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Today's word on journalism

Tuesday, September 7, 2004

"The First Amendment gives everyone -- including nuts -- free speech,
but free speech has a purpose: that the people may judge for themselves
and bury the nuts with indignation. We fail our founding fathers if we
let blowhards rage on talk radio, in little magazines and in nasty
books without delivering counterattacks.

   -- Barron's, Aug. 9, 2004 (Thanks to alert WORDster John Mollwitz)

Providence OKs alcohol sales

By Julie Oliver


March 29, 2004 | PROVIDENCE -- The Cty Council amended the law prohibiting beer sales, which makes alcohol sales available to retailers, with a vote of 5 to 1 at Tuesday night's meeting.

Alcohol sales will be available to restaurants, grocery stores and other retailers after required licenses have been obtained.

"All licenses shall comply with the Utah Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, rules of the Utah Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, and Providence City Code 3-7 alcohol license and regulations,"said City Manager Vern Keeslar as he read aloud from the ordinance he created titled Chapter Seven, Alcohol License and Regulations.

Council Member Randy Eck asked for Jeremy Jones, owner of Iron Gate Grille, to clarify what he meant by saying that as of right now no one has the ability to control the consumption of alcohol.

"Without a license right now somebody has the opportunity to come into our restaurant with a half finished bottle of wine and consume that and drive away," said Jones. "With the owning of the license our servers could monitor that, shut that down and we could hold the liability for them doing that."

Jones also pointed out a few key reasons a license is needed in his restaurant.

"As the owner of Iron Gate Grille I think that what it comes down to is people have options -- what we're asking for is to be able to control those options at our restaurant," said Jones. "With a license we could get the insurance we need and provide proper training for our serving staff, our cooks."

One issue that was touched on a great deal involved the ability to control the distribution and consumption of alcohol.

"This issue is about control of an existing freedom in this country. People have the right to drink -- what we want to be able to do is to control alcohol consumption," said Councilman Vic Saunders.

In order to control this freedom there needs to be laws and regulations in place.

"I strongly believe the only way to control something is to license it," said Councilman Randy Eck.

Many audience members voiced their approval of allowing alcohol to be served in restaurants and by licensed retailers.

"After the last vote we took on this, I was amazed by the outpouring of support I received. People want this," said Saunders. "Even members of the church want it. Okay there, I've said it."

Saunders said people should not be punished for their traditions or their lifestyle choices. "Why penalize that portion of our population who desires to do it in a legal and lawful way?" asked Saunders.

Eck pointed out that personal beliefs cannot be state or governmentally mandated.

"I don't believe that it is a city council's job to legislate morality," said Eck.

Counciman Deon Johnson was in opposition of amending the law during the last vote, but his mind was changed after he understood the issue better.

"I feel those people that run our restaurants here are entitled to this," said Johnson.

The only council member in opposition of amending the law was Ron Liechty. During the meeting he expressed concern about Sunday sales, which the ordinance currently allows, but he also addressed his concern about the hours of sales.

In other business, the council unanimously voted in favor of annexing 42.74 acres of property that is adjacent to Providence and located on the West side of 165. The owners of the property are Barbara M. Rinderknect, and Trustees Seth L. Alder and Elaine P. Alder. The council discussed the advantages and disadvantages of annexing the property.

"This would be a large benefit to the city," said Keeslar. "I really don't see why there should be anything but a unanimous vote -- this is the future of Providence."


Copyright 1997-2004 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-1000
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