Monday, May 22, 2017

Beer and Smokes

A mini mart, directly across Providence Road from Scranton High School and Memorial Stadium, has applied for a permit to sell beer.  I saw the big orange application sign in the window last week.

On one level, it's slightly alarming-- an alcohol outlet just feet from school property.  Let's examine this a little closer.

I have no problem with the responsible use of alcohol.

The company applying for the permit is a big one, and I trust it will be careful.  The initial fear is kids getting their hands on alcohol.  Upon further reflection, someone getting drunk and crashing their car in a school neighborhood can be a bigger issue.

So far, there have been no problems in that part of town.  There are two bars along Providence Road, and a beer store just a couple of blocks away, on Olive Street.  Beer stores and mini marts are frequent sights in Scranton and other cities here in our area.  As the liquor sales laws loosen up, get used to it.

On the other hand, one crash-- one injury-- that could have been prevented is too many.

Shifting gears, there's another attempt in the state legislature to ban smoking in all public places.  Right now, bars that serve little or no food, parts of casinos, and private clubs are exempt.  All this is about is fairness.  Previous legislative attempts to level the playing field have failed miserably.

Pennsylvania, the time has come.

Other states have more strict smoking bans.  The entertainment industry hasn't collapsed.  It's all about health.  Every study shows second hand smoke is dangerous.

To the argument that it should be up to each individual business owner...  think about this.  We don't exempt them from other safety laws, like cleanliness, fire exits, wiring, etc.  Cigarette smoke is no different.  No one is taking your smokes away.  Just light up in places where it doesn't bother anyone else.

I've blown off get togethers in smokey places.  Bar owners, this could work in your favor.