Where there’s smoke there’s ire
Virginia is a state rich in culture, history, and natural beauty and Charlottesville is her crown jewel—but the stain of Big Tobacco mars the value of Virginia as a place to live. I would love to move to Charlottesville, but my biggest hesitancy in doing so is that not nearly enough of its wonderful restaurants and nightspots would be available to me unless I wish to expose myself to the very real and immediate danger of secondhand smoke [“Dynamic duos,” Restaurantarama, February 10, 2009].
As beautiful and exciting as a stroll down the Mall can be, this experience, too, is compromised by those who smoke along this historic avenue—recent research shows that exposure to secondhand smoke, even outdoors, can have dire health consequences.
I don’t want to become one of the next 1,700 Virginia residents who die each year from exposure to secondhand smoke. Congratulations to Governor Kaine for supporting smoke-free legislation in Virginia and I hope that he continues the fight until all public places in Virginia are smoke-free. It’s time for Virginia, and my home state of Louisiana, to finally and completely “kick the habit” on what Thomas Jefferson described as “a culture productive of infinite wretchedness (tobacco).”
New Orleans, LA
On the Democratic nominating process [“City Dems open nominating process,” Government News, February 17, 2009]: It isn’t going to change anything. It is a tempest in a teapot. The same political insiders are going to run the show. People like me aren’t going to participate because they don’t want to sign the loyalty pledge which means you have to vote for someone in the general election whether you supported them or not. It is the People’s Republic of Charlottesville. All hail the Politburo.
Bill should have been killed
If more senators and representatives had the guts to vote NO, maybe we could have gotten a bill with some real stimulus instead of PORK [“Washington High,” The Odd Dominion, February 17, 2009]. Even the Congressional Budget Office’s appraisal of the bill doubts that it will do what it’s being heralded to do. A vote for this bill was not a vote for this country.