Adolf Hitler would be so proud

Mandatory veggies are next.

Belmont to be first U.S. city to ban all smoking

By Dana Yates, Daily Journal Staff

Belmont is set to make history by becoming the first city in the nation to ban smoking on its streets and almost everywhere else.

The Belmont City Council voted unanimously last night to pursue a strict law that will prohibit smoking anywhere in the city except for single-family detached residences. Smoking on the street, in a park and even in one’s car will become illegal and police would have the option of handing out tickets if they catch someone.

The actual language of the law still needs to be drafted and will likely come back to the council either in December or early next year.

“We have a tremendous opportunity here. We need to pass as stringent a law as we can, I would like to make it illegal,” said Councilman Dave Warden. “What if every city did this, image how many lives would be saved? If we can do one little thing here at this level it will matter.”

Armed with growing evidence that second-hand smoke causes negative health effects, the council chose to pursue the strictest law possible and deal with any legal challenges later. Last month, the council said it wanted to pursue a law similar to ones passed in Dublin and the Southern California city of Calabasas. It took up the cause after a citizen at a senior living facility requested smoke be declared a public nuisance, allowing him to sue neighbors who smoke.

The council was concerned about people smoking in multi-unit residences.

“I would just like to say ‘no smoking’ and see what happens and if they do smoke, [someone] has the right to have the police come and give them a ticket,” said Councilwoman Coralin Feierbach.

The council’s decision garnered applause from about 15 people who showed up in support of the ordinance. One woman stood up and blew kisses to the council, another pumped his fist with satisfaction.

“I’m astounded. I admire their courage and unanimous support,” said Serena Chen, policy director of the American Lung Association of California.

Chen has worked in this area since 1991 and helped many cities and counties pass no smoking policies, but not one has been willing to draft a complete ban.

“I feel like the revolution is taking place and I am trying to catch up,” Chen told the council.

The decision puts Belmont on the forefront of smoking policy and it is already attracting attention from other states.

“You have the ability to do something a little more extraordinary than Dublin or Calabasas. I see what they’ve done as five or six on the Richter Scale. What the citizens of Belmont, and of America, need is five brave people to do something that’s a seven or eight on the Richter Scale,” said Philip Henry Jarosz of the Condominium Council of Maui.

“The whole state of Hawaii is watching” he said.

Councilman Warren Lieberman said he was concerned the city will pass a law it cannot enforce because residents will still smoke unless police are specifically called to a situation. Police cannot go out and enforce smoking rules, he said.

“It makes us hypocrites by saying you know you can break the law if no one is watching,” Lieberman said.

However, both Feierbach and Warden argued it is the same as jaywalking, having a barking dog or going 10 miles over the speed limit. All are illegal, but seldom enforced.

“You can’t walk down the street with a beer, but you can have a cigarette,” Warden said. “You shouldn’t be allowed to do that. I just think it shouldn’t be allowed anywhere except in someone’s house. If you want to do that, that’s fine.”

(H/T Daniel Alvarez)

21 thoughts on “Adolf Hitler would be so proud”

  1. Here’s a thought: why not allow people some freedom. Why not allow landlords to designate certain parts of the complex “non smoking only” IF THEY WISH.

    Just like some restaurants choose to be “all non smoking.”

    Personally? I’m a non smoker and an asthmatic, but I also understand that cigarettes are (still) a legal product, and if people choose to smoke them, that’s their right.

    I’ve lived in apartments where the surrounding units had smokers. A good air filter goes a long way towards preventing smoke-migration into the non-smoking unit.

    That said: if a business voluntarily goes “non smoking,” I am more likely to patronize them than one that allows smoking. But I’d like it to be the individual business owner’s decision.

  2. Bet you $100 that the commissioners are all liberals.

    Also, what should be done, is that they should get thousands of people, make them eat beans, and have them all fill up the commission chambers and fart in these wankers’ faces.

    Crap like this frosts my ass!!!!

  3. That’s completely ridiculous. I don’t like smoke, and I like the fact that restaurants around here are all non-smoking. I often joke about smokers not exhaling and not being allowed to wave their cigarettes around between inhales, but I’m just joking. I would never actually support a state mandated ban on smoking anywhere in the city limits. I didn’t even think it was possible.

    I agree with ricki’s idea of voluntary non-smoking zones and prefer it over this crazy no-smoking-anywhere-but-your-own-house law. I’m baffled that it passed.

  4. “I feel like the revolution is taking place and I am trying to catch up,” Chen told the council.

    WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THIS???? Are these people insane or what??? We better watch out because for the “common good” they might want to take away all our rights and freedoms.
    Personally I am a non-smoker and I dislike people that smoke next to me. However, no authority has the right to prohibit smoking in open spaces such as the streets. One thing is to prohibit it in a private business or restaurant where it is a closed space, and a different thing is to give you a ticket for smoking in open space.
    Who was the idiot that passed a law against barking dogs??? That’s just retarded.
    If they want to save more lives they should ban abortion. If they want people not to smoke then they should teach them the bad consequences of smoking, not ban it. They have no right to prohibit smoking in open spaces because they don’t own the streets and the streets are public.

  5. i cant smopke in belmont, but i bet i can do this..
    Lawyer argues sex with dead deer not crime

    Prosecution of a Douglas County case involving alleged sexual contact with a dead deer may hinge on the legal definition of the word “animal.”

    Bryan James Hathaway, 20, of Superior faces a misdemeanor charge of sexual gratification with an animal. He is accused of having sex with a dead deer he saw beside Stinson Avenue on Oct. 1
    A motion filed last week by his attorney, public defender Fredric Anderson, argued that because the deer was dead, it was not considered an animal and the charge should be dismissed.

    “The statute does not prohibit one from having sex with a carcass,” Anderson wrote.

    Judge Michael Lucci heard the motion Tuesday.

    “I’m a little surprised this issue hasn’t been tackled before in another case,” Lucci said.

    The Webster’s dictionary defines “animal” as “any of a kingdom of living beings,” Anderson said.

    If you include carcasses in that definition, he said, “you really go down a slippery slope with absurd results.”

    Anderson argued: When does a turkey cease to be an animal? When it is dead?

    When it is wrapped in plastic packaging in the freezer? When it is served, fully cooked?

    A judge should decide what the Legislature intended “animal” to mean in the statute, he said. “And the only clear point to draw the line in that definition, I believe, is the point of death.”

    Assistant District Attorney James Boughner said the court can use a dictionary to determine the meaning of the word, but it doesn’t have to.

    “The common and ordinary meaning of a word can be found in how people actually use the word,” Boughner wrote in his response to the motion.

    When a person’s pet dog dies, he told Lucci, the person still refers to the dog as his or her dog, not a carcass.

    “It stays a dog for some time,” Boughner said.

    He referred to the criminal complaint, in which Hathaway told police he saw the dead deer in the ditch and moved it into the woods. Hathaway called it a dead deer, Boughner said, not a carcass.

    “It did not lose its essence as a deer, an animal, when it died,” he said.

    Anderson argued that the statute, which falls under the heading “crimes against sexual morality,” was meant to protect animals. That would be unnecessary in the case of a dead animal.

    “If you look at the other crimes that are in this subsection, they all protect against something other than simply things we don’t like or things we find disgusting,” he said.

    Other crimes in that subsection include incest, bigamy, public fornication and lewd and lascivious behavior.

    Boughner said the focus of the statute was on punishing the human behavior, not protecting animals.

    “It does not seem to draw a line between the living and the dead,” he said.

    Interpreting the statute to exclude dead animals would also exclude freshly killed animals, Boughner said. That, he said, could lead to people who commit such acts with animals to kill them.

    Lucci said he would render a decision by Hathaway’s next court appearance on Dec. 1.

    The misdemeanor charge carries a maximum penalty of nine months in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. If convicted, Hathaway could serve a prison term of up to two years because of a previous conviction. In April 2005, Hathaway pleaded no contest to one felony charge of mistreatment of an animal for the shooting death of Bambrick, a 26-year-old horse, to have sex with the animal.

  6. That is just disgusting. To that lawyer Anderson I would ask him what he thinks if someone had sex with his dead parents, sure they are not alive, but they still deserve some respect even after death.
    I agree with Boughner: “the focus of the statute was on punishing the human behavior, not protecting animals.”
    It’s just sick that they would allow that guy to go have sex with dead animals in the woods. What are people smoking??? Obviously NOT cigars.

  7. the statute in question pertains to animals.. most every county, municipality, city, state, whatever has laws against human cadavers.. then again, you never know.. its just a lawyer ploy, going for a technicality.. and to be fair, lots of times its not really the lawyers “fault”, he doing his job.. its a poorly written statute.. most every case where some one gets off on legalise technicalities, if theyd had dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s, it wouldnt have happened

  8. “Hey Dan, I resent that comment about the lawyers….”

    And I resemble that comment. 😉 Or represent it…actually I represent the state, but I suppose all lawyers represent the profession.

    qbanartemisa, I don’t fault Anderson for making that argument. I think he’s wrong, but I don’t think it’s completely frivolous, and as that guy’s attorney he has to be a zealous advocate for his client.

  9. yeah Dave
    I guess that’s the one bad thing about being a lawyer, sometimes they have to play the devil’s advocate.
    That’s why I decided not to pursue that career, but I guess that’s part of the profession.

  10. 1. I don’t smoke and I don’t like cigarette smoke when it’s indoors (but I like a good whiff of it when I’m jogging — go figure!), but I resent the heck out of anyone trying to make it illegal. I don’t have to eat at a restaurant where there isn’t a no-smoking section. This is not the government’s business. Let the free market settle it.

    2. Didn’t some guys dig up a dead woman in Wisconsin a few weeks ago and have sex with her, but it the only thing they could charge them with was desecrating a corpse b/c it’s not illegal to rape a corpse in Wisconsin?

    3. “Let’s kill the lawyers.” I was an English major. What Shakespeare meant with that line in Henry VI was that once the lawyers were dead, society would have no protection. There’s probably more to it than that, but basically, the context was that lawyers are good guys and the first thing you have to do when you want to control society is get rid of the law.

    Maybe the anti-cigarette people should kill all the lawyers.

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