Skip to comments.BREAKING NEWS! Boy Whose Hot Dog Cart Was Shut Down by the City of Holland Now Homeless
Posted on 08/10/2012 9:48:41 AM PDT by MichCapCon
HOLLAND, Mich. Several weeks after a city zoning officer shut down his hot dog business, 13-year-old Nathan Duszynski and his parents are homeless.
The family was hoping Nathans hot dog cart could help them through a difficult time. Nathans mother, Lynette Johnson, suffers from epilepsy and his stepfather, Doug Johnson, has multiple sclerosis. Their illnesses have restricted them from finding permanent, full-time work.
The family receives about $1,300 a month in disability payments, Medicaid and food assistance. The three are having a hard time staying together. MLive confirms what the Mackinac Center learned Thursday Nathan and his mother are staying at the Holland Rescue Mission.
"Nate and I are now in a shelter," Lynette Johnson said. "Doug can't stay with us because he takes prescription narcotics to deal with his pain and the shelter does not allow him with those kinds of drugs."
She said the situation has been stressful on the family. Lynette is afraid to be away from her husband in case she has a seizure.
Nathan wanted to help out his family by selling hot dogs from a cart he bought with money he saved. He worked out an arrangement with the owner of a local sporting goods store to sell hot dogs in the parking lot. The owner of the store thought it would be a great way to attract customers and even offered Nathan a sales commission if he got people to rent his motorized bicycles.
The city of Holland, however, shut down the business 10 minutes after it opened, informing Nathan it was in the citys commercial district where food carts not connected to downtown brick-and-motor restaurants are prohibited. The Mackinac Centers coverage of the issue has drawn national attention.
Last week, Nathan and his family made an appeal to the Holland City Council. Mayor Kurt Dykstra defended the citys ordinance, saying it was to protect downtown restaurant owners, who asked that the "success of the downtown district not be infringed upon by those who don't share in the costs of maintaining the attractiveness of that space."
Let’s see if the Obama campaign can tie this to Romney?
The sad thing is, the kid and his family sound fully willing to help themselves out, but a dickweed mayor and city council are preventing them from doing so.
My frustration with this story is that the city was willing to work with them. There were many other areas where the boy could put his cart, but his parents wouldn’t hear of it. They wanted the cart where *they* wanted the cart.
One of their reasons? “It makes good business sense.” They wanted to put the cart where there was no competition!
Now the story paints the city as if they were the bad guys when this family flatly refused to work within the same rules that every other vender works with. As soon as they heard that they couldn’t have it their way, they whined to the press, gave up and made the boy sell the cart.
IMHO, these people are acting like spoiled brats and milking the sympathy factor for all it’s worth.
He didn’t become homeless by himself. Government made it possible.
Anyone have a party affiliation?
The idea is to crush individuals. They got the guns and the courts. So easy in a tyranny.
While I admire and support the boy’s efforts, I personally can’t see anyone buying a hot dog in a parking lot from a 13 year old kid unless it was a “donation for a worthy cause” and the hot dog as lunch for Fido.
Another example of our mafia-like, crony loving, gangster government hurting the poor.
Heavan forbid the poor should try to sell something by the roadside without showing the necessary obeisance to, and sharing the profits with, the arm-twisting thugs of our collectivist overseers...
Government picking winners and losers.
If kid did not have access because his cart did not pay taxes to maintain area, then all the free-riders should not be allowed down there either.
I bet the major ran off right afterwards and masturbated thinking about his big victory.
Keep tolerating criminals. Its all so loving and liberal.
Basically the owners of other businesses use the local government to dictate what the sporting goods store owner can do. He saw it as a promotional thing with the potential to attract business while helping the kid and his family out.
Just goes to show that if business wants out from under the thumb of government, they need to refrain from running to government for solutions to minor problems. If they were smart they would have asked him to rotate to other locations in the area.
Sorry, but when a community has laws against people selling food without permits and health inspections I’m fine with it. Just the same as I was fine with the illegal alien in California getting arrested for selling tamales without permits or health inspections.
I admire the kid’s entrepreneurial spirit but he needs to focus on a legal enterprise.
Did we read different articles? I didn't read anything about where his cart was not up to code or not subject to health inspections.
Obviously the owner of a business was happy to have the cart there and provided space ON PRIVATE PROPERTY to allow the cart to operate.
I admire the kids entrepreneurial spirit but he needs to focus on a legal enterprise.
He had all his permits and inspections. The city zoning commission shut him down because he might compete with local restaurants.
Apparently the city didn’t him that BEFORE he paid for his permits and inspections.
Oh, no. From earlier articles that I read, he was just fine from a health and safety perspective.
The city just told him he had to put the cart somewhere else.
And his parents threw a huge pity party over that.
Because, don’t you know, they’re *special*... The rules don’t apply to them because they have a good sob story. They weren’t upset with the rules, they just thought that they should be the exception.
I'd agree with you if his cart would have been situated on public property downtown. However, his cart would have been on private property.
They get a sizable monthly check, have all the dumpy apartments and trailers disappeared in Michigan?
“Socialists shutdown Nathan’s hot dogs”
Based on that comment alone, I have $50 that says you're not an urbanite. I don't know about Holland, MI, but in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, L.A., etc., customers wouldn't bat an eye.
When I bought my property in Texas, there were two restrictions. I could not operate a dump or a pig farm on my property. I knew that when I signed the papers.
So let’s say that I started breeding piglets and selling them for $30 each. Then, when the county tells me to stop (didn’t fine me, didn’t cite me, just politely tells me that I’m breaking the rules) I cry to the press and start gathering public support because I’m disabled and I’m special and this is the way I make my egg money...
I would never buy property in an HOA because I want autonomy. The private property owner *should* know the rules in the area where he bought the property.
Don’t like the rules? Vote, lobby, petition, etc.
But a family can’t waltz in, do whatever they want and expect special treatment because they’re disabled.
My son is a T-1 diabetic. Nobody’s fault. It’s an autoimmune disease.
He gets NO breaks. No free grants or college money, no help from the gov’t for his medical needs, nothing. And we raised him to not expect them. He can’t join the military (even though it’s his greatest dream and he has actually smoked the Seal challenge multiple times) and he’s had to learn how to deal with that. Fair or not, he’s not special and that restriction applies to him. I’ve encouraged him to lobby congress to change the rule, but not JUST for him.
This family was not cited or fined. They were just told that he had to move the cart. The city offered them multiple locations to operate the cart from and bent over backwards to help them do it right. These people aren’t arguing that the rules are stupid or the the private property owner has the right to invite them to operate a business on his property, they’re arguing that they should be the exception because the parents are disabled.
If my son tried that crap, I’d kick his butt. I’d tell him to start pushing his damn cart down the street a couple of blocks and that he’s better bone up on his salesmanship in order to deal with the competition.
Yes, the Law is an ass.
But don’t use your disability to try to take an advantage. EVERYBODY has a sob story.
Yeah, when this story first hit the news it was clear that he had gotten the permits needed but the dispute arose after the fact.
Nice unit. Good condition on the outside. Pity you can’t hook up with a traveling carnival.
Its like new inside because its sealed up tight. I was in there this morning to check for leaks and evidence of mice. In fact when I opened the door there was a partial vacuum.
It’d be great at large family reunions. Do you have to get it all permitted if you’re not selling the food? Since you can just park it until needed, I assume it’s paid for which is really cool.
You’ve obviously never been to a Home Depot in the Metro DC area.
Yeah I can use it privately any way I want but my family isn’t big enough to drag around for family events.
Yeah, my family’s not that large either. But that is a really cool thing to have, provided one knows how to use it. Does it come with a soda fountain?
Government picking wieners and losers.
I bet you could. There a lot of carnival operators that run large, State Fair size operations, then split into a bunch of small carnivals that travel around. It may be more common here, though, because we have a long warm season while everybody else is closed for Winter. Little towns have “Founder’s Day” festivals.
Like you need me to tell you any of this...LOL. But you did get it for a good price if the inside is as nice as the outside. It sucks you have to shell out more thousands before you can sell the first cheeseburger. Makes me wish MIS had more races.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.