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Photo on left: Jerry Hall on Channel 10 News

Pacific Beach residents looking to curb alcohol abuse in Pacific Beach are waving the white flag in an attempt to bring the community together.

"There are many residents, businesses and civic groups struggling with alcohol-related issues in our community," reads an email blast from pbspirits.com.

"This struggle is excerbated by a noisy few bar and restaurant businesses that are intent on belittling those of us that are willing to spend countless hours trying to find solutions. Rather than continue to butt heads it's time to establish a mutually-respectful dialog."

In the email, Jerry Hall, who runs the website, writes that bar owners and residents need to come clean and take a sober look at alcohol issues in the community. Hall continues to push for new regulations that would require that all business owners obtain conditional use permits before opening an alcohol establishment.

"Why is San Diego for instance the only top-10 city in California without a citywide conditional use permit for on and off-sale alcohol licensees? Why is it widely accepted that the ABC has enforcement officers responsible for annual oversight of well over 1,000 licensees each? How is it ok that, in our beach communities, our San Diego Police and Fire-Rescue services focus primairly on alcohol-related issues yet they in fact are under-staffed (-11%) and chronically under-funded? Aren't communities like PB draining these sorely needed resources from the rest of San Diego communities?"

Councilmember Kevin Faulconer's office failed to respond as to whether he supports a citywide ordinance that requires business owners to obtain conditional use permits before opening alcohol establishments.

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Comments

BlueSouthPark June 22, 2011 @ 11:35 a.m.

Thanks for your continued efforts, Jerry, and your unflagging devotion to making PB a good place to live. The alcohol-related problems in PB also exist in other older communities to one degree or another, or are evolving, as greater numbers of businesses are licensed to sell alcohol.

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pbSpirits_dot_com July 20, 2011 @ 11:51 p.m.

Thanks BSP and DH for the story. DH did contact me for some background and I responded too late.

I do want to say that I'm trying this approach largely isolated from many other like-minded PB residents... who believe, many with good reason even, that this is not necessarily a viable course.

That being said I am still floating the boat to see where it goes.

The truth is I'm skeptical too... but, I'm hopeful. Perhaps naive, green, wet behind the ears... but, I'm a believer that the best solution is one that is hammered out by all the affected parties... not one group hammering the other one until they get what they want or get the other one to submit to every demand.

Doesn't it make sense to try every possible tact so that one can sit back satisfied that they tried everything possible to improve conditions? Or, does it make sense to just stand there, arms crossed and so stuck on a line in the sand that one can't see any other possible way? Compromises are inevitable--for both sides of the argument--and so as I compromise I'm sucking it up and looking for alternatives.

I may be too tainted in the bar owner's minds to be trustworthy in that they may see me as a wolf in sheep's clothing but, I'll make it plain. I support lower outlet density (bars should love that because they value goes up and we all should love it because crime goes down) and problem beverage service (over-pouring, over-serving, selling to obviously intoxicated people), I support doing anything we can to mitigate impaired and drunk driving and I support lowering other levels of alcohol-related crime, especially violent crimes.

I can't believe the bars support the opposite of these things. But, I do believe they tolerate them a lot easier than I can. That too being said, I also believe there is a lot of room for improvement. They and I owe this to the people who will be critically injured or killed in PB. We're dodging bullets right now and we've got to address this stuff now more than ever.

So, the writer may call this a white flag however, I am not surrendering. I have not quit, I have not relented in documenting what's happening (see www.pbSpirits.com for videos and nearly 400 articles on the subject) and I will not walk around with my tail between my legs (no, I don't have a tail).

What I am doing though is trying a different approach, which it appears to the writer as a weakness. Yes, I am told this is a redundant attempt that has been proven wrong over and over again (ostensibly by the bar/restaurant owners) over the last decade. I guess I need to be convinced that I'm on an impossible path. I see the reasoning but, I suppose I need to see it for myself. I hope they're wrong and we end up with a quality, fun and safe PB... day and night 24/365.

Stay tuned eh?

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