Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Day After Election Day

I was remiss in not talking about our local elections until now, but I think anyone local reads Jeff's blog anyway, and I doubt I could match his coverage (and his recommendations and thoughts were pretty close to mine).

Looks like things turned out pretty well. The law that would have repealed fuel tax and made it impossible to expand the bridges across Lake Washington went down in flames. We voted for stricter audits of governments, against two laws that would have limited malpractice settlements against insurance companies, Democrat Ron Sims handily defeated Republican challenger David Irons, and we voted to ban cigarette smoking all over the state.

That last one is a bit of an exageration, and it was the one thing that happened that I don't like one little bit. Let me explain.

I don't smoke, I enjoy a nice pipe or cigar every now and again, but cigarettes ain't my thing. I don't like being around them that much, and I don't really like going to places that allow smoking.

That being said, Seattle is probably one of the most anti-smoking cities as it is. There aren't a lot of people here who smoke to begin with (not like, say, New York or London), and even without laws most restaurants don't even have a smoking section. Hell, most bars don't have a smoking section.

Which doesn't really bother me, because as I said, smoking isn't my thing.

But this measure seems like overcompensating to the point of absurdity. Not only does it ban smoking in all public buildings, but it bans smoking 25 feet from the entrance or ventilation of any public building. There are some areas in downtown where smokers will basically have to stand in the streets if they want to smoke - for blocks on end.

I look at it this way. I may not smoke, but I'm smart enough to make a choice as to whether I want to hang out in a place that allows smoking. And in Seattle, I have that choice, because unlike other places (Oklahoma), there's already a shitton of bars and restaurants that are smoke-free anyway.

In the grand scheme of things it's not that big a deal, but it does make me a little sad that Beth's will never be the same.

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