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Letters 9/5/11

- September 5th, 2011
The smoky blues...
I hate the smoking ban. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. I love smoking. I
love smoking after I eat, and I love smoking while I drink. For most
smokers, smoking after meals and while drinking are 2 of the 3 best times
to have a cigarette (smoking after sex will always be #1, but it’s a close
race). The smoking ban in bars needs to go, soon, or we will suffer a fate
worse than cancer, emphysema, stained teeth and bad breath combined. A
fate that no amount of legislation, money, or self help books will ever
fix. What is this horrible fate?
American bars will be lame.
Yep, that’s right. Lame. A longtime bar-hopper myself, I took the smoking
ban personally and exiled myself from the scene. I know where my money’s
not wanted. Months went by before I ventured back, and when I did, I
didn’t like who and what I saw. Non-smokers. Whole families of ’em,
sitting there, not smoking, clearly visible. It was then that I realized
that there is a fundamental difference between smokers and non-smokers:
Non-smokers are lame. They’re good people, but just lame, and therefore
should be banned from bars. Why?
They won’t put a hot stick of flaming tobacco in their mouth.
Invariably, people who defy death are more interesting than others. Doing
something that is dangerous, that has a level of unpredictability, is
interesting. Dangerous=interesting. Smoking=dangerous.
Smokers=interesting. Smoking automatically makes you interesting.
Dangerous. And unpredictable. Add a little alcohol and bad judgment and
you now have a recipe for a good time. While I have witnessed many
non-smokers trying to recreate this level of good time, it always seems to
come out like cable porn. All soft jazz, scripted, and no money shot.
Bars used to be the last bastion of debauchery and depravity, where
society allowed and tolerated ‘getting loose’. When you walked into a
bar, you never knew where the night was going to take you. Anything
could, and did, happen. Bars were loud, smelly, and dangerous. Only
ne’er-do-wells would remain after happy hour, lighting another cigarette,
dreading the eventual last call.
Now, bars are filled with PG movie-loving, designated-driver-having, “I
wear a helmet Rollerblading” non-smoking lame-O’s that brought us such
joys as the Parental Advisory warning. And that’s not cool.
I lament the loss of our cultural coolness that accompanies the smoking
ban. No more meet-cutes that start with ‘I saw her across a smoky bar’.
No more lighting a lady‘s cigarette as an icebreaker. James Dean
wanna-bes’ will have to be content to lean against the bar, posing, with a
ringing cell phone rolled up in their sleeve. Smoking in the boy’s room
will now land you in jail. The Marlboro Man has left flavor country, his
miles no longer redeemable. There are no more places in America were
everybody is welcome anymore.
Please bring back smoking in bars, now, before I lose my cool.

Joe Ferraro • via email

Shame, shame, shame...
As positive as one needs to be in life to survive, you failed miserably on
your cover of Aug. 29 - Sept. 4! Summer ends September 22, four weeks
after you said it ended all too soon!
You must look at the glass half empty instead of half full. Shame. Shame,
Shame. It is hard enough to do the ‘fun seasons’ without you rushing the
Four years ago I was swimming in Good Harbor Bay on Oct. 7, 8 and 9 and
the water was warm. How about this caption: “Enjoy the rest of Summer.”
Don‘t dwell on the negative.

Lynn W. Frank • Cedar

The real deal
I live in Concord, MA, and very much enjoy Steve Tuttle’s columns. I find
them to be cogent, thoughtful, caring, and thought-provoking. I send them
to friends in PA, NM, CA, WA. They all appreciate them and find them
thought-provoking. I have had many lively e-mail discussions as a result
and we all wish to thank you for having Steve’s columns available.
We need more thoughtful, issue oriented media taking a lead in the U.S.
and I applaud you for being the same! Thank you.

Judy Holmberg
Concord, MA

Rude riders
Since last spring, there have been several letters from bicyclists
complaining about rude drivers. I agree with them (the bikers) and, as a
driver, I always try to be considerate and aware of any and all bikes. I
give you wide berth when passing, slow down behind you and check lanes
behind and to the side for you.
That being said, since you want and expect consideration of you when I’m
driving, then consider me when I’m walking. I walk on the TART and
Boardman Lake trails. PLEASE give me warning when you silently speed pass
me on your bike. A simple “on your left” will do. It’s very intimidating
and dangerous when you pass without a warning.
Fourteen bikes passed me one day this week and only three gave warning.
You are required in the bicyclists regulations to follow this rule (re:
“City of Traverse City: Motorists, Bicyclists, Pedestrians: Rules of the
Road”). The trails are for everyone, just as the road are for all bikes
and motorized vehicles.
Our safety depends on being aware of each other!

Donelda Holland • TC

Delivers everywhere
Please print a retraction to the title of the August 29 article written by
Patrick Sullivan. The title implies that the US Postal Service was used
to ship the car, when in fact it was Tristar Trucking of Glen Head NY.
Perhaps the owner of the car should have used the Postal Service. As Sam
Farrell, a rep of Tristar, stated, “...we couldn’t bring it [the car] to
where he was, it was all the way up in a nowhere place.”
While the Postal Service would not actually deliver a car, we do deliver
to millions of addresses, even those “way up in nowhere places.”

Rick Adair, US Postal Service

In a recent story on the new Metro restaurant, it should have been noted
that Ann and Michael Zipser are partners with Paul and Brigette Barbas.
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