East Lansing Police Chief Opposes Extended Bar Hours

24 02 2009

Mike and I got into a discussion today in the comments section of another post about longer bar hours.  I’m in favor.  I’ve seen it work.  I came from a city that had a 4 AM zone downtown.  It was by accident that I came across this article in the State News were the East Lansing Police Chief voices his opposition.

But for East Lansing police, longer bar hours would mean more patrols and more money spent to pay officers, East Lansing police Chief Tom Wibert said.

“On weekends, we would increase our overtime pay,” Wibert said. “We generally put out extra foot patrols on bar nights.”

Wibert said making liquor available Sunday mornings probably wouldn’t affect police, but the extended bar hours could pose a problem of increased late night crime.

“Not many good things happen between 2 and 4 a.m.,” he said.

Two things.  1.)  You’re a police department.  You’re job is to serve and protect.  Plan accordingly.  2.) Extended bar hours do not increase late night crime.  You have no proof of that  and there are several cities that have 4 AM license and it works.  Instead of prediciting what you think would happen, I would suggest getting in touch with Peoria (IL) Police Chief Steve Settinsgaard who actually encourage the expansion of Peoria’s 4 AM zone a few years back. 

East Lansing has a number of bars in a small area and they’re near the police headquarters.  Extending the liquor license by two hours shouldn’t be that big of a deal.





Flatts Grille Closed by State Treasury

24 02 2009

Whoops.

Flats Grille, 551 E. Grand River Ave., was closed Tuesday, with a sign on the locked door announcing that the restaurant had been seized by the Michigan Department of Treasury.

The sign announced a tax warrant against the business and explained that “it is in the best interest of all concerned parties (owner and state) to sell the perishable property.”

Ingham County Register of Deeds Curtis Hertel Jr. said a state tax lien was filed on Dec. 10 against Flats owner Paul O’Connor, for $8,864.75 in unpaid taxes.

Damn.  Never got a chance to eat there.  I considered it last time I worked at MSU, but opted for McDonald’s instead.  That’s what I get for picking a chain over a local place.





Gatorade Drops “Propel With Calcium” Line

24 02 2009

I got bad news in my inbox today.   Earlier this week, we made our weekly trip to Walmart to pick up a few six packs of Propel.  J likes Lemon.  I like the Mandarin Orange which is part of the Propel With Calcium line.  We noticed a change in bottles which is a welcome change, but we couldn’t find the Mandarin Orange flavor.  Walmart was about the only place we could even find Mandarin Orange anyway, so not seeing it on the shelf caused some alarm.  I e-mailed customer service to see what was up.  I got the following reply….

We’re sorry to tell you that Propel with calcium, including the mandarin orange flavor, has been discontinued.

As you may know, there are many reasons why a product may be discontinued, but it is usually because sales expectations have not been met. When too many stores discontinue a product, it becomes difficult to continue making and selling the product.

We’ve been listening to consumer feedback and have decided to take action on the most popular requests. As a result, we’ve made some changes to our current Propel line-up. Propel Fit Water will be transitioned to Nutrient Enhanced Water. This new line now offers the following flavors:

* Lemon
* Berry
* Grape
* Kiwi-Strawberry
* Peach Mango Body (with fiber)
* Black cherry Mind
* Blueberry Pomegranate

(Any flavor not mentioned above has been discontinued.)

DAMN!  I guess I’ll just have drink Lemon from now on.





Could Liquor License Renewal Fees Increase?

24 02 2009

That’s one of Jennifer Granholm’s proposal’s for balancing the budget.  I saw this story in the Jackson Citizen-Patriot late last week.

Local bar owners are not happy with what Gov. Jennifer Granholm wants to serve up in 2010 — a doubling of their annual liquor license renewal fees.

Granholm is seeking to raise the fees — which haven’t been increased since 1976 — as a way to help solve the state’s massive budget deficit.

“It’s a 100 percent tax increase,” said Jeff Veach, owner of Veach’s Office Bar in downtown Jackson.

So, it’s been 30 years since there’s been an increase in liquor license renewal fees.  30 years!  That seems like a long time.  With the rate of inflation, a doubling of the fees seems cheap.  It sucks that it could happen now when everyone is struggling.  It’s kind of a vicious cycle.  If business fees aren’t increased, then they’ll have to find another stream of revenue such as property or income tax hikes, but it just seems like doing business in Michigan is getting harder and harder.