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When I talk to Faulconer, he confirms this.

Pacific Beach Bar and Grill's general manager, Roger Lee, has been a PB resident for 20 years. I ask him about the ban.

"I understand and appreciate the ban," he says, "because I have seen firsthand how out of control these beach parties can be. I also know that the problems are made by a few and that, in general, the vast majority are law-abiding people having drinks, having fun, and not causing trouble. It is unfortunate that it only takes a few to ruin it for everyone. Just the other day, I was talking to a customer who called everyone who drank at the beach a 'trouble-causing hooligan.' With 5000 people coming through our doors every week, all it takes is a couple people to cause trouble, and everyone is accusing you as a problematic business. The difference is that at the Grill, these disruptive customers are 86'd. At the beach, these troublemakers are taken to detox and returned the next day. Being drunk in public and causing trouble should have more consequences than going to jail overnight. Recently, the bars in PB have begun installing ID scanners that enable bar owners to 86 customers known to cause trouble and to share this information with each other. The belief is that if you cause a problem at one bar and are 86'd, there is a good chance you will be 86'd from a dozen other bars in PB. If there were stricter penalties in place, such as three days in jail or community service, that would discourage over-intoxication, and maybe there would be less alcohol-induced incidents, and the ban at the beach would not be necessary. I am a big opponent of the government telling people what they can and cannot do. The City needed to do something, but they overreacted. There were many great ideas out there, such as making drink zones or no alcohol on certain holidays. As a business owner, I like the ban because, potentially, business should be better. But…weighing my personal rights over a bigger profit? I would rather have my freedom. The ban hasn't affected the number of fights, or loitering."

Stan Holman was elected president of OMBAC in November 2007. He tells me, "I first heard that the San Diego City Council was considering a beach booze ban in early November. The measure was passed mid-November. On November 26, two of us met with city councilmember Kevin Faulconer and his staff, plus some key City personnel. Our intent was to explore the full effect of the ordinance on our fundraisers at the beach. I told them that the typical over-the-line attendee brings an ice chest with beer, a beach chair, an accessory bag, plus bats and balls if they're playing. Faulconer replied, 'That's all fine, except for the beer.' We saw OTL as…gone. More meetings took place, involving a good legal mind. All suggestions involved fencing any and all areas where alcohol could be consumed. A fourth meeting took place on January 14 that involved the San Diego director of Alcoholic Beverage Control, who stated that OMBAC would be under the microscope for violations. No ideas from either side worked. Our legal guy suggested that the City use the City's term, 'special event permit,' which was written into the law but not defined. The defined term allowed weddings, company picnics, and other gatherings to have alcohol legally while on city property. As an FYI, any organized gathering of people numbering 75 or more on city property requires a permit. If alcohol is sold, the event permit is required from the City, and a permit from Alcoholic Beverage Control is also required. Most people know the ban is for one year and have a 'wait and see' attitude."

The first event that OMBAC would have in which alcohol would be on the beach is the coming-out party on May 17. Holman says, "Our coming-out-party came about when Delmar Miller, one of the original club members, was taken prisoner during the Korean War. OMBAC members used to throw loose change into a large glass jug at the Pennant [bar] for him when he came home. When Delmar returned, he was handed the jar and asked what it was for. The club said it was for 'coming out of prison.' Delmar said, 'Let's throw a coming-out party.' When I joined the club, there was a gate charge with free beer once inside. Needless to say, it got out of hand, and we went to pay-as-you-go several years ago."

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Comments

Countryman Aug. 13, 2008 @ 2:24 p.m.

What do you know? Businesses being hurt by poorly-thought-out laws pushed through by grandstanding politicians and busybodies.

VOTE NO on the ban NOVEMBER 4th. Demand real solutions instead.

Reader- Thank you for actually investigating issues and publishing the truth. We could never expect this kind of thorough journalism from the U-T. They'd check someone's MySpace page for posts and then call it a day.

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LAL Aug. 13, 2008 @ 3:14 p.m.

Responsible taxpaying citizens of San Diego wanted to vote on this last year. Council Member Kevin Faulconer, nice move wasting our time and tax dollars to give yourself an out on the "trial alcohol ban" you rushed through the City Council in a knee jerk reaction to keep everyone safe at our beaches, bays and parks. GET MOTIVATED San Diego. It is TIME TO TAKE BACK YOUR FREEDOM to enjoy a beverage of your choice at our beaches, bays and parks. REGISTER TO VOTE and get your friends to as well. WE CAN AND WILL send a clear message this November, we do not need the City Government to baby sit the citizens of San Diego. Write your City Council and let them know you are against the ban http://www.sandiego.gov/citycouncil/ and register to Vote against this ban http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_vr.htm

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Josh Board Aug. 13, 2008 @ 11:11 p.m.

countryman, thanks for the kind words on the story. I don't drink on the beach, and I'm against a booze ban. It's another example of having a law because of a few idiots. Sure, I understand that the police have a tough job, and when there are a lot of drunks, it might be hard to handle. But you know what? You can't then start passing laws that change how everyone else does things.

If this is the case, much like the cell phone while driving law...I'm sure the cops and DMV will release stats that say less accidents have happened now because of it. I'm sure the cops will say less fighting at the beach, public drunkness, etc etc etc. Okay, fine.

Well, let's start having laws where cars can't have stereos in them. Here's why.

When you drive, you are often distracted by putting a CD in the stereo. No different then the cell phone.

Or, in a beach parking lot....maybe you'll have your stereo too loud. Someone tells you to turn it down. Maybe someone comes by and says the music you're listening to sucks. You say something back. And, a fight breaks out. So...to solve both problems, how about we take stereos out of the cars. All the idiots that love these types of laws, can stick with their stupid "you're in a car to drive, not listen to the stereo" the way they did with the cell phone thing.

Before you know it, nobody will be allowed to do anything in public, because it could start a fight. Which, if I remember right, is why this beach booze thing happened.

Maybe holding your girlfriends hand while walking on the beach, can cause someone to say something. Pass a law. No handholding. Where does it end?

As much as I loved smoking cigars, I have no problem not being allowed to smoke them on the beach or in a park. Because, I understand people don't care for the smell. With alcohol, it is different.

And, there were already laws on the books for littering, or being drunk in public, etc.

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tatas Aug. 14, 2008 @ 12:13 p.m.

Hopefully the people that drink on the beach will actually go out and vote against this ban. Unfortunately the people that show up at the polls are usually older family types that no longer have much of a social life, and therefore do not drink on the beach. These people make more money, pay more taxes, and have more influence over the politicians. It simple socioeconomics. Families with children from other places moved to the beaches during the housing boom and changed the fun, freewheeling culture the area has enjoyed for many years. Please do not take away any more of my rights, VOTE AGAINST THE BOOZE BAN!

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velo333 Aug. 21, 2008 @ 1:37 p.m.

The Australians got the convicts, Canada got the French, and WE got the Puritans! Why? Because they got their teatotaling asses kicked out of England! The English wanted once again to be able to have organs in church, go to theater for plays, drink alcoholic beverages, and even DANCE! The leader of our New Puritans, Kevin Faulconer, should not forget what happened to Cromwell, the leader of the original Puritans: he lost his head literally, ending his political career. This November it will be time to show this pinch-faced minority the door. Let's get them off our beaches and send them back at least to New England, because I'm sure the citizens of Old England haven't forgotten what happened the first time around and don't want them either. If we are not successful, the next item on round-head Faulconer's agenda may be an ordinance requiring beachgoers to cover up from head to toe in black because Puritan families object to seeing girls in bikinis on the beach.

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ScottDickman Oct. 27, 2008 @ 3:49 p.m.

Tourism. No one has ever complained that San Diego doesn’t have enough beaches. We already segregate one beach. People will always drink. San Diego will always be a major college town. When the students are unwinding durring a holiday break, the beach is the safest place for them to be. "I want to be perfectly clear about this," SDPD Captain Long stated, "and I've said it before. If we take the alcohol and remove it from the beach, it is my belief and my professional opinion that it will increase the number of people who attend house parties along the beach, and it's going to increase the number of people in the bars. Therefore, it will take some of the problem that we see on the beach, which doesn't even compare with the problems we already see inland, and it's going to make those problems worse." At least on the beach, the police have an ideal enforcement environment: they can approach whomever they want, without the need of a complaint or warrant.The police have tools at the beach that they do not have elsewhere…they can approach anyone & check their ID and also check their drink, for a few examples. They can observe 50, 60 people at once. KEEP OUR BEACHES SAFE & LET THEM TEAR UP OUR NEIGHBORHOODS INSTEAD ? DUI citations since the Beach Alcohol Ban have increased since the students have "vanished" from the beach( as the Union tribune editor is naive enough to believe) The student have, understandably, moved. A fact that most people have ignored. Alcohol at the Beach has never been a problem in the fall winter & spring and cannot possibly be a problem when you can barely see the next visitor. The Mayor does not agree with a year-round alcohol ban. The Police Chief did not personally endorse the “yes on prop D” . “These are the unfortunate trade-offs that occur when occur when a few trouble-makers ruin it for everyone else. The same rational that caused the PB Block Party to be canceled. Also a reason to cancel drinking at Petco Park & the stadium. How many more enjoyable activities would you allow to be canceled “because a few trouble-makers ruin it for everyone else.”?We are letting the troublemakers decide our fate. It was just revealed that Beach Ban advocates received over 85% of their donations from Beach front property owners who desire less people on THEIR beach. East coast property owners can build fences out into the water to keep the public out of their beaches. We all get caught at times voting for a candidate that is simply “the lesser of the evils”. Well, looking at the big picture, “No o Prop D” is the lesser of the evils.A Few of the Proposed Solutions Just as we already have a segregated beach, segregate alcohol v.s. family beaches.Ban on holidays or summer weekends when students, tourists and familys mix. Increasing San Diego Police Department’s Beach Team officers and/or hiring off-duty police as beach-specific neighborhood code compliance officers, Harsher penalties for irresponsible behavior

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