Shouldn’t we just let things be?

Posted by admin2 on June 22, 2012
Our Proposal / 1 Comment

When listening to people in local meetings or social media sites about the issues described on this site, the most common comment seems to be – ‘why don’t you just move? PB (and San Diego by extension) have always been like this and you’re just trying to ruin it for everyone’.

The truth is however, neither PB nor most San Diego neighborhoods have always been such a problem. What’s stopping us from improving our community? I often ask, and haven’t heard a negative comment yet, since when is it bad for business (or a community) to make it more safe?
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Encinitas residents complain to city council that downtown area is becoming new Pacific Beach

Posted by admin2 on June 27, 2013
Encinitas, San Diego County / No Comments

Encinitas residents say their downtown is turning into a Pacific Beach-like atmosphere with partying and drinking spiraling out of control. On Wednesday night, they asked the Encinitas City Council to do something to fix it.

“It’s dirty, it smells, people are foul-mouthed,” one Encinitas resident told the council.

“Public urination, noise levels from people screaming and yelling in the parking areas. Drug use, activity, sales,” said another.

Residents say public drunkenness has also become a major problem in the downtown area, leading to wild behavior that they want to see stopped.
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PB ‘Restaurant’ Punished for Not Selling Food?

Posted by admin2 on April 30, 2013
ABC, Conditional Use Permit, CUP, San Diego / 2 Comments

Bar West, a Pacific Beach ‘restaurant’ had their license suspended and doors closed by the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) for a period of 10 days this month. Although they were required to sell at least fifty-percent food and fifty-percent alcohol they decided to eliminate their food sales – as it was ‘never popular’.

That’s right, San Diego had a restaurant shuttered by the state for not serving food. Although in business since August 2008, over that time I don’t recall ever seeing them selling food as a traditional restaurant would. To me, they’ve been a noisy and problematic night club – requiring many, many police and ambulance calls to their location.
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Group wants alcohol-related crime identified

Posted by admin2 on December 28, 2012
Crime Statistics, Financial Costs / No Comments

PACIFIC BEACH — Pacific Beach residents who for years have complained about the proliferation of alcohol-related crime are spurring the police department to recommend broad changes as part of a plan to reduce violence across the city.

One suggestion crafted by the neighborhood group calls on the San Diego Police Department to begin specifying whether an arrest or citation involved alcohol. The goal is to build a case for a permitting process in higher crime areas to help recoup the cost of increased law enforcement.

Scott Chipman, a neighborhood activist, first presented the plan in a recent email to the police department’s assistant chiefs.

“We believe that it’s important to find out as a city how much of the crime that’s occurring is alcohol involved,” Chipman said in an interview. “And then we need to figure out what the cost of that is — both for public safety and for the quality of life.”

The push comes as Police Chief William Lansdowne grapples with increased violent and property crime rates across the city over the last year. In Pacific Beach, Chipman and his neighbors have prepared reports showing the comparatively high rate of drunken driving and other arrests.
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Walgreens Seeks Liquor License; Protest Might Be Brewing

Posted by admin2 on December 18, 2012
ABC, Coronado / No Comments

The drugstore chain wants to add alcohol to its shelves. It opened its Orange Avenue branch in November.

Walgreens has posted its intent to sell alcohol; if granted the license by the state department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), the chain would be allowed to sell everything from beer and wine to bourbon and rye, a development that has alarmed a competitor.

Nathan Hiedo, who along with his brothers Steve and John, owns Avenue Liquor, across the street and the Bottle Shop next door, has voiced concerns about the chain’s application.

The Hiedo brothers have owned Avenue since 1999 and the Bottle Shop since 2000. They also own two liquor stores in San Diego.

“There are already four places within two blocks that sell alcoholic beverages – Vons, Park Place Liquor and his two stores. In addition there is a bar, Danny’s, a wine bar, Wine Styles and two restaurants, Primavera and Burger Lounge, that sell alcohol.

“You would think the city would be concerned with so many places selling alcohol,” Hiedo said.

Earlier this year when Starbucks announced its intention to sell beer and wine, a number of residents objected. Even the Coronado City Council voiced its concerns. Some critics had issues about the number of establishments selling liquor in Coronado.

Hiedo’s alarm is more about the crowded marketplace, though both his shops have done well against the competition, even Vons. We get along with Vons. “If we send people to them, they send people to me,” he said.

He stocks a number of specialty brands that Walgreens probably wouldn’t offer. Still, most of his sales come from the better-known brands that Walgreens will likely carry.

“Most of my profits come from these, not the specialty brands,” he said.

He supports competition, but feels this is another example of a big corporation pushing out a small business. Walgreens opened last month.

“I see it happening everywhere. It’s not good,” he said.

ABC will accept comments on Walgreens’ application for two more weeks. They can be sent to 3927 Lennane Drive, Suite 100, Sacramento, 95834.

Source and see photos at: Patch Coronado

Analysis of Public Safety Costs for Certain Business

Posted by admin2 on November 26, 2012
Financial Costs / No Comments

This is a presentation I am making to the San Diego City Council as public comment on the City of San Diego Fiscal Year 2014-2018 Five-Year Financial Outlook and IT Sourcing Transition Update. My goal is to emphasize the amount of potential funds as low hanging fruit the city can analyze.

Introduction to Issues
It’s a known fact taxpayers are subsidizing many bar and restaurant owners who rely on the city’s public-safety system to manage their patrons after exiting their businesses. Too drunk patrons leave these establishments and victimize each other, innocent bystanders and even sleeping residents. They’ll critically injure or kill others through fighting or driving drunk, commit sexual assaults, break-in occupied residences, vandalize or conduct many other quality-of-life crimes—typically requiring a combination of police, fire-rescue and ambulance services. Other services such as detox, medical, judicial and punitive are also required however this document focuses primarily on first-response public-safety services.

Cost Determination
To assess first-response public-safety services costs the California city of Fullerton conducted an extensive analysis. Their conclusions documented excessive financial burdens on the city—which they directly correlated to their burgeoning bar and restaurant industry.

When applying their calculations here in San Diego projections indicate the community of Pacific Beach alone may be costing taxpayers, even after accounting for sales tax and local business-tax revenues, an annual net loss of about two-million dollars ($2m). In Pacific Beach our observations, combined with limited publically available city and county data, strongly suggest a few establishments are likely responsible for the bulk of this cost.

Current Situation
Alarmingly, volumes of evidence suggest systemic issues throughout the city including:
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Laws to Crack Down on Serving Intoxicated People in Bars Largely Ignored

Posted by admin2 on November 13, 2012
Problems, Programs, SIP / No Comments

Laws prohibiting bars and restaurants from serving intoxicated people can be an effective way to reduce alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes and violence, but the provisions in most states are poorly drafted and rarely enforced, according to two experts on alcohol policy.

James Mosher, JD, and Elizabeth Dahl, JD, of Alcohol Policy Consultations, say the enforcement of well-designed service of intoxicated persons (SIP) laws would provide significant public health and safety benefits. Mosher spoke at the recent American Public Health Association annual meeting.
Only Florida and Nevada do not have SIP laws, and Wyoming’s law applies only to drive-through sales, according to Dahl. Other states have some form of SIP law, although the specific provisions vary widely.

“Law enforcement largely ignores these laws,” Mosher notes. “One reason for this is they are usually so poorly drafted that there’s little likelihood of conviction.” A 2007 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concluded that states have limited resources to enforce the laws, and the provisions of the laws tend to make collection of proof overly burdensome.
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Living Near Bars May Increase Risk of Heavy Drinking, Study Suggests

Posted by admin2 on November 05, 2012
Best Practices / 1 Comment

Living near bars may increase the risk of heavy drinking, a new study suggests. Researchers followed almost 55,000 adults in Finland for seven years. They found those who moved closer to bars were more likely to consume a greater amount of alcohol, according to Reuters.

A person who moved one kilometer (0.6 mile) closer to a bar increased the odds of becoming a heavy drinker by 17 percent. The study defined heavy drinking as more than 10 ounces a week of distilled alcohol for men, and seven ounces for women.

The researchers noted that the findings were similar among people who moved close to bars, and among people who lived in neighborhoods where bars opened close to their homes.

The study appears in the journal Addiction.

Researcher Jaana L. Halonen told Reuters it is possible that restricting the operating hours of bars and other alcohol retailers could limit local residents’ risky drinking.


Booze Sale Request Stirs Community’s Ire

Posted by admin2 on October 11, 2012
ABC, Planning, San Diego / No Comments

It’s the kind of question that says a lot about a place.

Should a market surrounded by liquor stores be allowed to sell beer and wine? Would that be a convenience for residents looking for meat, produce and anything but trouble in the Memorial neighborhood of southeastern San Diego? Or would the booze fuel more violence in a part of town plagued by it?

It was a tough question, and a tougher crowd answering it Wednesday.

How tough? When a city official suggested allowing alcohol sales at the market, protesters reacted so loudly and angrily that the hearing officer fled the room at San Diego City Hall for several minutes before resuming the meeting.
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Take Action Now

Posted by admin2 on October 03, 2012
Our Proposal / Comments Off on Take Action Now

There are several things you can do to support the initiatives outlined in this proposal including:

  1. Contacting the City of San Diego Independent Budget Analyst’s office to discuss your fiscal concerns and interest in their conducting an audit of excessive public safety and other costs incurred by the city.
  2. Contact your Councilmember. Of special importance are those Councilmembers responsible for our budget and public safety. They include:
    • Councilmember Marti Emerald – Chair, Public Safety & Neighborhood Services (PS&NS)
    • Councilmember Todd Gloria – Chair, Budget and Finance Committee
  3. Voice your opinion in one or all of our local print and online media outlets including | | San Diego Reader | San Diego Union Tribune as well as any of San Diego’s broadcast and print outlets.

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Where the City Can Find Savings or, A year-round happy hour – and the tab’s on you!

Posted by admin2 on October 02, 2012
Financial Costs, Stakeholder Buy-in / No Comments

This letter first appeared in the Fix San Diego opinion section:

Many San Diego bar and restaurant owners enjoy a year-round happy hour. Trouble is, the tab’s on you, the San Diego taxpayer. The core problem lies in that there are many problematic establishments chronically over-serving patrons — and those patrons often require significant levels of police and fire-rescue services. And you’re paying for it, like it or not.

The public safety costs start adding up when too-drunk patrons walk out of a local bar or restaurant and end up in fights, drive drunk, sexually assault women, break into occupied homes, pass out in the middle of a sidewalk, street or a nearby resident’s front lawns. I have witnessed and blogged about an alarmingly steady increase in incidences over the last 10-plus years in the community of Pacific Beach, and from media accounts learned these are regular occurrences throughout many San Diego communities.
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