Monday, October 31, 2005
Silly String Banned in Hollywood on Halloween
Los Angeles: This Halloween, Hollywood residents, business owners and city officials are banding together to ensure that the neighborhood remains safe and fun for all visitors.† For the second year in a row, the LAPD will enforce a ban on the sale and distribution of Silly String on Hollywood Boulevard.† Police officers will also crack down on illegal vending, issuing citations to vendors selling food without health permits.
"The enforcement of the ordinance against the sale, use or possession of Silly String is more important than may be immediately apparent," said Captain Moriarty.† "In the past, people's behavior has escalated into violence and discarded cans have been used as projectiles, posing a threat to visitors and to the officers enforcing public safety.† When that threat was removed last year, we were actually able, for the first time in ten years, to keep Hollywood Boulevard open on Halloween night."
"In past years, tens of thousands of empty silly string cans sold end up in the streets and gutters," said Deputy Chief Ropouli. "Last year, after the city council passed the ordinance and the public was informed, we confiscated only 500.† This decrease actually resulted in calming down the crowds, allowing the throngs of people to walk the streets peacefully."† According to the LAPD, the net benefit of the silly string ban is that both they LAPD and the Department of Transportation will be able to decrease deployment of city personnel on Hollywood Boulevard.††
"The community is really stepping up to help us to spread the word this Halloween," said Kerry Morrison, Executive Director Hollywood Entertainment District, Property Owners Association.† "We have distributed more than 10,000 flyers to neighboring churches and schools, letting people know that silly string possession illegal vending will not be tolerated and is, in fact, punishable by fines or jail time.† In addition, the Department of Transportation has posted 400 signs along the Boulevard, the MTA will run messages in the subway stations and Hollywood theatre owners will post signs on their marquees, stating that the sale, use or possession of Silly String is illegal in Hollywood on Halloween."
"We are also working to ensure that every visitor's health is protected by issuing citations to unlicensed street vendors selling food that is prepared in unsanitary conditions," added Moriarty.† "In previous years, we've had to focus solely on public safety, but now, with this ordinance in effect, we can address additional problems such as this."
The Hollywood Entertainment District is a five-year property-based Business Improvement District (BID), comprised of 175 property owners who are assessed $2.25 million annually to pay for security, maintenance services and marketing to promote the revitalization of the area.†† Major landmarks in the District include Graumanís Chinese Theatre, Hollywood