Commentary

Good newsóno wait, scratch that.

Every once in a while something unexpected happens, and a public official bravely stands in front of hysteria’s stampede: St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly on Wednesday came out against a proposed ban on smoking in bars and restaurants as the City Council delayed voting on the contentious measure for at least a week. Kelly is working with council members, ban supporters and business owners to craft a compromise that would fall short of prohibiting smoking entirely, said Deputy Mayor Dennis Flaherty. OK, well, that doesn’t sound so great, but at least it’s better than a ban. “He continues to be very concerned about the impact of a ban on our hospitality industry,” Flaherty said. “He feels that the overall solution to this is a statewide ban, which wouldn’t place our businesses at a disadvantage.” Spoke too soon. For news on NYC’s smoking ban, go here.

Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.