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Lackawanna lawmakers say no to panhandlers

Panhandlers on the corner of Ridge and Abbott roads sparked a new ordinance in Lackawanna Monday, as city lawmakers voted unanimously to adopt a law barring aggressive panhandling.

"They are disrupting traffic because drivers stop to give them money and sandwiches," said Joseph Jerge, the 3rd Ward councilman who sponsored the legislation.

"On a recent afternoon I called police, and they took away one of the panhandlers, but there were no charges filed because we do not have clear-cut laws on panhandling or solicitation," Jerge wrote in a letter to Antonio Savaglio, the city counsel.

In another quality-of-life concern, Jerge took aim at garbage pickers who were pillaging the totes at his residence.

"His drink bag was on one tote as he opened up the other," Jerge told Council members.

The Council voted unanimously to direct Savaglio to draft an ordinance regulating garbage-picking.

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