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Reader explains opposition to sidewalk alcohol sales ordinance revision

The Jan. 29 Letter To The Editor, from Ms. Deborah Beck, might be viewed as the result of substituting unrelated examples and hyperbole for truth and logic. First point, the citizen’s objection to sidewalk sales and consumption of alcohol has nothing to do with prohibition, and the proposed ordinance revision has nothing at all to do with that concept. On the contrary, the revision facilitates the increased public consumption of alcohol by adding sidewalk sales of the product at non-restaurant businesses in the downtown business area. Second point, the issue is not assuming anyone drinking alcohol is a “…depraved person who will corrupt our youth.” The issue is the wording of the proposed ordinance, which would allow bars with sidewalk beer and stronger alcohol sales in the public domain of our downtown business district. Those who chose not to spend their time in, or expose their family to, an alcohol-serving environment certainly won’t welcome being exposed to that environment on the city streets in our downtown area. Third point, Ms. Beck states, “There is no difference between someone sitting inside a restaurant with a beer or glass of wine and someone sitting outside that establishment with that same glass of wine.” The current ordinance totally agrees with Ms. Beck. However, the wording of the proposed ordinance revision does not discuss restaurant service. As a matter of fact, the principle reason for the requested change is to eliminate any reference to restaurant requirement in allowing the service of alcohol. As proposed, it would allow a bar/tavern, which has no food service, to provide for customers consuming their alcohol on the sidewalk. As to the operation of sidewalk alcohol service at the Court Street Grill, the owner of that fine downtown restaurant realizes he is operating a family establishment and, from the start, put in place strict policies to maintain that family friendly environment. Any sidewalk beer/wine service must be part of a food order. In addition, alcohol service request of more than two drinks must have the specific approval of the Manager.

The citizens of Lincolnton, and our elected officials, must keep their attention focused on the specific wording of the proposed ordinance revision and the inherent danger contained in those words. I would hope that Ms. Beck, and anyone concerned with this issue, takes the time to read the exact wording of the proposed ordinance revision. The vague intentions of the individuals advocating the revision are not the issue. We have all been warned repeatedly that the road to Perdition is paved with good intentions. The specific wording revision of the proposed ordinance is all that matters. We must not be deceived into overlooking the potential degradation to our wonderful downtown area, by accepting this ordinance revision that allows non-restaurant sidewalk service and consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Tom Hawk


Gratitude for CMC-Lincoln

After undergoing major surgery skillfully performed by Dr. Aswad, additional complications kept me in CMC Lincoln for 21 days. This letter of gratitude is long overdue. I’m deeply grateful for my surgeon and the medical staff on the third floor (nurses, assistants, techs, spa-team, housekeeping) who gave me professional, compassionate, patient, encouraging, grace-filled care. My hospital stay included being there for Christmas and New Year’s. And some very special people provided and decorated a waiting room for us to have our immediate family (20-plus) for Christmas Eve. As one of our granddaughters said, “I think this is the best Christmas Eve ever!” To have an excellent hospital staffed by excellent and compassionate caregivers is a blessing for us and others in Lincoln County.

Dr. Charles B. Brown, Jr.

First snow inconvenience didn’t deter delivery of essential services

 Having been stranded overnight in a major metropolitan city in snowstorm, I can empathize and visualize what stranded motorists along our highways and interstates endured with our first official snowstorm of the 2014 season.

Contrary to public opinion, the US Postal Service has no official creed or motto. Rather there is an inspiration in The James Farley Post Office in New York City which reads, “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these carriers from their swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Couldn’t a similar motto apply to our city, county, state, federal and CMC-Lincoln employees residing in our county? Based on my experience, our city/county law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMS, public works department, 911 employees and CMC-Lincoln’s medical and ancillary staff were not deterred by our recent winter storm to ensure our health and safety. Their exemplary performances should be recognized, commended and compensated.

Our School Superintendent and her Assistant Superintendents should be complimented regarding their difficult decisions regarding early dismissals, closings, scheduling teacher workdays, or delaying openings due to weather conditions. A special thanks to our principals, teachers, teaching assistants, bus drivers, cafeteria employees and support staff for their dedication and determination to arrive safely and prepared at our schools. Last not but least, our public school student’s parents for being role models and encouraging their children to attend a Saturday makeup day rather than allowing them to stay home.

Robert A. Tomlinson


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