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.

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22 Responses

  1. Gene November 10, 2006 / 8:45 am
    He may gain business, he may not. But HE SHOULD HAVE THE CHOICE, BECAUSE IT IS HIS BUSINESS. I think we should ban anything that has to deal with CHOICE, ie abortion.

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  2. Pam November 10, 2006 / 9:35 am
    There ARE a few exceptions to issue 5.

    “Exempt from the smoking restrictions certain locations, including private residences (except during the hours that the residence operates as a place of business involving non-residents of the private residence), designated smoking rooms in hotels, motels, and other lodging facilities; designated smoking areas for nursing home residents; retail tobacco stores, outdoor patios, private clubs, and family-owned and operated places of business.”

    A. This is not an outright ban on smoking in public places. Business owners DO, in fact, have a choice. If a bar or restaurant owner really wants to allow smoking, maybe all they have to do is make their business a “private club”.

    Anyone who’s ever been to a strip joint knows how this works: Charge everyone who comes to the door a $10 “annual membership fee”, give them a membership card,then let them in so they can smoke themselves to death.

    Some business owners may choose to cater exclusively to that market, but I don’t think many of them will. They don’t have a real incentive to do that. They know they can make more money by going smoke-free, because the majority of people don’t smoke.

    Which brings me to:

    B: This is a simple and obvious case of majority rule. The majority of people don’t smoke. They voted. They won. End of story. Or it should be…

    But isn’t it interesting that the people who scream about “activist judges” legislating from the bench are now screaming about a popular vote—just because they don’t like the outcome?

    Seems like these people really just want to cram their unpopular agendas down our throats, rather than the other way around, doesn’t it?

    C. What the hell does this have to do with abortion?

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  3. Gene Baugh November 10, 2006 / 12:09 pm
    Choice.
    I own a business, I have a “choice” what I want to happen in my business. I have a choice to put a hamburger on the menu, and not put a taco on the menu. I have a choice to have a smoking section. You have a choice to come in and eat, under my rules. If you want a taco, and we do not have a tace, you have a choice to leave. You have a choice to go somewhere else. Owners should have that choice. Woman have a choice to abort or not. Since legislation took away an owners choice, we should take away a womans choice. Simple really. And, no, this is not a majority issue….. if so, we would ban people from being gay. Most people are agaisnt gay people and would not allow them to live together, kiss one another, etc. We don’t legislate against gay people actions because it is THEIR CHOICE – they can do what they like, and an owner of a business, as well as woman, should be able to CHOOSE what they want. If you don’t like smoking, CHOOSE not to go to that place. When we “vote” for choices of others, it becomes pretty scary where this may lead. I think we should CHOOSE to make woman and gay people second class citizens, having no right to vote or speak. Now you would not want that, neither do I, becasue we all believe that people should have a CHOICE (to vote, speak their mind, drink beer whne the reach 21, etc.) You, by not allowing an owner of his/her own business to make a CHOICE on how to run it makes our state a little “restrictive.” Where will this end. You have a choice not to go to certain places becasue they are too loud (hurts your ears) too bright (hurts your eyes) smells bad (just not plesant) too hot or too cold……..YOU CHOOSE. Nice idea…. but because you do not like smoke you ban a LEGAL activity in and OWNERS place of business. So it does compare to anything that has a choice. You limit people’s choice, so now I want to limited someone else’s choice, and that is why we should ban abortion – woman should not have a choice. Bottom line is that many places were going “non-smoking”, people were voting with their wallets, but you limited a bar owners CHOICE, a RIGHT to run HIS/HER business they way they see fit.

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  4. Gene Baugh November 10, 2006 / 12:15 pm
    Also Pam, you stated that owners “know they can make more money by going smoke free” – what? If they “know” this then why do they allow smoking. If they KNOW this then they would have just banned smoking from their own businesses.

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  5. David Esrati November 10, 2006 / 12:24 pm

    Gene-
    Fresh, clean air should be considered a right. If you want to pollute your lungs- fine. If you want to pollute mine- no.
    Why don’t you go get your own blog to rant on- http://www.wordpress.com
    I find your comments about gay people offensive.
    Smoking is still legal- just not in public places. That’s the law, the people have spoken, get over it.

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  6. Gene Baugh November 10, 2006 / 12:49 pm
    Sorry, David, I thought you wanted people to participate in your blog. You are not as open minded as you proclaim. I DONT smoke and I am happy that places shall be smoke-free, I just believe the owners of bar should have the CHOICE to ban it, not a bunch of people who don’t even go out to any bars. And BTW I am gay, so this is why I say most people do not like gay people b/c I get the feeling from many straight people they are offended. Sorry David.

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  7. Melissa November 10, 2006 / 4:23 pm
    I have to agree with Gene. I am a former smoker (quitting almost a year ago), and there are places I choose not to go out to anymore because the smoke bothers me. My choice. The bar I would have went to won’t get my patronage or the $$ I would have spent there. The owners should be able to decide if its worth losing customers, and you know what? Most have decided they don’t mind, because they still allow smoking … because it’s the regulars who drive their business! Been in a REAL bar lately, David? Probably not because of the smoke, but I have. I worked at one for a year and a half. The people who patronize those bars religiously are, by and large, chain smokers. They’re the joint’s bread and butter – not the suburbanites who come into the big, “scary” city for a weekend show.

    I have to concur with Gene in that legislation that props itself up as being “what’s best for you” is duplicitous in that it opens the door to future, even more restrictive laws. New York’s banning trans fats. Disgusting, but again – what business is it but my own how i choose to treat my own body? Sure, secondhand smoke gets around, but what I eat or how I exercise doesn’t affect you! Don’t think one will lead to another? Think again. It already has.

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  8. Bill Pote November 10, 2006 / 5:39 pm
    Gene (and Melissa) – your “choice” argument is flawed. The majority of voters in Ohio have “chosen” to ban smoking in public places such as bars and restaurants. And if you are both nonsmokers, than why in the world would you be so adamantly against a smoking ban? If you are nonsmokers, aren’t you happy that you can now go to a restaurant or bar and know that you won’t have to choke on secondhand smoke or come home with your clothes smelling awful? Melissa, won’t you now be able to the places you used to go to but avoid now because of the smoke?

    And as for the “poor business owner” whose choice to allow smoking has now vanished – do you really think that people are going to stop going to bars and restaurants because they can’t smoke? Sales statistics in Columbus actually show an increase in sales after their city ban went into effect. http://www.daytondailynews.com/n/content/oh/story/news/local/2006/11/08/ddn110906smoking2.html
    It is small-minded to think that a statewide smoking ban is going to hurt businesses. If somebody stops going out to eat or drink because they now have to smoke outside, that is simply pathetic. Even smokers I know agree with that. This “drain on business” you predict has already been proven wrong in the states that have had smoking bans in place before Ohio.

    Many years ago, the government banned smoking in airplanes, public buildings, hospitals, etc. Would you say that this is wrong as well, and that airlines should be able to “choose” to allow passengers to smoke while ignoring the health concerns of those that don’t? I guess you would say that people have the “choice” of whether or not to fly.

    Like in California, New York, Florida and several other “progressive” states – people will adjust to having to smoke outside and soon the idea of smoking in a restaurant will be as strange as watching doctors smoking in hospitals in the old black and white movies. Thank you, Ohio – for passing this ban.

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  9. Greg Hunter November 10, 2006 / 6:23 pm
    I am ok with the ban as it does allow for technological and legal solutions. You could have the smoking area private, sign a waiver and away you go. I am certain that as a proud stock holder in Altria, that I would bet that these rooms will offer something different that the patrons in the non smoking areas cannot get.

    I would also like to point out to those people that keep harping about DEMOCRACY should get a clue, it is not a Democracy it is in fact a Democratic Republic. A difference that has been lost, but a difference I will harp on as certain inalienable rights are spelled out and even though people think they should be able to change something through a simple majority, the founders knew that a democracy was trouble in the hands of the people. Too many lemmings.

    I also think the smoking ban will reduce the hospital action as the ban in Denver reduced heart attacks by 25%. No reason given, but I think it is because the smokers have to get off their butts and walk to get it done.

    I hate that people lose their rights, but smokers got what was coming to them. They were rude addicts. I do not know how many times I would sit at a bar the person next to me lights up and they make sure that the smoke does not blow in their face as they place it the ash tray, it always blows away from the smoker. The evidence was clear and the horn as been blowing, but most smokers kept asking for it and know the majority has spoken.

    I will continue to own Altria until the boys are forced to go back to heirloom tobacco from the 1790s and the processing becomes organic. Cigs are a mighty force in their addiction and just think about that Chinese market. Go Altria, Go!

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  10. Gene November 10, 2006 / 7:12 pm
    Bill – you missed my point. I never said anything about a business owner losing money. Smoke is bad for you, but the OWNER of a bar should decide who he wants his cliente to be, not by some vote. Stop bring up the health issues, I agree. But a bar owner OWNS his/her bar….. If they want Bud on tap, so be it. If you don’t like it, complain and go somewhere else. It is people like you who feel like “voting” on everything rather than simply exercising your right not to patronize an certain establishment b/c they have smoking. What do you not get about this? I am glad there is a smoking ban, I just wish it would of happened the old fashioned way with owners deciding for themselves that smoking is bad for business. Drop me a note on what your business is, and I shall provide an example of how “voting” my control YOUR CHOICES ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS.
    Smoking is bad for people. Aborting children is bad for the baby, mother and many family members, but we alow them to choose to do this. People do not have the right to tell other what they can and can’t do in their own business, but now it seems they do. If you don’t get it well then you don’t get it. This is not an issue about SMOKERS having a choice, rather owners of business making decisions about their businesses in what ever way they want. GET IT?
    David, do you want someone to tell you what you can and can’t do in your own business? If people dont like what you do and the services you provide then they go down the road.
    If you really believe that this is a hazzard, then you would look into the business practices of contruction companies, manufacturing companies and other industry to find out workers are inhaling awful smoke/chemicals/misc. But since you don’t see this you don’t care. You are just scared your clothes will smell and don’t have enough sense to get up and go to a smoke free environment. It really wasn’t all that difficult, but now you have people voting how others should run their business rather than let the free market take care of the problem. It was going in that direction but now we can vote on “your office furniture” b/c it offends my personal tastes.

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  11. non-Smoker November 17, 2006 / 8:30 am
    Gene,
    I don’t know what bar/restaurant you own, but I want to eat and/or drink there!! I think your arguments are completely correct.

    I am a non-smoker. I’ve never smoked and I hate going into smoke filled bars. But, being the proud capitalist that I am, I VOTE WITH MY WALLET!! I live in the south suburbs. Sweeny’s Seafood restaurant in Centerville has been smoke free for several years, but that’s HIS CHOICE. There was a mid-eastern restaurant in the location currently occupied by one of David’s clients, Eclipse, that I went into once for carryout. The food was decent but the owner and the wait staff were all smoking (in the middle of the day). I never went back even though I love mid-eastern food. I voted for their lack of success with my own wallet. Gilloti (from Gilly’s) made HIS decision for HIS business. The point is HE got to decide.

    I was totally against the smoking ban in Centerville. People argue that it’s good for employees, but most employees in these places are ADULTS and as such, should be responsible for their own health. No one is holding a gun to your head to stay at a particular job. If you don’t like that it’s a smoking office, then you shouldn’t have taken the job in the first place. And don’t give me this crap about a right to a job. The job doesn’t belong to you, it belongs to your employer!

    David, your office has been smoke free since you opened it. Mine has too. You’ve made your smoking employees/tenants step out on your deck to have a smoke. I do the same thing. BUT IT’S OUR CHOICE!!

    I think Gene and Melissa are right. This is just one step towards other restrictions. What’s next? Will smoking be banned in private homes that have children under the age of 18???? After all, the effects on children from second hand smoke are terrible and well documented. So, let’s start a movement to do that! Oh, we can’t restrict what goes on within a private home?? (we already have – you can’t enjoy a joint within the walls of your home) But you have decided what a person can do within the confines of a privately owned business.

    As Gene pointed out, there’s a long list of things that are “bad” for us that are currently legal. So what’s the next “unpopular” thing to be voted out of legality?

    Greg (did you run for public office several years ago?) is also correct in that we are NOT a democracy. We are a democratic republic, aka a representative republic. “Majority Rule” is just another term for “mob rule.” “That’s the law, the people have spoken, get over it.” That’s ridiculous! The founding fathers were very careful to construct the foundation of this country to avoid majority rule. Hence the need for “super majorities” to pass Constitutional Amendments, three branches of government, etc. In no way, shape, or form is the USA supposed to be a democracy, especially at the Federal level (yes, I know we’re talking about STATE law here).

    Many years ago “the people” in a small neighborhood in Dayton spoke. They decided that a particular type of garage door was not appropriate for their neighborhood, no matter how much better it looked than the door it replaced. But, some private property owner (it doesn’t matter if the PRIVATE PROPERTY is a business or a residence) didn’t like what the people said. He didn’t get over it and fought against the will of the people. But now “the people” have voted in a dumb law that he supports and now he’s telling others “to get over it.” One of those things that makes you go “hmmmmmmm.”

    Alright, I’ve typed enough here. It’s time for me to get productive so I can pay taxes.

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  12. Greg Hunter November 17, 2006 / 10:53 am
    The non smoker sounds like an attorney and a “good” one. I was thinking that it might be a lucrative business to analyze this law and provide a legal work around for the business. I am certain that there are restaurants and bars that will go “private” and have patrons sign a waiver to enter the “private” smoking area. If one develops this legal framework, I am certain this approach could be sold to the cigarette companies that would be more than willing to provide to the documentation and procedure to have this completed. I am certain that the new technology associated with verifying driver’s licenses could be linked to a database where you agree to enter an establishment that is private and allows smoking. This would centralize the registry. The cigarette companies would be more than willing to buy this technology and provide the service to the bars and restaurants that want to avoid this regulation. Go! Altria Go!

    My father smoked his entire adult life and exposed me to 2nd hand smoke. Once he understood the concept he did not smoke in the car or the house. He died of colorectal cancer that I attribute to stress (working for an asshole – Pete Forester) and cigarettes. Cigarettes are bad, Corporations are worse, but we have to play the cards that are dealt.

    Burning coal puts Mercury in the air, but we want to be warm; the consequences of an industrial society are large. However, take heart New York may get your money, but they have to breathe the Mercury Ohio puts in the air – Quid Pro Quo.

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  13. non-Smoker November 17, 2006 / 12:32 pm
    Not an attorney, just a grumpy old fart that’s worried about more and more personal liberties being taken away. This kind of reminds me of the thing that was written about WWII. I don’t remember the exact quotes, but the gist of it was “When they came for the gypsies, I said nothing because I wasn’t a gypsy. When they came for the Jews, I said nothing because I wasn’t a Jew. etc, etc. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.”

    I do engage in a hobby that is not necessarily looked upon favorably by the general public but is perfectly legal. I don’t want my liberty to pursue my hobby taken away, so I will stand up for those who’s legal “hobbies” are being targeted.

    I voted for Issue 4. It scared the crap out of me to put something like this in the state constitution, but I thought it was the lesser of the evils between issues 4 and 5. I don’t think that the constitution (Federal or State) is a “dynamic document.” In general, at the Federal level at least, I think that the people that constructed the orginal constitutions were forward thinking, very wise men. The documents cover a wide range of issues that they KNEW were dangers and were directly addressed. The danger of having our liberties taken away are great and getting greater. Sometimes we, as the public, look to the government to take them away for our safety. (Think the Patriot Act and the TSA) Sometimes we ask that our liberty or freedoms be taken away so we can avoid personal responsibility. (Think MANDATORY Social Security and the current anti-smoking movement) Our founding fathers are rolling in their graves watching the current crop of “let’s call on the government every time someone does something we don’t like” bunch of whiny-ass crybabies (yeah, I’m being redundant) complain whenever someone farts in their vicinity.

    I watched part of the televised Centerville City Council meetings that took place prior to Centerville enacting their unconstitutional ban on behavior within public property. I heard one woman whine about the smoke in a place called “Tail Gators” on Far Hills. She said that she liked to go there for the food, but didn’t like the smoke. She told the council that she would go to Tail Gators more if there wasn’t smoke. Of course, my thought was “Why not call the owner and tell him that?” If he wants your business, maybe he’ll change his smoking policy. If he doesn’t want your business, screw him and go to smoke-free Beef O’Bradys instead! VOTE WITH YOUR WALLET, you whiny ass people! Remember, businesses are in existance to make money! They’re not there to provide jobs, serve your needs, etc. They are there to make money and serving your needs is a by product of that goal. Hit the business in the pocket book and they’ll take you seriously.

    “Burning coal puts Mercury in the air” sounds like an environmental engineer? And a smart one at that!

    Let’s keep stirring the pudding on this one. I can’t wait to see the hate mail arguing with me. Last time I got involved in a local political issue I was called everything except a “child of God.”

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  14. Bruce Kettelle November 17, 2006 / 12:43 pm
    Dear Child of God,

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  15. Bruce Kettelle November 17, 2006 / 12:50 pm
    This smoker is voting with his wallet during his last thirty days before enactment of the evil smoking ban by frquenting all our favorite restaurants that still allow smoking. A sort of last hurrah. I agree that rule by the masses gets out of hand. An interesting twist is can I continue to smoke on our family farm? It is a family owned business whcich would give us a valid exemption. But two years ago mob rule passeed the marriage between one man and one woman act. Betsy and I are not married (even after 16 years) and an interesting side effect of the marriage act it took away all rights between unmarried heterosexual couples as well. Using that definition applied to the smoking ban we may not be able to smoke anymore in our own home since all our employees (the two of us) are not family members. hmmm

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  16. Melissa November 17, 2006 / 3:24 pm
    Non-smoker,
    Amen. Or whatever applicable phrase that conveys, “Right on.”

    Bruce,
    Whatever you do, don’t try to add trans fats to the mix.

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  17. David Esrati November 17, 2006 / 3:40 pm

    To all the whiners about “smokers rights”
    You weren’t born with a cigarette in your mouth, nor was it Gods will for us to live in smoke.
    I have no problems with smokers polluting their own lungs- just don’t do it around the rest of us.
    For years- smokers have taken our most basic right, that of being able to breath clean, smoke-free air (which is essential to life).
    You want to breath your smoke- do it where it doesn’t take away my rights- that was why issue 5 passed and issue 4 failed.
    It’s not about majority rights- it’s about basic rights- to breath.
    I can’t believe that some people I generally think are intelligent, think this is somehow a “loss of rights.”

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  18. non-Smoker November 17, 2006 / 4:06 pm
    David,

    You are completely missing the point of many of these arguments. It’s NOT about smokers’ rights, it’s about PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS. If you would actually read and analyze what’s been written you would realize this.

    If “the people” want to ban smoking in public places (as the wonderful French have) then that’s fine. Ban smoking while walking on public sidewalks, ban smoking in government owned (ie – the people owned) buildings, ban smoking in non-profit (ie – subsidized by the people via their tax exempt status) hospitals. But, how can YOU (the champion of property rights and free speech rights) even think about endorsing government (ie – the people) imposed restrictions on PRIVATE PROPERTY.

    Remember, the arguments that have been posted above relate to restrictions placed on PRIVATELY OWNED ESTABLISHMENTS. Even though a restaurant may be OPEN to the public, they are not OWNED by the public. I didn’t see one argument posted above opining the restriction of smoking in any publicly owned building.

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  19. David Esrati November 17, 2006 / 4:13 pm

    It may be private property, but if it’s open to the public, or employs non-family members, smoking can’t be left to the discretion of the owners. If issue 4 had passed- nothing would have changed- and the 80% of us who value life, liberty and the pursuit of clean air would still be screwed- because without the law leveling the playing field, nothing would change.
    If you want to smoke in your privately owned establishment- go ahead- have a private club, I dare you- see what happens to your business.
    Everywhere they have gone smoke free- it’s been good for business.

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  20. Greg Hunter November 17, 2006 / 4:31 pm
    Ah, I was waiting for the basic rights argument; the bane of the founding fathers. If you walk into a restaurant and there is smoking it is a basic right to walk out; pure and simple. If it is a basic right to breath, then stop all automobiles (premise – colorless, odorless, tasteless means pollution does not exist), coal plants, farming and any other human activity. It is not a wonder that there is a rise in asthma, the rise of the air conditioner, the rise of the two hysterical working parents, video games and the installation of the catalytic converter. I know in my heart of hearts these things are stupid and wrong, but can I convince enough people to stop? Hell no. They will quote that it is our god given right and is part and parcel to the right to “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.” Look you can go after smoking, but it is the wrong fight and the politicians and corporations know it. It should be education and legislation about manipulation of a product and marketing. The government has the right to expose unsafe practices impacting the health of an individual. I say lobby the FDA to put tobacco on a drug list to determine it was genetic manipulation and processing that produced this deadly product. Once the product is regulated for nicotine content (somewhere in the range for naturally occurring) and the product’s processing does not increase toxicity then we can have a discussion about exposure. The human species has been experimenting with itself since the dawn of time, but the scientist in me says go ahead, I just want all the facts so these data can be correlated and presented as unbiased observations.

    I have the same response with all products, no hypocrisy, i.e. steroids, I say take what you will pro athletes and all we ask the NFL is to study these rats and lets see the results of their experimentation. If society was not inherently stupid and reactionary, we would have the steroid data already, because whatever man put in his system got tried out on a race horse first. But what is the typical response, the response that our lord and savior got nailed for, REGULATION – the Pharisees were regulators and big hypocrites at that. OY VAY.

    Enough as I could go on forever, I am off to happy hour at Elsa’s where I will meet smoking women who like Bad Juan’s; a sure indication that they are up for some conversation and if they pass the intelligence test (rarely) the best horizontal refreshment Dayton has to offer. Tongue firmly in …..

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  21. non-Smoker November 17, 2006 / 4:55 pm
    Greg – I want to party with you!! I will see you at Elsa’s and buy you a Dos-X or a Bad Juan. I will guarantee you that I will NOT be your horizontal refreshment!!

    David, like Greg I could go on about this but I’m tired at the end of the day. But I will say this…. I think you are on a dangerous track with your comment of “smoking can’t be left to the discretion of the owners.” Why not? What else cannot be left to the discretion of the owners? Who they have to hire? How much to pay them? Mandatory health insurance? The amount of vacation? Hmmm, I think that’s all stuff that should be left up to the discretion of the business owner. If you are an adult working somewhere that you don’t feel is safe, for whatever reason, then YOU have the RESPONSIBILITY to leave that job. You shouldn’t have to depend on government to make sure you’re OK.

    Enuf said – Greg, order me a Bad Juan!!

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  22. Bruce Kettelle November 17, 2006 / 6:10 pm
    Melissa,

    Trans fats seem to be doing a pretty good job of policing themselves without legislation. But big brother might get involved anyway. And then we will binge on Wendys and McD’s.

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