The Star-Ledger reports from New Jersey: “The state Legislature today approved a bill that would ban people from smoking in county and municipal parks but allow towns and counties to create a smoking section on their beaches.” The smoking sections would be limited to 15 percent of beaches.
A bill that would ban smoking on New Jersey’s beaches has taken another step closer to becoming a reality, but with a loophole big enough for a Sea Isle ice truck.
The beach smoking ban bill, which was introduced last summer, would prohibit smoking in New Jersey’s parks and beaches. It just passed the state senate, but with an amendment tacked on at the last minute that would allow towns to set up designed smoking areas on up to 20% of their beaches.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter seems to be in the middle of an existential crisis. Now, normally this confrontation with life, the universe, and everything is perfectly natural and OK. That is, most men react to these crises with something harmless like impulse-buying a sports car.
The problem here, though, is that Nutter is taking at least 375,000 Philadelphians along for his ride into the “What’s the point?” abyss with his new executive order “banning” smoking in public parks.
Nutter’s the guy who callously slashed library funding by $8 million in 2008, eliminating 117 library jobs. Later, Nutter tearfully “corrected” his wrong by putting back a fraction ($2.5 million) of the original cut in his proposed budget this year. He also proposed the new property tax valuations, called the AVI. It’s arguably a necessary fix but nobody’s happy about it, particularly because the AVI seems at best complicated and at worst arbitrary. And, Nutter’s the guy currently presiding over a police force disproportionately arresting black people while seemingly ignoring white people violating those very same laws.
Basically, Nutter seems to be in the middle of an identity crisis because he sure as hell looks a lot like former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg right now.
Thinking of lighting up a smoke in Rittenhouse Square? You can still do it, but you’ll be breaking the law.
On Tuesday, Mayor Michael Nutter signed into law a bill banning smoking in the city’s parks. Per the mayor’s own words, the ban is “effective immediately.”
Nutter says there are no talks in expanding a smoking ban to public city streets. The new park smoking ban comes for the usual reasons governments pass them: Concerns over secondhand smoke, general environmental worries and as an encouragement for smokers to quit.
“Eliminating smoking in public parks is a commonsense policy that clearly aligns with our City’s existing smoke-free regulations for recreation centers, pools and playgrounds. Specifically, this policy protects the environment and the health and wellness of our citizens,” the mayor said in a release.
The ban will be enforced by staffers in city parks and essentially has no penalty associated with it. Per a city press release, the Parks and Recreation and Public Health departments will also be doing “No butts about it” PSAs.