Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Police Raid Food Trucks in Torrance

Read the article below, it's a great example of whats going on coast to coast. Gourmet Food Trucks are being challenged and harassed. The harassment comes in may forms, but this example shows the waste of tax payer money at the hands of the police. Whats interesting is no one in power in the City of Torrance seems to know who ordered the raid. Was it the mayor, or restaurant owners with friends in the police dept? Who knows, everyone points the finger at each other.

The unfortunate thing is this was a School Fundraiser and who was the BIGGEST looser, our children.

Dan, Save the Food Trucks

"Torrance food-truck raid outrages fundraisers"
By Nick Green Staff Writer
Posted: 11/25/2011 05:46:02 PM PST

"One moment, 13 invited food trucks were serving hundreds of diners on a Torrance elementary school campus at an educational fundraiser.

The next moment, the long-planned event had come to a screeching halt, as police raided the gathering and issued citations to trucks without business licenses, prompting some to hurriedly head for the exits.

"It looked like some sort of weird druglord movie where the cops were coming and everyone is running for the hills," said William Mackey, a director with the Yukon Elementary Academic Alliance, a nonprofit group affiliated with the north Torrance school of the same name.

"Trucks were packing up as fast as they could," he added. "People were moving tables to avoid getting hit by the (fleeing) trucks."

And when the gathering was over, six food trucks had been cited, angry parents had verbally assailed the responding officers, the school fundraiser was a total bust and the supposedly business-friendly city of Torrance was left with a major public relations problem on its hands."

"I was really ticked off (last) Friday, as were both the parents and staff from Yukon," said Mike Beasley, president of the alliance. "We thought we had the assurances from the city that as long as the event was held on school grounds we wouldn't have any issues. And we made those assurances to the food truck people.

"We looked pretty bad," Beasley added. "We felt like we set them up. We've pretty much damaged the reputation of Yukon and I'm not sure we can ever get that group (of food trucks) back."
Mayor Frank Scotto denied that city officials had planned in advance to bust food trucks serving food without a license.

"That was not supposed to have happened," he said. "There was no intent to do that.

"We've got better things to do than set up catering trucks to get busted," Scotto added. "We don't need the bad PR. They just need to follow the rules and there would be no issues with this."

Organizers, however, aren't convinced city officials are being completely forthright.

Beasley noted that, in particular, one officer involved in the raid seemed evasive.

"He did say his boss specially told him to come check us out," Beasley said. "When I asked him who his boss was, all he said was Scotto would know who his boss was. He didn't give me a lot of straight answers."

Straight answers can be difficult to come by in the ever-evolving industry of gourmet food trucks - and the patchwork of regulations that affect them.

The trucks have thousands of devoted fans, many of whom follow their constantly changing locations via Twitter.

But authorities, as Scotto acknowledges, have had mixed success in regulating them.

Food trucks have been punted out of a variety of locations in such cities as Carson and Torrance as well as places such as Alpine Village, which is in unincorporated Los Angeles County. Earlier this year, organizers of the Torrance Block Party in Old Torrance had hoped to include food trucks at the event, but encountered resistance from city officials."

Click here to read the rest of the article!

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