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Whittier Outlaws Sitting on the Grass and Standing on Benches

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The city of Whittier, one-time home of President Richard Nixon and actress Tina Yothers, wants everyone to keep off the damn grass. And benches. And sculptures. They've approved a new ordinance called the Improper Use of Benches, Public Structures and Landscaped Areas Ordinance, which "makes it unlawful to walk, stand, sit or lie on any monument, decoration, artwork, drinking fountain, bike rack, trash receptacle, median, fire hydrant, planter, berm, utility cabinet, railing, fence or any other public structure not normally used for such purposes," reports the Whittier Daily News. It also outlaws standing on public benches and "[w]alking, standing, sitting or lying on any public lawn or landscaped or planted area posted with signs that forbid such conduct." Apparently, standing on benches and sitting on sculptures is a scourge in Whittier--the police department had 300 complaint calls last year and has had 180 so far this year (people have a lot of time on their hands in Whittier!). Still, it'll only be a $25 fine for the first offense and $50 for a second offense; repeat offenders could end up charged with a misdemeanor. And in case you didn't know what this was really about, the executive director of the Whittier Uptown Association lays it out: "The intent is to discourage the congregation of young people or homeless people."
· Whittier OKs ordinance making it illegal to stand on benches [WDN, image via]