First, let me say I think it’s funny the SJ-R sent a reporter out to investigate cigarette butts. The smoking ban story really can be milked endlessly I guess.
The ban forces patrons of bars and restaurants to step outside to enjoy smokes, and many simply toss their cigarette butts onto the sidewalks near the front doors of drinking establishments.So the reporter when out looking for cigarette butts in front of bars. And she found some! Okaaaaaay.
A check of some downtown bars last week showed unsightly trails of cigarette butts outside many bars in the mornings. By lunchtime, most of the messes had been cleaned up.
Anyway, we are once again treated to the childishness of the anti-ban crowd and it’s that that makes the story worth reading. This time we have Tom Kelty Jr., owner of Sammy's Sports Bar downtown doing his part for the resistance:
But at least one downtown bar owner, still disgruntled about the smoking ban, said he has his employees just sweep the butts into the gutters.Wow is he really sticking it to The Man or what? Civil disobedience I guess. And if that doesn’t work, try bogus scare tactics:
"We don't put any ashtrays out," said Tom Kelty Jr., owner of Sammy's Sports Bar, 217 S. Fifth St. "As far as I'm concerned, it's the city's responsibility. They're the ones who forced smokers outside.
Along with the litter is an unanticipated problem: the people who gather outside to smoke often become the targets of panhandlers.Oh yes, the “safety” issue of panhandlers. Just like the dangerous homeless folk at the library. Man, I guess a lot of people are going to be giving up smoking now rather that face the dangers of panhandlers. Right?
"It's a smorgasbord," Kelty said. "People try to stand outside to smoke, and (the panhandlers) bounce from bar to bar, so there's a safety issue. It's an eyesore for the city for visitors to town to be accosted. They've been dealing with the problem for years, but it's more of a problem with everyone standing outside."
I think I can cross Sammy’s off my list of places I might ever patronize. Someone this petty can’t be running an establishment I’d enjoy.