News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Downtown Decatur gets a boost from merchants

To The Daily: Isn’t Decatur a most fortunate place to live? I particularly admire the “immigrants” Randy and Judi Tardy for the work they’re doing to make our city better.

Second Avenue downtown is coming alive and most attractively, and what they did in directing Downtown Merchants in the Halloween Hoot — great.

Jane Bradford

Smoking ban makes clear statement to state, nation

To The Daily: Decatur’s City Council is to be commended on its stance on smoking in public places. As many writers to your paper have confirmed, for far too long nonsmokers have been unwittingly exposed to secondhand smoke, either in public places or in their families’ homes. Both of my parents and many of my friends’ parents smoked at home and in public. Faculty lounges in schools allowed smoking. Restaurants, church social halls and even hospitals allowed smoking.

Fortunately, many older Americans, including my parents, quit smoking, often for health reasons. Hospitals now prohibit smoking on their grounds. The state Department of Education considers the use of tobacco on school premises or at a school-related activity involving students a violation of Standard 5 of the Alabama Educator Code of Ethics. Because of Decatur’s new ordinance, we can go to most public places in our town without being exposed to secondhand smoke.

Finally, I recently heard a segment on National Public Radio that people who have smoked find it easier to quit when smoking has been banned from their environment. This was based on a study done in a mental hospital recently and has to do with the receptors in the brain that contribute to addictive behaviors.

I applaud the leadership of Councilmen Billy Jackson and Ronny Russell, as well as the support of Councilman David Bolding in this endeavor. Mayor Don Kyle’s consideration for nonsmoking workers in public places and his decision to uphold the ordinance is also to be commended. What a statement this makes to the state and nation about our progressive community and the things we value.

Beth Weinbaum

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