Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
So a St. Louis doctor or pharmacist who doesn't go along with abortion must choose another line of work? What kind of freedom is that?
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 1:41 AM
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Herbie's has just finished installing a second Marth Brothers machine in the bar. Herbie's is now a model of what air filtration technology can do to clear tobacco smoke from the air of St. Louis venues.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 11:15 AM
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
In the 23rd Ward, Keep St. Louis Free friend Joe Vaccaro faces off against Smoke-Free St. Louis City leader Mary Homan.
Joe Vaccaro, as a member of the St. Louis Airport Commission, helped Keep St. Louis Free put the kibosh on the Lambert Airport smoking ban Odenwald proposed back in 2006. Joe's quick action prevented a legal challenge to the smoking ban by City Comptroller Darlene Green that would have cost the City and County a great deal of trouble and money. Comptroller Green's office held that only if the use of the Lambert smoking lounges constituted a threat to public health could the St. Louis County Council impose such a restriction on the use of City property. Both Comptroller Green and the St. Louis Airport Commission had the test results which proved that the smoking lounges were no such threat:
Joe Vaccaro took a common sense approach to the public smoking issue at Lambert. He wasn't about to let Odenwald scrap the smoking lounges that cost half a million to install and would cost that much again to remove. Those lounges took pressure off the security lines since smokers didn't have to exit the building to smoke and then be rescreened. And Joe knew that other airports that have banned smoking have to deal with fires from furtive smoking. Joe says that St. Louis has no interest in ticketing a German tourist sneaking a smoke in the restroom.
Joe Vaccaro's common sense practicality probably comes from owning and running a business for many years. To survive, businessmen like Joe have to accept and deal with the real world, not an ideal world they wish existed. They survive by serving the public, not telling them what to do.
Mary Homan, on the other hand, has apparently never owned or run a business. But her training and work as a librarian, theologian and public health activist orients her toward making the world conform to her perfectionistic ideals. Hence her leadership in such a utopian, authoritarian program as a smoking ban for St. Louis City. Mary Homan, if she gets elected, will do everything to ban smoking whether businesses and their customers like it or not. And I am sure Mary has other laws for our own good in store for St. Louis City if a smoking ban passes. In short, Mary Homan is emerging as a key local nanny state busybody that I very much hope common sense Joe Vaccaro beats handily.
In fairness to Mary Homan, someone just pointed out to me that she had been considering her 23rd Ward aldermanic run long before she joined up with Smoke-Free St. Louis City.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 7:22 PM
Mayor Slay's office this morning sent an e-mail of clarification concerning the Quincy Troupe post:
Thanks for your recent mention of Mayor Slay. The original P-D story did not fully quote the mayor's statement, and a subsequent column by Sylvester Brown misquoted the mayor -- and was corrected by the Post yesterday.
Here is what he said, with a link.
"While it is true that Missouri law allows most of its citizens to purchase, possess, and carry handguns, it is also true that some of the most violent crimes in the alderman's ward are committed by criminals wielding handguns once owned by law-abiding citizens. And it is further the case that some of the crimes he worries about are domestic disagreements punctuated by gunfire. Adding more guns to any neighborhood sounds more like a problem than a solution."
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 7:01 AM
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Alderman Quincy Troupe's call for St. Louisans within his 1st Ward to train and arm themselves against criminal aggression is refreshing. It affirms the natural right St. Louisans have always had to protect themselves. Of course, residents of Troupe's ward each have to do their own cost/benefit analysis as to whether or not it is worth it to carry a gun. I understand the worry of Lyda Krewson and Mayor Slay that such guns will often wind up in the hands of the very criminals they were intended to repel. But really this choice belongs to the citizens of Alderman Troupe's 1 Ward. It always has.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 7:42 PM
"Illinois casino revenues were down 24.2 percent in November, due mostly to the statewide smoking ban. But revenues were down an average 30.6 percent at the two riverboats in the metro St. Louis market where smokers had a convenient alternative just across the state line."
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 7:02 PM
Thursday, December 11, 2008
A statewide survey concerning secondhand smoke, conducted in 2007, after the release of Surgeon General Carmona's report, found that only 24.5 percent of St. Louis City residents favored a smoking ban like the one in Illinois:
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 8:26 AM
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Monday, December 08, 2008
St. Louis Post-Dispatch business writer David Nicklaus comments on Illinois casino losses due to the smoking ban:
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 10:02 AM
According to Tom Swoik of the Illinois Casino Gaming Association in the Chicago Tribune this week, Illinois casinos are now down 20 percent due to the smoking ban. The Illinois Licensed Beverage Association tells me that bars across Illinois are down due to the ban, and some Illinois bars along the Missouri border are down nearly 60 percent or more. Federal Reserve economist Dr. Michael Pakko found that Columbia's smoking ban reduced the bar trade there 11 percent and the overall Columbia restaurant business 3.5 percent.
Mary Homan knows all this and still wants to impose a smoking ban on all St. Louis businesses. I have to wonder if the Amercian Cancer Society put her up to this run for alderman and if she is receiving money from the ACS for this campaign. Mary Homan seems more loyal to ACS than she is to St. Louis businesses. Mary Homan is just the sort of nanny state busybody we don't need in city government.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 8:36 AM
Sunday, December 07, 2008
I doubt that Alderman Gregali believes the junk science claims in the preamble to his ordinance. He probably just wants to show that his law is meant to address the most extreme alarms concerning secondhand smoke.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 10:29 AM
Friday, December 05, 2008
The big gambling states— Nevada, New Jersey and Mississippi—are off 5 percent to 7 percent in casino revenue. But the picture is worst in Illinois, where casino revenue is down 20.3 percent this year.
Gambling officials estimate that the state will get between $150 million and $160 million less in taxes, most of it earmarked for education. Statewide, the eight communities with casinos will see $20 million to $25 million less than they took in last year, officials estimate.
While casinos in Illinois struggle, across the border in Indiana, revenues are down by only three-quarters of a percent, according to the American Gaming Association.
"They have basically the same economy, the same weather" as Illinois, Swoik said. "The only difference is the smoking ban."
The state's gambling industry will lobby for an exemption that would allow smokers to puff away at Illinois tables again, he said.
Illinois could solve its smoking ban problem by instituting the Chicago air filtration exemption statewide: Any venue can allow smoking that through air filtration makes its air cleaner than the air outdoors.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 6:43 PM
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
1.16 million of Casino Queen taxes waived to help make up for smoking ban:
"Casino Queen spokesman Julie Hauser, of The Hauser Group of St. Louis, said manager Tom Monaghan could not be reached. Hauser said Monaghan has referred to the following economic factors as cutting into the boat's revenue: the Illinois smoking ban, the economic downturn and the repeal of loss limits at competing gambling boats across the Mississippi River."
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 7:45 AM
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. announced second quarter losses today and in part blames Colorado smoking ban:
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 7:50 AM
Monday, December 01, 2008
Though we no financial interest in Marth Brothers & Co, Keep St. Louis Free is
distributing these brochures throughout St. Louis to let businesses and their
patrons know about the affordable possibilities of air filtration:
Air Cleaning Mailer
Clean Air Pays Brochure
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 10:15 PM
I just got a request from a college student preparing to make a speech against smoking bans. He wanted information concerning false claims made by the American Cancer Society. Here is a challenge made against the ACS and its phony claim that working 8 hours in a venue that allows smoking equals smoking 16 cigarettes. The ACS has ignored all such challenges concerning its infamous 16 cigarette claim.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 11:24 AM
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Hannegan also points to workplace requirements set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which did not ban smoking. OSHA found the levels of chemicals emitted into the air from smoking in most workplaces does not exceed what it terms permissible exposure limits. Hannegan argues the smoke-free effort is meant not only to reduce second-hand smoke, but also to persecute smokers and reduce their numbers.
Hannegan, who only smokes when he drinks, said a prohibition of smoking also would limit his patronage of bars and restaurants.
"I have no interest in stepping out to smoke," he said. "I enjoy it with beer. It heightens socializing. If I can't smoke at my corner bar, I just stay home."
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 11:12 PM
Friday, November 28, 2008
Doug McElvin in Wednessday's KMOX interview mentioned studies in support of a St. Louis smoking ban, but the longest-running and highest-quality secondhand smoke study ever done, completed too late (2003) to be included in Surgeon General Carmona’s report, found no link between secondhand smoke and lung cancer or heart disease.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 8:40 PM
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I was on KMOX Total Information AM this morning arguing against the need for a smoking ban in St. Louis City. Go to the KMOX website to listen:
Here is a link to the OSHA decision I mentioned concerning secondhand smoke in the workplace:
This is exactly the type of study that should be done as soon as possible on a bar such a Herbie's Vintage 72 in order to prove the effectiveness of air filtration in St. Louis!
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 6:41 AM
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Federal Reserve economist Dr. Michael Pakko found that the Columbia smoking ban cut the bar trade 11 percent, restaurants that serve alcohol 6.5 percent and the overall Columbia restaurant trade 3.5 percent.
Further research by Dr. Michael Pakko:
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 5:08 PM
A 2007 Gallup Poll, conducted the year after Surgeon General Carmona's report, found that only 29 percent of Americans favored smoking bans that include bars:
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 5:01 PM
Friday, November 21, 2008
Since the Smoke-Free St. Louis City site doesn't take comments from its opposition, or even acknowledge that grassroots opposition exists, I have decided to post some of their video commentaries on the Keep St. Louis Free site so that we can have our say.
Why doesn't St. Louis have a smoking ban? Because freedom activists, mom and pop bars and restaurants and Harrah's Casino all joined together to protest any ban, and challenge the junk science justification of smoking bans!
This young St. Louisan needs to check out some of the St. Louis venues that are now clearing their air through Marth filtration. He assumes that secondhand smoke is causing the irritation he experiences in St. Louis venues, but a great number of allergens, toxins and pollutants are present in St. Louis bar and restaurant air other than tobacco smoke that may be causing his trouble. Air filtration removes all of these possible culprits. As winter comes on, Marth Brothers and I believe that many more venues will opt to provide truly clean air through their technology. Of course, plenty of smoke-free venues are already available too.
This young man cites Kansas City as an example of a town that has gone smoke-free. But Kansas City antismoking groups only barely got a ban passed by exempting casinos. I hope St. Louis would never be so unfair to local mom and pop businesses. Though smoking is allowed in KC casinos, the Kansas City smoking ban makes it illegal to smoke in cigar shops! How dumb is that! Please, St. Louis doesn't need any such irrational laws!
Furthermore, it was misleading for the young man to say that smoking was banned in Dallas in his school days. Dallas still allows smoking in bars. A bitter fight for the sake of freedom and property rights is currently ongoing in Dallas:
In fact, two of my sons attend the University of Dallas. I recently wrote a letter to the Dallas Morning News asking that the Dallas City Council not expose my sons to the 13 percent increase in drunk driving fatalities cities that impose bar smoking bans take on:
Finally, this young man has a sense of entitlement and a cavalier attitude toward the property rights of others that he needs to lose. It's funny that he asks for this imposition on local business owners for the sake of his health while standing on the sidewalk breathing the benzo-alpha-pyrene and nitro pyrenes from nearby traffic. If he is really worried about his health, he should consider a move to rural Missouri. Just breathing the air of St. Louis City 24/7 reputedly raises one's lung cancer risk 30 percent or more.
Cot Ti Paper Drunk Driving
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 6:34 PM
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
John Campisi just got beat by Democrat Steve Stenger for the 6th County Council District. Check the comments section of the second article for my defense of Campisi during the campaign.
John Campisi put the kibosh to Kurt Odenwald's countywide smoking ban and Lambert Airport smoking ban in 2006. Since Keep St. Louis Free is loyal to political leaders who take a stand for St. Louis freedom and property rights, we supported Campisi in his fight for re-election.
Now that John has lost, we have every hope that Steve Stenger will join County Council Democrats Erby, O'Mara and Burkett in their support of freedom and property rights in St. Louis County.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 11:23 AM
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Now that St. Louis boats are done with the $500 loss limit, the Casino Queen and East St. Louis will feel the full effect of the Illinois smoking ban:
From the article:
"For many years, the lack of loss limits at Illinois casinos had provided a powerful edge over their competitors in Missouri, where the state law abolished Nov. 4 prohibited gamblers from buying more than $500 worth of tokens or gambling chips every two hours.
What is more than clear is the negative impact Illinois' state-mandated smoking ban has had on Casino Queen business since it took effect in January -- a 20-percent revenue reduction on a month-to-month comparison, Monaghan said.
Although casino owners warned the General Assembly last year about the detrimental effects of the smoking ban, Monaghan said he doubts lawmakers will end it."
This won't be pretty!
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 11:49 PM
Ashley Bunning of the St. Louis Examiner has returned to St. Louis from Chicago and says smoke-free bars are now "in". According to Ashley, St. Louis should pass a smoking ban so that she won't smell like smoke when she crashes after a St. Louis drinking night. Some St. Louisans aren't buying her argument. Check out Ashley's column and please post your own thoughts.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 10:41 PM
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Add another venue to the list of St. Louis establishments that offer Marth Brothers & Co. air filtration:
Balaban's has reopened as Herbie's 72.
Part of the reason cited for Balaban's demise was an attempt at a smoking ban:
Marth Brothers has just finished installing air filtration in Herbie's 72 in both the regular bar and the $1000 cigar club in back. But Marth Brothers & Co. tells me the ownership might opt for another unit both places if the smoke proves thick. http://www.marthbrothers.com/Indoor_Enviro_Solutions.html
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 7:19 PM
Monday, October 20, 2008
Another article concerning St. Louis freedom and property rights, Medical Evidence Helps Hold Off Smoking Bans in St. Louis Region, appeared in the October issue of the Budget & Tax News:
"Despite the smoking ban juggernaut that has run over other towns, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen and St. Louis County Council have both declined to impose such a ban on area bars and restaurants.
Smoking ban opponents have shown these St. Louis leaders an extensive array of medical and economic studies doubting the dangers of secondhand smoke and warning of the likely harm a smoking ban would do to St. Louis businesses."
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 10:30 PM
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I hope people will click on this link to an article in Budget and Tax News, St. Louis Bars & Restaurants Try Clearing the Air, which features the excellent campaign Marth Brothers is waging to clear the air of St. Louis bars and restaurants of lingering tobacco smoke. These great machines clear the air of environmental tobacco smoke, including not only the haze and odor, but also all possible carcinogens as well. Marth Brother air filtration machines can make the air of a venue that allows smoking cleaner than the air outdoors. Yet these machines are available to any St. Louis venue for merely $5 per day.
Go to the Marth Brothers website to see before and after photos of smoky bar air rendered clear in minutes by Marth Brothers machines:
Michael Marth has such confidence in air filtration technology that he helped to craft the Chicago air filtration exemption which would allow smoking in any venue that made its air cleaner than the air outdoors through air filtration technology. Mike Marth knew his machines could do the job and meet that tough air quality standard:
Keep St. Louis Free is considering having the air in a bar featuring Marth Brothers air filtraion tested twice. Once with Marth machines turned off and then again with the air filtration running full blast to scientifically document the air cleaning power of this affordable technology.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 8:19 PM
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
A mailer from Citizens for Steve Stenger just arrived at homes in the 6th district. The mailer accuses County Councilman John Campisi of missing 3 weeks of County Council meetings back in 2006 when Odenwald's Lambert Airport smoking ban was up for a vote.
Back then Odenwald was putting pressure on Council Republicans to vote for his airport smoking ban. But Campisi was getting calls opposing the smoking ban from labor leaders, members of the St. Louis Airport Authority and grassroots opposition generated by flyers posted in the airport lounges by Keep St. Louis Free. Campisi also learned in those weeks that the St. Louis Airport Authority had just had the lounges tested and the lounges passed the tests with flying colors. They constituted no threat to public health. Since they constituted no threat, Darlene Green was considering a lawsuit against Odenwald's ban. The lounges were City property and only pubic health hazards justify such a restriction by the County Council of City property.
The Lambert smoking lounges cost $500,000 to install and would cost that much again to remove. By not showing up for those meetings, Campisi saved the County a lot of grief and money. Those three missed meetings were a deal for St. Louis County.
Here are the tests which proved Odenwald's Lambert Airport smoking ban unnecessary:
Global Environmental Study - Smoking Lounge Evaluations 9-16-2006
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 7:10 PM
Thursday, October 09, 2008
The campaign to clear the air of St. Louis bars and restaurants of tobacco smoke through air filtration got featured in the October issue of the Heartland Institute's Budget and Tax News. This publication is mailed to a almost all state and national lawmakers, and many city councils across the country as well.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 12:18 AM
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Here is a McCain ad challenging the possible use of a "Truth Squad' that includes St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer and St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch to silence St. Louis free speech. I came across it on the Political Fix blog:
What do you think Bill McKenzie?
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 8:22 PM
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
If air filtration can remove influenza from indoor air and so protect St. Louis public health, perhaps St. Louis government should offer tax credits to businesses that offer their workers and customers this protection.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 12:13 PM
Once again the Political Fix blog of stltoday.com gives the smoke-free St. Louis tavern the Royale free advertizing.
The Royale has gotten plenty of promotion from the St. Louis press and some even from Mayor Slay:
Good for owner Steven Smith. Whatever bump he gets in business from this attention though should not be credited to his smoking ban.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 11:59 AM
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
It seems that these surveys just keep coming and coming. They come from many different sources and pretty much all say the same thing. Most people that smoke want to quit. Like we needed to spend 1.4 million oftax payers money to figure that out. Which is also not surprising is that how it was released to the press. The constant in these surveys is that they want a means to an end. They want to ban smoking in all public and private places. The press release proudly pronounces that over half of people support a ban at restaurants and bars. I'm not surprised because the same result was released by Smoke-Free St Louis just last month. What they are counting on is that most people won't look at the actual results. The real results are this - yes over half think that smoking should not be allowed in restaurants. That is how the question was asked. There is a big difference in "think that smoking should not be allowed" and "supports a comprehensive law". What make it even more interesting is the question that was asked. In the indoor dining area of restaurants, do you think that smoking should be allowed in all areas, allowed in some areas, or not allowed at all? Most restaurants allow smoking in the "bar area" only. This question ignores that and would seem to "trick" people into advocating for a ban. As a matter of fact, I think that smoking should only be allowed in the bar area of a restaurant. I also am against making it a law and forcing my beliefs on owners and other patrons. According to this survey and how they publish it, I am for a smoking ban.
When it comes to bars its quite different. When asked this question: In bars and cocktail lounges, do you think smoking should be allowed in all areas, some areas or not at all? Only 26.7% said that smoking should not be allowed at all in bars and cocktail lounges. This would absolutely negate the headline that a majority of people want smoking banned at restaurants and bars.
An even more telling statistic that came out of this survey was if people wanted a stronger workplace policy amongst those that work indoors. Only 12.6% of people surveyed want a stronger policy against second hand smoke. While I was surprised at this number I probably shouldn't have been. What I've known for a long time is that simply put - most people don't care. There are the vocal minority that want smoking banned everywhere including places they wouldn't go. On the other side, there are those such as myself that want to leave it up to the business to decide. The vast majority in the middle don't care. People in Missouri are happy with how it is.
Now this is where it gets interesting. When asked again if they would support a smoke-free law in Restaurants they received a 63.5 yes. When they also ask if they would support it in all work places it drops down to 56%. Of course when asked if smoking should be allowed in bars more than 70% say that it should be. What this says is that people in general don't want smoking around them when they are eating. Of course - another question asked if people had not gone to a restaurant because it allowed smoking. To that question only 14% said they had avoided a restaurant because it allowed smoking. Contrast to to 8.5% of people that said the avoided a restaurant because it didn't allow smoking. This simply states something that most people already know. There is a market for both smoking and non-smoking.
Confused - you should be because how could over 70% of the people say that smokingshould be allowed in bars, but 56% of the people would support a law banning it everywhere. When asked if smoking shouldn't be allowed in restaurants 56.5% said that shouldn't. When asked if they would support a law banning smoking in restaurants 63.5% said they would. How can more people support a law banningsmoking when 7% less think it should be allowed. Either 7% of the respondents were confused by asking the same question 5 different ways or they think that it should be allowed and illegal. I'm going with confused on this one.
There were several questions regarding health and SHS. Overwhelmingly people feel that SHS is bad for you. This doesn't mean that SHS is actually bad for you, it what the general population believes. At one time people thought that bleeding aperson would get out the bad blood. People thought that because that is what they were told. This is the same for SHS and what people think. Most people aren't exposed to the actual research. Whats important is that even with the thought that SHS is deadly still a significant percentage of people still think that a ban is a bad idea. Imagine what the numbers would be if people saw the research. Or if they read the SG Report that said something like 107 times that there is no relationship between SHS and illness. This survey would have drastically different numbers.
In the end, it is a choice people have to make. They make it at where they eat and drink. They also make it were they work. The whole idea of a ban is to protect everyone from SHS. According to this study, only 11.5% of people have been around SHS at work in the past 7 days. You have to assume that some of those people are smokers. That leaves a very small percentage of people to protect. With a 88.5% of workplaces not being subject to SHS they have plenty of options - if they want it.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 8:27 PM
A new survey by Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services finds that only 27.5 percent of Missourians think smoking should be banned in all adult venues. This represents an even lower level of support than the 29 percent of Americans who said that they would support a strict smoking ban in all bars and cocktail lounges in a 2007 Gallup Poll.
I am sure that a far smaller percentage of Missourians would insist on a smoking ban in venues that feature the sort of air filtration Marth Brothers and Company now provides in many St. Louis bars and restaurants:
Air filtration is the real answer to the smoking ban issue!
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 6:02 AM
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Keep St. Louis Free doesn't endorse any presidential or vice-presidential candidate, but Sarah Palin seems more pro-freedom than most other politicians.
Let's be fair to Palin. Truman did not consider himself qualified to be President when he accepted the VP nomination under the gravely ill FDR. The elites mocked the FDR choice of Truman. Yet Truman rose to the occasion. Palin with her strong character and right philosophy can do the same.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 11:40 PM
Monday, September 29, 2008
St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch has pretty clearly abused his office in order to intimidate opposition to Barrack Obama.
Keep St. Louis Free member Bill McKenzie has just put out this challenge to St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch:
I defy Bob McCulloch to arrest me!
As a member of "Keep St. Louis Free" I will display the following message on a sign outside the Vice-Presidential debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden at Washington University on Thursday, October 2:
Hey prosecutor McCulloch!
Hey Obama "Truth Squad"
Barrack Obama voted
to let doctors kill babies
who survive abortions!
Arrest Me! Arrest Me!
I told the truth!
This statement is true but Obama's campaign denies it. I defy Bob McCulloch or any other "Obama Truth Squad" members to arrest me. If they were really concerned about truth they would be nonpartisan and correct Obama's lies about John McCain. The real purpose of these prosecutors is to intimidate American citizens and threaten our free speech rights.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 11:11 PM
I don't want to put off any of the Democrat friends of Keep St. Louis Free with this post. I am not a Republican myself, and my grandfather, Robert E. Hannegan, ran the Democratic Party in St. Louis many years ago. But I like and feel sorry for Sarah Palin. She seems like a free spirit whose real self has been distorted by the fears and restrictions put upon her by the McCain campaign.
I hope in St. Louis Sarah Palin regains the freedom to be her true self. If she sounds as she did in earlier interviews, she might win Thursday night.
Check out how smart and confident she sounds when she is free to speak her mind as she did in this CNBC interview:
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 7:18 PM
I just discovered that I got a letter published in the Dallas Morning News back on August 14th concerning smoking bans and drunk driving deaths:
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 12:06 AM
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
A Scottish heart attack study put forward last month in support of a St. Louis public smoking ban by Smoke-Free St. Louis City has been discredited by Dr. Michael Siegel, a researcher at the Boston University School of Public Health.
This debunking of what had been considered the strongest evidence of the health benefits of a smoking ban shows how flimsy the case for a St. Louis City smoking ban really is!
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 6:23 AM
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Alderman Freeman Bosley Sr. is proposing a new law to help stop the theft of brick from St. Louis City buildings. This new law, Board Bill # 10, would require City brick yards to close on weekends and require these yards to record each brick transaction on video tape that will be available to police.
Alderman Bosley is right to take action to protect City architecture from such vandalism. But couldn't City Aldermen just require that St. Louis brick can only be sold to City yards by contractors with appropriate St. Louis City business licenses.
Individuals with brick to sell without licenses could be required to document the address from which their brick came. I believe that such a law could greatly limit the City market for stolen brick with out imposing an undue restriction on City businesses.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 9:30 PM
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Click on the red x above to see the new Marth Brothers & Co. brochure that we will soon send everywhere. I hope it will prove a real ban-killer. Download it for yourself and send it around.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 5:33 PM
Monday, September 15, 2008
Watching this old video of the Grateful Dead really brought back to me the experience of hearing St. Louis Dead bands such as Jake's Leg, the Schwag and Kerosene Willy at 20 North ten years ago. I am still mad that we lost that jewel of a place to eminent domain abuse.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 8:06 PM
Sunday, September 14, 2008
I stopped by ChopStix tonight. What a nice experience! The Garlic Shrimp I ordered tasted as good or better than any food I have ever ordered at the most expensive St. Louis restaurants. I hope to return soon to try all the other food ChopStix offers. I can certainly see why ChopStix has been nominated for "Best Chinese Restaurant in St. Louis" by the Riverfront Times.
I am so glad that Louis and Salina Erby are now in the restaurant business! Please remember that mom Hazel is a special friend of Keep St. Louis Free. I hope that all local readers of this blog will make a special effort to soon patronize this tasty establishment.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 10:45 PM
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Marth Brothers has a beautiful brochure that I want to circulate throughout St. Louis the way we put out the Keep St. Louis Free flyer back in 2005. Such printing is expensive but worth it in order to get the message out about air filtration.
Also Keep St. Louis Free has pledged to help County Councilman John Campisi in his upcoming campaign. John has proven a true friend of freedom and property rights in St. Louis County and deserves any help we can give him.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 7:03 AM
Friday, September 12, 2008
Scott Marth calls out another Fred on restaurant critic Joe Bonwich's Post-Dispatch blog:
"The owners, staff, and patrons of both Gladstone's and Nadine's are very happy with their filtration systems. I hang out at Peppertini's in Chesterfield about 3 times a week and get nothing but compliments on how our machine works - even before the people know who I am. Nadine's does not have an upstairs area and we were told that Gladstone's upstairs area was for private parties only. Both places have MBC filtration only in one area by the bar, which may be the place for you to sit, if you've actually been there. People, please go and judge for yourselves rather than listening to slander."
The Marth brothers fight back. That is good news for St. Louis freedom and property rights!
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 5:53 PM
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
I just changed the settings on this blog to allow anyone to post. Somehow the blog got set wrong. I hope no one in the past has been unable to express their opinion on this blog. All posts are welcome. Please let me know if anyone has trouble posting.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 7:57 PM
According to Stacy Reliford, the American Cancer Society representative to Smoke-Free St. Louis City, City residents don't often cross Skinker Blvd. to go to bars in the Loop. And the City doesn't often follow the County in legislation. Has she ever lived here?
"The city is the city, and the residents here go to the bars and restaurants in their community and their neighborhood. They don't drive all over the place," Reliford said. "We don't normally look to the county to determine whether we should make people wash their hands."
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 7:48 PM
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Check out this tough but fun McGraw Millhaven interview with the Marth Brothers and I. If nothing else, go to the end of the second tape to listen to McGraw call out a phony antismoking caller: "You're a liar Fred!" It was wild.
Many thanks to Joey at Ban the Ban Wisconsin!
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 8:41 AM
Friday, September 05, 2008
I just found out that Keep St. Louis Free friend County Councilman Hazel Erby has a son and daughter-in-law now in the restaurant business. Louis and Salina Erby opened an Asian restaurant, ChopStix, last April. Their restaurant is located at 8021 West Florissant, Ste B, previously Northland Shopping Center. They are on the strip with U. S. Cellular, the Police Substation, and Congressman Clay's office, facing Schnucks and Target.
ChopStix has been nominated for "Best Chinese Restaurant in St. Louis" by the Riverfront Times. They will also be featured on Great Day St. Louis, on Channel 4 around the 23rd of this month. After my wife and I have dinner at ChopStix, hopefully this week, we will go to www.riverfronttimes.com and click on the big red box on the top left corner that says “voting best of 2008”.
Hazel Erby has proven a great friend of St. Louis bars and restaurants. It is great that her children are now in the restaurant business! Keep St. Louis Free needs to promote and support ChopStix as much as possible. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 7:10 PM
From the Ban the Ban Wisconsin blog:
"Keep in mind that Corey Lawson (and member of the Smoke-Free St. Louis Coalition) had initially opened “rBar” as a non-smoking establishment, and had to close it because of lack of business.
Also, a source in St. Louis has informed us that Corey is admitting that he is installing air filtration technology to address the health risks of secondhand smoke in his bar. In other words, this member of the Smoke-Free St. Louis Coalition believes that modern air filtration (like the ones sold at Marth Brothers) does indeed filter out the “dangerous” chemicals in secondhand smoke.
We’ve also heard rumblings that the American Cancer Society is getting nervous because air filtration is becoming well-known and supported, and the St. Louis press is turning on the anti-smoking movement. Nervous? Why? If air filtration works, shouldn’t the ACS be supporting the installation of these air-cleaners?
If you’re from St. Louis, please support Corey’s new bar, “AM Lounge”, and let us know how how his air filtration system is working. We’d love to hear from you, especially if you’re a non-smoker."
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 7:15 AM
Thursday, September 04, 2008
A great West County Journal post by Keep St. Louis Free spokesman David Kuneman:
Over 40 studies on Pub Med, which is the National Library of Medicine's online database, find no harm from SHS. One, published by Lawrence Garfinkel, who at the time was the Vice President of Epidemiology and Statistics for the American Cancer Society, found no risk. It was a huge study conducted over a 20-year time span. It is the type called a cohort study. Those kind identify huge groups of volunteers (all healthy) who describe their SHS exposure, and then the researchers recontact those individuals over time, to see if more of the exposed group got sick than the control group. Those kind of studies rarely find any risk from SHS. The kind the antismokers conduct ask nonsmokers who are sick and those who are not sick about their SHS exposure. If more who rate themselves as heavily exposed are sick than those who are ligthly exposed, then they claim SHS is risky. This type is easy to cherry pick because the researcher knows the outcome ahead of time. Since these researchers need to please their funding sources, which are the antismoking groups, that's why they can mislead you, and the media, by claiming most studies provide as you stated "overwhelming evidence". What is missed here, is that the quality of your evidence is low- ours is high.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 11:13 PM
I know air filtration experts read this blog everyday. I wish they would also read this post on David Kuneman's web page carefully and, if possible, comment. Kuneman points out that ventilation, even according Repace data, reduces smoke to a level which would not pose a hazard.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 6:34 PM
Corey Lawson tells me that his new place, AM Lounge, will have "smoke eaters throughout the venue to filter smoke and toxins." Any St. Louis bar that invests in the air filtration technology that allows everyone to have a good time is worth checking out. I hope every St. Louisan who reads this blog will stop by AM Lounge as soon as it opens.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 2:35 PM
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
The Forest Park Southeast bar rBar, which closed a few weeks ago, was a member of the Smoke-Free St. Louis coalition. Corey Lawson, who was one of the owners, said rBar supported the coalition because it was something that appealed to the people in their 20s who frequented rBar.
Lawson also said he would support an indoor-smoking ban in St. Louis city. “If I had it my way, it would be ‘no smoking’ just because of the work conditions,” said Lawson. “No one likes to work twelve hours a night in smoke. But you have to do it — it’s business.”
Lawson’s bar will reopen as AM Lounge, a late-night lounge and nightclub that will be open from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. The new concept, Lawson said, doesn’t work as a smoke-free environment.
“What we’ve learned in the last two years is that when you have earlier hours [as rBar did], the non-smoking is very important to people,” said Lawson. But, he said, people who don’t usually smoke often like to do so when they’re out drinking late at night.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 3:27 PM
Monday, September 01, 2008
"Over the last few years, Bill Hannegan has always been in the thick of the fight to protect the rights of citizens and business owners, and Libertarians have always stood with him in that fight. I expect that Libertarians will fight shoulder to shoulder with Keep St. Louis Free against the latest smoking ban proposal -- and I expect that we'll win."
Tom Knapp, chair of St. Louis County Libertarian Central Committee, just made this statement.
The next meeting of the St. Louis Libertarian Party happens soon and I will be there to report on the smoking ban situation.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 7:13 AM
Sunday, August 31, 2008
What Keep St. Louis Free did to help stop St. Louis smoking bans:
- David Kuneman presented the case against a St. Louis smoking ban on behalf of the Missouri Restaurant Association. David Kuneman's arguments made possible a responsible rejection of County Councilman Kurt Odenwald's proposed smoking ban by the St. Louis County Council. http://kuneman.smokersclub.com/EMRS.html
- Helped collect 10,000 signatures by County residents on a petition against the Kurt Odenwald's 2005 smoking ban.
- Assembled 168 pages of arguments and studies that form the basis of the Missouri Restaraunt Association's denial of any need for further public smoking restrictions in St. Louis bars and restaurants in order to protect public health. We hand highlighted these studies and arguments, then sent them to all 90 St. Louis County mayors, the St. Louis County Council, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, and the main St. Louis newspapers and television stations. Hand highlighting key passages of 20,000 pages of text was crucial to ensuring the studies had maximum effect on busy journalists and public officials.
- Printed and distributed 60,000 flyers containing the e-mail addresses and phone numbers of the St. Louis County Council to all St. Louis County bars and restaurants, as well as all St. Louis City bars. Over 1000 St. Louis establishments received flyers. These flyers were then copied and further distributed by these bars and restaurants.
- Mailed to all bars and restaurants in specific districts at key times in the smoking ban battle.
- Called 800 St. Louis County bars and restaurants before important County Council smoking ban hearings to bring business owners, employees and patrons out to protest the ban.
- Painted and displayed at smoking ban hearings the largest mobile protest banner in St. Louis history, 70 feet long with 32 inch letters, held aloft by eight hand-held poles. It took eight people to handle this huge message of wood, oilcloth and paint . The banner read: KEEP ST. LOUIS FREE! FIGHT THE SMOKING BAN! It was painted for free by St. Louis artist Bill Christman, who founded Blueberry Hill along with his old pal Joe Edwards. Bill came out to hold the banner too and brought a lot of fun to Keep St. Louis Free protests. He has had his own run-ins with overbearing government authority. I wish we could have helped him more! http://www.riverfronttimes.com/2008-04-23/news/say-it-ain-t-so-joe-s-caf-eacute-has-closed-down/
- Found and delivered to the Council the results of recent air quality tests, commissioned by the Lambert Airport Authority, which proved a smoking ban was not justified at Lambert Airport. Distributed flyers at Lambert smoking lounges with the contact info of the County Councilmen. Once again researcher David Kuneman provided key testimony before the Council against the Lambert airport smoking ban.
- Campaigned in Ballwin to remove Ballwin smoking ban author Charlie Gatton from office. As I remember, Gatton lost by 54 votes. The extreme efforts to unseat Gatton by Darla Maloney and Debbie Hopper surely made the difference in this race.
I want to make clear that members of the St. Louis Libertarian Party played a big role in the work against these smoking bans. I myself fought the smoking bans as a someone who is substantially a libertarian. And I have since joined the St. Louis Libertarian Party. But Keep St. Louis Free is a grassroots direct action network that doesn't compete with any political group. Anyone can join us and do something for St. Louis freedom and property rights.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 9:55 AM
Saturday, August 30, 2008
David Kuneman, a spokesman for Keep St. Louis Free, just sent this letter to post. David is a retired Monsanto pharmaceutical chemist who in recent years has extensively researched issues concerning secondhand smoke and public health. In 2005, David convincingly argued on behalf of the Missouri Restaurant Association before the St. Louis County Council that secondhand smoke in St. Louis County bars and restaurants did not constitute a threat to public health. David's arguments made possible a responsible rejection of County Councilman Kurt Odenwald's proposed smoking ban by the St. Louis County Council. An updated version of this case will soon be sent by Keep St. Louis Free to the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, the St. Louis County Council and the entire Missouri legislature.
David Kuneman's letter:
Your blog readers should remember that Kirkwood voters recently rejected a smoking ban.
Kirkwood voters voted 55/45 against the ban because they were aware of the David McArthur study which found severe economic loss due to the Balwin smoking ban.
If the Smoke-free St. Louis City poll had told the truth and informed the respondents that bans DO hurt business, it is doubtful their poll would have reported 61% in favor of a ban in bars, casinos, and restaurants. Also, if the Smoke-free St. Louis City poll had allowed respondents to separately state their preferences for smoking restrictions in bars, casinos, and restaurants, like the 2007 Gallup poll did, it is likely the Smoke-Free St. Louis City poll would have reported results similar to the 2007 Gallup poll.
Remember that Charles Gatton, who sponsored the Ballwin smoking ban, got voted out of office, and so did Kirk Odenwald, who sponsored the St. Louis County ban. In light of all this, it is highly doubtful the Smoke-free St. Louis City poll is an accurate reflection of how our region actually feels about smoking bans.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 11:00 PM
An antismoker in the Post-Dispatch blogs made this kind (highly honorific Dead term) concession:
"Mr. Hannegan I went to your web site and am still not convinced with one small exception. If it were up to me, I would ban smoking in any restaurant or bar except for one that features Jakes Leg or is a successor to 20 North. As someone who has been to 20 North and enjoyed Jake's Leg, I admit that somehow, smoking goes with that era and atmosphere."
I have been to hundreds of Jakes Leg shows. When I began my campaign against Odenwald's smoking ban, I was first and foremost trying to keep a smoking ban off Magees. I remember the doorman pointing to my flyers and then to the crowded bar asking, "Are you doing this to protect that?". He got it.
Here is more on the blog about my relationship with Jakes Leg, with a comment from lead singer and 20 North owner Randy Furrer.
I could only find one Jakes Leg video on You Tube, and it is outdoors, but it is a good song:
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 7:23 PM