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Smoke-Free Santee Parks Hits the Mainstage

Show support and learn more about the push to ban smoking in Santee city parks at a forum on Wednesday.

Read what happened at the meeting

The "" will be held at Wednesday starting at 7 p.m., a community forum meant to drum up support for an ordinance that would ban smoking in Santee city parks.

Santee is the only city in San Diego County that allows cigarette smoking in city parks.

Councilmembers and will be in attendence, along with representatives from the American Heart Association, American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, , Santee Collaborative, and Health and Human Service Agency.

Local father and , arranged the event, and has been promoting the idea of a smoking ban at Santee parks with blogs, , signature gathering and more, since in an annual report released by the American Lung Association in January.

"Do you want our city parks to be smoke free? Please come out and show your support at this event," Spencer wrote in publicizing the forum.

"A strong show of support will show that this is something the needs to take a look at."

Guest speakers will include Dr. Philip Szold, of La Mesa Pediatrics, Alicia Sampson, Epidemiologist with the County of San Diego and Michael Sawdy, with the School of Public Health SDSU.

Before the forum, adults and kids are encouraged to make posters in the theme of "Smoke-free Parks," and attendees will be given a chance to share what they think about smoking in Santee parks.

The issue has raised debate about two high tension topics, "smokers' rights" versus the "right to clean air" outdoors. A Santee Patch currently shows 57 percent support for a ban.

Dennis Iverson April 23, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Congrates Gina, you got one to stick
rudy reyes April 24, 2012 at 12:30 AM
speaking of fluoride! http://www.fluoridealert.org/Pollution/Coal-Industry/BGE-may-be-Maryland-s-largest-polluter.aspx and power plants!
Dennis Iverson April 24, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Quotation: "When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson Earlier someone said "Actually my 9 year old daughter got to witness this issue first hand today as we spotted a man sitting at a table at a local park smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer. The cigarette butt went to the ground under the cement table when he finished smoking. He was still sitting there with his beer when we left." If someone is so concerned about seeing their child see someone smoking and every other park in the county is non-smoking, why would you leave your own area to travel to Santee? Santee is special. Our parks are special. They cater to kids, sports, dogs, handicap, horses, people that just want to go for a walk, some that just want to have a picnic. It is for everyone, The only restrictions are they close at sunset, and dogs must be on a lease unless in the dog area. (and the dumb regulation you can't make a left turn out of Mast park) There are many choices: You don't like people that drink: don't go to a bar You don't like people that have dogs: don't go to a dog park You don't like people that drive to fast: stay off the 125 You don't like people that smoke: stay away from places that allow it. There are enough regulation on our lives. We don't need any more. Let me live my life, you live yours. You have choices, and so do I
Larry April 24, 2012 at 03:37 AM
Cigarette butts on the ground? Littering, which is against the law. Why not call the police when you see a smoker put a butt on the ground? Do we need more laws? No. Do some people need a cause to further a possible career change? he he he Hey, why does the east bound breeze smell funny?
joan sullivan April 24, 2012 at 05:12 AM
Mr. Spencer says he just wants to stop people smoking in Santee parks. Joe, those people you're mixed up with are deceiving you. That isn't where that tiger you're riding is headed to. Look at that photograph at the top of this article. "TOBACCO-FREE FACILITY. Use of Tobacco Products Is Prohibited In All Areas At All Times." This is not a crusade to prohibit smoking in Santee's parks. This is a crusade to prohibit tobacco use of any kind by any person anywhere in California. It has nothing to do with "protecting" nonsmokers from SHS "danger". It is an unadulterated, neo-Puritan, social-engineering eradication crusade. And they want to eradicate ME! From the parks, from the restaurants and bars, from the workplaces, from outdoor dining patios and sidewalks and parking lots. From MY car and MY front porch and MY backyard and MY BEDROOM! That is why I, a resident of La Mesa, weigh in on the parks in Santee. Remember when these same people said, "All we want is a non-smoking section in the airplane"?
Mary April 24, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Hey Larry - I heard a rumor that Vladimir Putin is thinking about running for president of the U.S. Oh wait! He can’t do that! He is not a citizen of the U.S. But Gee! He is rumored to prefer the U.S. to Russia and wants to move to the U.S. in the near future. he he who - so humor isn't my strong point -
Holly Lamb April 24, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Excellent reply Joan! You are right and anyone who thinks that 'banning' something on the premise of 'the greater good' should be reminded that their freedom is in danger when they agree with such bans. Are people really that ignorant that they cannot see that freedom does not involve banning citizens from what they enjoy doing. Anything that is blindly done for the 'greater good' is rarely for the greater good but for the control of the people.
Larry April 24, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Hey Mary, you should have gone with President Calderon.
Bella April 25, 2012 at 08:42 AM
i love it when people talk about themselves in the third party...
Bella April 25, 2012 at 08:50 AM
Classic. ^ Mary-- I do not see your posts as vicious, nor is there any need for you to calm down. You raise good points, and somehow these men seem to think it is acceptable for Joe to be rude and condescending, and then go write another post, in which he decides to explain where Joe is coming form, (like a neutral third party) describing himself as "RESPECTFUL IN SANTEE" *Completely transparent & once again, laughable.
Bella April 25, 2012 at 08:57 AM
Regarding personal attacks: In life you get what you give.
Bella April 25, 2012 at 09:25 AM
Calling the kettle black, again. It's funny; you bash 'Sunshine' for not posting her real name, and suddenly here you are, defending YOURSELF under another pseudo name. 'Motivated in Santee' & now 'Respectful in Santee'. So transparent.
Bella April 25, 2012 at 09:37 AM
i like you, Mary, for speaking up and asking questions, instead of being like the apathetic masses. & seriously, good point, Dennis/James.
Kathy April 25, 2012 at 10:07 AM
Can someone tell me if the Parks in Lakeside are Smoke-Free?
rudy reyes April 25, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Kathy. I am candidate for 2nd district county supervisor east county. To answer your question, yes all county Parks have been made smoke free by the county. The county loves taking personal rights away from its citizens. I don't agree with this at all. I am trying to defend personal rights.
joan sullivan April 25, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Some 6 years ago I watched the San Diego County Supervisors' Meeting where the county smoking ban was voted in. A citizen who protested the ban said "Do you mean to tell me that I can't sit beside a smoke billowing camp fire and smoke a cigarette?" And the supervisor who voted against the ban said, "I can't support a prohibition to smoke cigarettes in the parks unless we also prohibit campfires and charcoal braziers." And Pam Slater flapped her hands and bleated like an old ewe, "Second hand smoke, second hand smoke."
Mary April 25, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Jen - For you to ask: “Isn't second hand smoke the same as the exhaust from a power plant?” just shows you are falling for the scare tactics that Mr. Spencer is hoping for. Second-hand smoke in an open air park setting has not been proved, with any scientific study, to have cancer causing effects. On the other hand exhaust, scientific studies for the intended power plant show a significant environmental impact for the entire community of Santee.
Kathy April 25, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Interesting because I drove over to Lakeside to 2 of the parks and I saw 4 at one park and 3 at the other park. There are no signs posted in the parks that I went to that said smoking is prohibited. I asked a couple of smokers at each park if they knew if smoking was allowed in the Park and their response from each of them was " I don't see any signs so I guess we can smoke, we always have". I would like Joe, since he is a Lakeside residence, to devote his time to the Parks in his area, it seems like they need the focus more then the Santee Parks do. Just saying.....
rudy reyes April 25, 2012 at 11:10 PM
kathy: the law is for most part unenforced! So low on jurisdictional prudence that cops turn blind eyes to it!
Holly Lamb April 25, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Does it matter if smoking in a park is against the law? Are we going to take police away from serious crime to watch over parks so no one is smoking? Those of you who want to ban something, have you taken a personal inventory lately? The more laws there the more corrupt the government. What part of Home of the Free do you not understand? Ask yourself this: Do I really need that much government in my life? Do not believe the main stream media and their lies about envir0nmentalism. Look at some research from the other side for a moment, we might just be right. The government is working on taking our parental rights as well, immunizations without parental consent is a reality in CA. Our children can get STD treatment without our consent, signs of a big g0vernment, your kids don't need your permission to get treated for an STD but it's illegal to smoke in a park.
James Jones April 25, 2012 at 11:32 PM
The tide sure seems to have turned here. It has been pretty quiet from the pro ban folks since the "experts" couldn't substantiate their fear mongering. Sometimes it seems, an "issue" turns out to be a "non-issue".
Holly Lamb April 25, 2012 at 11:50 PM
You are pretty smug about that Dennis, what are you going to do when they ban autos at the park? Walk your little kids all the way to the park and back? I'm going to throw this out there in the 20th Century Socialism/Communism killed over 100 million people. Why do I say that? We are headed to Communism in this country. Banning smoking is one step to get the people to do the government's bidding. Research the opposing views sometime, there is credence there. A government big enough to ban smoking in a park is big enough to take away your automobile.
Holly Lamb April 26, 2012 at 02:58 AM
This: Now we have a safe place where all non-smokers can enjoy the fresh outdoor air. They can enjoy the ‘fresh’ outdoor air anywhere, SHS is not any more dangerous than exhaust or allergens. I'm not even a smoker and I am defending the right of smokers in a park how ludicrous that something like this has to be defended. The government should just take our cars, mandate we have to buy bicycles and then enforce what kind of tire we use on our bicycle and fine us if we don't use the right kind. Why don't they just send someone to live with us who knows how to live better than us and they can lead us in the 'right kind of government approved life'. Yeah that's it!! Let's all get a government nanny to run our lives. All in favor of this, just vote for the smoking ban in the park.
Steven Bartholow (Editor) April 26, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Santee's Mayor Randy Voepel defends his stance quoting ALA stats in this new follow up- http://santee.patch.com/articles/dear-randy-f-for-smoking-freedom-follow-up
joan sullivan April 27, 2012 at 01:40 AM
They'll be back, James. Perhaps with a less flawed "local champion" than Joe Spencer, but they'll be back. As long as Santee is the only tree standing in a felled forest, they will come back again and again with axes and chain saws. And if Santee should give in to their demand for a park smoking ban, they will come back with a progression of further demands -- smoking prohibitions on dining patios and sidewalks and parking lots and smoking bans in multi-family housing ... and on and on to the front porch and back yard and bedroom of your detached house on your own lot.
adam paul April 27, 2012 at 04:18 PM
I used to work the for the old El Cajon Downtown Community Development Corporation and in El Cajon you can't smoke anywhere. When I worked for this organization I never enforced it but reminded people by pointing out the signs in the park near the El Cajon library etc and if they received a ticket that was their problem. Anyways I don't smoke by the way and I think the ban is really dumb because its unenforceable and if its passed its one less freedom that people have. Also it was mentioned in a couple of posts that El Cajon has Santee beat on a couple of issues, I would like to know what those are (insert sarcastic laugh) because having worked in the downtown area on Main Street I can tell you that Santee is a far better place etc and the smoking ban isn't enforced IN El Cajon. Also people should care where one lives because its a bunch of hooey that a person that doesn't even live in Santee can come in and impose their will ex: Van Collinsworth.
Joe Spencer March 12, 2013 at 08:12 PM
and....back on the agenda we go....but this time with the support of the Santee City Manager!! Nicely Done!!
Dennis Iverson March 12, 2013 at 09:16 PM
It doesn’t sound like a forum to me, sounds like a rally.
Steven Bartholow (Editor) March 12, 2013 at 09:42 PM
It wasn't a rally atmosphere, that's for sure. There were member of the public on both sides in attendance and it was essentially a face-to-face talk about matters. See story here: http://santee.patch.com/articles/community-comes-together-on-smoking-issues
James Jones March 12, 2013 at 10:00 PM
There were more presenters at the meeting than members of the community. There was very little support for a ban.

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