Tuesday, February 06, 2007

putting the proverbial smack down

on saturday, this article appeared in the ann arbor news, detailing the struggle a certain bar (which i normally try to keep nameless, so go ahead and forget about it right after you read this) in ann arbor has been going through with the city, trying to get a permit for a tent party on st. patrick's day.

anyway, even a quick read of the article shows the silliness of the arguments against our tent party--but i have to tell you that a lot more really silly things have been said in the history of this whole shenannigan, and it's all getting pretty annoying.

basically, the city is trying to argue that we shouldn't be allowed to profit from closing a street and selling alcohol, even though the bar across the street from us does the exact same thing (on the exact same street!) every year for oktoberfest.
and, we're only talking about a side street here. every august, the busiest section of MAIN STREET is shut down when our city hosts a huge national plumber's convention, so that they can HOLD A POKER TOURNAMENT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET.

the point is, it seems pretty clear to me that they aren't really against closing the streets and letting people make money from selling alcohol (and gambling! which is not legal here!), just against our business in particular.


so i wrote a letter to the editor.
oh, yes.
i sure did.

and here it is, for your reading pleasure:

In an article appearing February 3rd chronicling the controversy over The Arena Sports Bar and their would-be St. Patrick's Day/ March Madness street event, City Council Member Joan Lowenstein explained her opposition to the event by pointing out that an inflatable beer bottle--which was on display near the bar's tent last year--would promote excessive drinking.
I don't know how familiar Lowenstein is with St. Patrick's Day, but I feel confident in pointing out that an inflatable beer bottle can hardly be considered responsible for the heavy drinking undertaken by people all over the globe every March 17th.
I think we would be hard-pressed to find a single individual who was innocently walking the streets last year, off to study or do some grocery shopping or what-have-you, who then instead decided to get hammered after seeing the inflatable beer bottle.
Much like people pass out candy on Halloween, people drink on St. Patrick's Day. Inflatable beer bottles have nothing to do with it.

Further arguments from those in opposition to The Arena's tent event cite the possible youth of the age group who would be in attendence. Can any one else smell the age discrimination? Because I think it reeks in here.
We could begin by asking if those standing behind this argument have ever even been to The Arena, where a glance down the bar almost always reveals a line-up of middle-aged faces.
But every point I could make pales in comparison to this:
The legal drinking age is 21.
The college age crowd imagined by The Arena's opposition has as much of a right to party as the 'older' OktoberFest crowd whom they allow to party in the street every year.
If the City Council feels that 21 year olds are too young to drink, perhaps they should spend some time trying to change that law, and less time trying to neuter our local businesses.

i even used capital letters.
aren't you proud of me?

anyway, maybe i'll give you an update on this situation as new events unfold.
or maybe i'll get bored of it and you'll never hear of it again.


update: they are going to publish my letter! maybe this is dumb, but I'm really excited. I did have to edit it a bit for them--apparently they have to keep it under 250 words, and my letter was a little wordy. big surprise, huh? anyway, i'll link to it when it shows up in the online news. i'm guessing it will be tomorrow.


Blogger whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I am proud of you and not just because you used capital letters. I hope you let us know how this turns out.

4:20 PM  
Blogger A Family's Year of Living Green said...

You rock. I'll send one too. Back in my college years I used to send them, oh every other week.

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Amber said...

I hope that they actually run your editorial!

5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You inspire me! Awesome. See you at the city council meeting?

megan L

1:02 PM  
Blogger Jen!! said...

Wow!!! A real published writer!! Dude, that is so awesome. And the letter is great, so it's no wonder it's getting published.

I really think you should write for the Omaha newspaper, so that I have something good to read in it. There aren't any good writers right now and I am bored with reading just comics.

Do you think maybe the newspapers of the future will just be people's blog entries? Cuz that would rock.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous MARK JESUS TWAIN said...


5:53 PM  
Blogger CSL said...

Oh, good for you. Someone should be calling them to task, so its good that someone articulate is doing it.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nicely stated i think. I like how you gently lay down huge philisophical complaints. It's like silently rupturing the earth, and then making a sarcastic comment about it... Go forth, wreak havok, and may large inflatable beer bottles litter the streets in ann arbor.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Jessica Kramer said...

this IS exciting! congrats!

10:13 AM  
Blogger Jessica Kramer said...

you should email it to all the city council members in case they don't read the paper. seriously.

10:15 AM  
Anonymous BJ said...


12:45 PM  
Anonymous gerry said...

Way to go dear! This is the right way to give all the public authorities a reality check...and yeah all my best wishes to you for having your letter published in the editorial too. You come across as a brave person :) so stay the way you are. Anyways, do drop by my humble blog too for some interesting news that I have at my end.

5:07 AM  

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