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Casshew
01-04-2004, 03:30 PM
S.F. man is homeless -- by choice

For years, there have been rumors among the homeless downtown that a drifter in North Beach was sleeping in the gutter while he had all the money he needed in the bank.

It's true. That drifter is 68-year-old Lou Dinarde.

Dinarde is homeless, he often sleeps in the gutter or on the sidewalk, and he has plenty of cash -- a trust fund that at one point was worth nearly $700,000. He draws $2,500 a month from the fund plus $500 a month in Social Security.

Dinarde's had this money rolling in since 1992, when his mother died and her assets were sold to create the trust.

Trouble is, he can't resist the bottle. He abandoned his career as a carpenter three decades ago for life on the streets.

"I'm rich, but I like it out here. I ain't sleeping inside," Dinarde mumbled through sips of vodka last summer, as he sat with legs splayed in front of St. Francis of Assisi Church. "You can't make me."

Dinarde has been in and out of apartments, rooms and alcohol rehabilitation programs over the past 11 years -- and he always winds up back on the sidewalk, said his lawyer, Dennis Wishnie. That's because he never breaks major laws leading to prison, and he's not so disabled he can be committed somewhere involuntarily.

"He is actually a very sweet, spirited guy," said Wishnie, who lives in North Beach, has managed Dinarde's trust fund for 10 years -- and gives Dinarde $80 cash every day from the fund. "He's bright, but he is homeless by choice.

"I've gotten him into housing over a dozen times, but it never worked. He just walks away, leaving the key in the door. He's basically the only homeless guy I ever heard of who has assets.

"He's like a unicorn -- a magical figure."

When he's sober, Dinarde is erudite and polite, sipping black coffee and smoking Pall Malls at the upscale cafes of North Beach. Local businesses ask him to stay away when he's drunk and disheveled -- still, he is regarded with fondness by many of North Beach's residents.

"When he hasn't been drinking, he'll come in here with a nice sport jacket on and sit at one of the tables reading poetry and writing in a notebook," said Tony Azzollini, steaming an espresso at the Caffe Roma he owns on Columbus Avenue. "I tell him, 'Lou, you have more money than I do! Why don't you live inside?'

"He just laughs. Then a day or two later, we see him on Union Street, drunk and out cold." Azzollini shook his head sadly. "It's that alcohol. It's such a bad disease."

Dinarde, a stout fellow with bushy gray eyebrows and beard, was raised in Connecticut and wandered to San Francisco 30 years ago after ditching a carpentry career. He wanted to be a poet, so he went to North Beach, which he heard was a hangout for writers. He's been homeless there ever since, except for the occasional stay inside -- most notably at a small North Beach flat he had for a few months, 10 years ago, with his late wife, Kate.

Full Story from the SF Gate (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/01/02/BAG2K42A441.DTL&type=news)

Casshew
01-04-2004, 03:33 PM
Detroit named America's fattest city

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has committed something of a cardinal sin in the motor city by blaming cars and trucks for Detroiters' bulging waistlines.

"It's probably something to do with the culture," Mr Kilpatrick told local journalists, when asked about a report that Detroit had passed Houston to take the title as America's fattest city.

"We're not a walking city," Mr Kilpatrick said, adding that this was because Detroit is "the automotive capital of the world."

Detroit's international auto show, the industry's biggest yearly event and a celebration of all things automotive, opens on Sunday.

An annual list of the 25 fattest US cities will appear in the February issue of Men's Fitness magazine.

Houston held the top spot on the list for the past three years.

Article from ABC news (http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s1020001.htm)

CARLA
01-04-2004, 09:17 PM
HATS OF TO THE HOBO.. DETROIT START WALKING.. :crazy:

Heck the HOBO is doing what he want.. go for it..!! not living off the state.. has his own money.. just doesn't want to live indoors..!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

PEOPLE OF DETROIT, GET OUT OF YOUR CARS, AND START WALKING.!! :doh:

:cool:
CARLA

blueclouds
01-04-2004, 09:28 PM
Sounds almost sad to me. I wonder what happened to him that he doesn't feel deserving enough to use the money in the trust. Being such an alcoholic, something must be bothering him.