Daren Bakst

Posts by Daren Bakst (page 8)

  • The Rare Hamburger Controversy

    There’s been national attention focused on North Carolina regarding our law that prohibits restaurants from serving rare and medium-rare hamburgers. The story seems to be getting attention, in part, because it was featured on AOL’s Weird News.  After all, I didn’t know such a rule existed in this state…
    Daren Bakst, May 20, 2011
  • Congress and Eminent Domain

    American Thinker recently published my op-ed on a bill in the United States House that would make it more difficult for state and local governments to abuse their eminent domain power. In addressing why eminent domain reform is a federal issue and not just a state issue, I…
    Daren Bakst, May 18, 2011
  • A Big Step for Annexation Reform

    The North Carolina House may soon pass annexation legislation that would provide real annexation reform. For more than a half-century, North Carolina has allowed municipalities to force individuals living in unincorporated areas to live within municipal boundaries.  Property owners, who made a conscious effort to live outside municipalities, are…
    Daren Bakst, May 5, 2011
  • The Ever Expanding Smoking Ban

    When the North Carolina legislature passed a statewide smoking ban in 2009, it gave local governments the power to exceed the state prohibition by restricting smoking in additional locations, including local government grounds, such as parks. As expected, municipalities have taken advantage of this power by restricting smoking in public outdoor areas.  Earlier this year, Raleigh passed an ordinance banning smoking in parks and greenways. Now, Greensboro is considering a similar type of ban.  Greensboro is still accepting comments from the public on this proposal. When the state bans smoking in private locations, such as restaurants, it is violating the property rights of private property owners.  A property owner should be able to decide whether or not he wants to allow smoking in his establishment.  Potential patrons can make informed decisions as to whether they want to visit the establishment. When it comes to public parks, such a property rights argument doesn't exist.  However, there may even be more compelling arguments.  Parks and open public grounds aren't enclosed areas and as a result no legitimate health argument exists.  There's a big atmosphere that can protect people from someone smoking a cigarette on a bench hundreds of feet away.
    Daren Bakst, April 27, 2011
  • House Passes Eminent Domain Amendment

    Yesterday, the North Carolina House passed an eminent domain amendment by a wide margin (89-28).  This was the second reading of the bill.  It still has to pass the House one more time before heading over to the Senate. For an amendment to become law, it must pass…
    Daren Bakst, April 27, 2011
  • Federal Eminent Domain Bill

    Yesterday, the United States House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on a bill entitled the “Private Property Rights Protection Act” (H.R. 1433) that would prohibit the federal government and states (and their political subdivisions) from engaging in economic development takings.  If the states do engage in these takings,…
    Daren Bakst, April 12, 2011
  • Expansion of DNA Program

    Last year, the legislature passed a law that requires law enforcement officials to collect DNA samples upon arrest.  As I wrote, this was problematic due to the incredible privacy implications associated with DNA samples and because the DNA wasn’t being collected from those convicted but from those who had…
    Daren Bakst, April 12, 2011
  • Spinning for Wind Power

    The News & Observer in an editorial makes some “misstatements” about wind power. Wind power, like solar-generated electricity, isn’t “on” all the time, as a coal- or gas-fired generating station can be. But the fuel is free and emissions are nil. Construction costs are far lower than with nuclear…
    Daren Bakst, April 11, 2011