I was known as a tree-hugging environmentalist (among other things) during my 8 1/2 years of service on Sammamish committees and commissions but that doesn’t prevent me from saying the City Council is smoking something other than tobacco with the proposal to ban smoking in City Parks.
Despite some snide comments toward John Curley by one City Councilman and some Sammamish Review readers, I agree with him: the idea that second-hand smoke in an open-air park is hazardous (at least in the levels we’re talking about here) strikes me as pretty ludicrous.
I don’t like cigarette smoke; it’s obnoxious and has an odor that is particularly offensive to my sensitivities. But any time I go to the Sammamish Commons (for example) for the Fourth of July or Farmer’s Markets, if someone is smoking nearby, I can easily move upwind. In this case, I have to say smokers have their rights, too.
I think Washington’s smoking ban in buildings went too far. I am all for banning smoking in open areas within buildings (offices, restaurants, bars, etc.) or places like Safeco Field or the Clink (Century Link stadium), but I also believe that exceptions should have been allowed: a fully enclosed smoking area or provisions for “smoking clubs” would have been acceptable.
Sammamish has better things to do than pursuing this nanny state ordinance.