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This is the fourth installment to today’s Café San Diego. Please feel free to contribute to any section posted today which you will see below. To read others’ comments, click the link at the end of this section. I’ll do my best to add other elements of the dialog which may be helpful to consider.

Beach Alcohol Task Force

The Beach Alcohol Task Force (BATF) was formed last year by District 2 Councilman Kevin Faulconer. This Task Force has met over 10 separate community forums to address the increasing levels of concern by several communities including Mission Beach, Mission Bay Park, Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach. We learned many things in these Task Force meetings n- about the CA State Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC), about Conditional Use Permits, about Community Assisted Party Program (CAPP), the great work of the San Diego Police.

We did not, however, hear any comment from the San Diego lifeguards. We did hear from some very concerned lifeguards who came in on their own time and gave public comments (1-2 minutes) without identifying their occupation or employer. For a “Beach Alcohol Task Force” wouldn’t you think it would make sense to ask the one group of people that see the problem first hand what they think?

Also missing was any professional Alcohol Abuse and Prevention community experts, the San Diego Fire and Rescue department or any trauma doctors or medical experts. We did not hear from any civic experts or, from comparable-community leaders (i.e. from cities that have considered beach alcohol bans for instance). Representatives from the off-sale package store business group were non-existent. For a group that has reportedly 70 percent of alcohol sales in this area wouldn’t you think they would want to be heard in this process? Not surprisingly, another group that was non-existent in the meetings was anyone from the alcohol distributors, manufacturers or any alcohol-industry folks.  Each year alcohol sales are in the tens of millions of dollars n- in Pacific Beach alone. One would think that the industry would be here to protect that level of sales no? Or, perhaps they did not see any threat from the Beach Alcohol Task Force and figured they could tend to more important matters?

Near the conclusion of the 10-meeting BATF Councilman Faulconer tried to gain what seemed to be a super-majority consensus from the Task Force members before most of the final “recommendations” were moved forward. Ultimately the Councilman said he would form some type of working committee that would meet on a regular basis to oversee further research on issues raised, as well as to work towards implementing the twenty-plus recommendations.

For complete minutes of the BATF and for complete Community Newspaper Group coverage visit my site at http://www.enjoyPB.com/groups under the Beach Alcohol Task Force section in the Groups page.

— JERRY HALL

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