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Slay: No more smoking at Lambert by 2011

This article fist appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 25, 2009 - St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay hopes to make Lambert International Airport smoke-free -- at least indoors -- by 2011.

The mayor's blog, which has become his popular destination for making news, explains the quandary when it comes to Lambert, which is situated in St. Louis County, but owned by the City of St. Louis.

The anti-smoking ban approved by the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, and a similar measured OKed Nov. 3 by St. Louis County voters, all exempt Lambert and its passenger smoking lounges.

Both bans go into effect in 2011.

Slay wrote Wednesday that he'd like to see a smoking ban go into effect at Lambert at the same time. And the city of St. Louis has the power to unilaterally impose such a ban, he says.

"Airport director Dick Hrabko, who is retiring, has made some strong arguments in the past about the logistics and security of moving smokers outside the terminal. However, I will work with the incoming airport director to see how Mr. Hrabko’s issues can be addressed.

"My plan is for Lambert to be smoke-free in January 2011."

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.