Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 7, 2013/ 3 Mar-Cheshvan, 5774

4 a.m. closing time won't make us chic

By Mitch Albom








http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I work around drunk people. I always have. My earliest jobs were as a musician in nightclubs. I once played piano in a dive bar where I was told by the owner that if any customers wanted to sing, I had to play along with them, no matter how wasted they were. One guy kept boozily screaming at me to play "Melancholy Baby." So I did. And just as he began to slur the words into the smelly microphone, he turned, woozy, and screamed, "That's not merrrllncurly berby!"

And the owner got mad at me. Later, as a sportswriter, I waded deeper into the booze pool. People drank in parking lots on my way in. People passed out in parking lots on my way home.

I wandered through Final Four postgame parties, Bourbon Street during Super Bowl week, Las Vegas during prizefights. I've seen a drunken barefoot woman step on broken glass and dunk her bleeding foot into a cup of beer. I've seen semi-naked fans howling as police carted them off. I found a drunken man sleeping inside my rental car.

I've covered countless stories of athletes, friends of athletes and victims of athletes killed by drunken driving, jailed for drunken diving or nailed for drunken stupidity — usually committed in the wee hours of the morning.

So when I read state legislators are considering a bill to keep our bars and restaurants open until 4 a.m. in certain central business districts, I don't scream, point fingers or rail. I do what I always do.

I brace myself.

ANOTHER MONEY GRAB
"We would be attracting more of the type of people who are going for the entertainment type of lifestyle," Detroit bar and restaurant owner Nico Gatzaros told legislators considering this bill.

No, you wouldn't. You would be attracting people who want to stay out later and drink longer. If that's the "entertainment lifestyle," then just say so. This is only — and ever only — about money, selling more alcohol, the biggest profit margin in the bar and restaurant business, and making more money for the government by charging a $10,000 licensing fee for any establishment that wants to increase its hours.



It is not, as supporters claim, about competing with New York and Chicago. Let's be frank. People will choose Detroit over New York and Chicago when there is as much to do here as there is in New York and Chicago — not because you can guzzle booze two hours longer.

Now, unlike many, I don't immediately assume a 4 a.m. closing time will increase arrests, violence or death rates. I look around the world where this is the norm and see conflicting studies. In England, where they relaxed the drinking laws eight years ago, they apparently have seen the same amount of violence, just shifted to later times. But they have experienced a sharp increase in people skipping work, calling in sick or coming in late.

That makes sense. You encourage late drinking, you encourage late arrivals. Do our cities really need to be less productive? Do we really need more alcohol consumed or more drunks on the roads later?

A DEADLINE IS A DEADLINE
And that's the thing. There is no great upside to this. People who say 4 a.m. closing times will decrease the number of people slamming drinks to beat a 2 a.m. deadline assume they won't do the same two hours later. Unless they're already sleeping on a bench in their own vomit.

Another scene I've witnessed many times.

Sure, individual Libertarians will yell, "It's a free country, I can drink when I want." Maybe that's true. But let's stop acting as if knocking back another vodka martini is somehow good for you. And doing what you want when it affects others is not the same as doing it at home. What about people coming into work between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m., of which there are many in our cities? What about our already taxed police forces? There is a reason this bill would allocate 85% of the license fees to local police departments.

As if money ever put an end to trouble.

Even with that, the bill is opposed by the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police. The chiefs see it for what it is.

Keeping bars open until 4 a.m. doesn't make you Barcelona. It just makes you a place to get drunk later. This bill, in the end, is about how we want our cities to be perceived. Sadly, by the time you are dipping your bloody foot in a cup of beer, you're not too worried about perception.


Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.



Comment on Mitch's column by clicking here.



Mitch's Archives


© 2013, THE DETROIT FREE PRESS DISTRIBUTED BY TMS, INC.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles

Quantcast