The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Front Page - BY MAREK WARSZAWSKI [email protected]­ Marek Warszawski: 559-441-6218, @MarekTheBe­e

Why stop at pan­han­dling? Here are some other bans for Steve Bran­dau to con­sider be­fore he leaves Fresno’s City Coun­cil.

Steve Bran­dau’s pro­posed ban on pan­han­dling cloaked as a ban on hand­ing stuff out of car win­dows died on the vine, but all is not lost for ev­ery­one’s fa­vorite lame-duck Fresno city coun­cil­man.

As a part­ing gift, I’ve pre­pared a list of sim­i­lar or­di­nances Bran­dau may want to get be­hind be­fore he takes the oath as Fresno County su­per­vi­sor.

Which can­not pos­si­bly hap­pen soon enough.

Ban dump­ing of cof­fee from car win­dows at in­ter­sec­tions

This may seem like a harm­less prac­tice, un­til you con­sider how un­sightly all those stains look on our streets.

And has any­one ever stopped to con­sider the im­pact on snails? We can’t have over-caf­feinated mol­lusks zip­ping up and down our streets. Could up­set the bal­ance of na­ture.

Ban ice cream trucks

Now here’s a real pub­lic safety is­sue. As soon as chil­dren hear that fa­mil­iar jin­gle, they rush head­long into the street, traf­fic be darned.

Can’t have that. Young lives need our at­ten­tion.

Ban walk­ing across the street

Pedes­trian fa­tal­i­ties in Fresno are on the rise, and here’s a sim­ple so­lu­tion: Make it il­le­gal to cross any street on foot.

What if you’re parked on one side of the street and need to get to the other? Get back in the car and drive. Duh.

Ban putting coins into other peo­ple’s park­ing me­ters that are about to ex­pire

Other cities al­ready have an or­di­nance against this very thing. They call it “in­ter­fer­ing with the col­lec­tion of city rev­enue.” Hon­estly, I’m sur­prised Fresno is be­hind the curve.

Gotta keep those quar­ters, dimes and nick­els rolling to­ward City Hall.

Ban saggy pants

Law­mak­ers in South Carolina re­cently pro­posed this very or­di­nance, once again beat­ing Fresno to the punch. (Shame on us.)

One of the bill’s spon­sors claimed it had ev­ery­thing to do with halt­ing an “un­be­com­ing” and “un­pro­fes­sional” look and noth­ing to do with dis­crim­i­nat­ing against mi­nori­ties.

On sec­ond thought, it isn’t fair that peo­ple who wear tight pants wouldn’t face the same penalty.

With that in mind, I pro­pose Bran­dau form an ad hoc com­mit­tee to de­ter­mine al­low­able ten­sion stan­dards in the but­tocks and waist ar­eas.

Ban liquor li­censes

The City Coun­cil is just go­ing to rub­ber stamp ev­ery ap­pli­ca­tion any­way, so what’s the point?

Ban pub­lic sales of Girl Scout cook­ies

Sure, they taste de­li­cious. But have you for a mo­ment con­sid­ered the con­ges­tion they cause in front of su­per­mar­kets and big-box stores? Can’t have that.

Ban bi­cy­cles from bike lanes

Be­cause cars need more space to ma­neu­ver, and no­body uses bike lanes, any­way.

Right, Steve?

Ban car­pet­ing

Have you ever con­sid­ered how much vac­u­um­ing car­pet taxes our en­ergy grid? Bet­ter to man­date only tile, lam­i­nate and hard­wood floors in all Fresno domi­ciles.

(No, this or­di­nance has noth­ing to do with the fact that Bran­dau owns a car­pet clean­ing busi­ness. Just a co­in­ci­dence.)

Ban the use of uten­sils while eat­ing pizza, ham­burg­ers and fried chicken

Thought I’d sneak this in here. Just a pet peeve of mine.

Ban pub­lic sleep­ing within the city lim­its

Bran­dau in­sists his anti-camp­ing or­di­nance, passed by the City Coun­cil in 2017 only to be ruled cruel and un­usual pun­ish­ment by the U.S. Ninth Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals, does not tar­get home­less.

Just to be cer­tain, it could be ex­panded to in­clude all forms of pub­lic sleep­ing. And if that proves too difficult to en­force, ban all pub­lic shut­ting of eyes.

Ban “Pay­ing it For­ward” at Star­bucks

Talk about a mis­nomer. When you tell the barista to add the latte of the per­son be­hind you on your debit card, shouldn’t it be called “Pay­ing it Back­ward?”

And, be­sides, it could be con­strued as un­so­licited pan­han­dling. Can’t have that.

Ban “poverty pimps”

Who needs so­cial jus­tice ad­vo­cates in a city with lit­tle poverty, scant air pol­lu­tion and am­ple park space? A city renowned for pub­lic en­gage­ment and trans­parency and zero his­tory of cor­rup­tion?

Bet­ter to for­bid the prac­tice al­to­gether and let those in our com­mu­nity with no voice speak for them­selves.


MARK CROSSE Fresno Bee file

Steve Bran­dau sits at a 2014 Fresno City Coun­cil meet­ing with a con­tainer of flow­er­ing pan­sies on the dais in front of him – an anony­mous jab af­ter he penned an opin­ion piece in The Bee com­plain­ing that “some pansy in Sacra­mento thinks we need to live closer to­gether and ride the bus.”

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