Ban Smoking, Benefit Tourism

November 17, 2006

A few weeks ago, I ate lunch with a friend in Kingsport at a wonderful, downtown, country cooking restaurant.  The food was great, but the meal was spoiled when three women at an adjoining table lit cigarettes and fouled the air for the entire room. 

The News Sentinel has an article discussing smoking in public places in Tennessee.  Seems that the enlightened legislature passed “an amendment to a series of smoking laws passed in Tennessee in 1994
prohibits local governments from passing a law banning or regulating
the use of tobacco products.”


Communities that want to lure culture and heritage-minded tourists should encourage local restaurants to reduce or eliminate smoking.  It’s the right thing–and the smart thing–to do.

KnoxNews: Local

African-American Family Reunions

November 17, 2006

Today’s Wall Street Journal (alas, the story is only available to subscribers) has an article by Debra J. Dickerson discussing the booming business of family reunions for black families.  Seems that the most upscale gatherings have attracted the attention of the tourism industry:  “Convention centers and the hotel industry know that black reunions are
cash cows; many have designated specific offices to lure the trade. At
least three major hotel chains offer reunion packages and advertise
them in minority publications.”

Many black families have Tennessee roots, and it would be interesting to hear from people who have held reunions in the state, and where they chose to have them.  Ms. Dickerson ends her piece by saying:  “I’ll know that my family has achieved the proper mix of education and
down-home common sense when I’m invited to a reunion that’s held in a
state park, where we camp out and enjoy each other’s company.  And maybe award a scholarship or two. Aint Pee Wee would approve.”