Smoke 'em if you got 'em, Palmer. The city council last week voted down a smoke-free ordinance, 4-3. Only four bars on South Alaska Street would have fallen under the new law that banned smoking in public places; all the eateries around town are already no-smoking zones by choice. Apparently Palmer isn't unique -- and the vote might not be the last word on the issue. Kenai and Soldotna voted down an ordinance in 2009, according to Becky Stoppa, with Breathe Free Mat-Su. The city of Wasilla considered a measure in 2005 to ban smoking in public places but allow it in bars and places with fewer than four employees. That city council let the measure die on the table. Nome tabled an ordinance back in 2007, but officials there passed it in May of this year, Stoppa said. A smoke-free zone ballot measure in Sitka failed in 2004 and passed in 2005.
-- Zaz Hollander