Businesses sell alcohol to underage customers

By RAELYNN RICARTE

News staff writer

June 3, 2006

An Oregon Liquor Control Commission sting recently caught five Hood River businesses selling alcohol to underage patrons.

“While the schools are doing their part with strong policies and enforcement, almost half of our (tested) alcohol servers and retailers let us down and that is very disappointing,” said Maija Yasui, county prevention coordinator.

The “decoy” missions involving area teenagers were organized by OLCC in May. Employees at the following businesses violated state law by furnishing alcohol to customers under the age of 21: Cascade Market on West Cascade Street, Chevron on Marina Way, El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant on 12th Street, Ho Ho Restaurant on West Cascade Avenue and Passport Exchange on Oak Street.

Yasui said OLCC made no attempt to have the decoys look younger than their actual ages. Nor did those individuals attempt to trick the server or clerk into selling the alcohol.

She said the results of the OLCC operation were “surprising” given the educational outreach of the past four months. In February, Yasui and the Hood River County Commission on Children and Families arranged a public forum in Hood River that centered on the problems associated with underage drinking.

Almost 200 representatives from area service organizations, businesses, schools and churches attended. Presentations by professionals working with juveniles outlined the potential for more driving accidents, unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases with teen alcohol abuse.

“We had hopes that the information relating to all the damage caused by youth use of alcohol would have a stronger impact on people’s actions,” said Yasui.

She was heartened that five other local businesses were also targeted by the OLCC sting but did not sell to underage customers. Yasui said HRCCCF applauds the diligence of: Food Mart, Rite Aid and Safeway on West Cascade Avenue, and both Hood River Restaurant and Union 76 on Second Street.

Another positive note, said Yasui, is that OLCC investigators observed a reduction in the samples of wine served at May’s First Friday event. Last year two businesses were cited for violations after allowing patrons to leave the premises with alcohol. The Downtown Business Association then began discouraging retail outlets from providing alcohol at the monthly celebration.

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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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