Letter from a reader…July 21, 2011 1 Comment
From a reader:
Not surprising you didn’t post this article to your web site. It doesn’t help your cause.
It mentions the East Village in downtown SD as an area where alcohol related crime has increased significantly. Didn’t I hear at a PB Planning Committee meeting that downtown SD has a CUP in effect? Please correct me if I am wrong on that. I am ok with being wrong unlike other people I have seen on the PB Planning Committee. I was downtown the last week of June and believe me there were just as many drunken idiots there as there would be in PB. I left about 11:30 pm so I wasn’t able to get my video camera out and stalk drunks at closing time to see what would happen. I’ll imagine similar results to what you have filmed in the past may have occurred. Its sounds like a CUP would not solve the problem totally.
T.D. via email
and my response:
My cause? LOL
Yes, drunk drivers that can and do kill others and people beating or raping each other is a ’cause’ that I’m working on. Since I care and I put my neck out you’re mocking me? Can you tell me which of the myriad of situations you can see on my videos on my site you have seen on the local news in the last five years? Our media isn’t doing their job because what’s happening in PB isn’t news anymore. So I’m putting my butt on the line (literally as I’m waiting for the day that I get my ass kicked) to help educate people and for that I’m ridiculed?
You’re right, downtown does have a CUP – without an enforcement mechanism. The one suggested we try is one with a mechanism where a specially trained police officer works with the outlets to create ground rules so they can work within a community instead of on top of it.
CUPs work but, only with a stick behind them. The bars, restaurants and liquor stores in PB are generating over $100m annually according to one major bar owner currently under a licensing application. Don’t you think their putting in about $150k annually (.0015%) to get the situation under control is something they should do? That is, about $1400/annually for the biggest bars and $400 for the smallest. If you don’t then you must be ok with paying all the associated enforcement, medical and legal costs yourself.
When Ventura put such a CUP in place with an enforcement mechanism in they saw a 40%+ decrease in alcohol related crimes. Don’t you think this is worth examining? Hell, just try it for 3 years and see what happens.
The drama playing out at the Planning Group is regrettable because personalities are involved where it seems butting heads is the norm.
I’ve been trying to work a number of people to form a different approach, one where we all sit down together to look at the issues and see what we can do together. Although I’m getting support or a thumbs up from a lot of people for trying, others think I’m naïve or green. However, I’ll go down knowing I tried anything to stop the next person from being seriously injured or killed.
The truth is that all boats rise with the tide. If we improve the environment in PB we’ll attract better customers who spend more, better tourists that stay longer and spend more and a better reputation all around which picks up everyone’s morale. Yes, the bars will have to put some money in the pot but, if not we won’t see it from the state or city and we’ll continue down the path we’re headed.
It’s complex as you know but, for those of us that are trying anything to improve the area and ultimately all of our lives please cut us some slack. I’m not doing this for fun–believe me. I have made many sacrifices but, think it’s worth the effort.
p.s. I did respond to the VOSD story and will put it up on my site (as linked above)… as rife with errors as it is…Alcohol Licensees, Business District, Commentary, Crime and Safety, CUP/DAO