Friday, July 10, 2015

Slow Saturday Special: Walk on the Beach

I'd rather take it tonight:

"Cape towns ban beach smoking; Health and trash are key factors in setting limits on lighting up outdoors" by Felice J. Freyer and Virgie Hoban Globe Staff and Globe Correspondent  July 04, 2015

DENNIS — As Mike Kelly relaxed with his family under a blue umbrella, there was one pleasure the 63-year-old Bostonian knew he could not indulge here on Corporation Beach — outdoor smoking bans are a vast new frontier for antismoking advocates.

Treat it like a street drug.


The harms of secondhand smoke indoors are well-documented. Less is known about the health effects of tobacco smoke wafting through a park or across the sand. But for proponents of outdoor bans, health is only one concern; they are also motivated by the smell and the cigarette butts and packaging left on the sand.

“When you’re sitting at the beach relaxing, who wants smoke in your face?” said Bill Boulet, a Floridian vacationing on the Cape this week. He and his wife, Ruth, were enjoying the smoke-free air Friday at Craigville Beach in Barnstable — one of the first Cape towns to ban beach smoking.

Tom Miskiv, 58, a firefighter from Centerville who also works as a lifeguard, said he’s glad to see an end to cigarette butts. “Those things sit there forever, and you have little kids digging in the sand,” he said, while on lunch break from lifeguard duty at Craigville Beach. “You don’t want to have cigarettes on top of their sand castle.”

What a life$aver.

It was kids digging in the sand several years ago that led to Barnstable’s ban. Their shovels were employed for study rather than play: A group of middle-schoolers sifted buckets of sand and tallied the cigarette butts, over two seasons, according to the town’s longtime beach director, Patti Machado. The youngsters found that the butts accumulate year after year and never go away; beach rakes do not snare them.

After hearing about that, Machado said, the town Recreation Commission decided to ban smoking at beaches, starting in 2009. “We’ve had no issues. People are very respectful,” Machado said, noting that she has a much harder time enforcing rules prohibiting alcohol and ball-playing.

But the ban was news to Sarah Norris, 30, of Falmouth, who lit a cigarette in the parking lot of Craigville Beach on Friday. She said she thought smoking was just “frowned upon,” rather than prohibited. “It’s ridiculous,” she said. “You’re outside; it dissipates in the wind.”

“People should be entitled to make their own choices,” Norris said, finishing her cigarette as she walked to the beach with her 3-year-old.

I'm not advocating smoking in any way; taking hot smoke into your lungs is no good no matter what it is; however, it's an odd debate considering the country was founded on the crop, government subsidized it until the health costs were becoming too much, and the ma$$ media promoted it through films and advertising.

Just the fog of hypocrisy I see all around me.


Still, not every Cape town is eager to jump onto the smoke-free bandwagon.

Officials in Sandwich outlawed smoking in restaurants years ago, but the battle was so bruising that the topic of smoking bans has not been raised since, said the town’s health agent, David B. Mason.

Kristen Clark, 48, a Sandwich resident enjoying Town Neck Beach on Friday, said she was torn when asked if she would favor a smoking ban. “I believe in personal freedom,” she said, but she’s also concerned about health. She suggested that smoking areas be designated on the beach....

Maybe it is me, but I always come down on the side of freedom and there is no reason we can not have both.


Hey, “it’s good that society is moving in the right direction,” right? Just stay away from the cliffs.

(While walking on the beach I did notice how clean it has become)


"A California beach fouled by an oil spill will reopen to swimmers and campers two months after a ruptured pipeline spewed thousands of gallons of crude along the coast, officials said. Crews still need to finish scraping oil off cobblestones with wire brushes and putty knives before the public can use the beach next week, July 17. Tar balls have been sighted on beaches 100 miles away in Los Angeles County, and nearly 300 dead birds and marine mammals have been recovered. Cleanup costs have exceeded $92 million." 

Hasn't been much of a big deal, although the admission it was a pipeline and not natural seep is noteworthy.

Also see: Public wins legal fight for Malibu beach access