Fredericksburg City Beat

This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.

Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or

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Smoking, bars and budgets

We wrote here and here about the City Council’s vote last week to ask the General Assembly to allow localities to ban smoking in public spaces like bars and offices. The local craft-beer blog Musings over a Pint has some reflection on that idea, especially as it relates to the bar scene, here.

Blogger David noticed the same situation I did on a recent trip to Capital Ale House, which is nonsmoking until 9  p.m. He writes:

"As I tried to enter the establishment recently I had to push my way through a gaggle of smokers who had gathered right outside the entrance. I have to wonder how desperate these people must be for a cigarette that they must stop at their first step out of the door to light up. Yep, it’s a downside to smoking bans, but I still prefer this aggravation to going home smelling like a dirty ashtray. Since we can’t legislate common courtesy, the hassle of moving through the huddled mass of the nicotine dependent is a small price to pay for clean air inside."

A little discussion of smoking bans follows in the comments on his blog, and a more anti-ban discussion can be found in the comments under this story.

Speaking of smoking, Chelyen Davis has a story in today’s paper about Gov. Tim Kaine proposing to raise the state tobacco tax by 30 cents a pack as part of a strategy to balance the budget.

And speaking of beer, brewers from around Virginia gathered at the University of Mary Washington yesterday for a seminar on the biological aspects of beer-making. Bill Freehling has a note and photo here, and will have more in tomorrow’s Free Lance-Star business section.

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