Monday, May 11, 2009

Is this really a good idea?

I rarely weigh in on the scores of liquor license applications that come to the Lincoln City Council, other than to provide the background information about the applicant, as required. Every now and then I have something that I feel needs to be said, but generally, I leave it up to the City Council to make their decision without the burden of my opinion. Far be it from me to interfere with free enterprise.

This one, however, caught my eye. A business to be known as Liquor El Paisa has applied for a liquor license, and the matter is on today's City Council agenda. The premise where the license is sought is about a block from the People’s City Mission, many of whose residents struggle with alcoholism and addiction. I know that alcohol and intoxication is a huge problem for the Mission. It pains me that the dollars donated to help the homeless must be spent to hire security personnel. I just can’t imagine that it’s a good idea for a package store to open up in their shadow, despite the fact that there is already another one within a few hundred feet of their front door.

Nothing against this applicant, who I understand is a nice 21 year-old entrepreneur with a clean record, but sometimes I wonder exactly how many liquor licenses we need to ensure adequate access for customers, and a healthy amount of competition in the business.

12 comments:

that's what she said...

I think as Chief of Police you should speak your peace if you think something should be said about any liquor license application whether it be too close to the Mission or in a liquor license saturated area (downtown).

ARRRRG!!!! said...

I hope you approve of my liquor license.

JIM J said...

I think that those drink drink alcohol in a responsible fashion should have alcohol on every corner and I say pour another.
Most people have just one dink, to feel a little "easy" or "unwind" and relax at dinner. No problem.
The clear evidence and facts that surround alcohol abuse is poured from another picture.
In my mind I picture, domestic abuse, liver failure, law violations, assaults, blackouts, dependance, job loss, divorce, and several others of an alcoholics offspring.
62 percent of homeless clients report problems with alcohol use.

Any person should have enough forethought to shut off an idea to put a alcohol outlet across from a homeless shelter. But the dollar may again win out over human compassion.

Anonymous said...

I haven't been to that part of downtown in quite a while, but in addition to the one across the street, there are already 3-4 liquor licensees within two or three blocks of the mission and MTK, aren't there?

Even back when I was a young adult and a regular social drinker, I always thought it was a mistake to expand alky sales beyond dedicated liquor stores. I still go to a dedicated store, on the rare occasion that I want to purchase some "rocket fuel". It's my gut feeling that shoveling out liquor licenses is driven more by tax revenue enhancement than ensuring access and price competition for a legal product.

One thing I always found curious is that liquor sellers can't have a delivery service, instead requiring that someone go to the store (driving, presumably, most of the time) to get the product. If I were a store owner, I'd just restrict deliveries to credit card users at the card's billing address, to limit risk to the drivers, and allow them to refuse any delivery order that they felt was a robbery set-up. Seeing the card and card-holder picture ID at point of delivery, of course, with authorization before the delivery went out.

Anonymous said...

Chief, I agree with you on this issue. while I am all for business to suceed, this is one business who really didn't think about the one of the most important things in business. It's location.
I hope the city council seriously considers denying this request.

Anonymous said...

This does some rather "White Clay" like. It may be legal, but is it moral?

Sadly, since sooooo many decisions in our community are made using the holy grail of "economic development" or "business friendly" as the major if not only criteria for approval, we get ourselves into these dilemmas.

Yes, for the majority of people, alcohol is a pleasant diversion; but for a significant population, it's troublesome. Why add to their litany of temptations? I hope this is denied, but I don't expect that to happen.

Tom Casady said...

that's what she said..., and anonymous 8:49-

You need to get out more! The People's City Mission isn't exactly downtown, and hasn't been for over 20 years. The location out on West Q Street is a block from the convenience store that sold the winning $365 million Powerball ticket back in 2006. That's the location with the existing liquor license.

that's what she said...

You missed my point completely. I realize where the mission is compared to downtown.

I'm saying that as Chief of Police you should comment about ANY applications that are questionable like near the mission OR downtown where there are too many places selling alcohol already.

I think there should be half as many bars downtown. Bar break is ridiculous.

Tom Casady said...

taht's what she said-

Maybe I should read more carefully!

At any rate, I just finished testifying at the City Council hearing. Representatives from the local detox center (Cornhusker Place), the People's City Mission, and the Lincoln Action Program (also a block away) also testified. You'll be able to watch the testimony on video-on-demand at 5City TV. It's very early in the agenda, just a moment after the Mayor's Monthly Award of Excellence Presentation that starts the meeting (awarded to Lincoln police officer Steve Wiese.)

The vote will be coming up on the liquor license application any moment....

Anonymous said...

What difference does it make, if there already is one a hundred feet away. Is it really going to make any difference if there's another one 75 feet away? No, it's not. So Tom, get your attention on something that really matters, like solving some real crimes.

Tom you need to tell the idiot that thinks he's a pirate to go to Somalia and find work. This pirate crap really gets old.

Anonymous said...

Some of that pirate humor is pretty funny. The pirate keyboard was one of the best of the lot.

Anonymous said...

Lighten up 4:27 PM. Pour a cold beer and chill. I for one always get a laugh from Arrrg's pirate comments. I enjoy something other than constant gloom & doom.

Gun Nut