Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Manufactured nuissances

The smoking ban, in and of itself, is fairly obviously the correct thing to do.  At least if you care about healthy working conditions for service employees, it is.  But the external problem it's going to cause is.. well, it's going to be a problem.
Snake and Jake's, however, is a different story.

"I have nowhere to tell people to go outside to smoke," Clements said. "People tell me, 'It's no big deal. They can just go outside.' My bar gets busy from 2 in the morning until 7 or 8 in the morning, and I'm in a residential neighborhood. Even in the backyard, there are houses that butt right up there. It might be fine for Carrollton Station, which has a back patio. For me, it's going to be a real  problem."

"The locals, they're going to respect our neighbors," Rogers said. "When we have tourists in town ... those locals are going to remind people, if they get a little bit loud, to keep it down. They'll police themselves quite a bit. If that doesn't happen, we'll take steps to make sure people are aware."

Bars labeled a "nuisance" are subject to heavy fines and penalties from the city's Alcohol Beverage Control Board, and the Landrieu administration has cracked down on them several times during the mayor's two terms in office. A 2012 press release from the city boasted that while only 32 violations had been prosecuted in 2009, "due to a successful commitment to better enforce nuisance establishments, 287 prosecutions have occurred since the beginning of 2011."
Unless we come to some reasonable solution to the ongoing sound ordinance debate... and unless the ABC board suddenly decides to stop its crusade against neighborhood bars, (don't hold your breath in either case) this is going to cause more trouble. 

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