Dick Rudolph, Dana Point

Since the bag ban has been in place for two and half months, I thought I would cruise by my former Smart & Final in Capistrano Beach and see how things are going.

When I got to the checkout, there were lines for checkout at five cash registers. I immediately saw the checkout process had slowed way down.

Since I did this last Saturday, I thought I would try again on a Wednesday to recheck. Sure enough six customers in two checkout lines were moving at a snail’s pace. When it was my turn, I asked the checker if things had slowed down because of the bag ban.

She said, “Definitely, we all noticed it right away.”

So I suppose the council is pleased with this result, causing unnecessary delays for grocery store customers and harassing them at the same time. Good work.

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comments (6)

  • Mr. Rudolph, it’s not “all about you.” Sometimes its about thinking past yourself and consider Mother Earth. Maybe the cashiers at Smart & Final need lessons (although I don’t know what they need to be taught). I’ve been taking my reuseable bags to various stores in the area for years and none of the check-outs have ever slowed down because of a change of bags from plastic to canvas. You sound like a grumpy old man.

    • I agree. You had to wait a few extra minutes at the local smart and final… It must be near the end of the world… Or maybe just for you!

  • Mr. Rudolph,

    Being a Dana Point local, I can completely sympathize with your dreadful experience at Smart and Final.

    I know it’s difficult, living in such a down trodden place as Dana Point, to have your day yielded even for a moment. I can’t imagine what heart ache you went through as your lonely Mercedes waited in the freshly paved parking lot– or the feeling of angst you must have been experiencing as your Iphone desperately buzzed in your pocket– begging you to hurry back to your 5 bedroom 3 bath home.

    I can hardly imagine the pain that seized in your chest beneath your crisp, clean, Tommy Bahama button down, as you watched each and every item upon the counter being scanned– only to await another delayed demise– as to your great proclaimed dismay: there were no plastic bags.

    I can almost hear the gasp of disapproval escape your lips.
    I shudder at the thought that for the sake of the Earth’s Health, Dana Point would stoop as low as to ban plastic bags, and even worse—that Dana Point would have the audacity to slow down your day. For, let us be honest here—it’s obvious that the Council was intent are specifically disrupting your life, Mr. Rudolph.

    I can’t quite explain why I felt SO compelled to respond to your disturbing letter, seeing as it is now taking time out of MY day (thus continuing the vicious cycle of the time sucking bag ban), but I can explain the utter destruction this bag ban has caused:

    Now, we won’t affect as many marine lives. Our beautiful coast, in the long run, won’t be polluted with plastic from our community due to our (annoying) contribution to the “green” movement. Unfortunately, due to this bag ban, we won’t see seagulls and sea creatures suffering from stomach’s full of plastic or choking on the handle of a Smart and Final bag…what a loss. More than the animals in our immediate area alone (for this bag ban doesn’t stop here in Dana Point, as I’m sure you’re well aware of—and I’m sure to your disgust) but animals around the world will now never know the feeling of a slow and painful death from plastic! What a shame. And, Mr. Rudolph….Rudolph Jr. won’t know what it’s like to breathe in the polluted, murky marine layer of our beach town as he grows into a generation of slow poke granola-eaters. Neither will his children. What is this town coming to?

    With our clearly misguided decision on protecting and benefitting our city’s future and well-being, I give my personal and sincere apologies to you on the behalf of the Dana Point Council, Mr. Rudolph. I’m terribly sorry for your inconvenience, and for the fact that the city is too busy focusing on its future and the future of its children rather than whether or not you will make it to T-off on time.

    Warmest Regards,

    Alexandra Cline

    Dana Point Local
    Soka University of America, Aliso Viejo
    20 years old

    • While Mr. Rudolph may be unaware that the use of paper bags is an attempt to be green, reduce waste, and prevent the spread of litter – he is making a critical observation and he is correct. Paper bags do require extra time for packing and it is an inconvenience for many despite the “benefits” it leads to.

      On that note, Ms. Cline, while your prose is quite charming, your passive-aggressive style leaves something to be admired. It is clear that you are a young, college environmentalist who argues from your heart rather than from your mind. There is nothing wrong with that except that it left me a little sick to my stomach. I will reword your argument for you.

      You believe that by using paper instead of plastic that it will somehow save our city, better yet the EARTH – seagulls and other wildlife will never choke on plastic bags again and there will never be a thick green atmosphere poisoning our lungs but a beautiful blue sky. “Environmentalist or die.” How cute.

      I’m afraid the issue is much larger than that and you’d be foolish to think that the switch from plastic to paper makes a significant impact. If you’re making this an environmentalist issue, consider that paper bags generally weigh 4-10 times more than plastic bags and therefore produce more methane within a landfill. I’m afraid your “murky marine layer” won’t be stopped by a paper bag anytime soon. And yes, plastic bags often become articles of litter but do you honestly believe that serial litterers won’t leave trash just because grocery stores no longer provide plastic bags? One can BUY paper bags and that’s what a lot of Dana Point locals have started doing.

      At the end of the day, the entire argument is moot. People should place a greater emphasis on keeping our city clean through their own means – banning plastic bags does practically nothing. Bringing your own re-useable bags is an excellent start – let’s continue to find other eco-friendly ways to solve the issue.

      As for Mr. Rudolph, while I personally don’t mind the inconvenience, I too disagree with the use of paper bags. Ms. Cline, it might be a good idea for you to do a little more research into this topic using a Internet search engine called Google. And sweetheart, take a chill pill.

      Warmest Regards (without the sarcasm),

  • Dearest Daniel,

    I find it hilarious that you have completely misinterpreted why the ban was put in place. Most people would suggest that before you counter-argue something you actually understand the topic to some degree.

    I’d like to point out that many plastic bags that are littered do in fact not make it into trashcans, but rather to the ocean. I’m not sure about you but I’d much rather have a paper bag in a landfill than a plastic bag in the ocean. Oh and just so you know, the reason why the ban is even in effect is to push people to buy canvas bags that are reusable, I’m surprised you didn’t figure this out with your very hot, new, up to date search engine called google.

    Honestly though, I don’t mind that you are how you are, the educated don’t want you in their ranks anyways. You aren’t a visionary, or a hopeful, you’re pathetic and sad. Your entire argument was based off of disproving the opposing one, which means your mote view is weak and unreliable. Probably like your paycheck. Please, go back to your superb lifestyle of watching fox news and spamming googles search engine at one in the morning, which obviously practically gives you a PhD.

    Also I’m sure Alex didn’t realize that the issue is larger than plastic bags, she thought this was the final battlefield for Earth. By belittling this issue, it doesn’t make it any smaller. It only makes it smaller in your perspective so you can feel less guilty about the fact that you are the embodiment of the negative side of consumerism. So please keep your comments to yourself and continue to inhale gallons of paint thinner, which is the only way one of your stature can maintain his brilliant mindset. You are the hero of our generation.

    Warmest of Warmest Regards (without the sarcasm of typing “without the sarcasm” in parenthesis),

  • Hey Dan,

    Pretty sure I wrote my original post with the intent of being somewhat theatrical in an effort to let Mr. Rudolph know how snobbish and ignorant he sounded…as you do now.

    I do not find the ban of plastic bags in Dana Point to be the “final frontier” but rather a small contribution to the whole of the United States efforts (and beyond that humanity’s efforts) to reduce our impact on the environment.

    And as Tim said, the bag ban is to encourage the use of canvas– since you utilize Google, you should know that. The use of paper bags is also an issue, although paper is much more easily recyclable than plastic… cute that you put so much emphasis on paper.

    I appreciate your effort to “reword” my argument, but please don’t attempt to do so if you don’t understand what has been said.

    Hope you’re well Mr. Harp.


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