City to put tighter restrictions on tobacco retailers

There are more than 100 tobacco retailers located less than 1,000 feet from local K-12 schools in Sacramento, and City Council members say that’s too close for comfort – so they are proposing tighter restrictions for retailers to keep kids safe. “Tobacco sales so close to kids in school? It doesn’t seem like its a good match,” City Councilman Kevin McCarty said Tuesday. The new ordinance was initiated by McCarty and Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy in 2010, and it reached the full council for consideration after first being reviewed by both the Law and Legislation committee and the city Planning commission earlier this year. The City Council unanimously passed the ordinance for publication Tuesday, which moves the item closer to final approval. Public discussion of the ordinance will be scheduled later this month. McCarty said there has been a movement throughout the state to tighten regulations on tobacco sales, but the problem really hit home for him when a tobacco shop opened in his district just 40 feet from an elementary school. “It begged the question: How does this happen? Can we halt it?” McCarty said. Currently there are approximately 430 licensed tobacco retailers located within the city, according to the city staff report –104 of those are located within 1,000 feet of a public school. Although the city has a number of regulations in place […]

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The week in film(s)

The week in film(s) Timing your movie’s release is a strange combination of art, science, and simple luck. You obviously don’t want to go head to head with a blockbuster that appeals to the same audience, but counter-programming to a different demographic might work. You don’t want to find yourself opening in the week following some epic that generates stunning audience word of mouth and dominates as much in its second week as its first. And you’re also going to suffer if you open in the week before an equally dominant film sucks the air out of the room/box office as soon as it hits the screen. This week’s crop of new films are caught between a rock and a soft place. On the one hand, next week’s “The Hunger Games” will probably outperform just about everything else in current release, combined. But on the other hand, they have several very easy acts to follow as last weekend was a collective exercise in film failure. The big release last week was Disney’s “John Carter” – released exactly one hundred years after the eponymous hero first appeared in print. And that brings up one of its major problems – despite pre-dating most of the science fiction and fantasy novels and films you’ve ever heard of, it has taken longer to come to the big screen in […]

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Tobacco sales to minors remains low in county

The rate of Illegal sales of tobacco to minors in Sacramento County remains steady at 16% according to a survey conducted by Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Public Health. The Public Health Division’s Tobacco Education Program conducted its annual Youth Purchase Survey in April by sending under-age student volunteers and adult chaperones to randomly-selected retail outlets in each city and the unincorporated area of Sacramento County. Of the 288 stores surveyed, 16 percent sold tobacco to minors, down from 21.7 percent in 2009 and about the same rate as in 2010. No sales to minors were observed in Rancho Cordova. Of the other areas surveyed: • Isleton had an observed sales rate of 50%, with one out of two stores selling tobacco to minors; • Citrus Heights had a sales rate of 24%, with eight out of 33 stores selling tobacco to minors; • Galt had a sales rate of 22%, with two out of nine stores selling tobacco to minors; • Folsom had a sales rate of 17%, with four out of 23 stores selling tobacco to minors; • Sacramento had a sales rate of 16%, with19 out of 117 stores selling tobacco to minors; • The unincorporated area of Sacramento County had a sales rate of 13%, with 10 out of 79 stores selling tobacco to minors; and • Elk […]

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‘Sin Taxes’ Kill California’s Shot At Economic Rebound

For more, visit PublicCEO.com I have a confession. I drink alcohol. I enjoy soda, too. Potato chips? Love ‘em. So why are politicians posing as moral leaders and digging into my wallet over these simple pleasures? Well, simply because their vision is just as simple. Cities, states and the federal government officials have locked into the mindless notion that these "sin taxes" are either morally or economically logical. They couldn’t be more wrong. It’s easy to find public support when you single out a faction that can be looked down upon as taking part in immoral behaviors, forgetting about individual rights or the ability for the public to make its own moral judgments. But the truth is that sin taxes need to be resisted on both moral and economic grounds. By taxing products that are overwhelmingly purchased by those with lower incomes, it effectively amounts to a regressive tax, or a tax paid for by lower income individuals. The latest craze in this trend is California’s soda tax that would only add to the numerous regressive taxes in a state that already has the highest sales taxes. What’s next, fast food, cable? After that they better raises taxes for gym memberships too; people are sweating and sharing germs all over those places. Sin taxes don’t just hurt the "sinners" either. They are anti-business too and […]

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Cigarettes will make you popular

 "You got a cigarette?" A homeless denizen inquires, sprawled out on a stoop in front of a CPA’s office. He’s flanked by three others. They’re casually shooting the bull, setting up camp for the night. I’m merely walking home from work. I do not have a cigarette. "Sorry," I shrug. "Thanks anyways, pard’ner." A few minutes later, I arrive home at Wayne Manor. I set down my keys. I notice my Zippo lighter. I pick it up and flip it open a few times. I’m tired but not ready for bed. The night’s not over, I decide. I clutch the Zippo lighter and head out the door. I stop by the nearest quik-e-mart and buy a pack of cigarettes. I venture over towards my pard’ner’s base camp and make an announcement: "I got a few cigarettes." The denizens are exasperated. And quickly overwhelmed with gratitude. After four handouts and one click of the Zippo I’m on my way. And yet, I was not done spreading joy — no sir. There were still 16 cigarettes left, thus 16 hearts left to be filled with the ecstasy of sweet nicotine. It was at this moment that I realized I had needed to become the Johnny Appleseed of cigarettes, marching throughout the land, handing out cigarettes to all who needed the bold, yet mild flavor. I am the […]

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