File under: Things I never thought I’d say

So last night was our monthly meeting for the community association. Despite the poor timing, I’m a board member, so I have to go. Also, there was at least one hot-button issue that I wanted to have some input on, not that it really did any good.

Those of you who’ve been reading for any amount of time know that our neighborhood (the city in general, actually) has had some problems with criminal activity. Since we’re on a main road, and one which leads to some nearby hotspots, we sometimes see a little more of that activity than we’d care to. One of the problems is certain area convenience stores which sell single units of beer/wine and have “video poker” inside the store. The machines aren’t supposed to pay out real money, but then customers aren’t supposed to sit inside at them with their 40s in their paper bags like it’s some shady Vegas casino either. In other words, both things happen.

One newer store which opened about a year and a half ago got it’s license because, frankly, the type of store was somewhat misrepresented. Over the year-ish it’s been open, it’s proven to be a problem. It’s supposed to be a small grocery which takes EBT (family food stamps) and is only supposed to sell around 5% alcohol because it backs up to private homes and a church.
If they show they aren’t holding to the restrictions under which they got the license, it’s supposed to be not-renewed.
Unless they change “owner”, and then there’s a clean slate with the booze board. WHich is what they’re doing. They can keep changing “owner” every year and flaunt the community and city rules, and it’s very hard for anyone to do anything about it.
Lovely, right?

I don’t really care about alcohol sales, or care if someone stops in and only wants one beer. Sometimes you just only want one beer. But this “store” doesn’t sell much in the way of real food. Last time I was in there, no milk, no bread, no diet coke even. Sure was a lot of booze tho.
Thing is, the store could be selling all the same things, but not allowing loitering or gambling (did I mention they’re next door to a “we buy gold!” place? Yeah…. that’s going to go well for local residents. Oh look! need money for gambling? why don’t you go around the corner and break a window, you can sell what you grab right next door before your beer gets cold! ) and it would be fine in my eyes. I don’t care so much about the law as whether or not you’re a good neighbor. It astounds me how few people seem to understand “don’t shit where you eat”.

It’s just so frustrating to be trying to make your neighborhood better when it seems like the City’s own ordinances and supposed neighborhood advocates are getting in the way of the very things they’re supposed to be helping with.

But at least they have truth in advertising:

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