Story last updated at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, November 21, 2002

Smoking ban offensive
I have been reading the articles about the smoking ban group for the last few weeks, and I just had to respond. This is not something I usually do, but I just can't resist.

First, let me clear up one issue right up front: I am a nonsmoker. It is one of the few bad habits I haven't acquired. I wish everyone who does smoke would quit, but probably not for the same reason you do.

It would be a loss in tax dollars for the government to misuse, as in the case of Mr. Daniel Boone, who seems to be living off the government by working for the Alaska Native Health Board through a grant. Who do you think paid for this grant? Could it be possible that the taxes from those ugly little packs of cigarettes are paying your way, Mr. Boone?

We have so many laws that are ridiculous and unenforceable that we might as well add a few more. One of the things that really makes it hard for me to breathe is some types of perfume. If I get in close contact with someone who is wearing it, I get to where I cannot breathe.

Another is anything that has old-fashioned bleach in it. Boy, I choke up really bad over that. Do you know that all the places that serve food use bleach to clean their tables? One whiff of that stuff and I almost need oxygen.

How far do you folks want to go with this, trying to protect us from each other and ourselves? I wonder if maybe your time wouldn't be better spent on checking out what your children are doing? Maybe take time to check out their backpacks so some innocent bystander doesn't get shot, or talk to them about caring for their neighbor and giving a helping hand to an old person in your neighborhood.

This issue of banning smoking in the town of Homer is just one more form of people control that this area is so famous for. Businesses should be allowed to have smoking and nonsmoking areas if they so choose, and then let the general public choose if they want to pay their dollars in that business or not. There truly is a reason why I take most of my shopping needs up the road or online. Homer truly knows how to offend a big part of its population.

I do a very simple thing when I see someone smoking outside a building or even inside. I simply step around the blue fog that surrounds them and go on and have a happy day. I don't think less of them for smoking. God knows, I and all the rest of you have enough vices of our own that we don't have the right to do that. And I sure don't try to control their lives by making them stop what they are doing.

Homer, you need to look at issues that really matter before you try taking care of those that don't. There are folks without jobs, there are people without food and shelter, there are children without safe places to live. We are so into protecting the animals, the trees, the sea lice and everything else we can think of that we have truly forgotten about the people.

There are real problems in your Little Hamlet by the Sea. This is not one of them.

Thank you for your space -- please leave me mine.

Terry Jones

Fritz Creek