Story last updated at 3:11 p.m. Thursday, December 12, 2002

Smoking ban ill-advised
A few thoughts on the recent article regarding The Homer Alliance for Fresh Air. First off, this group is funded by a foundation based in New Jersey. That's Homer?

Next, the organizer states, "It's not our job to get smoking banned." Why then was his booth at the Health Fair soliciting signatures for that very reason?

As for being "forced" to inhale secondhand smoke, no one is forcing anyone to patronize those businesses who allow smoking. There are already many establishments with no-smoking policies, policies the individual owners have established as a business decision, a decision that addresses the right of an owner to allow the use of a legal substance in his establishment.

Please think back several years to the "no nukes" resolution passed by the city council. At the time we had several large U.S. Navy ships stop here in Homer, and the whole crew would get shore leave, which in turn gave Homer a great economic boost. Seen any Navy ships lately? Neither have I.

Please, council members, you should be concerned about creating new jobs in our community, not adding people to the unemployment rolls. I am a bartender, and our establishment depends heavily on our restaurant revenues. It would not be feasible to shut down one or the other, and I know we would suffer economically. Instead of being productive members of this community, contributing thousands of dollars and countless hours to various charities, I and my fellow employees would be looking for charity.

Yes, Homer is a "pretty progressive place." Let's keep it that way.

Colleen Wagner