NOLA Update

New Orleans’ smoking ban comes into force next week:

…though progressive lawmakers are excited about the new regulations, bar owners in the French Quarter and other parts of town are not too happy about being told what they can and cannot do at their private business.

In an article by the Gambit this week, bar owners from Pat O’Brien’s, Cosimo’s Bar and Buffa’s Lounge and Restaurant all spoke about their distaste for the city’s decision to pile on more business regulations and limiting business with what they can allow.

  In January, Cosimo’s owner Ray Hummel pleaded with Mayor Mitch Landrieu to veto the smoke-free measure, which had passed the New Orleans City Council. Hummel estimates 80 to 90 percent of his customers are smokers, and if Cosimo’s loses 20 percent in sales, he’ll be out of business. His plea, posted on Facebook, went viral.

“This is not a matter of smoking or non-smoking,” Hummel wrote. “This is a matter of CHOICE. Adult civil liberties CHOICE.”

A few blocks from Cosimo’s is Buffa’s Lounge & Restaurant, which allows smoking in its front bar but prohibits smoking in a back bar where there are tables, chairs and a stage that often hosts live music. Owner Chuck Rogers made the change to the back bar so Buffa’s would be able to accommodate smokers and nonsmokers — but on April 22, both rooms will have to be smoke-free.

“It’s something every bar in New Orleans is going to have to do,” Rogers said. “We’re in the same boat as any other bar. It was easy enough before the smoking ban. … We have the best of both worlds. We have that unique ability to do that. A lot of places don’t. Now that the city is making it mandatory… well, people will have to step out.”

“This shouldn’t be forced down our throat,” Pat O’Brien’s owner Shelly Waguespack told Gambit. “I appreciate the councilwoman’s energy and passion for this, but as businesspeople we have many other pressing things to worry about.”

Dick Puddlecote sent me a link a couple of days ago, asking:

Haven’t the local authority been saying that smoking bans won’t hurt the casino businesses? In which case, why are they delaying declaring what they will be able to fund with gambling money if they’re so confident?

And here’s Firebug in New Orleans, with Juliette Tworsey on vocals. Her blog will no doubt have news:

 

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19 Responses to NOLA Update

  1. Frank Davis says:

    L A Times

    California has become a battleground between the tobacco industry and health groups as lawmakers push proposals that include increasing cigarette taxes by $2 a pack and raising the legal smoking age from 18 to 21.

    The state once led the nation in snuffing out smoking, but health activists say a strong tobacco lobby and a lack of political will have blocked new efforts in recent years.

    “We used to be leaders, and we are not anymore,” said Stanton A. Glantz, a professor of medicine at UC San Francisco.

    California lawmakers have responded to such criticism with a flood of legislation on the issue.

    In addition to making California the first state to raise the smoking age, the measures would bar electronic cigarettes from public places where smoking is prohibited, ban single-use filters on cigarettes and prohibit the use of chewing tobacco in pro baseball stadiums and recreational league games.

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      The antismoker machine is California is strong. It has manipulated public opinion by forcing its agenda based on lies and falsified studies.

      In the area of cigarette taxes they just won’t give up. Two propositions (effectively referenda) within the past ten years attempted to raise the cigarette tax. Both were rejected by the majority of California voters. The first was California Proposition 29 (2012) which would have raised tobacco tax ($1,00 per cigarette pack) and was rejected by the voters. The second California Proposition 86 (2006) would have raised cigarette taxes ($2.60 per pack) and established a constitutional amendment authorizing the enabling statute.

      Both tobacco control considers itself above public will, the law, and ethics. It will continue to abuse all legitimate political process, corrupt lawmakers, and quell dissent until it gets its own way or is eradicated.

    • Frank I still have about 6 cousins in California and one just got out of a calif state prison after doing 3 years on a drug repeat offenders charge. He said they smoked about anywhere and when he hit the streets he went right back to dealing but not narcotics but freaking tobacco…………..Its the hottest seller on LA streets he said and he just hits the bars walks in says who needs what………and out back they go to the van……….

      But he is like probably a thousand others in the same activity in the city………

      Makes a run to the border gets another load and back again…………

      I only heard this a few weeks ago when he came east to visit us all.

      Must be in the blood his daddy was a bootlegger to and a flim flam man.

      God rest Uncle Johnnys soul. I got a picture of him hands out drawn in a western styled black suit with a western tie and hands out streached holding a bible in one and a cigarette in the other………..

      That’s when he was playing his Rev Billy Sunday routine and nailing every young girl he could as a travelling evangelist………..camp meeting to him was a meat market and people donating tithes in the basket as I was passed……….

  2. Smoking Lamp says:

    Th battle to reverse the NOLA smoking ban is just beginning! Today’s Gambit contains a piece on a lawsuit against the ban: “Harrah’s and French Quarter bars sue the City of New Orleans in smoking ban dispute,” http://www.bestofneworleans.com/blogofneworleans/archives/2015/04/17/harrahs-and-french-quarter-bars-sue-the-city-of-new-orleans-in-smoking-ban-dispute . The lawsuit is being pursued by Harrah’s and 50 separate bars. So much for the tobacco control claim that everyone supports the ban. Let’s hope the legal action is augmented by political action! Any and all support to reverse this smoking ban is encouraged.

  3. Some other Tom says:

    Juliette rocks! Maybe NOLA will turn into some lawless and chaotic shitfest of protest and civil disobedience that the rest of the world will follow; it’s bound to happen somewhere, someplace, sometime soon…

    • Tom NOLA has always been a shithole………..I was stationed down by there for 3 years out of Gulfport ms Seabee base. I use to run the Harley down to the French quarter every afternoon between 1 and 2 for the rehearsals and 1 dollar drafts……free show and cheap beer then leave by 7pm………..I could get shitfaced for 12 bucks. Parked the Harley on the sidewalk back then in front of the bars back then. Nobody messed with it ever. Just don’t stay after dark. All you have to do is go to the end of the French Quarter and its basically DODGE CITY………..I saw 3 gun fights going on down thre in 3 years in broad daylite between the local blacks………Ya don’t wanna be there trust me. That’s why this ban aint worth the paper its wrote on even the cops wont go into certain hoods after dark its just that bad.

  4. When they own the city council you know they own the courts too

    Judge denies bar owners bid to stall New Orleans smoking ban

    A lawsuit filed by Harrah’s casino and a long list of French Quarter bars, strip clubs and restaurants won’t delay the start of New Orleans’ smoking ban …

    http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/04/new_orleans_smoking_ban_lawsui.html

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      That’s why this ultimately needs to be solved through political action. The courts are wary of reversing smoking bans because they clearly fall within the police power of the state. Yes, they are unjust and deny equal protection, but health and safety are contained within the state’s police powers and state’s (meaning polities) don’t like limiting their own power. That doesn’t mean they can’t win, they can if they construct their brief properly (as it appears they are in this case–essentially the City Council failing to follow procedural precedent). If I was counsel for the plaintiffs I would seek the denied restraining order from the appellate court (5th Circuit) while developing the case and political support. I’d also hire some really good investigators that specialize in corruption cases and track the potential flow of illegally utilized federal grant funds for lobbying efforts. I’d then seek criminal prosecutions (utilizing RICO, as well as fraud, waste and abuse statutes) at the state and federal levels. Those prosecutions could target the politicians and activist-lobbyists. As a coup de grace I would also emphasize the falsified studies that claim there is a health risk from second hand smoke when in fact there is no such threat.

      • waltc says:

        Great ideas all. But. Audrey’s lawsuit against NY State’s park ban is based on the clear violation of both procedural precedent AND the state constitution . There’s simply no way to read the law that doesn’t clearly say that Clash’s position is unimpeachable. Yet. The state appealed the decision of the lower court in Clash’s favor ..and won. And they’ll keep their win by default unless she can raise the $ to continue the fight. Not only are the decks blatantly stacked but the government (local, state,fed) and its bureaucracies have an endless supply of taxpayers’ money with which to bankrupt and stymie the opposition. Unfortunately, it seems there’s no law or precedent that can’t be broken by TC with impunity.

        • Smoking Lamp says:

          I agree the CLASH lawsuit has legs. I hope it prevails. It won’t provide precedent for the other states or the federal system, but it has the potential to provide moral foundation for political action! I hope it prevails. Until then, I hope the political dimensions of this struggle start to coalesce…

        • Sooner or later another judge NIMO shows up and actually puts an end to the scam.

  5. cafe and bar owners fined for breaking smoking ban

    Health inspectors handed out 1578 fines to Dutch cafe, bar and club owners for breaking the ban on smoking in 2014.

    http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2015/04/more-cafe-and-bar-owners-fined-for-breaking-smoking-ban/

    • Health inspectors handed out 1,578 fines to Dutch cafe, bar and club owners for breaking the ban on smoking in 2014. This is a rise of just under 200 on 2013, website nu.nl reports.

      In total, inspectors levied fines totalling €1.4m.

      No fines were given in 136 of the country’s 400 local authority areas. The worst offender was the staunchly religious fishing village of Urk where one-fifth of the cafes and bars inspected were found to be breaking the law

  6. Senator Rand Paul

    .

    Every year, thousands of property owners across America fall victim to the EPA and Army Corps of Engineer’s bullying tactics. I firmly believe it is the landowners’ Constitutional rights to do what they please with their own property. The time has come to bring common sense back to the federal jurisdiction over navigable waters and place necessary limitations on out-of-control government agencies.

    http://www.paul.senate.gov/news/press/sen-rand-paul-introduces-defense-of-environment-and-property-act-of-2015

    • SECTION 1. The Defense of Environment and Property Act of 2015

      SECTION 2. Navigable Waters

      Amends the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to redefine “navigable waters” in line with the Scalia majority opinion in Rapanos v. United States. Specifically, the term is defined to authorize federal regulation of (1) navigable-in-fact waters (e.g. waters that actually support a boat) and (2) relatively permanent water bodies commonly known as streams, oceans, rivers and lakes connected to navigable-in-fact waters. Excluded from regulation are waters that lack a continuous surface water connection to navigable waters, including intermittent or ephemeral streams. Clarifies that groundwater should be treated as state water and should not be used in determining federal jurisdiction over other waters. The use of the “significant nexus” test is prohibited. Clarifies that this new definition does not materially change any existing statutory exemptions from permit requirements (such as normal farming, maintenance of serviceable dikes and dams, and construction of irrigation ditches; NPDES exemptions for agricultural return flows and storm water runoff from oil, gas and mining operations also remain in place).

      SECTION 3. Applicability of Agency Regulations and Guidance

      Retracts the “Final Rule for Regulatory Program of the Corps of Engineers” (51 Fed. Reg. 41206); the proposed EPA rule entitled “Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Clean Water Act Regulatory Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’” (68 Fed. Reg. 1991); the guidance document entitled “Clean Water Act Jurisdiction Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision in Rapanos v. United States and Carabell v. United States.” Further prohibits the EPA or Army Corps from promulgating rules or issuing any guidance that expands or interprets the definition of navigable waters or waters of the United States unless expressly authorized by Congress.

      SECTION 4. State Regulation of Water

      Clarifies that this bill does not impact the ability of States to assert regulatory authority over their waters.

      SECTION 5. Consent for Entry by Federal Representatives

      Amends the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to clarify that a federal official may only enter private property to collect information about navigable waters (as defined) if the owner of that property has a) consented to that entry in writing; b) is notified regarding the date of entry; c) given access to any data collected. The landowner must also have the option of being present at the time the data collection is carried out.

      SECTION 6. Compensation for Regulatory Taking

      States that, if federal regulation relating to navigable waters diminishes the fair market value or economic viability of the property (as determined by an independent appraiser), the Federal agency issuing the regulation then owns the property owner twice the value of the loss. The payment must come from the administrative budget of the agency, and the federal regulation shall have no force or effect upon the landowner until the landowner has been compensated.

      • This deals more with the man that just went to jail By EPA over 2 runoff pounds he built on his own land for water collection for farm animals………..But it also strikes right at the core of rands truer beliefs property owners deciding their own way to do business…….
        This bill says volumes

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