Cigar association stresses ‘Freedom, Unity’ for all Vermont citizens

first_imgContrary to its motto – ‘Freedom and Unity’ – the state of Vermont is one step closer to tightening its current smoking ban by prohibiting the use of tobacco and other smoking products in all workplaces throughout the state.The International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association says the freedom of all Vermont citizens – smokers and non-smokers alike – is at stake and state legislators should be spending their time on issues that truly matter – like jobs and the economy.”The United States Constitution gives the right to employers to decide how to conduct their businesses, and that includes whether or not to allow smoking on their premises. The state of Vermont preempted that right by legislating a smoking ban in 1987 and would be adding insult to injury now by tightening those decades-old restrictions,” said Chris McCalla, legislative director of the IPCPR.”Why is this important to the estimated 675,000 non-smokers and smokers who live in the state? They all should be concerned because their constitutional rights are being further tampered with and further deprivation of their rights would be in the offing,” he explained.McCalla pointed out that, in contrast to what is claimed by pro-ban and anti-smoking forces, secondhand smoke in the workplace has been declared a virtual non-issue by the very federal organization that has been assigned the responsibility for wellness in the workplace – the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.”In the first place, OSHA has established safe levels for secondhand smoke in the workplace and, secondly, those safe levels are so high that the air quality in most bars and restaurants would not come close to reaching them let alone exceeding them,” McCalla said.McCalla cited official documentation from senior officials of OSHA that states, in part, “It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that permissible exposure levels would be exceeded.”Vermont’s current smoking ban plus on-going trends in the marketplace have led to an increasing number of business owners banning the use of tobacco in their establishments.”Legislated smoking bans are simply not necessary when the market is adjusting accordingly on its own. Why bother with something that’s already working when there are so many other more important issues to deal with such as jobs and the economy?” he said.Source: The International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers AssociationSource: MONTPELIER, Vt., April 9 /PRNewswire/last_img read more

Disgraced US Olympics doctor Larry Nassar jailed for 175 years

first_imgFormer US Olympic gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar has been sentenced to 40 to 175 years following testimony from over 150 women who accuse him of abuse.”I will carry your words with me for the rest of my days,” Nassar turned and told his victims in the courtroom.Nassar, 54, pleaded guilty to multiple counts of sexual assault against girls and young women, including Olympians.Judge Rosemarie Aqualina told Nassar during the sentencing he will “be in darkness the rest of his life”.”As much as it was my honour and privilege to hear the sister survivors, it was my honour and privilege to sentence you. Because, sir, you do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again,” she said.She added that she would not send her dogs to the former sports doctor, adding: “I’ve just signed your death warrant”. Following seven days of emotional testimony from Nassar’s alleged victims, he was given an opportunity to address his accusers in court.”What I am feeling pales in comparison to the pain, trauma, and emotional destruction that all of you are feeling,” he told the packed courtroom.”There are no words to describe the depth and breadth of how sorry I am for what has occurred,” he added.A story of survivalRajini Vaidyanathan, BBC News, Lansing, MichiganSitting in court throughout seven day hearing, the stories have been strikingly similar – the former USA gymnastics team doctor would call the women in for treatment, but instead of taking away their pain, he stole their innocence. Some were so young they didn’t realise until years later that they had been sexually abused. As Larry Nassar sat in his prison overalls, just metres away from them survivor after survivor looked him in the eye and reminded him of what he’d done to them. And that’s been the most extraordinary thing about this hearing. While the content of their testimony has been harrowing, it’s also been inspiring.  For survivors of sexual abuse it’s hard to relive the experience, let alone do so in front of yourlast_img read more

Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig is slimming down at the team’s request

first_imgDodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, giving his first interview of the new year in Los Angeles on Tuesday, answered several questions in English. That’s news on its own merit. The 25-year-old from Cuba has been reluctant to go on the record in a language other than Spanish to this point in his career.Puig did not resort to a familiar cliche by declaring himself in “the best shape of his life.” Actually, he took the opposite tack, cracking a joke when asked how much he weighs.“This year, 280,” he said in English, breaking into a grin. “I’m so fat.”After a pause, Puig said he now weighs 240 pounds. That’s 15 pounds lower than his listed weight in last year’s media guide. “I’m working to slim down,” he said. “Maybe when we go into spring training, 236 or 237.”Those numbers should please the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations, Andrew Friedman, who asked Puig to “lose a few pounds” — in Puig’s words (in Spanish through an interpreter) — to keep him on the field more in 2016. Last year he was limited to 79 games because of injuries to both of his hamstrings.Puig said the injuries inhibited his performance, which were reflected in his not-so-flashy batting statistics: a .255 batting average, 11 home runs and 38 RBIs in those 79 regular-season games. In the postseason, Puig started only once in five games against the New York Mets.Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, himself a former outfielder, is on board with Puig’s weight-loss plan. Pinning a target weight on the 6-foot-2 outfielder is tricky.“It’s hard to say,” Roberts said. “He’s a large human. Everybody’s different, their bone structure and muscle mass, but for me with his structure, somewhere around 235, 240ish, something like that.” Puig batted .305 in his first two seasons with the Dodgers. He flashed a rare combination of power at the plate, speed on the bases, and range in the outfield to go with a phenomenal throwing arm. Along the way, Puig steadily gained weight. He was listed at 235 pounds prior to the 2014 season.“I don’t really see a correlation between weight and how well one plays baseball, how that affects one or the other,” Puig said through an interpreter. “However, of course I’m taking (Friedman) up on that suggestion. Everyone else is encouraging me to do the same. if that’s their suggestion to become a better player, I’m absolutely on board. I’m going to do that.”Meanwhile, Major League Baseball is still investigating Puig for his role in a fight at a Miami nightclub in November under the league’s new domestic violence policy. Two other players, Colorado Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes and New York Yankees pitcher Aroldis Chapman, are also being investigated under the policy. Commissioner Rob Manfred recently told the Associated Press that there is no timetable to resolve those cases.Puig said he’s heard as much from the league as far as a timetable — that is, nothing — though he cited his participation in a goodwill trip to Cuba in December as evidence that he doesn’t foresee any punishment from the league.The Dodgers’ pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to spring training on Feb. 19. Puig plans to report on Feb. 15, possibly in the best shape of his life.AlsoRoberts was formally commended by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for becoming the first minority manager in franchise history. Roberts’ father is African-American and his mother is Japanese. … The Dodgers announced their training staff: Former Arizona Diamondbacks trainer Neil Rampe is replacing Stan Conte as the team’s head athletic trainer; Nathan Lucero and Thomas Albert were named assistant athletic trainers; and Brandon McDaniel (strength and conditioning coach), Steve Smith (physical therapist) and Yosuke Nakajima (massage therapist) will return to the major league staff. … Outfielder Andre Ethier, special advisor Tommy Lasorda and retired players Tommy Davis, Steve Garvey, Dennis Powell and Derrel Thomas are scheduled to host more than 400 law enforcement personnel and families impacted by the mass shooting in San Bernardino in a private event Wednesday at the National Orange Show Event Center.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more