In 2005, the Shreveport City Council passed a ban on smoking in public buildings, city parks, public areas, restaurants, and shopping malls and retail stores. That ban exempted bars and any businesses that sold alcohol. In 2007, all Louisiana workplaces and restaurants became 100% smoke free. It's 2009 and time to make all workplaces smoke free. Casinos included.
Would we lose business if smoking was banned in casinos? We doubt it. Most folks come from Texas to gamble. Many of them come from Dallas. Would gamblers travel to Mississippi or Oklahoma just so they could smoke inside? There are other options for nicotine fixes. Go outside. Use the patch. Chew nicotine gum. Dip. Use snus. Try an electronic cigarette. Why should we cater to a small group of Americans? Smokers are a minority. Only 20 percent of the population smokes. We're not saying stop smoking. Kill yourself if you want. Just don't take us down with you.
Interestingly enough, Dallasites just got a crackdown on the places where they can smoke inside. At the beginning of April, Dallas expanded their smoking ban. From the Dallas Morning News article "... (a) city ordinance banning smoking inside bars and pool halls starts today, but cigarette smokers at bars from Uptown to Greenville Avenue say they will stay loyal to their favorite places and not venture to other cities just to smoke."
Editor's note: I work in a casino. That is until I published this. If there really is freedom of speech in America I suppose I don't have anything to worry about. If there isn't... oh well. My lungs will thank me. And so will my trash can, since I won't have to fill it with sputum any more.
Really would they fire me for publishing this? It is something to consider. Since I know I can be fired if a customer blows smoke in my face and I use my hand to fan it out of my way. I can even be fired if I ask a customer not to blow smoke in my face.
In honor of Earth Day 2009, Wednesday, April 22: Sci-Port will release butterflies at 11 am. Leia Lewis at Sankofa Gardens has been the queen of Earth Day for the last four years. This KTBS video proves it. The fourth annual Sankofa Earth Day Festival is Saturday.
Just east of the main gate of the Greenwood Cemetery in Shreveport is the grave of Maggie Lear. And 100 years after her murder, folks still visit her monument and leave tokens of love.
Shreveport historian Eric Brock wrote about Maggie's death in a February 9, 2005 article in The Forum. Magaret Bauman Lear was just 16 when she was killed in 1906 by Charles Coleman. After her funeral the Shreveport Journal and the First National Bank began taking up a collection to purchase the very monument that stands over her grave today and is inscribed "A Tribute of Sympathy from the Citizens of Shreveport."
Through May 1, 2009, Sci-Port: Louisiana's Science Center is accepting entries for its Aaron & Peggy Selber Red River Cultural Traditions Writing Competition for the best non-technical paper that integrates cultural, historic, geographic, literary or scientific aspects unique to Louisiana's Red River Region. In addition to scooping up the prize money, the winner paper will be published online by SB Magazine.
Robert McGuire, Sci-Port Director of Education and Public Programs, says they are "...looking for great writing supported by rich reporting of our culture."