SN&R’s Letters of the Week for January 16, 2014

Readers chime in on the proposed ordinance to ban smoking on Sacramento restaurant patios

Ban smoking on central-city patios

Re “Where there’s smoke, there’s controversy” by Lovelle Harris (SN&R News, January 2):

Should the city of Sacramento outlaw smoking on restaurant patios and outdoor areas that extend into the public space? Yes! Tobacco smoke is not just a nuisance, it is a toxic air contaminant. Besides research done by California Air Resources Board and Stanford University, the U.S. surgeon general also reported there is no safe level of exposure to it—even in outdoor areas.

The fear is that a ban on smoking would cost restaurants revenue. Sixty-nine other cities and counties in California have passed similar smoke-free laws and none have reported significant financial losses. In fact, revenues have gone up in some areas! The city of Beverly Hills is one example. Besides, there's support for smoke-free outdoor dining. More than eight out of 10 Sacramentans don't smoke, and 77 percent prefer dining in smoke-free outdoor areas. The city has a responsibility to protect employees and patrons from known toxins, and Sacramento will become a Fresh Air Dining destination as a result!

Kimberly Bankston-Lee

program director, Breathe California of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails

Bad rap?

Re “What Sacramento hip-hop sounds like in 2014” by Andrew Bell (SN&R Music, January 9):

How cliché. Another hip-hop/rap article with none of Sacramento’s true rising talent. How about Rey y Kaye, The Gatlin, Penny, California Bear Gang, Dylan Phillip, the Kingdom? Of course not, though, right? Find the gayest artist acts nobody has heard of to put up on your site to represent the city.

Dylan Fremouw


Ditto: ban smoking

Re “Where there’s smoke, there’s controversy” by Lovelle Harris (SN&R News, January 2):

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network supports the proposed ordinance to prohibit smoking in outdoor dining areas in Sacramento, because there is clear evidence that exposure to secondhand smoke is dangerous and puts Sacramento families and workers at risk. The surgeon general has said there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, and that includes outdoor smoking. Lovelle Harris frames the article as if this is a controversial issue, but nearly 70 cities in California have already passed smoke-free outdoor-dining ordinances. Certain cities have even reported an uptick in sales at restaurants following passage of the ordinance.

Sacramento has a vibrant eating scene. As a parent, my choices are often limited when I go out with my family because I do not want to expose myself or my children to carcinogens. Secondhand smoke has been linked to lung cancer. There is also some evidence suggesting it may be linked with childhood leukemia and cancers of the larynx, pharynx, brain, bladder, rectum, stomach, and breast. Sacramento families should not be forced to make a choice between exposing their children to toxins and eating at some of Sacramento’s best restaurant patios.

Tim Gibbs

senior director, government relations, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

Bikes and sidewalks

Re “Occupy niche awesomeness” by Raheem F. Hosseini (SN&R 15 Minutes, January 2):

After reading 15 Minutes with Russell Rawlings, it’s all become clear. I’ll finally stop fighting against the tide and let the bicyclists have the sidewalk, and I’ll use the bike lane. It’s smoother, and there is less chance of being hit by an actual bicycle.

Jack Dever


Arena hate equals hipster trend?

Re “Playing moneyball” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Bites, January 9):

Your paper incessantly criticizes the city’s economic analysis for how the arena will effect the local economy. In order to know how your proposed “package of public goods” would effect our local economy, you say you would need the city to do an economic analysis? The same city whose economic analysis on the new arena you reject? Come clean: What do you have against the arena? Is it the latest trend among hipsters? Did basketball players steal your lunch money in middle school?

Tiberius Jabal

via email