Mark Hayward's City Matters: Smoke-free living divides apartment tenants
Twelve days ago, the Carpenter Center — a subsidized housing project in downtown Manchester — went smoke-free. After more than a year of warnings, reworded leases and smoking-cessation programs, the residents of the 96 apartments were told to snuff out the butts in their individual apartments as of June 1.
In the hallways, dining room and park benches outside the Carpenter Center, conversations about smoking have raged for months. Two people who most symbolize the debate are Linda Linton and Conrad St. Germain.
"It's great. It smells differently. You don't mind being here. You can walk the hallways and not smell smoke," Linton said.
On the other extreme is Conrad St. Germain.
He said his rent at Carpenter was $600 a month, which included everything but cable TV. Now the 67-year-old splits a $1,300-a-month apartment with his girlfriend. He also pays half the heat and half the utility bill. All so he can smoke 1-1/2 packs of cigarettes a day in his home.
One can't help but admire both Linton and St. Germain.
Linton put her social life at risk at the apartment complex. She acknowledges she's made some enemies.
And St. Germain won't be pushed around, even though it costs him money, which he doesn't have a lot of.
"I think smokers have rights. If I can't smoke, the hell with it," said St. Germain, who shows a scar on his belly from surgery he had last December to remove cancer from his liver.
Jeanette Boisvert said she quit about three months ago and is happy the smoking ban went into effect.
Smokers shrug and say they accept having to venture outside to smoke, although it will be more difficult in the winter.
Like Stewart Property, Dunfey said the housing authority will give tenants who violate the no-smoking ban a couple of written warnings before an eviction. Stewart said he initially thought staff would have to police the policy, but residents are happy to turn in violators.
Housing residents will be able to smoke 25 feet away from entrances. And the Carpenter people have their benches across the street.
Mark Hayward's City Matters runs Thursdays in the New Hampshire Union Leader and UnionLeader.com. As of late, he has been enjoying a daily cigarette — always outside.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- U.S. says Islamic State video of journalist's killing is authentic - 0
- No paper on Monday; check UnionLeader.com for updated, breaking news - 0
- Concord attorney Leahy dies - 0
- Robin Williams’ ashes are scattered in San Francisco Bay - 0
- Syracuse, Iowa crowned top party schools - 0
- Parking fines cause disputes, raise revenues - 1
- Jon Cavaiani dies at 70; desperate stand in '71 led to Medal of Honor - 0
- Meriam Ibrahim, family welcomed as long journey ends in Manchester - 2
- Moose International files suit to claim Claremont lodge - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- UNH gridders jump one spot in national polls - 0
- NHIAA Field Hockey: Merrill's hat trick lifts Winnacunnet - 0
- Nabbed and then cleared by feds, NH man still intends to sell rhino trophy - 0
- Salem police target ski-jacket thief who used tree branch to hide license plate - 0
- Nashua man was not Mirandized following shooting by police, court documents say - 0
- Busy day for White Mountain National Forest rescuers - 0
- Nashua man accused of cutting wife’s throat committed to psychiatric hospital - 1
- Two may have stabbed each other in Concord parking garage incident, police say - 0
- Manchester joyride in a stolen truck lands two in handcuffs - 0
Dover man's nightmare lesson for everyone
Fall hikers throughout NH put on notice
'Strange ideas' Banning guns made in NH
Personhood Controversial? Really?
License revocations for DWI announced
Racism in Lincoln? Looks more like ignorance