCnPhilly View Post
    That's true except when the newspaper boxes are placed on public property. You obviously can't police tagging a box or bench placed on a coffee shop's private patio, but doesn't the city have the right to regulate the condition of private vendors place on public property as much as it has the right to allow those vendors to be there in the first place? I'm not being a rhetorical dick, I honestly don't know.[/QUOTE

    The gov't has some discretion to regulate commercial speech, but newspapers are not considered commercial speech even if they charge for a copy or have paid ads (unless they are strictly all ads such as "auto shopper" type publications.) Could the City of Phila. "regulate" the paper boxes by prohibiting the display of headlines critical of City gov't? Just because a forum is located on City property does not mean the 1st. Am. does not apply. If the City is going to allow a forum for free speech, it cannot discriminate as to subject matter, and, even worse, viewpoint. As another example, I believe the banner-on-streetpost program highlighting various events going on in the city is a lawsuit waiting to happen when the "wrong" group wants its event publicized and gets turned down.
    Oh no, I get that. I was referring to the newspaper boxes, not the content in the paper itself.

  5. #45
    sharkey is offline Senior Member
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    It's more or less the same thing, although not exactly. If the gov't allows the boxes ( they may have to because of the importance of newspapers to free speech) it can't limit the message put out (short of obscenity restrictions) by the box owner. The writing on the box is communication just as the newspaper inside it is.

  6. #46
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    Sounds like something for debate club. With all the trash lining the street a few rusty newspaper boxes don't bother me one bit.

  7. #47
    harvey is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharkey View Post
    What makes graffiti illegal is the fact that it is placed on property without the owner's permission. If I allow someone to spray paint a slogan on my wall, that is not grafitti and is within the protection of the 1st Am. Is tha mural arts program grafitti? They paint on building walls, don't they? Is it not grafitti because they have "approved" subjects? You are hung up on some magic term of "approved condition." What is the basis for approval? What if I put out an arts paper and put it in blank boxes with the instrucion to the public in general "decorate these boxes?"
    I do recall the city forcefully painting over legal, commissioned murals on south street several years back.

  8. #48
    sharkey is offline Senior Member
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    What the City of Phila. does and what is allowed by the Constitution are not the same thing.

  9. #49
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    Two more trashy benches - one on the SE corner of Rhawn and Verree by the Sunoco/A-Plus advertising Bill Frusco Plumbing and the other one on the NW corner of Rhawn and Verree by Vista Bank advertising Big Brother Little Brother Moving. I passed by Big Brother Little Brother Moving's office at 6900 Rising Sun Avenue yesterday and saw four of their benches sitting in front of their building awaiting placement at some corner in the city. These benches do nothing but attract vagrants, vandals, trash and litter. The bench on the NW corner of Rhawn and Verree has already been heavily vandalized by an idiotic graffiti tagger.

    Maybe ArcticSplash can create a sub-database within his BanditProject site for spotting and removing these ugly "bandit benches?" I'm ready to take a sledgehammer to them myself!

  10. #50
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    Just drove up Frankford Avenue this afternoon and the BUZZ bench at Magee and Frankford had trash and litter underneath and all around it. These benches, which are for the sole purpose of shameless, free advertising, have got to go!

  11. #51
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    Nice graffiti on the BUZZ bench in front of the pet store at Allegheny and Aramingo! Thanks, BUZZ, for trashing another neighborhood corner with another one of your trashy benches!

  12. #52
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    Broken bottles all around the BUZZ bench at Harbison and Sanger. This is not even a corner or a bus stop! It's a little island at the intersection where nobody would want to be waiting with all that traffic flying by.

  13. #53
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    Here's yet another Buzz bench that materialized this morning!



    This "bandit sign bench" is between 1411 Rhawn Street, home of the American Red Cross blood donation center, and Beneficial Bank at 1401 Rhawn Street. These benches are placed near bus stops without permission of the city and attract nothing but vandals, vagrants, and trash and litter. They spring up like mushrooms and proliferate. They are also poorly constructed and quickly fall apart with prolonged exposure to the elements; thus a hazard to those who may use them. This is a very nice residential/commercial area and most definitely doesn't need the blight magnet that is a "bandit sign bench" This particular advertiser is a chronic offender.

  14. #54
    nickster is offline Bootlegger
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    Quote Originally Posted by lemko View Post
    Here's yet another Buzz bench that materialized this morning!



    This "bandit sign bench" is between 1411 Rhawn Street, home of the American Red Cross blood donation center, and Beneficial Bank at 1401 Rhawn Street. These benches are placed near bus stops without permission of the city and attract nothing but vandals, vagrants, and trash and litter. They spring up like mushrooms and proliferate. They are also poorly constructed and quickly fall apart with prolonged exposure to the elements; thus a hazard to those who may use them. This is a very nice residential/commercial area and most definitely doesn't need the blight magnet that is a "bandit sign bench" This particular advertiser is a chronic offender.
    A new one. That explains why there isn't trash and broken glass all underneath and around it.

    These benches need to go. Why are they being permitted to be installed?

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by lemko View Post
    Here's yet another Buzz bench that materialized this morning!

    At this very moment Buzz has a crew working at the apartment building where I live to replace the sewer trap. Oopsie, as I was watching from my window a few hours ago, their backhoe accidentally snagged and broke the next door neighbor's water line. They managed to stop the flow by smashing it flat with a hammer. Then they called in a super, who contacted the PWD to get the main shut for the block so they can replace the neighbor's line. PWD just pulled up a few minutes ago to do the needful.
    “Guys like you I would dispatch with my roofing axe.” -- BootsywannabeACretin

  16. #56
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    It's a good thing most people stay away from these companies on benches. Second rate hacks, for the most part.

  17. #57
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    Probably. But I may actually check out Naana Xtra-O Restaurant sometime, even if I can't figure out exactly what kind of "African cuisine" it serves.

    As others have noted, I also think the city should come up with some sort of licensing system, with construction, location and design standards, for benches of this type - and that the benches should have rotating ads, just as the bus shelters do. For bus riders in particular, it would be a very welcome way to raise revenue. It's a shame Clear Channel's proposal went down, for it would likely have produced just such a system.
    Sandy Smith, Wanderer in Germantown, Philadelphia
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  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
    Probably. But I may actually check out Naana Xtra-O Restaurant sometime, even if I can't figure out exactly what kind of "African cuisine" it serves.

    As others have noted, I also think the city should come up with some sort of licensing system, with construction, location and design standards, for benches of this type - and that the benches should have rotating ads, just as the bus shelters do. For bus riders in particular, it would be a very welcome way to raise revenue. It's a shame Clear Channel's proposal went down, for it would likely have produced just such a system.
    I finally saw one of these up in North Philly(ish) the other day. The photos on this thread make them look a lot better than they are.

    Funny thing about the Clear Channel proposal is this is exactly what everyone was worried about, but Clear Channel would never put their name on anything this crappy, and would have been forced to regulate themselves. Not only that, if Clear Channel had some sort of contract with the city over branded benches, Clear Channel would be going after these benches.

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCnPhilly View Post
    I finally saw one of these up in North Philly(ish) the other day. The photos on this thread make them look a lot better than they are.

    Funny thing about the Clear Channel proposal is this is exactly what everyone was worried about, but Clear Channel would never put their name on anything this crappy, and would have been forced to regulate themselves. Not only that, if Clear Channel had some sort of contract with the city over branded benches, Clear Channel would be going after these benches.
    Exactly! These benches are cheap, cheaply made, and look it.
    Sandy Smith, Wanderer in Germantown, Philadelphia
    Editor-in-Chief, Philly Living Blog - but all opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone.
    ""Jazz and blogging are both intimate, improvisational, and individual -- but also inherently collective. And the audience talks over both." --Andrew Sullivan, "Why I Blog," The Atlantic, November 2008

  20. #60
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    I keep seeing benches around the N. Broad/SG/Fairmount/Francisville area. I forget who is responsible. Some HVAC company. How do you get them taken away? Just call 311?

 

 

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