Commentary: Did the Council Go Far Enough or Too Far?

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Mayor Pro Tem Davis on Tuesday night called it “a shot across the bow,” or telegraphing how “things are probably going to go,” in terms of potential new permanent regulations. And, while council was divided on the issue of granting the exemption to Blondies, they seemed very much united on the need to change the reality on the ground during the late night bar scene.

Last night during the Vanguard and Civenergy forum, members of the public expressed concerns that the changes did not go far enough, with some calling for more to be done to change the drinking culture, while others wanted to see more extreme measures for limiting the hours of drinking and doing more to combat the violence and nuisance on the outside of the bar as well as the inside.

Good points were made last night that there are 26,000 UC Davis students who are going out on the weekends looking for something to do, and many are under 21 and therefore not part of the bar scene. The point was made that we need to have more options in the downtown for those students. There were concerns that simply curtailing the bar scene pushes the problems back out into the neighborhoods or into Sacramento.

From my standpoint, I grew up in a college town where I often felt, and the perception by many of the students was, that the town wanted to take the students’ money but did not really want the students around in the community. I also felt like there was a huge anti-student bias in the town and vowed when I got older not to repeat those mistakes.

These are reasonable first steps, with conditions imposed upon Blondies, but not a cure-all. Mayor Dan Wolk on Tuesday remained skeptical, stating, “I don’t feel comfortable approving the use of essentially having a nightclub in our downtown without having that longer discussion.”

Mayor Pro Tem Davis was more hopeful, responding, “I was actually thinking we’re not creating a nightclub if we set the conditions the way they’re set here. We’re pointing a direction to a future that’s going to be fundamentally different.”

As he would point out later, “There’s a certain balance that should be struck.” The question is whether they struck it in the right place.

For one thing, the bars will be required to have all security and bouncers licensed and trained by the state. Moreover, they will provide for supplemental police services – at the bars’ expense – during the peak hours on Thursday, Friday and Saturday after 10 pm. The talk last night is that two police officers, paid for by the bars, would be stationed on G St.

After 10 pm, patrons “will be subject to security screening and bag inspections. Licensee’s security will use metal detection wands and conduct patdowns and bag searches for weapons and/or alcohol. Licensee will not allow patrons with alcohol and/or weapons to enter or remain on the premises.”

I admit that I was a little skeptical that I wanted our town to be wanding people entering bars. However, Assistant Chief Darren Pytel noted that one of the keys is that bars do not want to take these measures by themselves because it creates an uneven playing field. Bars are happy to increase security, provided they all have to do it.

He noted last night some have already started wanding – the problem was that no one wanted to take that first step. Mr. Pytel noted last night that already they have prevented several knives from going into bars. The key, as Robb Davis put it, was to separate alcohol from weapons.

Young people are already used to these kinds of security arrangements. For years, concerts have required metal detectors and inspections of large handbags. To go into raves, there are security measures. As long as the practice is predictable, there does not seem to be a huge problem.

For Robb Davis, some of these measures in particular are the keys to changing the scene. For instance, condition number 20 states, “The premises shall be equipped with an adequate number of seats to accommodate all customers. There shall be no service area that is designed or used as a standing area only or as a combined standing and seating area.”

One of the features of nightclubs is that they remove the chairs and tables and create an area for dancing only. By requiring the facility to provide the number of seats to accommodate all customers, that will eliminate that practice.

In addition, condition 21 requires that that the bar or nightclub not create an exclusive use that would be the service of alcoholic beverages. “Food shall be made available in all areas where customers are seated.”

Sergio Saenz, owner of Tres Hermanas, last night said they always serve food even during the late night events and they always offer free water. But that provision may not be universal.

Is this enough?

That is a key question. I will make several points.

First, I think these provisions are a good starting place. We need to remember that the murder did not occur at Blondies. From what I can tell, there has not been a murder at Blondies in Vacaville. The city council has taken interim measures to prevent Blondies in Davis from being a problem – all eyes will be on them and they have made it clear they understand that what might be acceptable in Vacaville will not work in Davis (for better or worse).

Second, just because we implement these measures today, does not mean we can’t alter them, modify them, or even increase them before they become finalized.

Third, I think it’s important that we start with modest changes that allow us to get a better handle on the situation. Again, we can always modify things further in the future.

Fourth, I agree with those who argue that many of these provisions will not change the scene outside of the bars. We may be getting closer to properly handling the issues of drinking, but there are nuisance problems that need to be addressed as well.

That brings me to the fifth point. One huge problem has been the lack of accessible restrooms in the downtown. As a father of a small child, it is difficult to find a restroom in general during the day. I was told that we will be adding public restrooms, so-called Portland toilets, in the downtown next year, that hopefully will help reduce the problem of public urination – some of which may not be malicious so much as lack of access to bathrooms.

The bars are going to pay for two additional officers in the downtown. I have advocated for the need for additional patrol officers and last night the idea was raised about a potential police substation downtown. Hopefully we can add that to the mix and it will help create the kind of police presence we need.

Mr. Saenz pointed out last night that when police are present in the bar, everyone is on their best behavior. Having a car drive around the downtown is not nearly enough.

The point was raised, and I agree, that we need to look at a more expansive downtown with more different types of options. What about an alcohol-free dance club that could serve people under 21, and those wanting to dance but not to drink late into the evening? What about other forms of alcohol-free entertainment? What about bringing retail back?

What I do not want to see personally is a move to shut down the late night scene – I think that does serve a group of people that will find other outlets in its absence. Rather, I think the key, as again Mr. Saenz said last night, is finding a way to provide that demand while doing so safely.

If we can do that I think we all win and all can agree on moving forward.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

Here’s coverage from Fox 40:

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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94 thoughts on “Commentary: Did the Council Go Far Enough or Too Far?”

  1. Barack Palin

    Fox 40 video:

    The reporter says Davis has a downtown violence problem.

    We don’t have a downtown violence problem.

     

    The reporter says Davis might recruit late night businesses that have nothing to do with alcohol.

    What would those be?  Would it draw the current late night clientele away from the bars?  I doubt it.

     

    The lady bartender being interviewed has it right, this is all being way overblown and if you close down  some bars then it just causes the existing establishments to be just that much more crowded.

     

    1. Tia Will

      BP

      My guess is that you were not at the forum last night where a much more nuanced presentation of the issues and potential solutions was made. There is no discussion of closing down “some bars”. There is a lot of discussion about how to adopt increased safety measures that will be applicable to all.  A shame that you were not there….unless of course I am wrong and you were. Please correct me as needed.

        1. Davis Progressive

          good points barack.  i too believe this has been overblown.  i agree with david that we have avoided so far the worst responses, i hope it stays that way.

  2. Tia Will

    David

    First I want to thank you and Bob for putting on this forum and providing the coverage. I did however want to stress one aspect of the problem and the response of Mayor Pro Temp Davis.

    That is the underlying problem of the binge drinking element of the nightclub scene. I feel that the steps that are currently being taken are secondary prevention and as such are steps in the right direction. However, I do not believe that it is necessary to abandon the idea of primary prevention. Binge drinking, while a common activity of the 21-26 year old set, is a dangerous activity no matter where it occurs. It leads to serious medical problems up to and including death from alcohol poisoning in and of itself, no weapon or vehicle required. We had one such death in Davis a few years back. The response then was the same as Darren Pytel’s response last night, better training for bartenders and bouncers. However, there is no objective criteria used and by the time inebriation ( mild alcohol poisoning) is recognized, it is already too late.

    Robb Davis made an analogy to smoking which was once so ubiquitous that as a society we could have just thrown up our hands and said that there is nothing that we can do about it. Instead, those who value human health over tobacco company profits,  based on the clear known facts about the dangers of smoking, gradually working on many levels did indeed change the culture to an acceptance that not smoking was the desired behavior.

    I see this as a very similar situation. We have a large population of students who are naive with regards to the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption ( binging). We as the adult community need to be involved in educating these students about safe and responsible behaviors of all types. Just as we need to educate them about how to safely ride their bikes in town we also need to educate them as to safe and unsafe drinking practices. I do not believe that we should “shut down” the nightlife in Davis. But I do firmly believe that we need to move towards and enforce regulations that provide primary prevention of alcohol toxicity rather than promoting intoxication for profit.

    1. Frankly

      Please, save us this moral grandstanding Tia.  Although I’m sure you are truly concerned about the problem of youth binge drinking, as are most adults in this town, it is obvious that this just serves your larger agenda to keep the downtown more to your personal preference.

      It is obvious that your point here is to limit the hours that these restaurant and bars can operate as a way to reduce the occurrence of binge drinking.

      Did you give thought to the fact that alcohol served in bars is expensive and most young people cannot afford to binge drink?  In fact, most of the binge drinking happens at the private parties where the cheap and plentiful alcohol exists.  If you close the bars early you will likely INCREASE the occurrence of binge drinking.

      Most young people go to these places to socialize and dance.

      We don’t need any more of this type of half-baked scarcity approach to solving what are simply challenges of education to combat bad human behavior.  Your suggestions would likely make it worse, not better.

      1. Barack Palin

        I agree, at least at a bar the bartender can and usually does cut someone off when they get too intoxicated, who’s going to police a private party?

        1. Davis Progressive

          part of the concern is that the bar tenders are not aware enough of what’s going on to exercise that judgment.  though i agree it’s better than a private party.

      2. Davis Progressive

        i don’t thiink this is a fair shot at tia.  she’s been very consistent over the years on her views and i think the health issues as a health practioner are sincere.

      3. Tia Will

        Frankly

        I’ll just zoom past the unwarranted insults and address the substantive issue.

        Did you give thought to the fact that alcohol served in bars is expensive and most young people cannot afford to binge drink?”

        One of the conditions of the hardship exemption was that discounted, or free drinks for women not be allowed. Such an condition would clearly not have been felt necessary had discounted drinks not been a part of the Blondies business model as displayed on their own social media promotions.

        While I agree that a bartender does serve as one monitor of excessive drinking, a quick visit to downtown at closing time is enough to demonstrate that this is not always being strictly enforced. You might not agree with my interpretation, but Darren Pytel did.

        1. Frankly

          It is insulting and demeaning to humans in general, and it paints you and others doing the same as thinking you are above the fray… better than everyone else, that you would dictate bans, and restrictions… basically call for scarcity rules because – although you can control yourself – nobody else can.  The almighty liberal mindset of being almighty and righteous and everyone else is just a looser or a potential looser that cannot function with your rules to live by.

          I am more than irritated with that type of thing, and why I respond so strongly.

          I really don’t see you or me or anyone else posting here as being better, or more deserving or more righteous.  If a young person wants to go to a bar with music and socialize and drink and dance… who are we to layer our adult prudishness on them?  Most of us did the same when we were their age.  And a good percentage of those that did not wish they had.

          Now if you just want to stick to the argument of what you want the downtown and city to be like, instead of making the moral arguments that there is too much binge drinking and because of that we should cut off the serving of alcohol at 11 PM… then I am with you… maybe not agreeing, but interested in a civil debate of ideas.

          If you can’t tell by now, I really, really, really hate it when a minority of people feeling like they are better or more knowledgeable or more powerful or more righteous… layer on more unnecessary and freedom-killing new rules to live by.

          Focus on education and let people live their damn lives.

    2. Michelle Millet

      We have a large population of students who are naive with regards to the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption ( binging). We as the adult community need to be involved in educating these students about safe and responsible behaviors of all types. Just as we need to educate them about how to safely ride their bikes in town we also need to educate them as to safe and unsafe drinking practices.

      From what I can see the adults in this community don’t always act much more responsibly then the kids when it comes to excessive alcohol consumption in our downtown bars, whether it be themselves who have over- consumed or a member of their group. Some adults may need a refresher before they serve as role models for our younger generation on this one.

      1. Davis Progressive

        not sure your point.  there are plenty of adults who drink to excess, get arrested for drunk in public or dui’s.  does that mean that the community collectively must remain silent (even if i happen to believe we have overreacted here)?

        1. Michelle Millet

          not sure your point.

          My point is that binge drinking is not just a problem with 21-26 years olds. I’ve seen 50 years olds in this town make bad choices when in comes to handling friends/colleagues that have over-consumed. We shouldn’t limit our education to young drinkers. Some in our older generations might need a refresher course.

        2. Davis Progressive

          yes this town is filled with power drinkers and alcoholic.  i was always surprised by who ended up my client when i worked as a public defender.

        3. Michelle Millet

          Maybe council should form a “overaged drinking” subcommittee and study the issue. They could do field trips to one of our downtown “nightclubs”.

        4. Barack Palin

          Maybe council should form a “overaged drinking” subcommittee and study the issue. 

          Only if they include women and make it diverse and it doesn’t end up being just white males.

  3. Frankly

    The point was raised and I agree we need to look at a more expansive downtown with more different types of options. What about an alcohol free dance club that could serve people under 21 and those wanting to dance but not drink late into the evening? What about other forms of alcohol-free entertainment? What about bringing retail back?

    Great ideas.

    Now ask yourself what are the primary barriers to accomplishing these things?  And if you are factual and honest in this assessment, it will come down to our land-use decisions past and present.

    As a once dance band musician that entertained partying college kids, and someone that both supports the arts and business, I had previously explored the idea of opening a venue like this in Davis.  The thinking was to leverage the customer base and provide a venue for more live music.  Anyone traveling to Portland, Austin and other places with a strong music scene will understand the social and economic benefits for this.  However, it was the lack of facilities that killed the idea.

    Again, land use.

    This and that weird liberal-progressive tendency to attack and demonize for-profit business.

    Think about this.  We give away 400 acres of peripheral land over fears that a non-profit business, The Yolo Land Trust, might be the slightest bit impacted, while we practically form a pitch-fork wielding mob to take down KetMoRee over something not really their fault.  At least we calmed down a bit having 3 of 5 level-headed council members, but we still implement new rules that have adverse financial impacts on these for profit businesses.

    The absurdity here is that the Yolo Land Trust provides zero tax revenue to the city or state as a non-profit, but all these restaurants and bars pay extremely high tax rates to the benefit of the city, state and country.

    The Davis view…

    Yolo Land Trust = Good Business and potential victim that demands our utmost care.

    Restaurants and bars = Bad business and probable predators that are lucky we allow them to exist.

    My point here is that we are guilty of not thinking things through well enough and instead we too often make decisions based on our strong emotional, and often irrational, reactions.   There is a cost with each of those sub-optimized decisions and they accumulate.

    And today we have extreme low inventories of commercial space, a cramped and small downtown to provide services to a large and growing population of certain demographics that are going to be increasingly in conflict.

    But we have all that preserved farmland surrounding us in a yet to be completed farmland moat.  Yippee Skippy!  Don’t we feel good about that?!

    1. Alan Miller

      all these restaurants and bars pay extremely high tax rates to the benefit of the city, state and country.

      Wrong.  The City of Fullerton, a similar regional draw with an Alcohol Alley of late night thumpa-thumpa conversion nightclubs did a study and found the delta on taxes from the late night portion of the business didn’t even come close to covering the extra costs to the City from the need for additional city services.

    1. Frankly

      Only if the cost of space was low enough.  For example, a converted industrial space.

      But the idea was to have a venue that would have no-alcohol events, not that it would be 100% no-alcohol.

      1. Davis Progressive

        charge a cover charge – people can and will pay to be in that atmosphere without drinking.  there are all sort of fiscal models that we could try to make it work.  i find it interesting that above you criticized tia saying, “Although I’m sure you are truly concerned about the problem of youth binge drinking, as are most adults in this town, it is obvious that this just serves your larger agenda to keep the downtown more to your personal preference.” to me it’s obvious that your comments just serve your larger agenda criticizing the city’s land use policies and pushing for more growth.

        1. Alan Miller

          it’s obvious that your comments just serve your larger agenda criticizing the city’s land use policies and pushing for more growth.

          Frank Lee has no agenda.  Only everyone else does.

        2. Frankly

          My agenda is simply to hold others accountable for their positions and decisions.  I have said it over and over again after living here for 40 years, I don’t care if Davis is 10 sq miles and 90,000 people (can’t stop the population grown because of UCD, but certainly and NIMBY-ize the land use policies/decisions and prevent any more peripheral expansion.).

          Except those that demand this are responsible for the consequences.  Cramped and small downtown, few commercial properties, growing population density, demographic changes to cut out the middle and stock up on kids and old farts…

          It is typical of reactionaries in the town to demand their cake and eat it to.  I’m just making sure they are called out for it.

          I’m also going to protect business because in Davis they tend to have few friends even as their enemies mooch off the tax revenue generated.

          There is a big property owner downtown that is divesting all of his holdings.  There will be new owners.  It is likely that more retail will close down as rents increase, and more pizza restaurants replace them.

          Some of you really don’t have a clue about the true causes of the decline of our downtown.

          That is my other “agenda” to try and educate those that think they know it all.

          Tough job.

    2. oopsididitagain

      I believe you are mistaken Take a look at where a lot of the 16-20 year olds go to in Sacramento. Dance Clubs they have been running for years. The Firehouse is a blues dance club that is Packed.

  4. zaqzaq

    Once again Dan in a bubble is looking at how his vote impacts his ability to win the assembly seat.  That is his primary focus.  He has dined out of the public trough his entire career and does not understand how delay can cost a business money.  Nor does he appear to be concerned.  The bottom line is that the city needs to figure out how to make the downtown safer for patrons and then impose these safety measures on all business establishments on a level playing field.  Dan and his sidekick are more concerned with the political implications of their vote than solving problems.  The one issue that the city cannot control is the drinking culture in society which is reinforced by how it is portrayed in movies, TV and other social media.

    1. Frankly

      The one issue that the city cannot control is the drinking culture in society which is reinforced by how it is portrayed in movies, TV and other social media.

      I think some of the vocal residents in this town are living in a time warp and are not paying attention to what are typical and standard social behaviors of young people.   Google Spring Break.

      And like all young people before them, try to pass on those adult Victorian prude values, and it will cause them to behave even more extreme.

      I’m a conservative, but I am a realist.

      1. Davis Progressive

        i tend to agree there are people in a time warp and with a belief they can teach the kids a better way.  the problem is most people learn by making mistakes.

        1. Tia Will

          DP

          I think that my perspective on this is so different is because a large part of what I do is to educate people, including young people on how to live more healthfully. I have had the good fortune to be able to encourage many, many young women to better  protect themselves, both from undesired pregnancy and from sexually transmissible diseases.

          I do not believe that wanting to prevent deaths, unintended pregnancies, sexually transmissible diseases is prudish. As a gynecologist I am probably one of the least “prudish” individuals who posts here. I am very frank, open and realistic about sexuality. I see up close and personal, I suspect more than anyone else who posts. here the full range of human sexual experience without approving or disapproving, but merely offering advice about how best to protect oneself under any of the choices that they happen to be making . To accuse me of having prudishness as a motive is patently absurd.

          To believe that primary prevention is impossible is not absurd, but having seen many people avoid dangerous behaviors and others turn their lives around, I know that it is in error.

    2. hpierce

      “the drinking culture in society which is reinforced by how it is portrayed in movies, TV and other social media.”  

      Or, more accurately, how it is ‘created’.  Regular, heavy, “drinking”  is a small (maybe as high [pun intended] as 10-15%).  It is not ubiquitous, but the “media” (all forms) find it more interesting (because their audiences do) than real life, real people.  And no, cannot cite studies.  The studies I have seen, have generally had a point they were trying to prove, and/or questionable methodology.

      That being said, the ‘regular heavy drinking’ issue(s) are very real, and society should look at that and make reasonable efforts to address it.

    3. Tia Will

      zaqzaq

      The one issue that the city cannot control is the drinking culture in society which is reinforced by how it is portrayed in movies, TV and other social media.”

      I agree that the city cannot control the drinking culture, and I feel that we can play an integral role in mitigating the worst excesses of it through sensible conditions placed on the businesses exploiting this particular binging aspect of the drinking culture. Not all of our youth drink irresponsibly and it is responsible drinking that our regulations should be promoting. Cultural change is not impossible as Robb Davis pointed out. It just requires slow, deliberate gradual steps at many levels.

  5. oopsididitagain

    Thank you For putting last nights forum together. I was actually surprised by the intelligent dialog by most that were there. The one thing I didn’t hear about was PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY! When some Dentist shoots a lion He is evil, He needs to be punished, How could he do this. Yet when some Jack Wad stabs someone in a bar, We Must have nightclub reform!

    I found it rather funny how blondie’s will have to have an armed guard. But God forbid you mention armed gaurds in our public schools. We dont want our children to have to see that. Lets not forget these patrons of these bars ARE PEOPLES CHILDREN.

    1. Davis Progressive

      well the guys who did this (or most of them) are going through the legal system and will face murder charges and if convicted spend the rest of their life in prison.  that part is solved.  what’s not solved is preventing things like this from happening again to the extent prudent and possible.

      1. oopsididitagain

        Name any place in the world that has successful prevented violence? Violence can only be prevented internally. And currently is ONLY TREATED AFTER THE FACT. Look at DV Classes. The Abuser takes them AFTER THE VIOLENCE HAS OCCURRED NOT BEFORE.

        One guy MIGHT do serious time. but I doubt there was pre-meditation.  So my guess is even the stabber will be out in 15 years. So I wouldn’t hold your breath for anyone doing life. Would I love to live in a world free of fear of violence? yep!~ Will I ever? Not until we as a society Look at the reason why it happens and quit pretending that we can regulate the human brain rather than treat the symptoms which lead to the violence.

        1. Alan Miller

          We may not be able to stop violence, but we can tame the creating of an atmosphere that fosters it.  When the event on campus I spoke of was getting out of control and we noticed creepsters hanging out and we decided to keep it, a rape occurred.  Was it our fault?  No, it was the rapists.  However, we saw the atmosphere we were allowing to foster without the ability to control it any longer, so we had indirect responsibility, even if we could not have know exactly what would occur.  The event was then shut down after the rape.  Similarly, the City failing now to act to temper the scene would be unconscionable; we know the convertible night clubs are creating an ever growing atmosphere of alcohol-fueled violence.  The night scene shouldn’t be shut down, nor should the hours be drastically cut, but the atmosphere should be tamed.  I am hopeful the direction the City is taking will be beneficial, based on other city’s best practices; the import thing is not to lose the momentum.  Had we lost a Davis citizen, and this just as easily could have been, the outcry for change would have been far stronger.

        2. Davis Progressive

          second degree murder is 15 years to life in california.  add in gang enhancements and priors, and you’re talking a minimum of 20 years and they would have to be granted parole to get out.  (yes, i’m a lawyer).  can they get murder charges on those who didn’t actually stab the guy?  that’s a bigger question.

  6. Anon

    Assistant Chief Darren Pytel noted that one of the keys is that bars do not want to take these measures by themselves because it creates an uneven playing field. Bars are happy to increase security, provided they all have to do it.

    I suspect the bars/nightclubs downtown are afraid people are going to take their business elsewhere because of nightclub/bar safety issues.  If you don’t believe me, you should have been at last night’s forum.  An ASUCD student representative said that students were starting to steer clear of nighttime businesses that do not feel safe since the murder at KetMoRee.  Asst. Police Chief Pytel noted that for the FIRST time businesses were willing to come together to talk about ways they could make their businesses safer for customers – I suspect because of their worry about their bottom line.  The scuttlebutt around town is residents are going to start boycotting restaurants they feel contribute to the problem downtown at night.

    I also suspect that the commenters here are not very representative of the thinking of the majority of citizens in Davis, based on the forum last night, op-eds in the Davis Enterprise this morning, the reaction of the entire City Council, and based on conversation in the community at large.  Council member Lee stated from the dais that his emails were running 15-1 to close the nightclubs down altogether. I think most Davis citizens are fed up with what is going on; genuinely care about the safety of students, who are members of our community; and those living near the G St. corridor and adjacent businesses are fed up with the nightclub violence, vomit/urination, obnoxious behavior, etc.

    Like it or not, the downtown nightclub scene is in for some tough new regulations.  Will they work?  Remains to be seen.  But certainly the City Council can impose mandatory restrictions, have a one year trial period, reassess, and tweak the restrictions depending on what happens over the trial period.  Or customers themselves, using their dollars, may decide the issue as well.

    1. Davis Progressive

      i do think you have to bear in mind that the majority of the people who come to a forum are going to be motivated because they are angry.  i’m not saying that everyone who comes is going to be, but if you are going to  take time out of your life, you have to have a motiviation.

      the vanguard kind of has a regular group of commenters and then some periodic ones and so whereever they fall, they fall.   i think the comments here are kind of evenly split.

      1. Anon

        i do think you have to bear in mind that the majority of the people who come to a forum are going to be motivated because they are angry.

        Here is what I said:

        based on the forum last night, op-eds in the Davis Enterprise this morning, the reaction of the entire City Council, and based on conversation in the community at large.  Council member Lee stated from the dais that his emails were running 15-1 to close the nightclubs down altogether.”

        Note the emails Brett Lee was receiving, for starters.

      2. Tia Will

        DP

        Having attended the entire forum, I did not get the impression that most of the people who were there were angry. A few stated that they were, but I believe that the majority were genuinely concerned about either the participants in the nightclub scene itself, the businesses that are not profiting or are harmed by the activities of the nightclub goers, the nearby residents, or all of the above as well as our entire community and how it is affected.  True most participants were in some way directly affected, but anger did not appear to be the major motivator.

        1. Davis Progressive

          tia – i think you took my “angry” too literally.  perhaps angry in the sense of 12 angry men rather or i’m mad as hell and i’m not going to take it anymore

    2. Alan Miller

      An ASUCD student representative said that students were starting to steer clear of nighttime businesses that do not feel safe

      They will be back soon enough.  Just like how politicians use the same BS every four years because everyone forgets it is BS.  Humans are strange that way.

      The scuttlebutt around town is residents are going to start boycotting restaurants they feel contribute to the problem downtown at night.

      Welcome aboard fellow travelers; Alan C. Miller has banned eating at the restaurants that convert into thumpa-thumpa night clubs 11pm – 2am Thurs – Saturday for the last seven years.  Join me, won’t you!

      1. Tia Will

        Alan

        I am with you on the voting with my business Alan. I will eat at Tres as soon as Sergio stops the nightclub activities or fully  implements the safety and more neighborly practices as outlined. I will give Blondies a chance. Same with Ket Mo Ree when they are fully in compliance.

        I want to enjoy our downtown. I don’t want to limit the enjoyment of our downtown. But I don’t want our youth to be actually endangered and I don’t want to feel endangered myself if I happen to be in downtown later than anticipated and find myself walking past G street on my way home.

        I eat downtown at least four to five times weekly either at lunch or dinner. I do support the local businesses. And I will vote with my dollars.

  7. Tia Will

    Frankly

    My agenda is simply to hold others accountable for their positions and decisions.”

    Well you certainly repeat it often enough. However, who if anyone do you think contributed and should be accountable for allowing knives into a nightclub when wanding is a commonly accepted method of metal detection. No responsibility there other than the person who brought it in ?  I seem to remember you saying that you would hold those of us who wanted the MRAP removed responsible for advocating if there were to be a death or injury that you felt it would have prevented. Just for advocating, not for driving it out of town or disabling it. Well, I happen to feel that wanding is a simple step that would prevent a weapon being brought into a night club.

    What about the bartender at the location that is currently Froggy’s who continued serving the 21 for 21 drinks that resulted in his death from acute alcohol poisoning. No responsibility at all there ?

    It seems to me that you advocate for responsibility very selectively.

    1. Frankly

      You don’t get the point about people harming others, versus harming themselves.

      I support wanding simply because we have irresponsible people, gang member, etc.  It is prevention, it is not banning anything.  It is not causing a scarcity situation to meet some liberal social engineering goal.  It is common and everyone really expects it these days.

      I would have a problem if we were wanding and then someone like yourself demanded we ban the practice because people are getting their feelings hurt by it.

      Yes, if someone is hurt of dies due to the lack of the MRAP in town, I will be right there to call out everyone that contributed to the injury or death by demanding the MRAP be banned.

      Again, wanding and the MRAP prevent people from harming others.

      The person that drank 21 drinks is at fault.  He paid the price for his stupidity, but the bartender and the bar paid the price as is the demand from folks with your views.

      It seems that you advocate for a class of people or business entities being responsible for all the little people that cannot control themselves.

      Again, I say education and let people make their own choices.  I understand that as a doctor you must deal with a lot of stupid people unable to control themselves and ending up harming themselves.  I am all in for services to educate them and help them, but not new rules that impact everyone because they are too stupid to control themselves.

      Do you understand my perspective now?

      1. Don Shor

        The person that drank 21 drinks is at fault. He paid the price for his stupidity, but the bartender and the bar paid the price as is the demand from folks with your views.

        The bartender and the bar are also clearly at fault due to the diminished capacity of the drinker.

        1. hpierce

          As I recall, there were other direct ‘conspirators’… the young man’s “friends” who shuttled drinks from the bar to the table, long after he could no longer walk there himself.

      2. Tia Will

        Frankly

        I understood your point and perspective before. I simply disagree with it.

        Continuing to serve an inebriated individual is against the law. You have stated before that those who break the law are responsible for the outcomes of their actions, but apparently not in this case according to you. How is the bartender who continued to serve 21 drinks during a single binge not responsible for breaking the law in your eyes ? ( As well as the owner and “friends” as pointed out by others)

        Opposing the presence of an MRAP in town is to the best of my knowledge not illegal, and yet you seem to think that is  more a source of culpability than helping an individual ( doubtless very naive about the risks of drinking) drink himself to death despite the fact that it is against the law.

        1. Frankly

          Hopeless.

          You see the world through glasses that I can never see through.  It is a true collectivist mindset… the collective is responsible, but individual people are not… except when they step outside the rules of the collective.

          Makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck thinking of that line by Meryl Streep in The Giver: “When you give people the freedom to choose, they choose wrong every time.”  That was her justification for locking them in a compound and controlling what they said and thought so as not to allow them to go out of line.

          And like her, you would…

          Ban plastic bags – people are too stupid to care for the environment

          Ban fossil fuels – people are too stupid to care for the environment

          Ban the MRAP – people are too stupid to understand how upsetting symbols of war are to the sensitive people.

          Ban guns – people are too stupid to use them correctly

          Ban booze after 11 PM – people are too stupid to not drink too much after 11 PM

          Ban sodas – people are too stupid to stop eating crap that makes them obese

          Ban dance music – people are too stupid to control themselves

          Ban lingerie shows – people (women) are too stupid to cover themselves up enough

          Ban “No Means No” – people (women) are too stupid to know what they mean when it comes to sex, or too stupid to control their drinking

          The list goes on.

          Of course we need rules, but I think, and I have said it before, we are plagued with all the bossy kids that have grown to adults and are still obsessed with controlling everyone else.

          There are a lot of things we actually agree on in terms of outcomes we would like to see… just not the methods to get them done.

           

      3. Matt Williams

        Frankly said . . . “You don’t get the point about people harming others, versus harming themselves.”

        Does the approach you describe above apply to a person’s right to terminate their life?

        1. hpierce

          Don’t think anyone has questioned “a person’s right to terminate their life?”  That said, there is a controversy about whether someone has the right to have someone ‘assist’ them in that manner.

  8. aggieintel

    I agree that the city cannot control the drinking culture, and I feel that we can play an integral role in mitigating the worst excesses of it through sensible conditions placed on the businesses exploiting this particular binging aspect of the drinking culture. Not all of our youth drink irresponsibly and it is responsible drinking that our regulations should be promoting.

    Before I respond to Tia, may I observe a startling, yet unsurprising lack of discourse around the notion of this incident being in some way gang-related. Dear elders, must you overlook what is, from my millennial perspective, an outright prejudice to automatically assume this tragedy was in any way an act of gang violence? What lonely plane of reality are you all  living on to find it just to whine about the irresponsible and unsafe behaviors of YOUR youth while there is a painfully more relevant issue here (racial discrimination)? Second, the fact that a recurring theme of this discourse is how to implement preventative measures of binge-drinking and violence BEFORE THE ACT is laughable. Because it’s TOTALLY new for college kids IN A COLLEGE TOWN to consume ‘copious’ amounts of loosely-regulated booze, which ultimately impairs them and puts them + you at risk. Gah. Here’s a puzzle for all of you well-meaning, blue-collar, upright Davis folk; why, in a town home to one of the finest research universities in the country, must you burden your bored selves with the task of understanding youth culture like it’s going out of style? With a population of thousands of dedicated, hard-working, intelligent young adults, must you remind me why I shall leave this hellmouth of hypocrisy as soon as possible? THE YOUTH HAVE BOOZE. THEY WILL KILL THEMSELVES IF WE DON’T STOP THEM. OUR WORLD IS ENDING WAHHHHHHH. Seriously people. If you only dedicated half as much of your time + energy to helping your youth address social issues that are legitimately sound to both parties, rather than pushing your grotesque, crusty agendas of a bygone era, our community would be so very much better off.

    1. Don Shor

      Dear elders, must you overlook what is, from my millennial perspective, an outright prejudice to automatically assume this tragedy was in any way an act of gang violence?

      The police identified the suspects as gang members.

      “Police believe that all the targets of this investigation are members and associates of a Norteno criminal street gang based in Vacaville, California,” according to Pytel.

      http://www.dailydemocrat.com/general-news/20150926/another-arrest-made-in-davis-murder-case

    2. Tia Will

      Frankly

      You see the world through glasses that I can never see through.”

      True. As  a matter of fact, with regard to “my glasses” you cannot even see them. Again and again, you state that I have taken positions that I have never taken. You  tell me I am for banning a whole series of items that I have never favored “banning”. And then, when I point out that I am not favoring a “ban” you tell me that I am lying.

      You are correct. You are completely, and willfully blind, as to how I see the world.

    3. Tia Will

      aggieintel

      Before I respond to Tia”

      So did you ever actually get around to addressing the point that I made ?

      The one about deciding on what negative effects could be mitigated. Because if so I missed it. I can hardly believe that there are not some aspects of the nightlife scene that the millenials and those of us in our 60’s could not agree are less than optimal and then work on together.

  9. Tia Will

    aggieintel

    If you only dedicated half as much of your time + energy to helping your youth address social issues that are legitimately sound to both parties, “

    As a local gynecologist, I have dedicated much of my “time and energy helping our youth “deal with the aftermath of their excessive use of alcohol. I think that most of the young women that end up spending hours of their time ( yes, I have many repeaters) in my clinic seeking STD and pregnancy tests would agree that they would not be there if they had not blacked out from alcohol, and that their time could be much better spent doing something other than a completely preventable trip to the gynecologists office.

    I do not spend a large portion of my time “pushing your grotesque, crusty agendas of a bygone era” onto todays youth. I don’t have to. The millenials come to me with their unintended pregnancies, their pelvic inflammatory disease, their herpes. What you see is me trying to kill the “fun”. What I see is “you” in tears over the adverse consequences of poor choices, not unique to this generation but inherent in all generations before they have accumulated enough experience to avoid the completely preventable deleterious effects of their own choices.

    I know because I was one. I was a member of an infertility couple for 5 years because of poor choices I made at the same age. It cost me many thousands of dollars and two surgeries and I was one of the lucky ones because the results of my indiscretions turned out to be reversible. Like youthful exuberance, diseases associated with alcohol abuse are not the sole property of any specific generation. Unfortunately, we often fail to see that until the damage has occurred. Primary prevention is always the best and least costly option, regardless of age.

     

  10. Anon

    Frankly: “You don’t get the point about people harming others, versus harming themselves.

    Huh? It is against the law for bartenders to sell liquor to an already inebriated customer.  Bartenders are not legally permitted to contribute to alcohol poisoning (or drunk driving).

    1. Frankly

      Sure, I get that.

      And you don’t agree that the person ordering and drinking 21 drinks is at fault?

      That person killed himself, and caused significant damage to the bartender and the bar. The bartender did not hold him down and pour the drinks down his throat. And what about the people he was with?

      Sometimes bartenders cannot tell when someone has had too much. And when a bar is real busy, and people are buying drinks for others, it is next to impossible to keep track. You make it sound like there is a gauge attached to each patron that displays their BAL.

      However, I concede that this is the law.

        1. hpierce

          I’ve forgotten, Alan… was it 21 drinks for the birthday idiot AND his friends,or just the birthday /death day idiot?  Just don’t recall what the “21 for 21” entailed… and no, not due to me doing it.

        2. Alan Miller

          … was it 21 drinks for the birthday idiot AND his friends,or just the birthday /death day idiot?

          Though I did throw up in a downtown Davis bathroom for my 21st birthday (The Brewery, where Our House now is, for those that remember), I never was a ParaGoon, so don’t know the 21 for 21 “rules”, if there were any.

          Just don’t recall what the “21 for 21” entailed… and no, not due to me doing it.

          Hilarious!

      1. Don Shor

        The person ordering the drinks had increasingly diminished capacity. The bartender is a professional who is legally obliged to avoid serving people who are intoxicated. In one jury trial I was on we were being asked to determine partial negligence, or maybe it’s called contributory negligence.
        The people he was with behaved foolishly and perhaps unethically, but they don’t have a legal obligation to be responsible. The bartender does, and the bar does in hiring the bartender and providing the venue.

        1. Frankly

          Yes, it is the “Dram Shop Law”, and I am very familiar with it because of some business issues I have had to deal with over the years… fantastic clients that had business failures because their employees did not stop serving drinks to the drunk idiots.

          Proving negligence in a dram shop case requires that the bartender and/or servers continued to served a customer they knew or reasonably should have known was drunk.

          The “reasonably should have known” test can be a big problem for a busy bar.

          What is very interesting to me… Juries tend to side with the defendant in the cases where the drunk idiot tries to the sue the bar, because the juries tend to blame the drunk idiot for causing his/her trouble.

          But if the drunk idiot goes off and causes harm to another and the other sues the bar, the juries more often side with the plaintiff.

          The logic of this is clear.   With enough emotional sympathy it leads to raiding the deep pockets of business.  Otherwise the drunk idiot would be responsible in both cases.

          I know the law, but my point was this tendency to hold business responsible instead of the actual cause of the trouble.  More rules to live by to save the stupid people from themselves.  And this then sets more of an expectation and dependency that people don’t actually need to be held responsible for their behavior… there is always someone else to blame… and hopefully they have money for the trial attorneys to harvest from.

  11. Tia Will

    The “reasonably should have known” test can be a big problem for a busy bar.”

    And we have a well defined, objective, and proven way to get around this problem. It is called a breathalyzer. You know, the one it takes 30 seconds to blow into on a DUI check.  If all of our bars in town had patrons blow into the device at the time that they purchase their own drinks, the result would be objective. The bartender would have no subjective judgment to make. But we won’t do that because that would of course be far to onerous.  30 seconds more. Purely objective criteria. 100% of the responsibility on the individual. Below the chosen number, a drink is provided. Above, no drink.

    Simple, clean, objective ….. and completely disregarded as a possibility.

  12. Tia Will

    Frankly

    And I understand their point of view. However, they are focused on the single issue of drunk driving, where I see a broader set of harms involved in binge drinking. I also would not make this a money making venture charging people who wanted to test, but used in lier of “bartender judgement” which as you pointed out can be faulty even if they are well trained.

    1. Frankly

      Bartender: “Sorry, you cannot buy a drink for your friend back at the table because she needs to blow into this gizmo to prove she is under the limit.”

      Right.

      I have a better idea.

      Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) wrist bands that keep of the number of drinks purchased (scanned each time the patron purchases a drink.)  That way the server can check the entire table at order time.  They could then establish a max-per hour and total max.  These wrist bands are used at music festivals.  Just add the cost of the wrist band to the cover charge. They are about $1 in quantity. That cost will go down. Of course the business will have to invest in the technology, but it is not terribly expensive.

      But here is my final best idea.

      Leave it alone.  Expect people to drink responsibly and educate them as what that is.

    2. Frankly

      Bartender: “Sorry, you cannot buy a drink for your friend back at the table because she needs to blow into this gizmo to prove she is under the limit.”

      Right.

      I have a better idea.

      Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) wrist bands that keep of the number of drinks purchased (scanned each time the patron purchases a drink.)  That way the server can check the entire table at order time.  They could then establish a max-per hour and total max.  These wrist bands are used at music festivals.  Just add the cost of the wrist band to the cover charge. They are about $1 in quantity. That cost will go down. Of course the business will have to invest in the technology, but it is not terribly expensive.

      https://www.pdcsolutions.com/solutions/en-001/rfid-wristbands.html

      Check this too…

      A well-known nightclub in Singapore called Zouk has successfully implemented these anti-drinking and driving urinals for its customers. Male customers, I might add. When you drive up to the nightclub, you give the valet your keys, and, in exchange, they give you a parking card inlaid with an RFID tag. These cards identify patrons as well as record their alcohol levels. Every time a male patron uses the restroom, the urinal analyzes his urine for the alcohol content in his body. The urinal has an RFID reader that pairs with the alcohol sensor. Then, the reading is recorded on the RFID parking card just inside their pockets. If you’ve had “one too many,” your alcohol levels will be displayed at the urinal and the valet’s booth in the parking garage. The bar offers a drive home service which is helping keep down accidents related to drunk driving and is offered at the valet booth.

       

      But here is my final best idea.

      Leave it alone.  Expect people to drink responsibly and educate them as what that is.

      1. Don Shor

        This is amazing. You have basically defended the right of people to kill themselves in public by drinking, and the right of businesses to sell alcohol to intoxicated people until they may do harm to themselves and others.

        Society has an interest in preventing alcohol abuse in public. It endanger the lives of the people doing it, who are often incapable of making reasonable decisions after a certain point, and it endangers others. Expecting people to drink responsibly is irrational.

        1. Alan Miller

          This is amazing. You have basically defended the right of people to kill themselves in public by drinking, and the right of businesses to sell alcohol to intoxicated people until they may do harm to themselves and others.

          To take any other stand would cut into the right of business owners take make money.

      2. Alan Miller

        Expect people to drink responsibly and educate them as what that is.

        Really!?!???  Educate alcoholics not to drink . . . why didn’t someone think of that solution before Frank Lee?  This is truly a breakthrough!  Wow, y’know, if that works, next we could educate heroin addicts not to use heroin!

        1. Don Shor

          What we have in this town is several thousand young adults arriving at drinking age each year with basically no adult supervision. I don’t think there are any mandatory alcohol awareness classes on campus, teaching moderate alcohol use, blood-alcohol calculations, signs of alcohol abuse and dependence, awareness of personal safety issues when drinking, etc. Colleges don’t act in loco parentis any more. So basically they learn their drinking, partying, and refusal skills from their peers.

          I think we all know that peers aren’t the best sources of information about sex, drugs, or alcohol. Creating a safe nightlife environment requires actual cooperation between the college administration, the city leadership, and most especially the bars and nightclubs. To say “expect people to drink responsibly and educate them as what that is” is really an empty statement. If you purvey drugs or alcohol, you have some responsibility for how and where and under what conditions they are consumed. They affect people and make those people dangerous to themselves and others. A city has a clear interest in maintaining public safety and reducing clear nuisances, and they use ordinances and zoning and regulations to achieve those things.

          This is where libertarianism usually falls down. Libertarians assert the primacy of the individual’s freedom over all of the consequences of the individual’s behavior.

        2. Frankly

          Don, fine but it has been like this forever (except during prohibition), and it is like this is every colleget town.

          We have ABC license requirements.  We have “Dram Shop Laws”.  We have drunk driving laws.  We have general education and information out there 24×7 365 days a year on every cell phone that reminds people that it is not good to drink to excess.

          Interesting how you defend the intelligence and knowledge of these kids to vote and change the world, yet they are too ill informed to understand that it is not good to drink to excess.

          They KNOW everything.  They are smarter and more informed that you and me except for plants and business.

          They KNOW, yet they still do it sometimes.

          And they will do it in their dorms, and apartments and in the rental homes that host parties because the Victorian prudes in this town succeeded in their attempts to implement the Footloose poiticies to ban their fun.

          And I challenge you that UCD does not have services and information about substance abuse (ATOD Intervention Services, etc.)

    3. Alan Miller

      they are focused on the single issue of drunk driving, where I see a broader set of harms involved in binge drinking.

      I totally support and applaud Tia for what she does for young people in these situations.  However, I don’t think we can regulate or prevent.  My main issue is drunk driving.  While there are also many annoyances associated with Alcohol Alley, the key one is drunk driving, because the person doing so is handling, poorly, what is now a deadly weapon.

      1. hpierce

        Wistful comment… cars are ALWAYS potentially deadly weapons… whether it’s Granddad/Grandmom with some form of dementia, a person with mental health/anger issues, an irresponsible teen, or anyone under the influence of any drug, be it alcohol, cocaine, meth, antihistamines, etc. [or someone texting while driving, over-tired, etc]

        Kinda’ like a gun.  It’s who has the gun, and their condition is the problem… and same goes for knives.

        But Alan is absolutely correct in his key issue and concern on this topic.  Alcohol and youth, combined with driving a car is like having a loaded gun with a ‘hair trigger’.  Not good.

  13. Tia Will

    Alan

    I don’t think we can regulate or prevent. “

    While I agree that drunk driving is a clear and immediate danger. I do not agree that we cannot regulate or prevent.’

    It took many, many years with efforts on many levels in our society, but we did manage to dramatically reduce cigarette smoking in our society and consequently the associated deaths from a wide variety of cancers as well as COPD and other respiratory illnesses. This is clearly a story of success through regulation and prevention. We have proven our ability to enact major social change in an intractable addictive practice. I believe that we could do it again given the will to do so.

  14. Anon

    Frankly: “And you don’t agree that the person ordering and drinking 21 drinks is at fault?

    That person killed himself, and caused significant damage to the bartender and the bar. The bartender did not hold him down and pour the drinks down his throat. And what about the people he was with?

    Sometimes bartenders cannot tell when someone has had too much. And when a bar is real busy, and people are buying drinks for others, it is next to impossible to keep track. You make it sound like there is a gauge attached to each patron that displays their BAL. 

    However, I concede that this is the law.”

    You are trying to tell me that a bartender cannot tell when a person is over-inebriated?  Really?  A properly trained bartender should know when a person is too drunk to be sold more alcohol.  From: http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/downloads/pdf/crime_prevention/Best-Practices-Nightlife-2d-Ed-2011.pdf

    State law and common sense prohibit a nightlife establishment from serving alcohol to a person who is visibly intoxicated, or permitting someone else to serve the intoxicated person. It is of course in the best interest of everyone involved to prevent the kinds of behavior which are associated with intoxicated patrons, and all employees should be highly aware of the signs of intoxication:

    Speech slurred, thick, confused, abusive, profane, antagonistic or incoherent
    Appearance in disarray, clothing stained
    Balance unsteady, or body swaying, using a wall or furniture as a prop
    Face pale or flushed
    Eyes bloodshot, red, or puffy
    Fumbling or dropping of glass, ID, cash, etc., or misjudging distance
    Unusual physiological symptoms, e.g., vomiting, excessive hiccupping, losing focus, sleepy or fainting.”

    You would favor NO LAWS/LIABILITY holding bars/nightclubs in any way accountable for selling more drinks to someone they know is very over-intoxicated, and favor bars having no responsibility allowing that same over-intoxicated person get into a car and drive away, all for the sake of the bar maximizing its profits no matter the costs to society?

    Then I assume you are against strict liability for the sale of defective products, and believe businesses should not be held accountable for damage done by defective products sold to customers?

    Obviously you are out of step with the majority in this country if you believe in the above two statements, because they are the law.

    Don Shor: “In one jury trial I was on we were being asked to determine partial negligence, or maybe it’s called contributory negligence.”

    The legal term is comparative negligence.  Negligence is apportioned based on relative fault. A percentage is assigned to each party as to what portion of their negligence contributed to the damages.

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