05-26-2018  4:40 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Attorney General Forms Hate Crime Task Force

The task force will study hate-motivated crimes and review existing legal protections for victims ...

Portland Art Museum Celebrates Art Museum Day with Free Admission on May 25

Portland Art Museum joins art museums across North America, with great works of art and public programs ...

June Key Delta Community Center Hosts May Week ’18 Health Fair May 26

Event includes vision, glucose screenings, medication disposal and car seat installation ...

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

Amtrak: No evidence injured passenger was in fight

RENO, Nev. (AP) — The family of a 22-year-old train passenger found severely injured next to railroad tracks in Truckee, California, suspects he may have been the victim of a hate crime, but Amtrak said Saturday that investigators have found no evidence of foul play.Aaron Salazar's family...

Investigation: Police fired 14 bullets, shotgun at man

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An investigation by the Portland Police Bureau says Portland police officers and a Multnomah County sheriff's deputy fired 14 bullets, three shotgun blasts and nine less-lethal rounds at a man inside a Portland homeless shelter.KATU-TV reports the investigation material...

City aims to block release of dangerous psychiatric patients

LAKEWOOD, Wash. (AP) — The city that houses Western State Hospital, Washington's main psychiatric facility, is fighting to keep patients from being released into its boundaries.The News Tribune reports Lakewood on Monday approved a moratorium on city business licenses for new adult family...

Missing fisherman found by divers in submerged vessel

SEATTLE (AP) — The body of a missing fisherman was found by divers inside the sunken vessel, the Kelli J.The Coast Guard said Saturday that the body was found before the vessel was refloated by contractors in Willapay Bay on Friday.The Pacific County Sheriff's Office took the fisherman's...

OPINION

Racism After Graduation May Just Be What's on the Menu

Dr. Julianne Malveaux says that for our young millennials, racism is inevitable ...

Prime Minister Netanyahu Shows Limits of Israel’s Democracy

Bill Fletcher, Jr. on racial politics in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s uneven treatment of African immigrants ...

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Meeting draws people angry over fatal police shooting

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — More than 200 people turned out for a community meeting Saturday to protest the death of a young black man who was fatally shot by a Virginia police officer after he ran naked onto an interstate highway.Speakers at the meeting at Richmond's Second Baptist Church said...

The Latest: Family: Police need to handle people better

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Latest on the fatal police shooting of a naked and unarmed man in Richmond (all times local):5:16 p.m.Family and friends of a man who was fatally shot by Richmond police after running naked onto an interstate highway are calling on police to find non-lethal ways of...

White neighbor gets prison for harassing black family

EASTON, Pa. (AP) — A neighbor accused of harassing and using racial epithets against a black Pennsylvania family for years has been sentenced to prison.A Northampton County judge sentenced 45-year-old Robert Kujawa to the term Friday after a jury convicted him of ethnic intimidation,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Glenn Snoddy, inventor of fuzz pedal for guitarists, dies

MURFREESBORO, Tennessee (AP) — A recording engineer whose invention of a pedal that allowed guitarists to create a fuzzy, distorted sound most famously used by Keith Richards in the Rolling Stones' hit "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" has died.Glenn Snoddy was 96. His daughter Dianne Mayo...

Reaction to criminal charges filed against Harvey Weinstein

Reaction to rape and other criminal charges filed in New York on Friday against Harvey Weinstein:"I hope this gives hope to victims and survivors everywhere, that we are one step closer to justice. Because one win is a win for all of us." — Weinstein accuser Rose McGowan, to The Associated...

Vindication, triumph, also fear: Weinstein accusers react

NEW YORK (AP) — Watching the stunning images of Harvey Weinstein walking into a courthouse Friday in handcuffs, a detective on each arm, Louisette Geiss still felt a shiver of fear in reaction to the man who, she says, once cornered her and tried to physically force her to watch him...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Bale's scissor-kick gives Madrid 3rd straight European title

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Gareth Bale's eye-catching scissor-kick helped Real Madrid to a third successive...

Resisting Trump in a bright red state

EDMOND, Oklahoma (AP) — Vicki Toombs was watching the returns on election night 2016 when her phone buzzed...

Legal hurdles may make Weinstein's prosecution an exception

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Harvey Weinstein's arrest in New York Friday is a landmark moment in the #MeToo...

Ebola vaccinations begin in rural Congo on Monday: Ministry

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Ebola vaccinations will begin Monday in the two rural areas of Congo where the...

Israeli soldier badly wounded in West Bank arrest raid dies

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military says a soldier who was seriously wounded in action this week has...

US warns Syrian government not to advance on south

BEIRUT (AP) — The United States warned it would take "firm and appropriate measures" to protect a...

Stateline Liquor Store
The Skanner News

In 2011, Washington State privatized liquor sales after a record-setting, $20 million-campaign. Now the grocery industry is looking to repeat that success, with a liquor privatization initiative that is destined to hit the Oregon ballot box, in 2014.

 Backers hope they can expand into the profitable liquor market by taking spirits sales out of the hands of the Oregon Liquor Commission. An Oregon initiative likely would propose increased funding for local law enforcement, education and human services, in an effort to gain widespread support.  

We don’t have any objection to the idea in principle. Stores already sell wine and beer. And OLCC records show they mostly do it responsibly, avoiding sales to minors and visibly intoxicated people. Many of the stores which want to expand into spirits sales already are members of the OLCC’s Responsible Vendor program, and committed to training their staff to enforce the law. Customers would value the extra convenience. So why shouldn’t grocery stores sell bourbon or vodka?

We can see no good reason for the state to have a monopoly on selling spirits. The state should get out of the business of selling spirits and concentrate on enforcement, with its efforts focused on troubled licensees.  

What voters should not support, however, is a repeat of the Washington fee hikes that saw the cost of spirits rise sharply after the initiative passed. Despite promises that increased competition would lower prices, the exact opposite has happened. A visit to Stateline Liquor at Jantzen Beach found that almost every car in the parking lot has Washington plates. Why? Spirits now cost far more in Washington than they did when the Washington Liquor Control Board managed the stores. 

The Washington state initiative added a 10 percent distribution fee, and 17 percent retail fee. That’s in addition to any markups the grocers add independently. Taxes stayed the same.

Lobbyists for the grocers and wholesalers say competition will eventually bring costs down. They say Washingtonians are just now starting to see incremental decreases. Wholesalers increased their prices as soon as the law passed. And because the initiative allowed for bulk markdowns on wine and spirits, the new law also puts small, local wineries and distillers at a disadvantage.

Oregon backers contend they are well-aware of the pricing issues. They say they are working to build efficiencies into an Oregon initiative that will prevent Washington-style price increases. 

And in order to prevent disadvantaging small local distillers, industry advocates are considering creating a new specialty boutique license that would allow licensees to sell products from Oregon distillers. That plan also would provide funding for an Oregon distillers board, similar to the Oregon Wine Board.

Bottom line, The Skanner News believes that the concept appears solid in principle. However, backers should not forget critical funding for programs that support alcohol education and treatment programs. Liquor privatization must come with increased and sustainable funding to prevent and treat alcohol abuse and addiction. 

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