Thursday, June 17, 2004

Smoke gets in your eyes

Or at least your air monitors, according to some local leaders.

Normally, I don't blog local news, but I thought this one was worth the effort. BBQ is big business in my small corner of North Carolina--we even have an entire fall festival organized around it. Lexington, NC is the self-proclaimed Barbecue Capital of the World, and rightly so in my not-so-humble opinion. The history of Lexington barbecue goes back a long way in the political history of NC--pig pickins' were held to woo voters for years before the first restaurant opened in 1919.

Some time back, the EPA *spit* informed us that our air was bad and we might suffer "regulatory consequences" (such as losing some of those precious Federal $$) because of it. Since that time, the "local leaders" (do not get me started) have been in panic mode, trying to find a scapegoat, er, reason, for the bad air. Their first attempt was a local furniture factory, but that one fell thorough when it was found to have been out of production during the sampling period. Now they have latched onto barbecue restaurants and their wood-burning pits. Needless to say, the restaurant owners are unhappy.

We'll see how this comes out. I think that when you plant the monitors in the middle of downtown, even a small downtown, you're going to get poor air quality readings. Apparently, the local leaders also think so, because they're paying to get more monitors in parts of the county that should have cleaner air. I guess they hope the EPA *spit* will take an average. Who knows?

In the meantime, if you want the consistently best barbecue in Lexington, try The Barbecue Center. Come hungry, and try to resist the temptation to order a banana split for desert. You might not survive it.

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