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