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Santa Cruz Indymedia | Government & Elections

Santa Cruz Smoking Ban Downtown (Sentinel repost)
by grumbles
Wednesday Sep 9th, 2009 8:08 AM
City leaders on Tuesday unanimously approved a smoking ban along Pacific Avenue, Beach Street and West Cliff Drive, among other spots, and agreed to consider a new fee on cigarette sales in the near future.
SANTA CRUZ -- City leaders on Tuesday unanimously approved a smoking ban along Pacific Avenue, Beach Street and West Cliff Drive, among other spots, and agreed to consider a new fee on cigarette sales in the near future.

"Our kids are picking up cigarette butts, kids are breathing cigarette smoke and it doesn't encourage a family atmosphere," said Councilman Ryan Coonerty, who proposed the ban along with Councilmen Mike Rotkin and Don Lane at the prompting of many in town.

The ban was warmly received by the audience of about 40 people, most of whom supported the new rules. Corinne Highland told the council she hoped it would create a cleaner environment for her 3-year-old.

"My 3-year-old picked up a cigarette butt and I shrieked," she said.

Some encouraged the council to go even further and eventually ban all outdoor smoking in Santa Cruz.

"The current amendments are a pitiful attempt to do the right thing. You get an F-plus," said longtime county resident Bob Yount, who first asked Councilwoman Katherine Beiers for a downtown smoking ban in 1996.

One opponent to the proposed ban wondered how big an impact the new rules will have, as cars are still polluting the air with their exhaust.

"This room used to be filled with people smoking cigarettes at City Council meetings. No one died at those meetings," said Scott Graham of Santa Cruz. "If I were to back my car into this room and let it run for 10 minutes, everyone would be dead."

The new ban prohibits smoking within 25 feet of public doors and windows and increases the required percentage of non-smoking hotel rooms in Santa Cruz from 75 percent to 90 percent. It also eliminates smoking on city property, including the wharf and City Hall, its adjacent parking lots, all parks and the West Cliff Drive recreational path, benches and landscaping.

The new rules are slated to take effect Oct. 20. Police would issue only warnings for the first month and then move to citations.

The issue has grown especially important, city leaders said, after the American Lung Association of California last year gave Santa Cruz a D grade for lax efforts to control tobacco smoke in public places. That grade came despite a Community Assessment Project report that showed 90 percent of county residents do not smoke.

City leaders also asked staff to return at a future meeting with information on a potential new fee on cigarette sales inside city limits to help fund cigarette butt cleanup efforts.


NEW SMOKING RULES

If approved, the proposed Santa Cruz smoking rules would ban lighting up in the following places:

Within 25 feet of any door or window used by the public

All of Pacific Avenue, Beach Street between the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf and Third Street, West Cliff Drive

In all city parks and on Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf

In all outside dining areas, such as bars, coffee shops and restaurants
The new rules also would increase the required percentage of non-smoking hotel rooms in Santa Cruz from 75 percent to 90 percent.
SOURCE: City of Santa Cruz

Original link to article: http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/localnews/ci_13296659
by drugas
Wednesday Sep 9th, 2009 6:59 PM
ha - they just closed 1/3 of Pogonip park to the public because they find that they are unable to stop heroin dealing (which poses a wildfire threat). Yet they will put a stop to legal cigarette smoking on a public bicycle path and sidewalk. way to go.

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_13267733
by Becky Johnson
Tuesday Sep 22nd, 2009 6:33 PM
HUFF activist, Robert Norse, doggedly chased down the Staff Report from Ryan Coonerty's "Outdoor Smoking Task Force" which Councilmember Don Lane insisted had been posted online with other information in advance of the first reading. It wasn't. Norse asked him to e-mail him a copy. It was unintelligible and unreadable. Finally, Don cut and pasted the report (or a condensation of the report?) to Norse so that HUFF members were/are the first people to actually get to read who was part of this Task Force, and what they said/did.

You can read Don Lane's notes at: http://beckyjohnsononewomantalking.blogspot.com/2009/09/outdoor-smoking-task-force-mtg-notes.html

Note that the people Ryan Coonerty invited were the Seaside Company, the Chamber of Commerce, the Conference and Visitors Center, and Bill Tysseling of the Chamber of Commerce said that "The solicitation for feedback sent to local businesses yielded a mix of responses."

That means businesses were far from unanimous that this ordinance was needed at all. And it means that the only interest group consulted were business owners. Not smokers. And not the homeless people in Three Trees Lot which is the TRUE purpose of this ordinance. It is the Banning Smokers Ordinance, and its an attack on medical marijuana as well as on poor and homeless people who don't have a house they can go inside and smoke.
by i give a damn
Thursday Oct 1st, 2009 2:11 PM
the city of santa cruz has passed yet another piece of legislation that cannot work. the selective enforcement of this new legislation however will do a good job of removing a few more homeless people from the downtown area. i would say that they were doing this at the expense of my right to smoke in a public place, but i've showered in the last 24 hours, so i'll probably be alright.