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by Sheena Beaverson
Courageous Kids Event by Don Caldwell
This photo by Don Caldwell
showcases why we love to work with balloons.

Anti-Balloon Legislation: Reactions from Outside the Balloon Industry

Reactions from outside the balloon industry in response to the proposed California ban, State Bill 1499 (SB1499), on helium-filled metallic balloons are coming to light; the story is even getting picked up by news agencies outside California. The Balloon Council's Save the Balloons informational web site and our community as a whole can be proud that industry outsiders are well-informed about the issue and the nature of different types of balloons. If you are a resident of California, see the Take Action section of the Save the Balloons web site to get information on contacting your local California State Assembly member.

As we know, the proposed ban is of serious concern for more than just those people that actually sell or use helium-filled metallic balloons. The wording of the bill could be interpretted rather broadly to impact any balloon filled with lighter-than-air gas; just about anyone that uses balloons.

The radio segments from the KFI 640 show with John and Ken in Los Angeles, California are well worth your time. John and Ken are a bit brash; but, according to Wikipedia, "the program is the most listened to local talk radio program in the United States, drawing over a million listeners during the peak hour." Go to KFI AM 640 Podcasting and listen to the following segments:

Balloon Ban 6PM Hr 5/29: starts minute 1:30
- introduction to the issue
- Treb Heining of Treb Inc. interview: starts minute 11:45
Balloon Ban 3PM Hr 5/30: starts minute 1:30
- day after bill passed in California State Senate, details read directly from the bill, bill supporters listed
- California State Senator Dennis Hollingsworth interview: starts minute 6:00
Balloon Anger 6PM Hr 5/30: starts immediately
- references editorial by ContraConsta Times editorial from May 9, 2008 titled "Take Air Out of This Bill"
- taking calls from the public
Balloon Blame 3PM Hr 6/2:
- references June 2, 2008 LA Times Article by Terri Adisian
Balloon Business 4PM Hr 6/3: starts minute 3:20
- Terri Adisian of Balloon Wholesalers International interview
- California State Senator Jack Scott speaking about Balloon Ban (audio clip)
Balloon Show 5PM Hr 6/4: starts immediately
- information about the upcoming Balloon Protest
Balloon Council 4PM Hr 6/6: starts minute 2:45
- Pete McDonough of the Balloon Council interview
Balloon Woes 5PM Hr 6/9: starts immediately
- Governor Schwarzenegger statement about balloon ban (audio clip)
- George Quintero of Balloon Haven in Chino, CA interview: minute 3
- discussion of statistics from Public Utilities Commission: minute 11
Balloon Seller 3PM Hr 6/10: starts immediately
- Andy Richmand of Allen Party Supplies in Cerritos, CA: minute 7
- discussion sparked by LA Times Editorial submitted by State Senator Scott
Balloon Guru 5PM Hr 6/10: starts immediately
- Treb Heining interview; Treb talks about his early years in ballooning
Balloon Rally 3PM Hr 6/11: starts immediately
- protest starts, discussion of Scott editorial, many facts and statistics
- Pete McDonough of the Balloon Council, 45 million in mylar balloons sold annually in California
- effigy of Senator Scott introduced
- Annie Banannie and Buster Balloon interview
- top 10 power outages reported by PG&E 2007
- petition against balloon ban bill and post cards to mail to California state assembly representative
- Amanda Armstrong of Top Hat Balloons in Mission Viejo, CA interview;
a former employee of a power company: starts about minute 26
Balloon Rally 4PM Hr 6/11: starts immediately
- listeners travel to visit Senator Scott's office building
- George Quintero of Balloon Haven in Chino, Ca interview
- Edible Arrangements, Thousand Oaks, CA interview
- listeners enter in Senator Scott's office building and speak with Senator Scott's district director
- Treb Heining of Treb Inc. interview
- top 10 power outages reported by So. Cal. Edison 2007
Balloon Rally 5PM Hr 6/11: starts immediately
- Annie Banannie and Buster Balloon present John and Ken balloon caricatures
- Jim McCormick of Anagram Intl, foil balloon manufacturer helps listeners sign petitions
- listing of California Assembly Public Safety Committee members
- interviews with young kids about how they like balloons
- interview with party store owner (sorry, missed the details)
- top 10 power outages reported by San Diego Gas and Electric 2007
- Senator Scott effigy balloon destroyed (sorry Buster Balloon)
Balloon Rally 6PM Hr 6/11: starts immediately
- Terri Adisian interview rebutting Senator Scott's LA Times editorial
- top 10 power outages reported by Sierra Pacific Power 2007
- Denise Hogopian of Heavenly Choice Events interview
- information about the Southern California Qualatex Balloon Network
Balloon Strategy 3PM Hr 6/12: starts minute 1:20
- update from Barry Broad, lobbyist for the Balloon Council
- SB 1499 to be heard by the Business and Professions Committee of the California Assembly (in June), then Appropriations Committee (August?), then Assembly floor
- listener contacts representative from Burbank Water and Power
Burbank Balloons 3PM Hr 6/13 - starts immediately
- Greg Simay of Burbank Water and Power speaks about metallic balloons and power lines
- Follow-up discussion on the issue.
Balloon Fight 5PM Hr 6/23 - starts minute 3:50
- discussion of California Assembly Business and Professions Committee meeting to be held 6/24
- update from Barry Broad, lobbyist for the Balloon Council
Balloon Bill 3PM Hr 6/24 - starts immediately
- update from Barry Broad on Assembly Committee meeting
- statements recorded from the California Assembly Business and Professions Committee meeting - starts minute 11:40
update from Terri Adishian - starts minute 31:00
Jack Scott 5PM Hr 6/24 - starts immediately
An LA Times opinion editorial published on June 2, 2008 titled What's helium-filled, foil -- and harmless? is excellent. This piece was written by Terri Adishian of Balloon Wholesalers International. California Senator Jack Scott submitted a rebuttal editorial, also in the LA Times on June 10, 2008 entitled Ban Mylar Balloons. This Senator was responsible for the legislation, SB 1499; this is the point of view of our opposition.

A Balloon Ban Protest is being organized by the John and Ken Show of KFI 640 for Wednesday, June 11 at 3:00pm in Pasadena, CA. In addition, Lorinda and Lorna Ferrell have posted a SB 1499 Action Alert for California residents within the balloon community with follow-up information on how SB 1499 was assigned to the Business and Professions Committee.

Bending the Rules with Promotions on BHQ

Everyone, please read this article. Once again, we have been getting a large number of complaints about blatent promotions on the BHQ Email Forums. These forums are not designed as a means of advertising products or events. Over time, the on-line user community has come to accept, even welcome, one-time announcements of genuinely new products, companies, or events. The community also appreciates sponsored BHQ event coverage, on-line photo or trivia competitions, formal partnerships with BHQ (Balloons Around the World is a good example), or endeavors seeking to promote the industry on a not-for-profit basis.

We must be fair to BHQ Sponsors who place advertisements and BHQ Members who post Classified Ads or educational Events by enforcing the rules. Officially, you can not promote a product or event on the mailing lists. Rest assured that we speak privately with people or companies when an issue arises.

You risk driving away customers and alienating the community through transparent tactics. Friends of promotors or manufacturers are not exempt from the rules. BHQ list subscribers can easily discriminate from honest, open discussions and 'voluntered' posts gushing regularly about any given event or product.

With an average of over 5,000 page views per month, the BHQ Classified Ad section is a cost-effective way to stay in the right side of the line between sharing an idea and promoting a product or event.

Tiger in the Balloon Jungle by Johnna Perry, Up, Up, Away
Students enjoying their holiday program of bees and hearts.

Featured artist portfolio: Joan Foo Keow Eng

Joan Foo Keow Eng in Singapore has a portfolio full of colorful balloon creations and happy people posing with them.

Visit the portfolio of Joan Foo Keow Eng


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