Smoke 'em while you got 'em

Why are we wasting time with a smoking ban? I totally agree secondhand smoke is bad. I smoke, and I can't stand smoke in my face from an inconsiderate smoker. Eventually, after eating out about 2 gazillion times, you might get cancer. Okay, it's bad, bad, bad.

However, right this minute I can go to any prominent chain restaurant in town, have five drinks in the space of one hour, then get in my car and drive away, maybe to kill a family that night in a DUI crash. I don't know about you, but I'd rather die from secondhand smoke, maybe, than to have my family killed tonight. Those people you see sitting at the bar? They've been there a while, and later they are going to be leaving, and no one will stop them. Don't worry about the smoke. Worry about the flames. The ones you see when they hit you head on.

Our governor wanted to raise taxes on cigarettes, among other things. The legislature was game, but didn't want to include a tax on over-the-counter liquor sales. Come on.

What is truly amazing to me is that these people continue to be elected. They should be fired, and quick, before they do any more damage. They are killing this state.

Everyone talks about the budget, but budgets mean nothing when by the time you pass it the state is already flat broke, and you have to use the money to plug holes in the dam. Surely to God there are enough competent people out there to replace these bumbling fools and get something done.

Stephen Gearon

28 days later

Reading Walter Chaw's review of the movie 28 Days Later in a recent copy of Ace made my head hurt. Instead of trying to be so "witty" and showing people how vast a vocabulary he possesses, why not simply render a clear, simple review of the film. I'm still asking myself how, after reading his half-page review, I still haven't a clue to what the film is about or whether it is worth seeing or not. I pray that the movie is less complex than his complicated, rambling review. Whew!! Where's the Tylenol?

David Stephens

Editor's Note: Our apologies.The movie, while complex, is a timely post-apocalyptic meditation set in a plague-decimated England. The protagonist survivors struggle toward a hopeful re-creation of civilization, while they evade the "Infected" (the zombie-like creatures who are left). In the aftermath of Gulf War II and SARS, the filmmaker's themes of a civilization-decimating plague known as "RAGE" seem especially prescient - and his digital execution of those themes artfully done. It's also his best work since Trainspotting.

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Mail: 486 West Second St , Lexington, Ky 40507


Don't Call Me, I'll Call You
By Bruce Williams

Already there's grumbling that the Federal Trade Commission's No-Call list won't stop telemarketers. Not by itself it won't, just as the Attorney General's No-Call list hasn't stopped them in Kentucky.

But these are good moves, because they show which way the wind is blowing.

Time was, most Americans were isolated from the outside world. When the telephone came along, many were pleased to have somebody new to talk to.

Barely 10 years ago in Lexington I knew businessmen who wouldn't use an answering machine, because it was stand-offish and "impersonal." Can't think of any today. Besides their own attention-deficit diffusion, there was the ever-bloating volume of junk phonecalls.

It has finally crossed the line, in private homes at suppertime. For years, most victims just tried to be polite, or else jerk the hustlers aroud.

But eventually there are too many swine and not enough pearls. The people throw up new barricades, and the hustlers renew the attack with automatic dialing and pre-recorded spiels. At that point, an annoyance has escalated into an invasion, and the people are alarmed enough to call in their own dogs: The Law.

That may be a step too far, maybe not. Perhaps the phone monopolies haven't been "given an opportunity" to do what internet service providers do.

Every reputable ISP prohibits spam. Spam is junk e-mail, as in junk mail, junk phone, and junk advertising. If you're reported and caught sending it, you'll be disconnected, and sometimes fined.

A next move like this by the phone companies might have been proper. But if the people have jumped ahead to administrative regulation, it only indicates more resistance than the aggressors expected. So of course, this isn't the end of it.

What it is, is inertia. A body at rest (families with telephones) tends to stay at rest, until acted upon by sufficient force to move it (telemarketers). Then it moves until acted upon by sufficient force to stop it. That force is NOT telemarketers: They're surrounded, outnumbered, and in the way.

What may happen is that people finally learn to keep their home phone numbers out of the directories. You've probably already given that one to whom-all you want to hear from. Those who won't pay for an "un-listing" (only in a phone monopoly!) can list a different name, for screening:

"How are you today, Mr. Man-o-War?" "He's deceased!"

Then, using whatever tracing technology, report 'em.

Gov's Gal Indicted

Tina Conner was indicted July 9 on one count of federal mail fraud. It's alleged that Conner fraudulently applied for a "disadvantaged business enterprise" for the construction company, ST Construction Co., primarily operated by her former husband Seth Conner. Patton's name was absent from the indictment.

Battle for Domestic Partner Benefits Still Rages

A month after Mayor Teresa Isaac used her veto power to make domestic partners of urban county government employees eligible for UCG Insurance starting July 1, the issue is still ongoing. The council voted to grant initial approval to override the mayor's veto. It will take two additional readings to override the veto. The council is set for a second reading on Thursday, July 10th. Should the Council decide not to have the reading, the issue would be tabled until sometime in August. If enacted, the moratorium would go in effect in October if approved.

Alltel Workers Pass One Month Mark

A little over a month has passed since over 400 telephone service workers at Alltel walked off their jobs because of contract negotiation disputes. The workers lost their insurance coverage at the end of June and had to find alternatives that were financially not feasable for many. Alltel and the communication workers union resumed talks on July 9.

Community Action

Representatives from Lexington's service provider community will visit their colleagues in Louisville Thursday, July 10th in an attempt to glean information on how to build stronger communities within Lexington. Leaders and neighborhood residents involved with Lexington's neighborhood empowerment centers will tour through Louisville's Neighborhood Place network. Neighborhood Places are "one-stop" centers that house several public health, education, and human service agencies, which includes the Kentucky Cabinet for Families and Children. Jefferson County has eight Neighborhood Places plus two other satellite locations. Lexington's five neighborhood empowerment centers are not yet completed, but in various stages of development.

Pay What's Owed or Get Towed

Remember when the city began an amnesty program for those who had accumulated a lot of parking tickets? Well, if you don't, here's a recap: you owed a bunch in fines, but hadn't paid. The government let you pay at a discounted rate, and even allowed a payment plan for those who owed more then $300. Well, that will soon end. The government will just start towing the cars of citizens with outstanding fines, as there's more then $750,000 in unpaid parking tickets owed to the Urban County Government and approximately $14,000 has been paid. The payment and discounted rate plans will be in effect until Thursday, July 31st, so if you owe, break out that checkbook.

To submit an advocacy/activism activity or event for Quickies, email rkirkland@aceweekly.com, or editor@aceweekly.com.