Los Angeles Scores High 'C' for Tobacco Control; Bell, Cudahy Info 'Incomplete,' Say Researchers
Hooray, L.A. City Council! Your ceaseless attempts to ban smoking in every last nook of Los Angeles have finally paid off. You got a 'C' on the American Lung Association's "State of Tobacco Control" report card for 2010, and we couldn't be more proud. (No, really, a 'C' is the best anybody got. So congrats.)
Smoking problem? Or transparency problem?
However, being the eternal pessimists we are, something else way more hilarious caught our eye while perusing the exhaustive 82-page document this afternoon.
Bell and Cudahy...
... those stinky little cesspools of corruption just off L.A. city's southeast corner (and yes, in case you didn't know, Cudahy is just as bad as Bell -- it just doesn't get its own section in the Los Angeles Times), have no grades. Instead, every column is marked with a bright-red "INCOMPLETE."
Paul Knepprath, Vice President for Advocacy and Health Initiatives in California, tells us that over months of repeated attempts to obtain city documents from Bell and Cudahy, the American Lung Association could never get through.
"In the case of Cudahy and Bell, they both did not have their municipal codes online, so we could not check ordinances and policies," says Knepprath. "Our staff attempts to connect with city leaders were never successful."
Weird! They've always been so open about everything.
Of all 480 cities in California, there were only four others who received a grade of "Incomplete." Other possible Bell/Cudahy situations? Who knows. But here they are: Imperial, Dos Palos, Livingston and Farmersville.
We don't really blame Farmersville, seeing as its mayor is also its pastor and there's a total of two traffic lights in the whole city (thanks Wikipedia!), and Dos Palos is too small to even have a website (the DP cops do though... updated two summers ago), but we're totally eying Imperial and Livingston as the next big things on the sneaky-government watch.
Until then, uh, go L.A.! Smoke-free as we can be.