Santacroce lauded for serving alcohol safely

Marisa Santacroce may not always receive warm thank-yous as she cuts off tipsy customers, but earlier this month she received credit where it was due.

Santacroce was given the Gene Hallman Award for Outstanding Alcohol Service by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) on Dec. 16 in Milwaukie.

As the bar manager at Santacroces’ Italian Restaurant, an establishment off Highway 35 that has been in her family for over a decade, Marisa keeps one eye on the drinks she prepares and another on who’s drinking them.

“It’s a tough job,” said Santacroce. “People do get defensive when you cut them off. This isn’t really the kind of establishment where people get overly intoxicated, but sometimes they will come in that way.”

In such situations, Santacroce refuses to serve the visitors more alcohol, offering them water or food instead.

“Eighty percent of them get defensive and leave,” she said. “There have been a couple instances where we’ve had to escort them out the door, but our clientele tends to be more mature than that.”

Santacroce keeps the number of a cab company handy, and also an incident log where she records licenses and witnesses. While the OLCC doesn’t require such a log, it is strongly suggested. Beyond the OLCC regulations, Santacroce relies on house rules that she makes clear to her staff, stressing that everyone gets the same treatment.

“I know what I’m making, and I remember what I send out,” said Santacroce. “I communicate with the servers and waitstaff to make sure no one goes over the line. The staff is great — they apply the house rules to everybody.”

Santacroce and her staff take classes every four years in order to keep their alcohol service permits.

“The bottom line is that we want people to come in and enjoy a great meal with a glass of wine or a cocktail without pushing their limits,” Santacroce said. “We don’t want people to get hurt. It’s about safety — I wouldn’t want someone to keep serving me if I were having too much. I’d expect to be treated the same.”

The Hallman Award came as a shock to Santacroce. Winners of OLCC awards are nominated by fellow liquor licensees, members of the community, or OLCC.

“I guess I was nominated, but I don’t know who did it,” she said. “It was quite an honor, but I’m just doing my job.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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