October 15, 2007

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Where There's Smoke There's Fire--Belmont's Smoking Ban The smoking ordinance in Belmont was a classic example of what Belmont's city council is all about. Sure second hand smoke is bad but the issue brought before them was second hand smoke in attached adjacent living spaces--the genesis of the original complaint. However our council (coached by their cronies in other departments with similar agendas—can anyone say Planning Department?) decided to pursue a ban on all outdoor cigarette smoking in Belmont—notice I didn’t say all smoking? Be clear, this was a personal agenda. Mayor Coralin’s trama had to do with being exposed to second hand smoke from her father and Council Member Dave Warden wanted Belmont to be a "smoke free city". Mr. Warden apparently anointed himself with deciding how one should personally care for themselves stating, "…This ordinance may save lives as it may force smokers to quit or limit smoking". What they neglected to address was wood burning fireplaces and outdoor BBQ's--no doubt much worse contributors of air borne carcinogens. Mr. Warden’s argument for not banning other more caustic causes of airborne particulate matter such as that expelled by SUV’s was answered with—"[but] we need cars". So what’s his answer to this one—banning outdoor BBQ’s will stop people from eating unhealthy carcinogen laden foods AND stop the air borne particulate matter they cause. Why wasn’t that a part of the ordinance? Did anyone notice the volumes of billowing smoke at the Save The Music benefit in Belmont wafting by the children as they sang on stage? The...

Drew Morgan

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