Smoking bills accumulating points... but slowly
Posted at 3:09 PM on February 14, 2007 by Bob Collins (1 Comments)
A month ago, I thought the two smoking bills (Senate and House) would accumulate some big points... slogging from committee to committee, ending up with a long floor debate and then a conference committee; maybe even a gubernatorial veto.
Now I'm wondering if it's even going to get out of committee.
Sen. Jim Metzen (who by the way, is great fun to watch when he chairs a committee) was clearly annoyed in Committee on Business, Industry and Jobs today, when opponents started offering amendments to weaken the bill. After an amendment that would grant smoking to bars that installed HVAC systems (as many have to great expense), Metzen quickly halted the committee meeting. "I was hoping we'd get through this bill today, but I guess not."
Photo: Earl "Doc" Smith and his son Justin Smith, both of St. Paul, demonstrated ventilation technology during a Senate committee hearing on a proposed statewide smoking ban.
Here's my free opinion on HVAC equipment: It doesn't work.
I took my aunt to the new VFW in Richfield a few years ago, and we were annoyed by smoke in the dining room. Smoking was only allowed in the bar, but it wafted its way throughout the entire facility, which was only built a few years ago, and supposedly has new state-of-the-art HVAC equipment.
As a Hennepin County resident, I enjoy the benefits of clean air in public places. Comments on my recent travels:
Stopped in Little Falls for lunch in January. Chose the bar that had the large non-smoking sign we could read when we drove by. The place was full of families with CHILDREN on a Sunday afternoon when a NFL football playoff game was on the TV screens.
Stopped at a bar in North Branch in February. The place was full of stinky smoke. I had one drink and had to leave. No food. Don't remember seeing any children in there.
My Pulmonary specialiast told me that many bar-restaurants have seen an INCREASE in business since they went non-smoking. Example: Nye's Polonaise Room in Minneapolis, which was recently recognized as the Best Bar in America by a national publication.
"So easily, this place could have become such a shadow. It risked losing itself in its own darkness. But it did not, if only because it kept the Grain Belt and Grey Goose coming—whatever's your pleasure—and because it remained a union shop and because it still points the way to Our Lady of Lourdes, a short stumble up the hill from a corner of America bathed in red neon, a kind of crossroads inside and out."
Nye's survived the County smoking ban to be proclaimed the Best Bar in America. Read the full article at:
Posted by Nancy G | February 16, 2007 10:48 AM