i am *still* sputtering incoherently, annoyed as hell about many things, but i can at least find it in myself to post an article link updating all of you on the situation in Adams County.
Here's smokin' at you
Some watering holes claim cigar loophole, recent ruling permit puffing..byline-->
By Monte Whaley
Denver Post Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 04/27/2007 02:29:35 AM MDT
Adams County - While judges and lawmakers tinker with Colorado's anti-smoking law, jovial Louise Dolph vows to provide the last oasis for people who want to drink and enjoy a few drags on a cigarette at the end of a hard day.
Dolph manages Stein's Tavern in the middle of a block of faded storefronts on Pecos Street.
Here, where Sheila and Rick Soderberg nurse beers and puff away every night, Dolph cheerily declares that smoking will be allowed as long as a loophole remains in a state law that otherwise banned the practice in bars and restaurants last year.
"These are just hard-working people, and they should be allowed to smoke here if they want to," Dolph said.
"I just think the police have better things to do than come in here and see if we are smoking," added Rick Soderberg, while his wife, Sheila, nodded.
Stein's Tavern claims the cigar-bar exemption - under the law, smoking is allowed as long as owners can show that 5 percent or $50,000 of sales are from tobacco.
Bills to close both the cigar bar and casino exemptions were introduced this year.
The House signed off Thursday on the compromise that removes the exemption for casinos. If Gov. Bill Ritter signs it, it will take effect Jan. 1.
Sen. Betty Boyd said Thursday she currently does not have the votes to eliminate the cigar-bar exemption but may agree to compromise language to grandfather in traditional cigar bars in order to get the bill passed before the session ends.
Bars in Adams County got a boost two weeks ago when County Judge Robert Doyle ruled in favor of a strip club that the smoking ban is unconstitutional because it violates the equal protection clauses of the state and U.S. Constitution by treating cigar bars differently than regular clubs and bars.
But many establishments in the county are not trying to claim the exemption. They are keeping the lid on customer smoking amid rumors of continued mass ticketing of violators.
"We don't want to risk it," said Allen Wodark, a manager at Saturday Night Live, even though the ban has hurt business.
Beth, who asked that her last name not be used, said word that a neighboring bar recently got hit with 35 tickets - after the judge's ruling - prompted her bosses at Brewski's Pub and Grill to curtail smoking.
"It's not worth it," she said.
Adams County sheriff's spokeswoman Candi Baker said deputies have not gone on a ticket-giving spree. "Our enforcement action has been consistent, and we've not cracked down" since Doyle's decision, she said.
The county continues to enforce the state smoking law, which remains in effect except for the Oasis Cabaret topless club, county officials said.
Ron Granieri - a manager at the Oasis - was ticketed last December for allowing smoking and fined $200 for a petty offense. Doyle's ruling applied only to him, officials say.
But attorney Michael Martin, who represents Granieri, said the ruling applies to all bars in the county. An appeal from Adams County prosecutors is pending, so it could be a while before the whole issue is settled, said Martin, who is also a Northglenn city councilman.
"I just think this (smoking) law is a waste of time and resources," Martin said. "Taking officers off the street to monitor smoking doesn't make sense."
Capitol bureau chief Jeri Clausing contributed to this report.
Staff writer Monte Whaley can be reached at 720-929-0907 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
if you made it through this, then i will also fill you in on a comment made by a smoking ban proponant:
Comment: Step outside...it's not that tough! People should not be exposed to your disgunsting habit because you're too lazy to get out of your seat for two minutes.
Reply: This post indicates what I thought all along: The proponents of this ban are not at all concerned about the health of the bar's staff; they're only concerned about their own comfort
yep. it's true - the popularity of these bans really stems from the american public thinking that their comfort is paramount, and if they do not want to see something then they shouldn't have to. it has nothing to do with logic and everything to do with the arrogant and self-centered nature of modern america. if i smoke a cigarette in a bar with a bunch of other people who are smoking a cigarette, *why* should we stop just because someone happens to walk by who is offended by it? seriously, people.....
thoughts? talk to me....