Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Boise Votes 2011: Basque Center Smoking Clouds Election

Posted By on Wed, Nov 9, 2011 at 8:53 AM

As the election results rolled in last night, something hung in the air. It wasn't a cloud of political debate in the atmosphere at the Basque Center, it was a thin cloud of cigarette and cigar smoke. Mayor Dave Bieter, elected to a third term Tuesday night, used to tend bar at the center.

"The bartending was fun but the smoking part? Not so much," Bieter said. "I used to be a two-pack-a-day smoker."

Since the City Council is considering smoke-free proposals, the venue for third-term Mayor Dave Bieter's election-results shindig seemed an awkward choice.

"Well, the mayor has always had election-result parties here," said city spokesman Adam Park, chuckling.

Citydesk asked if Bieter realized he was holding the event in a smoking bar.

"This is the mayor's home turf," said Park.

Across the street at Ben Quintana's Bardenay election party, Ryan Gregg, Boise State's student government assembly speaker, and ASBSU president Brandie VanOrder stopped by. The two spoke briefly about anti-smoking restrictions on the Boise State campus and the decision not to create special smoking zones.

Quintana took a moment to weigh in as well.

"If I were put on council tomorrow, I would vote 'yes,'" said Quintana of the smoke-free proposal, at around 9:30 p.m. Before the evening was out, Quintana was elected as the newest member of the City Council.

Meanwhile at the Basque Center, Lael Uberuaga tended the bar in Bieter's stead, pouring the domestic beers and popping the Sierra Nevada preferred by the crowd. She admitted that she doesn't like the smoke.

"As a nonsmoker it's tough," she said. She doesn't like that smoke infringes on her right not to smoke. "I mean, if they wanna chew, that's fine, as long as they don't spit it in my face."

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