Wanna Smoke in Dallas? Donâ€™t Plan on Leaving the House.
The first sip: The city council, which just may reveal the operator of the convention center hotel today, is poised to take a significant step toward strengthening Dallasâ€™ smoking ordinance when it hears a briefing on the issue Wednesday. As Dave Levinthal pointed out yesterday, council member Pauline Medrano says the item skipped the Quality of Life and Government Services Committee because itâ€™s such a big issue and all of the council members want to be heard.
The question doesnâ€™t appear to be if council members will act to stiffen the ordinance at the November 19 agenda meeting; itâ€™s a matter of how closely they want it to resemble Californiaâ€™s total ban. Among the ideas under consideration: banning smoking in bars, pool halls, streets, sidewalks, public parks and while driving in a car with a child.
The number of people willing to defend smoking seems to be a dwindling minority, most of which are die-hard smokers themselves. So I fall into a very, very small faction of non-smokers who think the government needs to stay outta the bidness of telling people where they can and canâ€™t exercise their right to smoke.
The second sip: Pete Oppel takes a look at a vote facing Californians on Tuesday regarding the construction of a high-speed rail line for a bullet train that will connect the San Francisco Bay area with Los Angeles. Oppel says Texas should adopt a similar idea, linking Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio, with possible expansions to the Gulf Coast and Mexican border. He says the rail service would be great for downtown, â€śespecially in conjunction with a new convention center hotel.â€ť
Proposition 1A approves a $9.95 billion down payment for the $32 billion project, with expansions to San Diego and Sacramento expected to cost an additional $10 billion. Some opponents say the final cost of the project could approach a whopping $80 billion.
Itâ€™s not a terrible idea, but given TxDOTâ€™s inability to fund current road projects and Dallasâ€™ need for improved DART service within the city, I would love to know where the billions will come from to pay for it.
The third sip: Oppel, former entertainment editor at The DMN, polled Oscar voters and â€śThe Curious Case of Benjamin Buttonâ€ť maintains the top spot in the Best Picture category.
The fourth sip: Obama and McCainâ€™s best lines and worst gaffes of the presidential campaign.
The final gulp: Mixing politics and Halloween is never a good idea. Hereâ€™s proof: --Sam Merten