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Jun 4, 2013 5:41 PM

Panhandling on medians continues in county

The Pima County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to continue to allow people to panhandle and solicit on medians in the counties.

Supervisor Ally Miller, who represents District 1, which is much of northern Pima County said she wanted to ban the activities as a matter of public safety, but the board did not approve a second motion to vote on the matter.

Miller said allowing people to continue to stand in the median might one day present a liability.

"These individuals are often out there in 130 degree heat and without proper shade. They could easily suffer heat stroke or fall into oncoming traffic," Miller said.

Supervisor Richard Elias spoke about the subject: "I think about the way my parents taught me to be fair to people and recognize their right to earn a living and work hard for it."

Charles Pritchett has been selling newspapers on county medians for the last four years.

He says hawking papers in the median helps make ends meet.

"This is the way I eat. The way I pay my bills. This is the way I make money to put gas in my car, pay insurance. This is how I take care of myself," Pritchett said.

Pritchett said the extra income is a matter of survival.

"You know this is the only thing we got. You know I drive a truck. I got a license. I got a house. This is where I make my living. You know I do a little side work every once in a while but you know how side work is you can't make no money at it and this is the only thing I got."

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