EDITORíS DESK: Where thereís smoke...

       As our loyal readers know, the Westside Pioneer does not cover non-Westside events except when they have direct impacts on our area. One that fell into that category this week is the smoking-ban bill that is to be signed into law by Governor Owens.
       The law won't take effect until July 1, so there's no way of knowing for sure what the impacts will be. But for any of you celebrating this as a victory for a smokeless world - smokeless, that is, except for the state-cash-cow casinos which the act exempted - I wonder if you've considered not only the businesses being hurt but the uniquely American ideals being trampled on. Allow me to speak about myself for just a moment. I once smoked, then I quit. My choice. I once went to taverns fairly often. I don't go as much anymore. Why? Several reasons, but a major one is too much smoke. Again, my choice. My point is that if tavern owners got concerned they were losing too many customers like myself, maybe they would create smokeless bars. By their own choice.
       Now there is no choice. A majority of our state legislators have decided that our freedom - not to mention the economic well-being of taverns such as those on the Westside - is less important than what they think is good for us. This is not like a drinking law. A person can leave a bar drunk and be a menace. Smokers are only a menace to themselves and those who breathe the air around them.
       No one is forcing anybody to go to a bar. Yet there are plenty who go of their own volition. They either smoke, or don't mind smokers. Who are we to say they can't enjoy that recreation anymore? Who are we to say we have more rights... as Westsiders, as Americans?

- K.J.