Regulation (page 317)

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    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
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    Bullies, Thugs, and Federal Government

    In an alarming and inconceivable move this week, the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is attempting to remove a CEO from office. The latest move builds on Eliot Spitzer’s persecution of Hank Greenberg at AIG, the administration’s revolving door atop…
    Nicole Fisher, April 26, 2011
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    New at CJO: Bill aims to change N.C. auto dealer regulations

    Karen McMahan’s latest Carolina Journal Online report focuses on legislation that would amend North Carolina’s rules restricting auto dealers.
    Mitch Kokai, April 26, 2011
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    N.C. auto insurance system penalizes the best drivers, guarantees private profits

    North Carolina’s auto insurance system could benefit from major reforms that would end penalties for the best drivers and end guaranteed profits for private firms. Those are two key findings in a new John Locke Foundation report on auto insurance reform from Eli Lehrer, vice president of the Heartland Institute.
    Mitch Kokai, April 26, 2011
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    New at CJO: Raleigh considers rule change on food trucks

    Sara Burrows’ latest Carolina Journal Online report focuses on Raleigh’s consideration of new rules for food trucks.
    Mitch Kokai, April 21, 2011
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    Freedoms we don’t even realize we have V

    Earlier entries in this series: I, II, III, and IV. From Time via Fox News: Climate modelers have long known that households are far bigger contributors to global warming than most laypeople realize. For all the blame tailpipe emissions take for escalating  temperatures,…
    Jon Sanders, April 20, 2011
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    New at CJO: Smart meters could raise costs for customers using less electricity

    Sara Burrows’ latest Carolina Journal Online report focuses on a bill that could force N.C. electricity customers to pay higher bills — while using less — because of smart meters.
    Mitch Kokai, April 19, 2011
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    Why must hospitals “battle” to expand in Wake County?

    That’s the headline from the N&O: “Hospitals begin battle to expand in Wake County.” From the article: Three hospital systems will submit proposals with state regulators today, seeking permission to expand in Raleigh, Cary and Holly Springs. WakeMed, Rex Healthcare and Novant Health will file so-called Certificate of Need…
    Jon Sanders, April 15, 2011