Thursday, August 11, 2011

And the sign says

Groff Park Pavilion

Coincidentally enough the Leisure Services and Supplemental Education Commission (folks outside the People's Republic would call it "Recreation Department") last night discussed 24 new "No Smoking" signs for the playing fields and playgrounds around town, 12 going up this year and 12 the next.

But you have to wonder if those signs will be any more effective than this "No alcoholic beverages allowed sign" at Groff Park pavilion?

The Amherst Board of Health had considered a total smoking ban on all town owned land--including the Town Common--but pressure from local business owners and the Chamber of Commerce, college students (mostly UMass), and perhaps ardent libertarians caused them to back down to just banning the foul habit around playing fields and playgrounds.

In 1999 the Amherst Board of Health spearheaded a smoking ban in the workplace that included bars. The volatile episode became known as "The Smoking Ban in Bars War." The Board of Health won as the bars rendered an unconditional surrender; today smoke free environments are as routine as cell phone reception.

And now that environment extends to the outdoors, mostly.


Anonymous said...

Regulating smokers outside seems a bit much.

What about a little common sense? Like you don't light up right next to someone sitting outside who is not smoking? I'll bet we could manage that.

Or have we lost all capacity to negotiate out these little things between ourselves? Our dogs off the leash, our car radio blasting down the street, our inability to keep the speed down in our own neighborhoods.......we say we want less government, but then we can't behave ourselves and respect others.

QED The Nanny State

Anonymous said...

That's a DUI waiting to happen. But, then, so is UMass tailgaiting and I don't see police enforcement setting-up checkpoints to assess the sobriety of drivers exiting UMass events.

Ed said...

The person sitting on one side of me with a beer does not bother me, the one on the other side smoking a cig (or pot) does bother me.

I have no problem banning smoking from any place where we have already banned alcohol...

Anonymous said...

People who smoke outside don't think (or care) that it bothers people who don't smoke. It does.

I've always said, it doesn't bother smokers that I don't smoke. (Except if I complain that their smoking is bothering me)

You want to smoke? Go ahead, the country needs the tax revenue. But do it where there is no possibility of bothering someone who doesn't.

Anonymous said...

I think we should be like the south and have drive through liquor stores!

Anonymous said...

Why don't we be like Europe where you could sip a glass of wine at the pavilion like civilized person, and DUIs are rare. Think how much more often that pavilion would be rented? Why can't Americans drink in a restrained, reasonable way?