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Not all liquor issues the same

We’re all for city officials and police cracking down on alcohol vendors who can’t keep their business on the right side of the line. Rowdy drunkenness and the accompanying potential for violence can cast a pall on a downtown that depends on visitors feeling safe.

Some establishments don’t seem to get that message. In a recent council meeting, Ashland Police Chief Tighe O’Meara pointed to one regular offender, the Vinyl Club, where he said “Everything seems to be kind of business as usual.” The club had 17 cases reported to police in the past year, 17 the year before and 14 the year before that.

The establishment needs to clean up its act or lose its license.

We also think O’Meara was smart in backing off the idea of requesting a restricted license for the Stop ’n’ Shop Market on Lithia Way. Yes, there are problems associated with the sale of single-serve alcoholic beverages. That’s not because of the market failing to follow the law, but rather due to its customers’ actions.

It’s hard to see how you penalize Stop ’n’ Shop for selling single-serve alcohol when there are numerous more upscale bars where you can buy a pint of beer, a glass of wine or a cocktail. The market’s customers are a different demographic to be sure, but there’s a fairness issue inherent in that.

O’Meara is right to try to work out a solution with the market, rather than cracking down a business that has done no wrong.

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