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Why not offer a smoke-free night?


Fri, Jul 28th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

"Just try it. You might find that you like it."

I really don't know how many times I've utilized that sage line of thinking when trying to encourage our daughter to give a healthy entrée a try. Usually, the eatable item is a vegetable. I'm sure that my parents attempted to use this on me 40-some years ago.

It appears as if the La Crosse County Health Department is asking the bar owners in their fair city to do the same when it comes to initiating a "smokeless night." According to a front page story in the La Crosse Tribune, county health officials have asked bar owners to voluntarily set up a "smoke-free" night in their establishments.

Al Bliss, a health department educator, explained, "This could mean one night, or whatever the owner decides. We'd like to measure the success or failure of such an event. We'd also like to know if offering smoke-free nights encourages smokers to quit."

The health department is looking at barriers that can prevent young adults from quitting smoking in a project funded by a $100,000 grant from the American Legacy Foundation, a national public health foundation devoted to keeping young people from smoking.

According to official statistics, the smoking rate among 18- to 24-year-olds who aren't in college is 41 percent, which is one of the highest rates in Wisconsin and far above the 22 percent of all adults who smoke.

"The bars are another venue for us to reach young adults," Bliss added.

Unfortunately, the bar owners' initial reaction to the "smokeless night" proposal is much like my daughters' when encouraged to give a bright, green stem of broccoli a try. Dave Parisey, president of the La Crosse County Tavern League and owner of the Popcorn Tavern, said he would be opposed to smokeless nights. He figures 98 percent of his clientele smoke, so he wouldn't have any customers if he went smokeless for a night. "It's amazing how many people smoke and drink. I'm afraid bar owners wouldn't be interested. This whole smoking issue is a sour lemon for us," Parisey was quoted as saying.

But what would hurt if a couple of the bars tried this experiment for just one night? What if they decided to try it on their slowest night of the week, promote the heck out of it, and see what might happen? According to statistics, approximately 80 percent of the adult population in both Minnesota and Wisconsin is made up of non-smokers. So nearly 8 out of every 10 potential customers d .....
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Administrative Law Judge will decide Spring Valley Ponds case

Fri, Jul 21st, 2006
Posted in Commentary

The July 17 article by John Bondhus in the Fillmore County Journal, "Misinformation threatens Spring Valley Ponds" hardly is worth the effort to respond to. But a few points where he has committed slander against Jeff Broberg and me need to be corre ..... 
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Misinformation threatens Spring Valley Ponds

Fri, Jul 14th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

A front-page story in the June 12th edition of the St. Paul Pioneer Press addressed my efforts to “turn an old hatchery into a world-class fish farm and park” and detailed many of the state permitting issues that have put the project on hold. In the ..... 
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Open enrollment and athletic eligibility

Fri, Jul 14th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

An Associated Press story that ran in quite a few Minnesota dailies last week caught my attention. According to the article, the Minnesota State High School League has reacted to complaints of abuses of the state’s open enrollment rules by appointin ..... 
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A chicken in every pot

Fri, Jul 7th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

Governor Tim Pawlenty, fresh from his Republican endorsement as a candidate for a second term to lead the state, proposed back in June to offer free tuition for the first two years to the top 25 percent of Minnesota’s high school graduating class at ..... 
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Friendship is fading

Fri, Jun 30th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

A “friend,” according to the American Heritage Dictionary, is “a person whom one knows, likes and trusts; a favored companion; one with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade; one who supports, sympathizes with or patronizes.”

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The World Cup is the real Super Bowl of fútbol

Fri, Jun 23rd, 2006
Posted in Commentary

Every four years the countries of the world get together to see which nation has the best soccer team. They call it the World Cup. Brazil won in 1994 and again in 2002. France won it in 1998. This year, Brazil is picked to lead the pack, but I have m ..... 
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“Necessity” is the argument of tyrants

Fri, Jun 16th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be King: and there ought to be no other.  Thomas Paine     This Congress has been missing ..... 
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We all need to pay our fair share for services

Fri, Jun 16th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

I am writing in response to Rushford Village Clerk, Judy Graham’s letter in the Tri-County Record last week and to articles in the Fillmore County Journal regarding the tri-city (City and Village of Rushford and Peterson) meetings.    ..... 
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