A day that shall live in infamy. Ohio goes smoke free Dec. 7 2006!

From Smoke Free Ohio:

On Thursday December 7th, for the first time in Ohio’s history, all Ohioans will be able to go out to eat, go to a bowling alley, even go out for a drink with friends in a completely smoke-free environment.

Hard to imagine, right?

Not anymore!

So, what is the best way to celebrate a SmokeFreeOhio? How about at your favorite restaurant!

Going out on the town on December 7th is not only an excellent chance to experience a smoke-free night, it’s also an important opportunity for us to show Ohio’s restaurant, bar, and bowling alley owners how much we appreciate them going smoke-free.

On December 7th, let’s all go out and celebrate our SmokeFreeOhio victory by patronizing Ohio’s many newly smoke-free businesses!

I plan on visiting Canal Street Tavern a lot more often to see great music in a smoke free, living room like, environment.

Other places I may now be able to go to comfortably: Tanks, Pearl, Night Owl, Trolley Stop and Tumbleweed.

It’s unfortunate- but I’m most worried about Gilly’s, Therapy Cafe and Pacchia losing some business as non-smokers find new places to hang out.

Today is your day to go smokefree.

Although public buildings in Ohio will go smoke free on December 7th. Today is the day for your lungs to go smoke free if you are a smoker.

The Great American Smokeout is an effort of the American Cancer Society- and is partially credited for helping American’s go from 37.1% of our adults smoking in 1974 to 20.9% in 2005.

My parents smoked when I was growing up. Dad was a 3 pack of Players guy. Even after his first heart attack, and not smoking for 3 months- the bad habit came back- esp. since he worked with smokers (back in the old days- people actually smoked at work!).

After several other scares, heart attacks, heart surgeries he finally quit. I have to admire my Mom- she quit way before he did. The secret was a program called SmokeEnders which suggested the following:

  1. Do a surroundings purification ritual before your quit date. Clean the house, top to bottom, carpets, blinds, computer keyboards, bedding, upholstery, etc. Detail your car. Nicotine is a contact drug (hence the patch) easily transmitted through the skin. It’s hard to quit when you keep getting jolts of the drug you crave by touching it.
  2. On your quit date: purify yourself. 24 hours of nothing but fruit juices to help purge your pores. Also, take three showers that day- wash away the drug.
  3. Mentally- every time you get the urge, repeat this mantra: I choose not to smoke.

It’s harder than kicking heroin, but the impact on your health, your wallet, your life expectancy makes it worth it.

Best of luck. Let’s make the percentage of people smoking drop some more. Starting December 7th (a good target day for you to do the steps above) lets all celebrate a smoke free life.

Dayton finally makes a smart move on City Manager

With the hiring of the “acting city manager” Rashad Young, The Dayton City Commission took a confident step in the right direction. Finally, an admission that we might not be as broken internally as we seem to play in the public eye.

Going outside for a top exec is an admission that your own people don’t have the skills- it also slows things down with a tough learning curve- since we Daytonian’s have an intricate system of back room powerbrokers that run a maze that’s almost impossible for a newby to navigate.

The Dayton Daily News says:

Among his first tasks will be reorganization of some city positions and filling key posts that are vacant, including his former assistant city manager job and that of economic development director.

He also plans to meet with city staff over the next 30 days to outline his priorities and expectations.

Although I am confident that Mr. Young can get the job done (even though he works for a City Commission that has a hard time defining a vision, or communicating well) I am going to make a few suggestions:

  • Consider being the first city to shut down your internal Economic Development Department and put it into the hands of a regional group like the Dayton Development Coalition or the County. Lets be leaders in the march toward smart growth and regional development strategies. Although it may seem like we are the community least able to jettison this little fiefdom, in order to gain greater power, you often have to give up power first.
  • The city has a “branding” assignment out for bid right now. If you are here for the long haul, concentrate first on defining your focus and goals and then work on a brand to fit the strategy. Branding isn’t just a new logo and tagline: when done right it’s a new ethos to lead the way.
  • Don’t look desperate for development. The proposed development on the Parkside location, Deeds Point and the area North of Baseball (NOB) could be something as cool as Baltimores North Shore or The Greene- or it could be a Super Walmart and some generic factory built homes. Make sure we don’t just take what comes along and give away the store. In the past we’ve made some extreme “donations” instead of real investments.
  • Have fun. One thing this city has missed is a City Manager who can exude confidence and be a populist leader. We don’t need a workaholic, meeting bound administrator- we need a head cheerleader, who is going to lead us out of our self-imposed stupor back to our rightful place as a great place to live, work and escape the insanity of places like NYC, LA, Miami, Chicago, Dallas, Phoenix etc- where high rents, insane traffic, lack of water etc. make living tough. Look to your customers- the residents, and see how you can make living in Dayton easy, fun and a great value. It will help you solve the rest of the problems. Build on our strengths first, they worry about our deficits. The low hanging fruit makes for easy picking- get it to market quickly, then reinvest that money in the easy to finish projects- like the Oregon District or the Brown/Stewart Genesis project that already have momentum.

Best of luck, but make things happen. If you blow something, you can blame it on your youth. Get a few things right, and you will be a star. Just don’t use us as a stepping stone- instead, make this your Sistine Chapel. We’ve put our confidence in you. Now, in the immortal words of Nike: Just do it.

DaytonPolitics.com- RIP?

I’m totally confused by DaytonPolitics.com, one day it’s up, one day it’s not.

But, more than anything- I miss it.

So- here is the offer: whoever has it, I’ll host it, and make sure the files don’t keep getting broken, for the pittance of $159 a year (including domain registration). Just send me an e-mail at esrati at thenextwave dot biz, and we can arrange to get your database moved over to our server.

I’d also highly recommend our websitetology course, where for $79 you can learn everything you need to know to build and maintain a WordPress site (like Dayton Politics) without having to learn any code. We’ve got a nightschool class on the 15th/16th of November- and another all day session on the 28th.

If anyone knows who runs it- let them know about this offer.

Do all bar owners flunk math?

Ray Dixon needs a math lesson- which I’ll get back to. I’ve had some server issues that have had me rewrite this 2x.

I love the Dublin Pub, but only when I can sit outside and escape the smoke. On Dec. 7 that will change.

Shop owners chime in on butts-out law

At the Dublin Pub near the Oregon Historic District, a humidor of cigars stretches from floor to ceiling near an expired campaign sign that reads, “Let My Bar Decide. Vote Yes on Issue 4. The Common Sense Smoking Ban.”

But Issue 4 failed Tuesday, and Issue 5, a law that bans smoking in all public places and work places, including bars and restaurants like the Dublin Pub, prevailed.

“Do you know when this takes effect?” asked Dublin Pub co-owner Ray Dixon, his face masked with disappointment. “Dec. 7 — Pearl Harbor day.”

To Dixon and many bar and restaurant owners, Issue 5, or Smoke Free Ohio, is just the latest assault on individual freedoms, one they say could have a devastating effect on business.

“The number of customers we would gain in nonsmokers is far offset by the business we’ll lose,” Dixon predicted.

here’s the easy math for now:

75% of the public doesn’t smoke.

56% of the population voted smoking out of public places- despite a 5-1 outspending by big tobacco.

The law won’t change back anytime soon. So get ready to meet some new customers- including me, who won’t go to the Dublin Pub in the winter.

A suggestion for Ted Strickland

If you own a small business in Ohio, and do your taxes yourself, you have encountered one of the worst website designs ever: The Ohio Business Gateway.

What should be a simple process: enter your account (each business has a vendor ID number) and a dashboard with the forms you are required to enter and due dates should be displayed.

Instead: you get access to every form possible, with the onus of knowing what you have to do on the small business person. Not only that, the “Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services”- a fancy name for “Unemployment”- still requires you to fill out a paper form and send it in- after you have done it online. This is totally unacceptable.

Local income tax collection is also a municipality by municipality affair- instead of being centralized at the State level.

Small business is how big business gets started. The last thing the State needs to do is be collecting fines and wasting resources on collecting taxes through a system so obtuse only an accountant or IRS man could love.

Simplify the system for small business and you will see more small business growth.

Thoughts on the election.

Ohio just redeemed itself from the put us in the stupid column by voting no on big tobacco’s end run around a smoke free state and saying no to the racetrack owners with their ploy to monopolize gambling for themselves.

Montgomery County finally told Chuck Curran that you need to actually do something to keep collecting a paycheck- twenty years too late, but better late than never.

Is it my imagination- or did gas prices just jump about 20 cents today? Can anyone say we need an investigation by someone not on big oil’s payroll.

Issue 2 passed. 150 years from now- will those numbers still work? Constitutions aren’t for fixing laws- they are for setting principles- the Dem’s should have said- elect us and we’ll give you that minimum wage increase- but unfortunately, people in power still don’t know what the right thing is.

If any bars/restaurants want to go smoke free tomorrow- instead of waiting for the law to take effect (in 30 days)- I’ll start promoting them on my site. The sooner we go smoke free, the better.

How much did this latest election cost? Was a billion dollars spent campaigning? What do we get for this “investment?” A bunch of nasty campaign ads, and politicians instead of leaders. We need campaign finance reform and election reform now. It should be the most important issue to tackle. Take the money out of politics and we may start seeing some real thinking going on in “Government.”

Vote smoke free

Remember to take your ID to the polls.

While I feel strongly that it’s not my place to tell someone how to vote- I can say that I was just in NYC and was able to go hear music, hang out in bars and dance clubs- without having to suffer bleeding sinuses- because the Big Apple is smoke free.

My friend, singer, songwriter and unfortunately, smoker,  David Poe even agreed that banning indoor smoking was a good thing. Yes, there were people smoking on the sidewalks- including him, but, we were able to go into some amazing clubs- and not stink.

I urge you to vote no on issue 4 and yes on issue 5, so that all of us, including the people in the food, bar and music industry- can have clean air to breath while they work.
Don’t believe a word of big tobacco’s claims that people won’t go out if they can’t smoke and drink- the clubs we were in were all packed- and the air was clean. Good for us, and bad for the pushers of death by smoking.

And if you are interested in David Poe’s latest political commentary song- head over to myspace.com/gayamerican for a song about “family values” and the “gay agenda” being foisted on us by a desperate Republican party.