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SUNDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2007
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Instead of complaining, learn to live with law

To The Daily: Why do we continue to lend so much newspaper space and credence to the vocal minority opposing Decaturís smoking ban?

Iím tired in particular of reading Tonyís Country Cooking talk about how ďdamagedĒ they are by the ban. I work near Tonyís, and on a recent weekday I drove down Sixth Avenue at 11:30 a.m. and noticed Tonyís parking lot was packed to the gills — so busy that, if it had been my destination, I wouldnít have stopped there for fear of not getting in and out during my lunch break.

Saturday, knowing that Tonyís was finally smoke free and I could enjoy their wonderful food without smelling like cigarette smoke all day, I set out from my house to enjoy a nice breakfast there.

As I approached, I was surprised to see 20 or so loud and frankly obnoxious protesters out front, so I kept on going and enjoyed my breakfast elsewhere.

Itís not the smoking ban hurting Tonyís Country Cooking.

Polls have clearly shown the people in Decatur who donít want smoke-free dining are a tiny minority, and studies show when a ban is enacted, any business that initially falls away bounces back quickly.

Sure, everyone has a right to voice his opinion, but the minority has voiced its opinion and itís time to move on. Tonyís could be better served, as could their customers, if theyíd figure out a way to work with the ban instead of alienating potential customers, the overwhelming majority of whom are in favor of a smoke-free environment.

Tonyís has always had wonderful food which most of us have not been able to enjoy because of the smoke. Now that the smoke has settled, literally and figuratively, itís time to work on attracting customers instead of alienating them.

S. Szczepanski
Decatur

Nonsmoker thinks council overstepped its authority

To The Daily: Big Brother lives in Decatur.

It looks like our City Council president, Big Brother Jackson, now wants to throw out our constitutional right of free speech.

Or is it that he and his council canít stand criticism for violating our right of choice and destroying businesses?

Iím sure he and his fellow dictatorial council members would rather hold their meetings behind closed doors and force other unconstitutional laws on the people
of Decatur. Thank God for the Sunshine Law.

Iím sure they want this to go away, but it wonít.

Especially at the next election.

Oh yes, I havenít smoked since 1980, but I believe smokers and businesses have rights, too.

Patrick Helpingstine
Decatur

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