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Weekend Roundup – What We Missed

You know the drill—there are too many stories from this weekend to choose one, so I’ve crammed ‘em all into a single post.

First off, we have the conclusion of the British Open. A beaming Darren Clarke won the claret jug after 20 previous attempts and dedicated the victory to his late wife, Heather, and his two kids. Besides being an all-around solid dude with an obvious love for the game, what’s especially remarkable about Darren Clarke (to me, anyway) is the fact that according to an article on SportingNews.com, he allegedly spends about £25,000 GBP (well over $40K USD) a year on cigars. Anyway, winning the British Open after 20 tries definitely calls for a few hundred victory cigars, so congratulations to Clarke, and smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.

Back in the states, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently pledged to be more aggressive in collecting taxes from tobacco sales on Indian reservations. According to an article on Buffalo Business First’s website, the Seneca Nation of Indians won’t have any of it, promising that retailers on its territory will not allow the taxes to be collected. “As always, our status as a sovereign nation prevents, by federal treaty, enforcement of state taxes on our territorial commerce,” said Seneca Nation President Robert Odawi Porter. “We will never take any action to collect state taxes or allow the state to do so on our territory. That is not something that’s open for discussion,” he added.

The last time the state tried to collect taxes on tobacco sales on Indian land, there were violent clashes between members of the Seneca Nation and the New York State Troopers, so let’s hope it doesn’t come to that again over an issue of tax collection.

Meanwhile, in New Zealand, tobacconists are no longer allowed to advertise that they sell tobacco due to last week’s passing of the Smokefree Environment (Controls and Enforcement) Amendment Bill, according to an article in the Otago Daily Times. The implications of this new law will be far-reaching and devastating to local businesses. This essentially means that if you want to buy a cigar and you don’t already know where tobacco is sold prior to the law taking effect, you’re out of luck, and so is the shop owner. Say what you will about the antismoking movement in the U.S.—this is equally bad, if not worse.

Anyway, on a lighter note, following the retirement of former Executive Director Joe Rowe, the IPCPR named William S. Spann their new CEO at their tradeshow yesterday, according to a press release. “On behalf of the Board of Directors of the IPCPR, I want to extend a hearty welcome to Bill Spann who, we are confident, will help continue moving the association forward in behalf of its retail and manufacturing members,” said Gary Pesh, president of the IPCPR. “At the same time, we wish Joe Rowe a long and happy retirement. He will be missed,” he added.

And this concludes this week’s roundup. If you feel I’ve missed anything, feel free to post it in a comment.