Stay away if you don't like smoke

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, December 11, 2003

This is my first letter to the editor. The smoking issue that the city Assembly is trying to force on the bars in Juneau is the reason I have taken the time to voice my opinion.

I personally don't smoke, but I previously worked as a bartender at the Triangle bar in downtown Juneau for over six years. Most of the customers that patronize the Triangle go there to see their friends, share a joke, have a drink, smoke and just relax. I would estimate that at least 95 percent of the customers smoke. The clientele covers many different occupations including fishermen, politicians, lawyers, business owners, construction workers, etc.

I don't think that I ever waited on a city Assembly member - well, I might have, but I don't know who you people are and, frankly, I don't want to meet you. I doubt if any of you have ever set foot in a bar in Juneau.

If this law passes, the Triangle and most bars in Juneau will suffer a huge financial loss. People will just stay home because they have to go outside (at least 10 feet away from the door) to smoke. This will eliminate many jobs because the bars will not be as busy and won't need as many people to run their businesses - and the bar owners will not be able to afford to pay their staff.

The city will lose as well because they will not be collecting their 8 percent sales tax on the alcohol sales, as well as the 5 percent tax that they would have been getting when the bartenders spend their paychecks around town.

I think we adults should be able to decide for ourselves what is good and bad for us, not a select few deciding for us. If you don't like smoke, stay the heck out. You don't sound like you would be any fun to hang around with anyway.

Mark Erickson


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