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Friday, August 21, 2009

Bowling Proprietors Protesting St. Louis County No Smoking Proposal

The St. Louis County Council will vote yes or no on August 25 whether or not voters should decide in November if smoking is to be banned in public places, including bowling centers.

The Council at its August 18 meeting voted 4-3 in favor of advancing the proposal bill authored by Councilwoman Barbara Fraser.

Some 25 speakers were allowed nearly an hour of time to speak before the vote, most of them against the measure, including the American Lung Association which objects to the proposal's exemptions that include casinos and smoking rooms at Lambert Airport.

USBC and PBA Hall of Fame legend Ray Bluth spoke for a minute on behalf of his center, Crestwood Bowl.


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Ted Krygiel, owner of Olivette Lanes and a longtime board member of the St. Louis and Missouri Bowling Proprietors Association also spoke and gave Council members a copy of a USA Today ad that nearly 70 million people annually bowl in the United States.




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The most prominent speaker was Jeff Boje', Board Director for the Bowling Proprietors of America and President of the United States Bowling Congress, speaking from personal experience how the smoking ban in Florida affected him beginning in 2003:


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The Council surprised everyone when it didn't suspend it's rules to finalize the proposal Tuesday night, allowing objections by mail and phone calls for another week.

County Executive Charles Dooley heard all the speakers but didn't make a statement regarding the proposal. He has been quoted in the past that he may possibility veto the bill, saying it should be a statewide ban to create a level playing field for all who will be affected instead of certain objections, especially Harrah's casino in Maryland Heights, and the soon-to-opened River City Casino in Lemay.

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