December 15, 2008

A Riot Ist Ein Ugly Tink. Unt. I Zink It Ist About Time Dot Ve Hoff Von!!!

The Dee Cee Council, in its infinite wisdom, is going ahead with its plan to let bars stay open all night for the Inauguration:

Opposition to District legislation allowing bars and restaurants to stay open 24 hours during inauguration week has emerged from local churches to the halls of Congress, but the D.C. Council seems reluctant to budge.

The legislation “is not unprecedented,” said a Wednesday statement from council Chairman Vincent Gray replying to a request to reverse the law from Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Sen. Robert F. Bennett, R-Utah.

Gray cited New Year’s Eve as “a night of large crowds and celebrations” when the city allows liquor to be sold until 4 a.m., but said he “[looks] forward to further dialogue with the senators on this issue.”

The legislation, passed quickly on Dec. 2 and sponsored by Councilman Jim Graham, will keep bars, restaurants and nightclubs open around the clock and able to serve liquor until 5 a.m.

“We believe that the benefits of this emergency legislation, passed with little public notice, are far outweighed by its possible consequences,” said the letter sent Tuesday by the two senators. Feinstein is the chairwoman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, and Bennett is a member.

On Wednesday, the Downtown Cluster of Congregations wrote a letter to Mayor Adrian Fenty expressing opposition, partially on the grounds that the extended bar hours apply to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

“Are such expanded hours of alcohol service in the spirit of that holiday?” Executive Director Terry Lynch wrote.

Marcello Muzzatti, president of the D.C. Fraternal Order of Police representing all police in the city, both metropolitan and federal, said his members will already be “stressed to the max” covering the inauguration apart from all-night drinking in every corner of the city.

“Is the money to be made worth it if one person drives home drunk and kills a kid on his way to school in the morning?” Muzzatti said. “I don’t see where the security is going to come from.”

William Schultheis, an advisory neighborhood commissioner in a Northeast neighborhood straddling the bar-friendly H Street corridor and more dangerous stretches east of 15th Street NE, said his constituents have been plagued recently by an upsurge in street robberies.

“We want to be good neighbors” to the businesses, Schultheis said, “but there is a concern for adequate police presence at a time we’re experiencing increased crime.”

This, if I may say so, is complete insanity.

Posted by Robert at December 15, 2008 11:00 AM | TrackBack

Good lord. Wisconsin - formerly beer capital of the country - didn't even do this after the Packers won the Superbowl (arguably a bigger celebration than the inaugeration).

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