OLCC warns business of alcohol violation

October 5, 2005

The Gift House in downtown Hood River has been warned against allowing patrons to leave the premises with wine samples during First Friday.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) gave the business an official warning about the practice last week. The infraction reportedly occurred on Sept. 2 when an OLCC inspector observed people walking out of the store with a small cup of alcohol.

Gift House owner Serina Erstamer said she did not know the practice of Amos Enbury, a hired server with the Henry Wine Group of Portland, violated the law. In fact, she was giving customers only a “thimble” full of wine to ensure the serving qualified as a sample. Enbury was also written up for imbibing alcohol while on duty.

“I’m just going to make sure that no one goes out the door with our tasting, as small as they are,” said Erstamer. “We will now make sure the shop is signed so that people know it is illegal to go outside with a beverage of any size.”

Ken Palke, OLCC spokesperson, said the Gift House could face a fine if either offense is repeated. He said businesses without a liquor license may give away samples, but are still subject to the law that forbids open containers to leave the premises.

“This is a public health and safety issue whether the alcohol is being sold or given away. If First Friday is being promoted as a family event it just doesn’t create a good atmosphere for the adults not to be in control of the situation,” he said.

In a related case, Trillium Café on Oak Street has until next Monday to appeal its $1,485 OLCC fine or nine-day license suspension. At the August First Friday, an OLCC inspector reportedly observed patrons leaving the business with alcohol they had purchased inside. Palke said Trillium owners David and Michelle Hanel were warned the previous month about the problem.

Bob Francis, city manager, termed the August sanction against Trillium as a First Friday “growing pain.” He said the event began as a small group of people browsing through shops along the first six blocks of the downtown business corridor. But, over time, it has evolved into an event with 2,000 to 4,000 people during the peak tourist months. Subsequently, Francis said the City Council has expressed concerns about the “free flow” of spirits and some businesses have decided to quit offering wine samples altogether.

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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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