The Norman Transcript

Local news

February 19, 2013

Locals choke on Senate’s smoking restrictions decision

NORMAN — A bill endorsed by Gov. Mary Fallin that would allow local governments to adopt tougher smoking ordinances died in committee Monday. Opponents argued that SB 36 would allow cities to put a burden on restaurants that had added ventilated rooms for smokers in an effort to comply with state smoking laws.

“I think it’s unfortunate. We often hear state officials complaining about the federal government telling them what to do,” Norman Mayor Cindy Rosenthal said. “This is a case of the state telling local government what to do. Local government is the level closest to the people, and this legislation would simply allow them to craft policy appropriate to their communities.”

In downtown Norman, some bars and restaurant have sections for smokers.

“It’s important for some of our customers, especially when we get some of the crazy Oklahoma weather, but we’ll always abide by whatever the local laws are,” said Emily White, general manager at The Abner Ale House.

Campus Corner also has several businesses that have smoking areas.

O’Connell’s Grill and Pub does not have a smoking area. However, owner Jeff Stewart said he is pleased the bill died in committee.

“City by city is not the way to do it,” he said. “You have to do it all across the board or not at all. It’s fine the way it is.”

Stewart said going city by city is too confusing to customers.

In addition, a recent attorney general’s opinion prohibits cities from banning smoking in city-owned outdoor parks and recreational areas.

In 2009, the Norman City Council banned the use of tobacco in city parks, except for Westwood Park golf course and adjacent parking lots.

Norman has taken no action on the AG’s recent opinion regarding smoking in parks. Norman City Attorney Jeff Bryant said he is studying the matter to see what application it has to Norman.

Joy Hampton

366-3539

jhampton@

normantranscript.com

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • N7 Sooners come together to serve Native American youth

    Whitney Wofford has faced some tough competition as a part of the Oklahoma tennis team. However, on Wednesday, Wofford may have taken on her biggest and most rewarding competition yet at the Sooners For N7 event at the Oklahoma football ...

    April 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • Earth Day activities continue this week

    Oklahoma is no stranger to extreme weather, but many say those extremes are even greater than before. Norman resident and biologist Kathy Rand is convinced those climate irregularities are a result of climate change caused by pollution, ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Moore schools receive $500K

    As Mickey Davis addressed the auditorium, the picture of a bright-eyed, happy 8-year-old on the podium in front of her could not be ignored. Davis’ son, Kyle Davis, was one of seven who lost their lives in the May 2013 tornadoes at Plaza ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Man arraigned after wife’s death

    A judge on Wednesday denied bond for a 37-year-old Norman man formally charged with stabbing his wife to death with a kitchen knife early Saturday morning in their southeast Norman apartment. Abid Sandhu, 37, was arraigned before Special ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Tornado Repair Oklahoma officials account for $9.4M in disaster spending

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Nearly a year after deadly tornadoes hit central Oklahoma, officials announced that they have spent close to $9.4 million in private donations on relief efforts....

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • School to present ‘Hamlet’

    To be or not to be? That is the question Norman North High School students are answering during their production of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” this week....

    April 24, 2014

  • Historic house celebrates centennial

    When Fredrick Holmberg arrived in Norman more than 100 years ago, he tucked his violin beneath his arm and headed for the University of Oklahoma campus.  A century later, another violinist, Cindy Zhang, will perform at the home Holmberg ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Dorman wants bipartisan appeal

    Rep. Joe Dorman said he’s proud to be a Democrat running for governor, but he hopes to garner bipartisan support. In a visit Wednesday to the Transcript, Dorman said, if elected, he wants to work across party lines like former Gove. Henry ...

    April 24, 2014

  • ‘Frozen’ to air Friday

    Movies on Main in Blanchard will host a showing of “Frozen” at 8 p.m. Friday. The evening will include hot dogs, chips, drinks, popcorn and free movie merchandise....

    April 24, 2014

  • Safety Town registration begins Saturday

    Saturday marks the beginning of registration for Safety Town classes at Sooner Mall. Safety Town, a 37-year Norman tradition, teaches children, ages 5 and 6, the importance of bicycle, fire and personal safety. Classes are 50 minutes long ...

    April 24, 2014