Scottsdale, Arizona Residents Oppose Law To Make Ice Cream Trucks Legal

Scottsdale, Arizona Residents Oppose Law To Make Ice Cream Trucks Legal

My initial response to this story was a hearty “Huh??”  I’m still not convinced.  This town sounds like an unhappy bunch.  Who doesn’t love a food truck?  Or ice cream trucks?  Scottsdale, Arizona – that’s who.

Scottsdale apparently has a ban on street vendors that is decades old.  A recent measure was floated to lift that ban and it was met with strong opposition from residents.  Food trucks are apparently not universally loved.  Who knew?

Scottsdale banned the street vendors and food trucks during the 70′s, apparently amid fears they were dealing drugs (no joke.)  The proposal would have allowed mobile vendors access to residential streets, so long as they don’t serve warm foods.  So pretty much we’re talking ice cream trucks.

Let’s be clear on one point – as is always the case with this kind of thing – that huge swell of opposition came from 15 residents.  15 sticks in the mud showed up to share their displeasure and ruin an opportunity to buy some frozen treats on the streets of Scottsdale.  Officials have stated the whole thing is not a “done deal”. shares comments from one resident:

“The last thing I want is some guy going in an ice-cream truck up and down the same streets, knowing somebody is on vacation,” said resident Art Lorenzen.


Lorenzen said he installed security measures at his house after a recent spate of crimes in his community.


“A guy driving an ice-cream truck is probably not the best-quality person,” Lorenzen said. “I think that’s one of my concerns, this guy driving slowly down the street, maybe not the first day or second day, but the third day, when they (residents) are on vacation.”


Scottsdale, Arizona Residents Oppose Law To Make Ice Cream Trucks Legal


There are food trucks all over Seattle and I don’t think that’s ever been a concern.  The lady (Adria Shimada) who runs the Parfait ice cream truck is my hero.  She makes ice cream a block from our house in a commercial kitchen and sells it out of her adorable truck.  She is not a guy, and she is a quality person.  I’ve never seen her checking out to see who’s on vacation, either.

Other, perhaps more reasonable residents, expressed some concern for children who might be running across the street to reach the truck.  Plausible.

Scottsdale is one of the outlaws ice cream trucks. Supporters say it would bring back “fond memories of childhood.”  But get this, the proposal doesn’t allow the ice cream man to play any music.  None of that classic ice cream truck jingle.  What gives, Scottsdale?

According to the folks at the The Arizona Republic, the proposal came about when a local teen wrote to the Scottsdale Mayor, Jim Lane, after he discovered his family’s ice cream truck business would be illegal in Scottsdale.  The family currently operate their truck in Phoenix.

‘Grapes Of Wrath’ Lawsuit: London Shop Owner Ordered To Pay $175,739 To Customer Who Slipped On Mushy Grapes

'Grapes Of Wrath' Lawsuit: London Shop Owner Ordered To Pay $175,739 To Customer Who Slipped On Mushy Grapes

Another goofy lawsuit for sure, but one that comes to us from across the pond.  Onkar Singh Gill, who owns a London produce shop called The Stall, was ordered to pay a sum of about £112,000 (that’s about $175,000 to you and me) when one of his customers, Samira Hassan, slipped on a few grapes and broke both her wrists.

Hassan was wearing what she terms “sensible shoes” on the day in question.  She stopped by The Stall to have a look at some produce.  She stepped on some “mushy” grapes left on the pavement, fell forward, and shattered her wrists.  Ouch.

'Grapes Of Wrath' Lawsuit: London Shop Owner Ordered To Pay $175,739 To Customer Who Slipped On Mushy Grapes

Onkar Singh Gill – Outside Royal Courts Of Justice – Via The Daily Mail

According to The Mirror, Hassan won the case last September, but there was the usual appeal.  The shop owner claimed he took all the precautions he could, going so far as sweeping the ground up to five times a day.  The chief judge was having none of it.

The initial fall took place in 2005.  That’s seven years of legal wrangling that’s been dubbed “The Grapes of Wrath.”  Gill’s defense was mainly that Hassan’s fall a “freak accident,” saying that there wasn’t much else he could have done about it.  Clearly that defense didn’t find merit.Mr. Gill’s son, Sandeep, said that the business was insured for accidents but because of a legal loophole they would almost certainly be liable for the full amount.

‘Sometimes you do wonder whose side the law is actually on.’

Chick-Fil-A’s Same-Sex Marriage Attacks Draw Ire of The Muppets AND Jon Stewart – That’s A Tough Day

Chick-Fil-A’s Same-Sex Marriage Attacks Draw Ire of The Muppets AND Jon Stewart - That's A Tough Day

It’s been a tough week for Chick-Fil-A.  Not that it’s undeserved.  After Dan Cathy came out with his “guilty as charged” admission, things have gotten a bit rough.  First general outrage, then the Muppets Jim Henson dumped the chain in a Facebook post (they’d had a product placement deal to put Henson’s toys in their kids meals.)  Boston Mayor Thomas Menino was so enraged that he banned the chain from his city.  Oh, and John Stewart has taken notice.

In last night’s “Gaywatch: Holdouts Edition,” the Daily Show let a bit of tirade on the chain.  “Open your eyes, owner of Chik-fil-A,” advises Jon Stewart. “You’re being such an asshole, not even Boston will tolerate you.”  Indeed.

Watch the video here.

Sysco Jumps Aboard Gestation Ban – Pledges To Stop Using Gestation Crates For Pork Products

Sysco Jumps Aboard Gestation Ban - Pledges To Stop Using Gestation Crates For Pork Products

Sysco is one of the world’s largest food distributors.  Happily they’ve decided to join the other restaurants and organizations that have pledged to stop using pork from distributors who use gestation crates.

The Humane Society has applauded the move in a and included a statement from Sysco in their own:

Sysco takes its role as a responsible corporate citizen in the food supply chain seriously. We use science-based standards for animal welfare and work diligently with our suppliers to ensure humane treatment of animals. We also listen closely to our customers desires. Although there are many ways to house sows, several customers and suppliers have expressed their desire to eliminate gestation crates from their supply chains.

While no timeline has been established, Sysco has promised it would work with its suppliers to end the use of gestation crates.  Sysco has joined the ranks of the likes of McDonalds, Burger King, Safeway, and Hormel in disavowing the use of the crates.  Sysco earned $40 billion in sales last year and has 400,000 customers worldwide.

DC Restaurant, Back Alley Waffles, Blames Groupon’s ‘Shocking Business Practices’ For Its Closure

Opening a new restaurant is never easy.  Apparently Groupon isn’t helping matters.  Three-month-old DC waffle shop, Back Alley Waffles, has gone out of business.  The co-owner Craig Nelsen blames Groupon.  This note was posted on the restaurants website along with an explanation:

DC Restaurant, Back Alley Waffles, Blames Groupon's 'Shocking Business Practices' For Its Closure

Grouponistas, sorry, but I’d rather have my hand slammed in a car door than honor your Groupon coupons. You’ll have to seek refunds from your new insect overlords. If you act quickly, you should get your money back by Christmas. 2015.


Here’s our Groupon story:


Groupon promises to send you lots of new customers. The customers buy 50% off coupons (two waffles for the price of one, for example). They send the money to Groupon, which issues them a code. The customer brings the code into the shop. The shop gives the customer the two waffles, collects the code, and then “redeems”, or verifies, the code with Groupon.


Does Groupon then electronically deposit the money that the customer paid them for the coupon into the business’ bank account overnight like credit card companies do? No. After taking a big chunk of the money as its share, Groupon holds on to the business’ share, using it while the business waits. And waits. And waits. And waits.


After about a month, Groupon issues the first of three payments to the business. By check. Then it has to “process” the check, which can take up to ten days. Then it snail mails the check. A month later, the process is repeated for your next installment. Then, a month later, the process is repeated again for your final installment.


Now, keep in mind, the bulk of the Groupon activity (i.e., the big surge in customers) occurs at the outset of the Groupon campaign. That means the business has to lay out all the money (in our case food and labor) up front to service this expensive campaign, but it takes roughly a month for Groupon to send the (deeply discounted) payment for the waffles those customers ate. And even then its only half or less of what is owed. The business has to wait for most of the remainder of its money until two months after laying out the cost of the food and labor. And for some of the money, it will be three months after honoring the customer’s Groupon coupon in the shop before the business is paid for that customer.


That’s the part that I didn’t expect and the part that put our new business out of business.


And that offer of $450 waffles doesn’t appear to be a joke.  He explains on his website that the hefty price tag isn’t just for breakfast:

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • a fluffy 7″ Belgian waffle with fresh-churned butter and real maple syrup
  • a 4′ x 4′ mosaic similar to the one shown below [see here] (which was stolen—if you can believe it—by two black guys and a white guy at around 3 a.m. one Friday night/Saturday morning several months ago) of the subject matter of your choice*
  • the materials with which to make the mosaic (roughly $225 at Home Depot)
  • the unparalleled experience of creating your own piece of art

Next waffling scheduled for July 28, and there are already only five spots left. To reserve a place, please contact Craig at 202 568 9448.

Canadian Couple’s Kitchen Garden Targeted By Draconian Local Authorities

Canadian Couple's Kitchen Garden Targeted By Draconian Local Authorities

Here’s another case of government gone horribly wrong.  A Canadian couple is fighting to keep a vegetable garden they grow on their property in Drummondville, a town about 60 miles northeast of Montreal.

Earlier this spring, Michel Beauchamp and his wife, Josée Landry, planted an elaborate (and quite pretty) vegetable garden on the front lawn of their home.  It replaced a flower garden.  Because they wanted to eat better, they planted a variety of veggies, ranging from tomatoes to brussels sprouts.  Eating food from their own garden has helped each lose weight, a combined total of 100 pounds.

Canadian Couple's Kitchen Garden Targeted By Draconian Local Authorities

The government doesn’t care, however.  The deadline to remove the garden has already passed.  According to the local government, 30 per cent of the front lawn must be covered in grass.  The city has sent the couple two letters, ordering the couple to reduce the size of their vegetable garden.  After Sunday, they face fines of $100 to $300 per day.

They aren’t deterred.  “It must be a right to be able to grow our vegetables on our land. It is nonsense to ban it,” said Beauchamp.  A spokesperson for the city said neighbors have complained about the garden, although Beauchamp is challenging them to on that count.  He shares his home-grown produce with the neighborhood.  And it’s hardly unsightly.

“They love it. Everybody is surprised by the kind of taste we can have from fresh vegetables,” he said.

Beyond squashing this couples healthy eating, the city plans to make it illegal to grow vegetables on front lawns anywhere in the city during the fall.  The city held public consultations on the new rule and it said no one objected.

This is what you get when you allow a nanny state.  The couple are now petitioning for the council to relax its draconian rules.  In part the petition reads:

Front yard kitchen gardens are not the problem; they’re part of the solution to healthier and more sustainable communities. Thanks for helping us to defend them.


Head on over and sign the petition.