Former candidate for Maine Governor, Pat LaMarche, is holding a panhandling protest today from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. out in front of the Bangor Police Department. Her protest is in response to this past Thursday's post on the Bangor Police Department's Facebook page about panhandling.

The post read:

'Sharpies are a great tool. Marking your underwear for summer camp, making mustaches on sleeping, overnight guests, adding the words "early birds welcome" on your neighbor's signs for the 10th garage sale of the month. Useful tools.

Sharpies can also be used to manipulate the feelings of others. We are having big problem with panhandling in some parts of Bangor. The folks writing the signs are not always truthful and they are using the power of the written word and the sad face to get you to donate money to their cause.

The sign's words vary but the message is usually the same. Please give me money for I have lost my job, I have an illness, I want to get home to Palmyra to take care of my elderly mother. Many add the words "God Bless You" at the end of the sign in order to pull on your internal, moral compass. It works and most of the folks doing this are making more than you do in an average day.

There are others who walk up to you, lie to you and take your money for other reasons. Great stories about trying to get somewhere and only needing twelve more dollars to do it are superb tools of manipulation and those folks save on Sharpies and cardboard. Lower overhead equals more profit. I did well in business math so I know this is factual information.

We take complaints about the activity and until the involved persons are asked to move on by the property owner, we cannot do "Jack Squat" to make it stop. Once a person is warned about trespass and served a written order, we can then arrest them if they continue being on someone's property. We do not have an anti-panhandling ordinance.

I will share a secret with you. People do not stay in jail when arrested. They are bailed out (probably with your money) and head right back out to do their business. We are usually sitting down to type the report when they wave to us on the way back to a new spot to collect. True story.

Now, the good news is if you stop giving them money on the way out of the parking lot, they will move along on their own. Thus, saving time and money in many ways. Giving to the needy can be done by using our many fantastic (local) charitable organizations. Please consider this as a way to give to those less fortunate. People are being duped daily and until you stop giving, they will not stop taking.

We watch your money disappear every day. We know that much of it goes to narcotics and alcohol. You should keep this in mind. We are not saying all requests are suspect. We are saying; most. You might not like the message or the messenger but It would help us greatly if you would choose another way of being the pleasant and helpful people that you are.

I will cap the Sharpie for today. Please help us to help you. The men and women of the Bangor Police Department will be here!'

LaMarche and many others found the remarks to be scathing and offensive.

LaMarche, is currently the supervisor of social services for Carlisle CARES in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The money raised in her panhandling protest will be given to Spruce Run for women affected by partner abuse.

Par LaMarche, started our 'Tanksgiving' Food Drive here at the radio station in November 2001.