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Cops end Durham hot dog war, for now

Posted October 27, 2010

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— The frankfurter fight being staged by two vendors on a west Durham street corner ended Wednesday when police arrested one.

Steven Pruner, owner of Outlaw Hotdogs, was charged with two counts of operating a business without a license.

Pruner and David Leeds, owner of Dave's Quickie Dogs, have been battling for customers at the corner of Erwin Road and Fulton Street, across from Duke University Medical Center.

Pruner put his cart at the corner three months ago, but he does not have a permit. Leeds, who has a permit, put his cart on the same corner shortly thereafter.

City and Durham County officials have ordered Pruner to stop operating several times, but he ignored the orders and even renamed his business to reflect his disdain for government regulation.

He said the requirements to get the proper certification are too burdensome and violate the state constitution. He particularly doesn't agree with a state rule that says vendors have to be affiliated with a permitted kitchen, like a restaurant.

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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Nov 2, 2010

    "what is [inspector's] purpose?" -- renaissancemon

    In one word? Education.

    Inspectors make sure that the restaurant knows that their environment is conducive to healthy food...no rodents, no food on the floor, cold-enough fridge/freezer, clean can opener, etc.

    Ultimately, the restaurant is responsible for the health of its patrons.

    Ya know...it's sort of like getting your car's safety inspection every year. They look for major stuff...but it's ultimately your baby.

  • renaissancemon Nov 1, 2010

    herandnow99 writes:
    "You're advocating removing the responsibility from the person(s) ultimately responsible for ensuring that your food is healthy...the restaurant."

    What is the inspector responsible for? If he isn't vouching for the food safety, what is his purpose? Just taking in money for the govt?

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Nov 1, 2010

    "But if a vendor with a permit gives you food poisoning then the official who issued the permit would have to pay your medical bill and court cost. Fair enough?" -- renaissancemon

    No, not fair at all. You're advocating removing the responsibility from the person(s) ultimately responsible for ensuring that your food is healthy...the restaurant. Why?

    State inspections are merely a snapshot in the life of the restaurant...not a 24/7 nanny. Or, are you asking that the gov't step in and monitor 24/7?

  • logicalthinking Oct 29, 2010

    "Kinder eggs however are known worldwide and children everywhere enjoy them. Not here though..." ~I have been around the world a few times and lived abroad more than half of my life time. but it is the same as Japanese and Taiwan banned American Beef because the fear for mad cow. European Union has been for the longest time not allow for genetic modified crops and the industry does not want to put that on their label. But you can also say millions of American eat them and people are not dying in drives. I am not disagreeing with many people here that wants more freedom and less regulation but there are times people just don't see the reason behind things. A lot of regulations are in place because of law suit(reasonable or not) because of someone got hurt and lobby for years to have the law in place to protect others. And many of these regulations are in there to protect domestic industry. If there is something that's not reasonable, go run for office or work on it and get it change

  • renaissancemon Oct 29, 2010

    The permit rule presumes guilt. If there is some evidence that Pruner is selling unsanitary food, that could be a legit case. Until then he should be presumed innocent and allowed to sell food.

    I propose a compromise. Leave the permit system in place but make it optional. If a vendor without a permit gives you food poisoning then he would have to pay your medical bill and court cost, same as he would currently have to. But if a vendor with a permit gives you food poisoning then the official who issued the permit would have to pay your medical bill and court cost. Fair enough?

  • nighttrain2010 Oct 28, 2010

    >I WOULDN"T who knows where he stores his food after hours,who knows if that place is sanitized

    You mean like the places that WRAL reports on weekly with bad ratings? The ones that are 'legal' with their license from the government?

  • wayneboyd Oct 28, 2010

    Mr Big..When you decided to open your restaurant you were opening it under the free enterprise system on which this great country was founded.
    You had a right granted you by your creator to do so, however this does not sit well with greedy government, they want to indulge in your business with you so they coersed you into applying for a 'license."
    By your obtaining their license they are able to convert your constitutional "right" to work into a government privilege to do so. The license displayed in your restaurant is a "privilege" license and privileges under law are taxable and your rights are not.
    The right to labor and its protection from unlawful inteference is a constituutional as well a common law right.Every man has a natural right to the fruits of his own industry.48 AM Jur.Section 2 Page 80.
    The state or the U.S may not impose a charge for the enjoyment of a right.. The Antelope, 23 U.S66 120
    You traded your right for their privilege.

  • SavedbyGODsGrace Oct 28, 2010

    O.K maybe Mr. Pruner is just trying to make a living BUT He does think that he is above any rules or laws. He should get a permit to sell food who in their right mind would buy from a street vender who doesn't have a sanitation grade. I WOULDN"T who knows where he stores his food after hours,who knows if that place is sanitized. If he is to cheap to sell legally then he needs to stop selling. He himself doesn't look like the most cleanest person. HMM makes you wonder how clean his wieners are.

  • nighttrain2010 Oct 28, 2010

    >>Thanks to your sugar farmers and their lobbyist. But again, that's a different topic my friend.

    Oh I know, trust me. But take just two items, haggis and Kinder eggs. Now for those that believe the government is always right and looks out for our 'best interests' these are two items you have probably never tried. Kinder eggs however are known worldwide and children everywhere enjoy them. Not here though. Banned 'for the children's sake'. Because a wonderful bit of chocolate contains a tiny little toy that somehow hasn't been choking children worldwide in droves.

    Haggis? An acquired taste mind you but banned for many years because sheep's lungs are 'unsafe' to eat. And yet haggis is Scotland's national dish which hasn't apparently killed anyone, unless you eat too much of it of course...

  • logicalthinking Oct 28, 2010

    Would you like to take a guess how much food, fun, and "enjoyment is actually available throughout the rest of the world that is not available here? And yet somehow the rest of the world has been able to survive. Kinder eggs? Haggis? Marmite? Sugar in drinks? We need the FDA to oversee the rest of the world apparently for some of you...."
    That, you have to ask the sugar farmers and corn farmers lobbyist and our food industry. Tariff is another topic. I remember my world econ professor at NCSU told us 5 years ago that sugar price in US is 6x the global avg price. Thanks to your sugar farmers and their lobbyist. But again, that's a different topic my friend.

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