Readers come to the defense of smoking bans and Cherokee Street

 FEATURE, MAY 28, 2009
THANKS FOR BUTTING HEADS
Good to know where they stand on smoking: Thank you so much for taking the time to survey policymakers about this important initiative ["Butt Heads," Kristen Hinman]. Clean air is imperative to healthy living — and healthy work environments. It is great to know where lawmakers stand, especially on a statewide level.

This year my vacations will be short and taken within the state. I wanted to go to St. Louis, but knowing there isn't a clean-air act there makes me reluctant. With allergies, I simply cannot be in places that allow smoking. I don't want to have to do a ton of research just to find clean air on vacation. Thanks again for a great story!
Angela W., Linn, via the Internet

Proud to be backward: Basically, the majority of our elected officials say they support smoking bans, but they don't have the leadership skills to put their beliefs — or those of the majority of their constituents — into action. They're like little kids who can't make a decision until their best friend decides first. Missouri almost seems to take pride in being the last to do anything healthy — constructive or progressive. Being proud to be conservative is one thing, but being backward is another.
Marley, St. Louis, via the Internet

DAILY RFT, MAY 28, 2009
LET THEM EAT DOG
It's no big deal: Just as well ["St. Louis Investigator Says Stray Dogs Are Thrown to the Lions in Cuba," Nicholas Phillips]. If the lions don't eat them, they'll just hop on rafts and come here.
Josh, via the Internet

Just asking: So, do they feed stray kittens to the wolves?
Ruggy, via the Internet

DAILY RFT, MAY 27, 2009
TRILOGY OF SHAME
Attention must be paid: Shame on the residents of Cherokee Street for allowing this mess ['"F--k the Police': Shots Ring Out on Cherokee, Part II," Nicholas Phillips]. Shame on the police for letting this area go to pot. Shame, and more shame, on the aldermen in that area for complete lack of ability to work with the citizens in that area who want to do better.

My mom used to live there in the late '90s; it was getting bad then. Where the hell were the authorities? Not paying attention! Where the hell were the citizens? I can tell you they were in denial. I live on the south side, and I have been telling the aldermen there for years that gangs were in our community. They are too busy lining their own pockets and keeping their heads in the sand to do anything. The people are going to have to police themselves.
DKC, via the Internet

Stop pointing fingers: As a resident of Cherokee Street, I can tell you that I am most certainly not in denial about the state of affairs in the area. There is a very active community here that is making a concerted effort to change the dynamic in the area, and to change the elements of power here that disproportionately place the burden of neighborhood affairs in the hands of the traditional powers that be. Clearly, top-down administration of justice does not work, and there is a sizeable population working towards active engagement with all elements of our community.

It is sad that there are people who feel the need to point fingers, rather than work together to identify solutions that will work for the existing set of circumstances at hand.
Alissa, via the Internet

ERRATA
Last week's Gut Check column left readers with the mistaken impression that Craft Beer Week began Saturday, May 23, when in reality it commenced this past Saturday, May 30.

Additionally, "Here Come the Brides," Dennis Brown's review of Shakespeare Festival St. Louis' production of The Merry Wives of Windsor misidentified one of the actors. The actor who portrays Frank Ford is Daniel Talbott, not Daniel Taggart.

 
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