To the editor:
During the winter, many bars and restaurants invested hundreds and even thousands of dollars installing heaters and partially enclosing their patios and decks. As many can attest, those efforts were only moderately successful in mitigating the brutal winter winds. And, as soon as summer hits, all of the canvas and plastic panels will be removed for obvious reasons. This is just one of many examples of business owners doing what they can to accommodate as many customers as they can.
Not to be outdone, the City Commission has decided that they know better how to operate an outdoor area. They passed an ordinance that requires all outdoor decks and patios have 20 percent of their wall space open and free of obstruction, (screen, canvas, etc.). They based this ordinance on their "parking structure code" which requires 25 percent of wall space be open. Now, the obvious comment is, poisoning from carbon monoxide is quick and deadly. But, is cigarette smoking only 5 percent less dangerous? And, in different news, the City Commission has allowed the employees at Hallmark Cards to smoke indoors.