My View: Extending the Moratorium Accomplishes Nothing

Beer Bar Stock

beer-bar

City staff is proposing that the council extend the current moratorium on establishment or expansion of bars, nightclubs and restaurants serving distilled spirits, or restaurants exceeding 2,500 square feet, for an additional ten months and fifteen days.

The Vanguard doesn’t see the purpose for a such an extension. The original moratorium made some sense – after all, there was a current applicant, Blondies, wishing to immediately establish a nightclub at the location of the former restaurant/bar Little Prague. The moratorium gave the city the leverage they needed to impose interim conditions on Blondies for being able to open.

Staff writes that they are “proposing to report back to the City Council in January with potential changes to the City’s Zoning Ordinance, and possibly new standards for businesses that have Alcohol Licenses.”

They add, “Staff recognizes that property owners and restaurateurs have invested in Davis properties, building plans, and other financial transactions. It is staff’s goal that the analysis and public discussion fostered by the moratorium proceed as expeditiously as possible.”

They list seven establishments that are bars and restaurants in the planning and building review stage. Of them, Hot Italian, Pizza 101, Stone Soup, Three Mile Brewing, and Zuma Poke, are not subject to the moratorium for different reasons, most of them because they don’t exceed 2500 square feet and Three Mile Brewing because breweries are not covered.

That leaves two covered by the moratorium – Blondies, which has been dealt with, and Tasty Kitchen – which is subject to the moratorium but staff writes that it “anticipates an exemption for minor alteration and repairs, given anticipated hours reflected in ABC license.” Apparently it won’t be open past 10 pm.

So what is the need for a moratorium if staff is coming back in two months with recommendations for Zoning Ordinance Changes?

The first question we need to ask is whether there is urgency anymore to pass a moratorium, when the only proposed location that would fall under a moratorium will close at 10 pm? Given the length of time of the permitting process, it seems very likely that the council will have new zoning requirements in place long before this becomes an issue.

But the second point seems just as important – given that the city has imposed interim terms on Blondies, why not simply make those rules the interim zoning requirements, which could then be finalized at a later point in time?

Council relaxed some of the conditions, such as those prohibiting any live entertainment or the sale of alcohol after 11 pm. Council will now allow live musical entertainment and sale of alcohol until 1 am.

The conditions also include a provision that, after 10 pm, “patrons will be subject to security screening and bag inspections. Licensee’s security will use metal detection wands and conduct pat-downs 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.”

As Councilmember Brett Lee put it, he was supportive of reduced hours, but “11 pm seems a little early, midnight might seem a little early, I think in the interim, 1 am seems reasonable.” He added, “I really doubt that we’re going to eliminate all live entertainment at restaurants and bars. I find it hard to believe that the council would do that.”

However, there was also pushback by council. Mayor Dan Wolk said, “It would seem irrational to me that we would tonight approve a use that goes directly at what we put the moratorium on to grant an exception to that moratorium with certain conditions when it seems like essentially coming up with those conditions in a sense is what we imposed the moratorium for.”

He argued that these conditions, like wanding and live entertainment, “[t]hat to me is a larger discussion that I don’t think tonight is necessarily about. I think tonight is about whether we grant the hardship exemption, period.”

Councilmember Lucas Frerichs said he hopes hitting the pause button “ultimately results in real solutions to the late night situation in our downtown.” He noted that it has been getting worse for some time, “it’s not just a new thing.” He said that he is “confident that letting the moratorium play itself out is the best course of action.”

Robb Davis stated, “We’re doing exactly what we said we’re going to do – it’s happening in our community.” He said that discussions, meeting are happening. He added, “We are changing the downtown scene in significant ways. “

“We’re already having a discussion on how to create a safer environment – an environment that will look in two years different from what it looks like today,” he said. “There is a conversation going on about what does it mean that our young people, especially, are over-consuming of alcohol to the extent that they are.”

Mayor Pro Tem Davis added, “This issue of granting the appeal with conditions is really saying, we’re willing to let you open this business in a way that will not contribute to the current situation in the downtown.” At that point, he said, “the applicant can take it or leave it. If they say no, we will not abide by those conditions, the appeal is effectively denied. So we’re in the driver’s seat…”

He added that this is “a shot across the bow… about how things are probably going to go,” in terms of potential new permanent regulations.

But, as many have pointed out, wanding is a common practice both at concerts and nightclubs in other areas.

Instead of a moratorium, it seems like the council could just make these conditions permanent and revisit the issue in six months to see if there need to be alterations to the policy, or additional restrictions.

Given the lack of proposed sites, the council could come back in January without extending the moratorium and implement these policies. Council can always implement another urgency ordinance if a new and unanticipated applicant arises in the next two months – but that seems unlikely.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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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55 Comments

  1. zaqzaq

    The 1:00 am curfew for selling alcohol means little as most establishments cut off alcohol sales at 1:30 am anyway.  How does it make the downtown safer?  I am not sure what that 30 minutes gets the city.  Same for the live music since places like Ket Mo use DJs, not bands.  If they are going to ban alcohol sales downtown they should also do it for every location in the city if you want to curb the excessive alcohol consumption.  Is there really any good reason for Safeway to be selling booze after 11:00 pm?  This way if a party runs out of alcohol they cannot go and restock at 1:00 am.

    1. David Greenwald

      Blondies was proposing to serve alcohol until 2 am, this reduced that sale by an hour. To me, cutting it off at midnight is too early. I remember being out drinking in Minneapolis nearly 20 years ago and they closed at an early hour and we ended up driving over to St. Paul where bars were open later. I think the hour of sale is less important here than the other considerations.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          Serving until 1 AM might in reality mean 1:10 or 1:15, and those customers still have to consume / finish their drink. It’s not unreasonable, it might lead some to call it a night and head home earlier.

      1. zaqzaq

        Remember they cannot sell alcohol until 2:00 am because all of the customers need to be out of the establishment by 2:00 am per their license.  So all the 1:00 am cutoff does is reduce sales by about 30 minutes.

    2. Frankly

      Over the years, there has been a shift in the hours that young people are active.  The night bar scene does not really get started until about 11:30 AM.   1:00 AM is too early.

      Go to the urban areas known to be vibrant and you will find bars open all night, and places to eat open 24-hours.

      Seems to me that people are complaining about Davis becoming what it is… a vibrant, hyper-dense, small urban city.

  2. Tia Will

    I disagree that there is a lack of value in extending the moratorium. Speaking solely from a safety point of view, I would like to see a reduction in this business model in our community, not more of it. I have stated my opposition to businesses that profit from binge drinking which this particular model clearly does. So from my point of view the moratorium does two things. It delays the consideration of businesses proposing this model and I believe it sends a message to those who are considering operating such a business in Davis that this is not the right location for their business. I find both outcomes desirable.

    I want to also address the frequently stated idea that if they cannot drink here, “they will go to another community or out into private residences to do so”. There are probably are some students who will do exactly this.

    However, this completely ignores what other groups of students may choose. Since there is a longer drive involved, they may decide that they need a dedicated driver, or the services of a Tipsy Taxi or the like. They may decide to have a shortened evening and go home earlier. They may decide to opt for another activity altogether. To portray this as though there were only one possible option is both speculative, and likely inaccurate for all but the most oblivious.

    1. Miwok

      The mooratorium only talks about establishments over 2500 sq ft. In the spirit of the ACA, most places will now, even if they have space more than that, like Blondies, simply put up a wall or two to limit their square footage until the mooratorium is lifted.

      Has the downtown area taken the frats’ and sororities’ business? Are we seeing less beer cans and debris after a Thursday night drinking binge?

      And is Davis vetting these places, and making sure all their employees make $15 an hour, with benefits? Is there an ordinance for this?

  3. hpierce

    “Given the length of time of the permitting process, it seems very likely that the council will have new zoning requirements in place long before this becomes an issue.’

    Uh, when an application for any permit is deemed complete, the presumption is that the project can move forward WITH THE RULES THAT ARE IN PLACE  at the time the application is deemed complete.

  4. Alan Miller

    MY VIEW:  Nightclubs are Bad For Davis

    The more I hear the arguments to coddle to these few businesses and minimize the problems, the more I come to the conclusion we should shut down the nightclub scene by whatever means necessary.  As I talk with more neighbors, friends, business people and residents, I am finding strong agreement with this.  I contacted a couple of other business owner-friends downtown and they too don’t like this scene for Davis.

    We need to just call a spade a spade and recognize, demonize if you will — because they are demons — nightclubs.  There are only 4-6 depeding on how you define them.  Shut them down.  Ending alcohol sales at existing establishments early — my concern is they then leave looking for alcohol elsewhere, often driving. Leave the other business open and let them serve until 1:30am.  It will keep wandering crowds and pre-drinking and outsiders cut down.

    I hear the rules will change the scene away from nightclubs.  I read them, and I’m not sure yet.  I have to see how it plays out.  That’s why we need to extend the moretoreum, let’s see if the rules work.

    I’m going to say it:  I have a bad feeling about Blondie’s.  I think we are going to regret letting them into Davis.  I hope I’m wrong.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like being right:  but my gut feeling on that place tells me me this time, I REALLY hope I’m wrong.

    It’s time for Davis to go NOOD: Nighclubs Out Of Davis!

    1. David Greenwald

      “That’s why we need to extend the moretoreum, let’s see if the rules work.”

      The moratorium will go down once the rules are in place at least as the staff report reads to me.

    2. hpierce

      To me, there is a big difference between a “nightclub” and a “bar”.  Particularly a “neighborhood bar” aka “watering hole”.  “The Club” [G Street between Second and Third, for you ‘newbies’], for most of its existence, was the latter… kinda’ like “Cheers”.  Never did the “night club” thing, so probably have no “creds”.

      Well, OK, once, on my 21st.

        1. hpierce

          Non sequitur.  At least to my post that you appear to be responding to.

          “The Club” had booths, tables and chairs.  No dancing.  Food was mainly “noshes” (sp?).  It was a “bar”.  Ages (not counting those who could “pass”) 21 – 80.  A significant # of ‘regulars’. A Davis version of “Cheers”, but less classy.

        2. Alan Miller

          England seems to be calling your name Mr. Miller.  Or maybe you are just realizing that you live in a college town?

          The “Sacramento Area” seems to be calling your name Frank Lee.  Or maybe you are just realizing that you live in a town where 90% of the people don’t share you core values?

          “Boooooya!”

    3. TrueBlueDevil

      Interesting thought, Mr. Miller. Am I the only one who has speculated as to the relative size of Blondies? It sounds huge for the area, on par with the size of The Graduate – which has its own large dedicated parking lot and no near competition.

      How big are KetMo and The Grad?

      Serving food (slice window?) and chairs don’t detract much from the essence of a nightclub.

      Do they have to get the city council’s permission to hold lingerie shows? hahaha

  5. Anon

    So what is the need for a moratorium if staff is coming back in two months with recommendations for Zoning Ordinance Changes?

    Then what will the moratorium hurt?  All it is doing is hitting the pause button on any new nightclubs, for essentially a total of one year.  That gives the city time to evaluate if new zoning ordinances and regulations have really worked to change the violent nightclub scene downtown.  I see absolutely no harm in that – because I think the city is struggling with whether they want the nightclub scene to continue at all.  Hpierce also made a very important point, to wit: “when an application for any permit is deemed complete, the presumption is that the project can move forward WITH THE RULES THAT ARE IN PLACE  at the time the application is deemed complete.”

  6. Frankly

    The more I hear the arguments to coddle to these few businesses and minimize the problems, the more I come to the conclusion we should shut down the nightclub scene by whatever means necessary.  As I talk with more neighbors, friends, business people and residents, I am finding strong agreement with this.

    The rantings of an old grumpy guy and his downtown friends.  It is a bunch of old grumpy people living in a city that his half-filled with young people.  The grumpy old people have a loss of experiential gray matter rendering them incapable of relating to the young people.   Either this, or Davis attracts grumpy people to live in the downtown core area, and they just grow older and grumpier.

    I would prefer that, instead of banning business that provides services desired by more than half of the population, we ban grumpy old people from living downtown.   In fact, if we really assess the constant and ongoing damage to this city and its reputation, the trophy goes to the old grumps and not the bars and restaurants.

    I think we need to find an island to send them all where they can grump and complain to their heart’s content to prevent any and all activity and change that upsets their delicate sensitivities.

    1. Alan Miller

      why not simply make those rules the interim zoning requirements, which could then be finalized at a later point in time?

      Asked and answered your honor.  DP asked this yesterday in comments (stolen today by DG):

      why not implement the provisions that the council implemented on blondies and then we can always modify them down the line.

      I replied:  Very simple:  those provisions were made in haste, and we now need to think this over; as well, some of the provisions were made by Blondie’s, for Blondie’s after deliberations in the back room between the City and Blondie’s while Council took another item.

  7. Tia Will

    Frankly

    Alan does by his own claim represent someone who is ” grumpy ” or even “angry” over the nightclub scene.

    I do not fit this description. I am neither grumpy nor angry about the nightclub scene. What I am is concerned. I am concerned about the adverse direct and indirect impacts that this model of business has on our community. My direct concerns:

    1. Binge drinking is dangerous in and of itself. I have provided an example of a broken leg from a drunken fall down a set of dormitory stairs. I believe that we had a death in Davis a few years ago from a closed head injury sustained in an alcohol related fall. We had a death from alcohol intoxication in a bar in Davis ( despite the law stating that drinks cannot be served to the already inebriated).

    2. Binge drinking leads to immediate dangerous behaviors both violent and unintended sexual acts whether violent or consensual or non violent but occurring during a “black out” episode. We saw a recent stabbing in a nightclub atmosphere here in town. I see the long term consequences in my office on a regular basis.

    My indirect concerns:

    3. Binge drinking has life long consequences for some in the form of addiction, infertility from untreated STDs and fetal alcohol syndrome if an unintended pregnancy does not result in the equally undesirable to some act of abortion.

    4. The acceptance of binge drinking as acceptable “fun” and “just what kids do in a college town” is to me an abdication of our responsibility as adults to provide adequate education and role modeling to our youth which eventually plays out in the behaviors of our younger age groups at the undergraduate, high school and junior high levels in the form of younger and younger children growing up in an atmosphere where intoxication is considered to be “fun” and “sophisticated” behavior that they see being modeled by their immediate seniors and sometimes by the adults in the community.

    I was and remain a strong proponent of maintaining Picnic Day despite the issue of downtown drunkenness.

    I was and remain a strong proponent of appropriate businesses in our downtown, many of which I contribute to as a regular customer. I do not patronize any business which promotes or advocates products or practices that are dangerous to the health and well being of our community. I do not patronize businesses that sell cigarettes or e-cigarettes. I do not patronize business that have binge drinking as a part of their business model. I do not patronize businesses that sell junk food or promote over consumption of either food or beverages ( no “supersize me”) for a population struggling with obesity.

    None of this is about being “grumpy” or “forgetting what it is  to be young” or “being out of touch” with our college population, or wanting to stop people from having fun….. I have two children in this age range and see their age matched peers in my office daily.  It is not about demonizing anyone and it is not for me about morality. It is about placing the health and safety of our community over the profits of one particular business model and over a misplaced defense of truly dangerous behavior.

    1. Mark West

      You will not change the incidence of binge drinking by closing the nightclubs, instituting a curfew or even by banning the sale of alcohol in town.  This is simply because you cannot eradicate a behavior from society by banning it. In fact, as we learned during prohibition and the ‘war on drugs,’ attempting to ban one behavior often results in an unintended increase in others that are much worse for society.

      The only way we can change binge drinking behavior is through education of those most likely to take part in the behavior, something that is provided by the University to all students, and I’m sure by you to your patients. Unfortunately there will always be those who will choose not to be educated, no matter how often they are presented with the information. We cannot outlaw ignorance.

      The reality is that closing down the nightclubs (or any of the other changes that you and other have advocated) will have no impact on the behavior that you are concerned about, so once again, you are simply advocating for something intended to help you to feel good, while not actually accomplishing anything.

       

      1. Tia Will

        You will not change the incidence of binge drinking by closing the nightclubs, instituting a curfew or even by banning the sale of alcohol in town.”

        Then it is certainly a good thing that I am not advocating any of those steps.

        The only way we can change binge drinking behavior is through education”

        Then it is a good thing that this is a main point of mine. One way of educating is through example.

        1. Mark West

          “Then it is certainly a good thing that I am not advocating any of those steps.”

          Right, you don’t want to ban it, just restrict it.

          “I disagree that there is a lack of value in extending the moratorium. Speaking solely from a safety point of view, I would like to see a reduction in this business model in our community, not more of it. I have stated my opposition to businesses that profit from binge drinking which this particular model clearly does. So from my point of view the moratorium does two things. It delays the consideration of businesses proposing this model and I believe it sends a message to those who are considering operating such a business in Davis that this is not the right location for their business. I find both outcomes desirable.”

          The results will be exactly the same, no impact on the behavior you say you want to stop.  Just another feel good/ do nothing measure that you love so much.

      2. TrueBlueDevil

        If we offer a fun, diverse, eclectic mix of town socializing events, do we really still have to become Chico 2.0?

        Tia is correct that we don’t have to assume that students only have one choice. In my summers especially in town as a student, we’d have BBQs, watch videos, go to the movies, play sports, take road trips, and yes, sometimes chase the fairer sex.

        Does the town also benefit from drawing a large number of outsiders who appear to cause a disproportional amount of trouble and or crime? We could just as easily let Midtown Sacramento and Old Sac serve those needs.

    2. Frankly

      So, as a doctor it is not surprising that you have turned this in to a health issue.

      It is also not surprising for someone with you ideological leanings to think in these terms.

      Part of the reason I keep coming back to the VG and sites like the Huffington Post is try and better understand the basis of views like yours.  I had the epiphany at one point that the basis is insecurity.

      Some people hold a view of insecurity that people in general are incapable to control impulsiveness and bad choice.  Maybe it is because they too hang on a precipice for some things.  Some people holding this view take it one step further in a drive to save these other people from themselves.  And this is fine when it encourages individual help (like education.)  But for some reasons, for these people, self-help from education isn’t enough.  Instead, their mind and motivation gravitates toward the wide-net-rule solution.  It manifests in a demand for social engineering through forced compliance so that the meek, the mistake-prone, the impulsive, those with addictive personalities can be saved from self-harm.  It appears that the craving is to implement enough rules to live by we will all be more secure.  Unfortunately, like many cravings, it ends up too much and never enough.

      – Ban fluorescent lights because people cannot be trusted to save energy on their own.

      – Ban plastic bags because people cannot be trusted to make good choices is their choice of bags.

      – Ban sodas because people cannot be trusted to make good diet choices.

      – Ban hours and places that alcohol can be served because people cannot control how much they drink.

      – Force people to inject fluoride in the water because people cannot be trusted to brush their teeth regularly.

      The list goes on and on and on and on… unless others put a stop to it.

      The main problem with your use of arguments about binge drinking is that they are the same arguments used to force prohibition almost 100 years ago.  Talk about old!  It did not work then and it will not work today.  You need to pick another line of arguments and bring it to modern times where there more people comfortable in security that they can easily enjoy a good time without needing folks like you telling them what they can and cannot do.

        1. Frankly

          By the way, you and Tia can be just as long-winded and obtuse.  I sometimes have to go to KetMoReh to have a drink, and then return to finish reading your stuff.

      1. Tia Will

        Frankly

        So, as a doctor it is not surprising that you have turned this in to a health issue.”

        So you don’t see broken legs, closed head injuries, DUI related deaths and injuries, pregnancies and STDs acquired during black outs as health issues ?

        “The main problem with your use of arguments about binge drinking is that they are the same arguments used to force prohibition almost 100 years ago.”

        Just one small problem with this argument. I have never once called for prohibition which I agree was ineffective and have stated repeatedly that this is not a moral issue for me, although I know it is for others.

      2. TrueBlueDevil

        I would not say that Tia wants to “ban” anything, I’d say she would like to manage or reduce the problems we have so pointedly experienced the past 3 weeks – a murder by gang of street thugs, and a gang rape in a local park. Is your memory that short?

        While there will still be crime, rape, and problems, we could manage the problem better by not encouraging large establishments who’s primary purpose is the selling of large amounts of booze at cheap rices.

        There is also the cost-benefit analysis of Davis catering to outsiders. I think if the City Manager looks at the costs, Blondies will be a net lose to the city, as is KetMo.

        On top of this, downtown Davis having the reputation of a nightclub mecca fosters large crowds, which requires police services, which detracts from the ability of the police to serve North, West, South and East Davis while downtown turns into one large pub crawl.

  8. Frankly

    I think we have hit an inflection point.

    There are influential people and agitators in this town that have a specific vision for what they want Davis to be…. and most of them want Davis to be what it used to be.  With Measure R and elected  no-growth politicians, these people have done a good job preventing development to prevent change.

    But a consequence of this has been building pressure.

    1. Pressure from a region that has grown in population

    2. Pressure from a university that has grown in success and population

    3. Pressure from city finances that are proved inadequate to fund the services and amenities we all want.

    Have you noticed how many more bikes and how many more people seem to be milling about now that school is in session?

    600 students a year more than the previous year.  In 10 years that is another 5000 bikes and hundreds more people standing in line to get into a night club.  These are not trivial numbers.

    The downtown nightlife services have expanded in response to the growth in student population.  There are twice as many students as there were 30 years ago, and there are twice as many bars as there were 30 years ago.  It makes complete sense.

    And there are more young people in the region that would find a place like Davis a good place to find a good time.

    I think the pressure has built and now it is blowing up a bit.

    The problem with those pushing for a vision of Davis the way it used to be, is that Davis is already not like it used to be.  That cat is not going back into the bag.

    Accepting that is the first step.

    The next step is deciding what the future vision for Davis should be.

    And some old-timers might not like where we end up.

    The reactions of some people in Davis reminds me of what I have gone through in my career… working for several companies that hit inflection points and had to accept change.  Many of my coworkers got stuck in that place where they were comfortable in the old regime and could only complain about the new one but would not move to another company more of their liking.

    There are a lot of towns and regions throughout the US that are not growing in population.  Vermont might be a good destination if you are one of those that like living in a liberal town but want things to stay the same.

      1. Frankly

        You might be on to something.

        I opined that instead of another grocery store we get a bowling alley in the old Borders site.  I was even starting to get some investors together to make a go at it.  But the old folks in Davis wanted another grocery store instead.

  9. hpierce

    Pinning the problems in DT, particularly near the alleys, due to the MU remodel, just bowls me over… get your mind out of the gutter, spare us from distractions,  so the rest of us can split hairs, and strike out against those with balls.  Happy Halloween, all.  Leave to others to decide if this is a trick or a treat.

  10. Tia Will

    The results will be exactly the same, no impact on the behavior you say you want to stop.  Just another feel good/ do nothing measure that you love so much.”

    http://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/adolescent-health-topics/substance-abuse/tobacco/trends.html

    It is easy to see the effects that various measures to restrict, not ban cigarette use had on the rates of adolescent smoking. I particularly like the visual impact of Graphs 1 and 2 in this article showing the drops in usage between 1975 and now. We heard all the same arguments then. The minimization of the problem. The denials. The comments that these were “feel good” measures ( which indeed I guess they were for both those who wanted the restrictions and for those who did not develop emphysema or cancer of the mouth, pharynx, lungs or bladder) would never have any “impact on the behavior” that was wanted to stop. I would argue that the impact was huge and that it was the results of many factors. It took recognition of the truth about smoking, education about the truth, auto regulation on the part of many businesses, restriction on those who would not auto regulate, and taxation to make this change. I anticipate that dealing with our current issues of alcohol and drug abuse will also take such a comprehensive approach. I applaud our city leaders for taking it seriously now, even if it is not new.

    1. Frankly

      The primary cause of the drop in cigarette use has been the education of health problems it causes from even “responsible” use.  Responsible consumption of alcohol has been proven beneficial by many healthcare studies.

      Wine and beer and spirits are considered part of the food culture.

       

      You don’t have a good comparison here.   Please move on.

      1. Mark West

        The other contributing factor that negates the comparison is the health impact of second hand smoke on those in the community. This is what brought about the laws banning smoking in public places such as restaurants and airplanes, which ultimately has been the prime motivation in the change of behavior.  There is no similar comparison with alcohol consumption.

         

      2. Tia Will

        Frankly

        We will simply have to agree to disagree on whether or not this is a “good comparison”. There are other aspects of the comparison that you are choosing to ignore.

        Both tobacco and alcohol are addictive.

        Both can have immediate and long term adverse health consequences.

        Tobacco was certainly part of the “culture” although not so much the “food culture” as the “after food culture”. A rather thin difference to hang your argument on.

        There remains significant diversity of opinion about the role of alcohol in healthy living. Please don’t forget that for a long time the cigarette manufacturers promoted the “health benefits” of cigarettes in “stress reduction”.

        Until you can do way better than this, I will continue to use this as a comparable model for change in social behavior through education and responsible restriction of use.

    2. Miwok

      It took recognition of the truth about smoking, education about the truth, auto regulation on the part of many businesses, restriction on those who would not auto regulate, and taxation to make this change.

      In the case of my relatives and other who quit, it was the fear of dying an ugly death. They saw the cut up people of the cancer victims of those days to get them to recognize it, sometimes themselves, the education was still out there. They paid no attention.

      Government regulations and City Leaders who pat themselves on the back for lowering smoking rates are giving themselves too much credit. And a lot of my relatives smoked themselves to death. Others it couldn’t kill, but they quit anyway when their father or brother died.

      So why not argue that people “outgrow” smoking, like the Vanguard argues criminals will “outgrow it”.

  11. Anon

    Frankly: “Some people hold a view of insecurity that people in general are incapable to control impulsiveness and bad choice.  Maybe it is because they too hang on a precipice for some things.  Some people holding this view take it one step further in a drive to save these other people from themselves.  And this is fine when it encourages individual help (like education.)  But for some reasons, for these people, self-help from education isn’t enough.  Instead, their mind and motivation gravitates toward the wide-net-rule solution.  It manifests in a demand for social engineering through forced compliance so that the meek, the mistake-prone, the impulsive, those with addictive personalities can be saved from self-harm.  It appears that the craving is to implement enough rules to live by we will all be more secure.  Unfortunately, like many cravings, it ends up too much and never enough.”

    Society has always stepped in and regulated, because to do otherwise invites anarchy. The real question becomes where to draw the lines.  Obviously you have libertarian leanings, and favor more unfettered freedom.  Some of us are of a more conservative bent depending on the issue, and favor more regulation than you in certain areas.  And sometimes adjustments are needed to regulations, e.g. death penalty laws, three strikes.  I was never in favor of the city’s ban on plastic bags, or the wood burning or surgery drink ordinances.  However, I am in favor of the city’s moratorium on nightclubs – so that the community at large can give input on how they feel on the subject; so there is time to collect data to see if new safety rules will work; and to further investigate what happened at KetMoRee.  The public still doesn’t really know what happened inside that nightclub/restaurant, the police investigation is ongoing.  Hitting the “pause button” just seems like common sense to me, but you are certainly free to disagree.

    For me, regulation shouldn’t be an ideological/political matter, but is more a practical issue based on the individual situation.  We had a murder at a nightclub in Davis; the police are indicating more violence has come to town since nightclubs have opened downtown.  The police are suggesting some new regulations to control the downtown nightclub environment.  Meanwhile other businesses and adjoining neighbors of these nightclubs need to put their two cents worth in about what has been going on because they are DIRECTLY effected by the nightclub scene.  I don’t see anything unusual nor overreaching by the local gov’t to try and institute some reforms to address the problems created by the downtown bars/nightclubs.

    1. Frankly

      For me, regulation shouldn’t be an ideological/political matter

      Unfortunately it usually is.

      Human emotions can be destructive in a lot of ways.   Decisions need to be filtered through our emotions until we arrive at a logical conclusion, and not driven by our emotions in a fit of over-reaction.

      I have a lot of organizational experience in this area.  Without implementing an overarching vision of reasonableness, objectivity and support for free creativity… basically a culture that celebrates stamping out bureaucratic rules that build to create great inefficiency and harm to the general mission of the organization, the organization will become less successful and eventually fail.

      Davis has a high percentage of people that demand rules to live by.   And many of those demands for new rules to live by were adopted after an emotional reactionary fit of political agitation.

      We had a terrible tragedy… a murder.   It wasn’t caused by the nightclub, but there are people in town exploiting the tragedy in an emotional fit to demonize nightclubs and youthful fun and demand new rules to live by that will cause damage to the community in other ways.

      We already know what we need to do.  More security.  More law enforcement.  More acceptance of the fact that our city demographics combined with the lack of commercial real estate is causing changes to the downtown and we cannot really do anything about without causing harm.

      Rational, logical, objective… this is the approach that would transcend politics and ideology.

      1. Miwok

        We already know what we need to do.  More security.  More law enforcement.  More acceptance of the fact that our city demographics combined with the lack of commercial real estate is causing changes to the downtown and we cannot really do anything about without causing harm.

        A mooratorium on new business says it all: Local businesses have to have time to get their profits back without new business competing. Why not shut the nightclubs all down, a true mooratorium, and shut down the restaurants that host nightclubs? Some new places downtown who were not allowed to have enough space are just remodeling houses for business, an expensive and wasteful proposition.

        That would encourage ALL the businesses to coordinate security and make the whole downtown safer? Take some action instead of just talking about it?

        I am not for this proposition, but I am sure some of the commenters will feel this is eminently fair.

  12. Tia Will

    I am sure some of the commenters will feel this is eminently fair.”

    I am not sure what “fair” is in this circumstance. “Fair” to whom ? My concern is not with some arbitrary concern about “fair” which we could argue forever from the point of view of everyone affected.

    My concern is about the safety and the health and wellness of our community, both immediately in terms of the violent behavior that brought this to everyone’s attention so dramatically, but also to the long term consequences of encouraging these kinds of businesses without either auto or imposed regulation.

    It is interesting to me that some of our more “law and order” posters seem to be taking a “boys will be boys” attitude towards the nightclub activities. This despite the fact that these businesses encourage excessive alcohol consumption despite the illegality of continuing to serve the inebriated and despite its obviously deleterious effects both immediately on those doing the consumption and on our society in the form of injury to others. I am opposing  tolerance of the irresponsible use of alcohol ( and no, I am not suggesting prohibition) and how that filters down to the high school and junior high level. What I am suggesting that it is completely possible to support responsible use of alcohol without supporting its use to excess. We have a number of businesses downtown that do just this. The nightclubs as previously run were not amongst them.

  13. Anon

    Frankly: “We had a terrible tragedy… a murder.   It wasn’t caused by the nightclub…

    We already know what we need to do.  More security.  More law enforcement.”

    Do you read what you write?  I don’t really mean to be snarky, but LOOK at the two statements above!  If the nightclub was in no way responsible for the murder (how the heck do you know – the police have not finished their investigation), then why would we already know what to do – more security, more law enforcement?  Sounds to me as if you are conceding the nightclub did not provide adequate security; is drawing in an element to town that requires more law enforcement.  All of that indicates there needs to be some changes made, but I think it is far from clear whether those changes will be effective or not until we try them and collect data…

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