Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Council plans to ban more outdoor smoking

"L.A. officials express support for smoking ban in outdoor dining areas," Something that the L.A. City Council does to pass time instead of deal with real issues of budget, crime or traffic, not to mention soaking the public for as much as they can in as many ways as they are able to invent- parking meters, trash fees, traffic tickets raised, telephone tax created, fee waivers as special events to unqualified events, and on and on.

The one of the originally published versions of this story in the L.A. Times had incorrectly stated that a ban would extend to a 40-mile radius from a taco truck

The actual application of the proposed city ordinance is "40-foot radius of mobile food trucks and refreshment kiosks." Note: "mobile food trucks" appears to be the current descriptive title for the more common term, "taco trucks.' And historical note: Does anyone remember the label, "Catering Trucks?" Those were trucks that had a route to stop by businesses daily for breaks and lunch but the food was already preapared instead of a carrying cook and kitchen on board. At that time the franchise fast food places were not found everywhere like today, and McDonald's was still establishing its place on the horizon. Now you find McD's, Burger King, Wendy's, Taco Bell, and many other franchises in a short drive, or even walk, from whereever you work, go to school or live.

Well, first, a while back, the city wanted to limit where taco trucks could park for any length of time before they had to move on. The courts struck that law down, so now the city goes the other way, and constructs a zone that appears to be more accommodating of their operations and including them within conventional eating establishments. Right about here, I think it's a good place to remind you that City Council is known neither for its consistency or proper prioritization of any issues.

The comments on the L.A. Times blog responded to the story's initial typo banning smoking within a "40-mile radus" instead of 40-foot radius from a taco, or, "mobile food truck" or "food kiosk.'

Some samples of comments from the version, "L.A. council to consider banning smoking in outdoor dining areas," October 26, 2009, at,

That's a tough new law. I don't think you can ever be 40 miles from a taco truck in California.
Posted by: Omond October 26, 2009 at 06:52 PM

What? Within 40 miles of a mobile food truck? That has to be a typo. If it were county wide that'd mean if there's a truck in San Gabriel I couldn't smoke in Pasadena.
Posted by: Matt Reed October 26, 2009 at 06:55 PM

How will I know if I'm within 40 miles of a mobile food truck?
Posted by: Kevin October 26, 2009 at 07:12 PM

How will I know if I'm within 40 miles of a mobile food truck?
Posted by: Kevin October 26, 2009 at 07:12 PM

The City Council will spend hours in a hearing on ONE agenda item and still bungle the outcome. To offset this time imbalance, many times they will then pass agenda items in other important areas very quickly with unanimous votes after little or no discussion. (Where there is public comment on an "agenda item," within seconds of the last speaker, they call for the vote and you get in ALMOST EVERY CASE, a UNANIMOUS vote that makes you think what the speakers said mattered not a bit. I think it's the case and you'd have been paid more attention speaking a foreign language instead of English. (That's because you would have an interpreter there, and everything you say will come out twice.)

There are lots of blogs around that chronicle these things so I won't go on any longer with my own list. is one place each day to find so many examples of a malfunctioning city government that you really have to wonder, "Who elects these people anyway?" ANSWER: usually a "majority" of a 12% to 18% turnout- barely 1/5 at most, of the registered voters. . In other words, a different outcome could result with way less than 1/4 to 1/3 of the REST of the registered voters choosing differently.