Friday, November 16, 2007

The Fleener Report: Smoke Out Encinitas!

From time to time I ask Leucadian artist Mary Fleener to break down the city meetings she attends,

Smoke Out Encinitas!

The City Council had a single agenda item on Tuesday, Nov 13, 2007 to discuss the belabored issue of smoking and whether or not to ban it city wide, ban it some places, or not to ban it at all. There were about 40 people in attendance, and the first speaker was a city attorney who told us what The Letter of the Law was...things like State Statues, smoking regulations, fines, legal analysis, and how to enforce it. As usual, I never cease to marvel at the eight syllable Orwellian phrases these guys come up with. "Enforcement Methodology" was one, (good name for a Metal band, too).



Speaking of enforcement, some towns such as Calabasas are encouraging The Fink System and hoping citizens will take it upon themselves to report this criminal act. Uh, isn't that a good way to get punched out or something? Just try doing THAT at the Bar Leucadian after midnight.



There were 15 speaker's slips presented to the city clerk and every one supported either a complete city wide ban, or ban on beach, park, and trails. I thought I was neutral on this issue, and I'm an ex-smoker. It's none of my business what someone else does, but damn, the trash issue and pollution of the ocean are reason enough to make cigarettes illegal. Oh yeah, they can kill you too. Anyway, the first speaker said we were the only city south of Camp Pendleton that allowed smoking, the second speaker cited a study from Stanford about the dangers of 2nd hand smoke, North Coastal Youth Coalition kids nervously testified to a beaming Maggie Houlihan, (I know, like, how cute are THEY?), then a couple of guys from Surfrider talked about water pollution and overall it was a very well spoken group. Hell, they should be, it sounds like they've been a broken record for three years now, making the same comments over and over again. That's a ridiculous amount of time for 5 people to make a decision, but I'm used to that with our city policies which are pathologically sluggish.



Jerome Stocks started the council discussion with some joke I didn't get and corrected the first speaker. He told him that, NO, Encinitas is NOT the last town to ban smoking, Carlsbad allows it as well. Oh dear. Then Stocks said he'd received 600 Emails and they all showed "a complete intolerance for 2nd hand smoke". "I'm not sure this is a good way to govern". When was the last time they got that many letters for anything?!? Oh dear, oh dear, Mr. Stocks, this is not going over well, not well at all. Jeeze, you could feel people's temperature rising steadily the more he spoke.

Then Dan Dalager got up and The Hokum Factor got turned up a notch. "I'm a simple person", said he, and "I want to do this as simply as possible". Well, shoot, Danny, we'all reckon that's a garsh durn good idear! Dalager mentioned that there's old Joe Blow at the Senior Center who smokes and since it's his only pleasure in life, he should be able to enjoy his Golden Years jacked up on nicotine if he wants. What worried Dan was, that after a smoking ban, we might be opening the doors to forbid fire rings at the beach, and backyard BBQs. I agree. The smell of cooking meat and sausages are next! Maggie Houlihan spoke at length, then Teresa Barth, spoke briefly, and came to the point without a lot of superfluous sentences. I wish all the council members would do that. Make a decision, and do it quickly so we can all go home! I think it caught everyone by surprise, because that's exactly what happened. Bond make the motion, Jerome seconded it, and after a few more words, the vote was cast-unanimously.

You are now forbidden to smoke cigarettes or cigars or pipes on the beach, any trails, parks and places people congregate, and as Houlihan noted, "...that includes pot, but that's illegal anyway, so you can't do that". Man, I would've said the same thing if I had a Sheriff in the third row glaring at me like she did Tuesday night!!

15 comments:

  1. It's too bad that testostorome has left the room.The big three don't really think that smoking is really that big of deal but caved in to put it behind them. This is no way to lead. We live in a representative type of government.Very simply put,they represent smokers as well. I'm sure that all of us can fine certain things that we find not to our liking but to legislate things that way is wrong. Was this a big campaign issue that was their platform? Why the sudden change of heart? Folks your habit may be next. BBQ's,woody show..remember that those things don't have smog devices,even a candle light vigil for fallen trees emit smoke. Liberty is a precious thing don't allow political correctness erode it.

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  2. I want Mary to run for Council.

    That chick has some seriously funny humor. If she were a councilmember the meetings would be much more entertaining and well attended. She would kick the crap out any remaining deadwood man councilmember and get laugher in the process.

    Go for it Mary. You have my vote and I control the minds of many!

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  3. Bond probably wanted to leave to get an adult beverage. How about enforcing loitering laws and discouraging illegal aliens congragating at Wendy's, Home Depot etc... Mary's right about possible confrontations with smokers vs non-smokers at the Leucadia bar.

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  4. I hope that the council steps up even higher and refuses to accept the tax that they get from the sale of cigarettes.

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  5. this was my submittel to city workshop.

    Smoking Ordinance Workshop

    I smoke but I don’t really care about the ordinance effect on me personally.

    I do care about the ordinance.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

    Exactly what are we doing here. Have we decided that the City (and Council) are going to regulate various aspects of people’s lives within our city, for their own good and as some perceived but factually intangible community benefit.

    Secondhand cigarette smoke CAN be damaging. Citizens should not smoke in vehicles if they
    are carrying any passengers, especially children, expectant mothers, those with known
    respiratory problems, or the very old.

    Cigarette smoke in any confined space or any space; home, office, restaurant, shopping mall, where the same air is re-circulated without adequate filtering CAN be very dangerous to humans or any animal.

    But if we are going to ban “unhealthy” things for everyone’s own good there are a number of other bans I would propose as riders to this ordinance and the reasons for supporting those bans.

    • The fumes that anyone breathes while filling their car at any one of our gas stations is certainly hazardous, the label on the pump reads about the same as the label on a pack of cigarettes. The mandated vapor recovery system is the best that the State could do, but it is hardly enough? Perhaps we should ban self serve gas. That would protect the majority of the gas patrons and we would only be sacrificing the low wage earning pump attendants. Or we could allow self service stations but require each patron to don a respiratory mask prior to filling up their car. I don’t mean one of the dust and ash masks that were seen during the aftermath of the firestorm because those are useless against the carcinogens present in petroleum fuels. I mean the type of respirator I use when I spray pesticides. I am talking about an organic vapor P95 assembly. These are only forty dollars each and will last for about forty hours of use before replacement is necessary. A small price to require to safeguard the health and safety of the populace. Or we could eliminate the potential problem by banning all filling stations in Encinitas, or better yet all vehicles that operate on refined hydrocarbons. Those without electric or bio-fuel cars could walk, skate, bike, or
    boogie board. We would become the fittest City in America.

    • Alcohol. Many want to blame the Santa Fe round-about for the two serious accidents that I know of at the location. To my knowledge each of these may have
    been influenced by alcohol. In the interest of public safety, accident reduction and round about acceptance by the community, perhaps we should ban liquor sales in Encinitas. The ban would also lower the police response requirements at all the bars and some restaurants in Encinitas. AND if it is all “on and off sale” alcohol the ordinance for short term rentals might be un-necessary and domestic disorder, spouse and child abuse would plummet.

    • Pets kept anywhere but inside ones own property. The feces from those allowed to leave their property, whose owners don’t clean up behind them, fouls our ocean and creates a virtual mine field on our beaches, parks, and streets. The mom of an old high school acquaintance would go a bit further, perhaps overboard. Mrs
    Gotterdam’s crusade in my area was to require “Pants on Dogs” because she believed it led to moral decay in young women (her daughters) to be exposed to a beasts genitalia. {as a side bar, her ten year campaign, in the town of Ross, was
    not successful.}

    • Spitting. In this era of infectious disease, with TB strains that are almost incurable, sneezing, coughing, and spitting may cause the citizens of our
    community to be exposed to viruses leading to epidemics with a high mortality rate. Spitting for any reason should be banned from the community.

    • Toy Stores. How can we allow these establishments that encourage our children to try toys in their stores, toys that might choke them, or be painted with lead
    based paint by some foreign manufacturer. This evil must be addressed.

    I really believe this cigarette ban ordinance is an absurd folly but there are some pitfalls if you
    insist on moving forward.

    1. What sort of signs or notification are we providing and posting so that we are not creating the equivalent of a “speed trap?”

    2. If the ban is fifty feet from any restaurant and vehicles containing smokers, with
    their windows down, pass by on the street, and an on-shore flow passing thru their car carries smoke into the area of the restaurants. Citation?

    3. What about “smokeless cigarettes”, yes they do exist. Cigars, Cigarettes, Tiparillos? Chewing tobacco which only requires you to expectorate on the street or into some disgusting personal spittoon?

    What a can of worms this turkey is.

    Sure, increase the fine for throwing cigarettes on our streets. Mark it double if the cigarette is lit. Ban then from the parks and beaches if you are going to really enforce the ordinance. If you insist on safe-guarding our restaurants, 15 to twenty feet is reasonable and the restaurants can post their own signs.

    I’m really more concerned with the de-sal plant, green development, and my return to the leucadia blog to spend much time on this ridiculous feel good issue that creates nightmare enforcement and prosecution problems.

    Stay focused on the real issues even if an election is coming up next year.

    Good Luck!!

    Gilbert Foerster
    P.O. Box 333
    Cardiff, Ca. 92007-0333

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  6. Attention city council:
    someone is going to kill themselves coming down leucadia blvd after the roundabout.
    they put a big metal pole in the middle of the road, going east it says roundabout ahead, coming down the hill west it is just a metal pole in the middle of the road with a backwards sign. someone on a bike or motorcyle coming down the hill at night could be decapitated, put a reflector on the back of that thing or a curb island or something.
    very dangerous

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  7. Gil-

    No offense. I am glad you are so active in Encinitas. You are a colorful character and to me a true Leucadian.

    With that said, I find your post to Council rather boring. Sometimes you have good posts. Try and step it up. This last one was a yawner! A your points were so spent it didn't make one of my brain cells fire a response. I am going to sleep.... your post made me tired.

    Good night Gil. Dont smoke too much. I for one, want you around for another 10 years.

    Love,

    Leucadia Local

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  8. No offense Gil. He does have a point. Better to focus on a few less words. You will lose them. They are not to bright if you know what I mean.

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  9. awwwwwww gee are Gil's words too intelligent for you faded mouth breathing pot heads to follow along?

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  10. Gil,
    There are a few holes in your presentation. The state has already banned smoking within a certain number of feet from a doorway. There is also a ban on smoking in restaurants and bars. Around the turn of the last century, spitting was banned. TB is a nasty germ to acquire. As far as breathing gasoline fumes, unless you are a service station attendent or mechanic, the exposure time is less conpared to the number of times exposed to second-hand smoke.

    One of the saddest time in life is when you learn that a friend or a relative has lung cancer because of smoking.

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  11. Gil, if you are concerned about losing liberties, write to the three "boys" on the council about their yes vote on Wednesday night to give the Sheriff's deputies unilateral power to tell people to leave any city meeting. That is a lost of liberties. It takes two readings with votes before the ordinance becomes city law. Wednesday was the first reading. If you protest the ordinance, the "boys" may reconsider their ill-thought plan.

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  12. I don't like the new ordinance, either, giving the Sheriff new powers. The existing laws are sufficient. I didn't know that it took two readings, with votes, for an ordinance to become a law. Captain Fowler was unclear why this new law is necessary. Jerome Stocks said it is for "clarity." Right. It's designed to intimidate those whom Council perceives to be watchdogs, whistleblowers or activists. Anyone who might challenge their "authority," which is pretty much running rampant without checks and balances. Council has acted as judge, jury and executioner, as far as many of its decisions and "enforcements."

    As far as the smoking deal, there was a good editorial in NCT. I think that smoking on the beach should be allowed. The cigarette butts that people have complained of are not that evident to people actually walking the beach, like me. Most of the butts come from the storm drains, anyway, not from smokers on the beach. No one that I have heard has complained of side smoke, on the beach. And the Council is over-extending the law so that people can't smoke near an eating establishment, even when outside? It does seem like Big Brother has come to town, in Encinitas.

    Gil, we each have our own style. You make good points. If some don't have the patience to read your posts, they can just skip them. It's supposed to be a "free country." This is a free blog.

    I don't smoke, but I think that banning something just because the City can is not what our nation was founded upon. Might does not always make right, that's for sure.

    I'd vote for Mary Fleener in a heartbeat, if she would run.

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  13. i don't like the "i said be quiet" ordinance and i can not think of many circumstances where it's use would hold water in a court of law. an open council meeting is one of those public forums where active and at times vocal discussion and banter is going to be protected by the courts. i have attended a fair number of council meetings over the years and i can not recall one where removal of a participant would have been in the best interest of free speech. and i find it difficult to believe any of our more active citizens will be intimidated by the ordinance.

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  14. Gil, the way the mayor's "be quiet and get out or we'll have you arrested" ordinance is written can give the deputies the authority to stop people from going into meetings at city hall or other buildings. The rest of the ordinance is worst for anyone exercising their rights to attend a public meeting. The deputy can then cite them with another penal code violation which is interference with a peace officer and the performance of their duty if there is a refusal to leave.

    Besides city council meetings, the proposed ordinance will now include board, commission, and committee meetings.

    Whether or not the arrests hold up in court is an after the fact situation.

    It takes money to fight the city in the courts system over an illegal ordinance. It takes large amounts of money to fight the county on a penal code violation. Remember, goverment is using tax dollars which appears to be a bottomless pot of money.

    Protest to the "boys" about the ordinance. Demand that they rescind ordinance 2007-13.

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  15. Why don't we just ban everything that offends anyone? That's where we're going with this anyway. Is tobacco going to be the new marijuana? Then we can have "narcs" busting down doors to arrest cigar smokers, pot smokers, crack smokers and eventually, obese fat eaters,barbecue fanatics, smoked fish fanatics, hang glide enthusiasts, bungee jumpers, motorcyclists, surfers, etc...
    The mantra is "if it is unsafe, it MUST be banned for the good of the community and for the good of the CHILDREN! No one should take ANY chances with something as important as their health!
    So much for freedom, eh?

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