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Poll: What Should the City Council Try to Ban Next?

Party Poopers: Could a City Ban on Balloons Be On the Way? Maybe, as the city council votes to first educate the public about the environmental hazards your birthday party might contain.

Terrorist balloons are gonna kill you!

Well, maybe your pet sea lion.

At its meeting this week, the Laguna Beach City Council talked of balloons, and the hazards they bring to marine life. Seems that cute sea creatures can't read those WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD, DO NOT INGEST labels that are prevalent on deceptively innocent balloon packaging, so Mayor Jane Egly floated the possibility of banning the evil rubberized air globules from the city altogether.

Pieces of balloons are found everywhere in Laguna Beach—in the ocean, in the gutter, in public parks after the birthday parties end. These remnants are a potential danger to ocean and wildlife, which might somehow think these spent pieces of rubber are delicious and nutritious, and eat them.

Helium-filled balloons are the worst, though—those things can float off anywhere. The metallic Mylar kind can also cause outages if they get tangled in power lines.

That's essentially the argument. But rather than vote on a straight-up balloon ban, the council first got a little reflective ...

"Our concern is that folks may be getting a little tired of the council banning things," said Egly.

"Some of the council members are getting tired of banning things!” council member Kelly Boyd shot back.

Egly also dropped some interesting knowledge: "When folks come in who wish to plan a wedding here, they are told they cannot use helium balloons, and its my understanding that the festivals do not use helium balloons for the same reason."

"I vote that we educate the public," said council member Elizabeth Pearson. "I think that (Mayor Egly) bringing this up as an agenda item does help educate, but I think we’re starting to be perceived as ... "

" ... the banning capital of California?,” Boyd chimed, clearly in a sentence-finishing mood.

In the end, the council voted to implement a public awareness campaign on balloon dangers instead of a ban.

The council's newfound banning sensitivity—get out and never come back, pet stores, downhill skateboarding, fishing, medical marijuana dispensaries, plastic shopping bags, buildings over two stories, etc. etc.—means that this is a perfect time for a poll question ...

What should the city council try to ban next? Go ahead and vote!

Carly Layne April 20, 2012 at 08:24 PM
If this passes, it's going be become a Balderdash law -- "In Laguna Beach, it is illegal to have balloons."
Rich Kane April 20, 2012 at 08:27 PM
We'll see -- right now it's all about educating the masses, so there's no impending law, just an information movement ...
Carly Layne April 20, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Yeah, there's nothing wrong bringing forth some knowledge about this to the community. Hopefully this helps.
Alysia Stark April 20, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Call me a party-pooper. I hate balloons. I have for years. People think it's cute to let a balloon "go free." But what is it really? It's not one iota different than throwing trash out your car window - and we have a huge fine for littering. Never mind that they are the most dangerous thing to have around a toddler - but that is a personal decision to have balloons in your house. Letting them float into the sky is the same as throwing a wad of trash onto the ground. I personally do not support a ban on plastic bags, but this, I support 100%.
Alysia Stark April 20, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Or - I guess, I WOULD, if this were a real issue (which is should be). It should actually be covered in the littering laws. The plastic bag issue, I do not support, as much of an environmentalist that I am.
lee April 21, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Where was the poll question to ban crazy city council members? That's my vote.
Rich Kane April 21, 2012 at 04:36 PM
lee: Ha! Maybe next week ... !

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