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Are you happy to see the first anniversary of the city’s smoking ban?

Asked at Southwind 12, 3433 Iowa on July 1, 2005

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Photo of Kathy Stuntz

“Yes. It’s nice going into the restaurants and bars. I think the community will do OK without indoor smoking.”

Photo of Cori Green

“Yes. Even though I smoke, I think it’s important to enjoy a smoke-free environment.”

Photo of Anthony Lyles

“Sure. It’s a lot more comfortable sitting in restaurants and not having to breath smoke while you eat. It just makes a much cleaner and more friendly environment.”

Photo of Tony Schmidt

“Absolutely. It’s the best thing for everybody. I think smoking is one of the biggest health problems in America. I’m glad the ban is holding.”

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Comments

neopolss 9 years, 2 months ago

Let's work on banning ice cream now in the name of public health. Since obesity poses a very large danger to the community, it's time we start telling businesses what foods they should and should not carry.

I do not smoke. But this issue is not about "public health" more than it is simply a power grab at owners and property rights. Our cries of public safety and health are going out of control. I know many of you like the ban, but honestly, shouldn't the power have laid with consumers? Shouldn't it have been your decision, to petition the owner and say "I won't come to your restaraunt because it reeks of smoke." That's consumer and personal responsibility.

Instead the hand was forced, and the label of public safety thrown on it. If it was really a safety/health issue, I would see more compromise. Better ventilation, stricter air quality standards. The fact is, second hand smoke inhalation is a distorted number, and nowhere near as fatal as it is made out to be. Neither though was every smoking available restaurant so brutal that you could smell smoke everywhere (except maybe Perkins).

There is such an air of arrogant self entitlement these days. I didn't realize that our rights extended so far ... (sarcasm). We're reaching a breaking point of tolerance.

Enjoy the ban fine. But do take the time to think about it and recognize that the behavior is a bad direction. Meanwhile I'll be procuring fireworks outside of Lawrence since "public safety" won't allow them in city limits.

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ms_canada 9 years, 2 months ago

I believe that more and more smoking bans will soon become the norm in very many places. So we must get used to it. I don't smoke, so can't say much about how smokers feel. They seem to be managing here in Edmonton, just fine. Anyway, today is our birthday, it is CANADA DAY, July 1 We are going to celebrate with a big family BBQ and lots of yummy food, fellowship and maybe ice cream and cake. There will be a grand display of fire works later this evening. Late, because as you all know, :) :) you can still read a newspaper outside at 11pm here at this time of the year.

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topflight 9 years, 2 months ago

there you go. 4 out of 4 rendom people agree. down with smoking and they like. to bad jacka----

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Richard Heckler 9 years, 2 months ago

It's time to put this matter to bed. The numbers to a hit in the beginning and we experienced an unusually mild summer last year so some like us didn't go inside for a drink as often. We love it...it's healthier for my lungs and children.

Now let's put it to bed...more smoking bans are on the way.

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happy_me 9 years, 2 months ago

say it ain't so mister joe I love twinkies

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Fangorn 9 years, 2 months ago

Well said, neopolss! I agree absolutely. This has always been a property rights issue under the guise of concern for "public health". Unfortunately, this term is being defined in ever more expansive terms. As ludicrous as it may sound today, we may soon find our ice cream, cookies, and cake under some kind of government restriction.

Supports of the ban, you will eventually find something you enjoy restricted or banned in a place that you own or consider yours. When that day comes, I'll briefly be on a weight loss program while I laugh my tail end off. But maybe after that you'll join me in expressing concern over the runaway power of government.

I saw an episode of "Sliders" once where they started in a world run by lawyers (don't laugh, we're almost there ourselves). One character tried to order something to eat at a burger stand but didn't have a cholesterol count statement signed by his doctor or a Carbonated Beverage Release Form. Soon, you'll need to be a paralegal to work at McDonald's.

OMB: Um, no, you're not overstating the possible impact of the Kelo v. City of New London decision. The justices [sic] took the "public use" out of the Fifth Amendment, used it as toilet paper, and replaced it with "public good". And "public health" would certainly fall under "public good", wouldn't it?

Mister_Joe: I didn't get the chance to tell you how hard I laughed last week when it suddenly occurred to you to wonder about linux_chic's age. I think I tore a muscle in my stomach!

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Fangorn 9 years, 2 months ago

Make that "Supporters of the ban".

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lunacydetector 9 years, 2 months ago

merrill, i love going to the bars with my family in tow, too.

i've lost track of my two year old from time to time after hoisting a few back, but she always seems to find me -just kidding

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happy_me 9 years, 2 months ago

well put fangorn! personally I like the restraunts being smoke free but the bars well....I like to have a smoke with my drinks thank you. So needless to say we don't go to bars any more. do I think that the establishments have lost business? I would have to say the bars more than the restraunts. I know last summer when this took place JB Stouts parking lot went from being packed all the time to being almost empty. It seems to have recovered now though.

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remember_username 9 years, 2 months ago

I fully support the ban and thank the city commissioners for enacting it. As for the numbers - there are many variables that affect yearly sales so give it another year or two before evaluating the economic impact.

neopolss - I believe this ban falls into an area where the rights of the individual have to be set aside for the rights of the masses. Smoking is more than unhealthy to the individual; it is unhealthy to the community as a whole. I would widen the ban to include all public venues including the streets and parks because this is about "public health" not about owners and property rights. You are free to believe that the numbers of illnesses caused by second hand smoke is exaggerated, and those numbers may be incorrect. But I believe those numbers to be more accurate than not and anyway "nowhere near as fatal" is still unacceptable.

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Centrist 9 years, 2 months ago

Willa ... the ban is only on "tobacco" smoking. And by the way, the inside of your car is a private space, not public. They wouldn't dare try to legislate that zone.

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willa 9 years, 2 months ago

r_u, regardless of the health effects of smoking (whether or not it's as dangerous as you believe it is or as benign as neopolss suggests it could be), I think it's pretty dangerous to want to extend the ban to all public areas. Does this mean that no one can drive a car, because of the carcinogens in the exhaust leaking into the public air? Or produce electricity...or shoot off those wonderful fireworks with their thick blue smoke that is undoubtedly annoying to asthmatics on public streets...

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Centrist 9 years, 2 months ago

Finally ... a subject that I have a "strong" opinion on. As an ex-smoker, I understand why the smokers sre upset. But the ban really IS for the greater good. If you want to see evidence that the ban has actually helped, go to El Mezcal sometime (on 23rd St). I believe the ban has actually ASSISTED their business ... of course, cheap, honest food also helps, but ... it is SO much nicer to eat there now! Keep it going, let's make it permanent! If you wanna smoke, be my guest. Go outside and suck on that poison all you want. I gave it up 8 years ago and am STILL feeling the effects of what I did. On the up side, I can actually breathe now without it HURTING. Smokers, I feel for you. But don't be lazy! Get outside! And then, one day, please wake up and understand EXACTLY what you are doing to yourselves, how you are shortening the shelf-life of your body parts. They will wear out, y'know, but you're making it quicker. Please give up this filth, not just for you, but for all of us. Thank you, City of Lawrence for the one thing you may have done RIGHT.

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happygolucky 9 years, 2 months ago

Fangorn:Saw it right before I went to bed. Great discussion. Have a safe 4th.

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lunacydetector 9 years, 2 months ago

we should all reflect on how thankful we are for our healthy freedom as we watch the citizens in other communities across the country light off THEIR fireworks.

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Centrist 9 years, 2 months ago

Just light 'em anyway ... :)

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Centrist 9 years, 2 months ago

Good point Tom. The bars should have always had non-smoking areas. But they should have had them separated better. That way, there would have been real CHOICE and perhaps the ban would not have been introduced.

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remember_username 9 years, 2 months ago

fangorn - this is absolutely not a case of runaway government. Do you feel that drinking and driving should be allowed? How about speed limits in residential areas where children play? Smoking bans are no different. A vast majority of smokers show no more self-restraint than drunk drivers or speeders. They light up in front of children all the time. So why shouldn't our elected government regulate their behavior in the same way as drunk drivers or speeders?

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willa 9 years, 2 months ago

Centrist, while the ban is indeed only on tobacco, r_u's suggestion of extending the ban seemed based upon the idea that there shouldn't be "bad" things polluting public air. I was just suggesting that, by that logic, many more things than tobacco smoke would have to be included.

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lunacydetector 9 years, 2 months ago

...and now for a little Hammer and Sickle doctored diddy (this song will be proposed for all public events).

** United forever in friendship and labor our mighty CITY will ever endure the Great CITY OF LAWRENCE will live through the ages the dream of a people their fortress secure.

[Chorus] Long live our CITY OF LAWRENCE built by the people's mighty hand. Long live her people united and free strong in a friendship tried by fire long may her crimson flag inspire shining in glory for all men to see.

Through days dark and stormy when great (INSERT MAYOR'S NAME HERE) led us our eyes saw the bright sun of Freedom above and (INSERT MAYOR'S NAME HERE) our leader with faith in the people inspired us to build the CITY that we love.

[chorus]

We fought for the future destroyed the invader and brought to our CITY the laurels of fame. A glory will live in the memory of nations and all generations will honor her name.

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remember_username 9 years, 2 months ago

Willa - one health issue at a time, but yes I would like to see cleaner forms of transportation now that you ask.

As for fireworks I will watch the city display and that's enough for me. If you really want to be impressed with fireworks go to China. They fire off everything up to 2 and 3-inch mortars in the city streets 15 ft from the crowd - I still can't hear too well. Imagine that - every city block has a display and they pull out volunteers from the crowd to light-em off and this goes on for hours!

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enochville 9 years, 2 months ago

Everyone is acting like this is the first time we have discussed this question. Anyway, I'd like to know if there have been any smokers in Lawrence that quit smoking altogether that were prompted to quit by this ban.

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neopolss 9 years, 2 months ago

I believe that more and more smoking bans will soon become the norm in very many places. So we must get used to it. -- ms_canada

==========================================

Get involved with your government. It is YOURS. Take it back. Apathy is no solution.

==========================================

neopolss - I believe this ban falls into an area where the rights of the individual have to be set aside for the rights of the masses. Smoking is more than unhealthy to the individual; it is unhealthy to the community as a whole. I would widen the ban to include all public venues including the streets and parks because this is about "public health" not about owners and property rights. You are free to believe that the numbers of illnesses caused by second hand smoke is exaggerated, and those numbers may be incorrect. But I believe those numbers to be more accurate than not and anyway "nowhere near as fatal" is still unacceptable. -- remeber_username

========================================

I wouldn't be so quick to support government regulation of your healthy or unhealthy lifestyle, which is essentially what you are giving permission to do. Smoking IS unhealthy. So is overeating, twinkies, and flatulance. Do you prefer us to expand our view of public health laws to encompass those areas?

It is all about the owner. You have specifically told the owner that it doesn't matter that he or she OWNS the business, YOU are the one who controls how he/she runs it. Let's extend that further. Perhaps you wouldn't mind if the city council begins to pass ordinances controlling what you may or may not do in your home?

I'm sorry. I didn't realize that you were being forced into restaurants and exposed to harmful smoke by the owner's hand.

When did it become a government position to control the health of the population?

What happened to personal and consumer responsibilty?

What arrogance.

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happy_me 9 years, 2 months ago

r_u I don't think that " A vast majority of smokers show no more self-restraint than drunk drivers or speeders." is a fair statement. The majority yes but Vast majority? I am a smoker and I would no more light up IN MY OWN HOME than in the company of a child. We smoke outside so not to have the house smell and lots of the smokers I know do the same

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happy_me 9 years, 2 months ago

enoch I was not prompted to quit because of the ban but I have always been a curtious smoker. My view is everything in moderation. You would not eat twinkies all day because you would have negative reactions. likewise I do not smoke constantly ( although a large part of smokers do ) I smoke maybe 6-8 all day THATS IT not a pack or pack an a half like so many do.

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Fangorn 9 years, 2 months ago

happygolucky: I was giving up hope that you'd still reply tonight! Just a note to follow onto your remark about smoking lounges, Lincoln, Nebr., enacted a smoking ban that started at midnight last New Years Eve (one hour before the bars closed, and they enforced it right away). It did not contain an exception for smoking lounges.

Rest well, everyone. With such a lively discussion today, they'll probably ask us about our favorite shade of orange tomorrow.

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neopolss 9 years, 2 months ago

But the ban really IS for the greater good -- centrist

==========================================

By far, the greater good is the most dangerous ideaology to exist, as it gives full permission to ignore the minorities, focusing not on the greater good, but the will of the majority.

========================================== Smoking bans are no different. A vast majority of smokers show no more self-restraint than drunk drivers or speeders. They light up in front of children all the time.
-- remeber_username

========================================

They restrained it to the smoking section. And how exactly does the ban address lighting up in front of their kids in general? You have completely went off course in your defense of this ban. Why do you need to control the smoker? Why couldn't you have taken some responsibilty and not patroned, or spoke to the owner, or start a non-smoking place of your own?

Centrist, while the ban is indeed only on tobacco, r_u's suggestion of extending the ban seemed based upon the idea that there shouldn't be "bad" things polluting public air. I was just suggesting that, by that logic, many more things than tobacco smoke would have to be included. -- willa

========================================

Exactly, which takes the wind out of this being a public health issue. It never was about public health, it was all about power over property rights. Everyone wanted their cake and to eat it, which is exactly what they did, without care or respect for whose rights they needed to overstep to achieve it. At best it is elitist, arrogant, and selfish.

"Hmmm, I want a burger from _ but I hate the smoke. They shouldn't allow smoking in there!"

"Sir, it isn't your place. We'll go somewhewre else."

"Nonsense. Let's make a law so that I don't have to deal with it and can still have a burger!"

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happy_me 9 years, 2 months ago

Tom are you so arrogant to not be able to see that it was to make a point that some of what has been said is just ludicus!!

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happygolucky 9 years, 2 months ago

Why do smokers feel that I need to breathe that crap. I don't walk over to you when your eating and take a big dump on your plate and tell you corn and peanutes are good for you. So tell my way it's ok for you (the smoker) to tell me your second hand death is ok for me. My friends and I can go shoot pool and hang out in clubs now that the ban is in force. I don't care if you go out on the patio to smoke, that's outside. I'm tired of having to stay home because Astro's or the Pool Room is to smokey. Hell, just to shoot pool, I had to go out and buy my own table. That cost more than a years worth of smoking.

In closing, tell me why your rights as a smoker overthrow mine to want want to breathe. I never said you couldn't smoke in town, just not where I am going to eat or be with my friends. Just take it outside. Or maybe I can arrange some nibblets and peanuts for you.

Oh, and Happy Canada.

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happy_me 9 years, 2 months ago

happygolucky not that I disagree with you BUT you take a crap on my plate and you'll be arrested for indescent exsposure (which is a sex crime ) and then you will be kicked out of lawrence

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Fangorn 9 years, 2 months ago

r_u: Good morning! Anyone whose remarks draw a high number of responses is either erudite (you, for instance) or:well:then there's Lulu, who seems to have dropped off the face of the earth.

Anyway, I want to point out that the drivers, drunk or speeding, come to your neighborhoods, driving down your streets, whereas a person has to choose to go to a restaurant or bar. Going to any place of business is voluntary. For the residents, the intoxicated speeder's visit to their neighborhood is not. Now if smokers made a habit of entering your home uninvited and lighting up in your living room, we would have a different issue.

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happy_me 9 years, 2 months ago

Here is a question for all you Non Smokers/Ban Supporters: Are you prepared to pay the extra taxes that We (smokers) pay when we are forced to quit because its been banned?

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Centrist 9 years, 2 months ago

Everyone's paranoia is misplaced. There is nothing wrong with SOME regulation of this "market economy" society we live in. Remember, while you're speaking your anti-government vitriole and espousing the value of 'true freedom' ... if you had this 'true freedom' tomorrow, you'd walk out your front door and face complete anarchy ... and possibly a bullet from the first savage human who wanted to take what you have. Guys, it's like this. Sometimes a law is a good thing, for the majority. Yes, the majority. When it comes to health, I'm all for it. Get over it, and express your distaste by writing, calling, or emailing your ELECTED representatives ... then go buy your $4 packets of rolled-up carcinogens. Would you stop by a house fire, and willingly breathe in the smoke? C'mon ... lol

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corrienteroper 9 years, 2 months ago

I vote to have every bar and eating establishment owner put water filtration systems on their faucets!! Now how ridiculous does that sound? And how about telling everyone they really should be wearing a gas mask when they walk out the door? After all, those that smoke and have to step outside to do so, are blowing it into the air that a passerby will suck in. Government - get out of our lives and clean your own kitchen before you decide you need to clean mine!!

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acg 9 years, 2 months ago

It's too nice a day to argue about this. First of all, proponents of the ban are never going to see reason, so opponents, you're wasting your time. All they see/say is the same tired lines "I can breathe easily at my favorite restaurant now" or "why do I have to smell your smoke?" or my personal favorite "for God's sake, think of the children!!" They're not going to care about things being banned until it's something that affects them directly. So what we do now is wait until the commissioners slap a "luxury food tax" on big macs or outlaw SUV's because they're not environmentally friendly or hell, get rid of fireworks, circus animals and letting your dog be outside. Oh wait....

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Centrist 9 years, 2 months ago

Your dogs are allowed outside, just not for too long, without shade and/water. What's wrong with that?

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enochville 9 years, 2 months ago

neopolss: I see your reasoning and agree that you don't have to frequent businesses that are playing music you don't like or have offensive colors on the wall, but smoking is a different issue.

Let me see if I can draw a rather extreme analogy to illustrate the point. I have all the freedom I want to swing my arms, but by freedom stops where my arm-swinging hits another's face. Suppose there was a group of people who exercised their right to bear arms by randoming shooting their guns in different directions repeatedly. They congregated in bars and restaurants and told you if you don't like it start your own restaurant. You are right that you don't have to go where they are, but no one has the right to risk the life or health of someone else who just happens to be around. Even if they all agree to risk each other's life together on private property. A pact to murder each other in the group is not legal.

Basically, what I am saying is keep your poison to yourself which can be easily done with alcohol, fatty foods, etc. There is a difference between private property that is your residence and private property that is a business. No one has the right to enter your private residence or trespass your property. But, businesses are required by law to make sure their business is not a health hazard to the people who want to do business there. You can't have toxic vapors in the air even if all your customers don't mind the fumes.

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Fangorn 9 years, 2 months ago

Centrist: Please don't assume that all those who oppose the ban are smokers.

happygolucky: The simplest solution that would protect your lungs and the rights of property owners starts with a stamp, a piece of paper, and "Dear Owner of Astro's, I am a non-smoker who would enjoy your establishment more if:." Why should your desire to play pool at Astro's (or anywhere else for that matter) overthrow the owner's right to make decisions about how to run their business? You don't want people to smoke where you are "going to eat or be with my friends". Do you ever enjoy a picnic outside or walk down the sidewalk with your friends? Is that the next step in this ban? Did you ever see "The Music Man"? What happens when someone convinces a majority of voters (or just the city commission) that pool should be banned for the greater good/public health/public decency? (Public decency because pool is played with balls and a phallic symbol, after all.) Will it matter that you own your home and your pool table?

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Dan Spurgin 9 years, 2 months ago

My bias = I'm a non-smoker.

I've found strolling into restaurants that used to allow smoking a MUCH nicer experience in the last year. And I've made a point to let these places know I'm putting my dollars down exactly because I LIKE the no-smoking.

I think both sides have legit arguments. While many people are arguing this as if there is 1 right and 1 wrong position... I think in reality you can shine 2 different and legit lights on this subject. I'd say there are 2 right ways of looking at this.

And because I think in the end both sides are valid sides to take - I then decide based on personal preference. Which as you might guess is decidedly FOR the smoking ban.

For me, a person who eats out much at many different places in town, this ban has made Lawrence a MUCH nicer place to be.

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Centrist 9 years, 2 months ago

Fangorn ... correct. My apologies.

blue73harley ... are you seriously expecting us to believe that someone who loves the blues won't go see a band simply 'cause they have to smoke outside?

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Carmenilla 9 years, 2 months ago

I hated the ban at first. I am one of those so-called "social" smokers. I maybe smoke 3-5 a day but if I'm out with a drink in my hand, I can easily smoke half a pack. Anyway, I got over the fact that I have to go outside to smoke. But what started to bother me was all my service industry friends couldn't make ends meet. I felt that we put some people in jeopardy financially to make it seem like we were giving them a "healthy workplace". Its not like these folks were making out like bandits in the tip department. Most of my bartender, waitstaff friends had to get other jobs. So now, some of them work 3 rather than 2 jobs, just to survive. Mostly I hate the displacement of responsibility. We don't trust you to make good decisions, people of Lawrence! What I wish they'd ban is BAD DRIVING!!! IT would be better for my mental health!

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enochville 9 years, 2 months ago

I would like neopolss, Fangorn, offtothe right, or someone to respond to my last post. All dangeous chemicals or vapors that are on site of a business are required to be properly contained and identified. Although not historically treated as such, cigarette smoke is increasingly being recognized as a dangerous gas and I believe should be regulated as such especially when it comes to the health of those employees and customers who are not purposely putting it into their lungs. Cigarette smoke should only be released in a well ventilated area such as outdoors away from entry ways. You can't have toxic vapors in the air even if all your customers and employees don't mind the fumes.

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Centrist 9 years, 2 months ago

blue73harley ... I see your point, however, it sounds like it's more about the demographic though. Perhaps the majority of people who go/went to STU's are smokers? And could the management find other ways to attract people? For example - where is it located? Does everyone really know of this place? I didn't ... until now, and I live in Lawrence. If I had known about the place, perhaps I would go sometimes. I like blues bands, especially live. It's obvious to me that they need to advertise better, or make it known with signs, or with coupons, etc. What are they doing to attract customers? (I'm not knocking down your point).

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chevygal 9 years, 2 months ago

whats with the one pic bein black n white?

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Carmenilla 9 years, 2 months ago

He's a photographer and he has artistic control over his photo?

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sunflower_sue 9 years, 2 months ago

I think this all boils down to "eminent domain", which has been around for a LONG time. Yeah, I know we're not talking about the physical taking of one's property, but it's all the same to me. Only, in my own opinion, this is much more for the greater good than taking a bunch of houses away from the owners and building a racetrack that gets used twice a year.

Lawrence has gotten more of my business since the smoking ban, and the surrounding communities have gotten less. Now I don't have to base my decision on weither or not the place is full of smoke. I love to take my kids to Johnny's Tavern for a burger and now I can. I talked to the owner about the ban and he said, in the beginning, that he had picked up lunch business but dropped some at dinner time. I think this is probably no longer the case. (They are always packed when I go in.) But now they have that new biker bar down the road to worry about!

I say hurray for the ban! It always urked me that I had to walk through the smokers and then sit upstairs where the smoke was going to end up anyway, just to eat my food "smoke free". HA! And, I also know, without a doubt, before I leave this world, I will be a victim of "eminent domain" but I've resigned myself to it. And for those of you who will tell me what an idiot I am for comparing the smoking ban to eminent domain...this is merely an anology that I think is fitting.

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acg 9 years, 2 months ago

LOL Fangorn. Oh we got trouble...right here in River City. Thanks, now I'm going to sing that all day.

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neopolss 9 years, 2 months ago

Posted by Tom_Foolery on July 1 at 9:49 a.m.

neoploss: that was the biggest waste of space. What is the purpose of cutting and pasting everyones sh@t all over again?

I pasted it because the fine reaction area here has no way of doing quotes. I was responding to each quoted section. Just like this.

Enochville - I see your point. The issue I raise is that this was not about public health, and for all intents and purposes, smoking IS legal. However there was also no attempt to appeal to owners or to force any type of consumer responsibility. As I said before, health measures such as better ventilation or higher air quality standards should have been proposed, but the truth is, the air quality is not at issue here - only the owner's role in establishing his/her own rules of business.

You state that a business by law is required to make the environment safe, which I disagree with. We've simply become tolerate on infringing their rights. I believe in giving power back to the consumer. It is your willingness to do business with a company based on their practices that should determine if they stay in business. If you disapprove and do not patron the place, they either change policies or go under.

Companies can and do self-regulate if it is within the interests of the customer. However when you begin to make the choices for them, not only will they stop regulating themselves, they will also resist in every way possible. It's the difference between making the choice for yourself and having it made for you. Not only did we swing our arms wide, we punched the restaurant owner in the face.

It's not a matter if you LIKE the ban or not. I can agree that it is very pleasant in the restarants. But was it right? In that I cannot agree. Our selfish desires created the ban, not "health." We like the ban and who cares what the owner thinks, right? If he doesn't like it he'll close up shop, right? Why should he be forced to cater to our whims? We certainly didn't cater to his.

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sunflower_sue 9 years, 2 months ago

enochville, excellent point about the toxic chemicals in public buildings. My Dad was a victim of asbestos. Now, you shouldn't find too much of THAT stuff around because they realized (a little too late for some) that breathing this stuff might be bad for you.

My Mom always said: "If you watched somebody die of lung cancer, you'd never smoke!" I also watched my dear friend bury her husband because of cigarettes. Let's not forget, there is a real personal side to this issue.

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wichita_reader 9 years, 2 months ago

extreme_makeover: that's freakin' hilarious.

I've smelled much more toxic, annoying, eye-watering flatulence than any cigarette smoke.

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happy_me 9 years, 2 months ago

Mr Joe That was in response to happygolucky at 9:54 which said: Why do smokers feel that I need to breathe that crap. I don't walk over to you when your eating and take a big dump on your plate and tell you corn and peanutes are good for you.

I do not have a feces fetish. But you're right that potty peeper would enjoy that! As discusting as that is.

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happy_me 9 years, 2 months ago

wichita be careful they may ban flatulence next

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Centrist 9 years, 2 months ago

Hey you're all talking sh*t now ... LOL

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remember_username 9 years, 2 months ago

I'm not so arrogant to believe that my thinking is always correct, and my communication skills are always effective, so I try to carefully consider those rational rebuttals to my remarks and I will try not to be frustrated in this reply.

One error in my commentary was not to focus my comments to the current definition of the ban. I was extending the smoking offenses to areas where it frustrates me and mine. Yes, I could get up and leave a restaurant if I learn during the meal that I am too near the smoking section, or simply not go out at all and run the risk of an ineffective smoker/ non-smoker separation. I apologise for the confusion when I didn't limit my comments to this narrow focus of banning smoking.

I extend my ban commentary to all public areas and this includes the street where I have to cross the street in order to avoid passing through a crowd of smokers, or move from a park bench where I was sitting because someone lights up. Thus for me the comparison of the drunk driver is apt.

Then there is the even bigger picture - smoking is very unhealthy for everybody including the smoker. There is no redeeming quality that can be found in such a habit, there is only harm. Why shouldn't that be banned?

Our government (we ourselves) have a responsibility to the health and safety of the community. Some speak about personal responsibility it is the resonsibility of the persons causing harm to stop, when they don't take responsibility then laws must be passed and enforced.

I will alter my vast majority to majority for the sake of compromise as I am counting only from my perspective. As for cleaner burning cars - does anybody not want that?

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wichita_reader 9 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, can you imagine taking someone out for a first date and requesting a booth in the flatulence section. What a deal killer!

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dont_panic 9 years, 2 months ago

I think smoking is different to eating fast food. Comparing the two is like comparing cheese and chalk. Both can kill you, but ME eating a greasy burger isn't going to kill YOU. Say YOU smoke .. YOU breath it in then YOU breath it out .. so others can now walk thru YOUR exhaled smoke and breath it in to THEIR lungs. Say I eat a Whopper. I eat it. MY body processes it. I go home and I crap it out. No one's really effected but me :) Even if I crap it out in a public bathroom, the only person effected is the poor individual next in line for the toilet .. and even they aren't going to die from inhaling the stench! Everyone dies, but smokers typically tend to die younger and experience more horrible, drawn-out deaths. My mom smoked and died. My grandma did not smoke but died from complications involving her breathing .. she lived in a house with smokers for much of her life. Smoking in public places effects everyone .. no comparison! Do I think that the smoking ban is a good thing and should continue to be enforced? You bet ya! Do I think that it will lead to other, more intrusive bans? Nope! That's just "conspiracy theory" babble. As far as effecting business in Lawrence - Smoking individuals may make the conscious decision to avoid Lawrence because of the ban, but I don't believe that it has effected the businesses here. Although it might have caused some to shy away in the beginning, it has brought more non-smokers out and into local businesses which has caused the WELL ADVERTISED businesses to continue to prosper. Smokers will either eventually come back anyway, or start staying home a whole heckuva lot more, in the near future because surrounding townships, cities, counties, states, etc. are considering the same sort of ban. For those business owners (certain bar owners) who believe that the ban has hurt them, I say to them .. when life gives you lemons, learn to make lemonade! Businesses, regardless of whether or not you can smoke in them, have to continue to evolve to stay open anyway. So, my advice .. be more innovative! Lean in to the curve instead of fighting against it :)

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enochville 9 years, 2 months ago

"You state that a business by law is required to make the environment safe, which I disagree with. We've simply become tolerate on infringing their rights." - neopolss

I see where we differ. Your value of freedom seems to trump all other values. I value freedom, but I believe that there are competing values which may win out from time to time in my thinking. For me, if freedom always won and since resources are limited, only the strong would win out and the weak would be crushed. If there are no laws to restrain behavior, behavior devolves into a very carnal and primitive Darwinian anarchy. Everyone lives in fear in that environment. I think government and laws should exist to lift us out of that situation, to help people feel safe instead of fear.

Now to this situation. In the early days of the industrial revolution, environmental law did not exist as it does now. People had to work in environments that were killing them. You would say they did not have to work there. I say every factory operated that way and economic pressure had forced people from their farms, so if they wanted to survive and eat they had to work and all that was really available to them were unhealthy jobs. Since environmental regulations cost money, a free market would never support such change. It had to be regulated to protect people. We are all healthier and doing well economically as well.

It always hurts businesses a little to make their businesses healthier, but I believe it brings about a better quality of life for everyone. I value that more than business owners' freedom to pollute the environment.

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aewing 9 years, 2 months ago

I do not go out in Lawrence anymore because of the ban. Lawernce is situated perfectly between Topeka & KC, where I now frequent. I work in Lenexa and used to be very diligent about waiting until I returned to Lawrence in the evenings to shop/fill up with gas, etc. I don't do that any longer. I spend my money in Lenexa when I'm there during the weekdays and in Topeka when I'm there.

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Ken Lassman 9 years, 2 months ago

Neopolss, Since you like to cut and paste, I thought I'd take one of your posts and modify it to explore the following scenario: what about bars that let people pee on the floor? ============================= I do not pee on the floor. But this issue is not about "public health" more than it is simply a power grab at owners and property rights. Our cries of public safety and health are going out of control. I know many of you like the ban, but honestly, shouldn't the power have laid with consumers? Shouldn't it have been your decision, to petition the owner and say "I won't come to your restaraunt because it reeks of urine." That's consumer and personal responsibility. Instead the hand was forced, and the label of public safety thrown on it. If it was really a safety/health issue, I would see more compromise. Better ventilation, stricter floor washing quality standards. The fact is, illness rates due to contact with urine is a distorted number, and nowhere near as fatal as it is made out to be. Neither though was every pee-on-the-floor-is-OK restaurant so brutal that you could smell urine everywhere. There is such an air of arrogant self entitlement these days. I didn't realize that our rights extended so far ... (sarcasm). We're reaching a breaking point of tolerance. Enjoy the ban fine. But do take the time to think about it and recognize that the preventing peeing on the floor behavior is a bad direction. Meanwhile I'll be procuring fireworks outside of Lawrence since "public safety" won't allow them in city limits. ==================================== What's the deal, here? Big government has stepped in and trounced our ability to play out such a scenario by giving our bars and restaurants standards that they must comply with in order to keep their operating licenses! What a travesty! ; )

Some standards are health related, and some of them are, well, just decency standards agreed upon by the community at large.

Haven't you ever heard of the social contract? It refers to individual restraints that are accepted in exchange for living with fellow human beings. The benefits are worth the price. I don't see that stepping outside to get a nicotine fix is asking too much so that the health of the waitress isn't compromised.

The marketplace has always had rules that have shaped what forms it takes, and if the rules change, we live in a society which is quite capable of adapting to the new environment.

Seatbelts, speed limits, and other driving rules are all limitations we've placed on each other for damn good reasons, and our society has adapted quite well to each one of these new rules as they were adopted, with a better community to show for it. Did everyone agree with each of those rules when they were first adopted? Heck no. But we're all better for it, and more free, to boot.

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sunjournal 9 years, 2 months ago

Having recently visited your city, and frequenting the restaurants, please keep the ban alive. I don't think it's too much to ask. We've had a no smoking ban for years in Maine and it didn't make an appreciable difference in any businesses bottom line, bar or restaurant. Peope don't eat at your restaurant if your food sucks and they don't drink at your bar if the bar sucks. It really is that simple.

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enochville 9 years, 2 months ago

Das_Ubermine: You are right that those questions need to be addressed if were we to list cigarette smoke as a toxin and have it regulated by OSHA as other chemicals are. Perhaps we will eventually have to do that if people keep balking about smoking bans in businesses.

Also with other chemicals it is the behavior of handling the chemical that is controlled sometimes with and sometimes without a regulation as to how many parts per million molecules are in the air.

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enochville 9 years, 2 months ago

extreme_makeover: Perhaps people in Maine have realized Liberty is not the only value or the value that trumps all the rest.

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happy_me 9 years, 2 months ago

aahhh this is why I love Lawrence so many differences in opinion and no one is afraid to voice them

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happy_me 9 years, 2 months ago

If the smoking ban had been state wide the story might be different BUT because it is only 15 minutes to Topeka for example businesses in Lawrence ARE losing money. It is too easy to go somewhere where you can smoke. Go ask the Owner of the Hereford House what he thinks of the ban, it almost put them out of business!!

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Fangorn 9 years, 2 months ago

So DougCounty, extending your juxtaposition a step farther, what you're really saying is that it's OK with you if people just pee on the sidewalk outside the restaurant. Restaurants usually are allowed to maintain a peeing section (i.e. a restroom). If the owner of an establishment wanted to make separate smoking/non-smoking rooms, would you support their right to make that decision? They might even offer to pay servers in the "carcinogen" rooms a differential. Other occupations make up for higher hazards with higher pay (have you ever seen what underwater welders make?). I wonder how many on a serving staff would find the risk of exposure to second-hand smoke outweighed by the prospect of higher income?

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Centrist 9 years, 2 months ago

Aewing ... you mean to say that everything you do, you do with a smoke in hand? What about filling up with gas ...

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Centrist 9 years, 2 months ago

If people are willing to travel 25 mins to Topeka or Lenexa, AND spend the gas money, just so they can smoke while they do dtuff, who's more the fool here??? Even when I did smoke, years ago, it didn't bother me one little BIT to go outside and smoke!

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happy_me 9 years, 2 months ago

Centrist: it doesn't bother me to step outside either BUT for those that it does yes I agree they are stupid but it boils down to the almighty dollar! Businesses have suffered because of this. And in the long run so has the clean air because of the extra driving putting more exhaust in the air.

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Centrist 9 years, 2 months ago

See Dont_panic's point about businesses attracting customers ...

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Centrist 9 years, 2 months ago

Just a thought, people ... ... ... ... Have a great 4th of July!

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happy_me 9 years, 2 months ago

Mr Joe that was too funny and yeah I remember the link I read it too. Some people these days are just sick!!

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happy_me 9 years, 2 months ago

you have a great 4th too centrist

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happy_me 9 years, 2 months ago

Oh and enjoy your favorite Ice Cream Cookie Cake Beer BBQ Or whatever makes you HAPPY :)

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enochville 9 years, 2 months ago

Have a happy and safe 4th of July, everyone! (1st of July to you ms_canada)! And is case the LJWorld is looking for a question soon, ask about our reaction to Justice Sandra Day O'Conner resigning. That should be a lively conversation.

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neopolss 9 years, 2 months ago

Then there is the even bigger picture - smoking is very unhealthy for everybody including the smoker. There is no redeeming quality that can be found in such a habit, there is only harm. Why shouldn't that be banned? -- remember_username ==========================================

One should have complete legislation over their own body, including the ability to damage it with any product seen fit. It is NOT our role as government to determine what is healthy/non-healthy. We can see the harmful effects of alcohol & caffeine as well, but the end result is that each individual must be responsible for their health. To do otherwise would be to invite a very socialist point of view. Did you know that China bans certain activities, discussions, dissents, and behaviors as they contribute to moral delinquincy and affect the "health of the nation?"

========================================= YOU breath it in then YOU breath it out .. so others can now walk thru YOUR exhaled smoke and breath it in to THEIR lungs. Say I eat a Whopper. I eat it. MY body processes it. I go home and I crap it out.
-- dont_panic ======================================== YOU went into the smoking section and into the restaurant, YOU inhaled the smoke because YOU decided that you wanted to sit in a smoking establishment. Will it go farther? It could. Haven't you seen the arguments made against McDonalds because of the oil that is used for their fries? People would rather force McDonalds to make healthier fries instead of simply NOT EATING THEM. ========================================

Seatbelts, speed limits, and other driving rules are all limitations we've placed on each other for damn good reasons, and our society has adapted quite well to each one of these new rules as they were adopted, with a better community to show for it. Did everyone agree with each of those rules when they were first adopted? Heck no. But we're all better for it, and more free, to boot. -- DougCounty

========================================

Seatbelts may be required by law in vehicles, but the auto insurance industry has self regulated itself nicely, and automakers have responded to what speaks best - customer dollars spent. Customers want safer vehicles, and crash test ratings are prime examples for customers as to what to buy. The laws governing what safety features are needed in cars IS unnecessary, as the consumer base is smart enough to drive the safety. Note also that not all states require seatbelts to be worn by law. Auto manufacturers aren't adding safety features because of law (which is usually BEHIND the newest safety standards), they add them because it sells more of their brand.

What exactly is more freedom when you've taken away the choice?

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remember_username 9 years, 2 months ago

neoplss - Do you accept the premise that smoking is hamful to the user? Do you accept the premise that secondhand smoke is harmful to bystanders? If you don't answer yes to both questions then I can't argue with your point (as directed to me).

However, if you assume an answer of yes to both questions, then your example of alcohol and caffine are not completely valid. We do regulate the use of alcohol as it affects others (drinking and driving) and your use of caffine would have little effect on me (unless it was hot and you threw it at me).

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remember_username 9 years, 2 months ago

neopolss - Do you believe the FDA has a valid function of determining what is healthy / non-healthy?

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enochville 9 years, 2 months ago

Das_Ubermine: I agree with you that those studies should have been conducted before the ban. If smoke from cigarettes became regulated by the federal government through OSHA, then smoking might be banned in all business or require high tech ventilation systems that would affect all businesses equally. This would solve the problem that posters have mentioned of businesses losing customers to competion who are not required to conform to a smoking ban. If the studies showed that proper ventilation solved the health risk and obnoxious odors then I would be for lifting the ban. The problem has been that "smoking areas" never kept smoke from filling the whole restaraunt.

neopolss: I do agree with the customers' right to take their business elsewhere, but I think you overestimate the power of free trade to make businesses make changes. For example, a steel plant may be severely affecting the health of the community where their business is located. The customers of the steel mill (automakers, national construction companies, etc.) don't care about the environment in that community. The steel company doesn't want to clean up because it is expensive and that would cause their product to be more expensive than their competition who doesn't clean up their mess. The community wants the jobs, so nothing changes as the children get strange cancers.

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craigers 9 years, 2 months ago

Merrill, I replied to a question you had asked on the Intolerant GOP letter. I just thought I would let you know.

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remember_username 9 years, 2 months ago

That's good 'cause that Elephantitis looks like a real bummer.

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remember_username 9 years, 2 months ago

On another subject. I was discussing pets today at lunch and a co-worker mentioned that when she was 16 she had a rabbit named "Bucky" - my milk went everywhere.

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Carmenilla 9 years, 2 months ago

Is the exotic animal ban a "health issue" like the smoking ban but really its about what some people find distasteful?

I am actually for the exotic animal ban. I know the "circuses" that this probably refers to. I took my kid to one at the Armory awhile back and the conditions those animals lived in were atrocious.

I really want a smoke and pancake.

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Carmenilla 9 years, 2 months ago

What milk was that, r_u?

prepares to be deleted

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neopolss 9 years, 2 months ago

neopolss - Do you believe the FDA has a valid function of determining what is healthy / non-healthy? Do you accept the premise that smoking is hamful to the user? Do you accept the premise that secondhand smoke is harmful to bystanders? -- remember_username ========================================= No. Not only has the FDA proven itself to be a product of government social agenda, it also caters completely to the lobbyist industry and does not contain the consumer as its number one customer. Not only is federal regulation of drugs unecessary, it is also inaccurate. Determination of ANY substance and its harm/benefits is completely dependant on its usage and quantity.

As I stated before, if the individual has no control over what may be placed in the body, we truly have lost our freedom. Whether you agree on someone destroying or harming themselves, it is their body to do so with. Which brings me to the next point. The only way you would be exposed to smoke exhgalation in a restaraunt is if you placed yourself in that position. So yes and yes to your questions, but you maintain control of your exposure. You still had the choice, but instead you prefer simply to just have your way - it doesn't matter what the owner thinks.

But then again, more regulation, more law, is exactly what you want, and you will not be satisfied until you have a government that tells you exactly what you eat, breathe, and how much you sleep.

Which brings us back to my original posed question. Not whether you liked the ban, but whether the action is right? In the idea of greater good, we only send one message. The opinion of one does not matter - only the opinion of many.

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willa 9 years, 2 months ago

Carmenilla, I'm with you. A smoke and for the day to end...happy holiday weekend, all

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Carmenilla 9 years, 2 months ago

Did you just admit to having a choad?

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neopolss 9 years, 2 months ago

neopolss: I do agree with the customers' right to take their business elsewhere, but I think you overestimate the power of free trade to make businesses make changes. For example, a steel plant may be severely affecting the health of the community where their business is located. The customers of the steel mill (automakers, national construction companies, etc.) don't care about the environment in that community. The steel company doesn't want to clean up because it is expensive and that would cause their product to be more expensive than their competition who doesn't clean up their mess. The community wants the jobs, so nothing changes as the children get strange cancers. -- enochville

========================================

The problem with that argument is that the steel mill in question no longer are maintaining the effects of their business on their property, but are instead are polluting and littering on public property. Now, if this said business stated that their environment is toxic or dangerous, then it becomes a choice to work in those conditions, and is acceptable. If the community wants the jobs, knowing the effects of what will happen, can I really feel sorry for them? The other crux here though is that the business cannot deceive on this issue. We enter a whole new territory there, and the business becomes fair game to lawsuits and health endangerment. Placing someone in the way of harm involuntarily or without their knowledge is a whole different issue.

No restaurant or bar ever lied about the effects of smoking, or its presence in their establishment. No business ever forced anyone to work in those conditions, nor any customer to walk into their business. No smoke ever exited the premises and contaminated the surrounding area. All activity, and all health effects, were contained within each business, and each individual had their own choice as to whether they entered/dined/worked or not.

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happygolucky 9 years, 2 months ago

Thought I'd try this cut and paste. Seems to be the fad today.

Posted by happy_me on July 1 at 9:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)

happygolucky not that I disagree with you BUT you take a crap on my plate and you'll be arrested for indescent exsposure (which is a sex crime ) and then you will be kicked out of lawrence

Sex crimes happen all the time and they are not "kicked" out of lawrence. There are sex offenders all over town.

Posted by Fangorn on July 1 at 10:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

happygolucky: The simplest solution that would protect your lungs and the rights of property owners starts with a stamp, a piece of paper, and "Dear Owner of Astro's, I am a non-smoker who would enjoy your establishment more if:." Why should your desire to play pool at Astro's (or anywhere else for that matter) overthrow the owner's right to make decisions about how to run their business? You don't want people to smoke where you are "going to eat or be with my friends". Do you ever enjoy a picnic outside or walk down the sidewalk with your friends? Is that the next step in this ban? Did you ever see "The Music Man"? What happens when someone convinces a majority of voters (or just the city commission) that pool should be banned for the greater good/public health/public decency? (Public decency because pool is played with balls and a phallic symbol, after all.) Will it matter that you own your home and your pool table?

That's retarded. Ban Pool, how about Xbox? After all, Xbox is one x away from porn. As for sidewalk, outside, picnic's, again, outside. Were you not paying attention when I said take it "outside". I have spoken with the owner of Astros about the smoke. I would come in the afternoon to shoot beacuse of less smoke. I almost always had to play on the hour tables due to smoke. Even being a table owner, I still go down there. Do you still smoke in your house, I didn't say anything about banning that. Can I get a mouth hug from my girl in a store down town, No. Why? It doesn't hurt your lungs. Everything has it's place. Sorry you smoke, I'll just remember you everytime I enjoy my meal or my evening out with the family. All you suffering smokers you have lost out because of this ban, Thank you. You are the true hero's. Giving all this up for us whinning non-smokers you want to keep our lungs healthy.

Posted by extreme_makeover on July 1 at 12:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"...with liberty and justice for all." Go to a no-smoking venue if it is THAT important to you.

Where? I'd be there in a click if Big Names played there.

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remember_username 9 years, 2 months ago

neopolss - So that was a yes and yes? So if I'm walking down the street and the person in front of me lights up, or if I'm sitting on a park bench and a person sits next to me and lights up, then my only choice (if I understand your position) to protect my health is for me to cross the street or get up and move? There is another alternative but that same government that you find so intrusive is the only thing that protects rude smokers from that other alternative. Thus, government regulation protects both. Show me a world with humans behaving with total consideration for each other and I'll show you a world that needs no governments.

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Fangorn 9 years, 2 months ago

happygolucky: Now who's not paying attention? Re-read my note to Centrist in my 10:22am post. Does any implication jump out at you from my statement? Let me spell it out here: I---D-O---N-O-T---S-M-O-K-E. I do, however, own property, and I'd like to see my rights in that regard respected. Yes, banning pool is "retarded". I also think that telling a business owner that they can't allow smoking is retarded. Is it still OK with you if people smoke outside? You claim you don't mind if people still smoke, "just not where I am going to eat or be with my friends". But if you're doing anything with your friends outside, would that not be grounds for prohibiting smoking there?

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jonas 9 years, 2 months ago

uhhmm. . . .

Have a nice holiday?

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Redneckgal 9 years, 2 months ago

I smoke but to go to a non-smoking place really doesn't bother me all that much. If I can't go for a hour with out a smoke than thats pretty bad. I can live with it. I'm a little more concerned with the precedent it sets being able to tell folks what they can and can't do in there own business.

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beatrice 9 years, 2 months ago

People, please -- just because you own a business does not mean you can then put the health of your employees at risk! Quit comparing gluttony to second-hand-smoke. No matter how much ice cream and McDonalds you eat, I won't get fat, but if you smoke near me I could get CANCER! If you want to be stupid enough to smoke, then go right ahead, just don't do it near me. And lets face it, because of economic circumstances sometimes people take a job because it is available, regardless of the long term consequences.

There are many laws regarding employee safety, and a smoking ban is just one more.

How can any business owner look in the mirror knowing that they are shortening the lives of his/her employees? If someone gets cancer and dies, but the business owner makes money, does that make it okay? Is caring about the health -- beyond just economic -- of others just something liberals care about?

Just so you know, my sister died of lung cancer just three months ago. It is an ugly way to go. Anything that can be done to prevent this, I'm all for it.

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ms_canada 9 years, 2 months ago

Lung cancer. Oh boy! Have any of you besides beatrice ever watched anyone die of lung cancer or any lung disease. It is really not something that you would want to do voluntarily. It is a horrible way to die. Imagine lying in a bed, gasping for breath, just trying to get enough oxygen into your lungs. It is most painful and most anxiety driven. You think your last breath will really be the last. You are filled with FEAR. If only all smokers could witness a lung cancer death they would quit immediately. I nursed people with lung cancer and it is imprinted on my brain. I will NEVER forget the horror of it.
Smokers, I know full well that you will pay no attention what ever to what I say. But non-smokers will and fight for the right to protect themselves from the horror of it. And they will continue to be villified by smokers. Shame, shame, shame.

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happygolucky 9 years, 2 months ago

Posted by Fangorn on July 1 at 5:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

happygolucky: Now who's not paying attention? Re-read my note to Centrist in my 10:22am post. Does any implication jump out at you from my statement? Let me spell it out here: I---D-O---N-O-T---S-M-O-K-E. I do, however, own property, and I'd like to see my rights in that regard respected. Yes, banning pool is "retarded". I also think that telling a business owner that they can't allow smoking is retarded. Is it still OK with you if people smoke outside? You claim you don't mind if people still smoke, "just not where I am going to eat or be with my friends". But if you're doing anything with your friends outside, would that not be grounds for prohibiting smoking there?

There is a BIG difference outside than inside. Inside it lingers and you can't help but breathe it. I would not lean towards an outside ban, but if push comes to shove, so be it. It's great you don't smoke. I don't care if you own anything. If you open a bussiness, then I as a person should expect to not have to breathe that crap, unless your business is a Smoking Lounge. Since that's not the case, well I don't know what to tell you.

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BUCK9 9 years, 1 month ago

I again wish I can get an answer about the 1975 class reunion if anyone has an idea.

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majic12 9 years ago

Shouldn't there be a basic literacy requirement to post here?

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