04/03/13 3:15pm

PANHANDLERS IN NORTHWEST HOUSTON MIGHT HAVE TO APPLY FOR PERMITS A group of residents led by Larry Lipton, public safety chair of the chamber of commerce in Northwest Houston near Cypress Creek Pkwy., is looking to implement a permit system that would require panhandlers to apply to solicit in intersections and medians, reports KHOU’s Jeremy Desel: “Many of them are criminals,” Lipton tells Desel. And a permit system, Lipton explains, “will first limit the number of people that will even do it. That will even go through it.” Desel adds that one of these solicitation permits would likely “require a fee and some form of safety training.” [KHOU] Photo of panhandler David the Sailor at Chimney Rock and Richmond: Bill Bradford

08/03/11 3:18pm

OKAY, BUT WHAT IF THE DOGS START BEGGING? Panhandling within 8 ft. of an outdoor dining area at a Houston restaurant or cafe will now be a misdemeanor, after a unanimous vote by city council today. (Previously designated no-soliciting zones: within 8 ft. of ATMs, parking meters, bus stops, and gas pumps.) Separately, the folks behind Paws on Patios yesterday reported a measure of success in their ongoing campaign to relax city rules that prohibit restaurants and bars from allowing customers’ dogs in their outdoor areas: The mayor’s office has told them they’ll soon get a chance to review redrafted Health Dept. regulations covering the practice. [Houston Politics and Paws on Patios, via Eater Houston]