','subtitle>',$line); echo $line; $line = "\n"; } else if (strstr($line, '','updated>',$line); } else if (strstr($line, '','published>',$line); } else if (strstr($line, ' Impractical Proposals <br> Santa Monica: 2006.11


Can of Worms: Outdoor Smoking Ban

As you already know, Santa Monica has passed an outside smoking ban. Turns out, it may not be the first, plus Belmont's is even more extreme:

"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." (Dana Yates, "Belmont to be first U.S. city to ban all smoking", San Mateo County Daily Journal, Nov. 15).


2006: Santa Monica city council candidates and ballot measures

The Santa Monica City Council needs fresh blood -- badly. Bullet voting for Terry O'Day introduces the possibility that, if the tallies of the three incumbents seeking reelection are not increased by the voters who select him, he will overcome the advantage of incumbency and come in ahead of one of them. “I will use my experience as a Planning Commissioner, environmental leader and independent small business owner to find workable and sustainable solutions to traffic congestion, crime and homelessness,” O’Day wrote in his candidate statement. A seasoned progressive, O’Day considered running on the SMRR slate, but decided he'd have a better chance of working with the city's warring factions if he stayed independent.

If you want to fully exercise your franchise, two other independent challengers meriting support are Jonathan Mann, a Green Party member and perennial candidate for council, and Linda Armstrong, who ran last time on a “women and children first” platform and wants to require businesses citywide making more than $5 million to pay a living wage.

Measure W - No
Measure is the right name for this. It's a measure of the depth of cynicism among Santa Monica's political class. Placed on the ballot by current Santa Monica city council members, it's an effort to undermine a stronger anti-corruption law passed by the voters six years ago that the politicos have been unable to undo in the courts.

Measure Y - Yes
Measure Y will make personal marijuana use by adults the lowest law enforcement priority for the Santa Monica Police Department, so the cops can focus their time and resources on fighting violent crime, instead of wasting effort arresting and locking up nonviolent pot smokers. Under Measure Y, public use, sale and use by minors remain illegal, as does driving under the influence of pot. If the initiative passes, Santa Monica will join cities such as Oakland and Seattle in taking an important step toward ending the costly, dangerous and useless national "War On Drugs."