Thursday, July 5, 2007

Capital Punishment: Ugh, Ward 1

I really hope that this 2 a.m. bill comes up for a vote soon, because it is getting burdensome to refute these Ward 1 letters. An esteemed colleague of mine, who happens to live in Acton's Landing along with this letter writer, acutely cautioned against making this into an elitist issue, but this is an elitist letter if I have ever seen one. It appeared on July 4.

Regarding a letter supporting the 2 a.m. curfew:

I doubt these recent residents of Annapolis have any understanding of the negative effects of the bars downtown. Residing in Acton's Landing, they may never understand the bars' effect on downtown and its residents.

Look at this. Already. In the first two sentences. We have not lived where you live for as long as you live so we can't possibly understand what you are talking about or have valid opinions of our own. This is classic arrogance.

Living In Acton's Landing, they will probably never:

-Wake up to find their flower pots thrown in the streets.
-Have their flags stolen or vandalized.
-Have their parked cars vandalized.
-Have to clean up vomit or used condoms in their yards.
-Deal with the broken beer bottles in the street and on the sidewalk.

I have news for you, my friend.....YES WE WILL!!!!!. This type of stuff happens everywhere, including my house here in Ward 5. Also, living in Acton's Landing, you are at the mercy of about 5 bars, maybe. I will give you the benefit of the doubt on this one, but I for one find it hard to believe that your house lies on a major walking route of drunk people. I mean, do the people who perpetrate the above behavior really leave O'Briens and walk past your house en route to their boat slip on the end of Franklin St.? BUT, MOST IMPORTANTLY, ENDING ALL LIQUOR SERVICE AT MIDNIGHT WILL NOT STOP THIS BEHAVIOR!!!! Now stopping drinking altogether might help a little bit.....for more info on prohibition click here. This is how to solve the problem you are referencing:

1. Raise the cost of a liquor license. For argument's sake, quadruple it.
2. Free up more money, perhaps by giving out fewer grants.
3. Use the extra money to offer police officers more than a 2% raise, thereby filling the 20 open vacancies on the police force.
5. Increase fines for the above violations, thereby perpetuating the process.
6. Would anyone vote for me for mayor?

Let's continue....

Unless they walk downtown in the morning, they will probably never appreciate the volume and type of garbage that the city and residents have to clean up. They may never have to deal with the drunken driving and excessive street noise that excessive drinking brings.

Are you really saying that the only people who deal with drunk driving are downtown residents? Also, last time I checked all garbage was pretty much the same: gross. What is it about the particular type of garbage that you mention will we not appreciate? People have willingly paid taxes in exchange for services such as garbage removal for, like, ever.

Downtown is as nice as it is only because its residents are willing to fight to protect the quality of live that we have.

No, downtown is nice because it has attractive topography, historical context, charismatic residents and businesses, and the benefit of essential city services paid for by our tax dollars.

We protect it because we love downtown and understand what excessive drinking can do. More drinking equals more problems. Ask the police.

Ok, again, if you want to take to position that nobody should be drinking go right ahead. If not, the way to allow responsible drinking while reducing the problems is to punish the offenders via strictly enforced, meaningful punishments. That way, people will shift their behavior away from your definition of problem behavior in response to the incentive structure they are faced with.

The residents of downtown are asking how Alderwoman Classie Hoyle, D-Ward 3, benefits from suggesting extending the bar curfew.

Your sixth sense is correct here. It is AP's overwhelming suspicion that Alderwoman Hoyle is acting on behalf of one particular aggrieved bar owner and not on behalf of her constituents or the city citizens as a whole. Her motives may be improper, but the result of the bill would not be.

It is clear how many of the party establishments, many of which are owned and managed by out-of-towners, would benefit. I suppose most of those owners and managers don't really care what happens to downtown Annapolis. The downtown residents do.

I had really hoped that I could prove that most owners lived in the city limits, but that proved harder than I have time for. Readily available are the addresses of liquor license holders, but these names are often not the owners. Certainly some of these situations arise because the owners do not live in the city and the license holder must live within the limits, but I also noticed specific examples of listed owners who do live in the city but are not on the liquor license for whatever reason. Feeling defeated, I will not revert to a more obvious but equally valid argument. OF COURSE THEY CARE WHAT HAPPENS TO DOWNTOWN ANNAPOLIS. If downtown goes to hell nobody will come there and they will go out of business.

It's a good thing that I finished writing this post when I did, because I need a drink and at this time I can still get one wherever I want.