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Opening Arguments

Up in smoke

I saw a report on WANE-TV last night about a group of  bar and restaurant owners who say their business is tanking, and they plan to seek some kind of compromise from the city, such as maybe going to the county model that lets businesses declare themselves adults only and thereby permit smoking. Good luck with that. City officials talk about the economic impact (usually by saying that other communities that have gone smokeless turn out OK), but I suspect they might really feel like the more-honest officials in Louisville, also going to a total ban:

Attorneys for the metro government concede that some businesses are likely to lose money because of the smoking ban.

But Scott Lilly, assistant Jefferson County attorney, told Clayton that economic loss doesn't trump a law intended to protect public health.

"Does government have the authority to do this?" Lilly said. "I don't think there's any question it can. The mere fact that some economic damage may occur, that's insufficient to overturn the regulation."

Maybe a Fort Wayne business should try this solution:

For pub-goers who enjoy a cigarette with their drink, next week's ban will make England a very different place.

So one landlord has claims to have found a loophole to fight the new law - by declaring his pub to be part of a different country.

The Wellington Arms in Southampton is set to transform itself from a public house into the official embassy for a tiny Caribbean island.

Let's see. There's the Gas House, just downstairs from Takaoka, named for our sister city in Japan, which surely could use an embassy here. Or maybe the Rib Room could be the Fort Wayne presence of Greece.

Posted in: Our town