Smoking ban benefits everyone in Juneau

Posted: Sunday, February 08, 2009

Juneau Assemblyman Merrill Sanford's concerns about downtown litter and nuisances sounds punitive rather then a challenge for change.

The smoking ban in public places is a benefit to all of us in Juneau, including the folks who work in bars all day long. The Assembly is to be commended for passing the ban and helping to make our community healthier.

Those addicted to smoking have a heads up to some day quit, and many do. As for being a nuisance, I appreciate all the help I get to carry my packages to Miners Post Office on Franklin Street, or help over the icy streets and sidewalks from the smokers outside of the bars. For a few who may be robust, it's not from smoking a cigarette!

The cigarette butt mess needs to be solved by us all: the smokers, non smokers and the Downtown Business Association. How about community service folks who have a hard time finding tasks to do? I would ask them to bring their own broom, dust pan and garbage bag and then have a bar owner sign the "time" sheet for them.

Soon, the tourists and cruise ship crews will be here using our downtown streets and sidewalks. The butts and trash will increase. Funds can be used to hire cleaners. Glory Hole folks are always looking for work, too.

For the merchants who sweep and hose every day, I thank you. For those who do not, help us come up with ideas. Be our partners for a healthy community to keep the ban and also keep our city clean. We can do it. Lead us well Assemblyman Sanford.

Connie Munro


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