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Bring Your Own Concerns

PB92109, Tourists are not the issue. Fewer than 5 percent of the people arrested for DUI in PB have out-of-town addresses. You want alcohol "monitored and controlled?" That's exactly the point of Monday's meeting; as alcohol service is neither monitored nor controlled under the status quo. Yet PB bears the brunt of an invasion of drinkers from all over the rest of SD County..people who generate NOT ONE CENT in TOT money. Gringo, no one wants to throw out any bars. We simply want them to obey the state laws regarding alcohol service. Period. And we want to keep the ABC from issuing additional alcohol licenses in the "bar zone" along Garnet. Even when SDPD and the local ABC office oppose new licenses, the licenses are still granted by the ABC in Sacramento. And we want control over the expansion of existing bars, unless local authorities have control over them. (The ABC continues to allow bars to expand, even over protests of the local police.) These are rational solutions. Also, no one wants to limit access to PB. We just want fewer drunks roaming the streets on foot, trashing the neighborhoods, then driving home to whereever they live. And it can be accomplished without losing one cent of revenue. BTW, Fullerton has 50 bars/restaurants packed into a few square blocks. Exactly fits your description of a place for college kids to blow off steam. Their city bean-counters estimated that they were losing nearly one million dollars per year for police and emergency services...even AFTER subtracting all revenues generated by those bars and restaurants. It's a complicated issue, and you have no understanding of it. Please come to the meeting Monday, and take careful notes. ubmisinformed, uh...please tell us what "misinformation" you see in the article, and why it's misinformation. Help us help you understand the issue, please. LosAltos, cities have the power to control issues through land use regulation. Bars and restaurants can still make plenty of money without breaking the law regarding overservice of alcohol. But under the current system, there is no incentive for them to have a business model that's not based on anything but mass alcohol sales. Other cities have done it without hurting tax revenues, or tourism...and without being inudated with lawsuits. See you Monday night.
— June 13, 2010 9:09 p.m.

The Shore Club's Deck

Ridiculous, you are wrong. PB is not the modern-day Tijuana. Tijuana's leaders are actually trying to move their city's tourist economy away from the fistfights and mayhem of the old Revolucion district..and make it a city more attractive to tourists. (Drug cartel violence notwithstanding.) Conversely, the city of San Diego doesn't seem to care how many millions of dollars are spent "policing" PB's bar zone every year. And the Town Council's board isn't helping. Some current board members have no problem supporting the expansion of bars in PB, even while claiming to support a better "business mix." The Shore Club used to be a nice restaurant; anybody remember T.D. Hays? It was also "Sam's by the Sea," still licensed as a "restaurant," but in reality, a bar. It made some headlines when the bouncers threw a couple of guys out, and one of them ended up dead. The other guy got 16 years in prison for this "bar fight" that happened outside a "restaurant." (Google "Lefler-Panela" and see how many reporters call it a bar vs. a restaurant.) This isn't about the operators of the Shore Club; it's about how bars and restaurants have doubled and tripled in size over the years, until P.B. is nothing but a place to go and get drunk. Even the best operators have problems keeping a lid on the bozos who come to PB specifically to get drunk and punch someone. Meanwhile, the ABC keeps on issuing licenses, cops keep mopping up the mess, city taxpayers foot the bill, and city "leaders" turn a blind eye, as long as the campaign contributions keep flowing from the restaurants and bars. It's not even a question of "does someone have to die before something changes?"...it's a question of HOW MANY people have to die?
— April 26, 2010 3:50 p.m.

Wake Up, Speak Up

Hi refried. The document presented at the meeting listed 27 alcohol-related incidents at the park since last August. In some cases, the reporting person made a note of the incident number. Until you get involved in an issue like this, people don't know to ask for an incident report number. Here are the incident numbers that were noted: 41957, 65108,66872, 66910, 13242, 19786, 28802, 39034, 60193, 44401, 27961, 38176, and 11793. Pretty boring. Want to know what kinds of problems those incidents represent? Public urination (multiple), drunk in public, noise, profane language, DJ with amplified music and no permit, trash, a large slip and slide left on the hillside, drinking after 8 pm, theft of water for another slip-and-slide, skateboarding, vehicle driving on the grass (2x) (to a party), smoking pot and tobacco near the tot lot. The participants in each of these incidents were drinking. And each of these is nominally illegal. The meeting was properly noticed, and this item was on the agenda. AND 1800 or so people got an email from Facebook about this issue. AND it's been the topic of a half-dozen meetings of different community/advisory groups, as well as the topic of newspaper articles and TV news reports. Point is, if you care about the issue, it is relatively easy to find out when the next public meeting is, and speak your mind. There was one humorous moment during the meeting. The only speaker who complained about the lack of notice also complained about the lack of a public process to decide such an important issue. Apparently the five or six previous meetings, and the pending community meetings and presentation to the city Council's Public Safety and Neighborhood Services committee just don't qualify as a "public process." It was a teeny-tiny bit ironic. I would not have been surprised if someone had laughed out loud at her, but the audience and panel were very respectful. Cuddlefish, thanks. My previous post was already too long...I intended to tell people to get involved if they care. And yes, this topic was noted on the agenda, and the public was properly noticed.
— April 9, 2010 4 p.m.

Wake Up, Speak Up

Gringo, while I appreciate your humor, the Facebook account was mentioned because that's where the pro-alcohol folks learn about issues like this. And despite the fact that 1856 pro-alcohol people got e-mails from their Facebook accounts, mobilizing them to pick up their pitchforks and torches, storm the castle and stop the ban....three people chose to show up and speak. And only one of them actually lives in the Kate Sessions neighborhood. One speaker said, "If you allow drinking, then you can control it." Yep. Just like it was "controlled" at Reed Street on Labor Day, 2007...or at the numerous other riots on SD beaches. He also said that many of his friends were binge drinkers in college, and they're still binge drinkers...and if they can't binge drink in the park, they'll go somewhere else and do it. D'oh! It's not the police department's job to babysit drunks, nor is it the taxpayer's responsibility to fund such babysitting. And the purpose of a neighborhood park is to have a place for people to relax....it's not supposed to be a venue for binge-drinkers to pursue their hobby, when that hobby interferes with other people's enjoyment of the park. And Refried...one speaker in favor of the ban DID provide a list of all the alcohol-related problems in the park, and it was pretty impressive. Hence the UNANIMOUS vote of the Park & Rec Council. Want to binge drink? Do it at home, or in a bar, or in your own neighborhood park. Want to enjoy the view, let your kids play in a tot lot, throw a frisbee, have a wedding, walk your dog, sunbathe, picnic, or play kickball? You're welcome to do it at Kate Sessions, or in your own neighborhood park, or at the beach. Ms. Matteo, please follow up on the quote you chose to include in your piece. Please document the "right" that all Americans have to drink beer, get drunk in public, urinate in public, and to charge admission to events held in neighborhood parks, without even getting a permit from the city to hold those events. It's been a long time since my civics classes in high school, and I seem to have forgotten that part of the Constitution. Thank you.
— April 9, 2010 10:11 a.m.

What are your thoughts on Alcohol in the PB/MB community?

"Police are omnipresent?" Uh, no. Staffing levels in '08 were exactly the same as the prior two years. And beach staffing levels will be reduced over time, as police budget their manpower based on calls for service...and those have declined dramatically since the ban. Beach attendance was down slightly (17%) at San Diego City Beaches last year. Up slightly this year, so far. Crime down 20% in the beach areas, underage drinking citations down 50% in Mission Beach and Bay, 75% in coastal PB (comparing 08 to 07). And most people obey the new law. Citations for having alcohol in a restricted area actually went DOWN in the first year of the beach ban, even though the restricted area was expanded to cover the sand. (Open containers were restricted in parking lots and the boardwalk, as well as streets and sidewalks--just like anywhere else in the city). It's too bad that people can't have a cold beer at the beach, because a few hundred thousand drunks could't control themselves..but the upside is that the cops now have more time to deal with other problems, and lifeguards can focus on job one--keeping people safe in the water. And you can still enjoy a drink at OTL, the coming out party, and other organized events. Get real..the beach alcohol ban was the best thing to happen to PB since the invention of sunshine. We GOT a safer society (no sarcastic quotation marks needed) in the form of faster police response times citywide, fewer impediments to lifeguards doing their job, and dramatically less underage drinking. On the non-safety side of the ledger, we GOT dramatically less trash on the sand, as well. The July 5th volunteer cleanup was a bust...we went from NINE TONS of trash on the beach to NO trash on the beach...and all the volunteers who showed up went through the neighborhoods instead to clean up those areas. Welcome back. Obviously, you weren't in PB to see it turned into the cesspool of the west coast, so you may not understand the problems we were having. Yep, things have changed. The boardwalk doesn't smell like pee anymore, there's virtually no trash on the sand, you don't have to put up with a bunch of drunken frat boys throwing horseshoes at your head while you're relaxing on your towel, and if you need a cop or a lifeguard, they're now available to help solve whatever issue arises. Of course, the streets of PB are still a cesspool on Friday and Saturday nights, thanks to all the nice friendly drunks who come down to do stuff that wouldn't be tolerated in their own neighborhoods. EA
— May 13, 2009 4:10 p.m.

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