Defiance: KS Salina

Kansas

Salina Update

If you smoke, you’re out
September 12, 2014
By TIM UNRUH
Hospital takes rigid stance against smoking on property
Patients sneaking a smoke or a chew at Salina Regional Health Center or any of the hospital’s other properties will be sent away.
The hospital implemented new rules Aug. 4 that are meant to strengthen its policy regarding smoking and use of other tobacco products.
In a Thursday news release, the hospital warned that patients who violate the policy will be discharged and considered leaving against medical advice. A nurse will remove the intravenous tube if they have one; tests and treatments will cease and the patient will be instructed to call for a ride home.
The hospital made the changes “effective immediately” for patients. Employees have more time.
Since implementation of the policy, some patients have been sent home, said David Moody, the hospital’s vice president of human resources.
He was not aware Thursday if there are procedures in place to readmit patients if they agree to follow the rules.
“I’ve got to believe it’s one strike and you’re out, but I cannot be sure about that,” Moody said. “I know that in the information provided to the patient, that is made very clear to them up front.”
Tobacco-free since ’07
The hospital has been tobacco-free since Jan. 1, 2007, Moody said, but “unfortunately, in a lot of respects, it has been in name only.”
This time, Salina Regional means it, Moody said.
“Frankly, we need to start somewhere, and smoking is proven to be a major cause of health issues,” he said.
A ‘preventative posture’
The intent of the Affordable Care Act is to move health care “from a curative to a preventative posture,” Moody said. “If we are to improve the health of the citizens of the United States, we have to get into a preventative mode.”
Nicotine patches or nicotine gum are allowed, he said, but the use of tobacco and electronic cigarettes is banned regardless of a doctor’s orders.
No decision on visitors
Rules are clear for patients, Moody said, but “we have not made a decision on visitors and family friends.”
He said that, without being confrontational, hospital staff will ask them to respect the policy.
“Patients have had seven years to adjust to this, and we’re finally saying that we are going to hold to our values that we are a health care organization,” Moody said. “Our intent is to return you to a state of health.”
All properties affected
The policy applies to Salina Regional Health Center, Lindsborg Community Hospital and eight physician clinics in Salina, including the Salina Medical Arts Building and Santa Fe Medical Plaza.
Salina Surgical separate
Salina Regional owns half of Salina Surgical Hospital, but that organization develops its own policies.
“We are working with them at the present time to work toward a common policy,” Moody said.
Salina Surgical Hospital’s tobacco policy complies with state law, said LuAnn Puvogel, CEO.
Employees have until Jan. 1
Salina Regional employees have until Jan. 1 to cease the use of tobacco products during their shifts. Cessation assistance, including prescription help, is being offered for free until then, Moody said.
“We want to give them time to adjust to this policy,” Moody said. “We want to provide them the opportunity to kick the habit.”
Employees could be fired
Smoking electronic or tobacco cigarettes or cigars and chewing tobacco are strictly against the rules, and that includes sitting in your car in a hospital parking lot.
Those in violation face “disciplinary action up to and including termination,” Moody said.
The only way an employee can smoke during his or her shift is to clock out on a lunch break and leave the campus.
Smoking for visitors or employees would be allowed on public sidewalks.
“We’re splitting hairs, but yes, you’re correct, unfortunately,” Moody said.
Employee response positive
The response from employees has been positive, he said.
“As of today, the sentiment is more than 6 to 1 in favor of the policy,” Moody said. “I haven’t had one say this policy is discriminatory. I have had a number say, ‘It’s about time.’ ”
Moody said other hospitals are doing the same.
“If anything, we’re probably middle of the pack on this, pardon the pun,” he said. “A lot of hospitals have gone totally tobacco-free and are vehemently stressing that to patients, staff and visitors.”
Hospital association campaign
The Kansas Hospital Association launched a tobacco-free campaign in 2006 and since then, 96 percent of Kansas hospitals have joined the voluntary initiative, said Cindy Samuelson, spokeswoman.
“There would be a minority of hospitals in Kansas that haven’t gone to this policy,” she said.
With flammable gases such as oxygen in use, the policy is also necessary for the safety of patients, employees and visitors, Samuelson said.
Smoking area designated
Roger Masse, CEO of Ellsworth County Medical Center, said in a voicemail that an area has been designated for smoking and that there is no immediate intention to change policies.
— Reporter Tim Unruh can be reached at 822-1419 or by email at tunruh@salina.com.

They made it as long as they could. Now this great old tavern, and charity fund raiser, is closed!
Bootleggers Saloon is CLOSED in Salina.
Watch:? This was the Poker Run for charity, a regular event.
http://www.salinafyi.com/marketplace/businesses/bootleggers-saloon/videos/40/


A Bartender’s Letter
October 16, 2009
By Sheila Martin
?? I found a quiet corner in my small neighborhood tavern, and I sat down to ponder the future. I see across the room a small crowd of laughing friendly faces, the faces I have known for many years; some as long as 28 years. We all had a lot more hair and less wrinkles when I got this business, at the age of 26.
?? Keith and Cindy, who met here years ago, and have now been married for years. Jeff over at a table with his sister, who’s visiting from Kansas City. Their mom had to have surgery yesterday after falling and breaking her hip. Glenna is sitting with them; she lost her only sibling, her sister, in a terrible house fire this spring.
?? Suzi’s watching “Survivor” on the TV. She has control of the remote on Thursday nights. She and Jeff have had the usual ups and downs over the years. SHe’s up to 8 grandchildren now! Marty is watching along with her. He’s been a friend for years. He lost his dad and brother in a small plane crash years ago. He used to get really good Cuban cigars. John is here. His wife works nights, so he finds comraderie here. Patty and Butch are in tonite.? They have good jobs and get to take fun trips all the time. She works at one of the schools, and everybody loves her. He can be a real grouch sometimes, but he always comes back around to good humor. Mona and Jeff are wonderfully interesting people, they have mules, and live in a house with no electric or gas heat. He looks like he stepped out of an old cowboy film.
?? I could name them all, and tell you everything about them. Their dreams, their fears. Thousands of people I know, hundreds that I consider my friends
?? I feel so sad tonight. When the smoking ban passes, I don’t know where these people will be. THis is where their friends are. This is where they look for, and find approval and friendship. This world we live in can be such a lonely place. What on earth will happen to them? I don’t know.??
?????I can tell you that in the 28 years of my watch in this business, there have been times that some of these folks got their hearts broken, and THIS is where they came to talk it out, and get through these tough times. I was always there for them when they lost a parent or a sibling or a wife or husband, or a job.? I was always there when they had a wedding or a new child, or a funeral.? I was always there to calm them in a stressful situation.
?? I remember the two, who DIDN’T come in to talk. Years ago. And they couldn’t take the situation they found themselves in. No one to talk to.? I still feel sick that I didn’t go find them.? Willie and Dwayne. WHY did they forget where to find a friend??
?? That’s my job. Being a friend, a confidant.
?? Yeah, I’m a bartender. I have always been there for you. I do this NOT because of money, because Lord knows, there have been tough times for me too.
?? So you want me to throw these people out into the cold streets. You want me to force them to stay home alone.??? This is MY little flock of imperfect people, JUST LIKE ME!
?? Most of us smoke. Everyone gets along. Sometimes we do have to crack the doors when this 25 by 50 building is packed. I spent $4,800.00 this year for a better air system.? I didn’t mind, if it makes the few who don’t more comfortable. The folks that just don’t want to be around smokers don’t come here. They have two really nice, new clubs they can go to.
?? The bartender is those places will never know these people like I do. And when the chips are down, and the going gets tough, here they are again, looking for someone who cares about them.
?? This is WHY I, and MANY other bar owners fight against the smoking bans. We KNOW what happens. We KNOW what is happening in Salina and Emporia right now.

Smoking ban violators cited
9/4/2009
By MICHAEL STRAND
Salina Journal
Three people were cited Wednesday afternoon for violating the city’s smoking ban — the first to be cited since the ban went into effect.
Salina Deputy Police Chief Carson Mansfield said Thursday that since the ordinance went into effect in May, police had received numerous reports of smoking at the Labor Building Social Club, a bar in the lower level of the Labor Building at 2055 S. Ohio.
Since the reports started, Mansfield said, uniformed officers had walked through the establishment several times to remind people about the law without resorting to arrests and citations.
“We tried voluntary compliance, but that didn’t work,” Mansfield said.
When the visits by uniformed police didn’t work, officers in plain clothes entered the building around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday and found the Social Club’s manager and two customers smoking.
All three were cited for violations of the city’s ban on smoking in public places, which went into effect in May.
The citations are the first to be issued under the ban. The city’s smoking ordinance sets the punishment as a fine of at least $50 for the first violation.
Mansfield said other charges are possible. He said the department is forwarding its reports on the case to the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control and city officials for possible additional “administrative remedies.”
The smoking ordinance allows the city to suspend or revoke any city licenses or permits of a business if a person “in control of a public place or place of employment” violates the ordinance.
Mansfield did not name the manager or customers cited.
Reporter Mike Strand can be reached at 822-1418 or by e-mail at mstrand@salina.com.

Fundraiser fails when students don’t show up at dance
8/17/2009
MICHAEL STRAND
Since Salina schools began cracking down on “freak dancing” this past spring, students have been voting with their feet — staying away from school dances in droves.
This past Saturday, a back-to-school sock hop at Salina Central High School was put out of its misery about 9 p.m., after only about a half-dozen students had shown up.
The dance was intended as a fundraiser for Mustang Spirit, an organization that works to encourage positive behavior at the school, but after the group paid for expenses, such as a professional DJ, it ended up losing money.
Central students said Monday they’d heard about what happened, and they weren’t surprised.
“School Dance Guidelines,” distributed this year to students and parents, say dancers must “maintain appropriate personal space” at school dances, and that students who “exhibit inappropriate behavior or dance in a sexually suggestive manner (freaking, grinding, etc.) will be warned.” Students who continue, the guidelines say, will have to leave.
“Everybody’s staying away,” said junior Tayshaw Long. “We can’t dance the way we dance.”

Smoking ban back on the table
6/1/2009
By DAVID CLOUSTON, Salina Journal
By a 3-2 vote Monday, Salina city commissioners agreed to reopen the issue of a public smoking ban in Salina by having hearings so business operators can appeal for exemptions.
Commissioners Tom Arpke, Samantha Angell and Mayor Luci Larson were in favor of bringing the issue back before the commission, while commissioners Aaron Peck and Norman Jennings were against it. The decision was reached at a commission study session.
No date for the hearings was set Monday.
The city’s smoking ban, which applies to virtually all public buildings, took effect May 2.
Arpke, who made it clear in his race for the commission that he opposed the smoking ban, made it clearer still Monday that he wants to make antismoking forces responsible for keeping the ban on the books.
“I’ll make it real easy,” Arpke told fellow commissioners during a discussion preceding Monday’s commission meeting. “I think my goal, when it’s all said and done, is to repeal the existing ordinance.”
His comment drew applause and cheers from a large group of ordinance opponents who filled the commission’s conference room.
Opponents have until Aug. 12 — 180 days after the first signature was collected — to turn in a petition challenging the ordinance that took effect May 2.
They have not yet done so, sticking firmly to their conviction that voters would have a clearer choice if commissioners repealed the ordinance.
That’s because if the antismoking advocates challenged the commission’s action with their own petition, voters in a special election would be voting ‘yes’ to retain the ordinance, rather than ‘yes’ to repeal it.
“We want a ‘yes ban’ or ‘no ban.’ It’s very simple,” said ordinance opponent Gary Swartzendruber. “We want to give the present governing body ample opportunity to, hopefully, repeal (the ordinance).”
Though they didn’t get that far Monday, ordinance opponents did succeed in getting a majority of the commissioners to agree to allow for public comment and discussion about possible exemptions.
In voting to allow more comment, Angell cited what she termed inconsistencies in the ordinance. For example, someone living in an apartment in an apartment complex may smoke, but someone living in an apartment in an assisted-living or longterm care facility may not.
“The primary difference there is the employment aspect,” City Manager Jason Gage said. Staff caring for a resident in the latter circumstance would be exposed to second-hand smoke when they went into that person’s residence to care for them, he said.
Angell also cited exemptions to the federal employment discrimination law applied to businesses with fewer than four employees.
Those businesses could discriminate against someone based on their age, race or disabilities — choices that those discriminated against have no control over — but the same employer couldn’t allow smoking in their establishment, she said.
Jennings said it was important that the commission’s future discussion on the issue remain concise. He asked that business owners who feel harmed by the ordinance be asked to submit their comments and sales figures as proof, in writing, ahead of the discussion.
Though he ultimately supports a repeal, Arpke offered up a list of exemptions he thought should be added to the ordinance.
He suggested giving establishments that previously allowed smoking the authority to continue. If the establishment chose to remain smoke-free, the smoking ban would be permanent.
Arpke said he also supports an exemption for private clubs with air filtration systems.
Bowling alleys should not be exempt, though, Arpke said, because children are sometimes present in those facilities.
Larson said she was open to revisiting the issue and considering exemptions, as a compromise, until the Legislature implements a statewide smoking ban.
The move to bring the ordinance back for more discussion and possible exemptions or repeal caused Peck to question the time and energy that commissioners and the public would be spending on the proposal.
“Quick question. If we have three commissioners here who want to repeal it, why are we going through all this effort for?” Peck asked. “Just do it.”
The audience applauded again at that remark, but Larson did not respond and commissioners moved on to other matters.
Reporter David Clouston can be reached at 822-1403 or by e-mail at dclouston@salina.com.


Smoking ban foes push candidates, costly special election, for repeal
If commission doesn’t overturn ban, they’ll seek special election
Smoking ban foes push candidates, costly special election, for repeal
2/24/2009
By DAVID CLOUSTON. Salina Journal
Salinans seeking the repeal of a tougher citywide smoking ban say they have two routes to victory.
They want a majority of new commissioners slated to be sworn into office in April to vote to repeal the ban that would prohibit smoking in virtually all buildings open to the public, including bars, before the ban takes effect.
And if that doesn’t happen, they say, they will ask that city commissioners approve a special election to let the public decide the issue.
Proponents of a repeal say they already have collected more than 1,600 signatures on a petition asking that repeal be put to a public vote; 1,390 signatures were required to call for a vote.
But organizers deliberately chose not to turn in the petition by Monday’s deadline for putting the question on the April 7 city and school board election ballot.
There would have been no cost to have the smoking question decided as part of that election. But Don Merriman, county clerk, said the cost of a special election, which could go as high as $20,000, would be charged to the city and ultimately to taxpayers.
“It is unnecessary, and I would hope the folks circulating the petition take that into consideration — what they’re going to cost the taxpayers in forcing a special election instead of letting it be on the April 7 ballot,” said Samantha Angell, “especially when one of them (Leonard Dahl) is running for city commission.
“We don’t need to spend an extra $20,000 on a special election when we’re having an election in six weeks.”
Angell is one of the candidates running for three vacant seats on the commission and one of the candidates that opponents of the stricter smoking ban think can be counted on to vote in favor of a repeal.
She said Monday evening that she would not have voted in favor of the ban that passed on a 3-2 vote of commissioners in January.
Two commissioners who voted for the proposal, Alan Jilka and Abner Perney, are not seeking re-election. Mayor John Vanier, who voted against the stricter smoking ban, also is not running.
Left on the commission will be Commissioner Aaron Peck, who voted for the smoking ban, and Commissioner Luci Larson, who voted against it.
“It’s just a matter of voting in two candidates to get rid of it, providing that the two who are up there maintain the vote as they are,” said commission candidate Dahl, owner of the Hide-A-Way tavern at 540 Willis.
Dahl was one of the originators of the ban petition, along with Elizabeth Owens of the Rendezvous Bar, 249 N. Santa Fe.
Owens could not be reached for comment Monday.
“We’re asking all the candidates to take a stand,” Dahl said, of making the smoking ban a campaign issue. He said his informal poll of candidates running for the commission indicates most are in favor of the existing smoking restrictions remaining in place.
The existing city ordinance restricts smoking in restaurants to between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., and it doesn’t apply to bars. If the new ordinance is defeated, either by commissioners or at the ballot box, the current ordinance stays in effect.
Dahl said petition organizers chose to ignore the deadline for the April 7 ballot and wait until a new commission is seated because the law gives the petitioners a 180-day window from the date of the first signature in which to request a special election. And they’re continuing to collect signatures, he said.
City Attorney Greg Bengtson said Monday that a newly seated commission could address the issue of the tougher smoking ordinance if they chose to, before the new ordinance is scheduled to take effect in May. Once the ordinance takes effect, it cannot be changed for 10 years, by law.
“Under the commissioners’ rules, they can move to have an item placed on the agenda for a future meeting. It takes a majority to do that. It would really just be like any other legislative matter they might wish to take up,” he said.
But those commissioners might want to consider “what are the political ramifications if we do go and spend $20,000 of taxpayer money?” Merriman said.
Angell said she is not a supporter of the tougher ban on the grounds of less government intervention. She said she’s not a smoker and would rather go into a place that’s smoke-free.
Owners of private property should have the right to decide whether or not to allow smoking there, she said. As to workers in bars and other places where smoking is allowed — “My opinion is that employee workplace safety is the job of OSHA (the Occupational Health and Safety Administration), not a local city commission,” Angell said.
But, Angell said, “it seems a bit ridiculous to me” to make the smoking issue the target of a costly special election. “We have the petition signed; let’s let voters vote on it, on April 7,” she said.
“It would be an awful waste of taxpayer dollars to push it to later.”


Opponents start petition drive to vote
2/17/2009
By DAVID CLOUSTON, Salina Journal
Opponents of a new tougher anti-smoking ordinance for the city of Salina have begun a petition drive aimed at repealing the measure before it takes effect.
But if the petition drive succeeds in bringing the measure to a vote in April, and a repeal is approved, the current ordinance restricting restaurant smoking to between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. would remain in effect. The current ordinance doesn’t apply to bars.
The smoking ordinance approved by commissioners in January would prohibit smoking in virtually all buildings that are open to the public — including bars, bowling alleys and bingo parlors.
The ordinance is scheduled to take effect 90 days after it was published in the Salina Journal, which would put it on track for early May, County Clerk Don Merriman said.
The language of the new ordinance says that upon passage by commissioners, the former ordinance restricting but not banning smoking is repealed.
But if the new ordinance is repealed by voters, the city commission’s repeal of the current ordinance would be repealed as well, leaving the current ordinance in place, according to City Attorney Greg Bengtson.
Opponents of the new ordinance began circulating their petition last week.
Those favoring a vote on repeal need the signatures of 1,320 registered voters, representing 25 percent of the number of people who voted in the last city election. They need to gather the signatures by Feb. 23.
The leaders organizing the petition drive, Leonard Dahl, of The Hide-A-Way bar, 540 Willis, and Elizabeth Owens, of the Rendezvous Bar, 249 N. Santa Fe, were not available for comment Monday. Dahl is a candidate for one of the open seats on the city commission.
The petition’s carriers have placed them at many public bars, some organizations such as the VFW and American Legion, some restaurants and some convenience stores.
About 30 customers at Big Cheese Pizza, 732 S. Broadway, had signed the petition as of Monday afternoon, said restaurant manager Eric Deherrera.
“We started it Saturday. I feel like it should be brought to a vote because it’s the way America does things,” Deherrera said.
“If you want to choose to say yes (to a repeal), you should have that right.”
Deherrera’s restaurant doesn’t allow smoking and that would likely remain the policy, even if there was no smoking ordinance, he said. Still, he thinks patrons of the VFW, bars and places “where children aren’t allowed” should be allowed to smoke as they have in the past.
If enough signatures are collected to bring the matter to a vote, it means somewhat confusing wording on the ballot for voters, Merriman said. That’s because voters will be required to vote “yes” if they favor a repeal, and “no” to keep the ordinance in place. If voters were deciding on the ordinance itself, the outcome of yes and no votes would be the reverse.
“I hate it for voters. But when it’s enacted this way and the petition creates confusing ballot language, I can’t put anything explanatory on the ballot because of state law,” Merriman said. “I’d love to be able to.”
State law forbids an explanatory statement on the ballot because of concerns about possible bias, he said.
Any action Salina voters take — or don’t — could be rendered moot, however, if the Kansas Legislature passes a statewide ban on smoking in public places, Merriman said.
Monday, the Kansas Senate debated a bill that would ban smoking in most public places in the state. Senate President Steve Morris predicted passage, if there weren’t too many amendments attached. Chances of passage in the House seem less certain.
At least 23 states require most public places and workplaces to be smoke-free.
Kansas health officials say clean indoor air regulations have already been adopted by at least 25 city and county governments, covering about 28 percent of the state’s population.

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