News and notes from Reston (tm).

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Welcome to the Nanny State: Expansion of Reston's No-Smoking Zones Worse Than Communism, Teal Trim

Nanny State.jpegAre you ready to be pushed 50 feet away from our glorious communal facilities the poolhouse if you want to smoke and be assaulted by polite signs "suggesting" you might want to quit with the cigarettes, already? Well, welcome to Moscow Reston, where the RA Board voted 7-1 last week to extend the no-smoking zone around RA facilities to 50 feet and put up the scolding helpful signs.

FREEDOM. CRUSHED. The move was discussed as a compromise, given ongoing pressure on the RA to ban smoking in all common areas outdoors, including the paths. The board has already bought a bunch of fancy no-smoking signs, although the army of tiny drones equipped with infrared cameras capable of spotting people smoking in the woods from 300 yards and tiny inkjet printers to dispense violation notices are apparently still on back order.

Interestingly, the discussion led to a rare public clash among RA board members. Give us some good blockquote, BFFs at Patch:

Hunters Woods/Dogwood Director Cheryl Beamer suggested the board members were racist and classist in their thinking.

"I find it just amazing that all of you think there is such an enormous problem out there," Beamer said. "It is a way to feel superior, perhaps. Think about the statement we are making to people who smoke. This is not about a culture or courtesy for others. It is just 'we don't want you standing in front of 7-Eleven waiting for a job. It is also code for 'if you have a mental health issue, this is a way to roust you way from the pathways.' "

At-large director Donna Rostant called Beamer's statements "preposterous."
To namby-pamby non-smokers/NPR listeners like us who consider Alan Alda to be our personal role models, 50 feet doesn't seem that bad. But we'll go to our Chief Civil Liberties Correspondent for his reaction:


  1. The only smoking problem I've noticed in my 8 1/2 years of living in Reston is pot smoking on the pathways. And that is already illegal.

  2. To ensure this kind of sophisticated, purposeful, strategic decision making by our esteemed RA Board, we need to conduct an election among unopposed candidates?

    They spent less time talking about the assessment fee increase last fall! And where are we on all those referendum issues?

    I guess the wonder is that anyone would want to be associated with this kind of a Board. What would we do if RA gave an election and no one came--candidates or voters?

    ...and I hate smoking!

  3. I thought we lived in a free country.

  4. It has been 42 years, three months, eleven hours, AND 23 MINUTES since I quit. I hardly miss it.

    To lung cancer and heart disease, banishing smokers to outdoors has added hypothermia to conditions caused by smoking. To which RA now adds summer ostracism? Jeez!

  5. Cheryl Beamer rocks! At least someone on the board has a clue about priorities. The should all start smoking and mellow out. It is a home owners association, not a government entity.

  6. The problem is that too many of our RA board members are essentially elitist and hold themselves unaccountable. No wonder they can't even scare up contested races in their elections--no one cares about RA... Indeed it is viewed as the "enemy" by too many Restonians.
    Cheryl Beamer is on the right track here.
    RA overstepped its bounds once more, but the "Fix Is In" with the current board membership, who blithely spend money that is not theirs.

  7. Is there a group or coalition that discusses DRB action or lack thereof? I am stunned by the level on incompetence and want to join with other concerned residents.

  8. It is an HOA that owns facilities. As such they have every right to determine what conduct occurs on RA property.

    Want to smoke at the pool? Go find one that lets you. Let me know when you do.

  9. I could care less about smoking restrictions - I am interested in the arbitrary BS enforcement/non-enforcement of Design Guidelines. The DRB is broken and needs a Court challenge. They don't even know the Guidelines that they pretend to enforce.


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