Virginia smoking ban begins Dec. 1

RICHMOND, VA -- Virginia will become the latest state to ban smoking in many public eating and drinking places when December rolls around.

Beginning Tuesday this week, smoking will be banned in most of the 17,500 bars and restaurants across Virginia. The law was signed in February after years of pro and con lobbying in the state where John Rolfe in 1611 planted the first commercial tobacco crop.

The new law does permit walled-off smoking areas with separate ventilation. Private clubs are exempt from the ban. Owners and customers who violate the law are subject to a $25 fine.

As of last week, about 75% of the state's eating and drinking establishments had gone completely smoke-free, said Gary Hagy, a spokesman for the Virginia Health Department.
Wisconsin smoking ban
North Carolina smoking ban
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Saratoga horsey set getting wheels

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY -- Here's one for your future file: August 18, next summer.

That's the date for "Get Your Motor Running." No, not the Steppenwolf song that opened with that line, but rather a fundraiser for Saratoga Bridges, to be held at a place better known as a gathering spot for the horsey set during the annual Saratoga Race Course thoroughbred season.

Siro’s restaurant, located next to the race course, will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. that day for the 21st annual gala.

Included in the event will be a pig roast, an open bar, live music and an appearance by Goldy McJohn, founding member and original keyboardist of the Steppenwolf rock group that recorded "Born To Be Wild."

Attire will be cocktail casual or biker garb.

Saratoga Bridges began with a community-based home for people with developmental disabilities. It now has a residential program and a variety of day services.
Download "Born To Be Wild"
Siro's restaurant
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Canandaigua historic homes tour set

CANANDAIGUA, NY -- This small Finger Lakes city is replete with historic homes, many of Victorian design. Usually, all that visitors can do is drive by them and wonder what's inside as they head to the nearby New York Wine & Culinary Center. Usually.

The Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park has planned a tour of some of them along Howell Street, from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, December 5.

Six historic Howell Street homes, such as one shown above, will be open for display that day, plus the Gate House at Sonnenberg, just inside the Sonnenberg Gates at Howell and Charlotte streets.

Tour booklets will detail the history of each home, including special architectural features. Visitors will park in the Sonnenberg lot, and tram shuttle service from the main parking lot to the front gates of Sonnenberg will be provided.

Tour booklets, at $20 per person, may be purchased by calling Sonnenberg at (585) 394-4922. They will be available for pickup at Sonnenberg the day of the event.

During tour hours, Sonnenberg's 1887 mansion also will also be open with light refreshments available. Starting at 4:30 p.m., carolers and a Victorian Santa will be on hand at the Mansion. Community members may visit the mansion throughout the home tour hour free of charge.
Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion
Visiting Canandaigua
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