Weekend what we’re reading: Bullring turned shopping center, no dope for tourists in Amsterdam, Utah plans no-groping law

by Charlie Leocha on May 28, 2011

This weekend we take a look at a reformed bullring in Barcelona. Holland cracks down on tourists in coffee houses smoking dope. And, TSA will be challenged in Utah following their showdown with Texas.

Barcelona’s bullring is turned into a shopping center

Bullfighting has been banned in Catalonia for some time. The bullring had not seen a fight since 1977 and eventually, it fell into disrepair. The city together with architect Richard Rogers have created a fascinating shopping center with a floating roof and observation walk that is sure to become a tourist attraction. On its opening day, reportedly, one out of every ten Barcelonans reportedly showed up to check it out.

The historic bullring, built at the end of the 19th century, fell largely into disuse during the 1970s due to the declining popularity of bull fighting in Catalonia. However, the strong civic and cultural role which the building played in the life of Barcelona over nearly a century led to a decision by the city council that the façade should not be demolished. The design has created an open and accessible entrance to the new building at street level. In addition, a separate building – the ‘Eforum’ – in Carrer Llança, adjacent to the bullring, will provide retail and restaurants at ground and first-floor levels, with four levels of offices above.

Dutch government: No more dope for tourists

The rulers in Holland said this week that they are banning visitors from buying cannabis from “coffee shops.” The coffee shops have been one of the most alluring tourist destinations for teenagers and others who come from less enlightened countries.

Backed by the far-right party of anti-immigrant politician Geert Wilders, the coalition government that came into power last year announced plans to curb drug tourism as mart of a nationwide programme to promote health and fight crime.

“In order to tackle the nuisance and criminality associated with coffee shops and drug trafficking, the open-door policy of coffee shops will end,” the Dutch health and justice ministers wrote in a letter to the country’s parliament on Friday.

Under the new rules, only Dutch residents will be able to sign up as members of cannabis shops.

Utah legislators planning anti-TSA groping law

Rep. Carl Wimmer in the Utah legislature is planning to introduce a bill at the end of this year or early next year that will challenge the TSA groping procedures just as in Texas. He says that federal law does not necessarily have supremacy in the matter

Wimmer’s bill initially is being modeled after a bill that was being considered in the Texas Legislature, House Bill 1937. That bill states it would be an offense to search a person without probable cause and if the person performing the search touches the sexual organs of the other person receiving the search.

The bill caused some controversy in Texas, as a U.S. attorney from San Antonio reportedly sent a letter to Texas lawmakers claiming the state had no authority to regulate federal agents and employees. The letter went on to say the federal government would seek to block the law if passed and that TSA would likely shut down any flight or series of flights for which it could not ensure the safety of the passengers and crew.

Photo: Richard Rogers Architecture

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  • Grfnjudy

    No dope for visitors….good…..However all this will do is make “drug dealers” of some Dutch citizens (like any other group wanting to make a buck) buying the cannabis and selling to some tourist waiting down the block…..and it took them all these years to figure that out ?

  • http://www.cogitamusblog.com/2010/11/five-words.html Lisa Simeone

    Bravo to Rep. Wimmer!  Perhaps Utah won’t back down like Texas did.  We need to force the issue, and state legislatures are one way to do it.  Dare the TSA to block flights, as if they have any authority to do that.  

    Of course, we could force it faster if all those people who can make the decision not to fly would do so.  There are millions upon millions of us, and if we deprived the airlines of income things would change so fast their heads would spin.  Money talks, and we have the power to make it do so in this case.  

    Alas, things are going to have to get a lot worse before they get better.  There’s still so much apathy and docility.  ”Don’t inconvenience me!” is more the rallying cry of this country than “Give me liberty or give me death.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=576001031 Jeff Linder

    Again, while I agree with their position, legally Utah has not a leg to stand on.  Legally speaking, this would be the same as the state saying that IRS agents in the state who collect back taxes can be charged with theft because they don’t agree with taxation.

    The TSA is a federal agency.  That’s the bottom line.

    If they want to fix the problem, just like Texas, they have Senators and Reps.  That’s their job, but they won’t do it because they are afraid of looking ‘soft’. 

     

  • Anonymous

    Carl Wimmer is throwing red meat out, in order to position himself to run and get elected in Utah’s new 4th Congressional district.This district has yet to be mapped out but will probably include 1/4 of the Salt Lake Valley and the rest is made up of the conservative rural portions of the state.  He is a pandering politician and is the proud author and sponsor of such great pieces of legislation like making the Browning 1911 .45 caliber pistol  the State Gun.  There is one major problem with his proposed bill and that is that Salt Lake City is Delta’s hub, with lots of jobs, both direct and indirect.  Also SLC is home to one of the top 15 travel agencies in the country, again jobs.  What will happen is that he will get to grandstand so that he looks good to the radical right and thus insures his victory in the caucuses and then the bill will simply vanish in the face of opposition to disrupting flight service out of the state.

  • http://www.cogitamusblog.com/2010/11/five-words.html Lisa Simeone

    Well, then my “Bravo” to him is definitely tempered.  

    State Gun???  Good grief.  

    I know politics makes strange bedfellows, but I sure don’t want to align myself with the radical right.  Thanks for telling us more about him.

    (Though when it comes to the TSA, I still hope states, lawyers, organizations, individuals continue the fight.)

  • http://www.cogitamusblog.com/2010/11/five-words.html Lisa Simeone

    Well, then my “Bravo” to him is definitely tempered.  

    State Gun???  Good grief.  

    I know politics makes strange bedfellows, but I sure don’t want to align myself with the radical right.  Thanks for telling us more about him.

    (Though when it comes to the TSA, I still hope states, lawyers, organizations, individuals continue the fight.)

  • Nigel

    My understanding is that airports don’t have to use TSAfor security checks as long as whoever does the passenger etc screening does so to Homeland Security standards, If I’m correct, why don’t the various States replace TSA with a security company owned by a person or organisation within the state and then surely groping could be controlled or banned? Mind you I’m a Canadian so I could be totally wrong! How about it?

  • http://www.midlandpropertylawyers.co.uk conveyancing west

    If they want to fix the problem, just like Texas, they have Senators and Reps.I like this content.This is a great article.Thanks to share this blog.

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