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Calabasas council leading the way to mannerly society

first_img This idea of public harm could certainly apply to some motoring behavior – most notably, driving below the speed limit in the fast lane. There’s a special hell for people who pull onto the freeway, veer instantly over to the fast lane, set up the cruise control at 60 m.p.h. and crank up the cell-phone call-a-thon. Not only does such an obstruction in the fast lane disrupt the flow of traffic, thus affecting the commutes of thousands of people, but such selfish lane hogging also might easily spark a deadly act in these days when tempers flare so easily into road rage. Then there’s the very real, very ugly issue of UGG boots worn with shorts. OK, perhaps this isn’t technically hazardous to anyone’s health, but it is just so aesthetically wrong. Maybe once this smoking ban takes hold, the Calabasas City Council will take up these other social ills. Certainly, I have lost hope that Los Angeles would ever consider adopting – let alone enforcing – laws that make the city a healthier place in which to live. Even littering seems to be socially acceptable now; just consider the state of the Los Angeles River. Meanwhile, the Calabasas City Council is set for the final reading on the smoking ban ordinance on Feb. 1. At that point the final details of the law, such as the definition of a “public place,” will be decided. Anyone with a strong opinion on the subject, or about UGG boot fashion, might want to attend. Mariel Garza [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Smokers, who have seen their right to light up reduced to such a narrow list of places as empty parking lots, dark alleys outside of bars and inside their own homes and cars, might feel a little picked upon by these further limits. But those who have asked that smokers extinguish their butts only to receive sneers and lewd gestures will certainly applaud the move. Whatever your take on this particular piece of legislation, the Calabasas City Council has a point. Cigarette smoke is known to harm people who breathe it. If you choose to do so, cool. But if it’s forced upon you, that’s not so cool. That makes this no different from kicking excessively smoggy automobiles off the road or from fining companies that emit too much carcinogenic material in the air. Besides, consider the fun to be had by broadly applying such a law to other annoying, if not to say injurious, public behavior. For example, if exposure to cigarette smoke is harmful to one’s physical health, surely exposure to loud one-sided cell phone conversations could be hazardous to one’s mental health. Like the noxious fumes of a Marlboro Light, the details of one’s visit to a proctologist can do serious psychic damage if let loose in public. Of course, cell phones are a fact of life. But with a little common courtesy enforced with the power of citation, we should be able to limit unwitting exposure of the worst kinds of cell phone abuse. Los Angeles’ upscale municipal neighbor in the Valley, Calabasas, is taking a tough stand for clean air by outlawing smoking in public places, including the great outdoors. Starting soon, if someone can see you puffing without the aid of binoculars, it’s probably a crime. But not a huge one. Before you vote to give Calabasas a new motto – “City of healthy living – whether you like it or not” – consider Mayor Barry Groveman’s explanation that the ordinance is not meant to be punitive. “There are not going to be any Smoking Police,” Groveman said. “This is really designed to make it acceptable for somebody to ask someone else to put out a cigarette.” And when one does screw up the courage to address that hard-looking knot of smokers outside Starbucks to stop polluting the air, the power of the city attorney will be behind the request. last_img read more