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By The Skanner News
Published: 22 February 2006

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission recently approved two off-premises beer-wine sales licenses for neighborhood markets in Northeast Portland with restrictions because of drug-related problems in the area.

The grocery stores are within three blocks of each other on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Portland'sInner North/Northeast Alcohol Impact Area, Prostitution Free Zone and Drug Free Zone. The Portland Police Bureau endorsed both license applications but requested restrictions on one market because of drug-related crime and other problems in the region.

Selam Market licensees Berhane Sebhatu and Abrehet Gebray received the following restrictions: They must close the premises at 3513 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.; one of the licensees must be on-duty during operating hours; and they must post a warning sign at the entrance of the business to discourage loitering.

The licensees agreed to a control plan to diligently examine identification and to determine that customers are not intoxicated or under the influence of drugs before selling them alcohol.

Union Market, at 3837 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., was granted a change of ownership; the new licensees are Gee Whon Choi and Yeoun Ja Choi. Statistics indicate there is little trouble with street drinking in the area, but because of other serious problems such as drug activity and loitering, police sought license restrictions. The licensees received the same limitations as Selam Market, but with closure hours of 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.

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