Saturday, July 02, 2011

Of all the reasons to get my picture in the newspaper...

Here is a picture on the front page of the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Metro + Region section, showing a lone smoker violating the brand-new smoking ban on Hennepin County property:

Yeah, that'd be me, on my lunch break at work yesterday afternoon.  Whoops.  Of all the things to be in the newspaper about...

The photographer asked for my opinion on the ban, which wasn't included in the story in either the paper or the online version.  I told her I was perfectly fine with the ban, and that I support smoking bans in public places.  I explained that I came over there to hang out on my lunch break because I liked the scenery more than outside of my own building, but that I'm happy to find a new spot to smoke... until, of course, I quit for the millionth time, which I'm trying to do in the next couple days.  According to the Star Tribune article, most of the smokers were fine with moving away when they were informed of the new ban, except for one guy:
Bob McCune, who works for the city of Minneapolis, used to sometimes take a smoke break on the Government Center plaza across from City Hall. On Friday, he had migrated across the street to a shady corner outside the U.S. Bank building.
McCune, a smoker for 50 years, called the new county policy "ludicrous" and said it was "politically motivated to think second-hand smoke does any damage. If it did, people would be dying by the millions.
"I'll just come to this good shaded spot," he said. "It's the private sector, and they haven't been able to intrude here yet."
He probably lives in Bachmann's district.